So I'm grateful to Snowdon for helping me get another airing for one of my personal favourite pieces of surreal prodnosery from these pages.
If you haven't seen the news at the weekend about a Barnsley school's decision to ban the 'filth' that is the school packed lunch, do so now before reading his well-argued article at the Telegraph by way of response.
This part in particular.
None of this concerns the head of Milefield Primary School, who self-righteously proclaims that "We have got to work towards what's best for our children". The clear implication is that parents have not got their children’s best interests at heart, that they are unfit to feed their own offspring, and that schools exist to protect kids from their parents. Her use of the proprietorial term "our children" – rather than "the children" or "our pupils" – is telling. She uses the term to imply ownership by her institution, perhaps even by the nation, but when Adam and Claire Martin, who have moved their three kids to a different school as a result of the ban, say that they "don't need somebody to tell us what our children should be eating", the word "our" is literal, meaningful and should be deserving of respect.It is strongly reminiscent of this shrill and unhinged performance by Sonia Poulton - broadcast to the nation in the summer of 2012 on Radio 5 Live - as she laid down her plans for requisitioning the nation's children to justify why she is entitled to interfere in the lives of other parents.
If you listen carefully, you can just make out Nicky Campbell suppressing his laughter as her extremist ranting is calmly dismantled by Sean Gabb.
As I said at the time:
We used to have a few of these prodnoses dotted around, but they're everywhere now. Self-aggrandising, aloof, condescending of others, and entirely dismissive of choices different from their own.
Put this latest over-wrought moral panic to one side for a minute. Let's instead try to investigate why we have an army of shrieking curtain-twitchers who insist on getting involved in everyone else's life as well as their own.
Now that's something that government should be doing if it cared for society, instead of encouraging the most objectionable to forcibly dictate their own personal gripes on the rest of us ... as they seem to do at every turn nowadays.The same can safely be said of the lunatics at Milefield Primary School in Barnsley, and I reckon my illustration from back then works very well for their nasty policy too.
Or, as Snowdon puts it.
The fact remains that a ham sandwich at lunchtime is not, and never will be, a child protection issue.Quite.