It comes as little surprise that the Labour Party front bench works on a one-week basis, with little regard to consistency of message or coherent policy making, but today’s policy of the day (doubtless dreamt-up this morning over a bowl of granola and grapefruit) couldn’t help but make this author chortle.
Last year, this blog featured a defence of the Government’s so-called “Pasty Tax”. In addition to the various good tax-economy reasons for the proposed budgetary measure; taxing pies, pasties, and sausage rolls made good sense as they’re generally bad for you and their consumption ought to be discouraged. Of course, the two Eds clearly disagreed – visiting a Greggs to highlight the fatty, salty, pastry goodness of a good meat pie.
How, therefore, does this square with Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham’s call, today, for unhealthy breakfast cereals to be banned? It is undoubtedly concerning that breakfast cereals targeted at children could contain as much as 40% sugar. Burnham’s proposal (which isn’t a ban, but a modest cap of 30% on the amount of sugar in a breakfast cereal) is a welcome contribution to the debate as to how to tackle the UK’s woeful health record. But perhaps Mr Burnham should have a word with his bosses before they next get a greasy whiff of an opportunity to score a cheap win over the Government by endorsing the virtues of the foods that are high in salt and almost 25% fat.