The words of an enraged Tory youth

Thursday, June 22, 2006

The Doctrine of Dr. State

A recent Channel 4 documentary presented by Giles Coren seriously explored the idea of a 'fat tax.' This may seem bizarre, but a tax on fatty foods has been considered by the government in the past.

The government have correctly identified the problem; fatty food is delicious and cheap. Many parents who can't afford to dine on steamed asparagus at The Ivy often find that a cheap Burger King is the best, most affordable food that their kids will eat. There is not a lack of knowledge of healthy foods out there. Government campaigns will help encourage healthy choices but not significantly change the habits the country.

So on the surface a fat tax seems perfect. Unfortunately, there is no way I will let the government remove my right to slowly kill myself through bacon. Taxing a certain kind of food because eating it constantly can lead to health problems would be another grave infringement of civil rights on the part of Dr. Tony Blair.

New Labour's doctrine of 'Dr. State' is equally enfuriating and justified. The government provides healthcare through the NHS, and therefore they reason that are right in trying to save money by eliminating health problems before they develop, eg: taxing fatty foods, banning smoking in pubs. This is what I call Dr. State. Confusingly for Tony Blair and co, people like me who want the government to spend less on the NHS are equally angered when the idea of a money saving fat tax is floated. Let me help you Tone...

Interfering in the market and removing the right of an individual to choose which foods he or she can greedily devour is not something nice people do. We want you to save money but we don't want you to tell us what to do. I too would like to see a slightly less chunky Britain but authoritarian policies are not the way to achieve this.

Here's an Idea...

What if treatment for 'lifestyle-influenced' illnesses was not made free on the NHS? This would probably provide a strong deterrent for those who want to eat only fatty foods. It would encourage people to make healthy choices. We all, fat and thin alike, need money more than hamburgers. The same effect as the tax would be achieved, but rather that being prevented from eating fatty foods, we would have the option to have a cake or a burger once in a while and to pay only market price (plus VAT, but that's another matter).

Of course, this tax will probably never be implemented, but I feel this discourse would have applied equally to other laws such as the smoking ban. Personally, I do not like Dr. State. No matter how honourable his intentions, he seems less like Dr Smith my GP, and more like Dr. Goebbels.


Anonymous ajd said...

We all, fat and thin alike, need money more than hamburgers.

Great one liner!

7:06 am

Blogger Political Teenager said...

Just make the doors at McDonalds and Burger King smaller so only thin people can get in. This will gove fat people an incentive to lose weight if they want to eat fatty foods.

9:57 am

Blogger dizzy said...

only problem with the idea is people who have thyroid problems being called junk food eating liars. Apart from that we could just cull fat people.... is that a bit extreme?

1:46 pm

Blogger C Hodgson said...

^Not at all

2:32 pm


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