"How far can you oppress somebody?"
That's the fork-tongued question posed by an academic who used to support the punitive taxes imposed by the New Zealand government on tobacco, but is now wracked with qualms in the wake of the latest hike that will raise the cost of cigarettes to over $20 a packet.
Three more 10% tax increases are proposed between now and 2020, under a deal reached in 2010 between the National Socialist and Maadi parties.
Dr Marewa Glover, a public health analyst and associate professor at Massey University told Stuff.co.nz there's no proof the tobacco tax is reducing smoking in New Zealand.
"It's just a tax grab now," she said. (Nnnnoooooo, really?!) "The tax is a punishing tax. It is deliberately punishing in order to get people to change their behaviour. The problem is, we're continuing to treat problems as a silo. People don't just smoke, they have other things in their lives going on."
The tax, she maintained, is increasing stress on people already facing financial hardship that could lead them to smoke more.
"If you're poor, what can you afford in terms of stress release? How far can you oppress somebody? There's a point at which it's hopeless for them to change. If they're still getting benefits from it, then they'll still smoke."
Smoking rates have declined a paltry 1.9% overall since 2011 when Nanny State started to go really berserk in this area. Smoking rates among Maori and Pacific Islanders have actually risen slightly.
Approached by Stuff.co.nz, the Maadi Party declined to comment. A spokesthing for the National Socialist Government (the epithet is not gratuitous—the most famous anti-smoking campaigner in history was Adolf Hitler) defended the tax, saying it was was one of many measures to make New Zealand smoke-free by 2025.
As if we didn't already know that! Who can forget that years ago the magazine Cigar Aficionado was deemed by the Ministry of Health (Orwell's Ministry of Truth?!) to contravene our Smoke-Free Environments Act, and anyone who distributed or stocked it would be fined $10,000? This, notwithstanding Article 14 of our Bill of Rights:
Everyone has the right to freedom of expression, including the freedom to seek, receive, and impart information and opinions of any kind in any form.
Who can fail to be aware that at check-out counters in supermarkets, staff are forbidden to acknowledge the existence of cigarettes, which are locked away out of sight, except by twitching their eyebrows as imperceptibly as possible? Who is unaware of the mandatory grotesque health warnings? Etc.
Tobacco has been a target of politicians and other fascist control freaks and kill-joys for altogether too long. When a member of academia—taxpayer-funded, PC, far-left academia—says a tax has become oppressive, you know it's time to act. It's time to ditch the tax, and a lot more besides. It's time to respond to, "How far can you oppress somebody?" with a resounding, "You may not oppress anyone, at all, ever!!"
2, 4, 6, 8—Incinerate the Nanny State!
Broadcaster Lindsay Perigo is NZ's most notorious libertarian - you can see his blog HERE