Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Monty Don: Frothing EcoLoon

Monty Don (celebrity gardener and president of the Soil Association) lays into the new Health Secretary’s plans.

In the process, he appears to take utterly leave of his senses:
Andrew Lansley's decision to scrap the government's £75m advertising budget to promote the Change4Life campaign in exchange for industry funding is deeply depressing.
Because this kind of grubby ‘you scratch our backs, hint, hint…’ approach cheapens politics, Monty?

Because the government shouldn’t be in the business of dictating how we should run our lives anyway, and this is too small a step, perhaps?

Well, no:
The junk food companies are to be let off any kind of government control as long as they chuck a tiny fraction of their profits at a notional health campaign that will no doubt prominently feature their products. Kerching! A change4thebetter!
Ah. I see…

It seems that Monty is also a little upset with the slack-tongued one elbowing his way into the media spotlight:
In his speech, the health secretary went on to applaud Jamie Oliver's school dinners campaign, which, for the record, was initiated by the great Jeanette Orrey and is the result of work done by many groups, not least the Soil Association's Food For Life campaign
So there!
…by saying: "He got that it's not just about a witch-hunt against saturated fats, salt and sugars. It's about creating a better understanding of, and relationship with, good food and diet. And even more, it's about self-confidence – it's about building self-esteem."

Well, Mr Lansley, no it is not. You do not build a 10-year-old's "self-esteem" in order that he might elect to eat healthily and well at home and school. It simply does not work like that.
We’ll leave aside the fact that, frankly, 10 year olds these days seem to have an excess of self-esteem, and just say ‘Whaaaat!?’
From the very earliest age, children and their carers are bombarded with messages from purveyors of saturated fats, salts and sugars to consume their products precisely by engaging in their sense of self-esteem.
Which are beamed directly into their heads and impossible to avoid, eh, Monty?
Consumption of these foods leads to poor health
No, excessive consumption of these foods leads to poor health, when combined with other factors, such as lack of exercise.
They are all highly addictive; by the time children reach the kind of age where they can reasonably exercise choice, let alone be equipped to make one, they are hopelessly hooked on junk.
OK, maybe I’m too old to be affected by this, but I’m fairly sure there was advertising of ‘junk food’ when I was growing up, and yet, chocolate is ‘meh!’ as far as I’m concerned, and I seem to be able to walk past cakes quite unconcernedly.

He's starting to sound a bit like the creator of 'Reefer Madness!'...
For the government to step away from direct involvement and regulation in what and how we eat is disingenuous and irresponsible.
The government has a duty to ensure that what we eat is safe. And that’s ALL it has a duty to do.

Thee is no duty to ensure that what we eat is tasty, or nourishing, or contains what some nanny-state loon thinks it should contain.
Without a government-led, long-term campaign to promote sustainable, healthy food from infancy to adulthood, we will not have a healthy society.
Because, clearly, we’ve never had one of those in the past, when we didn’t have a government determined to poke its nose into any and every facet of our lives.

Have we?
The majority of school meals are provided centrally by just a few companies such as Compass, which have resisted regulation. Their lobbying power is enormous. The foodstuffs they produce rely upon a vast consumption of fossil fuels, water and cheap labour, vile animal welfare and a poisonous chemical regime. They ravage and pillage this planet and are responsible for most of our public health problems such as obesity, heart disease and diabetes.
Oh, good grief!

He sounds like a frothing loon, addressing the peasants in the village square with the news that their cows are barren and their wives have warts due to the supernatural nocturnal activities of some poor old crone on the outskirts of the village….
By failing to control and regulate the consumption of transfats, sugars and salt in our diet, let alone consider the way in which we might nurture the planet for a sustainable future for our food, Lansley is not just making a wrong decision in the name of saving public money but also a disastrously expensive one both in the health of our children and cash for healthcare.
Yup, parents and educational ‘experts’ and social workers can all sit back in future years and blame their lardy offspring’s death in the gutter on the fact that we haven’t watched a third-rate, cut-price Morph and his family on prime time TV spouting propaganda…

Oh. Wait. They do that already, don’t they?

14 comments:

Brian, follower of Deornoth said...

Roll up for your NVQ in 'Alcohol Awareness'.

AntiCitizenOne said...

Would Monty have a vested financial interest in getting someone else to pay for advertising products he's got investments in?

Mick Turatian said...

The government has a duty to ensure that what we eat is safe.

You wrote that, Julia, but you don't mean it, do you?

Anonymous said...

You're right about the loony bit...

Allegedly, he went nut-nut after his wife fucked him off out of it for having some over the side.

Mind you, I seem to recall him being a right pompous stupid cunt before that anyway.

John R said...

He says that fast foods are "all highly addictive" at which point you realise you're on the planet Zog listening to the Chief Ranter haranguing the masses at the local place of worship. I imagine in his next diatribe he'll be calling for burgers, kebabs, pizza and fries all to be categorised as Class B drugs?

I think he definitely wins the "Nutter of the Week" award.

I think the more Dem Tories slash the numbers of interfering prodnoses and just get the state off our backs and out of our shopping bags, the happier we all we be.

Stitch's Master said...

Think that stroke he had, had a bigger impact than any of us suspected.

Mrs Rigby said...

Oh dear, it looks as if his own health scare might have turned him into a bit of a zealot.

TDK said...

The government has a duty to ensure that what we eat is safe. And that’s ALL it has a duty to do.

Nah!

The supplier has a contractual duty and a self interest to supply food that is safe to eat. The government has a duty to supply the legal infrastructure to enforce contracts.

To give an example of where your version goes wrong, if we buy food and it goes off it's not the government's responsibility to stop us eating it.

Mike said...

Ah yes, Monty Don. A weapons grade bellend and chairman of the National Association of Self-Righteous Dickheads.

I'd like to get hold of the lot of them, tie them to chairs in a small room, light up a Marlboro Red, and watch as their piggy little eyes bulge with fear.

Jiks said...

Sustainable food. To coin a phrase, do I not like the sound of that!

What, can it be eaten several times or something? Even a tasty animal should only be nommed once IMO ...

JuliaM said...

"Would Monty have a vested financial interest in getting someone else to pay for advertising products he's got investments in?"

You might say that. I couldn't possibly comment... ;)

"You wrote that, Julia, but you don't mean it, do you?"

Yes. As TDK says 'The government has a duty to supply the legal infrastructure to enforce contracts.'

And in certain circumstances, to enforce it and punish transgressions.

But I'm thinking more in terms of producers putting really unsafe ingredients in food (antifreeze in wine, etc), not what the ecoloons think is 'unsafe' today.

"He says that fast foods are "all highly addictive" at which point you realise you're on the planet Zog..."

It's a hell of a red flag!

"Oh dear, it looks as if his own health scare might have turned him into a bit of a zealot."

And like a reformed smoker, he's lost all sense of proportion.

"Sustainable food. To coin a phrase, do I not like the sound of that!"

Me neither!

Gibby Haynes said...

My Grandad had a stroke (well, several, actually). He now has vascular dementia and doesn't know who I am. It's a blessing he didn't become an environmentalist.

Gibby Haynes said...

Oh and Monty, your super-healthy organic food didn't stop a significant fraction of your brain from being killed off did it? Maybe we should set up a massive, dictatorial state initiative to ban organic food. You know, for the ignorant children who're so stupid that they're susceptible to being harassed by cheeseburger-pushing clowns.

NickM said...

"He's starting to sound a bit like the creator of 'Reefer Madness!'.."

Julia,
You shoot, you score.

(Unlike Wayne Rooney).