The pre election silly season is upon us. The main parties are too scared to offer policies that you might want them to actually keep if they get elected, so let’s aim for the lowest common denominator………………DRINK.
Are they really being serious? Our government is being bombarded by campaign groups to somehow make the people look after themselves. Over indulgence in all food groups, “healthy drinks”, snacks and alcohol are all having a detrimental effect on the public purse via increased use of A&E facilities, social care in the communities, mobility allowances and other payments made to people who struggle with normal day to day life. Meantime nice uncle Jim is campaigning on reintroducing alcohol at football matches. Might I suggest the correct motion would be to remove alcohol and fast food from all sporting events? Is sport promotion not associated with promoting fitness and wellbeing?
How on earth did we get to this point? I often have this conversation with my neighbour. She is 25 years older than me yet both of us have similar food memories. Set mealtimes where the food was locally reared and produced. Preparation of meals with raw ingredients. Processed foods were reserved for tinned items in the “emergency” larder. A snack after school while waiting on dad coming home for the evening meal would consist of ONE jam sandwich. Alcohol was only bought into the house for New Year (or very special occasions) and could sit in the cupboard from one New Year to another.
When out and about we are constantly seeing people eat on the move. They can’t all have skipped lunch for an important meeting. We never seem to drive past a McDonalds drive through without seeing a queue (there are other fast food outlets who also have queues). People drive while eating. Our nearest town of Buckie, population of 8,059 (according to census results) has 6 takeaway food places as well as sit in restaurants, a diner van, and a roaming chip van. A lot of people must use these venues on a regular basis for them to keep in business.
Now I am no saint and like others in my age group I am having to learn to portion my intake before I end up requiring the help of others to carry out my daily tasks. This may seem like a heavy handed rant for the sake of putting alcohol back on sale at football matches, albeit at half time only. But my point is that giving people what they want all the time is how we have arrived at a place in time where most of us are at least carrying a few extra pounds, if not stones (sorry that should be kilos these days shouldn’t it?). Even if you don’t care about the public purse you should be trying to keep yourself as healthy as possible so that you can enjoy life. That way a big mac, bar of chocolate, pint, glass of wine becomes an enjoyable treat or reward rather than something we think we have become entitled to have whenever we want.
So can I call on the unionist parties in Scotland to take this Westminster election seriously? Nicola and her team are engaging in grown up political discussions on how to deliver a better and fairer life for everyone. Is it too much to ask that the other parties treat the voters with some respect? Many who blindly followed them got their eyes opened in the long discussion last year and are very disinclined to be bought back by sweeties or half time pints.