Further to yesterday's post about Public Health England openly campaigning for policy on a government website, it seems that the Department of Health's website is available to any private interest group that wants to run a political campaign—so long as the campaign supports the nanny state.
The DoH is currently hosting this article by the Policy Officer of the British Heart Foundation (what self-respecting charity can get by without a policy officer?).
The article is introduced as being "about childhood obesity and media responsibility". In fact, it is a blatant advocacy piece for banning a wide range of food and soft drinks before 9pm (the argument is, inevitably, think of the chiiiildren).
The article ends with a call to sign a petition on the BHF website.
The petition reads: "You have the power to make change happen. Call on the UK Government to close down loopholes that allow adverts for unhealthy food and drinks on TV before 9pm and junk food to be marketed to children online."
But hang on, isn't the Department of Health part of "the UK Government"? Well, up to a point, but as I have said before, the DoH is a law unto itself. It is staffed by bureaucrats who take a very different view of lifestyle issues to the elected government. It is not government policy to ban 'junk food' ads before 9 pm, but it is clearly a policy favoured by the DoH, hence the use of a public website to support a private campaign.
Similarly, minimum pricing is not government policy, but that does not stop the DoH funding various sock puppet organisations to lobby for it (eg. this lot).
Nor is a ban on alcohol marketing government policy, but that does not stop Balance North East using taxpayers' money to campaign for it.
When it comes to the sock puppet state, the DoH is in a league of its own. It spends literally millions of pounds campaigning for illiberal policies and when the government announces a public consultation it is the DoH that becomes judge, jury and executioner.
I know I go on about this a lot and I will continue to go on about it until there is some sign that the government is getting to grips with this absurd, wasteful and corrupt use of taxpayers' money.