Plans to sell tobacco products in plain wrapping are on hold for the moment. Mandelsnake has realised something important.
It is understood government ministers will talk about the huge impact the ban would have on the profitability of the tobacco industry, which spends billions of pounds every year developing glossy brands based around colourful designs and distinctive logos.The impact on the tobacco industry is that it will save billions of pounds a year and sell the stuff anyway. We smokers all have our particular favourite brands. We aren't diverted by shiny packets on other brands, we ask for the brand we want and putting them all in plain wrappers under the counter won't affect that one bit. The tobacco industry knows this, which is why they aren't kicking up a big stink.
In fact, the tobacco industry loves this idea. Plain wrappers are cheap and since everyone has to do it, there's no need to spend billions trying to attract smokers of other brands to move.
So what has Mandelson noticed? It's not the tobacco companies who lose out here.
It's the advertising agencies, the brand consultants, the logo designers, all his pals in the City. They stand to lose billions because the tobacco companies will have no further use for their services. Soon, neither will the booze companies or the fast food companies because that plain packaging 'for the cheeldren' is coming their way too.
Unintended consequences. Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear.
Meanwhile the smokers, banned from everywhere, forced to look at pictures of pre-pubescent sweet-ravaged teeth, baffled by the claims that smoking makes you impotent and also damages sperm (if it makes you impotent, what would it matter if it damages sperm?) when a whole generation of smoking fathers seemed to manage perfectly well, those smokers, ah, they just keep puffing away.
Increasingly, from packs that aren't in plain wrappers and have more to do with the inside of a suitcase than the underside of a counter.
Tobacco companies don't care. They make the same money no matter where you buy it.
The price difference is all tax.