The rise of the airheads?

or how I didn’t stop worrying about the airheads and start loving them.

I am constantly amazed at the level of political hot air that is paraded as analysis in the media in New Zealand. Mind you the level of business, social and political analysis has been on the slide of a long time now. Considering that so called professional writers/commentators such as Deborah Coddington have been hauled over the coals by her own professional body, it’s not hard to see how low this skill fallen.

*(Ed side note- thanks for such a shocking piece Deborah, my letter to North & South over your story won me a case of MOET)*

But I guess the person I have the most to thank for this rant is a Matthew Hooton. His level of analysis and so called professional political opinion is nothing short of comedy. I try week in and week out to listen to him and Lila on National Radio debate the topic of the week.

This week’s topic was that of the regulations that schools are to provide healthy food options for students. Sure there are ways to argue against this proposal, and although I wouldn’t agree with any of them (I don’t think so anyway – willing to be convinced otherwise), but Hooton knows no way what so ever to argue, let alone well.

With statements like “this is Stalinism”, and “students need to exercise their free choice” and his assertion that kids will be kids and they should be allowed to be free to express themselves, it’s any wonder I am writing this column, or that anyone is taking this guy serious any more.

First of all, devising guidelines that will provide yet another tool to fight the 1/3 of all children whom are overweight or obese, is not a bad thing. How can it be a bad thing to want the children of this country to be as healthy if not healthier than the previous generations? If ones political ideologies preclude them from opening up to ideas that will/might improve the lot of another group in society, then ones political ideologies need serious re-consideration.

Secondly his assertions that we should be free to choose, is all fine and dandy until we throw that argument back at him. Should we be free to drive over 100km/hr. Should we be free to grow ones own weed. Should one be free to decide what level of drunkenness is acceptable before one gets behind the wheel of a car. After all as Hooton says, we are all adults (albeit young ones) and that we should be free to choose. He would of course state that all of these arguments are designed to protect the innocent. As they are. There are clearly defined consequences of these actions, and thus we have devised not only laws to moderate such actions, we have created societal checks and balances for these. It wasn’t too long ago that the open road limit was 80km/hr. These laws/norms are in place for a reason. Further more they evolve to meet the challenges and needs of society.

There is a clearly defined link between child obesity and the amount of calories they are taking into their system. How they burn those calories is a whole other argument.

This is all this guideline is asking us to do. To meet the changing needs of the youth of our society we must provide some sort of leadership. It is not stalinism. Stalin was a murderous bastard who couldn’t give one single toss for the people of his country. If Mr Hooton wishes to denigrate the public health of the youth of NZ, fine let him, but please please please Radio NZ do not provide a forum for him to rant and rave.

Nanny state my arse, I’ll be looking forward to Marijuana law reform under the next National govt, yeah right.


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