Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Waffle SS

Political correctness now moves to a new era: the lunch box stasis or, as one newspaper called it, the Waffle SS.

Here is the story: staff at a British primary school have decided that they have the right to inspect the lunch boxes which children bring from home and to remove from these boxes any food which is deemed to be “unhealthy”. This would include “fizzy drinks” (larger, gin and tonics etc), fatty foods (foie gras, remoulade) or crisps (what Canadians call potato chips). Teachers will give these back at the end of the school day to a parent, but only if they ask.

The right to do this? The school released a simple statement. It says “At Danegrove School: We are following the Government's healthy lunches guidelines for school meals and packed lunches.” So its Gordon Brown’s fault – and the development of a culture which permits one group of “do gooders” to impose their view of the world on everyone else (typical of the new human rights kind of movement in which such things are imposed on others). The Headmistress, in a tone you know from watching various St. Trinnian movies, says “We were finding that some children could be bringing in crisps, a Mars bar and can of Coke with their lunches. This stance is trying to work with parents to provide a healthy meal for their children”. Righteousness writ large.

This is motivated by one of these great twenty first century narratives that has emerged – the one that says that there is an obesity epidemic and only intervention by responsible people (i.e. parents cannot be trusted) can make a difference. This is what is behind the Waffle SS and also the idea that children who are obese should be removed from their parental homes and placed in care.

Where will this end, one asks?

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