Monday, July 7, 2008

UK Minister calls for Children to be locked in schools, forced to eat only approved food

From the UK Daily Mail:

Children should be locked inside school grounds to stop them buying unhealthy food from shops and takeaways, a minister said yesterday.

The proposal comes amid new evidence that the Jamie Oliver-inspired drive to make school kitchens offer more nutritious meals is being shunned by pupils in favour of junk food.

And, later on in the story, there's this:

Virtually all the children who were allowed out bought food from local shops, mainly fizzy drinks, chocolate, sweets, crisps, cakes, biscuits and chips.

Some things, you just can't make up.

Obviously in some people's minds the freedom of individual choice only extends to approved choices. If those in power don't approve of individuals choices then those individuals must be forced behave. So much for freedom.

Interestingly, the real problem may not be "health food":

The researchers found it was not the healthy menus in school canteens that were deterring the pupils so much as long queues, poor facilities and high prices.

They said schools considering keeping children on the premises ought to address these issues first, a finding backed by Oliver last night. 'If you look at what's going on in schools where the catering staff have got the right support and where a "dining culture" is developing, that's where it's working,' he said.

'But there's a big divide between these schools and the many where there are still problems.'

Ah, but why improve services when you can restrict individual choice?

After all, real improvements cost money. Much better to just force people to behave the way you want, rather than actually attempting to entice them to your way of thinking.

Or, perhaps, there's another option. Restrict the ability of those in government to interfere in our lives. Then improving services becomes a more attractive option, rather than forced lock ins.

Of course, that would require the governed to take some interest in their government.


TchoTChoWrangler said...

You've been sourcing from the Daily Mail again haven't you Russ. I've told you its simply not reliable.

Right lets get this right most schools do not allow pupils to leave their premises during school hours true but then they never have.

For as long as I can remember and I asked my Dad (retired head teacher) he said it never happened when he was a sprog, nor as far back as when he was doing his teacher training (think flower power, peace, love, etc)

The only exception to this is generally kids who have home meals and sixth formers (17-18 year olds in last year of school) any child leaving school premises requires a permission slip signed by the school. Else they are considered truant.

As to long queues, poor facilities and high prices. bollox given the choice most kids will eat burgers and chips everyday, infact a diet of mainly fizzy drinks, chocolate, sweets, crisps, cakes, biscuits and chips would seem entirely acceptable to a child.

Note we are talking schools and children - we're not talking adults here freedom and choice is a good thing as long as we're talking people who can take informed choices.

Any child who doesn't want to eat a schoold dinner can a.) bring a packed lunch b.) eat at home.

Please stop using the Daily Mail there are some well informed right wing and Libertarian papers in this country. The Mail however is not one of them.

BTW it ages you terribly the newspaper target audience is the blue rinse brigade (over 60's)

Rus said...

Frankly, the Daily Mail seems a bit colorful, but sources for the UK are a bit limited over here.

Now, the article does go on to mention that it's a proposed measure, not current policy. That people would even consider such a measure is disturbing to me, which I hope came through in the post.

Any suggestions for a replacement source?

TchoTChoWrangler said...

I agree it would be disturbing if we were talking about adults, but we're talking about kids, who in general terms aren't allowed to leave school anyway.

Its a crap idea anyway as any parent will tell you, the kid will just miss school lunch and head straight to the chippy as soon as their out the gates.

Other sources:

Here's the Times (center right establishment)take on the subject:

The Guardian (Leftish tendencies)

Their search seems broken so I can't find their coverage of this story.

The Observer is the Guardian's Sunday newspaper.

The independant (Supposedly no political slant)

The Telegraph (right wing /establishment)

and as always the BBC arguably leftist (its run by the arty lovies) but the current governemtn would probably disagree.

Here is a rough guide to British newspapers as taken from the BBC TV series "Yes Prime Minister"

Hacker: Don't tell me about the press. I know exactly who reads the papers: the Daily Mirror is read by people who think they run the country; The Guardian is read by people who think they ought to run the country; The Times is read by people who actually do run the country; the Daily Mail is read by the wives of the people who run the country; the Financial Times is read by people who own the country; the Morning Star is read by people who think the country ought to be run by another country; and the The Daily Telegraph is read by people who think it is.

Sir Humphrey: Prime Minister, what about the people who read The Sun?
Bernard: Sun readers don't care who runs the country, as long as she's got big tits.

Rus said...

Great quote there... makes one want to quote from the Sun a bit more ;)