Sunday, 28 November 2010

Illiberal idiots

When the last bunch of illiberal twits running the country were replaced by the Clegg-Cameron Coalition, I had high hopes that the micro-managing health bullies who never tire of lecturing us on our diets and alcohol consumption might have become a thing of the past. However, I'm an idiot to presume that any politician can be anything but an illiberal moonbat who gets off on pushing people around.

It seems that our new overlords are on the verge of introducing a minimum unit price for alcohol in order to protect us from ourselves. The Health Secretary, Andrew Lansley, is going to introduce a white paper on a range of interventions intended to 'reduce health inequalities'.

Rather than clamping down on the minority of people who cause a nuisance by binge drinking, they feel it necessary to introduce punishing alcohol taxes. This sounds like nothing more than a revenue raising exercise. The highly educated morons masquerading as politicians have learned nothing from America's disastrous prohibition experiment or the experience of countries like Sweden and Norway. Oh well, let's give this a go... after all, the bars in the House of Commons are still subsidised and a rise in the cost of our politicians' favourite tipple is hardly going to put an overpaid MP out of pocket.

If politicians are so hellbent on protecting us from ourselves by controlling everything we eat and drink, they should at least pay some attention to the crap that's being served up in our hospitals. Maybe the extra cash they rake in from a burger tax or higher alcohol duty could at least be ploughed into the catering budgets of our hospitals. Fat chance!

Sunday, 14 November 2010

No Common Sense

According to the Daily Mail, MPs were under fire last night for wasting taxpayers’ cash on a £500-a-day ‘Commons food-taster’ to ensure Westminster’s restaurants are up to scratch. They have drafted in the food consultant to run the rule over the Palace’s catering. Hospitality expert Jon Hewett will work on a daily rate as an adviser to the Commons administration committee. Sources were unable to confirm what Mr Hewett would be paid but insiders estimated he would receive the £500-a-day fee.

The move comes amid furious complaints from some MPs that Commons food is now ‘overpriced’ and ‘literally uneatable’, with ex-Labour Cabinet Minister Bob Ainsworth even calling for the entire operation to be privatised as ‘it could not be worse’.

But last night, the decision to pay an outside consultant to advise on Commons food was condemned as ‘ludicrous’. One senior MP told The Mail on Sunday: ‘It is ridiculous to bring in some outside food-taster to advise us on what the soup tastes of and whether the meals in the Palace are value for money.’

MPs have been up in arms since the summer when prices for the notoriously cheap Commons food were increased to save £500,000. A bacon roll in Portcullis House that used to cost £1.30 is now £1.90. MPs are also livid over the new ‘all or as little as you can eat’ £15 flat fee for up to three courses introduced in the MPs’ dining room.

According to the job brief, Mr Hewett, from leading hospitality consultancy EP Business Evolution, will receive a ‘per diem allowance for the work, which is expected to require a few hours per week until the early spring of 2011’.

A spokesman for the committee insisted it was ‘normal’ for Commons select committees to draft in expert outside advice and dismissed the idea that Mr Hewett would be ‘going round, tasting the soup and saying more salt is needed’.

MPs have vented their fury about the catering to the committee, with Lib Dem MP Lorely Burt complaining that ‘several of my colleagues, including at least one Minister of State, have now boycotted the dining room’.

Millionaire Tory Margot James complained of ‘a very specific flinty style of Chardonnay’ which was ‘frankly acidic’.

Saturday, 6 November 2010

It gets better

This stuff almost looks good enough to go back into hospital for. Apparently Richard is having scampi tonight. Any more food like this and he'll be leaving hospital on a mobility scooter.

Friday, 5 November 2010

Dinner is served

Friend Richard had the slow roasted lamb with garlic mash for his evening meal. Looks very nice. Unfortunately I didn't get to taste it as he'd scoffed the lot before I got there. Still, good private hospital grub. Mind you, those carrots look a little unwieldy.

Posh nosh

My friend Richard has just uploaded these photos on his slinky iPhone. He is being treated privately and this is the sort of grub on offer. I have advised him to go for the slow roasted shoulder of lamb and a decent half bottle of red from the hospital's wine list (yes... they really do have a wine list!).

Oh how I wish I could have gone private.

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Soap dodgers

Good grief! The mad greenies of this world appear to be turning their swivel eyes towards those of us who like to be clean and fragrant. Now, I know eco warriors have always had something of a loose acquaintance with personal hygiene and most are in need of a map to help them find their way to the bathroom, but there appears to be a definite trend towards infrequent washing in a bid to lower water consumption.

According to a survey published by tissue manufacturer SCA, 41% of British men and 33% of women don't shower every day, with 12% of people only having a proper wash once or twice a week. So what do these filthy beggars do to keep themselves from reeking to high heaven? Well, apparently some women wipe under their arms with wedges of lemon instead of washing while others have a quick rub down with half a Wet Wipe. Half of all British teenagers, according to research by Mintel, don't wash every day – with many opting for a quick spray of deodorant to mask any stink. Okay, so that's not much of a surprise, but the thought of grown-ups travelling on buses and tubes smelling like a piece of overhung game fills me with dread and makes me almost grateful to be virtually housebound.

However, there are, says The Guardian newspaper, environmental benefits in smelling like an old dustbin. Environmentalist Donnachadh McCarthy, 51, limits his showers to about twice a week. "The rest of the time I have a sink wash," he says. "I believe that I'm as clean as everyone else." It has helped him to get his water consumption down to around 20 litres a day – well below the 100 to 150 average in the UK.

As McCarthy points out, it's only recently that we have expected people to bathe or shower every day. "When I was a kid," he says, "the normal thing was to bathe once a week." Head much further back into history, and we find Elizabeth I bathing once a month, and James I apparently only ever washing his fingers. In 1951, almost two-fifths of UK homes were without a bath, and in 1965, only half of British women wore deodorant.

Quite right, Donnachadh. And in those days everyone smelt like a decomposing kipper and I doubt very much if L'Oreal shifted a whole lot of product either. Why do these soap-dodging greenies want to take us back to being neanderthal cave dwellers? I wonder if they really fancy the whole authentic experience. How about a world with no antibiotics or anaesthetics? There you are, in your cave, nibbling on an old bit of tofu, shivering in the freezing cold and you've got a raging toothache and a streptococcal infection that could scare the shit out of vancomycin. As you lay there in absolute agony, all you can smell is the fetid armpits of Ugg sat next to you. Is that the sort of world these people really want us to live in? It can't be long before they call for mandatory limits on the number of showers we can take.

I swear civilisation is going backwards.