Sunday, December 04, 2005

More Government Manipulation

Yet again, the government is playing its favourite trick. My suspicions are usually aroused by a story surfacing on a Sunday - it means that they get all the media attention for the day when there is little danger of much else happening, yet the story will soon be subsumed when normal working hours start. Yes, that's right, it's the government floating proposed legislation in the papers. Legislation that has little chance of actually becoming law, but creates a nice impression in the minds of the population that the government cares about an issue and is prepared to take some action on it.

This has been seen today with the mentioning of proposals to raise the legal age at which one can buy tobacco to 18. Now, on the face of it, there may well be merits to this. However, I am sceptical as to whether this will actually take place, even with the pro-smoker group Forest supporting it. It just seems too convenient to try and keep the public reminded that smoking is bad when the government comes to ban it in public places; seems to be one of those announcements, like the orange jumpsuits for community offenders, which can be dropped quietly but will generate sufficient newsprint to have been worthwhile.