WHO Global Tobacco Tax

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Property Rights for all include Smokers Rights!Global Tobacco Tax Update…
Many of you will have seen the Sunday Express article today (also covered by the Mail) of an incredibly expensive party laid on by the potless WHO in Russia recently.

‘Broke’ WHO host 1.6million caviar-fuelled beano

The Sunday Express can reveal the dinner gala, held last Monday, offered delegates Salmon carpaccio with cucumber tartar, Salmon as the main course, Vitello Tonnato beef with tuna fish sauce, Red caviar, Scallop with white wine sauce, a fish late of smoked halibut, smoked sturgeon, eel mix; Smoked eel, and Salmon under white syrup with flying fish caviar.

Very nice.

Of the five hotels assigned to delegates, two boast five-stars including the Government-owned Golden Ring Hotel, self-proclaimed as “one of the most luxurious” in Moscow, and the city’s Crowne Plaza which commands a majestic 1,169-a-day for a suite, though the WHO has secured a small corporate discount.

Guests were even offered official excursions, including a visit to the Kremlin’s armory chamber.

The article focusses on the cost of the whole shebang and sets it against the WHO’s poverty pleas regarding the Ebola outbreak. All well and good, but much of the cost could have been covered by that nice Mr Putin, I suppose.
BIG NEWS – UN pockets “bribe” from Russia: The WHO accepted $800k handout from Putin to put the #COP6 tobacco control convention in Moscow.

Drew Johnson (@Drews_Views) October 17, 2014

Or maybe even those even nicer (to the WHO) people in the pharmaceutical industry.

It’s the traditional ill wind that blows somebody good. The pharmaceutical companies bought a seat at the Moscow conference through its contributions to anti-tobacco nonprofits that have “observer” status, and were enabled to sit with delegates and lobby them where neutral observers were not allowed.

The pharmaceuticals make nicotine patches, gums and mints that will become more popular if prohibitive tobacco taxes are imposed.

Considering the above and that the public were banned from the conference, closely followed by the press being physically restrained and excluded after a single negative article by the only US journalist covering the event, I don’t think anyone could call COP6 “transparent”, do you?

A $40,000 wifi facility was also wasted when tweets dried up on the second day, and Instagram accounts which had been sharing pictures went silent soon after. It seems that the WHO were desperate to ensure nothing escaped to the outside world about what they were discussing.

This was perhaps because of the other astonishing abuses of transparency and democratic procedure getting out of the sealed room – courtesy of the Washington Times’s Drew Johnson – some deeply sinister.

During the debate over the UN/WHO global tobacco tax, a delegate from Kyrgyzstan was held down & silenced when he tried to oppose. #COP6.

 Drew Johnson (@Drews_Views) October 15, 2014
EU,Japan,China & others oppose WHO’s proposed e-cig regulations, but leaders are currently attempting to pass policies without a vote #COP6

Drew Johnson (@Drews_Views) October 17, 2014
I’LL TELL YOU WHEN TO SPEAK: Discussion was cut off when a UN/WHO tobacco convention delegate raised questions about the global tobacco tax.

Drew Johnson (@Drews_Views) October 16, 2014

With all those dissenters out of the way; with the hall packed with pharma lobbyists and security forcibly silencing any flies in the ointment, I suppose it made it quite easy for the FCA’s original recommendation on e-cigs – for caution and a postponement of recommendations pending further study – to be steamrollered out in favour of encouraging wholesale bans.

Then, world governments were ordered to implement these proposals – from a meeting which was compromised by pharma lobbying, exclusion of press scrutiny, lack of proper voting, intimidation of delegates and utter disregard for evidence – immediately.

This is the FCA, by the way, represented in Moscow by state-funded {cough}’vaper’s friend’ Deborah Arnott of ASH. I kid you not.

Where this puts the Department of Health in the context of its government imposing sanctions on Russia – and the civil service code of conduct demanding impartiality – who knows? They certainly don’t seem to be bothered by any accusations of hypocrisy, that’s for sure, as our Phil rightly points out.

Last night Philip Davis MP questioned why Britain had sent two top-level dignitaries, including the Department of Health’s head of tobacco policy [Andrew] Black.

Speaking to the Sunday Express, he said: “It’s quite worrying that, when we have an emerging Ebola crisis in the world, the WHO sees fit to waste money discussing tobacco controls.

“I am asking why we continued to send British dignitaries to this showcase event when both the US and Canada saw fit to boycott it after it became clear that it would be hosted by Mr Putin.”

The whole thing should be shameful for the WHO and the Department of Health, but Under-Secretary of State for Health Jane Ellison sees absolutely nothing wrong with any of it!
Grahame Morris (Easington, Labour)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what assessment he has made of the transparency and accountability of the Moscow Conference of the Parties to the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.

Ellison replied by stating when it occurred (I think Morris may have known that), listing some of the countries who attended and therefore concluding that it was transparent and accountable.

In addition, the next Conference to be held in 2016 will consider options that would further maximise transparency
“Further maximise” transparency? To describe a conference which minimised transparency on a Soviet scale and plans to do exactly the same again in two years time? Incredible!

Apparently, Jane Ellison is perfectly comfortable with delegate intimidation; denial of a free press; DoH staff enjoying hospitality possibly paid for by bribes from states in conflict with the UK; evidence-free demands from industry-entranced bodies; and global taxation regimes being decided without even so much as a vote from delegates to an unelected clique. In her book, this is termed as “maximising transparency”.

The mind boggles as to what she would class as not being transparent.

 

Originally written by: Jane Ellison And The “Transparent”

 

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