Not content with proposing to rob public sector pensions to build "social" housing, the Liberal Democrats have opened up a new front in the attack on personal choice and freedom:
The plans to levy charges on drinks like Coke, Pepsi and others will be debated at the party’s annual conference and could become Government policy, party officials said.
A motion, to be debated on the Sunday 23 September, says the party should call for “fiscal measures such as the taxation of heavily sugared drinks”. The motion is "quite likely" to be passed, officials said, although it could be amended
That's right folks, our Liberal Democrat partners are starting the 'denormalisation' process for pop. And at the front is this woman:
Prior to her elevation,Baroness Parminter worked as a freelance consultant advising charities and companies (including Lloyd’s, the City of London Corporation, Mencap & Age Concern) on charity issues, campaigning and corporate social responsibility. From 1998 to 2004 she was the Chief Executive of the conservation charity the Campaign to Protect Rural England. Between 1990 and 1998 she worked for the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, rising from public relations officer to become Head of Public Affairs. She also chaired the Campaign for the Protection of Hunted Animals, which helped to ban hunting, between 1997 and 1998.
A professional nannying fussbucket if ever there was one. And quite prepared to make stuff up to support her unpleasant, illiberal ideas:
“I am concerned by the timebomb that we have of obesity – particularly among children; we have 500,000 children who have liver disease because of obesity."
This is a lie. A complete untruth. Indeed, if the good Baroness shut her mouth for a second and engaged her brain, she'd work out that liver disease would - on these figures- be the only childhood illness! The figure comes from a (pretty questionable) claim by Professor Martin Lombard, National Clinical Director for Liver Disease, in July last year:
From this sample of two year groups, Professor Lombard has estimated that for all children between 4 and 14 there are half a million who could be at risk of developing fatty liver disease either now or in the future.
This is based on the revelation that around 22% of reception children were overweight or obese and about a third of Year 6 children were "above a healthy weight" (whatever that means). More to the point the explosion in obesity simply isn't taking place. Here's the statistics from the National Child Measurement Programme:
In Reception, the proportion of obese children (9.4%) was lower than in 2006/07 (9.9%). The proportion of overweight and obese children combined (22.6%) was also lower than in 2006/07 (22.9%). The proportion of underweight children (1.0%) was again lower than in 2006/07 (1.3%).
In Year 6, the proportion of obese children (19.0%) was higher than in 2006/07 (17.5%). The proportion of overweight and obese children combined (33.4%) was also higher than in 2006/07 (31.6%).The proportion of underweight children (1.3%) was lower than in 2006/07 (1.5%).
I'm not saying we shouldn't be concerned about obese children - being very overweight is pretty unhealthy - but the figures tell us this isn't a worsening problem and may even be a diminishing problem. What the Baroness Parminter's of this world are doing is judging other people's choices as wrong - she doesn't approve of fizzy drinks just as she didn't approve of hunting and doesn't like the thought of working class people being able to live in the countryside.
How on earth she can lay claim to the title "liberal" defeats me - surely it breaks the trade descriptions act?
What she is is a nannying fussbucket.