Pyrrhic Victory (defn.) - A Pyrrhic victory is a victory with such a devastating cost that it is tantamount to defeat. Someone who wins a Pyrrhic victory has been victorious in some way; however, the heavy toll negates any sense of achievement or profit.
If ever there was a perfect, modern day, example of a 'Pyrrhic Victory' it is the victory that Chris Davies MEP claims to have secured for electronic cigarettes in the EU.
E-cig users are aghast at the current proposals, which would ban the preferred strength of liquid used by nearly half of all users, ban every atomiser device currently on the market, limit the unit quantity of e-liquid, create a maximum capacity of atomiser, ban advertising and cross border sales, introduce a 6 month waiting period for each new product to come on to the market and leave the door wide open of any Member State to introduce compulsory medical regulations for e-cigs thus destroying the market by forcing e-cigs to be like NRT.
This looks like a defeat to me, and it certainly bears little or no resemblance to the original Amendment 170 which passed through the European Parliament with an overwhelming majority vote from MEPs.
But to Chis, it looks like a "Victory" - and if it is a victory of sorts then it can only be described as a Pyrrhic victory, for sure.
Last night (Jan 8th 2014), Chris Davies MEP took to twitter to explain how lucky we all are with this result.
It must be good because an (un-named) e-cig maker said that they could "work with" the new proposals.
It hardly proves the point that he has managed to find 1 (nameless) "e-cig maker" who says that they can live with the proposal. Of course it is possible to find a company that would welcome a situation where all superior competition was wiped out leaving the field wide open to provide a second rate product.
It is rubbish to say that it is much better than the alternative, when the real alternative would be that Article 18 of the TPD is wholeheartedly rejected and replaced with informed bespoke regulations.
And, of course, this logic that the rules are fine because a "maker" says they will work with them misses out the single most important stakeholder in this process - the e-cig user.
Talking of e-cig users, Chris Davies went on to tell users exactly what they should be thinking.
Thats right, we should start to realise that we have "won" !!!
Because we clearly don't realise that we have "won", but the second sentence is far more informative - the cracks start to reveal that we never actually stood a chance in the first place - a theme he continues to explain in his subsequent tweet :
We never stood a chance, because no-one gets what they want with EU laws. I would disagree with him on this point, but that is a whole other discussion.
The lack of understanding appears when he says that the ecig changes are the "biggest ever achieved"
- NO THEY ARE NOT -
- NO THEY ARE NOT -
What we have now is the biggest e-cig change that has ever been achieved - an expanding, innovative, popular market that for the first time ever can represent a real challenge to the tobacco smoking status quo.
Anything that hinders the current progress is a step backwards, so for that reason, the only way that a real victory can be declared is if Chris Davies and his fellow MEPs totally reject Article 18 and come back later with some bespoke e-cig regulations, in consultation with e-cig users.