Saturday, 27 March 2010

Fair Comment

Christine Odone, writing in the Telegraph:

"A letter to the Money section of The Times today from a reader exposes our weird nanny state. When he tried to put some money into his financial spread betting account using his debit card, his bank refused to clear the transaction. They regard  spread betting as gambling, they told him, so they won’t let him indulge in such behaviour.

That’s not all. My husband went to a gastropub yesterday for lunch. (I won’t embarrass it by giving you the name and address, suffice it to say it was in west London.) He ordered a burger, and asked for it to be cooked “medium rare”. The waiter shook his head solemnly: “I’m afraid, sir, you cannot have it medium rare.” Husband looked apoplectic and asked why ever not. “The risk of food poisoning is greater. We don’t want you suing us.”

And finally: the lovely oak bench that sat outside Fernandez and Wells cafe, one of my favourite places in Soho, suddenly disappeared. When I asked why, Cindy Wells, wife of one of the proprietors, explained that Westminster Council had banned the bench because of the mothers pushing buggies down the pavement. (How many mothers, you may ask, push buggies down pavements in Soho?) The bench, according to the Council, risked making the mums’progress difficult and potentially even dangerous.

How do you explain this nanny state interventionism thriving cheek to jowl with the cult of the individual?  The same culture that won’t let you eat rare burgers and  sit on a bench outside a cafe promotes the kind of unchecked individual autonomy that believes euthanasia (death as the ultimate consumer choice) should be legalised, marriage vows are too binding and abortion is a lifestyle choice.

We seem to live in the worst of all possible worlds: the statism of totalitarian regimes and the selfishness of unfettered capitalism."

You mean to tell me a bank can dictate on what you spend your money, money you earned and they didn't? That you cannot have a meal cooked for you, one for which you are paying, and cannot decide how you want it cooked? That mothers pushing pushchairs are too blind to see a bench in their way? And we are supposed to be a free people and thus able to make decisions for ourselves?


If this state of affairs is the politician's definition of democracy then I have a message for them - not one such politician will ever get my vote! It can only be hoped that millions of other voters feel likewise


Scott said...

As a UKIP member, I'm no lover of H&S or the nanny state, but have to sympathise with the pub here. Medium rare beef is perfectly safe to eat as a joint or a steak, but medium rare beefburgers are a potentially deadly source of e-coli. Re-formed meat products like sausages and beefburgers should always be properly cooked.

Someone who wants to eat them undercooked is free to do so, but should not expect others to take the risk with him.

Love your blog though.

Witterings From Witney said...


Thank you kind sir! On the burgers - you pay, your choice. Guy wasn't forcing anyone to eat them for him.