We are aware that Sir Simon did not write the headline but:
Banning ultra-processed food is not a nanny-state issue. It’s common sense
So, on the basis of a laughable book from Dimbleby fils (the man, recall, who made his money selling fish finger sandwiches) we should ban:
Fizzy drinks (sugary or sweetened); crisps and packaged snacks; chocolate, confectionery; ice-cream; mass-produced packaged breads and buns; margarines and other spreads; biscuits, pastries, cakes; breakfast ‘cereals’, ‘cereal’ and ‘energy’ bars; milk drinks, ‘fruit’ yoghurts and drinks; ‘instant’ sauces. Many preprepared ready-to-heat products including pies and pasta and pizza dishes; poultry and fish ‘nuggets’ and ‘sticks’, sausages, burgers, hot dogs, and other reconstituted meat products; and powdered and packaged ‘instant’ soups, noodles and desserts. Infant formulas, follow-on milks, other baby products.
That is actually the recommendation. Or as it can be put, “Enjoy your turnips, serfs”.
We’d actually enjoy watching someone try to do this. But then we do have that anarchist love of watching riots and chaos in the streets. For there’s just no way that this could be done in a free society or without them. Therefore it will not be done. But as we say, it would be fun watching someone try.
Our own opinion is that this is just another version of the desire for sumptuary laws, as with the hopes for bans on fast fashion. If even the poor can have a change of clothes, interesting food, then what’s the point of being privileged? Therefore those things that enable the poor to be as their betters must be banned.
It’s a very common and very unattractive part of human nature.
The other way to look at this is as a proof of Hayek’s contention in The Road to Serfdom. If government becomes the provider of health care - the NHS - then the population will be managed at the pleasure of the health care system.