Alex Massie at the Speccie has been like a dog, gums red with blood, refusing to let go of the irksome jagged bone that is Conservative party health proposals. And rightly so.
If there's one thing Team Spectator agrees upon it is, I think, that Tory health policy is utterly inadequate and desperately confused. One especially problematic promise, however, is the notion that what we need is a Department of Public Health.
Yep, that term made me shiver, too.
Well, the inspiration would seem to be Mayor Mike Bloomberg in New York City ... So a War on Salt (voluntary at this stage, admittedly) follows the Wars on Smoking and Obesity and further enhances Nurse Bloomberg's reputation as the Big Nanny Who Always Knows Best. Individually, of course, you might not object to any one of these measures; collectively they represent a gross and unnecessary intrusion. Each intervention then becomes the justification for the next one. Sooner or later you've been nudged into a longer, less enjoyable, less free life. Progress?
Of course not, and this is a question which enthusiastic Tories will have to answer if they are to tempt back those intending to vote for minority parties who, as England Expects points out, will likely cost Cameron in the region of 30 seats as things stand.
The optimism I have heard, from Tories natch, about a possible departure from the current dictatorial style of politics ushered in by post-Blair, top down, for-your-own-good mentality, just doesn't appear to be borne out by anything Cameron has come out with so far.
In fact, it's the complete opposite.
If, as Massie concludes, Cameron is attempting to emulate New York's Bloomberg, he is incredibly gullible and, one might suggest, lacking in research expertise.
Bloomberg's crusades are motivated by an ego which demands world headlines. Or, to put it another way, you will hear loads about how Bloomberg is interested in health, but will never read about any improvement in health as a result. That's probably because none of it works. Not surprising seeing as it is based entirely on junk science and ignorant, populist, holier-than-thou bullshit.
His latest attack on salt has been roundly debunked, whilst his other restrictions are as grandiose in their pronouncement as they are spectacularly useless in their efficacy. He is no doubt interested in health, but the results of his hectoring merely introduce irritation and impose upon liberty, without even a whiff of discernible improvements in health statistics (not even fake ones).
If Cameron wishes to reduce himself to a circus entertainer like Bloomberg, then fine, but he can expect no significant majority on the back of it, nor should he look forward to a second term because the resultant health figures will prove the strategy misguided and, consequentially, Cameron to be hopelessly out of touch with human nature.
It's a political leader taking the line that our lives must be constantly interfered with just in case it makes a difference. Better safe than sorry, and damn the consequences to the lives of those who wish to exist differently to the prescribed 'norm'.
It's a policy which is doomed to failure. And while he dithers on offering a real departure from Labour's hideous social bullying, the votes will continue to leak.