Thursday, 17 May 2012

No Smoke Without Ire

How would you define mass murder?

(Image via The Journal: Staton R. Winter/AP/Press Association Image
When the international community brings to account those accused of crimes against humanity we feel righteous satisfaction that justice has prevailed. We experience this emotion principally because we are compassionate beings and the world is our shrinking habitat. In the words of John Donne: No man is an island entire of itself…any man's death diminishes me… *

According to ABC News, tobacco companies – including British American Tabaco Australia (BATA) – are challenging in court the ground breaking attempts of the Australian government to reduce tobacco addiction and smoking related deaths by introducing plain generic packaging. BATA is also proposing to reduce the price of cigarettes.

In response, Federal Health Minister Tanya Plibersek is quoted as saying: "What they're interested in doing is attracting new smokers and keeping existing smokers, and they'll do whatever it takes to do that."

(Image: ABC News)

The connection between smoking and premature death is established fact, so is the addictive nature of tobacco

If the killing of thousands for 'reasons' of religion, race or ideology is a Crime Against Humanity, what should we call the killing of addicted millions for financial gain?

And, weighed dispassionately in the cold scales of logic, which crime is the more monstrous?

* No Man is an island

No man is an island entire of itself;

every man 
is a piece of the continent, a part of the main;
if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe 
is the less,
as well as if a promontory were,
well as a manor of thy friends or of thine own were;
any man's death diminishes me, 
because I am involved in mankind. 

And therefore never send to know for whom 
the bell tolls;
it tolls for thee.

John Donne