Wednesday 8 May 2019

Liberal politician says something liberal, BBC shocked

From the BBC...

Norway's newly appointed health minister has caused controversy by saying people should be allowed to eat, smoke and drink "as much as they want".

How depressing that a simple assertion of liberalism should be seen as ‘controversial’, at least to the BBC. She’s a breath of fresh air. More politicians like this, please.

Sylvi Listhaug also said smokers were made to feel like pariahs.

This is inarguable. It is the inevitable consequence of ‘denormalisation’.

Mrs Listhaug is a member of the libertarian Progress Party. Wikipedia notes that:

The Progress Party is sometimes controversially described as populist, usually by its opponents...

And so the Beeb describes her as...

A populist politician with anti-immigration views...

The claim that she has ‘anti-immigration views’ seems to be inferred from the fact that she tightened up asylum law at the peak of the migrant crisis, a policy that was supported by most Norwegians.

So what has she said about lifestyle regulation?

"My starting point for this with public health is very simple. I do not plan to be the moral police, and will not tell people how to live their lives, but I intend to help people get information that forms the basis for making choices," she told Norwegian broadcaster NRK in an interview on Monday. 
 "People should be allowed to smoke, drink and eat as much red meat as much as they want. The authorities may like to inform, but people know pretty much what is healthy and what is not healthy, I think."

Yes, yes and yes.

Critics say she has little understanding of what public health is.

On the contrary, she seems to fully understand what a public health issue is. It is a health risk in the shared environment that can only be tackled by collective action. Insofar as drinking, eating and smoking are health risks, there are individual risks from personal behaviour and are no business of the state.

Let’s hope she holds her nerve.



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