Britain is getting fatter. The strain of treating a stack of lardbuckets like myself for diabetes (my issue), heart attacks, etc is a very real financial burden. All of that is a given. But calls to ban Frosties ( Labour health spokesman Andy Burnham) and Fried Chicken shops ( general lefty fruitcake and a bit of a lardbucket herself, Dianne Abbot) do not address the problem. Prohibition never works. It fails with drugs, it failed with alcohol in 1920s Chicago and it will fail with Frosties.
I start from the position that what I put into my body is my business. Nanny Statists ( a category which appears to include the entire political class) believe they have a right to determine what the Citizen does with his body in a consenting fashion. So some of the Nanny Statists believe they have a right to determine which other consenting adults one has sex with others confine themselves to substances. Some addictive sets of plant based substances which are bad for your health are legal but taxed heavily because the state mildly disapproves (tobacco & alcohol). Some addictive sets of plant based substances which are bad for your health are banned altogether because the State deems them morally wrong ( heroin and cocaine) – although in times gone by the State did not disapprove and they were 100% legal. And other addictive sets of plant based substances which are bad for your health are considered fine and dandy ( chocolate, Krispy Kreme Donuts, etc).
What Burnham and Abbott are trying to do is to move the boundaries on what is consider kosher so that there is less and less choice for consumers. That the State has no business engaging in such tomfoolery is, for me, a given but others may disagree. The problem is that it will not work.
I am not suggesting that, as failed policies on alcohol or drug prohibition, that criminal gangs will spot an opportunity to muscle in on a lucrative market supplying illicit Frosties or that there will be open gun battles on the streets between rival sugar puff traffickers. That will not happen because the margins would not be high enough. And that is because there is a ready substitute.
Andy Burnham seems to assume that deprived of Sugar Puffs, folks will instantly switch to porridge or whole grain muesli: the sort of stuff his Guardian reading mates already munch every day as they digest the latest Op. Ed. On the benefits of paedophilia, why the Argies are good imperialists or the benefits of 99% tax for Tory voters. Think again. It will simply be cornflakes ( until they are banned ) with vast amounts of sugar on top. Or ( as my daughter’s former nanny likes it) with nutella on top. Folks will not switch to a healthy option in droves they will simply find a new unhealthy option. As for Diane Abbott, does she think that closing down KFCs will see her constituents in Hackney opting for tofu salads? It will simply be a switch to another form of junk food. Go long on illegal kebab stalls flogging greasy dog meat in Hoxton in Abbot ever comes to power.
I cannot believe that Frosties will be banned but I would not put it past the Nanny Statists to impose a “sugar” tax on certain breakfast cereals. We have been here before. Middle class kids already eat porridge. Frosties and Chocolate Cheerios are breakfast for chav kids. So guess what? This will like the plastic bag tax, the fizzy drink tax and, yes, cigarette duty end up as another regressive tax on poor people.
We know the left would not give a damn about that. For them taxation is only partly about funding Government services. It is also about income redistribution and also about social engineering. If the two clash it seems that, these days, social, engineering wins even if it means redistributing income from poor folks to the rich.
The bottom line: Labour ( and the Lib Dems) screw the poor via taxes. When it comes to Nanny state issues, they are the Robin Hood in Reverse parties.
For now I suspect that Labour has quietly dropped the idea of banning Sugar Puffs and Frosties. Diane Abbot can be dismissed as a fruitcake. But even though the plan simply would not work, do not think that those who wish for the State to intrude on every aspect of our lives will give up on it entirely. The trend is already far too well established.