Big Brother Watch

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Background

Big Brother Watch is a campaign of The TaxPayers' Alliance.

Pro-Tobacco Activities

Against the Point of Sale Display Ban

In November 2010 Mahendra Jadeja, the former president of the National Federation of Retail Newsagents, attacked the Point of Sale Display Ban on the Big Brother Website, arguing it would "bring about a growth in the illicit cigarette market" and would force "many shops" to the wall "simply because [of] the excessive cost of changing the shop gantries." [1]

Risks of Second-Hand Smoke "A Complete Fabrication"

In January 2011, the chair of Freedom2Choose, Dave Atherton wrote a guest blog for Big Brother Watch. He argued that his "area of expertise are the restrictions of smoking". He then argued that The Tobacco Display Ban would have "no impact on youth smoking." As regards, the "supposed harm of passive smoking (PS). At best it is exaggerated and at worst is a Labour Party dossier of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, complete fabrication." [2]

The Letter to the Daily Telegraph

On 9 March 2011, Daniel Hamilton, then the Director of Big Brother Watch was one of 11 signatories of a Letter to the Editor to the Daily Telegraph attacking the Government's position on tobacco control and arguing against further restrictions.

"Tax Doesn't Reduce Consumption"

Two weeks later, in response to the 2011 Budget, Daniel Hamilton attacked the increase on cigarettes and tobacco. "Drinking beer and smoking cigarettes is a matter of basic personal choice. People should have a right to enjoy these perfectly legal products without the nanny state seeking to tax their personal preferences out of existence. "People's response to 'sin taxes' is, generally, to sigh and pay them - the result isn't to drive down consumption, but to increase the government's tax take." [3]

No Longer Involved in the Tobacco Debate

In May 2012, when asked to clarify whether Big Brother Watch was / had received tobacco industry funding, Nick Pickles replied: "We're not involved in the tobacco/health/plain packaging debate and have not made any public statements on the issue for at least six months. I joined as Director in September 2011. We do not intend to do so for the foreseeable future.[4]

Personnel

Former Staff

Notes

  1. Mahendra Jadeja, Smoking and the Nanny State, 12 November 2010
  2. Dave Atherton, Smoking and the Big Brother Society, 4 January 2011
  3. Politics.co.uk, Big Brother Watch: Govt should stop viewing smokers as easy targets, 23 March 2011, Accessed March 2012
  4. Nick Pickles, Email to Tobacco Control Research Group, 11 May 2012