Thursday, May 22, 2008

It's for your own good

It would be unfair to claim that the Labour party is the only one which will attempt to micro-manage those aspects of our lives we can't be trusted to conduct correctly. Boris Johnson, for instance, has decreed that drunken yobbery will cease if no one is allowed to drink on the underground, while the Scottish National Party, for instance, has just unveiled a plan to ban the display of cigarettes. The latter, especially, seems an eminently sensible measure. If there's one thing you can say for certain about nicotine cravings, after all, it's that they are essentially visual in nature. So let no cigarette offend the gaze, and soon no one will ever want to smoke again.

I've no doubt that these 'tough but sensible' measures will prove inspirational to politicians of all stripes across the UK. I predict that we can expect some of the following policy initiatives in the months to come.
  • All lads' magazines will be urged sign up to a voluntary code whereby all issues featuring more than one female model in her underwear will carry a double-page picture of Harriet Harman wagging her finger and delivering a message warning of the dangers of objectifying women. Harman insists the move is a compromise which, if accepted, will stave off the need for legislation.

  • In a bid to tackle obesity, lottery funds will be earmarked to buy up discounted chocolate bars to keep them out of the hands of the nation's fatties. The bars will instead, be melted down to form a giant sculpture spelling out the words 'Thou Shalt Not' which is to be placed on the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square. Months of constant rain eventually see the project abandoned.

  • Following the launch of a Tory policy document entitled 'Somebody Should Do Something About This', Labour announces plans to add the DNA of all teenagers caught smoking, drinking or engaging in inappropriate sexual behaviour to a Potential Drain on NHS Resources Database.

  • Three months later ministers are forced to apologise for 'errors' in the database which mean that every parent in the country is sent details of their childs' drinking, smoking and sexual habits. Unexpectedly positive coverage of this development in the Daily Mail prompts Gordon Brown to announce that he will ignore an expert review concluding that the policy breaches human rights legislation and instead give parents regular updates about what their offspring are up to.

  • Schools secretary Ed Balls unveils anti-childhood obesity strategy in which schools will be encouraged to hold special assemblies in which overweight children will be questioned about their dietary and exercise habits in front of their classmates in the hope the other children will encourage them to lose weight.

  • Two weeks later a hastily drafted anti-bullying strategy is unveiled in an emergency Commons debate. Gordon Brown tours the nation's TV studios to insist the strategy had been planned all along.

  • Brown marks his first anniversary in power by announcing a 'Review of Reviews' which concludes that plans to force all foreigners to carry ID cards before buying alcohol will cost £2.5bn. The resulting furore over the decision to fund the measure with a 10p tax on the price of alcohol sees chancellor Alistair Darling announce emergency measures to buy every British adult in the country a pint as compensation.



Blogger Glamourpuss said...

So do you reckon Boris will grant London Underground workers 'stop and search' powers? Sadly, not all booze comes in cut-glass decanters - or so I'm told...


5:02 pm  

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