Friday 13 August 2010

Race Of The New Pariahs

As a preface, it's necessary to quote, again, an interaction from about 18 months ago.

I once engaged in online debate with an arrogant, self-serving beardy from CAMRA (yes, he did have a beard, seriously). Having mentioned that his smug defence of the smoking ban might come back to haunt his particular vice at some point in the future, he replied with words to the effect of "most of the public like a drink, so that will never happen".
Of course, there is now no debate whatsoever in beer-loving circles that their 'vice' is firmly in the bansturbatory cross hair. Despite being soft-soaped by the odd MP, no tangible help has yet been offered to the pub trade, and the rate of increased taxation in the past two years hasn't been matched since the end of WWII.

The pressure on the off-trade is even more intense. It's not so much if something will be done, as when, and how severe the measure should be. Cameron's widely reported comments confirmed as much yesterday.

David Cameron has signalled his support for councils that want to ban shops and bars from selling cheap alcohol.

The Prime Minister said plans to introduce a minimum price per unit of 50p in Manchester would be looked at ‘very sympathetically’.
So that's settled, then. Alcohol has been established as the next 'unhealthy' habit to be denormalised.

We did warn them.

But hold up. What's this I see coming up very swiftly on the rails?

Fast food outlets should consider handing out cholesterol-lowering drugs to combat the effects of fatty food, say UK researchers.

Taking a statin pill every day would offset the harm caused by a daily cheeseburger and milkshake, the Imperial College London team said.
Crikey! There is a real race materialising as to which set of people are to be dubbed the new pariahs now smokers have been awarded untermensch status.

On the one hand we have the global war on alcohol and passive drinking, on the other there is the death and destruction of fatty foods and passive obesity.

A right tussle, eh?

So who is the more threatened? Well, for that we only have to look across the Atlantic seeing as all such guff, which we always end up emulating, originates there. As I touched on yesterday, the assault on fast food is much further advanced than here.

Happy Meals May Be Banned By San Francisco

This legislation is aimed at promoting healthy eating habits and to address issues related to childhood obesity. Fast food restaurants target children and youth by offering toys and other incentive items. The Healthy Meal Incentive legislation would encourage restaurants to provide healthier meal options. To provide an incentive item, meals must contain fruits and vegetables, not exceed 600 calories or 200 calories for a single food item and must not have beverages that have excessive fat or sugar.
The choices of the public - and the rights of businesses - are no longer of concern in the US. Only the state knows what is good for their people ... in the land of the free.

Fast food ahead by a length, then.

Well, perhaps not, as this light-hearted look at overweening alcohol regulations in Virginia illustrates.

Neck and neck. And both drinkers and fast food fans should be very worried.

There is though - would you believe it? - a third challenger for the prize of new pariah status.

[...] abolishing free school milk will cause children to turn to high-sugar soft drinks

Hungry children leaving childcare and returning home in a culture where milk is seen as "less important" are likely to be given fruit-based drinks, perceived and marketed as "healthy alternatives", but these can damage teeth (with or without sugar in them), offer few other nutrients and will habituate children to sweet-tasting drinks
We're not talking purely processed drinks here, you know.

Compared with soda, juice carries more calories and as much sugar. There's also evidence that high consumption increases the risk of obesity, especially among kids.

The inconvenient truth, many experts say, is that 100% fruit juice poses the same obesity-related health risks as Coke, Pepsi and other widely vilified beverages.
Yep. They really do mean the stuff that nature puts on trees for us.

In your future, only milk and water will be approved drinks to accompany your pine nuts and Quorn burger.

Unless you don't smoke, don't eat fast food, don't drink alcohol, fizzy drinks or juice, the righteous are after you.

The only debate left is which will be subjected to state denormalisation in the UK first. Ladbrokes could run a book ... but then, considering they are also peddling a vice according to the righteous, they'd probably be better off keeping their heads down, doncha think?

I've said it before, and I'll say it again.

You can't pick and choose which liberties you wish to keep, and which are OK to be stamped on. Bending an inch to these people just boosts their power and leads, eventually, to something being attacked which you hold dear.
Will there ever come a day when our bovine public begin to understand this?


Obnoxio The Clown said...

Questions to which the answer is "no".

Bucko said...

I like the way they say "Happy meals target children".
Children have no money. Children cannot buy happy meals.
It's the parents who have the purchasing power and the parents who decide what their children should eat.
And if they are being pestered to buy something they dont want to? Take the Clowns advice above.

rsw37 said...

Just to be contrarian, although I do hate healthists with a passion, at least the ones who are equally against fruit juice as they are soft drinks are at least being consistent in their healthist agenda and not being merely elitist, anti-(american)corporation, and using health as a facade like the rest of them.

And also just to point out, milk won't be allowed in the future either, not if the animal rights groups have anything to do with it.

richard said...

I am horrified at the increasing "Niggerisation" by the State of my fellow smokers and drinkers, and the assumed right to assume responsibility for people's private lives. There is one scientific error in your post, however, which doesn't detract from the main thrust of the freedom-to-choose argument, with which I am in agreement. Sugar is a bastard re: human health. Fruit may well have been put on trees, but it isn't for us. We aren't chimpanzees, we didn't climb trees but hunted, and dug for roots, The last geological eyeblink of agrarian life has been different, but the body is still set up for hunter-gatherer. Sugar attacks the human liver and ruins the biological feedback which makes people feel full, so it's added to food so people will buy more. If you want scientific proof, look at "Sugar-the bitter truth" on youtube. In the meantime, would anyone fancy a plate of steak and chips (meat and roots) or the same calories converted into apples, ie a sackful? Bleeargh!!

Shug Niggurath said...

I'm beginning to think the only debate left is not what they'll target first, but what the last thing they'll target will be.

I am Stan said...

"Will there ever come a day when our bovine public begin to understand this?"

@ Dick, More every day I believe,but the righteous are good at what they do,devilishly good!,the fact that we "bovine public" are,cowed (no pun intended), fearful and divided does not help.

@Richard-I didn`t know what "niggerisation" meant so I did some research....wish I hadnt bothered..think Ill try a happy meal and see if they work...nah Ill just drink shit loads.:(

Anon1 said...

Statins have problems - some background:,8599,1703827,00.html

One of the rare commentaries that refers to absolute predictive strength rather than relative risk:

Anon1 said...

For anyone interested:

IATROGENESIS (any harm produced by medical conduct)

“We estimated that in 1994 overall 2216000 (1721000-2711000) hospitalized patients had serious ADRs [adverse drug reactions] and 106000 (76000-137000) had fatal ADRs, making these reactions between the fourth and sixth leading cause of death”.

Including more sources of iatrogenesis:
Doctors Are the Third Leading Cause of Death in the U.S.
Cause 250,000 Deaths Every Year
From Starfield, B. (2000) Is US Health Really The Best In The World? Journal of the American Medical Association, 284 (4), 483-485.

Including even more sources of iatrogenesis:
Null et al. (2003)
Cause 780,000-1,000,000 Deaths Every Year

Adding in the destructiveness of the aggressive promotion of eugenic ideology (e.g., antismoking) – promoting irrational belief, fear, and hatred (and all of the psychological, social, moral, economic, political, and physical ramifications thereof) – the contemporary medical establishment is clearly the most organized, mainstream, destructive entity in the world at this time.

P.S. The annual death toll in the USA is 2,400,000.
The estimated “death toll” from tobacco is 440,000
Note: The tobacco death toll is erroneously argued from population level to individual level (next to impossible to coherently demonstrate causation). Alternatively, iatrogenesis is causally demonstrable at the individual level. There is then an extrapolation to the population level to estimate prevalence. Of the two – the tobacco death toll or the iatrogenic death toll – it is the latter that should be taken seriously given that causation of the phenomenon is demonstrable at the individual level. Yet the public rarely hears of the iatrogenic toll and hears incessantly of the tobacco “toll”.

richard said...

Stan, I made that word up. "No Irish or coloureds" has been replaced by "No smokers". Try booking a guest house, it's not "We would appreciate it if guests would kindly refrain from smoking indoors" but just the bald statement - "No smokers". It's not the act of smoking they hate, but the smoker. It's second-class citizenship, which used to be applied to Blacks. Smokers, drinkers, fatties, fruit juice drinker; all fall short of the State's conception of the ideal citizen. A healthy worker is a happy worker.

Sam Duncan said...

Ah, San Fransisco. Living proof that in America the word “liberal” means the opposite of what it used to here (although we're catching up fast). You'll like this.

I am Stan said...

"I made that word up."

You have created a Heteronym.

Anonymous said...

Oh blody hell,Dick,what have I told you before about mentioning those,back stabbing,bootlicking,cowtowing,
cap doffing,hop sniffing,froth
blowing,two timing,whinging ,whiskwered stoats,
CAMRA. I even dread a swift butchers at Curmudgeons spot because of the occasional debut of
one of CAMRA's waffling weasels.
They are to the real Englsh pub
what Henry VIII was to monasteries.
A froth freak friend invited me to the HopFest in London, I replied I would rather go Morris Dancing in Helmand Province..

Saxon Reveller

RantinRab said...

My experience of CAMRA types makes me wonder if they should change the last A in the acronym to S.

For soap.

SadButMadLad said...

After smokers came drinkers. Then it was eaters. Next it will be talkers.

San Fran is starting on the road to banning mobile phones by making it compulsory to display posters warning of the radiation risk at all stores selling phones.

The whole thing about mobile phones and radiation is making the public think there is a connection between electromagnetic radiation and nuclear radiation. Well they both seem to be as dangerous.