Wednesday 30 October 2013

Sweets in supermarkets

Look how fat and unhealthy they are. Something must be done.

David Cameron, 2008: "The era of big, bossy, state interference, top-down lever pulling is coming to an end."

How's that small government thing going in Britain, 2013?

Junk food at checkouts under fire as new health minister says she wants to stop parents being pestered by children

So politicians are going to stop children pestering their parents, are they? Good luck with that. How about we have politicians that stop pestering us?

Sweets could be banned from supermarket checkouts under a health drive being drawn up by the government.

New public health minister Jane Ellison signalled a fresh crackdown on tackling junk food promotion, after her predecessor Anna Soubry said ‘there is nothing wrong with sweets’.

Lord knows, Soubry was wrong about a lot of things, but she was right about that. I can scarcely believe that such a statement needs to be made but let's say it again: THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH SWEETS.

Now Ms Ellison has identified the issue as ‘an area for action’ and will tell the industry to cut promotions of unhealthy snacks.

Does she now? Then let me disabuse her of that fanciful notion. Where shops display sweets has nothing—absolutely nothing—to do with the government. Nor is it any of the government's business if parents buy their children sweets and nor is it 'an area for action' if children irritate their  parents.

Is that clear? Good. So put away your statute book, call off your dogs and stick the veiled threats of your Responsibility Deal where the sun don't shine, you meddlesome, bossy, interfering, top-down lever pulling, good-for-nothing statists.

Ms Ellisson has signalled that she will take action against junk food at checkouts. In response to a parliamentary question, she said: ‘There is evidence that the majority of food promoted at checkouts and in queuing areas is less healthy than elsewhere, and that foods sold at impulse purchase points such as checkouts experience uplifts in sales.'

Again—how else to put this?—that is none of your goddamn business. They are private companies selling ordinary products. It's not junk food, it's chocolate. And, I might add, sweets should be eaten by children because that's who they're for. Children eat sweets. Adults drink alcohol. That's how it works.

If you don't want to buy a chocolate bar at the check out, then don't buy one. If you don't want your children pestering you, then raise them properly. The only 'area for action' the government should be looking at is abolishing the role of Minister for Public Health with immediate effect so that no more ambitious, inexperience, clueless and illiberal politicians like Jane Ellison can make a name for themselves.


Steve said...

Hear bloody hear

nisakiman said...

So politicians are going to stop children pestering their children...

(Parents, perhaps?)

I sometimes wonder how much of this shit people are going to put up with before they say "enough is enough". Dear God, it is relentless. Have these junior ministers got nothing better to do than interfere in stupid, petty, unimportant matters such as this? As you so rightly say, Chris, this is for parents to deal with, not government. I've had four children, and not once during their young lives did I ever think "The Government Should Do Something About This". I took responsibility for them, and made decisions on what they could and couldn't do or have. That is (or should be) the normal course of events.

Lord, I truly despise the current obsession with the "something must be done" (by someone 'in authority') mentality. If 'something must be done', then bloody well do it!

Christopher Snowdon said...

Thanks for spotting the typo. Corrected!

Ivan D said...

Can anyone remind me exactly why the government feels that it needs a minister specifically for public health and how it justifies the cost in these austere times? I believe that this particular "job" did not exist before 1997 and feel that it would benefit from a good dose of austerity. Nobody worth a damn would mourn its passing.

Unknown said...

Healthism and food fadism are by products of our amazingly successful food production and distibution systems and vacuum caused by decline in religion and socialism has to be filled with something.

Anonymous said...

As I tweeted this morning.

David Atherton ‏@DaveAtherton20 13h
@janeellisonmp Workman's bums, sweets at the counter have I missed a general election and Labour are back in power?