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Fuck Politeness

This is a revolution, not a public relations movement

I’d like to nominate him for douchebag of the week.

I think it’s a good think for Nick Minchin that he’s retiring from politics after his ludicrous comments on smoking and smokers…then again, politicians make ridiculous statements all the time and people still vote for them.

Minchin seemed to be confused as to exactly what he was trying to say, who he was trying to defend and who he was trying to insult. Now going from the SMH article, in response to ‘smoking is a drain on the economy due to the level of healthcare required to treat smoking related issues’ he’s come out with:

“They die early, they actually save us money,” Senator Minchin told ABC television on Monday.

You said fucking WHAT?

but also:

Liberal powerbroker Nick Minchin has slammed the federal government’s plan to increase the tax on cigarettes as he told smokers to: “Go for it”.

and

The government was “slugging poor old smokers every time they need money” by proposing the tax hike.

Ok wow. So first the idea that smokers save the government money by dying earlier. That’s a pretty callous and cavalier attitude to human life – I wonder what Nick Minchin would have to say on abortion. Or is it that life in the womb is sacred, but once born if you can profit from early deaths then you should give tell people to ‘go for it’ and do what will kill them earlier.

Second the absolute gobsmacking ignorance of the statement. Excuse me Nick Minchin, but smokers dying early? From what please? Because as I understand it, it’s from heart disease, lung cancer, emphysema, various other cancers, gangrene, and well…really the sorts of long term health issues that require high level and expensive tests, diagnoses and treatments. If smokers ‘died early’ in the sense that they had an expiry date and on 3 April were fighting fit and on the 4 April simply ceased to be, then his ‘they save us money by dying early’ might have some kind of logic to it, though it’s still an incredibly callous statement, an almost sneering at the deaths of smokers. Simply to make his ridiculous, nonsensical politically point scoring ‘argument’.

Essentially it seems Nick is a Liberal. He doesn’t like Labour. He doesn’t care for a Labour plan for anything. But also as a Liberal he doesn’t like a tax. (Cutting money from the poor and vulnerable sure, but not a tax on luxury items). So it’s a double whammy for Nick. It’s a tax, it’s a tax, it’s a LABOUR TAX!!!

So rather than actually advance an argument that sounds like it’s been formulated by an adult who takes a lot of money from the public purse to formulate opinions he says smokers save money (not true) by dying early (oh hahaha).

But after kinda smirking at the smokers and their stupid dying early ways he then wants to play all working class hero. The big bad government is taxing the common people! They expect people to pay more for their cigarettes!!!! Oh noes. Look, yeah, smoking is legal. Do it if you want. But frankly I don’t give a fuck if a pack of cigarettes costs $50 bucks. My rent goes up every six months, I pay more for all my rates, I’m not asking anyone to keep a lid on how much my good sheets, nice coffee, or tasty alcohol cost – I have to make choices about what I can afford. True, smoking is an addiction, and good sheets are not – though in my case they ARE a compulsion – but there are a range of treatments out there to quit smoking, so if it’s too pricey you can quit. It’s not a necessity. It’s not fruit and veg, it’s not bread or milk, it’s not education…it’s not tampons and hey the Libs were all for taxing those. So what I ask is the big fucking deal about taxing cigarettes.

Oh and while we’re at it, if it was a misquote in the SMH then my bad (or theirs actually) but:

The government was “slugging poor old smokers every time they need money” by proposing the tax hike.

Uh…no. They might be slugging poor old smokers every time they want a nicotine hit. But not every time they need money. They need money, but they want the nicotine hit. Their body needs it, but their body can be trained to not need it. They can prioritise the nicotine hit over their budget, but that’s still a choice of “I want the cigarettes more than I need money”, so don’t fiddle with words in such a way as if the government is reaching into the piggy banks of smoker’s children when they need MONEY, it’s when they want or need cigarettes.

Smoking *does* cost money in terms of healthcare…and I don’t think that healthcare should be denied. Nor do I think that everyone should foot the bill for their own health issues. But smoking is a big issue in terms of health, and not just the health of those that smoke, but those they smoke around. And while freedom of choice is important, it’s also important that people weigh all the actions of their choices. I lost my grandfather to a heart attack because he wouldn’t quit smoking and I watched my aunt wither and die from emphysema because she refused to quit. She was ill and in need of high level medical care and income support for over twenty years. Because she liked smoking. I’m not suggesting it’s her fault or that she deserved to die, or that she should have been refused care or support, I’m simply saying ‘Yeah…charge what you like for cigarettes, use other ways – like taxes – to disincentivise smoking, because the cost is high in terms of money and lives and health’.

Even if it were not a health issue, they’re a luxury item so far as I can see so I don’t really care that they’re pricey. But it is a health issue. And I would far prefer that luxury items like alcohol, cigarettes, nice sheets, plasma tvs and all the bits and pieces of ‘luxury spending’ were taxed more rather than seeing cuts to benefits of people at risk, rather than seeing basic necessities rise.

Anyway, rather than being my opinion on smoking and taxes, this was simply about Nick Minchin. He wants to use smokers to swing in as their working class hero by defending the poor battlers from a Big New Tax, but he also wants to use them as a snide trump card of ‘Uh-HA: they die EARLY!!! Therefore they cost us less! Therefore we should ENCOURAGE smoking!’. What exactly is that logic again? Oh yeah, we should encourage people to do stuff that will kill them early if the government will profit from their death…and don’t forget! Life is SACRED starting at conception!

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