Oliver v Lansley

Osteds report saying that healthy meals are beyond the reach of the poor is an absolute disgrace in this country.  It used to be that healthy meals were cheaper to make but in today’s supermarket-dominated culture, it’s easier and cheaper to buy packaged food that, despite all the mandatory labelling and banned additives, are still full of rubbish.

The coalitions plan to scrap the extending of free school meals so that all poor children qualify is pathetic and mean-spirited but not unlike the previous Tory government who took away free school milk.  It’s another attack on the poor and I can’t see it even making that much difference anyway in terms of cuts.  In fact, in the longer term it will cost more because one of the consequences of ill-health in later life is a poor diet in childhood.

The only chance that many of our kids have to receive regular healthy and nutritious meals is through school.  But as it stands, only the children of unemployed parents qualify for free school meals.  Labour had plans to extend this to those on low incomes which is a fair and right thing to do because school dinners being a whopping tenner a week, forty quid a month is a whopping chunk for a low-income family to be expected to fork out.  And just think if there are two or three kids in that family. They’re simply not going to be able to afford it.  Sure, it’s possible to provide a healthy packed lunch but, trust me, that can work out just as expensive as school dinner fees.

This is why I’m absolutely with Jamie Oliver against Health Secretary, Andrew Lansley who said that the chef’s revolutionary School Dinners hasn’t worked and that we should stop lecturing parents.  Well think what you like about Jamie Oliver but I think he was genuine in his school meal campaign which is one of the best things we’ve seen in our junk-food culture.  He was spot on about our kids being fed rubbish and that what they eat affects their performance and behaviour.  It was never about nagging or lecturing.  It was about changing our attitudes towards food and bringing our children up to know and learn about ‘real’ nutrition and healthy meals and I totally admire and applaud Jamie Oliver for his efforts.

Course, there’s nothing wrong with having a “chippy tea” now and then and even a visit to (trying to un-grit my teeth) MacDonalds once a year decade lifetime won’t hurt but no-one can deny the junk-food addicts we’ve become and for Lansley to come out with such gross stupidity is bloody typical of the small-minded Tories.  To quote Jamie Oliver . . .

“To say school dinners hasn’t worked is not just inaccurate, but is also an insult to the hard work of hundreds of thousands of dinner ladies, teachers, headteachers and parent helpers who strive to feed schoolkids a nutritious, hot meal for 190 days of the year.”

This government keeps shouting fairness for all in our faces but they don’t know the meaning of the word.  Maybe we should force-feed Andrew Lansley turkey twizzlers for a month and see if he still feels the same.


2 responses to this post.

  1. Crisis = Coup d’Etat carried out by those who today can carry it out. The poor will be banished from high schools and universities, and they will be taught as it was centuries ago, just able to read and write but no higher education. Education will be in the hands of the Rich. It won’t be necessary to be clever, just to be rich is imperative.

    I might be too grim about the situation, but it kind of reminds me of past times.


  2. Oh absolutely Jose. That’s exactly how I see it. Back to Victorian times – gruel and hardship for many and unearned privilege for others.


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