Dan Wootton: Nanny state sugar tax leaves a bad taste

In his past life as a libertarian Boris Johnson would have been viciously opposed to such measures.

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What is it with the nanny state warriors constantly attempting to convince Boris Johnson the only way to deal with any problem is extra taxes and further control?

As someone who has struggled to control my weight for my entire life, let me be very clear, if I want to binge an entire tub of Haagen Daas or scoff every piece of a Domino’s stuffed crust I’m going to do it whether it costs an extra £2 or not.

Any adviser who thinks differently has no idea about the real reasons why people put on weight.

It’s emotional. It’s cultural. It’s bloody complicated.

The best way to combat it is by education so people can make choices that work for them.

But here we are again talking about the National Food Strategy – commissioned by the government – suggesting that taxes on the foods we love will stop us eating them.

And the taxes he proposes are nothing short of a moral outrage.

A whopping £3 per kilogram on sugar and £6 per kilogram on salt.

That would see a box of Frosties costing 87p more, for example.

It will cost each household a sickening £172 a year and pump £3 billion into the government coffers.

Oh, and the report also says we should cut out meat with lab-grown alternatives, algae and plant protein. Grim!

The report is by Henry Dimbleby, the bloke who founded Leon.

That’s ironic in itself.

Have you ever been to a Leon? It’s incredibly expensive food promoted to be healthy but actually packed with more fat and sugar than most takeaways.

In his past life as a libertarian Boris Johnson would have been viciously opposed to such measures.

As The Spectator Editor Fraser Nelson writes today this is a very different Prime Minister – shaken fundamentally by the events of the year.

Fraser writes: “He thinks he almost died from Covid because he was overweight and is far more willing to allow the government to intervene in our diet choices. Hence a series of new measures he’d once happily have denounced as ‘nanny statism’: a ban on fast-food advertising, for example, and forcing restaurants to display calorie counts on menus. Quite a change from the man who once promised the Tory party conference that if in charge, he ‘would get rid of Jamie Oliver and tell people to eat what they like’.”

Well, I would argue Boris is the greatest example of why a sugar and salt tax would be completely futile.

His near-death experience means he is now losing weight by exercising more and changing his diet.

Tax has absolutely nothing to do with his decision.

It’s Freedom Day on Monday. I will still be claiming mine back, but the government seems to be doing everything possible to stop that from being possible.

Its wishy-washy messaging means our two biggest supermarket chains Sainsbury’s and Tesco will continue to ask shoppers to wear masks.

They’re even going to bombard customers with constant tannoy announcements, just to “be on the safe side”.

Asda, John Lewis, Aldi and Lidil are predictably following suit.

Just like Sadiq Khan across London’s transport networks, there seems to be little faith in Brits to make sensible decisions about their own health and wellbeing.

Credit to John Timpson though whose Timpson shoe repair and keycutting chain says he will leave the decision to customers.

That’s all I’m asking for: The trust for us to make our own decision.

Last night at this time I lamented the lack of footballers and celebrities calling out the social media companies who allow racism to spread across their platforms.

Well Bukayo Saka came through today with a powerful riposte to the internet giants.

In a powerful Instagram post about his experience at the Euros he wrote:

“To the social media platforms Instagram, Twitter, Facebook I don’t want any child or adult to have to receive the hateful and hurtful messages that me Marcus and Jadon have received this week. I knew instantly the kind of hate that I was about to receive and that is a sad reality that your powerful platforms are not doing enough to stop these messages.”

Well done, Saka, you’re completely right.

And now even the phrase shark attack has fallen foul of the woketopians.

Australian officials will now describe the sea monsters eating humans alive as “interactions” or “negative encounters”.

Leonardo Guida from the Australian Marine Conservation Society says ending the use of such terms helps dispel "inherent assumptions that sharks are ravenous, mindless man-eating monsters".

Well, I’ve swum in shark infested waters and I’ll tell you that’s exactly what they are.

Stop this madness