From the Salon des ABC refuses.
The good news just keeps on coming. First there appeared on the news yesterday an item on finally considering a ‘fat tax’ and this morning by no less than the President of the United States, Mr Barack Obama, the support for same sex marriage.
It is only a matter of time before some kind of disincentive for junk food will be introduced in Australia. The rumblings by health experts on the costs of obesity far outweighing the benefits of profits by the junk food corporations will finally have to be acknowledged. Why is it that so many bad things are allowed to continue? It seems that nothing must stand in the way of ‘freedom of choice’, even if it is killing us.
A few months ago the proposed legislation to limit gambling on poker machines was so watered down it became useless. Once again, the shouting supporters of ‘free choice’ were the loudest and concerns for the tens of thousands of families’ lives continuing to be ruined, were side-lined. One of the most depressing sights would have to be a stroll through those poker machine dens in clubs. There they all are, at 10am, queuing up outside the clubs, including many of the overweight and in total silence desperately feeding money into a clanging and blinking machine. The answer by the club industry,” it supports many of our youth sporting clubs and without the revenue from those poker machines we would also not be able to supply entertainment and cheap meals to our members, many of whom are retired pensioners”
That’s just so great, isn’t it? We support the good by first allowing and encouraging something bad! In any case, if those sporting youth clubs are so good, why are our young increasingly suffering from being overweight and becoming victims of diabetes? Does revenue from gambling and eating junk food go hand in hand? Yes, it does. Both are the extreme sides of allowing unfettered ‘freedom of choice’. How come though that in some countries they do act on obesity and excessive gambling? Denmark and the UK are some of the countries having introduced a brake on the consumption of fat by increasing the price of fat. Excessive gambling and availability of gambling venues have also been clamped down in many countries.
Any government worth its salt ought to consider the good for society, even if at times, it means restricting this silly ‘choice’ above all mantra. It took years to get cigarettes on the undesirable social benefits list, even though it meant restricting the societal exercise in the holy cow of ‘choice’.
Why not put gambling and unhealthy foods on the same list as smoking. Restrict the number of poker machines with maximum 10 cent limits and decrease the cost or subsidize good foods. Put a good solid fat tax in place. Increase revenue and slim the population. A win, win for all. Make carrots and cabbage machines freely available at clubs and sporting venues. Replace coke machines at our hospitals, schools, center link offices and police clubs with plain natural water or freshly squeezed fruit juice dispensers.
The freedom of choice has also reached a ridiculous level in our media. It doesn’t seem to matter how people are being demolished, attacked, denigrated, insulted or slandered; nothing must stand in the way of freedom of expression. It’s freedom, in at least the UK, included the invasion of privacy by journalists happily hacking away into people’s private lives.
The single most outstanding exclusion in all this lovely freedom in Australia is its obstinate stance against same sex marriage. By hook and by crook (more crook) its opposition to same sex granting of a marriage certificate seems to be an almost impossible obstacle to overcome. How odd, that a simple ‘freedom of this choice’ is so difficult to allow. What is it? How come that when it comes to equality involving a union of two people that might or might not include sexual union as well, seems to remain a barrier when it comes to marrying. We allow relations between same sex people but it is the recognition into a registered marriage that seems to remain a puzzling and seemingly unsolvable conundrum for our unmarried Prime minister to accept…
Anyone for a cabbage? Your shout.