More tobacco investment - They're all at it!

Nurse condemns ‘hypocritical’ Islington Council over tobacco
Town hall bosses have been branded “hypocritical” for investing millions of pounds in tobacco firms – while preaching against the evils of smoking.

Islington Council this week admitted it has put £13million into two tobacco companies as part of its £750million pension pot.
Here we go again. I bet most of the local authorities are at it. It seems tobacco is a very wise investment, and as they are legally obliged to find the best return on investments, it must be the right thing to do.
The figures were obtained under the Freedom of Information Act by NHS nurse John Warren who has witnessed first-hand the dire impact of smoking and the huge burden it puts on the health service.
Has he also witnessed the huge taxes levied on tobacco that far outweigh any burden to the NHS? Or does he not work for ASH yet?
The 30-year-old said: “It’s hypocritical when they talk about their anti-smoking efforts and the public needs to know. It’s a huge amount of money and for me, working in the NHS, it’s very disappointing. It’s a very unethical investment.”
It's also paying your pension. Maybe you should take a cut if you want them to invest 'ethically' in mung beans or lentils.
Cllr Janet Burgess, Islington Council’s health chief, recently spoke out against the habit and urged residents to quit, saying it is the biggest cause of premature death in the borough.
I love these anti-tobacco quotes. How many of these premature deaths are people in their 70's, 80's and 90's who are quite happy they made it so far. I'll bet the contents of my wallet it's most of them.
Yet the council claims it has a legal duty to maximise its returns and therefore cannot pull out of tobacco.

Mr Warren was unimpressed by this, saying: “If crack cocaine and heroin were legal, would it be okay to invest in them? It’s a product that kills half of its users – more than crack or heroin – so just because it’s legal, that doesn’t make it acceptable.”
I also love it when they resort to hypothetical nonsense. Crack cocaine and heroin are not legal. Tobacco is legal and is enjoyed by many people.
Emma Dixon, of the Islington Green Party, said: “Islington Council has committed itself to a strategy working towards a smoke-free Islington by 2020.
Has it? I'm gonna keep my eye on that one (unless I meet a premature death in the next 18 years) because I bet there are many people in the borough who will still be smoking in 2020. Maybe even as many as there are now unless tobacco is actually banned once and for all. When you bully and hector people, they tend to rebel. Smoking rates were declining steadily before the smoking ban but levelled off after.

I would dearly love to find out how they intend to make Islington smoke free and what horrors they have planned for future denormalisation and bullying of smokers.
Islington has the second-highest rate of adult smokers in London, with 25 per cent, or roughly 50,000 people, and the problem costs NHS Islington about £11million a year.
Ok so let's talk costs. Let's say you pull all investment out of the tobacco industry and put the money in lower return options. Let's then say that all the smokers in Islington were to quit and all the tobacco tax was lost.

How on earth are you going to fill the huge financial hole you are left with? If this is about money then that's about the size of it.
Cllr Richard Greening, the council’s executive member for finance, said: “We undertook a review about three or four years ago to see whether a more ethical investment stance would generate similar levels of return and found that it wouldn’t.

“We are required to maximise returns from the pension fund’s investments and so are not in a position to disinvest from these companies.”
Carry on then. Smoke if you got 'em.


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