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The bully boys in the health ministry

2012-03-05-BroccoliAIt 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.


3 Responses

  1. Spot on.

    There are, however, huge problems with these ideas:

    Firstly, we are not all the same and will not, however hard they try, all fit into the same, neat little box! If we were all the same then the world would be in a mess; we would all want to eat the same food, all want the same career and so on.

    Secondly, it seems to me they are trying to bullshit us! Let’s face it, they don’t have the money to pay pensions now, so why, in God’s name, do they want us to all live longer? Utter tosh!

    Smoking ban all over again, just a different product and sadly, this will continue because the smoking ban was such a ‘great success’ and ‘everyone’ cow towed to the ‘masters’ they are now running away with their ‘success’ and bullying EVERYONE. Yes, all those rabid anti smokers as well, who cheered when smokers were banned from smoking inside any public place! At least it is good to see them being treated the same – it will come.

  2. Dr Pirie,

    On the face of it this seems a dictatorial suggestion by the D of H but there is more of an element of reality in their health concerns. I was walking through my local shopping centre yesterday and noticed the high percentage of overweight people who were across the whole age range. Your suggestion that the driving force is in countenance to shareholders of the food producers is strange because the shareholders of companies producing healthy food would gain at the others loss. This is true entrepreneurial flair and should be ‘ right down your street ‘. I was also shocked by your suggestion that private health insurance would ‘ solve ‘ the problem of poor diet. Millions of people in the UK are overweight and most are aware of the risk to their health. Many more of these millions would not afford private health care and would have to rely on charities or minimum care levels to survive. The USA has nothing to be proud of in this direction and fails it’s most vulnerable citizens many who are innocent children. Private health care is based on it’s affordability to the individual and has no conscience about the severity of life threatening conditions i.e. if you can afford to pay the cost you live, if you cannot you…………?

  3. Bernard, I agree that many people in the UK and beyond are overweight, however, in my experience this is down to many giving up smoking as well as others spending all their leisure time in front of the TV and/or computer. Much of this is down to availability of such but also to the lack of availability of safe recreation areas (not gyms) where children can play and families enjoy quality time.

    I am always appalled at items in the news about young children being ‘overweight’! Many children are tubby as they are growing up, only to lose this naturally as they put on a growing spurt and shoot upwards and this tends to happen at slightly differing times/ages. I am not saying that all children are this way, but most are. Some are lucky enough to be naturally skinny throughout their childhood and often find they eat what they want during their adult years too and remain perfectly slim. Many of us are not so lucky and do struggle with weight, however, as with smoking and other lifestyle choices that people get enjoyment and fulfillment from, isn’t it the quality rather than the quantity that is most important? I would rather live a shorter life and enjoy what I have, without interference from the morons in government and their even more moronic lobby groups, than live a longer life being completely restricted in what is satisfying and enjoyable to me.

    As I said in my original comment, we are not all the same, thank God, but that does mean that my lifestyle choices will not suit everyone, just as others’ choices do not suit me. Each to their own. Allowed to live a happy and contented life without being dictated to at every turn would also, more than likely, improve the weight issue for many. Take away one pleasure and it is replaced with another, possibly more harmful one.

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