So the earlier announcement around ‘plain packaging’ is the final straw for me. The once ‘National Party’ will now be New Labour from now on. They can claim to be free markets, but their decisions and thinking have been fundamentally nanny-statist and bureaucratic (and the word ‘free’ next to markets seems to have taken the same turn as with trade). The constant battle cry seems to be ‘let’s see if we can make the government work’, which doesn’t mean they look at structural changes, but instead that they take the existing apparatus of state and continue to development it (but with a ‘blue bent’). I simply cannot support that. We’ve lampooned NZ First in the past for living in the 1980s, for Labour living in the 1970s, but I am not really seeing where the difference is anymore. The solution is constantly to erode personal choice and to create ‘solutions’ to problems which are well outside of the role of the state (I should note I don’t smoke, nor find it very nice when people smoke around me, but that doesn’t mean we should be banning a company from legally displaying anything but plain sodding text).
This is an extremely dangerous development, as we are now going down the thin end of the wedge. When Coke and cheese can’t have anything but plain packaging, and you’ll need to ask for them out-of-sight, we’ll go, ‘That’s just stupid’. Well, this is just stupid (who actually buys fags on the basis of how pretty the colours are?). So a pox on them, I guess they don’t need my vote anymore (as they’re getting lots of new Labour voters to join them).