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Thursday, 23 August 2012

Plain Packs Protects Still Lying?

A few weeks back, Plain Packs Protect (a taxpayer-funded organisation) was caught out attempting to deceive the public by listing Andrew Lansley as a plain packs supporter. They weren't actually deceiving anyone; Lansley does support plain packs, but as he was heading the so-called public consultation with an "open mind," he shouldn't have had any public opinion on the matter. After being called out, Plain Packs Protect removed Lansley and his comments from their supporters page, and added a disclaimer that reads:
These comments have been taken from the public domain and do not necessarily represent an endorsement of the Plain Packs Protect campaign.
A bit of arse covering, to say the least.  But is the disclaimer true?

Turns out, no, it's not true.   Why do I say that?  Because this supporter's comment isn't in the public domain:

We're going to (more or less) gloss over the fact that Plain Packs Protects are utter morons and cannot even get Annette Brooke's name correct, and we're going to focus only the quoted statement:
"Fancy packaging can only have one aim, to gain more custom. I am pleased to join the tens of thousands of people who have already signed up to support plain packs. It is vital to protect our children and young people."
So is this MP's comment actually in the public domain?  If it were in the public domain, it would certainly turn up in a search on Google.  But it doesn't.  I tried searching on various parts of the quoted statement, perhaps I mis-searched, but it seems it only appears on the Plain Packs Protect website:

Two distinct searches come up with only one web site hit. That hit is only the Plain Packs Protect web site. What's going on here?

So, how did Plain Packs Protect come to get that statement from Annette Brook MP if it's not in the public domain?

It seems to us that Plain Packs Protect are lying charlatans, but we don't know and of course we cannot know for sure how they came to that quote. Perhaps it was in print, in some obscure magazine or newspaper that hardly anyone reads. I find it unlikely, but for the tobacco control industry, unlikely = probability = certainty in their world view.

Now, there are other quotes on the supporters page for Plain Packs Protect. I haven't checked them all. I wonder, how many more won't turn up in a basic Google search?

Which makes you wonder... well, it makes me wonder.  I wonder: Is the Plain Packs Protect web site deliberately trying to deceive the public, or are they total fucking morons?  Could it be both?

I'm done wondering. As always, you decide.