Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Health Guidelines Are A Weapon Against Choice

Be afraid, be very afraid! 
On Friday evening, I went to Maxwell's in Covent Garden for a pre-theatre meal with a friend. The place has been in business for over 30 years that I know of and describes itself as "the home of the freakshake". I'd never heard of a freakshake before I booked a table and I didn't eat one, but plenty of healthy-looking young things around us did.

Today, a vast number of other people found out what a freakshake is for the first time thanks to those hideous health fascists at Action on Sugar. Via the BBC:
The campaign group Action on Sugar is demanding a ban on freakshakes and all milkshakes with more than 300 calories. 
It surveyed milkshakes sold in restaurants and fast food shops in the UK and found they contained "grotesque levels of sugar and calories". 
Freakshakes are milkshakes that also contain chocolates, sweets, cake, cream and sauce. 
The Toby Carvery Unicorn Freakshake came top of the survey with 39 teaspoons of sugar or 1,280 calories. 
That is more than half the daily recommended amount of calories for an adult and over six times the amount of sugar recommended for seven to 10-year-olds.
I'm late to the party as Snowdon has already pointed out that - as is obligatory with 'public health' lobbyists - Action on Sugar and its supporters are blatantly lying about these products in just about every claim that they make. I recommend you go read how jaw-droppingly shameless they are about it at his site.

I'd like to highlight, though, once again the naive and gullible fallacy of believing that health guidelines are nothing to be afraid of and are actually just giving us information. I wrote about it two years ago in response to this tweet from a 'public health' apologist on (mendacious, natch) alcohol advice.

I only need repeat what I said back then.
This idea that these are just recommendations, and that's all, is incredibly naive. Have these people been sleeping for the past 30 or 40 years? When have guidelines ever remained guidelines without leading to more and more coercion? 
With sugar, the guidelines had barely been altered downwards by the WHO before there were calls from 'public health' that the public isn't following them so we need a sugar tax and TV advertising bans on certain foods. 
There used to be guidelines about what food kids should be given by their parents to take to school, now we have packed lunch inspections and unapproved food being confiscated, while many openly talk about mandatory school dinners because the 'guidelines' are not being adhered to. 
These are just a few examples of many many others I could have chosen (add more in the comments as I'm sure you will know plenty of other examples). This is how health nags work, people, if you haven't noticed that where have you been? 
As a result of these 'guidelines' that we are apparently free not to follow - you know, they're just fuzzy-wuzzy friendly advice, that's all - a whole new door has been opened on alcohol nagging. 
Soon there will be campaigns by the usual suspects to say that the guidelines are not being adhered to. It will not be because the public have taken note of the advice and chosen to ignore it, instead the legions of public health parasites will say that the 'guidelines' are just not working and something must be done about it; that big industry is blinding drinkers to the harms; and that - how convenient - there are now so many more people drinking over the recommended guidelines that government must crack down hard!
And what have we seen today? 'Public health' parasites saying that the 'guidelines' on sugar are just not working and something must be done about it and that government must crack down hard.

By banning a dessert milkshake! We're well beyond the fucking looking glass here aren't we?

We are not free to ignore recommended guidance all the while vicious, draconian, career-puritans like Action on Sugar and their similarly arrogant, sneering elitist chums are indulged by government agencies instead of being recognised as the anti-social cunts that they really are.

As Snowdon describes today, there is not likely to be a ban on Freakshakes, politicians aren't that stupid ... yet (even though we did once see two parties fighting over which was more determined to declare war on a fucking chocolate orange). But it opens an Overton Window which Public Health England will likely exploit.
Public Health England, in its madness, wants to cap calories in milkshakes to 300 per serving. It is Action on Sugar's job to make Public Health England seem relatively reasonable. To that end, they are calling for it to be a crime to sell a milkshake with more calories than this.
Quite. There may not ultimately be a ban, but there will definitely be coercion, and that is because the guidelines or recommended daily amounts are not produced to give us information and then to be left alone - as Suzi childishly tweeted two years ago - they are intentionally produced in order to be a weapon with which to beat us into submission.

We should all be appalled at the very suggestion that any dessert - not drink as Action on Sugar claim - should be subject to a ban, yet this kind of story appeals to the most repellent in society who succumb to the powerful urge to dictate what other people choose to do with their lives. If we want to live in a free country we shouldn't be pandering to such obnoxious and nauseating people, we should be treating them with contempt, yet Action on Sugar - and any number of 'public health' activists in other areas - do precisely the opposite.

If government wants to educate the public with recommendations and guidelines, that's fair enough, but anyone who believes - with the 'public health' industry wildly out-of-control as today proves very much that they are - that those guidelines are just advisory and we are perfectly free to ignore that advice is, quite frankly, a cretin.

Prior to 2007, the very idea that government should be in the business of dictating what businesses can or can't allow their customers to enjoy in their private premises would have been anathema to the country as a whole, but once tobacco control legitimised prodnosery with the smoking ban, it opened the floodgates. Now you just have to harbour some sneering contempt towards what other people are doing that you disapprove of and a 'public health' lobby group - somewhere - has got your back. It doesn't even matter anymore that the only possible harm can be to yourself, the sugar tax proved that. It now also doesn't matter that you are given information to make those choices for yourself, because 'public health' doesn't want you to have those choices available at all.

People who work in 'public health' often bristle when they are referred to as health fascists, but can you think of anything more fascist than dictating how big your pizza is, how much bacon you are allowed to consume, or whether or not you should be permitted to eat a milk-based dessert? After today, the debate is over. It's well past time government stopped listening to these horrendous organisations and starved them of funding; that or drown the miserable bastards in a butt of Marmsey for glorious ironic effect. 

If nothing else, politicians should take away the weapon of 'guidelines' if they want to say we are a liberal country with a straight face. Make it clear that the recommended levels are exactly that, recommended, and that if we choose to ignore them we should be left the fuck alone. 

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