This week the public health Pooh-Bahs opened self-righteous fire on yet another front.
A public health Pooh-Bah is a self-appointed guru convinced utterly their own rightness, who delights in telling the rest of us how to live and brook no contradiction. While many public health experts are objective analysts and commentators open to opinions other than their own, and accept contrary evidence on its merits, it’s the Pooh-Bahs who tend to dominate the media, and get in the ears of politicians.
In the Pooh-Bah tradition of happily blasting away at Big Tobacco, Big Pharma, Big Alcohol and Big Gambling, a Deakin University study inspired a shock, horror story in Fairfax yesterday, breathlessly reporting that lobbyists for Big Food ‘are potentially swaying health policies in favour of their corporate bottom line in Australia’.
The Deakin study interviewed nameless politicians and public servants, eliciting the admission that purveyors of sweets and other enjoyable recreational comestibles were getting heard because they participate in the political process, including by making donations to political parties.
Stop the presses! Hold the front page!
The last I heard, buying and selling sweets, choccies, convenience foods and the like were legal. These products are lawfully available, and for many of us are highly enjoyable pleasures in our drab lives. Their manufacture, wholesale and retail industries create many thousands of jobs, and for Aussie teens a first job at Maccas is a rite of passage. They contribute many millions of dollars to the economy through GST, company tax, and the personal taxes of their employees. Surely they’re entitled to let policy-makers know of their views on public policy and legislation, and suggest constructive alternatives?
Apparently not. Public health Pooh-Bahs are a fully paid-up branch of the nanny state Left, with Left values and a Left worldview. To them, it’s only ok to express an opinion, or engage in the political process, if you’re ‘one of them’. The rest of us can go to hell because that’s where we belong, it seems. The Left’s intolerance and hate of those who dare question it, as amply demonstrated by last Sunday’s celebrity-studded rabble-rousing against Donald Trump’s presidential inauguration, is no spontaneous eruption: as the one-sided public health debate highlights, it is institutionalised in academia, promoted by taxpayer-funded lobby groups like the Cancer Council, and propagated by fellow traveller journalists and commentators.
The public health Pooh-Bahs’ arrogance is laughable. If an industry and its products are legal, it has every right to make whatever political investments it chooses, provided they comply with electoral and disclosure laws. That includes all the so-called evil Bigs – even the daddy of them all, Big Tobacco. The Pooh-Bahs should put that in their pipes and smoke it.
As for politicians, as policy-makers and legislators they need to consult and consider many issues, many views. How they weigh and filter these to make their decisions is entirely up to them, and they’re ultimately accountable to the voters for the decisions they make and how they make them. Just because a person or company is a party donor doesn’t mean they’ll get their way with a government or opposition.
Tripe like this would be laughable except for one thing. It reflects a highly successful tactic of the public health lobby, and the Left generally, to hamstring their opponents by flinging mud and making McCarthyist allegations as a substitute for respectful debate. Collectively, this is a group of Aristotelian philosopher kings that refuses to accept facts challenging their omniscient wisdom, and never hesitates to play the man (or industry) rather than the ball – usually by sticking the qualifier ‘Big’ in front of any interest they want to discredit, and discrediting anyone who even sympathises with a Big’s policy case, let alone accepts funds from them.
It’s high time someone called out these public health Pooh-Bahs for what they are: self-righteous, intolerant, arrogant intellectual bullies and purveyors of miserable puritanism for the masses, with no trust in the sentience, wisdom and good judgment of anyone but themselves.
If public health Pooh-Bahs want Big Whatever not to make political donations, fine. But only if they agree that federal and state governments level the field by defunding generously subsidised Pooh-Bah public health academics and organisations.
Illustration: Warner Brothers.
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