Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Brown tells us not waste food, and to wash hands after going to the toilet

Gordon Brown has decided to lecture me not to waste food. This is good advice if he was my mum, but actually he isn't and while there is nothing wrong with what he said, there is plenty wrong with the fact that with everything else going on he felt the need to say it. It is not the job of the Prime Minister to attempt to micromanage the habits of the nation and to even attempt to do so shows an astonishing level of detachment from reality and a disturbing level of control-freakery. Hang on though; what if there is some serious policy reason why this should suddenly leap to the top of the political priority tree? We have heard the portentous phrase 'Food Security' for example. Maybe we shouldn't be wasting food because one day there might be a shortage? Or is it that wasting all of this food means a vast environmental footprint? Unfortunately for Brown it's a big no to both. Most of our food is either home-grown or comes from the EU. So excepting a general European war we are probably all right. As for the wasted energy, all of those uneaten chips don't add up to much when compared with UK energy consumption. What is important is not Food Security; it is Energy Security, because food production is essentially the process of turning energy into foodstuffs. So, rising energy prices mean that food costs more in the UK, and it means that people in the poorest countries starve. Gordon Brown is, if you remember, the man who raised taxes on North Sea oil exploration and the man whose government prevaricated on Nuclear power for a decade. So, if we have a problem with energy security then he has contributed to it, and if that means a problem with food security then he should have joined the dots some time ago.

So, don't try to make out it is my fault if I don't clean my plate.

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