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.