Wednesday, 16 October 2019

The radicalisation of Dame Sally

Sally Davies stepped down as Chief Medical Officer last month, but she refuses to go away. In the last week alone she has called for a raft of extreme anti-food policies and a ban on flavoured e-cigarettes.

She was not always like this. As I argue in this article for Spiked, Davies' time in 'public health' is a cautionary tale of radicalisation.

Just when you thought she had gone away, Sally Davies is back – and louder than ever. When she finally stepped down as the UK’s chief medical officer last month, after a long farewell tour, I naively thought we had seen the back of her. But then that’s what I thought about John Major and Gary Barlow in the 1990s, so I should be used to disappointment by now. Some people just don’t know when they’re not wanted.
Dame Sally seemed to revel in her reputation as a bossy, nanny-state scold in her nine years as Britain’s ‘top doctor’. So it’s been a shock to discover that she was self-censoring all that time. Freed from the constraints of her £205,000-a-year government job, she is now able to say what she really thinks, and it’s scary stuff.

Last week, she called for a ban on eating and drinking on public transport (with a generous exemption for ‘fresh water’ and breastfeeding). This week, she jumped on America’s anti-vaping bandwagon and demanded a ban on flavoured e-cigarette fluids (ie, nearly all of them). At this rate, she will be proposing full rationing and mandatory marathons by Christmas.

Do read it all.

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