WE live in a rapidly evolving Nanny State now making a post-pandemic foray into what its population should and shouldn’t be eating. Not so daunting a challenge, I suppose: it successfully legally enforced not what we eat, but where exactly, and in the company of how many people.
On April 6, rules came into force which mean that it is now a legal requirement for food and hospitality businesses with more than 250 employees to display the calorie information of their non-prepacked foods and soft drinks, alongside restrictions on the promotion and placement in retail stores of products high in fat, salt or sugar (HFSS). Further, by the end of 2022 there will be a 9pm TV watershed for HFSS products, and a restriction of paid-for HFSS advertising online.
Notwithstanding of course, that the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities (OHID) – under the professional leadership of CMO Chris Whitty – are also now trialling their wrist-worn ‘fatso trackers’, whose winning contractor HeadUp Systems had as their design and evaluation partner the now notorious Behavioural Insights Team. Nudge nudge indeed. (You can read more of what they have been up to of late here and here.)
According to the Prime Minister in an interview given to GB News on April 8, the reason for all this fat-shaming is that (his) lockdowns made an already fat nation fatter, and our healthcare system cannot cope with the burden of the clinically chubby. Not when there is a bio-weapon stalking the land, at least. Perhaps the way in which it appears to attack the taste buds will now really come into its own.
Yet as it turns out, ‘Nanny’ is not only hypocritically one big momma herself, but she is also a man (reportedly, at least), whose own hoggish comorbidity almost killed him (reportedly, at least), and who is now doing nothing other than masking the shame of both his girth and his lockdown policies behind a new crusade to tackle the XXL national security threat – add it to the growing list of similarly wobbly pandemic rebranding campaigns, along with climate terror and disinformation.
Conveniently there is no need to change any messaging for now: ‘Stop the spread’ is apt for this podgy new variant. How about: ‘Look her in the eyes, and tell her you don’t eat pork pies?’
To all who abstain from gorging on the real junk food of the post-Covid era – that churned out by a totally captured mainstream media – Boris Johnson’s frank admission that he nevertheless refuses to rule out lockdowns as a means by which to curb infections, will come as no surprise at all. He is in fact rather late in joining the public health piglets snuffling about his trotters in squealing for more of the same in the future.
Straight from the swine’s mouth, the PM said that he wasn’t going to ‘take any options off the table’, as for example ‘there could be a variant that affects children’, inadvertently admitting that all variants until now did indeed not affect children, and that therefore all cruel countermeasures taken – vaccines included – were, and still are, unwarranted. Sounds to me like he’s still pork-scratching around for any old excuse to keep his snout at the post-Covid era trough of control. That he has the temerity to allude to some future, child-specific Disease X, as if already taking the public psychologically hostage in advance, shows just how deep his chops are buried. That he fails to acknowledge the epidemic of eating disorders among children, also a consequence of his lockdowns, is simply disgraceful.
According to a still somewhat voluminous Johnson, obesity levels soared as consequence of repeated stay-at-home orders, yet suspiciously, just about the only things that didn’t soar in the wrong direction were the profits of the pandemic-frontmen: Pig Farmer (sorry, Big Pharma) and Big Tech. Lockdown is the trough, and Big Business’s tackling of the many socioeconomic, psychophysical problems it spawns, the feed within. And, my word, there is a lot of feed.
Most would argue that the government’s counter-blubber measures are a good thing: no human being needs to see advertisements for junk food anywhere, let alone everywhere. But it is the implications of such measures on our self-agency, especially within the context of the last two years of strict behaviour and thought control, wherein lurk the rancid sausages of nanny’s faux humanitarianism.
Our ability to think, act and enjoy life as we see fit – naturally within certain parameters, of course – is being eroded at quite stunning speed. From ‘Hands Face Space’ to lockdown; from vaccine-hesitancy to a full-blown global war on the so-called Infodemic; from recycle your yoghurt pots to the impending mass-privations of Net Zero; from enjoying an innocent post-work KitKatto ‘Don’t kill granny with your BMI’. Even the joy of eating out – traditionally speaking, a treat well-earned, not a guilty pleasure – must now be tainted.
Johnson insists we are back in the age of personal responsibility, yet his words and his actions go together like pilchards and Frosties.This is not a blitzkrieg on bingo-wings in defence of the NHS or the future of our children. It is a clampdown designed to retain the astonishing new ability of the State to interfere in our lives; a skill honed during the aperitif of lockdowns. Must. Not. Let. Go. That the measures came into force the day before World Health Day means absolutely nothing about government’s commitment to our health. After all, according to the Prime Minister we were already the second fattest country in Europe pre-pandemic, behind Malta. Didn’t bother him them, but it certainly, and quite conveniently, does now.
The simple solutions to obesity, Your Portliness, lie where they always have: in quality education and in tackling poverty. And cutting weight involves, as it always has – and as is the case with most wholesome pursuits in life – a simple, not unreasonable degree of personal sacrifice and self-mastery. By your own admission you are no ‘advertisement for willpower’, and perhaps that’s why you looked so cream-crackered in your interview – you are too hooked on living off the fat of the land. But that’s not our fault, Prime Minister.
Anyway, how would you like our morals for your next course, sir: rare, medium, well done, or your favourite of late – scorched earth?