labour’s youth

1 Nov

According to The Guardian, Labour is planning to broaden the scope of its 10 eco-camps eco-towns by introducing fitness regimes for the occupants.

The health secretary, Alan Johnson, is convinced that two great challenges facing Britain – climate change and obesity – are linked.

He believes it makes sense that 10 eco towns already being planned by the government should now be built and designed to confront the UK’s obesity crisis, drawing on pioneering schemes already producing results in Australia, France and Finland.

Mr Johnson wants Britain to follow the example of 10 French towns which have focused on young children and seen substantial cuts in obesity. The initiatives in France led to the proportion of overweight boys aged seven to 12 falling from 19% to 10% and in the girls from 10% to 7%.

He is convinced only a comprehensive rather than the current fragmented approach will work.

Did anyone else have an escallating sense of foreboding when they read that? It’s true that excellent town-planning and architecture can enhance the lives of a city’s inhabitants. Clean swimming lakes, piazzas, safe parks and pedestrianised streets can all encourage people to exercise and spend time away from the TV. But doesn’t the words, “Regular weigh-ins for children starting as they leave primary school, including the recording of body mass indexes,” give you the creeps?

Do I really want the government regularly weighing my children and making judgements? Isn’t the government seriously overstepping a boundary of what’s acceptable and what’s not? Labour’s record of manipulating society, through a series of increasingly authoritarian measures, has hardly been a roaring success. What makes them think this time would be different?

I’m all for trying measures that have succeeded elsewhere, and there are many benefits in challenging obesity, but isn’t this just going to another big news story that goes precisely nowhere, yet greatly increases the stranglehold of the government on our lives and our private information?

So what if the French, the Fins and the Aussies have pulled this off? They all have a track record of delivering on projects like this. This government, our Labour one, certainly doesn’t. This project will be expensive, intrusive, and will fail.

Advertisements

2 Responses to “labour’s youth”

  1. elvie@hotmail.com November 1, 2007 at 3:25 pm #

    “Regular weigh-ins for children…”Yes, it does sound rather alarming.I think the rest of it sounds quite positive but I don’t hold out any hope that it’s anything more than political rhetoric in response to this moments hot topic – childhood obesity (because of the Foresight report).

  2. elvie@hotmail.com November 1, 2007 at 3:25 pm #

    “Regular weigh-ins for children…”Yes, it does sound rather alarming.I think the rest of it sounds quite positive but I don’t hold out any hope that it’s anything more than political rhetoric in response to this moments hot topic – childhood obesity (because of the Foresight report).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s