Tuesday, 29 December 2020

Still ruled by imbeciles

The government's first policy announcement since reaching a deal with the EU was to launch a string of regulations that would have been condemned as a petty, illiberal and anti-business if they had come from Brussels.
From April 2022, we will restrict promotions on food and drinks high in fat, salt or sugar in shops to make healthier choices easier.

Once upon a time, pathetic people complained about sweets and chocolates being displayed at supermarket checkouts. The danger, apparently, was that children would ask their parents to buy them and the parent would have to say no (or yes - it doesn't make much difference in the great scheme of things). Idiotic politicians took the threat of 'pester power' seriously and so did the supermarket owners who, seeing that it was unpopular with Mumsnet and the Daily Mail, stopped doing it.

The idea of banning it nevertheless remained. And it snowballed, as things do when fanatical activists and gullible politicians are involved. The result is an incredibly wide-ranging assault on how retailers will be allowed to do business.
Supermarkets in England are to be barred from displaying unhealthy food and drinks at checkouts or using them in buy one, get one free offers, as part of a proposed government crackdown on obesity.

..The checkout restrictions will apply to other sales-boosting locations such as the entrances to stores or at the end of aisles. Similar rules will apply for websites, banning sales links to unhealthy foods on places such as homepages, or at checkout or payment pages. Restaurants will no longer be able to offer free refills of sugary drinks.

The latest public health minister Jo Churchill (very much no relation) explains the rationale for this in the Orwellian language that shows she has been well briefed by the 'public health' racket. 

We know families want to be presented with healthier choices. This is why we are restricting promotions and introducing a range of measures to make sure the healthy choice is the easy choice.

Better choices through restrictions! As Squealer said of Napoleon in Animal Farm...
'He would be only too happy to let you make your decisions for yourselves. But sometimes you might make the wrong decisions, comrades, and then where should we be?'
Explaining the ban on multiple purchase discounts, the Department of Health says...

Promotions often appear to help shoppers save money. However, data shows that these deals actually increase purchases of promoted products by almost 20%.

I'd never thought it about like that before, had you? All these years I've been buying a pack of four bars of soap and a pack of four tins of baked beans because it worked out cheaper on a per-unit basis than buying one. But now I understand that I would have spent less if I'd have just bought one or two. Admittedly, I'd have had to go shopping more often, but that's a small price to pay for saving money. Thank you, the government, for putting me straight.  

They encourage people to buy more than they need or intended to buy in the first place.
How does Jo Churchill know how much I intended to buy, let alone how I much I 'need'? Have you ever noticed that despite eating something on one day, you need something to eat the next day? If I buy 'more than I intended', the worst that can happen is that I open the kitchen cupboard and there's something in it. The government is legislating against this?
God almighty, how thick do they think we are? The government's own impact assessment shows that multi-buy discounts save shoppers money and that a ban on BOGOFs will cost the average household up to £634 a year.  

We are ruled by imbeciles. Still, at least they're British imbeciles, eh?

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