Tobacco industry goes against own ‘common sense’ to launch brand-conscious cigarettes

Just as Imperial Tobacco is launching trendy Davidoff iD cigarettes with a cute slide mechanism that reveals specially commissioned art, so Japan Tobacco International is making the case that ‘common sense and evidence say [plain packaging] won’t work’. Cigarettes have always been about lifestyle. I’ve never smoked, but I can see how cool the Continue reading

On Iranians mistaking Onion for real news

Iran’s premier news agency went from FARS to farce over the weekend, after not only mistaking an article in satirical magazine The Onion for real news, but also plagiarising it. The article claimed a Gallup poll had found 77 percent of rural whites prefer Ahmadinejad to Obama. FARS apology is long on mitigation, highlighting how everyone (particularly British media, Continue reading

Boris Johnson’s common sense arrest of Andrew Mitchell

It is remarkable that the Andrew Mitchell allegedly swears at police story is still running, he really should have boxed this one off by now. Instead Mitchell’s woes have been compounded as it is revealed that he is clearly not a friend of London Mayor Boris Johnson who claims arresting Mitchell would be ‘common sense’. I suspect Continue reading

Give thanks to the BBC for exposing the Queen

The UK may be one of the world’s oldest democracies, but there are times when our democracy is embarrassingly undermined, mostly because unlike others we have never had our ruling class exterminated or banished by revolution or war. And so we retain an unelected chamber of parliament and a monarchy. While defenders of these institutions generally acknowledge that they Continue reading

Andrew Mitchell, Mitt Romney and the need for more plebs

Skipper well summarises the issues around government chief whip Andrew Mitchell’s treatment of Downing Street police which are the same issues that inform Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s outburst against 47 percent of Americans not paying federal income tax; as an aside it’s worth noting that it was former Republican presidents who relieved the 47 percent of this Continue reading