More on lunatic “health” experts from James Delingpole:
There was a letter to the Daily Telegraph last weekend which depressed me more than anything I’ve read in ages. It reported the visit by a social worker to an elderly woman who made her a cup of tea. The young social worker was shocked by what she saw. Not only did this bewildered old woman insist on using leaves rather than a bag but she first poured some hot water into the pot, swirled it round, then wasted it by putting it straight down the sink. Here, clearly, was evidence that grandma was incapable of looking after herself and should be put into care immediately.
This put me in mind of another experience I had recently. I was having dinner with a group of friends in an upmarket London pub and we all wanted our burgers cooked medium rare. ‘They won’t allow it,’ said a local friend in the know. ‘We’re under Westminster Council jurisdiction, here.’ Sure enough, when the time to order came we had to beg and plead with the manager for our burgers not be overcooked, as local health laws now require.
What the old lady was doing was make tea the way it used to be made (and very often still is). You poured hot water into the teapot to warm it up, and then emptied it, put in a few teaspoons of loose tea, and poured boiling water in, and let it stand for a few minutes. These days I just drop and tea bag in a mug, and add boiling water. And this was probably how the young social worker made it too. But now, it seems, you have to make tea in the state-approved fashion if you don’t want to be taken into care. And definitely no Steak Tartare, obviously.
Elsewhere, from a talk given recently in the House of Lords:
According to evolutionary psychology, our minds were mostly formed in that very very long period when we lived as hunter-gatherers, in groups of perhaps at most 150 people, when there was no extensive commerce, little division of labour, and no voluntary employment; when working for others meant literally being a slave. And when there was no technological advance, no money, and no economic growth.
I believe that we are still haunted by the assumptions of such a world, and thus easily confuse employment with exploitation, income and wealth inequality with inequity, and the command of economic resources with dangerous political power.
These aren’t so much economic perceptions as moral ones, since morality is significantly rooted in the sharing of, and struggle for, resources; in tribal solidarity, but also in predation and the demonization of outsiders.
I believe that the insight that we are essentially hunter-gatherer moralists with cell phones makes it easier to understand persistent convictions about corporate conspiracy. It also helps explain naïve Do It Yourself Economic beliefs in grand, centrally-planned solutions to allegedly global problems.
I’m no big fan of evolutionary psychology, but I think this may explain some of the very simplistic ways some people seem to think. It’s only a few thousand years since we were living the lives of hunter-gatherers, and now everything has completely changed, and yet it may well be that the moral imperatives of that time still retain a deep hold over us, and make some of us long to go back to a simpler social organisations with top-down control by wise men (aka “experts”).
I quite often think that socialism isn’t the future, but was instead the past. Back then we all worked together to bring in the harvest, or to hunt antelope, and we all ate together around the campfire afterwards, and everybody knew their place in society, and who sat nearest to the fire, and who furthest.