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Culture News : Cigarettes, Sunshine & The Shard

Culture News : Cigarettes, Sunshine & The Shard

the shard– The latest in a long line of government U-turns has been unveiled this fortnight, with plans to introduce plain packaging to cigarettes being aborted indefinitely – a decision that has resulted in Cameron and co. feeling the wrath of much of the public as well as important health organisations. To add insult to injury for the coalition, questionable links have arisen between Cameron’s already controversial election strategist Lynton Crosby and the tobacco industry. In fact, Crosby’s lobbying firm works for tobacco giant Philip Morris. Quite a strong link then.

As much as I’m usually up for a good jab at the coalition, I don’t agree with plain packaging. People don’t smoke because of the pretty colours on the packets (which are just about visible between the image of someone getting his chest ripped open and the ‘SMOKING KILLS’ reminder). It’s also not cool to be seen with certain brands of cigarettes. When was the last time you saw a photo of someone looking cool with a pack of fags? Never. It’s the cigarette itself that’s the cool image, and they aren’t changing. They’d be better off changing the cigarettes to look like a cock and balls; maybe that would put people off? Rant over.

– In more pleasant news, the UK has been hit by a heat wave as temperatures climb as high as 32C. This long overdue dose of sunshine is set to last for almost all of next week as well, according to current forecasts! The media has managed to throw a slight dampener on things by reminding the public that this weather is ‘dangerous’ and could potentially kill the very young, elderly and long-term sick. Nevertheless, slap on some sun cream and get outside, God knows it will be gone too soon!

– This glorious spell of weather has coincided with the biggest Rock n Roll band in the world, The Rolling Stones, returning to their hometown of London to play two massive shows at Hyde Park. The first show (06/07) marked 44 years and 1 day since the band last played in the park. Fresh from an unforgettable performance at Glastonbury, Mick, Keith, Charlie and Ronnie played to 130,000 fans over two gigs to rave reviews.

– To end on a hopeful note, this week six women enjoyed the stunning views from the top of the Shard in London without paying the (extortionate) £25 entrance fee. These women spent the better part of a day ascending the Shard on behalf of Greenpeace, to raise awareness of the destruction of the arctic. Greenpeace’s anger at the moment is very rightly directed at the Shell oil firm, having recently boarded a Shell icebreaker, as well as the closing of 74 Shell petrol stations. Greenpeace’s petition to save the arctic currently has around 120,000 signatures. If you haven’t done so already, you can add yours here:

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