BBC Panorama – Reporter smokes out tobacco gangs

BBC One, Monday 7th March 2011; 8.30pm

No one advocates for lawlessness and certainly we all want a society that functions correctly and honourably but there needs to be closer examination and analysis of some of the figures highlighted in tonight’s Panorama.

UK Plc. has allocated £950 million of tax-payers money to recover an estimated £100 million in duty lost to the “illegal tobacco trade”; is this really value for money when so many of our society are living on the bread-line, children are going hungry and every man, woman and child is expected to tighten their belts in order to meet the demands of greedy bankers expecting ten-figure bonuses (that’s a minimum of £10,000,000.00 each) and even greedier MPs who command huge salaries as well as perks and expenses that make the eyes of mere mortals weep.

The worst hokum was from a so-called university professor (UCL no less) citing the figure of 30 times the lead content in the counterfeit tobacco as opposed to “safe” government tobacco – both he and the sensationalist presenter decided that since the “fake” cigarettes contained (we are told) 30 times the lead content of their “safe” counterparts it therefore meant that “each one you smoke (counterfeit) was equivalent to 30 (normal) (taxable) (regulated) (big government money spinning) cigarettes.

This is poor science presented badly, the level of lead may be 30 times greater unfortunately the programme failed to point out that every other value was exactly the same as a regular cigarette; perhaps the biggest difference was the missing treasury income from the taxation thereon.

Revenue from smokers pays for the NHS, so the government sanctions and justifies smoking despite the harm it does simply on the basis of the money it puts into the Treasury – how sick is this system?

Come on Mr Government – let’s be more accurate with our propaganda science and let’s start getting value for money from you in the same way you expect value for money from the population; the £900million would pay for pension increases for the next 10 years; would build 5 new hospitals; 20 new academies to educate our young or pay for nursery care for every child in Britain for a year.

This Panorama programme is just one in a long line of propaganda shows designed specifically to underpin the activities of the government and it’s our TV licence money that pays to investigate and feed this rubbish to us.

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4 thoughts on “BBC Panorama – Reporter smokes out tobacco gangs

  1. Hi! I’ve been following your web site for some time now and finally got the bravery to go ahead and give you a shout out from Houston Tx! Just wanted to tell you keep up the excellent job!

  2. Your article is interesting although I am of the opinion that the cost to the tax payer would run into far greater amounts than £900million if counterfeit tobacco is not stopped and is used by more people, owing to the vastly increased amount of lead in it. Lead is toxic to the body and can lead to severe health issues (cardiovascular disease, renal and metabolic disease, immune dysfunction and other symptoms such as lethargy, depression, muscle aches and pains). We would certainly need the additional 5 new hospitals and probably more if smokers found counterfeit tobacco more readily available – for the sake of saving a few pence, the price in healthcare is very high. At least smokers of legal tobacco (far from healthy but certainly with less lead content) are paying into a system in which they will invariably use at some point down the line.

    • Emma – thanks for the response and while you’re not wrong in what you say that smoking is bad – this applies to any smoking. Counterfeit tobacco may cause additional health problems but smoking kills, period. There are many drains on the resources of the NHS not least of which is the top-heavy management structures that have crept into all government department and council offices – if 73% of a local population is employed by central and local government then you know something is drastically wrong.

      The point of this article was to flag the poor science that is being passed off as ‘investigative’ reporting which was wholly inaccurate and therefore meaningless.

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