It seems that some civil servants in the UK’s Department of Health are confused between the meaning of “servants” and “masters.” A little-noticed news report last week suggested that a ministry team was working on a proposal to force food manufacturers to spend a higher proportion of their advertising budgets on “healthy” foods – meaning those currently deemed healthy by the department. The department wants us all to live healthier lives, and will no doubt issue utterly meaningless statistics about how many lives “could be saved” if we all ate fewer crisps and more broccoli, and use that to justify forcing companies to do things against the interests of their shareholders. Part of the rot stems from the National Health Service, and not just from the way it covers up the fact that it has killed patients. What the NHS does is to give an excuse to the bully boys who want to force us to live a lifestyle of their choosing rather than ours. Because the NHS is funded out of taxation, they can claim that our choices cost taxpayers’ money. Thus if I eat crisps they can say that I will cost the public at large more money than if I ate broccoli. If we all funded our own health, insurance companies might put up the premiums of crisp-eaters and lower those of broccoli eaters, which would be fair enough. We would then face personally the costs of our choices, and could decide whether or not to accept them, and the bully boys would lose one of their main arguments. Somehow, deep down though, I just know they would find other excuses to boss us all around.
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