Tuesday, January 06, 2009

They could be right, darn it

The British Government claims it wants to do more for our health.

There's the new Change4Life campaign, encouraging us to eat less fat, take more exercise and live longer; and there are the perennial pushes to give up smoking and (after they've extended the licensing hours and vastly increased the number of licensed outlets) reduce alcohol consumption.

On the other hand, we have the prospect of the State pension system hitting the buffers, thanks to millions of coffin-dodgers; not to mention the cost of care homes and the bed-blocker burden on the National Health Service. And if we all became totally abstemious, we would cost the State its £10 billion annual revenue from tobacco, and £8 billion from alcohol. At first sight, if you wanted to destroy the State, you'd follow its advice - a novel strategy of subversion by civil obedience.

Hence, tabloid-style contrarianism! I haven't found the evidence, but I expect that staying healthy (and working longer) will more than pay for itself, by reducing the costs of chronic ill-health and increasing revenue from taxes on income.


Paddington said...

That's why I keep doing my part - drinking and smoking.

James Higham said...

I expect that staying healthy (and working longer) will more than pay for itself ...

How do you propose to stay healthy?

Sackerson said...

I gave up smoking decades ago, have reduced alcohol consumption. Intend not to work too hard, cultivate mental strength and resistance, walk more, pay less attention to depressing media, have more fun just paying attention to the world.

Anonymous said...

I think we should have similar campaigns to stop other activities that are dangerous to our health, complete with warning signs, TV adverts, bans in public places and so on. These are:-

mountain climbing
ocean sailing
bungy jumping
having babies
learning to fly
scuba diving
riding a motorcycle
taking medicines
having operations

I reserve the right to take up any activity that may shorten my life, and fight to protect that right in all other citizens. I believe that all citizens should have the freedom to make their own choice of how to live their lives without the constant interference from the government.

Sackerson said...

OK, so long as you don't use emergency services, the health service, social security for the disabled etc.