Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Lansley is right over schooldinner-gate

In politics, one cardinal rule is to never, ever take on celebrities.

But today, Health Secretary Andrew Lansley did just that - suggesting that TV Chef Jamie Oliver's schooldinners campaign had been a failure as people shouldn't be nagged or lectured into eating healthier.

I don't agree about the campaign being a failure; Oliver has put the issue of schooldinners front and centre. There has been a big change in the quality of school dinners even in the time I have been a teacher and largely that is because of extra focus by governors, parents and schools. Without Oliver it is unlikely that focus would ever have come.

However, I think Lansley was absolutely right to say that the days of bossing people into doing something should be behind us. The sight of the lecturing Oliver banging on about what to eat is enough to turn most people's stomach and his preaching style is unlikely to win many fans. Why not go out there and demonstrate the benefits of healthy food Jamie rather than spending your time sounding like Nanny?

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