Wednesday, 5 October 2011
There are finger-wagging Tin-Hitlers out there, lecturing us about the dangers of alcohol, smoking, coffee, sugar and now they're onto the hobby-horse of fatty foods. One trouble with the scientists on whom they rely, and whose opinions are central to a lot of government thinking on these subjects, is that they seem to blow with the wind: one week, a couple of glasses of red wine a day are good for you and, more or less the very next week, ever having drunk any alcohol at all leaves you with a heightened risk of developing cancer. One week, coffee is a clot-busting miracle drug and the next it is the stuff of which heart attacks are made - and so it goes on. And on. And on. And on.
Apparently, the Danish have dreamed up a super-tax aimed at fat people. The idea is to tax them on fatty foods; not to raise revenue as such, but to lessen expenditure, because it is aimed at deterring people from needing medical treatment as a result of indulging in fatty foods (the only up-side is that Ronald MacDonald might hit the skids).
The ban on smoking nearly everywhere has almost certainly left the governments without a great big wedge of revenue from tobacco taxes. Hence the state-funded health services are going to suffer. They can no longer financially cope with treating fat people, who need stronger beds and more food than thin people. So they have come up with the perfectly brilliant idea of taxing them and if not out of existence at least taxing them down to size. The eugenicists of the early twentieth century would have been right behind all this political nonsense, because it is also, in part, about creating 'perfect' human specimens and controlling what they consume and even how they think.
There's a book kicking around about how the world would have been had Hitler and the Axis forces won WWII. Their genocidal tendencies aside, I really do wonder whether Hitler and Mussolini would actually have laid so many personal freedoms so low, as the modern 'great western democracies' have done. There was even a recent news item that children had been taken away from their parents and put into local authority 'care' because their parents were over-feeding them!
And the really shocking thing is that no one much seems to notice; let alone care. Maybe it is time to take note of a few words of wisdom from Tacitus: 'summum ius summa iniuria': [more laws, more injustice].
That's a warning that should be heeded before it's too late. And it nearly is too late.
Today's picture is of Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle being fed a face-full of fatty acids by Mabel Normand.
Posted by NJS at 09:55