So the health nazis are on the march again. Shadow Health Secretary – Andy Burnham – has had two years to come up with a policy which will win voters from the Evil Conservatives back to the Shining Knights of Labour. With the coalition government being so shite, and having had so much time to get his act together, you’d expect his policies to be something special, wouldn’t you? Well, you’d be wrong. After two years of thinking, his bright idea is to ban Frosties.
I am, as I have said before, rather a fan of personal responsibility. People know that eating McDonalds or pizzas every day isn’t good for you. That too many cakes will help you pile on the pounds. That smoking is likely to give you cancer, and that excessive alcohol consumption can cause liver problems. They still make the concious decision to eat, drink and smoke, and good for them for doing so – that’s their choice. Now, when these people get cancer, liver disease or become obese, the immediate response shouldn’t be to start banning things in that traditional socialist style. It should be to consider a lifestyle change; don’t penalise people who can enjoy these things responsibly just because there are a handful of people who can’t.
Of course, simply banning things doesn’t work. First comes the PR exercise, forcing a link between what you want to ban and something undesirable into the collective concious of the wider population. Say, smoking and cancer in children, for example. Or sugar and diabetes in children. In fact, just make sure whatever you’re doing is for the children, those poor defenceless children….
Or, as Mr Eugenides points out over at ThinkScotland:
But this is how these things start, isn’t it? First comes the public appeal for the children – the poor, innocent children! – designed to marginalize those of us who believe in freedom and responsibility by shaming us into submission. How can you subject our children to passive smoke and the risk of any early death, they ask, plaintively? Are you in favour of lung cancer for five year-olds, sir? To which we must reluctantly concede that, on balance, no; we are not. And before you know it, they’ve banned smoking in pubs, places no five year-old should ever be allowed into anyway. It’s a classic wedge tactic, designed to inveigle the state into yet another area of our life where it has no goddamned business being, in the full knowledge that once there it will be all but impossible to dislodge, like one of those little fish in the Amazon that swim into your cock and then deploy barbs to prevent you winkling it out. That’s what Andy Burnham is like. He’s like a Brazilian cock-fish.