It’s Not Nanny State, Honest
It’s Not Nanny State, Honest Labour’s health spokesman, Andy Burnham, was on Radio 5 Live this afternoon. If you missed it, you’re in for a treat.
Now that all politicians, of all parties, are advocating nanny state policies because they are shit scared of nanny state pressure groups they stupidly hand our taxes over to, you’d think they’d be proud to say how nanny state they are, wouldn’t you? You know, if it’s popular and all that.
So why is Burnham not only not proud to admit his policies are nanny state, but also desperate that his puritanical – and most definitely nanny state policies – are not seen that way by the electorate?
His wriggling on Stephen Nolan’s show this afternoon was quite extraordinary.
So much is jumbled there, it’s hard to know where to start! But we’ll go with this. “Everyone’s different”, he says, and “we all make choices”, but he doesn’t want to punish adults for those choices, oh no.
“There’s definitely been a big change, hasn’t there, since we were growing up and sugar was in a bowl on the breakfast table and you added it and your parents could check. Sugar’s now built into food.”
“I think kids are eating far too much sugar than they should be.”
Really, Andy? Well, they’re eating far less than your age group did when you were kids. Sugar consumption has fallen by two-thirds since you were 5, according to the British Heart Foundation. Probably because the sugar bowl is something only now seen in antique shops.
He is then asked how he can regulate children’s food by Nolan. After all, adults enjoy the same foods as children (the vaping flavours debate writ large).
“Adults have to be free to choose, don’t they?”
True Andy, perhaps your party could allow us to do so someday. Remember you’re from the smoking ban party which is fully behind minimum alcohol pricing and are now advocating a de facto ban on 60 year old cereals. However, the best was yet to come.
Burnham: “We can’t dictate to what adults do, but with children it’s different, Stephen, because children don’t make their own choices”
Nolan: “Define a child, under 18 year olds?”
Burnham: “Under 18, yeah”
Nolan: “So the 16 and 17 year olds in this audience, you would tell them what they can and can’t eat”
Burnham: “No, I’m not saying that actually, but never mind”
Yet today, his leader sang a different tune.
Westminster politics is so often out of touch, irrelevant and disconnected from people’s lives. It is time we brought power much closer to people. It is time the voice of young people was heard which is why we will give the vote to 16 and 17 year olds.
They should be listened to; they are able to make a choice of what government they want … just incapable of deciding for themselves if they want to eat Frosties for breakfast. Joined up politics? Or just Burnham selectively using children as tools of the state, again.
He also doesn’t want to be “judgemental”, but his party is – loudly and to much media fanfare – proposing a windfall tax on tobacco companies because they have judged that you shouldn’t smoke, as Nolan reminded him. Who do you think is going to pay that windfall tax, tobacco companies or the public? Burnham claimed not to know anything about it though … I suppose that’s because it didn’t fit in with his denial of being part of a nanny state party in front of a live audience.
He was most certain that he didn’t want to be seen as a nanny statist, though.
“I’m not going to try to dictate to everybody, people say nanny state”
Yes, Andy, that’s because everything you utter is nanny state through and through, despite you trying to pretend otherwise. Although it’s encouraging that the term is becoming toxic to politicians the best way of avoiding the accusation is to grow a pair of balls and tell ‘public health’ extremists who give you nightmares – and force you to come out with such incoherent nonsense as you did today – to go jump off a cliff.
He won’t though, he’s the modern bullshit chocolate orange politician, more interested in sound bites and career advancement than doing something worthwhile with his life.
Lord save us.