While Michael Gove is blundering his way through the destruction of the Building Schools for the Future programme, he’s taking a lot of attention. However, he’s not the only Tory minister we need to be keeping a beady eye on.
Andrew Lansley, the Secretary of State for Health, set out a nice piece of Quid Pro Quo today. Basically, the ‘Change4Life’ adverts are going to be fully paid for by the food and drink industry, so the government can cut their funding. At the same time, Lansley has promised not to introduce any legislation to make food and drink manufacturers adhere to tighter standards, or to put the prices of unhealthy foods up.
The ideology behind this is that businesses that make money from selling fatty and sugary foods loaded with chemicals can ‘self-regulate’. It’s similar to how before the credit-crunch it was thought that a lighter touch regulation regime for banking was a good idea.
However, Mr Lansley knows all about self-regulation, and is a prime example of how much people can be trusted not to abuse such a position. The MPs expenses system was set up by MPs and involved a good degree of trust. Lansley took that trust and claimed a few grand to do up his house just before flipping it and selling it at a profit.
See? If the Secretary of State for Health thinks self-regulation is a good thing, who are we to argue?