Counterpoint by Scott Freeman Will this move stop us eating chocolate?


Scene: The Freeman Household

Time: Friday evening about 7.30pm

Me: Hello! I’m home!

Mrs F: Did you get a bottle of wine for dinner?

Me: No, Sainsbury’s vin de table has gone up 50p, so I have got us some organic carrot juice instead.

Mrs F: That sounds lovely! Perhaps later we could do some yoga instead of watching our favourite programme on TV.

Improbable. Barely credible. It’s not going to happen to be honest. Not because Mrs F and I are inveterate boozers. Not because we have swanned blithely through the past 20 years unaware of the reported health risks of drinking more than a small sherry before lunch on a Sunday.

The reason the dialogue is unlikely to feature in many homes is that in the real world, as opposed to some hellish society where we eat and drink only what is prescribed by governmental diktat – families want to choose for themselves.

To be honest, it is ludicrous to believe that hiking the price of alcohol will reduce individual consumption rather than mean we simply have less to spend elsewhere.

I imagine in some circumstances an increase in the price of supermarket lager is more likely to result in lower consumption of fruit and veg than a cut back on the ‘amber nectar’.

Yet the finger-waggers in positions of power apparently can’t help themselves from interfering in our day-to-day lives.

Just days after the Budget day declaration: ‘Thou shalt pay more for cheap cider’ comes the latest barely believable save-the-public-from-themselves initiative.

In a pointless move which can only have come out of a health department think tank, it is, and you’ll have to take my word for this: re-sealable packaging for chocolate bars.

I’ll just run that past you again: re-sealable packaging for chocolate bars.

The suggestion is, presumably, that having treated oneself to a square or two of Dairy Milk, having a re-sealable packet will imbue us with the willpower to save the rest to be enjoyed another day.

The only re-sealable packet that would prevent The Teenagers from eating their way through the entire pack in five minutes flat would require hardened steel and a boltcutter-proof padlock.