Saturday, January 28, 2006


Ever heard of IMTO - NIMTO?
IMTO means "in my time of office" and NIMTO means "not in my time of office".

This is the key principle by which ALL career politicians and governments live, hence that is why they are frequently fond of telling us that we don't see the bigger picture. What they really mean is THEIR self-interested bigger picture which is to stay in office at all costs.

The most important event in a government's and a career politician's calendar is, of course, the next general election. It is important because if they don't get in at that election they don't stay in office and hence, have no chance of pulling the levers of power. Therefore, by the Principle of INTO - NIMTO they analyse each event or policy for what is good or bad about it FOR THEM!

This often leads to the most irrational of decisions for haven't we all wondered why certain crucial reforms don't take place. The answer is because the benefit will not take place during that government's time in office and hence will not assist them to win the next election. Whatever they may tell us then, governments don't really have any significant long term vision because they are too self serving. Equally they are not fond of those who buck the trend or lie in the path of their rolling bandwagon.

With regard to the question why, if smoking in all its aspects is so dangerous doesn't the government simply make tobacco illegal? – then by applying the principle of IMTO - NIMTO the answer becomes very clear.

The point has been made that the government cannot afford to loose the revenue provided by cigarette and tobacco sales. These bring in £8bn and cover the cost of the entire NHS drugs budget! Hence, the bad in the situation for the government would be a further deficit in the total NHS budget, because this, in turn, would weaken its chances of remaining in power. Moreover, if the government made tobacco illegal, it would create for itself a whole new force of complainants. For example, newsagents, corner shops and other stores which depend on cigarette and tobacco sales for a very significant portion of their income. Subsequently, should corner shops and newsagents start to close, then that, in turn, would affect all sorts of consumers including lots of people who don't smoke.

At the moment the government is feathering its nest by running with both the hares and the hounds. On one hand it benefits by continuing to milk and vilify smokers whilst at the same time attempting to instigate smoker bans in order to play to what it perceives as a popular gallery, namely, a British public which is becoming, and being groomed to become, not just health conscious but increasingly hypochondriac. It has no doubt been assessed then, that the loss of votes from smokers and members of the hospitality industry will be well compensated for by a growing milksop contingency.

Thus, unless we consider IMTO - NIMTO we see no consistency in the government's attitude to smoking. Make no mistake about it though, they want people to go on smoking for as long as possible if it brings in the revenue and any chance of tobacco being made illegal is still a long way off.

Yes folks, politicians are ten a penny for so many of them are instantly replaceable - but, what a dangerous set of shallow mediocrities they can be!

Published by John Gray