Monday, 30 July 2018

Jamie Oliver And Other People's Children

Over the weekend, the Telegraph published an retch-inducing obsequious puff piece on Jamie Oliver which - inadvertently, I reckon - gave an astonishing insight into the dictatorial mind of the sanctimonious snob. It's behind a paywall but here are some hideous lowlights.
The night before I’m due to meet Jamie Oliver there are whispers from his headquarters of a big announcement. ‘All will become clear!’ they say. The next morning, news duly breaks that the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, will ban junk-food advertising on the capital’s Tube and bus network, as well as the opening of hot-food takeaway shops within 400 metres of schools – the culmination of 28 months of close collaboration between Oliver and Khan. 
‘It’s a mega day,’ Oliver tells me at Jamie HQ
He is happy, apparently, because a clueless attention-seeking Mayor has proposed a pointless ban on advertising - which will have no effect whatsoever except to kill advertising revenue and reinforce the idea of censorship while reducing public choice - and stated that he is intending to all but eradicate new takeaways in the capital unless they are to open in a park or the river Thames, as you can see by clicking to enlarge the graphic below.


It won't surprise you to learn that evidence to date - you know, that evidence thing that politicians like to pretend they look into - shows that all this will do diddley-squat for obesity rates in London.

Mega, huh?

No care for the businesses which will be affected and no care for the choices that he - in his misplaced ignorance - is depriving the rest of the public. Still, it makes his multi-millionaireship happy, so screw everyone else, eh?

But, incredibly, that isn't the astonishing bit. How about this?
‘I’ve been through five prime ministers. Mr Blair was the first person to admit that the state was responsible for children’s health between the ages of four and 16.
The state is responsible for children's health? Not parents? Can you think of anything more repugnant than that? Well, fear not because Jamie can.
The state was doing nothing about how this group are fed, while being right on the case of dog food.’
Did he just compare other people's children with dogs? Or was he comparing a Big Mac with a can of Pedigree Chum? Sometimes you just can't tell with obsessed hysterical extremists, can you?

Anyway, let's crack on.
He’s been accused of being the ‘fun police’, running a ‘nanny state initiative that penalises poor people’, of endangering the revenue of advertising agencies, being hypocritical, upsetting American mothers, and failing to understand what it is to be poor and unable to afford healthier food.
All of which is true, I'd say, apart from the affording healthier food. Healthy food is far cheaper than less healthy alternatives, but hard-working people (who are not paid to be in the kitchen throwing together recipes with ingredients they just have lying around the house like Jamie) make a trade-off with the time they have available. It's the time they can't afford, not a 45p cucumber.
‘Yes,’ says Oliver. ‘I don’t like [the criticism]. I got my arse kicked left, right and centre for 10 years. It makes me feel sick, but defending my position is more important. On the whole,’ he adds with some irony, ‘all of the people I care about most – obese children and their parents – are the ones who don’t like me.’
Well maybe that's a hint, Jamie old boy, that they'd prefer you to leave them alone to make their own choices. Reason being I think they know more about what's best for their families than you fucking do. 
Why don’t you just sell the lot and become an MP and continue your fight in Parliament? The suggestion seems genuinely to shock him; indeed, he stops talking for at least three seconds. ‘But you wouldn’t want me in Parliament,’ he says eventually. ‘I’ve done nothing clever in 15 years,’ he says. ‘It’s all common sense. All I’ve done is create conversations that newspapers report on. Having my own children changed me. It made me realise that those annoying kids down the street were someone’s children, and so they mattered.
I think the operative words there, Jamie, are "someone's children" as in not yours.
Childhood obesity is the first thing and the last thing I think about every day, which isn’t normal.’
No it's not, it is obsessive and you should seek help for your addiction to snobbery and bossing people around.

However, the most stunning part in the entire article has to be this.
Oliver’s obesity campaign faltered when Theresa May’s 2016 legislation (Chapter One) included a tax on sugar content in drinks but nothing about restrictions on junk-food advertising. ‘It’s absolute bollocks that parents are totally to blame for childhood obesity; incompetent legislation is to blame.’
Let's turn that round a tad. If parents are not to blame, he must be saying - in his knuckle-dragging way - that they are not to be judged responsible for what their kids eat. That, instead, the state should usurp parental choices and - as Oliver's daft policies show - dictate the food supply without even a nod to evidence, practicality, efficacy or financial reality. Nope, just feels.

For Oliver to say - with a straight, albeit slack-jawed fat-tongued, face - that the state is responsible for what kids eat, and not parents, is incredibly sinister. Once it is accepted that the state can involve itself in something as fundamentally private to families as what parents feed their children - in fact that it has more of a role than parents themselves - we are almost through looking glass.

I mean, Christ, give them that kind of power over parental choice and politicians will want to name kids next
"their children, Poppy Honey, Daisy Boo, Petal Blossom Rainbow, Buddy Bear and River Rocket". 
OK, not a great example.   



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