Tuesday, 16 March 2010
If Liam ruled the world
I was about to launch into one of my libertarian rants railing against the encroaching nanny state… but I don’t know whether it’s the painkillers or the fatigue from fighting the pain, but I simply can’t summon up the enthusiasm to have a real go.
Okay, I can’t blame the pain entirely; I think it’s the nanny state that’s worn me down, coupled with the bovine stupidity of some members of the public. I mean, the government has got a bit of a point about unhealthy children. Why are there so many fat and unhealthy children these days? I suppose fear of paedophiles has stopped many kids from enjoying a healthy outdoor lifestyle, and the weather doesn’t help much either. Secondly, schools seem to have dropped competitive sport in favour of diversity lessons and global warming propaganda. Then there’s the scandalous sell-off of school playing fields for yet more rabbit-hutch housing. Is it any wonder that kids resemble lard buckets?
Maybe children do need to be tested for fitness if their parents won’t keep an eye on their body mass index. But even if the unhealthy ones are picked out, what’s the government going to do about it? Take the kids off to fat camp? Withdraw the parents’ fat-ration card?
I note that it’s the government’s chief medical officer, Liam Donaldson, who has floated this idea. Mr Donaldson, a pasty-faced and slightly overweight character, has previous form in nannying and is due to retire very soon so is making the most of his exit by spouting as much illiberal crap as he can possibly manage. It's fair to say that Mr Donaldson isn’t a natural libertarian. If he ruled the world there would be no alcohol, no tobacco, no slouching and no meat. And yet, in a logical world, he has a point. And yet I can’t help thinking what a bloody miserable world it would be if Donaldson and his ilk were in complete charge.
Now if you’ll excuse me I’ll have to get up for my cold shower followed by a five-mile run and a lovely bowl of gruel for breakfast.