Monday, September 18, 2006

Like The Berlin Airlift, But With Chips

The culture war turns up in the funniest places. The latest frontline runs through a graveyard in Rotheram, this being the location from which parents are supplying their kids with hot lunches over the school fence. Obviously, with this government's track record, you can understand a need for caution where food is involved, but still, you have to wonder how even Leftards can screw up lunch.

Oops - no, you don't. It's the L3's latest excuse to wag their finger at people with actual lives. Yep, it's the Food Nazis again.

It has to be said that Rotheram blockade runners make unlikely Conservative heroines, but the flip side of that is that 90% of the criticism coming their way in the blogosphere involves calling them ugly, poor or stupid, which doesn't exactly argue against my theory as to the real source of Jamie Oliver's popularity.

Aparet from anything else, is the science even that sound ? Children are not, in fact, mini-adults, and their dietry requirements aren't just (adult requirement/x). Even these days, kids are still at lot more active than adults, for example. Equally, the theory that kids should eat a certain diet now, to prevent problems in their late forties should surely raise an eyebrow anywhere where they aren't serving the kids plutonium burgers. Hey - at 25 I was built like an anaconda, now ten years later, I look like Jabbah the Hutt. To the point, assuring kids that they'll die if they ever come in contact with a Mars bar just vaccinates them off ever taking notice of the whole healthy eating thing - even when they really need it. For that matter who's to say what's really healthy ? Not some posturing Liberal educrat drones, that's for sure. The Atkins diet is fairly wacky, but it surely does something. Ditto, other low-GI diets. To the point, the old paradigm that carbohydrate was good and fat was bad is under seige. Does anyone on the planet think that these prancing show ponies are poring over the Britsh Journal of Dietology and the like ?

That's not to say there isn't such a thing as healthy eating. In particular, many non-insane teachers claim there's a connection between the kids eating what Frank Chalk disparages as 'purple dinosaurs' and post-prandial mayhem.

Equally, there's the question of what you think the mission of a school should be. Liberals could say - they could bear to stop calling us Nazis long enough - that it's the Right that wants schools to play a role intransmitting civilised values to the next generation. Surely not gorging on McRubbish is just part of that ? Well, actually, no. What Conservatives want most of all is personal responsibility and accountability. Food Police insisting everyone in the world eat lentils doesn't qualify.

No doubt the school would claim to be acting in loco parentis here (and plenty of them are completely loco), but we're talking about a clash with the actual parents. For all the propaganda about bad diet, we're either talking about very long-term effects, or we're talking anecdotal evidence. There just isn't the evidence out there that would justify this kind of Big Government power grab - and especially not from teachers (although it is amusing to imagine the reaction if dieticians started insisting that they were the only people who really knew how to run a classroom).

If you're still wondering who the good guys are here, consider these two comments. First up, one of the Rotheram parents:

They prefer to come to us to have their food delivered fresh and hot, which is what they're asking for. We're giving them what they're asking for.

Thereby confirming my theory that capitalism is what happens when the government is around to screw things up.

Now, here's the Head, with a statement that sums up better than Shakespeare could just why Liberals so thoroughly deserve a beating:

I will meet and talk with the parents as long as is necessary because they are parents of this school.

However the dialogue as it stands is really in terms of us persuading them of the effectiveness of the strategy we have put in place.

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