Saturday, 8 January 2011

Let's tell nanny where to stuff her five a day

Oliver Letwin MP
I thought our last lot of power-crazed politicos had taken the nanny state to new extremes but the coalition appears to be vying for the prize of legislators with the most intrusive and impertinent policies. It would appear that our new overlords are looking at ways to 'nudge' us into being healthier. They want to nag us into buying healthier food at the supermarket.

Oliver Letwin MP is in charge of the sinister and odious-sounding Behavioural Insight Team based in the Prime Minister's office. This nasty little group of snitches and sneaks has been set up to 'nudge'  us into behaving in the way the government would like us to behave - such as eating five portions of fruit and vegetables a day or not exceeding our recommended number of units of alcohol.

In order to nudge us into healthier eating the gastro-fascists would like to see unhealthy food placed on supermarket top shelves in much the same way that porn is in newsagents... er... or so I'm told. Of course this would discriminate against short people but as they are perhaps more prone to put on weight there may indeed be some logic in the suggestion.

Other brainwaves from the propeller-headed policy wonks at Number 10 include these nauseating little morsels from their nasty little policy document:

"Visual prompts are already widely used by supermarkets and food manufacturers. But there is potential for visual prompts to be introduced in more ways that help people make healthier food choices. Examples include experimenting with the design of trolleys and considering the order or height of healthier options on supermarket shelves.’

I don't want to be 'helped' to make 'healthier choices' and if I do choose to make healthy choices then that will be a decision I shall take for myself without anyone else's help. Why do politicians insist on treating us like small children with learning difficulties? Why don't they go and do something useful like making sure our rubbish is collected or that our airports can still function when there's a heavy frost?

The Behavioural Insight Team claims that action needs to be taken because of the UK's obesity problem. With six out of ten adults apparently being overweight it claims that the cost to the economy is £7 billion a year. Presumably this report wasn't written by the other set of idiots who reckon our poor eating habits are costing the NHS an unbelievable £13.5 billion a year.

Here's my message for the Behavioural Insight Team: When Ollie Letwin manages to slim down his porcine frame so that it can be squeezed into a 34-inch pair of Levi 501s, then I'll start taking healthy eating advice from him and his posse of policy prats. Until that day arrives they know exactly where they can put their five a day.

Rant over.

1 comment:

  1. I do basically agree - however, I suppose the supermarkets spend billions promoting unhealthy foods that are easily over-consumed and therefore make them a huge profit, so to a certain extent perhaps this is just redressing the balance? I certainly don't advocate state control over these things, but then perhaps many of us are blind to the immense corporate control of our lives.