Monday, 3 January 2011

Lansley has lost it

The idiot Lansley, who in November announced the introduction of swipe cards that kids could swipe on lamp posts and pillar boxes whilst out jogging to earn free training shoes, provides further evidence today that he's completely lost it. If there's a prime candidate for a Cameron reshuffle it's this mumping fool. 

What's he done now? He's put the weight of government endorsement behind a number of multinational corporates in their efforts to secure brand loyalty amongst young children. Whilst his colleagues are getting the message out about buying local, using local produce, rejecting advertising and glitzy packaging and supporting a diversity of small-scale production, Lansley has thrown the Health Department behind a £250m marketing campaign by Unilever, Nestle, Kelloggs and Birds Eye to secure brand awareness amongst the under 10s with the perverse message that factory-made gloop carried in chemical vats half way round the world before manufacture is better than the stuff in the village shop. 

Well done, Andrew. 


Edward Spalton said...

I think you are a touch unfair on the food industry. In my experience, they take a great deal of trouble over the safety of their products. The trouble is that people eat too much of them because they are made to taste nice.

There was a tale by Saki on this subject. A businessman was going bust trying (and failing) to sell a children's breakfast cereal, called PIPENTA. A character (who would nowadays be a marketing consultant) realised that, in those pre 1914 days, it was the nannies of England who decided the nursery diet. So he recommended a name change to FILBOID STUDGE and sales duly rocketed! Nowadays, of course, the nannies have been replaced by HMG. Perhaps Saki had the right idea.

Elby the Beserk said...

Saki. Thank you for reminding me. Splendid short stories. Filboid Studge. Magnificent.

What was the Saki story about the ferret? Ah yes, Sredni Vashtar.

Weekend Yachtsman said...

Edward, presumably you're being sarcastic and presumably I've missed the point, but just in case you are not and I have not, the "safety" of the food majors' products is not the point at issue.

Safety and Quality, where food is concerned, are not synonymous.

Edward Spalton said...

True - but if you look at the stature and longevity of people now, compared with the days of Saki, there has been a huge improvement in which nutrition has played a very large part. Of course, Lansley is a total prat and his scheme a very doubtful proposition of patronising managerialism.

So, as the late Professor Joad night have said "It all depends what you mean by quality".

Most foods are of a much higher quality (and safety) than they were years ago. It's the fact that some people eat too much of some of them that causes the problems.

I have every respect, for instance, for the Prince of Wales's organic farming enterprises, which are brilliant technically. His Duchy Original products are excellent too - but they are at such a price that most people could only afford them as occasional treats. For everyday people on ordinary incomes, conventional methods of farming and manufacture have produced a coruncupia of wholesome plenty at prices (relative to income) which are vastly more favourable than for earlier generations. Of course, they could be even better in that respect, if we were not locked into the odious Common Agricultural Policy!