It is agreed, then, that bad eating habits are a government problem. Up to now, you would have been forgiven for thinking that all social ills are to be cured by television presenters. Then this week, the Health Secretary took Jamie Oliver and his well-intentioned – if sadly ineffective – efforts to reform school dinners to task. Take-up of meals is down, argued Andrew Lansley, suggesting that Jamie’s formula for school dinner reform is not working. I would suggest Andrew Lansley aims his guns in a different direction.
Oliver has often talked of his frustration and, indeed, has even burst into tears at the refusal of sinners to convert to his way of eating, or stay faithful afterwards. But their diets are not his fault, or his responsibility. He valiantly highlighted an important issue. Millions watched; the previous government made a lot of the right noises, but they never ran with Oliver’s campaign.