Wednesday, October 31, 2007

We've Got the Message

A little of what you fancy...
I'm sure the red tops will be fighting back against Heather Mills' allegations of being hounded them in the morning, but the daily diet of harassment that has got my goat today is yet another in the seeming daily frontal attacks on our lifestyles by the medical establishment.

In this case the crack troops deployed are those of the World Cancer Research Fund, and their report on the impact of lifestyle choices on cancer risk. As reported by BBC Radio news we were told we should ideally cut out almost all red meat, all alcohol and bacon, eggs and other processed meats; to be fair, as is often the case the TV coverage and the BBC News website coverage is a little more moderate and closer to the spirit of the report. Still the drip drip of regurgitation of pretty similar research on matters such is this at best irritating and at worse has the same feeling of an organised cavalry charge to spur government into interference that presaged the smoking legislation.

Typical too is he fact the report has not gone far enough for the the Taliban elements of the medical profession. Choosing as ever to treat we infidels as five year olds they demand that 'moderation' be replaced by 'abstinence' and make calls to undefined 'government action'.

To these fundamentalists I would say there are many things that can shorten our time on this earth, such as a close encounter with the four foot length of scaffolding pole that got left in my flat after some building work.

To the moderates all I would say is fine, we get it, we're grown ups and we'll make our choices. Nobody is disputing your findings but repetition of the same messages achieves little. We could reduce road fatalites to zero by reducing the speed limit to the same round figure, we could reduce crime to pretty much zero by fully rolling out the type of police state that seems to be the wet dream of many a Labour Home Secretary, and yes, we could extend our lifespans by living the kind of sterile, joyless existance that you seem obsessed with.

We could, but we won't. Life is about more than maximising its duration and minimising its risks. Is the greatest happiness to be found in a long life of modern puritaism, or a shorter one, possibly with an uncomfortable end, enjoying all life has to offer? For me, to misuse a common phrase, in matters of taste there can be no question.

Anyway, the Base Camp is offering a fine concoction of pidgeon breast and chorizo, and I think it's time to go and avail myself of a large portion, to be washed down with some merlot, purely for its anti-oxidant properties of course.

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