Garth George: Beware decrees from little dictators about what to eat

The time is coming, I reckon, when we'll all be able just to sit back and let other people make our decisions for us - people like politicians, academics, so-called health professionals, and those who declare themselves "experts" in all sorts of fields.

By that time and the way things are going it will be sooner rather than later - we will all have been reduced to the lowest common denominator and the opinions, no matter how absurd, of the few will rule the conduct of the many.

Personal choice will be a thing only the elderly remember, and the only excitement in life will be the periodic, though regular, pronouncements of the latest doomsayers.

But while I still have the choice, I'm going to tell you that I'm fed up to the back teeth with the crap that's flying around about the latest fashionable obsessions - obesity, global warming and fireworks.

Rebuttal of the climate change/global warming nonsense I'll leave to thoughtful and trustworthy professionals like Chris de Freitas, who, among others, is wide awake to the rort being perpetrated on mankind by the well-funded boffins who tell us that all the ice is going to melt and flood the world.

I know that's codswallop, and every time I see a rainbow I have it confirmed for me. It tells me that God is keeping the promise he made to Noah after the world-drowning flood thousands of years ago recorded in Genesis.

"I establish my covenant with you," God told Noah. "Never again will all life be cut off by the waters of a flood; never again will there be a flood to destroy the Earth ... I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the Earth. Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between me and all living creatures of every kind on the Earth."

So I'll keep on pumping gas into my four-litre Ford, the home fires will keep on burning, newspapers, magazines and books will remain my reading of choice ... and the doom merchants can prognosticate until the cows stop farting while I laugh in their faces.

As for fireworks, I knew it wouldn't be long before some dim-witted MP decided there ought to be a law, and the booby prize goes to Marion Hobbs, who has placed a bill seeking to ban the sale of fireworks to individuals in the ballot for members' bills.

All we can hope for is that it never gets drawn because there is always a danger that those who think they know what's best for the rest of us, among whom socialist politicians always feature prominently, might just pass it into law.

And, again, the vast responsible majority will become victims of the irresponsible few.

But of all the latest fads to give me a pain in the puku, it's the naive ninnies who are blaming obesity on food, and in their error doing their damnedest to restrict what we eat.

It was all over page 2 of the front section of the Weekend Herald last Saturday, both the bad news and the good.

The bad news is that the Ministry of Health and district health boards have set themselves up as arbiters of what we should and shouldn't eat; the good news is that the reaction of their staff and the public is less than enthusiastic.

Which shows that at least most of us still have the gumption to tell these obnoxious busybodies, in our actions, if not in words that we've had a gutsful.

There was, in the weekend's articles, a most interesting contrast.

At the Waitemata Health Board, we are told, the decision to replace sugared drinks in vending machines with diet versions was not without staff resistance, which led the board's boss man, Dwayne Crombie, to take a swipe at the resisters.

"I have been most disappointed," he wrote in a staff newsletter, "by the abusive comments from a small number of our so-called health professionals ... directed at some of our staff who implemented this change ... We can do without people like that at Waitemata Health."

Shows what we're up against, that bureaucratic arrogance which quite plainly says: "We know best, so you do what you're told."

Now contrast that with what's going on at law firm Chapman Tripp. Its chief executive Alistair Carruthers said employers had the responsibility to provide healthy options but what people chose to buy could not be controlled.

"I would find it very intrusive," he said, "for anybody to regulate what we put in our vending machines."

I take heart from comments like that, but what can we do to persuade the medical meddlers that it isn't food that causes obesity but the people who eat too much of what's not good for them? Even our journalists have been conned. They rabbit on endlessly about "unhealthy" food, which isn't unhealthy at all, except when over-indulged in.

It's not well-salted pies, hamburgers, pizzas, fried chicken, sausages and fish'n'chips; or sugary soft drinks, chocolate and other lollies; or large dollops of cream on rich puddings that give me a guts ache.

It's those arrogant, interfering little dictators who insist on trying to tell me I shouldn't eat what have, for a lifetime, been among my staple foods - taken in moderation, of course.

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