Saturday, 9 January 2016

Nanny Knows Best

Just one small mug of Butterbeer a day!
As I said in my previous post, the dreaded winter virus has been doing the rounds and has laid both my wife and I rather low. It wasn’t really what either of us wanted on our first week back at work following the Christmas break!

The bug’s been bad enough to keep me off the beer all week, and whilst I’ve no doubt that supporters of Dryanuary, will be pleased, so will the Government’s Chief Medical Officer, Dame Sally Davies following the publication of new guidelines regarding what constitutes a “safe” level of alcohol.

Apparently there is no safe level, and people will be at increased risk of dying from all sorts of nasty diseases, including cancer, if they so much as look at a bottle of beer, or indeed catch the faintest whiff of the barmaid’s apron!

In a statement, which borders on farcical, this puritanical busy-body claims, “Drinking any level of alcohol regularly carries a health risk for anyone, but if men and women limit their intake to no more than 14 units a week it keeps the risk of illness like cancer and liver disease low.”

“What we are aiming to do with these guidelines is give the public the latest and most up- to-date scientific information so that they can make informed decisions about their own drinking and the level of risk they are prepared to take.”

Yeah right. Talk about patronising! Speaking on BBC Breakfast Dame Sally said: “My job as chief medical officer is to make sure we bring the science together to get experts to help us fashion the best low-risk guidelines.” 

Of course, just about everything reported by the media these days has to be the truth because “experts” say it is! These experts are undoubtedly the descendants of the same experts who categorically stated that the sun revolved around the earth and anyone who dared say otherwise was guilty of heresy.

Harold Macmillan famously said, "We have not overthrown the divine right of kings to fall down for the divine right of experts.", but my personal favourite is this definition which states "An expert is one who knows more and more about less and less until he knows absolutely everything about nothing."

So is this “latest and most up- to-date scientific information” any different from that put out 20 years ago, when the last guidelines on what constitutes a “safe level of alcohol” were issued? I ask the question because the authors of that report later admitted they had “plucked the figures out of thin air”, because they didn’t really have a clue at where to set the limits. This whole thing would be quite risible, were it not for the fact that significant amounts of public funds have been wasted on coming up with this nonsense.

I shall, of course, completely ignore this latest Nanny State missive and continue to do what I have done for the past 40+ years, which is to enjoy a drink or two in moderation, listen to my body, take regular exercise and stick to a reasonably healthy diet. I do not need self-appointed health fascists dictating what I can or can’t do with my own body, and I especially don’t need them squandering my taxes on scaremongering nonsense such as this.

Further reading:

“Anyone who cares about scientific probity should be outraged by the Chief Medical Officer's behaviour in this report. Casting out decades of research in favour of a single claim from a single study is a shocking abuse of her authority. People have a right to receive honest and accurate information from the government. I would call for her to be sacked but she'd only be replaced by somebody cut from the same corrupt cloth.”

So says writer and researcher Christopher Snowdon in a lengthy, and well-argued post on his blog "Velvet Glove, Iron Fist". He goes on to debunk the report and to expose the pseudo-science and hidden agenda behind it.


Curmudgeon said...

Excellent quote from Macmillan - I'll make a note of that.

Another one along similar lines is from the economist Friedrich Hayek: "There could hardly be a more unbearable - and more irrational - world than one in which the most eminent specialists in each field were allowed to proceed unchecked with the realisation of their ideals."

karmseveer said...

You're right, keep her in post since no one is going to believe anything she says from this point on.
Talk about shooting yourself in the foot, head more like.

Maybe this will be time for people to wake up and realise nothing the government tells you is even vaguely true - it's just hidden agendas and power struggles.

Paul Bailey said...

Unfortunately I think we have already reached Hayek’s dystopian world Mudge, and the lunatics are now running the asylum. The “nannyism” afflicting modern day society does seem to have affected the Anglo-Saxon world particularly badly, with countries like Australia, Canada and New Zealand even worse than us. The United States is fast catching up, although over there it’s much more a case of Big Brother (whatever happened to Uncle Sam?), rather than Nanny running the show.

This leads me on to your comments, karmseveer. Regrettably people in this country (and probably most other western democracies), will never wake up and challenge the government. Certainly not all the time they’re being fed a diet of soap opera, games shows and reality TV. The Romans had the “games” to keep the populace happy and in check; we have something far more powerful and hypnotising when it comes to keeping our people under control.

'People shouldn't be afraid of their government. Governments should be afraid of their people.'