This is a guest post by Stephen Hoffman
The last time I checked the body is my own property, so the state shouldn’t dictate to me how I live in their pursuit of the perfect lifestyle to produce the perfect body. I don’t believe that it is the job of the Government to regulate as many facets of our life as possible, as I don’t think those running it know best how to run the minutiae of every single part of all our lives. Nor, as I believe in freedom, do I believe they should have the power to do make choices on what I eat, drink, smoke or vape on my behalf. If I want rot my teeth by eating too much Haribo, because it helps maintain my energy levels and puts a smile on the face, I’ll take the personal responsibility of the downsides it causes. If I have one too many cakes, I’ll bring forward that early morning run I keep putting off. What I object to is being told that because I’m eating sugary or fatty food I need to be parented by the state. Jamie Oliver, one of the leaders in the public health movement, thinks we need a tax on sugar, forgetting that many sugary items are already taxed through VAT.
The demonisation of sugar by the public health movement is a reminder of how they seek to deprive us of the power to make our own decisions based on personal choice and the willingness to take responsibility for our own actions. They’d rather our brains were a blank canvas which they could easily indoctrinate into their way of thinking, so we can live healthy but boring lifestyles, rather than showing the merest sign of thinking for ourselves when it comes to eating, drinking, smoking and vaping.
Sadly, the concept of personal responsibility has come under constant threat from the nanny state, which is transforming into the archetypical bully telling people what they can and cannot do. With smoking banned in cars and pubs, plain packaging for tobacco products, minimum alcohol pricing in Scotland and the soon to be enforced ban on vaping in public places in Wales, the idea that adults are accountable for their own actions and choices is under threat.
Conservatives for Liberty, whose Parliamentary Liaison Officer I am proud to be, believe in in minimum state interference into our lives. Therefore, we are holding a lobby evening Forgive us our Trespasses: The moral case for choice and responsibility taking place this Wednesday 25 November 2015 at 6.30pm in the Houses of Parliament. It will be a chance to hear from MPs standing up and being counted in the fight against a health lobby which would deny us the freedom to choose and take responsibility for our own actions. Furthermore, it will highlight how we can work together to persuade as many people in power as possible that we should be treated like responsible adults who can make our own decisions and, as a matter of principle, should be free to live our lives as we wish. If we don’t act now, what started as a ban on smoking in pubs, will lead to sweets like Haribo being sold from the top shelf in plain packages, wonderful market based solutions for encouraging people to move away from smoking tobacco, like e-cigarettes will be regulated to death, cigarettes will be all but illegal and alcohol only able to be afforded by the rich and covered in health warnings.
So, if you are fed up of the seemingly incessant, unnecessary and unwarranted meddling into your life that means you are not left alone to freely weigh up risk and pleasure to yourself when it comes to eating, drinking, smoking and vaping, then come along to Conservatives for Liberty’s lobby evening tomorrow by emailing me at [email protected] .
Stephen Hoffman is the Parliamentary Liaison Officer for Conservatives for Liberty. He tweets at @thehoff102