And now for something completely different


I was reading, as is my wont, the Daily Mash and came across this example of incisive satire (rough language warning). Yes of course the current government is obsessed with nannying the population, the bureaucracy even worse, but also of course no one, not even them, is going to send grown adults around chip shops advising upon the size of chips. No, not even in the name of obesity and the children. So to have the Food Standards Agency purportedly doing that is a joke, an example of something so mindbogglingly ludicrous that not even our tax money would be spent upon it.

Sadly, Kissinger did get the Nobel Peace Prize and Tom Lehrer is correct, satire is dead. For the story is true.

.....officials from the Food Standards Agency watchdog are encouraging chip shop owners to produce even thicker versions, much like potato wedges.........The FSA scheme will cover Cambridgeshire, Greater Manchester and Northern Ireland by the end of this month. Officials will visit 80 chip shops to examine how much fat is in their chips and offer advice.If the pilot scheme is successful it will be rolled out across the country and last two years. Other small caterers including Indian and Chinese takeaways will be included.

There are two things I take away from this story, one of them minor, one major. The minor point is that those who say there is no room to cut the State are wrong. Clearly and obviously so: the settings on the potato chipper that can be offered to the good citizens of a county, a metropolitian authority and a province can clearly be left to the vagaries of the market, personal taste and how fiddly those settings are. A bureaucracy is not required thus there are certainly some bureaucrats who can be fired. Plus, hopefully, the management that thought this up.

The major point is that this might not be enough. It might be that the fears of my darker days are justified, that there really is only one solution: a violent and bloody revolution. Not just as catharsis but to stop people being so dashed stupid.