Whatever happened to personal responsibility – by Philip Davies MP

portrait-philipdavies4.jpgToday has been a typical day of catching up on paperwork, being in the chamber and finding out more information on sex education which I have been working for sometime.
The day ended on an interesting note though; being invited to take part in a debate next week on whether to extend the advertising ban on so called junk food on TV to tackle child obesity. As somebody who detests the nanny state this was an offer I couldn’t refuse!
When politicians are given a problem their solution tends to include 2 ingredients: 1) they have to be seen to be doing something and 2) what they propose doesn’t offend anyone. This is why politicians propose things like junk food bans to deal with childhood obesity. It fits the criteria perfectly. However I worked in marketing for ASDA before entering Parliament and I can promise you such a ban will make no difference at all to obesity. Marketing is chiefly about promoting a brand. When ASDA advertises it doesn’t expect people to leap off the sofa to make an extra visit to the supermarket. It rather hopes that next time you go you will choose ASDA rather than Tesco. So it is with things like chocolate bars and burger outlets. When Cadbury sponsored Coronation Street how many of you honestly switched off the TV there and then to go to the local shop to buy an extra Dairy Milk?
I am afraid that the nanny state is out of control. What happened to individual responsibility? I am fat and I know that if I keep eating chips and crisps in large volumes I will get fatter. That is my choice and a ban on advertising will make any difference at all to that. I eat it because I like it not because it is advertised or because I don’t know it is unhealthy.
No doubt the next step on the nanny state escalator will be to force fish and chip shop owners to not serve fat people! Don’t laugh; you heard it here first! 


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