The Jamie Oliver Phenomenon

I am trying to get my head around this business of Jamie Oliver and the sugar tax.

For a start, who is Jamie Oliver?  Well, he's a cook.  He cooks meals: nothing more, nothing less.  Basically he's a burger flipper.  The fact that he is seen as a "celebrity" and has a "cheeky chappie" approach does not enhance any of his non-existent qualifications and just makes him an intensely irritating little cunt who makes my eyes and ears bleed.

Suddenly and for no apparent reason he has decided that he is the Saviour of the Future Generations and is lecturing an entire country, telling them what to eat.  What fucking business is it of his?  Why has he got this sudden obsession with the obesity so called crisis?  Why has he got his knife into sugar?  Why should a cook suddenly have the authority to attempt to dictate what kids eat?

Even more mysterious is the fact that people actually listen to him.  Is he an expert in nutrition? No.  Has he got some incredible insight into the causes of obesity?  No.  Was he born of a virgin and can walk on water?  No.  He has the ability to throw a few ingredients in a pan and make a meal, and that is the be all and end all.  I do all that on a daily basis, yet he apparently has the power to hector his gubmint into introducing an extra tax that has no merit whatsoever except to penalise the poorer in society?

To some extent, this is the same phenomenon that allows the likes of Bono and Bob Geldof appoint themselves the ultimate wisdom on poverty in the Third World.  The fact that they produced a few records grants them access to the Corridors of Power and lecture those in power about how they should conduct business.

Of course most people don't give a damn about a "sugar tax" because they don't buy much in the way of fizzy drinks.  The vast majority will shrug and say so what, and those that think they have a right to dictate how others live will jump for joy.  What they don't seem to realise is that this is the thin end of yet another wedge.  A little tax now will become a big tax tomorrow.  A fizzy drink now will become virtually the entire "non-approved" food chain tomorrow.  Already the subject of a sugar tax is rearing its ugly head here in Ireland, and if it arrives I will place the blame entirely at Oliver's feet.

These "sin taxes" are a great way to impose taxes upon taxes.  The Righteous can scream that it's "for our own good" while more and more cash is taken from our pockets.  Apart from lining the gubmints' pockets, these taxes do nothing except make the poor poorer and satisfy those smug Puritans.

In years to come, people will look back and remember Jamie Oliver for what he is – an overweight irritating little pustule on the arse of humanity.  And judging by the amount of sugars in his recipes, as an outstanding hypocrite as well.

He deserves nothing less.

The epitome of an egotistical wanker

The epitome of an egotistical wanker

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The Jamie Oliver Phenomenon — 21 Comments

    • Well, I know Herself is of a similar mind, and I assume you would join our merry club, so that makes three?  A majority?  Can't answer that.

  1. It's a tax on children's drinks. It could prompt older children to try beer, which has a high sugar content. More Billy Bunters, waddling about. Obscene.

    • If they graduate to beer they just move under the umbrella of a different Puritan movement.  There's no getting away from them.

  2. Can't Jamie Oliver get out of bed without having another bloody 'cause'? He's got his sugar tax and now he's campaigning for all mums to breastfeed because it's 'easy and natural' – wtf does he know about how easy it is? I'd like someone to scour his nipples with a brillo pad until they're practically bleeding and then squeeze them violently until he begs for mercy – then he'll know how 'easy' it WASN'T for some of us! Twat.

    • Welcome, NP!  He must think he's on a roll.  Now that he has been recognised as arbiter of all things healthy, God knows where he'll stop.

      And how can any sane adult take advice from someone who calls his kids Daisy Boo Pamela, Poppy Honey Rosie, Petal Blossom Rainbow and Buddy Bear Maurice?  The fella's a lunatic.

  3. Pretty poor rant. Is the government an expert on nutrition? No, it listens to its scientific advisory committee. Jamie has done the same. Has he got an incredible insight on the causes of obesity? I imagine not. But it doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that regularly consuming added sugar in high quantities is bad for health. Even if a kid is very active, he/she can easily consume too many calories in this way (perhaps even consuming them as they exercise with the needless consumption of sports drinks). Why has it got this sudden obsession with the obesity so called crisis? He hasn't done this all of a sudden! You haven't even bothered to mention all the work he did on poor school food before any of the sugar debate started. Why has he got his knife into sugar? Simply because of the ludicrously high levels of added sugar in a wide range of products, and the harm this can cause. Why should a cook suddenly have the authority to attempt to dictate what kids eat? Why not? If you had a public profile, would you use it to speak about issues you believe in? Isn't your own blog doing the same thing but not reaching as many people? By your thinking, someone who owns or runs a business is no better than anyone else to talk about the economy. How do you know the tax will have no merit other than to penalise the poorest? You must be some sort of expert to may such statements, while at the same time criticising 'a cook' for saying the opposite to your point of view. Why is a sugar tax any different to fuel duty or stamp duty? Presumably you have ranted elsewhere about those and how they prevent poorer people owning cars and buying a house.

    I actually find Jamie annoying and don't watch his programmes, but do respect that he has cleverly articulated something he cares about.

    End of rant in reply.

    • OK, there are quite a few points there.

      We'll lay aside Oliver's expertise or lack thereof.  Obesity is caused by a whole range of factors of which sugar is only a small one, and sugared drinks are an even smaller factor.  Reducing consumption of said drinks has had very little effect in those countries that have imposed it.  Sugar consumption level has in fact been deceasing over the last years while the so called obesity levels have been increasing.  This is a populist tax that initially the British government weren't even going to consider.  At the last second they did a u-turn, presumably because they realised it was a handy cash-cow.

      However, what really boils my ire has nothing to do with Jamie Oliver or even the sugar tax – it is the basic principle that no government should have the right to dictate how we should live our lives or penalise us for doing things of which they disapprove.  It is a further encroachment of the Nanny State into our private lives and our chosen lifestyles.  If I decide to drink fifty Coca Cola cans a day, it is none of their business.  If I decide to wreck my health it is none of their business.  I am an adult with enough intelligence to know what I am doing, and the result of the choices I make.  Governments are becoming increasingly intrusive in private people's lives, whether by banning or by levying taxes.  Where is this going to stop?    They already attacked tobacco an are now focusing on sugar and alcohol.  What is next down the line?  Your guess is as good as mine, but I can guarantee there will be tighter restrictions on how we live our lives "for our own good", as if we are incapable of deciding for ourselves.

      Incidentally, you state that sugar is bad, but the tax is only on sweetened drinks.  Are you prepared for the penalties that will doubtless be imposed on other sweetened items?  I hope you aren't fond of chocolate, cakes or desserts?  Maybe you like bland food?  I hope so….

      • And here we go again. The fact that you are talking about sugar and not about calories shows that you don't really understand this. In simple terms, too much added sugar generally leads to too many calories and then overweight, then obesity. Sugary drinks typically contain way too much added sugar than is good for you. Even for someone who burns off these calories through physical activity, added sugar is a nutritionally poor way to consume them. So we need to encourage people to change their sources of calories. Does education work for this? No. Does labeling work? No. Does common sense seem to work? No, with your views as a good evidence for this.

        Your argument about government intervention is worthy of consideration, and I think there is an important balance to be achieved. But to say government should have not right to get involved is too simplistic and shows your views are not sensibly derived. Given your thinking, we should get rid of the regulations about marketing and access to prescribed drugs – let everyone have as much morphine as they like. Or perhaps we should just abandon civil and criminal laws so we can all assault each other or build homes where ever we want? 

        You may well be an adult, and are right to choose how you live your life; but you do so in a society where we help support each other when we are suffering ill health. We all pay our tax to fund a health and care system. So you either believe we should not fund the NHS the way we do, or are quite happy not to bother said health service when you become ill? 

        To answer your question – yes I am prepared for it to be extended to other foods. In fact, I wouldn't have just done it on sweetened drinks. It is a pretty embarrassing view on your part that you think we don't have the talent and ability as a society to come up with foods that taste good without high levels of added sugar and other ingredients.

        • I'm a little confused here.  You say I am confusing sugar with calories and then go on to say we consume too much sugar which leads to too many calories?

          Anyhows, that aside, who is to say what is too much sugar?  I like sugar in my tea and therefore add it.  Tea without sugar [for me] is not as palatable.  If on the other hand I add too much sugar then I find that equally unpalatable.  On the same principle, I avoid such drinks as Coca Cola as I find them too sweet for my taste.  The only way common sense comes into it is that I select the level of sweetness I enjoy, as do most people.  The only exception to the latter is that group who do a "Sally Davis" and examine their rule book before partaking which must be a pretty miserable existence.  I am well aware of all the scare stories doing the rounds but I choose to ignore them as is my right as an individual.  Who should decide what is too much for me?  "Recommended levels" are a farce as no two people are the same yet a government can decide without even seeing me what is good or bad for me?

          Your argument about government control is reductio ad absurdum as I'm sure you are aware.  I am indeed against any form of government control in such matters as lifestyle.  It is no ones business but my own as to how I choose to lead my life, provided I am doing no harm to others.  No government should have the right to enforce a particular ideological lifestyle on anyone.  The NHS [or in my case, the HSE] is there to serve the population and to provide medical care for those who need it.  It is not there to arbitrarily impose restrictions on the entire population in the guise of "preventative intervention".  Where would that end?  Ban all sports?  Ban all cars?  I would guess that they impose a hefty cost to the health service?  In any case, the "cost" to the health service is a spurious argument.  I would imgine I am typical of the vast majority in that I lead my own lifestyle.  I smoke, I drink, I enjoy sweet things [to an extent] and I cost the health service nothing, yet I have paid large sums over the course of my life into the system through taxation, and in fact, as a smoker I contribute one hell of a lot more than the average – way in excess of anything I might cost the service in the future.

          Government, and by extension public service bodies are there to serve the people [the clue is in the word “service”]  They are supposedly there to protect the individual from abuse by others, which is what the law should do.  Protecting us from ourselves is wrong on every level.

          Incidentally, just as a footnote, I see they calculate that this sugar tax is going to cost the UK an estimated half a billion?  For what is basically just a piece of very dubious experimentation, is it worth that?



  4. Grandad,

    I fail to understand how anybody can take anything this attention seeker says seriously when he’s happy, for yet more attention, to call his kids;
    Daisy Boo Pamela Oliver – Poppy Honey Rosie Oliver – Petal Blossom Rainbow Oliver – Buddy Bear Maurice Oliver.

    I do, however, believe we should keep an eye on this family as I wouldn’t be surprised if we learn from the news, in a few years time when those poor kids have grown some, of the mysterious disappearance of their parents and the only clue the police have is extensive ware on the kitchen meat grinder.



  5. “The vast majority will shrug and say so what”

    Smokers won’t.  We – the only group, it seems, amongst the obedient bovines who form the remainder of the population – know how these things work.  Been there.  Read the book.  Seen the film.  Got the t-shirt.

    Chocolate tax, anyone?

  6. Oh for god's sake. What can we do to shut this self-propangandish idiot off?  He has no knowledge or training in the subject, and does not understand the effects of the sugar tax.  What's worse is the implication that a government department could be influenced by this idiot. I sincerely hope this stupidity does not travel to Ireland.

    • "I sincerely hope this stupidity does not travel to Ireland"  Of course it will.  We can't have one country out-nannying another?

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