Sunday, March 20, 2005

The Minister for School Meals

I've just heard on a news bulletin that the Government has decided to take on Jamie Oliver's school meals campaign to improve childrens diets.

I dont necessarily doubt Jamie Oliver's motivations for the campaign. Yes it has given him oodles of very nice PR, but he did also start the Fifteen Foundation which was a risky project and one which he invested large amounts of his own cash into. Improving the diets of our nation's schoolchildren is also a very worthy aim also. He is actually starting to remove a little of just how irritating his 'mockney' accent became at one stage.

However, there is just the niggling doubt at the back of my mind whether this campaign would have been given the slightest bit of notice by most people, and especially the Government had it not been fronted, and indeed thought of, by a very high profile celebrity.

There are dozens and dozens of very worthy causes out there, but the Blair Government epitomises the trend in society where celebrities are taken more seriously than anyone else. You cant help feeling that had this very campaign been started by some health promotion lobby/pressure group that it would not have even made it onto the desk of the relevant Minister.

While in this case it has a beneficial end, it sums up just how policy is most often made as we start out in the 21st Century. Look out for the David Beckham campaign to improve literacy in schools next!

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