Cheese-eating monkeys won’t surrender to Dave

Now the Health Police turn their sights on the dangers of...eating cheese

Put down the Cheddar, ditch the Brie, step away from the deli-counter, because the health police are coming!

Not happy with hectoring smokers, abusing drinkers and lecturing consumers of confectionary, the latest target in the sights of the clipboard-wielding health Nazis is cheese, more particularly those who love cheese.

Because they [Department of Health] believe that our love of the stuff is contributing to Britain’s obesity epidemic! Hardly the revelation of the century – is there really anyone left in this country who doesn’t know eating too much cheese is the recipe for putting on weight?

Their solution is even more ingenious, to bombard people through the Orwellian ‘Change for Life’ programme with advice about cutting down on cheese/high fat dairy products, or switching to the low fat variants.

Camembert would appear to be out, Quark, don’t ask, and cottage cheese in.

What a load of patronising nonsense. What has happened to the Department for Health?

Once the Department charged with running the NHS, making sure hospitals and doctors do their jobs, they have seemingly been dropped this function in favour of telling all of us what we can and can’t consume.

Is this Mr Hunt & Co admitting that the NHS is simply too big to manage in any meaningful way? The scandals at Mid Staffordshire where 1,200 patients died of neglect or more recent cases seem to get only cursory attention, in favour of pushing this daft idea.

Setting aside the impact this daft policy will have on the UK’s £10 billion a year dairy industry, does no one in Government realise how ridiculous this policy actually is?

Whatever happened to treating people like adults? After an excellent Budget which gave power back to pensioners over their savings, one hoped that this new ‘Government condition’ might have spread to infect other elements of the Conservative/Lib Dem administration. It certainly seems popular with the voters as Labour’s poll lead narrows to just a couple of points in the last three or four polls.

But unfortunately this is not the case.

Not only does the Government seem keen to press ahead with making ‘cheese eaters’ the latest pariahs of society, I read in the newspapers that they also remain keen on pressing ahead with plain packaging of cigarettes. Even though the evidence from Australia has shown an increase in smoking since this policy was adopted Down-Under of nearly 60 million cigarettes, as the black market in smuggled and fake cigarettes is turbocharged and people switch to cheaper brands.

And it is only a matter of time before this daft policy is extended to alcohol. Chairman of the health select committee, Stephen Dorrell, has said that his committee has an open mind on the issue and they need to take a look at it, why both Westminster and Holyrood keep minimum unit pricing a real prospect.

It is deeply depressing to think that the Government seems either incapable, or unwilling, of stopping telling people how to live their lives. And it makes a mockery of the pledge from David Cameron that his Government would roll forwards the frontiers of society.

It also plays into the hands of UKIP’s popular and un-PC cigarette smoking, beer swilling leader Nigel Farage, as he exploits the increasing anger at the inexorable expansion of the nanny state. Voters are increasingly are fed up with being told that having a glass of wine in the evening, or driving a 4×4 somehow makes them bad people and in the absence of an alternative will register their anger by backing UKIP this May.


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Alistair Thompson

Managing Director at Media Intelligence Partners
Alistair joined MIP in 2007 having previously worked as a journalist. He is a senior Conservative member on Portsmouth City Council and former parliamentary candidate.

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