Where is the Dompost editorial outrage over political parties having bookies for candidates?

The Dompost editorial goes mental this morning attacking National and a candidate because they once worked for Philip Morris.

The job of being a tobacco lobbyist is not a respectable one. Big Tobacco kills 5000 New Zealanders a year.

Half its customers die as a result of using the product. Tobacco is an addictive substance that causes untold misery and death throughout the world. Those promoting the interests of Big Tobacco know all this, and yet choose to work for a genuinely evil force.

Astonishingly, the National Party has chosen a 23-year-old tobacco lobbyist as its candidate for the super- safe National seat of Southland. Todd Barclay seems rather conflicted about his eight months as corporate affairs PR for Philip Morris. On the one hand, he says, it was “just a job” and it “doesn’t define him”.

On the other, he doesn’t “condone” smoking and even seems to think he should acknowledge some of its ill- effects. “Everyone has been affected by someone with a long-term illness, so my greatest sympathies go out to them,” says the young politician.

This is not just a job, but a job that aids and abets an industry that kills. And this job does define him, because he presumably took it up voluntarily.

At the same time he doesn’t “condone” smoking and doesn’t smoke himself. Worst of all is his attempt to acknowledge the harm. Long-term illness is one thing, but death is another, and he didn’t mention it.

Excuse me if I don’t just throw up over their?sanctimony.

Tobacco companies sell a legal product, pay large amounts in taxation (more than $1.2 billion pa) and are entitled to employ people. For some reason the DomPost editorial writer thinks that no one should work for a tobacco company.

But isn’t it funny how they ignore the fact that anti-gambling Labour has selected a practising bookmaker as their candidate in Wairarapa, someone who regularly appears on television extolling the odds for gambling.

Arguably gambling has many more victims than smoking does, and the financial and emotional ruin of problem gambling is far worse than smoking…at ?least the cost to the state for caring for ill smokers is cover handsomely by large amounts of excise tax that far exceeds the costs.? Read more »

A tax on stupidity, Ctd

No I’m not talking about voting Green, I am talking about internet gambling.

Peter FitzSimons explains how online betting agencies filter out winners:

For some extraordinary reason, internet bookies are allowed to refuse and restrict bets from punters who are too damn smart, relying on their fine print terms and conditions. Interestingly, I am told the two bookmakers who are most ubiquitous in their advertising, Tom Waterhouse and bet365, are among the “bookmakers that continuously come up in forums for closing down punters”. But it’s not just them! The practice is so widespread, apparently, that one crowd, Pinnacle Sports, even advertises “winners are welcome”, as their point of difference, while NSW TAB and Betfair, which is a betting exchange – whatever that is – is also said to give punters more of a fair go. However, for most of the rest, those who regularly win, across as few as five to 10 bets are apparently known as “toughies” and players who have won a set amount, (usually as little as $1000), are often either refused bets or limited to small wagers of $5 to $10.

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