An Early Victory?

Lindsay Perigo's picture
Submitted by Lindsay Perigo on Tue, 2006-05-02 01:22

On my Sunday radio show I read out an item from that day's Sunday Star-Times quoting Green MP Sue Kedgley, chair-thing of Parliament's Health Select Committee, saying she would welcome a ban on the promotional toys given away by McDonald's in association with their Happy Meals (& by implication, a ban on the meals themselves). I railed about this for four hours, along with most of my callers. I urged them & all listeners to e-mail Kedgley, along with National MP Jackie Blue who said the idea was worth considering, letting her know what they thought of her nutri-nazism. Several listeners forwarded to me the replies they received from Kedgley. I e-mailed her myself. The exchange is below, her reply at the top:

Well you shouldn't fall for a media beat up. All I said was that these were the sort of issues the select committee would be looking at. And he managed to twist it into me calling for a ban. I hope you will now inform your listeners thetruth sue k

-----Original Message-----
From: Linz
To: Sue Kedgley ;
Sent: Sun Apr 30 22:55:03 2006
Subject: That was me ...

... who invaded your Sunday. Rarked folk up on my radio show re the Happy
Meals. Overwhelming thumbs down from listeners. There's still a shred of
libertarian dignity left in folks.


Now, whether Kedgley is telling the truth or not about being misrepresented (& knowing her as well as I do I think she is telling the truth) I think this little piece of activism on Sunday may have nipped this incipient bit of PC fascism in the bud. Jackie Blue back-pedalled furiously, assuring folk who e-mailed her that one of her colleagues had put out a press release saying a ban on Happy Meals &/or the toys was definitely NOT National policy. I suspect this proposal is dead in the water, for now at least. Obviously we shouldn't assume that, complacently, but the moral of the story is clear—never underestimate the power of the obvious: in this case, sending an outraged e-mail to the relevant politician, with or without prodding from a radio hooligan.Smiling


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Landon Erp's picture

Must not know many Bachelors.


Inking is sexy.

I corresponded briefly with

Duncan Bayne's picture

I corresponded briefly with Dr. Toomath, one of the leaders of the 'fat tax' movement here in N.Z. I pointed out that I'd lost (& kept off, so far) ~ 25kg by eating a kilojoule-controlled diet which included food from McDonalds and Wendys, and asked her to explain how she thought she had the right to tax fatty foods.

Her response was that fatty foods were a luxury, like tobacco and wine, and as it's alright to tax luxuries, it should be alright to tax fatty foods.

I appreciate Rick Gile's tart and sassy reply

wsscherk's picture

I agree that such 'fast-food' regulation should be a non-starter. Food labeling is one thing. Foodstuff quality another -- food testing, purity, provenance -- these are all good things to know. What seems beyond reason is to take the final choice away from the consumer -- although I support limited bans on poison.

The unexamined premise is that this food is bad for kids, and that MacD uses lures to attract young consumers. Yes, this may be true, so what? Who are the actors, here? Trillions of burgers, toys, impressionable children . . . or parents and guardians?

Parents who feed their kids on an unremitting diet of fast food are not doing their kids a favour. Nutrition isn't rocket science, but parents who guide their children to choose fatty, sugary, processed muck over fresh fruits and vegetables at every occasion -- well, what are these parents doing with their values and conscious choices?

Does this mean we need another restriction on free enterprise? I dont support it. Far more useful, in my opinion, are such things as "You are What You Eat", the UK TV programme. Here we see what the worst diets are and what they do to people.


I think

Rick Giles's picture

I think Sue and Blue got the picture...


Andrew Bissell's picture

I grew up with Happy Meals ... it was a weekly tradition for my parents to bring my sister and me to McDonalds to pick up the newest toy. Despite this upbringing, I am not, in fact, a brainwashed McDonalds zombie, amazingly enough.

Even if she didn't mean to call for a ban, I'm happy to see any politician deluged with righteous fury for even hinting at such a thing!

Oh man this burns me up. My sister and I loved the food, loved the toys, loved playing on the playground they had at the store. We would have been crushed if a bunch of do-gooder assholes in some capital 3000 miles away had taken that away from us. What the fuck have these nosy tut-tutting SCHOOLMARMS ever done to bring a smile to a child's face?

AAaaaargh!  >:(

When these fools started

Ross Elliot's picture

When these fools started their campaign a few years ago, the submission they were going to table at the committee included calling for:

*health warnings on fast food (just like smokes)
*no such advertising on TV or radio (just like smokes)
*a ban on under-12s frequenting FF outlets unaccompanied by an adult (just like pubs)
*no FF outlets to be built within one kilometer of a school (just like drug houses)


There were more proposals but mercifully my subconscious has suppressed them Sad

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