Bans R Us

The age of the Government ban

How interesting it is to read that smokers are not the only Citizens left dizzy by the lack of logic in modern Government thinking. Today we learn that the great talking shop, The Welsh Assembly, have announced that vending machines dispensing soft drinks, crisps and chocolates in NHS Hospitals are to be removed within six months.
Assembly orders hospital choc ban
The report stated that “Health Minister, Ms Hart said the Assembly Government would work with major NHS vending firms to find ways of introducing healthier food and drink in their machines, with clear definitions of what will be allowed”.
A regular patient at Llandough Hospital for lung and orthopaedic treatment, said: “It is a matter of personal choice. Banning things like drinks machines shows that the nation is in danger of becoming a police state.”
I agree that such Health fanaticism runs contrary to the principles of a free society where lifestyle choices should be left to the individual and not dictated by an ever-intruding nanny state. Will the public be consulted before clear definitions of what will be allowed are determined?
As a lawyer I object most strongly to having my personal choices limited by Politicians whose many ill thought out initiatives publicised in recent days / weeks leads me to call into question the logic of their own thought processes.
A little additional research reveals that these ideas did not originate on British soil at all. This type of state interference has it’s origins in the European Union. For example our friends in the EU are concerned with. Health Determinants: Lifestyle . The EU claim that
In view of the worrying rise in obesity prevalence rates in the European Union (EU), particularly among children, the Council calls on the Member States to take action to promote healthy diets and physical activity. In particular, member states are asked to focus on Tobacco, Alcohol, Nutrition and physical activity
Having already banned workplace smoking and increased the taxes on alcohol we now find that British pubs are closing at a rate of 27 per week. Source
I ask:- How long will it be before the EU puppeteers stimulate a British Politician to announce an initiative that requires us all to start our working day with 30 minutes of star-jumps, press-ups and skipping? Perhaps lawyers will be required to run up and down their office stairs whilst carrying a couple of heavy volumes of Halbury’s Laws of England.

Martin Hensman M.Inst.L.Ex, LLB (Hons)

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