Tuesday, 5 May 2009

I'm trying to get my head around this, ...

... but somehow I just can't:

Local government officials in China have been ordered to smoke nearly a quarter of a million packs of cigarettes in a move to boost the local economy during the global financial crisis.

You what?

The edict, issued by officials in Hubei province in central China, threatens to fine officials who "fail to meet their targets" or are caught smoking rival brands manufactured in neighbouring provinces.

Errr ....

Even local schools have been issued with a smoking quota for teachers, while one village was ordered to purchase 400 cartons of cigarettes a year for its officials, according to the local government's website.

OK, that bit I can kind of understand, even if I disagree with it entirely. But if anyone can explain the next bit to me, there will be a white fiver in the post:

"The regulation will boost the local economy via the cigarette tax," said Chen Nianzu, a member of the Gong'an cigarette market supervision team.



SaltedSlug said...

Oh wow. That's just.....no, I got nothing.
I mean, dude.

Barnsley Bill said...

wot ss said.

Large Melot Please said...

I must say that as someone who is involved in the pro choice smoking movement at www.freedom2choose.info, I am not feeling comfortable. Smoking should always remain a choice, not a matter of state dictat, for or against. You could argue that the state banning smoking in pubs is nearly as objectionable as making it compulsory.

Andy said...

Consider these quotes from the article:

- The edict
- fine officials who "fail to meet their targets"
- [The] government has ordered massive government spending at both national and provincial levels to prop up the economy
have established a "special taskforce" to enforce
- officials burst unannounced into the school at around 3pm one afternoon
- After some negotiation the school was spared a fine, but subjected to "public criticism"

Tell me: would any of the above be out of place in an article about, say, recycling targets, smoking bans, or any other target-driven Labour policy?

My point is that the walls might be a different colour but the building is the same. The Chinese communist government is entirely equal to our Labour government.

Anonymous said...

No its not Andy.

Roger Thornhill said...

Look, it is simple.

The morons dreaming this up are Socialists, or at least Statists. The Tumour needs feeding. Flow is the same as generation, they say.

Of course the rent-seekers want more rent.

Roger Thornhill said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SaltedSlug said...

"Look, it is simple."

Nothing simple about this, it's all kinds of fucked-up.

Mitch said...

They are socialists...they believe stuff like this its why brown is shit on the economy.

They would "get" this.

Chalcedon said...

So not being a smoker isn't allowed then?

Jimmy B. said...

So I have to buy so many fags a month, but I don't actually have to smoke them - the beaks wont know the difference.

I'd sell them.

The black market will be saturated but surely there will be buyers somewhere?