The Sketch: Stop smoking, no sex, eat healthily. Tell that to our beloved MPs

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The Independent Online

The thrust of Dr Reid's agenda yesterday was fags, fat and fornication. People - particularly young people - are smoking too much, eating too much, shagging too much. It's shortening their lives and, by some perversion of the democratic process, this has come to concern the Government (see below).

The thrust of Dr Reid's agenda yesterday was fags, fat and fornication. People - particularly young people - are smoking too much, eating too much, shagging too much. It's shortening their lives and, by some perversion of the democratic process, this has come to concern the Government (see below).

In the most annoying statement of the year we were briefed on the latest initiative blizzard to stop it all. "The public" is getting a new telephone, online and digital TV information service to help it "make healthy choices". It is getting a "whole school programme" to put "health" on the curriculum. "Hooray! Antonia got a B in Chlamydia!" "The public" is also going to be intensively advised not "to catch... unwanted pregnancy" (that'll work, it always has before). And it is being provided with "NHS health trainers". A billion quid is to be spent on officials (possibly armed) whose job will be to patrol sink estates yelling: "Stop stuffing your gob with burgers you useless gutsers! Oi! Knee tremblers! No! And put that fag out!" Like rich people have. Why should Elton John be the only one to benefit?

Dr Reid told us that new opportunities were creating growing inequalities and more casual sexual relations (heckle: "Speak for yourself!"). He went on: "In our consultation, people made clear they often want to change but lack accessible help and advice." He had several unbearable remarks for us. "We need everybody to have the chance to make healthy choices - not just the better-off."

How completely demoralised, subjugated, disinherited can the British people be? Our culture is awash with accessible help. Advice is everywhere. How can such active, enabling governments have created such bandy-legged dependency?

The Tory performance (let alone attendance) was lamentable. Make that pitiful. Make that floggable. They should be stripped to the heels, tied to a grating and flogged. All of them. Whether they like it or not.

Because Oliver Letwin has failed to make "the moral case for low taxation" the Tories don't have any base from which to attack this sort of thing. They whine that more should be done, that they'd do more, that doing more is nannying but that they'd do more anyway.

Dr Reid said: "A child born in Manchester lives at least seven years less than a child born in Chelsea." What is the Tory answer to this nauseating rubbish?

When socialism has socialised health - you (I'm talking to you!) have a duty not to be fat, not to smoke, not to contract sexual diseases. Your selfish behaviour directly affects others. You take up scarce resources. You are a nuisance. Others pay for your treatment so they have a right to tell you how to go about your life. Actually, they have a duty. Very soon the Government will be (what's the most ridiculous thing you can think of?) ... demanding the right to give teenage girls compulsory contraceptive injections? What, they are already? There you are then.

simoncarr75@hotmail.com

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