It’s official, we have a McNanny State. You don’t like smokers or smoking? Fair enough, ban them and their nasty habit to Kingdom Come – unlike other civilised European countries like Germany (try bars in Berlin) we’ve gone the whole mile, and then some.
You don’t like booze and boozers? Fair enough restrict the ways and times people can buy booze, raise the prices, attack drivers having one glass of wine and move on to suggest warnings on booze labelling – no doubt eventually having every bottle and can packaged in “ugly” brown with photos of a dead liver.
Don’t doubt for a minute these things I mention are not already real or coming down the tracks and being planned for – because the demands for such over-the-top restrictions are already in the public domain. I can quote the sources, and so rest my case.
This week, however, McNanny Sturgeon blessed us with her new policy of wanting to ban two-for-one, or ‘Bogof’, meal deals. Spoiler alert: it will all be in the name of saving young children from becoming obese – but the motive is misplaced. The truth is the government does not even know how many children at various age groups are actually obese because it has played around with the statistics so much they no longer make sense.
This is why it tries to cloud the issue by talking about children being both “obese and overweight”.
That is not to deny there is a problem with kids being unfit – over the years the average weight of kids has grown – but there is a greater problem of kids living in poverty. And simply blaming parents for trying to make ends meet is not going to solve that.
Could many families eat better? I’ve no doubt. Could they be fitter? Most likely.
But the proposed ban on Bogof and three-for-twos and other such offers being touted by its supporters – and broadcasters who don’t care to do their serious homework on government press releases – will find there is no justification.
They will find if they care to look that, in the statistics, there is a sudden drop in obesity in the teens that goes unexplained.
Why do all these obese and overweight kids not become obese and overweight adults when people tend to get proportionately heavier as they get older?
Well it’s easily explained, the statistics for obese and overweight children are wrong because they are inflated. These inflated statistics are then used to justify outrageous bans and campaigns to tell parents how to raise their children.
Helping people into work and raising the disposable income of families is the best way to ensure a healthy family where children are given the right nutrition.
Making it harder for mums and dads to make ends meet just makes it tougher being good mums and dads.
I don’t know anyone who decides to eat an extra pizza because it is free. Maybe it happens, but day in, day out?
In my experience of raising my own kids and seeing others raised, the “free” pizza in a meal deal will simply be used to feed someone more cheaply. It means I might choose a different supermarket or take-away or sit-in restaurant, rather than one that does not have an offer. It did not make me or my family eat more.
The attack on so-called “junk food” is nothing other than junk politics based upon junk science using junk statistics.
If there is a two-for-one deal I’d love to see banned for the public good it would be the two-for-one of getting First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP chief executive – her husband Peter Murrell – effectively running the country at the same time.
Why doesn’t the unaccountable Mr Murrell stand for Holyrood and let us decide if we want his influence or not.
Now there’s a two-for-one that’s not good for our health.