Monday, December 13, 2010

Just for the record...

Ah when you're busy enough in your life trying to set up new businesses, doing pro bono work for little charities who are trying to make a difference rather than use beneficiaries to promote themselves and endlessly waiting for people to get back to you so you can finish jobs, you get another little lump of dog turd in the post.

Care of my previous employers an accusation of defamation (Yes, even though they're an organisation.) amongst other little gems.

Initial response once picked self back off chair is Arkell v Pressdram but it would be nice if people realised that the 1996 Defamation Act doesn't exist for people who take offence at truthful remarks to have their egos stroked better through the medium of a civil case. If it were then, let alone be on a Prime Time TV show, Craig Revel-Horwood would be in the debtors prison.

Recalling the times in Brussels when friend and I played volley ball with writs written by MEPs who had taken umbridge at being featured in a less than attractive light. Ah, such happy days.

Sadly for these folk, I'm not going to withdraw my complaint against them. I'm made of sterner stuff than that.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

nudge nudge, pass the salt

So Christmas is upon us and frankly all I can say is


My tree is up, I have crept out under the cover of darkness and pinched holly, Ivy and some other stuff with berries on to adorn my mantlepiece, mirrors and the fireplace because some dick blocked up the chimney.

Even the presents are beautifully wrapped under the tree and the cards are in the post. With stamps on this time.

All it is left now, following the purchase of my Christmas Party Dress, is for mama and I to finalise the recipes for the festive season. A time of tradition and indulgence. But not if this rather earnest and irritating group get their way.

High salt levels in ready made Sunday lunch warning

Including too many ready-made items in a Sunday roast could lead to excessive salt intake, says research from a health charity.

In a survey of 600 supermarket products, Consensus Action on Salt and Health (CASH) found that unnecessary amounts of salt are being hidden in certain items of pre-prepared food.

I always wonder about the phrase 'hidden in food'. It makes the company making them, no doubt some unscrupulous multi national which uses child labour and burns kittens to keep the generator running, sound like it's being malicious. It's quite hard not to hide ingredients in food to the extent that they tend to be incorporated in a finished item. I, for example, would not like to buy a cake which, instead of creaming the butter with the sugar, left it dolloped on top to ensure that I knew there were fat products in there.

That aside, it's this continuing push towards having our entire life regulated by busybody do gooders which makes me want to reach for the salt cellar. It's up to me what I eat. End of. If you want people to take more care of their diet I suggest you get rid of the NHS and have some insurance scheme.

But why are you all so bothered? Why are people still putting up with a government who continually uses our money to tell us what to do? In PR week the other week there was a survey on 'nudging' which I, as something of an expert, was asked to fill in. Did I think the government should get involved with 'nudging' which is, for those of you who don't know such terms, a strategy to coerce people into doing the *right* thing rather than telling them to do so. It's things like putting apples on the eye level shelf rather than the fried slice.

I seem to recall that my reply was something along the lines that the government should not be concerning itself with such matters and should, in fact, fuck right off.

But of course this charity is determined that something must be done, and as usual it's not the concept of individual responsibility.

Sarah Cordey from the British Retail Consortium said the survey disregarded the large amount of fresh food customers use when preparing a Sunday meal.

She said the big supermarkets are doing "all they can" to reduce salt content...

However Professor Graham MacGregor from the Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine, and chairman of CASH, said they should do more.

"Unnecessary amounts of salt are still being hidden in our food," he said...

"It is the food industry's responsibility to take the salt out."

I actually think it's the food industry's responsibility to satisfy their customers. Call me radical, I know. I want to decide what food I eat and what food I don't. Packaged food doesn't taste half so good but still, it's up to me and you and everyone else if we want to consume yummy additives and salt or if we want to make our own.

Personally I can't understand people who don't add salt to their vegetables when they are cooking them. Salt brings out the flavour of beautiful food and I don't want some over zealous scientist who enjoys eating flavourless mung beans to take away my option of that.

A glance at their list of supporters shows an impressive number of supermarkets and well as top chefs. I'm sceptical about this; they probably, like the green lobby fanaticism, feel obliged to sign up to this as some corporate social responsibility and PR strategy.

Looking over the rest of the website we see that they are really utterly sanctimonious when it comes to salt. Salt Awareness Week comes bounding into our lives in the form of patronising posters aimed at all ages including, of course, children who can in turn go home and nag their parents not to have salt and vinegar on their chips. Or edamame beans. I wonder if these people dare to take a risk to the seaside incase they inadvertently swallow some sea water. The dead sea is probably going to be the victim of the next campaign and I fully expect to see adverts taken out in Cosmopolitan and FHM warning that should we get a little too frisky with our partners, a true sign of love would be to ensure that oral sex did not damage my health and that 6g of salt a day was quite enough. Spit For Health could be their next catch phrase, perhaps? Watch out for the campaign next valentines day.

But more than that, I don't want them ruining my favourite time of year with their nagging 'nanny knows best' attitude, telling me that I can't have stuffing and do I really want a huge bucket of bread sauce with my roast potatoes when what I want to do is eat an entire box of quality street before breakfast and spend the rest of the day bloated, half pissed and farting.

Bugger off CASH, I say. Some things are sacred.