We can agree on much but not on everything, as I said to Chuckles when he sent this article about Ontario losing millions on healthy food in schools.
You see, he takes the point of view: “Good little stormtroopers all. Charge them personally for the loss.” And everyone over here knows of our Jamie Oliver.
OK, no one’s disputing that the thing was done badly. There’s a basic principle that kids will eat c**p if you let them but that’s what parents are for – to guide the spotty little herberts in their food choices and horror of horrors, this occasionally involves parental coercion. As a parent, hands up if you’ve never said no to a child and if not, why not? How well behaved is your child?
Which brings us to the point, looking at parents, whether some of them are even interested in their little darlings eating healthily?
Now where I agree with Chuckles is that it is an enormous leap from acknowledging that a kid should at least have the chance to eat good food, to exercise and grow up properly … to the State or school or whatever organization insisting, on pain of penalties. Particularly if it’s done in such a way that the kids can access junk food to the left, right and centre of the school canteen, bring it with them [smuggling it in] and so on, often with the parent’s collusion.
What we’ve got here is a disconnect between the various influences in kids’ lives.
I happen to believe that all issues today are manipulated by vested interests and there’s quite a little movement online in opposing Big Brother bringing in draconian measures to force people to be good little citizens – smoking, food etc. I’ve no issue with opposing those things and am at one with my brothers [and sisters] in arms. In fact, if someone were to suggest a website dedicated to personal liberty, I’d love to help out.
However, in all the hullabaloo about it, the original issue – that kids should have the chance to eat properly and grow up half normally, eating well, exercising well and not troubling their heads about sexuality or drugs until much, much later – that issue is lost. So no, a 63kg girl of 12 is not a good thing.
Yes, there is childhood obesity. Just because you can suddenly find a news article on a child called obese when he wasn’t and go into howls of rage about the idiocy of authorities, which is grist for the libertarian mill, does not mean there is not childhood obesity. Does anyone see how we’re being manipulated here? On the one hand, parents are being cajoled by the media/schools/government into PC nannying and on the other, bones are thrown to us sceptic dogs and we rush off to type up a blogpost or 213000 on the idiocy of PCism.
We’re being drawn into a slanging match which wears everyone out and what results? Command and control by the State, on the one hand … and uneducated, drug-addled, sexualized little fatties who do no exercise and have an enormously bloated tumour of entitlement and grievance on the other.
Ditto with the environment. Is anyone seriously suggesting cutting down all the trees and creating a concrete jungle? I’d suggest there is a huge difference between the principle of caring for the area around you and going all green religion and treehugging. For example, a landowner I know in the north-east, very much a supporter of free enterprise and not short of a pound or two, nevertheless got right into a campaign to stop the Duchy of Cornwall selling off huge swathes of heather to a Dutch firm, that heather cut by idiots who had not a clue and thus it did not regrow.
It’s my experience that people you might even accuse of favouring industry over environment nevertheless are quite concerned about the environment around them.
So there’s a bit of hypocrisy going on here, I’d suggest. I make no excuses for my support of looking after the land, not littering, making the architecture halfway reasonable on the eyes – the difference being that the State should keep out of it because they always 1. stuff it up at huge cost and 2. they’re only interested in command and control.