A cultural change, not a sugar tax, is what’s needed

Daffodils mean spring has sprung
Daffodils mean spring has sprung
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Right. That’s it. Stop the world, I want to get off.

Not content with mucking about with the school day, or trying to tell us the British economy is in great shape when actually he’s had to break two of his three fiscal rules, George Osborne has decided to come after one of the things I hold dear.

What’s the point in putting a levy on something so unhealthy the mechanics, when working on my poorly car, used it to dissolve the muck on a bit of the engine?

To be fair, I was a little surprised when the BBC alert flashed up with BREAKING NEWS on my phone that the sugar tax would be introduced.

Stuck in a training session at the time, I thought there must have been more controversial things the Beeb could have interrupted me with.

But then I escaped my training and, after unmelting my brain, I was able to decipher what the problem was – sugar tax would hit tonic.

As in vodka and tonic.

Forget missing huge economic targets and yet promising to magic up £20bn to meet that crucial third fiscal rule by 2020.

Forget using the dispatch box as a soap box to lobby to stay in the EU.

And forget the recent uproar about forcing all schools to become academies when the academy system has been tried and found wanting.

Nope, I agree with Auntie – it’s the sugar levy that’s the key issue here.

I also updated my budget yesterday, just to stay on top of things.

Unlike UK PLC, I should meet my fiscal obligations going forward.

I shouldn’t have to get in hock up to my eyeballs any more than I already am,

I’m planning for disaster – which has most recently manifested itself in a leaking roof, a broken car and a poorly cat – and I should have my debt paid down by 2020.

But what I hadn’t factored was a tax on things that people shouldn’t be buying anyway.

What’s the point in putting a levy on something so unhealthy the mechanics, when working on my aforementioned poorly car, used it to dissolve the muck on a bit of the engine?

A tax won’t stop children drinking fizzy drinks.

Only a cultural change will do that. And a spoonful of sugar won’t help that medicine go down.


I’m glad to see the tide might be turning in Japan when it comes to the county’s attitude towards whales.

One of the country’s museums has had to withdraw an award it gave for a picture of a man standing on a beached whale, his fist pumping in celebration at having caught the mammal.

The backlash could be marking a sea change in the attitude of a country that, until as recently as 1982, was hunting whales for food – and which still hunts them annually for ‘research’ purposes, whatever that means.

When The News reported on dozens of dead starfish being washed up on Southsea’s beaches, the story was full of comments about how sad a sight it was.

Well imagine how we’d feel if it was a whale.


This year the Easter weekend is also clock weekend, so not only do we have the spring to look forward to, finally, but we also have an extra day to get over the horror of having to lose an hour’s sleep.

I’m not sure what difference the clocks going forward makes to my life – I’ve only ever known the GMT/BST year – but I do know that I, like many people, am solar-powered.

For example, since the sun’s started shining a bit more I’ve started on the spring cleaning, finally washed my car, got on top of my paperwork and generally become a regular human being again.

For me, daffodils mark the time of year when I can open my windows, take a deep breath and throw off the winter cobwebs.