European Union

After Brexit, British Eaters Buried in Red Tape

Prime Minister Boris Johnson embraces the nanny state after recovering from COVID-19.

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Last week, Great Britain's Department of Health and Social Care announced sweeping plans to combat obesity by "empowering adults and children to live healthier lives." 

"Many people have tried to lose weight but struggle in the face of endless prompts to eat—on TV and on the high (main) street," the health department announcement states. "In supermarkets, special offers and promotions tempt us to buy foods that are not on the shopping list but are hard to resist. When we eat out, we have little information about how many calories are in the food we are offered. We are biologically programmed to eat and when we are bombarded by advertisements and promotions for food—it's hard to eat healthily, especially if we are busy or tired or stressed."

To combat food discounts and other choices British adults are currently free and happy to exercise, Prime Minister Boris Johnson will "empower" them by restricting or eliminating those choices. His administration's absurd plan is epic in scope. It includes a new, subjective "traffic light" label for packaged foods; mandatory calorie labeling on restaurant food and alcohol beverages; banning buy-one-get-one (BOGO) foods that are high in fat, sugar, and salt (HFSS); restricting physical and online access to those foods; banning HFSS food advertising on television before 9 p.m.; and moving to ban online advertising of HFSS foods.

The introduction of this veritable nanny state starter kit suggests Johnson wasn't listening when I cautioned in early February that Great Britain was at a regulatory crossroads. Of course, I don't know the British leader. But as Johnson led the country into Brexit—the portmanteau that signaled Britain's exit from the European Union—I wrote a column urging Britain and Johnson to choose more freedom and less regulation of the country's food system and to cast off the E.U.'s abiding and nonsensical love of seemingly any and all food regulations.

At the time, that seemed possible. That was before Johnson, a longtime critic of exactly the sort of food policies he's now championing, had his come-to-asparagus moment after contracting COVID-19. Johnson, who admits he was overweight at the time he fell ill, was placed in an intensive care unit and nearly died. Since he left the ICU and recovered, Johnson has been eating healthier and taking his dog out for jogs. Good for him. Experts say COVID-19 death rates are higher in people with underlying health conditions, including obesity.

And Britons are obese. As last week's announcement notes, one-third of British primary-school children and two-thirds of adults are obese or overweight. Independent of COVID-19, those high rates cost lives and money and hurt productivity.

But Johnson's decision to turn his newfound personal dietary choices into a national dietary policy reeks of meddling, and—as I've explained time and again, citing research to support my case—isn't likely to have any impact on obesity rates. That fact doesn't appear to matter.

"The British prime minister once burnished his libertarian credentials by decrying sin taxes on producers of unhealthy snacks and sugary drinks, but the coronavirus has changed him," Bloomberg News reported last month. "The food industry should prepare itself for the consequences."

So too should consumers, who will likely see fewer choices and higher prices because of Johnson's new policies. 

Johnson's dramatic food-policy reversal could help kill hopes Brexit will deliver on its promise. After all, one selling point of Brexit was that it would allow Britain to cast off the panoply of meddlesome E.U. food regulations. That, supporters argued, would make Britain more attractive to businesses, some of which Brexit leaders hoped would in turn relocate headquarters from the European continent to Britain. Instead, firms are fleeing Britain.

In my February column, I noted reports Johnson had declared war on the nanny state. Several months later, we know this much: If Johnson fought the nanny state, the nanny state won.

If Brexit's chief supporters—with Johnson chief among them—can't even be counted on to pass laws that distinguish Britain from the E.U., what really was the point of leaving the E.U. in the first place?  

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128 responses to “After Brexit, British Eaters Buried in Red Tape

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  2. We are biologically programmed to eat

    We are robots…incapable of living well…only choice is government control.

    1. If the government should not regulate addictive substances like sugar & fat that millions of years of hominid evolution has trained the mind and body to get as much of as one can to store for future us, aka feast, in the event of a future shortage, aka famine – Then the government needs to stop regulating against ALL addictive substances like heroin/meth/crack etc.

      1. Oop’s typo: “us” have been “use”.

        Is there a way to edit posts to fix typos?

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          1. The only change Reason has made to its comment section since 1998 (when I first discovered the place) is to add indenting to replies.

            1. The dream of the nineties is alive at Reason

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        4. Reasonoids have been begging for an edit function for untold ages. But then Reason revamped the comments section a while back. Not only did we not get an edit button, we lost the preview feature.
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          1. There used to be a calendar feature that made it easier to find previous articles too

      2. Now you sound more libertarian.

      3. What a unique insight you have.

        Oh wait – you’re just parroting back libertarian policies to, you know, *libertarians*.

        See: Choir, preaching to.

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  3. Are they going to ban fish and chips?

    1. They already banned serving them on newspaper.

    2. Bangers and Mash, Shepherd’s Pie? Now we know why they call them Brussel Sprouts.

      1. People piss on British food, but I love all those dishes.

        1. Before or after they piss on it?

          1. Trying to summon the squirrel?

        2. Then you’ll love steak-and-kidney pie.

        3. you’ve heard the joke:
          In heaven the engineers are German, the lovers are Italian, the cooks are French and the cops are British.
          In hell the engineers are French, the lovers are German, the cops are Italian and the cooks are British.

      2. People piss on British food, but I love all those dishes.

        1. I find the pissing to be more a side effect of the beer I drink with the food.

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  5. Oh, the humanity!

  6. I see the whole mask and social distancing thing was to protect the 0.5% of the population who could die from a virus so it was necessary to destroy jobs and businesses. But getting people to eat healthier is awful government interference given that ones odds of dying from heart disease and stroke are far greater than a puny wuhan viral strain.

    You can die on your feet or live in your knees.

    1. If it saves just one life….
      Speed limits to be set to 25 mph next.

      1. More like “Ban Cars!”

      2. Didn’t Remy do a song about this exact thing?

    2. Total false equivalence. I can choose what I eat, but I can’t choose not to be infected.

  7. “Johnson’s dramatic food-policy reversal could help kill hopes Brexit will deliver on its promise. After all, one selling point of Brexit was that it would allow Britain to cast off the panoply of meddlesome E.U. food regulations.”

    They wanted to raise barriers to things like immigration that they couldn’t do without Brussels’ permission before.

    The good news is that they can repeal bad regulations and bad actors by way of elections in their own country now. In the past, if these food laws had been inflicted on them by the EU, there wouldn’t have been anything they could do about it. Now they have the freedom to inflict stupid policies on themselves, but they have the freedom to revoke stupid policies, too.

    1. Possibly. European governments seem willing to admit fault and repeal stupid laws and regulations. Unlike The Land Of The Free where government is a one-way-ratchet that will always try harder and spend more money.

      1. My daughter has been drinking the Bernie Sanders kool aid lately, and she was giving me the litany of all the things people ought to get for free when she started talking about Sweden. I told her I would agree to socialized healthcare if she gave me free choice in schools, reduced taxes on corporations, massively decreased regulations and massive tax increases on the middle class.

        The latter bit really shocked her. She spent an hour trying to insist that she could somehow find tax revenues equal to 40% of GDP (which is Sweden’s level) by only taxing the rich- as the democrats have told her is possible.

        I of course didn’t convince her but it had her thinking.

        1. If it helps any, this is from Jan 2019, but not hard to update as an exercise for her….

          I added up the Forbes 400 on 30 Jan 2019. It came to $2.891T. Not even three trillion dollars, not even one year of the Federal budget, or three years’ deficit, even if you could confiscate all of it.

          And if you did confiscate all of it, it’s not Scrooge McDuck swimming pools full of gold and jewelry, or even cash, or sitting in bank accounts. It’s assets, investments: mostly stocks, bonds, businesses; some mansions, yachts, biz jets, Ferraris, and other toys. All has to be sold to be cash to pay down the national debt or even eliminate the budget debt for a measly three years. $3T is peanuts and won’t even put a dent in all the single-payer schemes.

          Wealth has no exact value. Prices are unknown until sold, and drop with the first sale. But anyone who could afford to buy, wouldn’t, because they also are selling. Prices and valuations would drop like rocks, socialists would scream about sweetheart deals at fake prices, and next the government would take those assets directly: socialist nationalization by the back door.

          Chris Edwards of the Cato Institute took a more detailed look at what makes up wealth: https://www.cato.org/blog/top-wealth-business-assets

          1. I mean, I know that there are almost certainly some people who would think “Well, it won’t happen to me!” but I think most people smart enough to end up with that sort of wealth would look at the situation and realize that buying goods stolen by the government from rich people just puts them in a situation to later have those same goods stolen from them later.

            1. There would be so few people left with any money that the confiscated wealth could only be sold at bargain basement fire sale prices.

              I suppose the gubmnt could give businesses away, to the workers. But they’d have negative incentive to do anything productive, since any value they generated from actual work would just provide incentive for the gubmnt to confiscate it again.

              1. That too. Aside from being skeptical that many businesses would be productive being “run by the workers” like that even if they didn’t have the disincentive to bother.

                Clearly, we just need government to seize businesses, nationalize them, and then be the loving overseers of all of the workers. Like a Big Brother who really loves you. Or your stern but fair Uncle Joe.

            2. That’s the same problem that sunk Venezuela. They seized all the assets and oil companies, pilfered the cash out of it and tried to sell the rest. Nothing doing because no billionaire was going to buy a mansion from the government that illegally seized it from the previous billionaire. By default, billionaires just aren’t that stupid.

              Same thing a year ago when they offered to sell off oil rights to the world oil companies from which they had previously nationalized their property. The only organization willing to take that sucker bet is a country that has a far superior army and the willingness to use it if the bastard tries some shit like that again.

        2. One thing that really helped me wrap my head around the concept was understanding the difference between money and wealth. Could help her too.

          For example someone can be “rich” as in living in a huge house with a huge car, but at the same time be broke because they don’t have any money.

          Someone can be “rich” in that they have money in the bank but live a “poor” lifestyle because they won’t buy anything. Recall the homeless lady who died on the street with millions in the bank.

          If you were to sell everything you own and stuff the cash into a suitcase, and then sleep on a park bench, would you be rich?

          Also, people say we are shifting to a service oriented economy and that’s bad because services aren’t tangible goods. But then ask do services have value?

          Try some thought experiments like that. Might get her to snap into an economic way of thinking.

          1. Good comparisons, good thought experiments, especially for kids. I too had not thought of rich and wealthy being different things for a long time, and remember how much a revelation it was, how ignorant I must have been before. It’s one of those simple things which hides in plain sight.

          2. My friend was hiring some new people and one guy told him he needs a higher salary because his family can’t survive on less than $450,000 a year. For this guy, private school and country club fees are an absolute necessity.

          3. Also factored into being rich is the risk of loss. Your economic future is strongly tied to your burn rate, if/when things go seriously wrong.

            I’ve seen a guy lose his entire net worth [10s of millions] when his world collapsed while he was on safari for 6 weeks and untouchable. His entire management team left overnight to form their own company. Before it was over, his 8 houses and all the Bentleys and high end sports cars had been sold and he was barely hanging on to a 3 bedroom house and a Buick. You can ride high and everyone assumes there’s a foundation there… but if the wave you’re riding on beaches, your height only means you accelerate into the fall faster and crash harder.

        3. The point is Sweden taxes the necessary amount to pay for services provided. We are providing less services and incurring more debt. But remember we have lower taxes.

          1. They also have a much freer economy and a homogeneous population. It’s comparing apples to oranges.

            1. They have a freer economy but they do tax more to provide services to their population. This suggests that low taxes are not necessary to a freer economy. A country can provide services like healthcare, child and eldercare and still have a successful capitalist economy. Elizabeth Warren has pointed this out and suggested that the focus of a capitalist economy needs to be on the middle class and not on the wealthiest.

        4. Don’t despair. If she has even half a brain, she might see things more rationally after working (and paying taxes) for a few years.

        5. She needs to get her head around this chart:

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hauser%27s_law#/media/File:U.S._Federal_Tax_Receipts_as_a_Percentage_of_GDP_1945%E2%80%932015.jpg

          It doesn’t matter how high you crank up federal tax rates, you’ll never get more than 20% of GDP for the government in tax revenue–not here in the United States.

          Over the course of that chart, federal income tax rates have been as high as in the upper 70% range and as low as the 20% range–it had no real impact on the percentage of GDP that the federal government collects in taxes. Capital gains taxes have been as low as 15% and as high as 40%–and it made no difference in terms of the percentage of GDP that the federal government collects in taxes. Corporate taxes have been as high as 48% and as low as 20% over the course of that chart–and the percentage of GDP that the government collected in tax revenue never stayed above 20% for long.

          So why not crank the tax rates up if doing so doesn’t have an impact on the amount of money that the government collects in tax revenue?

          Well, for one thing, cranking the tax rates up might not generate a greater share for the government of GDP, but it definitely has an impact on the size of GDP. Economic growth is a function of things like the deployment of technology, productivity gains, and expansion. All of those things are tied to investment. When businesses and wealthy individuals can’t profit from growth, they stop pursuing it. Wealthy individuals put their money in investments that track inflation, and companies cancel their growth plans.

          Anybody who thinks that a recipe for improved standards of living, among the middle class or the poor, is completely nuts.

          There are two things that contrast the Swedish government from our own. You might want to check these out for yourself.

          1) Do Sweden’s municipal boards, counties, etc. tax citizens in addition to the Swedish national government?

          I don’t believe they do.

          If they don’t, then you’re not comparing apples to apples.

          In the United States, we don’t only have federal taxes. We also have state taxes. When wealthy people are forced to pay both in places like California and New York, they head for the exits. If she’s talking about cranking taxes up so that the federal government is taking 40% of GDP in addition to what the state takes, then she may be talking about taking more from GDP than Sweden does.

          2) Sweden nowhere near as diverse a country as the United States–certainly not before the Iraq War or so, and just like with immigration, the more people are forced by the government to pay for other people not like themselves, the more reluctant they are to pay.

          Sweden has about 10 million people total. Because something works in a nation of 10 million people, about a million of whom are immigrants and refugees who were born outside the EU, doesn’t mean it will necessarily work in a nations 325 million people, the latter being a hell of a lot more diverse than just Swedes, Finns, the Sami, and refugees from Iraq and Syria. As Sweden has dealt with an influx of refugees, their toleration for immigration has diminished, and I wouldn’t be surprised if their support for high taxes and the welfare state starts to break down, as well.

          In the United States, we have BLM, immigrants from Central America and Mexico, immigrants from Asia, and elsewhere, who don’t necessarily identify with suburban Caucasians the same way that Swedes have identified with each other for generations. As that kind of dynamic starts to present itself in Swedish society, don’t be surprised if their willingness to shell out for their fellow Swede starts to look more like it does in the United States–with us willing to give up 20% of our GDP for common causes compared with their 40% presently. That social welfare/high tax system of their was created at a time when Swedish society was relatively homogeneous.

      2. “European governments seem willing to admit fault and repeal stupid laws and regulations. Unlike The Land Of The Free where government is a one-way-ratchet that will always try harder and spend more money.

        You seem to be ignoring the fact that the EU government wasn’t as responsive to the people of the UK as the government of the UK is, and if the EU government imposes policies that the people of the UK don’t like specifically, there isn’t really anything they can do about that.

        We (libertarians) decry the decline of federalism, but the people of Texas can and do make laws that differ from those of the federal government. The UK couldn’t do something like California did when they legalized recreational marijuana in defiance of the federal government with, say, immigration–and other issues that are essential to democracy in a free society.

        Meanwhile, you also seem to be ignoring the fact that the Tea Party all but cleansed the TARP supporters from the Republican Party or that President Trump rescinded almost every bit of ObamaCare–except for the parts of it that were enormously popular. That the federal government spends every penny it gets and then some isn’t because of democracy. It’s because the politicians are spending money that isn’t theirs, and so it doesn’t hurt when they spend it.

        That would be the same regardless of whether the USA was a democracy. Authoritarian systems inflicted unpopular wars on the taxpayers for millennia. Democracy is an essential part of the solution to that even if it isn’t the complete solution. There is no substitute for persuading our fellow taxpayers that most of the things the government is doing isn’t really in our interests.

        1. Just because you make huge posts doesn’t mean I ignore a bunch of stuff. Calm down.

          My point was that, generally with plenty of exceptions, but generally, the federal government especially will double down when it fucks up, while (some not all) European governments tend to be more willing to change course when they fuck up. Joining and then leaving the E.U. for example. Or Scandinavian countries backing off of socialistic programs and excessive regulation. Portugal legalizing drugs. They’re also not as prudish an this society.

          1. You seem to be ignoring an awful lot of stuff!

            I suspect you’re looking across the uncanny valley, where people seem more repulsive for being more like us, and people that are less like us seem exotic from a distance.

            The fact is that we’ve done a near 180 on a lot of stuff. ObamaCare sucked, so ObamaCare is mostly gone being just one example.

            What are you talking about in terms of the Europeans changing course–you mean when they went balls-out for pure xenophobic anti-immigration parties in France, Italy, and Germany, all at the same time? That was the result of the center-left and center-right losing elections. That was a function of democracy.

            It works the same everywhere. Populism in all its forms is a reaction to elitism, and as Brussels and international bodies tried to impose themselves on policy, stripping local democracies of their representative power, people reacted by voting for populists. As populists overstep their mandate or the problems that drove them to power dissipate, democracy asserts itself and drives them towards the center again. That isn’t changing course so much as it’s just democracy.

            Joining the EU and then leaving it is like cozying up with China and then pulling away. If you imagine that the changes we’ve seen in European policy are driven by better than what we have in the U.S., the anti-immigrant parties of France, Italy, and Germany are actually probably scarier than your average Trump voter.

            Would you know the equivalent of French, Italian, or German rednecks if you saw them? Are American rednecks scarier to you than anti-immigrant Brexit types in the UK? And are those UK types scarier to you than Le Pen’s National Rally (AKA National Front), Alternative for Germany, or The League in Italy? Does President Trump scare you more than any of them?

            If so, your perceptions are tracking the uncanny valley. Maybe that’s just a coincidence. Maybe you just loathe American rednecks more than the equivalent in other countries for other reasons.

            1. I can’t reply because your posts are too damn wrong. You’re making this about me instead of the topic. So all I can say is fuck you.

              1. Long. Stupid autocorrect.

              2. The changes we’ve seen in policy, both in the U.S. and Europe, are largely the result of elections–regardless of the length of my posts.

                Your belief that the Europeans are different from us in this respect, somehow, doesn’t appear to be based on anything but your feelings–regardless of the length of my posts.

                And the uncanny valley would seem to explain your feelings on this–regardless of the length of my posts.

    2. ‘They might be stupid policies, but at least they’re OUR stupid policies!’

      1. Who would say that there’s no difference between a system where someone inflicts stupid policies on you against your will that you can’t do anything about and a system where you can get rid of stupid policies and the people who put them in place if you want–every time there’s an election?

        1. You really think elections make that big of a difference? I want some of what you’re smoking.

          1. You really think policy would be the same if Hillary Clinton were president?

            I suspect we’d be at war in Syria right now, we’d have doubled-down on ObamaCare, and the aftermath of the Las Vegas shooting would have meant a war on guns like we haven’t seen before.

            And that’s just for starters. What about current policy?

            The Democrats want to spend $3.5 trillion on the next “stimulus” bill, with $1 trillion of that being a bailout for the states. The Republicans only want to spend $1 trillion–with no bailout for the states. In regards the breakdown in negotiations, Chuck Schumer said this:

            “It’s real needs, that’s what guides us,” Mr. Schumer said. “What seems to guide them is the idea that government should spend as little money as possible despite the crisis in America.”

            —-WSJ

            https://www.wsj.com/articles/coronavirus-aid-talks-teeter-amid-lack-of-progress-11596817312

            Yes, we would have a very different stimulus bill if Hillary Clinton were in the White House instead of Donald Trump, and if Joe Biden is in the White House come January, we’ll probably see the Green New Deal passed in his first 100 days. If President Trump is reelected, we won’t.

            Yes, I think who wins elections can make a big difference, and people who think there is no difference between the parties because neither one of them are libertarian are deluding themselves with the perfect solution fallacy.

            1. My vote doesn’t matter so I don’t bother.

              1. Even if any one vote didn’t matter, that wouldn’t mean that it doesn’t matter which way millions of people vote.

                https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fallacy_of_composition

                Our powers of persuasion probably are more important, from an individual perspective, than our one vote, but persuading other people to vote one way or another is an important part of the process of changing policy.

                Californians didn’t vote to legalize recreational marijuana before someone persuaded them that it was a good idea. Someone persuaded them, one person at a time, and then they voted.

            2. “I suspect we’d be at war in Syria right now, we’d have doubled-down on ObamaCare, and the aftermath of the Las Vegas shooting would have meant a war on guns like we haven’t seen before.”

              “I’m Joe Biden and I approve this message”

    3. Brussels? What happened to Democracy?

  8. Democracy was a mistake

    1. Especially in a system where people can truly vote themselves free stuff.

      Serious question: how to maintain a universal democracy that prevents people from doing that?

      1. Serious question: how to maintain a universal democracy that prevents people from doing that?

        The only thing I can think of that might even come close is to (one or possibly several of the following off the top of my head suggestions): Make it a lot easier for people to challenge stuff that’s clearly outside of the scope of what the Constitution allows at the Supreme Court; Have a whole new court that is dedicated specifically to judging the constitutionality of new laws and plans for expenditures; Hold politicians personally liable for passing unconstitutional laws or erecting unconstitutional expenditure programs.

        There are probably more, but that’s the first things I came up with.

        Basically, the concept of a constitutionally limited government is a pretty solid one, and for a first attempt the US Constitution is pretty good, but (optimistically) the Founders were insufficiently paranoid about how people would try to subvert or bypass it, or (pessimistically) they desired to be able to subvert or bypass it themselves, and irrespective of whichever of those are correct (or even some third option), didn’t give the Constitution enough teeth to deal with people and policies that ignore it and do unconstitutional things anyway.

        1. “Hold a special court”

          Better yet, allow anyone to sue to overturn any spending law. Hell, allow tourists too; the point is to make it easier to rein in spending.

          These spending lawsuits would be tried in from of a random jury. No voir dire other than to make sure they are adults living as head of household.

          These jurors have to unanimously agree that the spending is allowed by the constitution, by law, and seems perfectly cromulent by whatever subjective criteria they have.

          No appeals. If even one juror objects, that spending is halted on the spot.

          Once any spending bill has been approved, it can’t be objected to again for one year.

          Anyone who loses a spending challenge can never challenge again.

          1. Not a terrible addition to the list of ideas. I’m not entirely certain about that sole voir dire disqualification — while I generally dislike the way it’s used these days, perhaps a slightly less limited version where other reasons for dismissal are a complete lack of knowledge about what the Constitution says, or similar such things?

      2. “Especially in a system where people can truly vote themselves free stuff.

        Serious question: how to maintain a universal democracy that prevents people from doing that?”

        The income tax, among other things, should be repealed.

        Ultimately, the solution is to persuade enough of your fellow Americans to cut those people off. The solution is the First Amendment.

      3. Well, it’s simple. Reduce the ability of the government to borrow money.

        It’s easy to vote for free stuff when you aren’t taxed to pay for it, and moreover, *nobody living* is taxed to pay for it. Just unborn generations to come will pay for it.

        If the government could not borrow money at all (not that I’m advocating that, just as a thought experiment), then the negative repercussions of ever-higher spending would eventually be felt by all, either in reduced economic activity by just continually taxing “the rich” all the time, or in everyone’s paychecks when everyone’s taxes are forced to go up to continue to pay for it. That would be the self-correcting feedback loop.

        But we don’t have that now, because the money that the government is spending now really is “free money” to the people living now.

      4. it gets worse when the President can give people free stuff without their elected Representatives even approving it.

  9. Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss …

    1. I sing a different tune, although probably from the same opera –

      “He can’t even run his own life, I’ll be damned if he’ll run mine . . . “

      1. FWIW, that’s in the Bible as a qualification for church office.

        “For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?”

        —-1 Timothy 3:5

  10. The EU tried to impose a nanny state bureaucracy on Britain, obviously their only complaint was that it wasn’t a British nanny.

    1. What are the chances for a ‘French maid’?

  11. “As last week’s announcement notes, one-third of British primary-school children and two-thirds of adults are obese or overweight.”
    Great, now one third of British primary-school children will go to bed hungry.

  12. Thats ridiculous news! I swear!

  13. Just ponder about it carefuly!
    “Johnson’s dramatic food-policy reversal could help kill hopes Brexit will deliver on its promise. After all, one selling point of Brexit was that it would allow Britain to cast off the panoply of meddlesome E.U. food regulations.”

    They wanted to raise barriers to things like immigration that they couldn’t do without Brussels’ permission before.

    The good news is that they can repeal bad regulations and bad actors by way of elections in their own country now. In the past, if these food laws had been inflicted on them by the EU, there wouldn’t have been anything they could do about it. Now they have the freedom to inflict stupid policies on themselves, but they have the freedom to revoke stupid policies, too.

  14. Nannies gotta nanny.

    I wonder what the Brits of 1940 would think of their decedents, and if they had known how the country would turn out, they might have said “Fuck it” and let Hitler invade.

  15. Nothing about Jo Jorgenson being bitten by a bat?

    1. Huh. Just have to find a quote describing her as “rabidly libertarian”.

      1. “I’m batty for free markets!”

        1. Another bat shit crazy libertarian completes the initiation ritual

  16. “Many people have tried to lose weight but struggle in the face of endless prompts to eat—on TV and on the high (main) street,” the health department announcement states. “In supermarkets, special offers and promotions tempt us to buy foods that are not on the shopping list but are hard to resist. When we eat out, we have little information about how many calories are in the food we are offered. We are biologically programmed to eat and when we are bombarded by advertisements and promotions for food—it’s hard to eat healthily, especially if we are busy or tired or stressed.”
    .
    .
    Ever notice how those who support unhealthy food being not only advertised, but also sold, are the same bunch that have a serious problem with heroin/crack/meth being advertised and sold.

  17. They should just pass some legislation amending the law of gravity.

    1. Or redefine obesity, BMI, or weights and measure. Devalue them, as it were.

      1. Or in the new woke British tradition, compel people to treat obese people as the new beauty standard. Require ads to avoid old fashioned stereotypes of “attractive” thin people. Enforce body weight diversity in hiring and promotions.

        1. STOP GIVING THEM IDEAS!!!!

    2. Jerry Clower had a bit about that. He did a piece talking about idiot politicians and he said they had one down in Mississippi that introduced a piece of legislation to move February from the beginning of the year to between June and July.

      He said “it is only a little 28 day month, and usually all cold and rainy it would be a nice break in the summer and a good time to hold vacation bible school.

      Funny…. and you’d think farcical. But Hank Johnson, democrat congressman from Georgia, actually asked our military commanders if Guam was getting too crowded. He expressed concerns that it might tip over in the ocean. The good people of Georgia’s 4th district saw fit to keep him as their representative, and he did an excellent job of living up to that reputation during recent hearings.

      So nothing really changes. Didn’t Indiana once have a law declaring that pi is equal to 3.14?

      1. Didn’t Indiana once have a law declaring that pi is equal to 3.14?

        No, it’s worse than that. It was 3.2 instead. Though, fortunately, it was just a bill, and was not actually passed.

  18. Joe Biden’s handlers are trying to figure out if he could get out a statement in favor of such restrictions without getting off track and ranting about fat, fat, fatties.

    1. let Bloomberg do it for him

    2. You just need to keep his handler real close by with a spray bottle of vinegar and an itchy finger. Turns out that it’s not just good for keeping his nose from nuzzling prepubescent ears.

  19. Statists gonna state. This is not a shock. Do-gooderism is a disease of the elite, regardless of party affiliation.

    When COVID19 broke out though, my thought was ‘nice panic you’ve got going there. Now do heart disease’ but this isn’t what I had in mind. These things never work as advertised. The only fat that will be trimmed is in the wallet.

    1. Look, if the government takes all your money then you won’t be able to buy food, and then you’ll lose weight. Do you want fat anarchy?

      1. GIVE ME FATARCHY, OR GIVE ME DEATH!

  20. Somehow “empowering” us always involves the state exercising power over us.

  21. Is there going to be an article about Ryan Whitaker being murdered in his home by police?

  22. “If Brexit’s chief supporters—with Johnson chief among them—can’t even be counted on to pass laws that distinguish Britain from the E.U., what really was the point of leaving the E.U. in the first place? ”

    Ok, I’ll take a stab at that one:

    At least these nanny state rules are being enacted by officials who were elected in Britain, not unelected officials from Brussels. The people still retain some modicum of control, as they are able to toss Johnson’s government out on its collective ear.

  23. I get wellness points for every tear gas canister I pick up and chuck back at the cops.

  24. I was genuinely hoping they would proclaim liberty and join us in NAFO – North Atlantic Freedom Org. Oh well, they are way too far gone. The problem is that we’ve solved all the big problems and the only ones left are either insoluble (cancer, aging) or self-imposed (climate change, football head injuries). So there are few opportunities left under ‘unbridled capitalism’ and people turn to socialist schemes to create new problems. However the solution is actually for billionaires to establish low-cost voter colonies so people can retire and leave jobs for others to work and support themselves and thereby obviate both big government and charities – as we let the robots take over the heavy lifting. In return residents vote for small government. It’s actually the natural culmination of capitalism. It will also reduce carbon emissions.

    Also the best way to reduce obesity is to end these insane lockdowns and other restrictions. They make people over-eat and no, not everyone can just “Set up a gym in your garage dumbass.”

    1. Aging can be cured. Cancer can be prevented. Climate change isn’t a problem and wasn’t self-imposed. Football head injuries were a big deal a few years ago, not sure why they still aren’t.

  25. After all, one selling point of Brexit was that it would allow Britain to cast off the panoply of meddlesome E.U. food regulations.”</blockquote.

    Well, no, not really. I mean, for some people, sure. Stupid people.

    What the selling point really was is that the UK could make its own panoply of meddlesome regulations.

    Tyranny is more palatable when its home grown.

  26. Ray Bassett analyses the situation Ireland faced after the 2016 referendum during his new book, ‘Ireland and the EU Post Brexit‘ – and his conclusions will make hard reading for the country’s former Taoiseach. Mr Bassett suggests in the course of his book that Mr Varadkar was essentially insulated from reality by civil servants who were totally immersed in the culture of the EU.
    https://worldabcnews.com/brexit-news-varadkars-disastrous-miscalculation-exposed-it-was-a-huge-blunder-world-news/

    1. Some context?

  27. I don’t know about the law and the constitutionality of what Trump is doing with executive orders in lieu of a deal with the Democrats on the stimulus bill, and if what Trump is doing is unconstitutional, I’m against it for that reason alone.

    With that being said . . .

    What the Democrats wanted to do by bailing out states with out of control pension liabilities was disgusting–even if it was constitutional.

    Meanwhile, some of the things President Trump is doing, here, are fantastic–fucking libertarian as hell, actually.

    “Mr. Trump also directed the Treasury Department to defer the 6.2% Social Security tax on wages for employees making less than about $100,000 a year. That suspension would last from Sept. 1 through Dec. 31.”

    —-WSJ

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/trump-to-sign-executive-orders-to-provide-coronavirus-relief-11596919640?

    This is the smartest way to get us out of the economic mess we’re in. Don’t spend more money, cut taxes instead! And if you’re going to cut taxes, cut payroll taxes–especially the ones that are used to fund socialist wealth redistribution programs. Not only does this make it so that more working people can keep more of the money they earn (the libertarian dream), it also makes it less expensive for companies to hire unemployed people. Ultimately, that’s the appropriate government “solution” to most of our economic problems right there–cut taxes and stop inflating the cost of hiring people and keeping them on the payroll.

    Meanwhile, anyone who opposes cutting taxes because it increases the deficit, I’ve got a better solution than keeping payroll taxes high during a recession–how ’bout we cut other spending?

    I’ve long said that we libertarians shouldn’t want an emperor–not even a libertarian one–but if we’re going to have an emperor, I’d rather we had one that did libertarian things like this, wouldn’t you?

    1. The Democrats have already been complaining that cutting the payroll tax is wrong because the only people who benefit are those who work for a living, and every time they say that, it makes me horny as all get out.

    2. payroll tax cut good, and within his power.
      extra 400 week in unemployment is just buying votes.

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  31. What I want to know is who in their right mind would want to stuff themselves on British food?

    1. Boris Johnson, apparently.

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  33. A politician cannot control his impulses and that translates into into the people losing their liberties.as his penance.

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