by John Robson
For what heinous sin am I condemned to watch Libby Davies on TV telling the House of Commons what I should eat?
Would you tolerate someone spilling their fourth martini while ordering you to sober up? Well, her campaigning for legally mandated limits on salt in food is no different.
Politician, heal thyself. Then inspire me with your example or shut up.
It’s not just her, of course. I keep getting press releases from the Harper Tories boasting of their campaign to make Canadians more fiscally literate.
What say you balance the budget and pay down the debt you racked up before worrying about my credit cards?
Now I know what they’ll say about my mentioning Davies’ physique. They’ll say it’s rude. Don’t stigmatize a woman of size. Overeating isn’t a character flaw let alone the deadly sin of gluttony. It’s a lifestyle choice or, failing that, a disorder.
Politicians whose Question Period antics would shame baboons, and activists who shriek abuse then haul people before human rights tribunals, will tell me to mind my manners.
You go first and inspire me by your example instead of coercing me with a law.
I dare you. But in vain. Instead, at their hypocritical hands we are hemmed in by rules too numerous to count.
Laws and regulations specify how we must design a backyard fence, how large a tub of peanut butter we can have, what waivers we can sign when purchasing software, the maximum temperature to which we can set our hot water heaters and almost everything else we do.
This from people you doubt could change a tire.
How did this happen? Have archangels descended from heaven to direct weak, sinful fallen humanity toward virtuous, harmonious living without sin?
If so, they didn’t win their party’s nomination in any riding I can name.
Even their competence in saving us from ourselves is open to scathing question.
In the 40 years since they started hectoring us about fitness we’ve ballooned. Since they took over managing the economy growth has slowed, savings have plunged and debt has risen.
Urban planning has rendered our cities hideous. And so on. (They think they made us quit smoking but we did that ourselves. And how many of them furtively puff away?) Are we meant to pretend we don’t notice? Are we to become as hypocritical as politicians? Is that the example they’re hoping we’ll follow? Well count me out.
Still, it’s not fair to compare politicians to lechers giving marriage tips or insolvent stock brokers.
Those people only make suggestions. Politicians give orders. Hypocritical, aggressive, sanctimonious and frequently stupid as well.
Even if they were right it would be outrageous.
Human beings are not cattle. We cannot be happy unless we are wrestling with the dilemmas of existence.
How many posters have you seen telling you life is a journey not a destination? What do you think it means? That Libby Davies should barge in between us and our shopping carts and wag a sanctimonious finger in our collective faces?
As has been pointed out more times than I can count, a person who cannot be trusted in a grocery store can hardly be trusted in a voting booth. (And to be fair, politicians who treat us as childish idiots in their legislation also treat us as childish idiots in their campaigns.)
So I don’t even want a thin person grabbing my fork. And Libby Davies clearly has no idea what I should eat.
Leave me alone.