Thursday, 31 March 2011

...And On, And On, And On...

Salt shakers are being removed from counters and table-tops at curry houses, fish and chip shops and cafes in a council-backed health drive.
/facepalm

Will it ever stop? Even the dreaded 'cuts' don't seem to be curtailing any council's desire to meddle and interfere and nanny...
It means thousands of customers in Greater Manchester will have to ask for salt if they want to add it to their food.
And when they do, will they get a query as to why they want it? Will they have to submit themselves to a lecture first?

Probably, if this mouthy cow is any indication:
In Stockport, five shops have already signed up to the 'out of sight, out of mind' scheme and the council hope it will spread.

Among them is Taylor's Fish and Chips in Woodley, where manager Anne Wallace says customers often ask for salt without thinking.

She said: 'We just wanted people to stop and think. Don't just shake it for the sake of it.'
Firstly, if they are already asking for salt, then you must already be carrying this policy out. Why tout it as something new?

Secondly, your job is to cook and serve food - not to tell the customer what they want or need, and certainly not to wonder if they need salt. It's to keep the food hot and tasty and reasonably-priced, the salt and vinegar refilled, and to keep your damn nose out of what the customers want to put on their fish and chips!

If they want plain old salt and vinegar, OK. If they want ketchup, fine, it's a fruit after all, and probably counts as part of their five-a-day. If they want mayo, they're probably foreign, and the kindest thing you could do for them is show them the quickest way back to civilisation.

But what you are not in business to do is lecture them. Not even with the council's backing. No matter how good it might make you feel.
Councillor Jones said the council's latest move could actually be counterproductive.

He said: 'British people don't like being ordered around. If you actually want people to use more salt, then tell them not to. It's a foolish thing to do.'
Indeed. I'm not planning any trips to Woodley, but if I were going, I think I'd visit this emporium and order some fish and chips. With as much damn salt as I wanted.

And then I'd eat them, with evident satisfaction, right in front of this withered old hag....

21 comments:

Henry Crun said...

Next time I pass Taylor's (every other Friday night) I think I'll pop in and tell them I was going to order fish and chips but seeing as they have joined the ranks of the food fascists and health nazis, I'm not going to bother.

The Grim Reaper said...

I'm afraid that all is not as it seems with this story. There is no actual ban taking place - it's simply part of a policy of "don't ask, don't tell" which is part of an initiative. It's not even the council's decision either, despite what the reporting implies. See here:

http://tabloid-watch.blogspot.com/2011/03/express-front-page-lies-about-chip-shop.html

It's a pretty poor idea, all in all, but I'm not going to complain too much. It would only mean having to wait an extra few seconds to get salt to put on your chips, and there are probably bigger things to worry about.

All this has put me in the mood for a portion of sausage and chips - with extra salt and vinegar. I'm off for lunch...

Bucko said...

I'm with Henry.
Any business that takes on board this rubbish (or similar) would not get my custom and I would be sure to tell them why.

Umbongo said...

"British people don't like being ordered around."

If only: looking at the pathetic reaction of most people to the jobsworths who seek to run our lives (a shrug of the shoulders and a sotto voce "mustn't grumble") I think the generally law-abiding, taxpaying, non-ethnically challenged "British people" love being ordered around. It's the scrotocracy (represented heavily in the ranks of the benefiterati, "new" British, "travellers", squatter community etc etc) who refuse to be "ordered around" or, rather, are never made to face the consequences of their own - illegal and/or anti-social - actions.

Mr Grumpy said...

I beg to disagree. If this is genuinely Ms Wallace's choice and she hasn't been browbeaten into it by the council, well, it's her shop. Some customers may actually appreciate her concern for their health, and those who don't like the lectures can top up their sodium levels elsewhere.

Anonymouslemming said...

This is the problem with surrendering any power to any authority, ever - you'll never get it back.

We, as a society (not me, for damn sure!) thought that letting Nu Labour tell us how to live our lives would be better for really fucking dumb people who didn't know how to think. And now here we are.

Surely, in this age of austerity, the government should operate a really simple cuts method:
Make a stupid-assed statement like this, start a dumb wasteful initiative like this, and get fired. Instantly. With no room for appeal.

Even if it didn't cut state staff, it would at the very least keep them cowering in a corner out of my way.

Anonymouslemming said...

@Reaper
It would only mean having to wait an extra few seconds to get salt to put on your chips, and there are probably bigger things to worry about.

Sure. Today. And tomorrow, we're waiting to ask permission for the fish and chips. Next week, we're asking for the damn fish.

Who's initiative is this? Are the council supporting it at all? If so, why?

Longrider said...

This is part of the ASK campaign intended to coerce people into tasting food before adding further seasoning.

So far, it is voluntary and I will voluntarily avoid any outlet that has signed up to it.

As for not being too worried about it - this is the same tactic that has been used against smokers, will sooner or later be used against drinkers. It is just another power grab by the puritans. It is more social engineering - so we should be worried. Today we have to ask for salt. What will it be tomorrow?

As for Ms Wallace's concern for our health - firstly, it's none of her concern and secondly, she has been taken in by the peddlers of junk science.

Lynne said...

Someone ought to tell the silly woman that salt is an essential nutrient. It controls the water balance in our bodies and regulates blood volume and pressure. It does other important stuff too. Sodium is a very important electolyte. Without salt we would be deader than doornails.

Mike said...

maybe they're saving it up for next years snow and ice?!?

Pepper's friend said...

I love these toe-curling items in the news where the person interviewed squeezes in a pithy saying or 'soundbite' or even, heaven preserve us, a bon mot.

Here: "Don't just shake it for the sake of it."

Ho-ho-ho! How painfully witty! And there was me thinking shaking it was about something else, and possibly more interesting.

Anonymous said...

If I wish to put salt on my chips I will. If my arteries resemble a Siberian Mineshaft that is between me and my GP. Anybody else can take a hike!
TTFN :)

Captain Haddock said...

Unfortunately this policy is not entirely "voluntary" ..

A friend of mine is a Staff Sergeant in the Britiah Army & the policy of removing condiments from dining tables in the Sergeants Mess has been going on for quite some time ..

They're not even provided on a side table in the dining room .. those wishing to use condiments must now ask the contract civilian catering staff to bring them from the food preparation area ..

I further understand that this policy applies across the board, in terms of Messes & applies to all three Armed Services ..

So .. its OK for mealy-mouthed politicians to squander the lives of our Troops in pointless and ego-massaging wars .. but the lads & lasses aren't trusted to use salt ..

Mjolinir said...

Perhaps these shops should refuse to serve you unless you produced an itemised list of all food consumed in the past 48 hours,(with an analysis of the 17 constituents specified in the 'nanny school meals' menus)- a summary of your weight and trends over say, a year, a set of recent blood analyses, a full medical history - congenital, chronic and acute conditions - and details of all physical activity proposed for the next couple of days.

"If it saves ONE life...."

Mjolinir said...

Couple of years ago the 'Nanny Police' locally ran a campaign to improve the wellbeing of lorry drivers.

They tried to name 'n' shame a lay-by burger bar by publicising his 'unhealthy' menu - and saying he should be 'required to' offer salads.

He framed the news report, and displayed it at the counter.

Consensus amongst the clientele (including me) was that fried onions & tomato sauce were enough vegetables at lunch-time.

jd said...

Ketchup? Mayo? You forgot the gravy. Something which far too few southern chippies provide.

Uncle Gus said...

If the Reaper is right that's a *good* sign! The tabloids are beginning to play up to the backlash against control freakery.

blueknight said...

The only reason I don't ask for salt and vinegar on take home Fish and Chips is that it makes them soggy. In the comfort of my own home I apply lashings of lemon juice pepper and salt.

When I was a teenager I wandered into the Health Education tent at a local town show. I agreed to be measured, weighed etc and they came up with the result that I was a stone overweight. I was 5ft 10" and 12 stone at that time.
Then I took a closer look at my 'advisor'. Her 'bosom' was doing a 'two fried eggs nailed to an ironing board' impression and she had the legs and 'booty' that would do justice to a hippo. She looked as if she had been made from spare parts and face was nothing to write home about either.
Then I got it. She was making herself feel better about her shortcomings by finding fault with everyone else. That's what they do.

Anonymous said...

I firmly believe that we come into this world date stamped and that's when we are going out no matter what we do. I totally ignore all this idiotic 'advice' if things are so bad how come we are the longest lived generation? we smoked without a second thought, still do at 68, ate and drank what we liked. I would vote for any party that would just LEAVE US ALONE!!!

JuliaM said...

" There is no actual ban taking place..."

Not yet, no. But as Anonymouslemming points out, we don't want to encourage these people...

"...I think the generally law-abiding, taxpaying, non-ethnically challenged "British people" love being ordered around."

Indeed. And are equally happy ordering their fellows around.

"If this is genuinely Ms Wallace's choice and she hasn't been browbeaten into it by the council, well, it's her shop. "

Indeed. And it's our custom. Like Henry Crun, Longrider and Bucko point out, we can vote with our feet.

"Someone ought to tell the silly woman that salt is an essential nutrient. "

She doesn't look too capable of sorting conflicting information...

JuliaM said...

"maybe they're saving it up for next years snow and ice?!?"

I hope so! We certainly need it, if last year's woeful performance is any example...

"So .. its OK for mealy-mouthed politicians to squander the lives of our Troops in pointless and ego-massaging wars .. but the lads & lasses aren't trusted to use salt .."

/facepalm

"He framed the news report, and displayed it at the counter."

Now THAT'S the true British spirit! :)

"Then I got it. She was making herself feel better about her shortcomings by finding fault with everyone else. That's what they do."

Spot on!