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Wednesday, 23 April 2008

TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION (PART 2)


On March 21st we presented you with a story about how smokers are deliberately left out of every decision that affects their lives and their health.

An opinion piece from the UK from which we publish excerpts below, eloquently describes the phenomenon of taxation without representation that is common to every country under healthist control. This is happening without much opposition from the public, right under our eyes. The public health campaign to stigmatize smokers and spoil their identity has created a situation that even a good number of smokers are conditioned to accept punishment as something they have coming to them unless they obey to the state dictate.

The healthist hate campaign will continue escalating unless we stop it. The first step in stopping it is self respect. As long as tobacco is a legal product that generates billions in revenues for the state, smokers are entitled to participate in the decisions affecting them. Demand that your opinion is not only heard, but seriously considered. After all smokers pay more taxes than any other identifiable group of citizens!


Smokers, says Robin Butler, are not fairly represented by government, so why should they pay £10 billion a year in tax?
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While there can be no denying that we smokers pay punishing and ever escalating taxes (currently around £4 on a packet of fags), can we claim that we are not represented? Worse than that, we are routinely misrepresented, from the gloomy, overspun utterances of a self-appointed health elite striving for political influence, to those late night TV black propaganda films using lurid images designed to link smokers in the public mind with purveyors of disease and death – unsexy, degenerate, and not the kind of people anyone would want for friends!
What a scurrilous, dishonest campaign, conceived to drive a wedge between smokers (the bad guys), and decent, wholesome, clean-living non-smokers (the good guys). It all serves to create a mythology in which smokers are no longer perceived primarily as fully paid-up members of the human race, but only as the sum of everything our detractors define as negative and destructive, and therefore not entitled to the same consideration as ‘proper’ people.
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That same bullying gang mentality is clearly evident in many of the individuals and groups who target smokers. There is something of the totalitarian in the mentality of these people: everyone has to be the same as them. But, instead of recognising its inherent dangers, our Government has harnessed this wave of mindless intolerance to launch its own attack, issuing a mass social exclusion order against millions of innocent British citizens.
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All the arguments for the protection of individual liberties of smokers, balanced by effective means of protecting the health and comfort of staff together with an acknowledgement of the non-smoker’s right not to be exposed to tobacco fumes, were swept aside by a government that was determined not to listen. When an elected government decides that it only wants to represent some of the electorate and not the rest, something has gone seriously wrong with democracy as most people understand it.
………
The Government has seriously overstepped the mark. Not only has it has compromised its claim to be an inclusive government, but it has acquiesced to the hectoring, bullying demands of an unrepresentative health clique, swallowed wholesale every ludicrous myth about smokers and smoking, and inflicted deep wounds on society and itself.

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