The sugar tax tightens Britian’s social straightjacket – CapX
It resembles nothing so much, in fact, as a revival of the old Temperance instincts. Both that crusade and the modern public health movement – which is, as this article shows, an ideological one – take the form of middle-class projects whose primary object is ‘improving’ the poor: the class element of sin taxes has been oft-observed.
That the gap between the end of Temperance and the rise of public health was marked by the advent or working-class suffrage and the retreat of working class people from public life is surely no coincidence.
Such is the veneration of our welfare state, and so effective the veil of technocratic rationality drawn over the true nature of public health policy, that Britain is now a country where politicians find it easier to try to reform the public than the public services they use, and where official reports can talk unabashedly of transforming our public spaces into “theatres” for state-sanctioned, virtuous behaviours.