If you enjoy a relaxing evening in a cosy restaurant, the (near) future looks like it's going to be rather disappointing.
In August 2007, the proprietor of a no smoking restaurant in Worcester was getting all in a tizzy at his local council's decision to fine him £200 for not putting up the mandatory no smoking signs. He hadn't needed them before, and why should he? His was a no smoking restaurant. He had this to say on the matter.
"Fine me if someone smokes in my restaurant but don't fine me for refusing to put up a sign. It's pathetic.
What's next? It will lead to us having to put up warning signs all over the restaurant about alcohol and salt in food."
Remember the days when such protests were alarmist and taking a point to extremes? Perhaps that was his intention, but under Labour, he has turned out to be as accurate as the Oracle of Delphi with that particular scaremongering statement.
Fancy ordering that bottle of your favourite Sancerre with your sweetheart? Of course, and would Sir like a warning with that?
It comes as doctors' leaders call for pubs and restaurants to display clear warnings about how many units of alcohol are contained in drinks they serve.
The British Medical Association yesterday said the information should be displayed on signs and posters in bars, and on wine lists.
Irritating as that may be, at least the marvellous chateaubriand for two will banish the stresses of the week. True relaxation at last. Of course Sir, but I am obliged by law to tell you that it is bad for your arteries and is liable to make you obese. How would you like your plate of cancer-causing agents cooked?
The FSA has not finalised the scheme yet, but is looking for caterers to provide calorie information on menus with more information about fat, salt and sugar content included on leaflets at the outlet.
While the watchdog is focusing on the large food chains at the moment, it said if the scheme proved successful there was no reason why small, independent caterers could not follow with some help.
... and of course, rounding off the meal with a fine cuban or a sobranie light is perfectly acceptable. Your waiter will be happy to give you and your beau directions to the icy car park.
Labour. Tough on relaxation, tough on the causes of relaxation.
Don't believe the righteous will be happy with any of this though. It won't be long before they are calling for bans on certain foods and alcoholic drinks. Don't believe it? It's not like they've not imposed their healthist will on private business owners before through legislation, is it? Even the restaurateur in Worcester is probably stunned at the speed at which his worst-case scenario is becoming worst-case fact.
I reckon they may start by banning parma ham.
HAM and bacon should be cut from our diets to avoid the risk of bowel cancer, a landmark study has shown.
The World Cancer Research Fund study found strong evidence that eating red meat and processed meats such as pastrami, salami, and frankfurters can cause bowel cancer.
"Did you have a relaxing evening, Darling?"
"Did I fuck. I'll stay at home and do the ironing next week."