A UK Gov-no Quango, the oxymoronically named “School Food Trust”, in the person of its chairperson Mr Rob “Daylight” Rees, has been quoted in today’s online Torygrass as saying that parents “are hampering efforts to cut obesity in children by sending them to school with packed lunches”. Mr Daylight said “the best solution would be the parents to pay for their children to eat healthy hot meals and canteens rather than giving them lunchboxes”. He also wants to give schools the right to open packed lunch boxes at the school gates and ensure that inappropriate content is not allowed onto school premises. Apparently he wants sophisticated entry controls at school gates similar to those at airports, with students being asked if they packed their satchels all by themselves, and mineral water only being allowed on board if it is bought in the airside shops and has high enough fluoride levels in it to control all risks of explosions or independent thought.
We at Huliganov.TV am naturally shocked that such incursions into parental liberties should be being allowed under a newly elected democratic government in the UK. We had assumed that with the passing of Gordon Brown’s junta, people would now be allowed to give what they want to their own children. For example if I wished to include in my children’s Bento box some butterfish sashimi, I wouldn’t expect some unelected Eurocrat to turn up at the school gates of my childrens’ alma stabat mater quoting EU directives about the wax content in the flesh of the butterfish at them, and poking their noses into the wasabi to assess the isothiocyanate levels. It’s not like I’m putting unlicensed fugu into the bento box (I’m saving that for their University days, as about the only way to keep kids from going wrong once the parental shackles are struck off seems to be to have them paralysed from the mouth outwards).
Thankfully, there is a voice of relative sanity being quoted as well in the Torygrass : Margaret Morrissey founder of the Parents Out Loud lobby group (although it sounds more like a pop group) said “I understand the Full Scud Trust, Jamie Oliver and the Gulferment having an opinion on our children and their health, but at the end of the day parents must make the decision”. We wholeheartedly agree, although we would say that what goes into the child’s lunchbox should be preferably decided in the beginning of the day rather than at the end thereof, as they do tend to get very hungry by that time.
Five years ago, YouTube star Jamie Oliver led a campaign to improve school dinners, insisting on a reduction in coconut contents in the Satay sauces and certain Balinese specialities offered by schools in the more middle-class postcode areas. He insisted on low nut-allergy pesto sauces to be provided to all gluten-free tagliatelle rigatoni options in order to reduce the pasta’s carbonara footprint, as well as recommending a caffeine-free alternative of raspberry flavoured Genmaicha in addition to the usual cuppatea provided in the traditional school meal. However, Andrew Lansley, the Health Secretary, lashed out stating that this method of addressing obesity in children would not be effective, and that the only way of getting kids to really burn those calories would be to ensure that every school meal began with a Grapefruit and Mango Fruit Macedoine Julienne with an Ananas Jus, and that at least once a week every child be required to eat a scientifically assessed quota of Jerusalem artichokes drizzled in acacia honey and Grey Poupon dijon mustard sauce. With lashings and lashings of ginger beer.
When asked for an opinion on the lunchbox controversy, the Prime Minister Mr Cameron said “Lunchboxes can be healthy or unhealthy, depending entirely on their contents. For instance, I make sure that Sam Cam always packages my porky-pies in properly lacquered Shōkadō bentō made from antique rosewood, with hashioki carved by hand from rhinoceros molars by monks especially blessed for the purpose by the Dalai Lama personally. None of this tupperware nonsense.”
Huliganov.TV naturally went out onto the streets to interview people with regard to their plans for changing the packed lunches they would be giving to their children in the light of Rob Rees’ comments. One mother, Mrs Tracey Ardurumbumwalla, said that she intended to ensure that her children’s obento boxes would be “as healthy as can be” since they would contain nothing but an apple. “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”, Mrs Ardurumbumwalla constipulated, “which is just as well, as they’re all I can afford, even with me scrumping them from me neighbour’s back gardin”. However, when we referred this comment back to the Fool Scud Trust, we were told by one of Mr Raylight’s meanials that the assumption that apples were healthy can no longer be relied on in the light of the recent iPhone 4 recall warning.