Street Theatre

There has been some reportage, and blog coverage, recently of remarks made by Public Health Minister Anne Milton.

As said Minister was last seen on this blog looking longingly at your organs I thought I’d investigate and see how she’d managed to put her foot into it this time.

The answer, somewhat surprisingly, is that she didn’t. At least not to any great extent. Her remarks came in a Westminster Hall debate on May 3rd on the subject of Childhood Obesity at which she, as Minister responsible, was present to respond. Towards the end of her response she talked about her recent junket to the World Health Organisation sponsored ‘First Global Ministerial Conference on Healthy Lifestyles and Noncommunicable Diseases’ held in Moscow on the 28th and 29th April.

Passing over such questions as how noncommunicable diseases and healthy lifestyles are in any way related and why politicians feel the need to have an international conference on the subject (further documentation is available online for those who are interested) the comments in question are these:

…the Minister of Health for Columbia talked about a scheme they have there. On Sundays they close certain streets so that everybody can play in them. That is an outstanding idea. Before constituents e-mail to complain about their streets closing, I should say that I accept it would not work everywhere. It could, however, work in some places.

And that was it. A silly, unenforceable and completely impractical idea to be sure but hardly a proposal or anything binding. Certainly nothing worth getting overly excited about.

No, the real revelation, although it seemed to pass unnoticed by hacks who either don’t care or can’t be bothered to report anything beyond trivia, came earlier on in her remarks when she said, on the subject of food labelling:

The regulations surrounding front-of-pack labelling are an EU competence.

A government minster for once admitting that an issue is out of their hands? We can applaud, for once, some honesty by a politician in admitting that, as a result of the actions of all governments and Prime Ministers since 1972, they have surrendered their ability to set policy in at least one area to their masters in Brussels. Now all they have to do is admit everything else that they and their predecessors have given up.

Even if they do, what are the chances of the MSM reporting it rather than some piece of trivia?

I wouldn’t hold my breath if I were you.

One Comment

  1. WitteringWitney says:

    Ta for link MG.

    The point that I would make is that any politician needs to think before opening mouth so that their remarks are not taken out of context. Agreed the MSM did just that, but my point remains. My comments about the suitability of Anne Milton being a politician and government minister remain as written, although to be fair she is not the only numpty in the HoC.

    As to thinking that the MSM would report facts about EU Competences (which in a roundabout way Cameron does everytime he is questioned on bail-outs) really would be a red letter day.