Increasing wealth is protective of health..

I’m amazed to be agreeing with Matt Hancock:

There is not a word to disagree with here – particularly that it is the first responsibility of any government is to protect its citizens.

I have a friend who thinks Hancock is genuine. He could be. But if he really thinks this, certainly he has to concede that Hancock hasn’t admitted to previous mistakes.

But at least Hancock has said it – and not been sacked – so presumably – we hope – it is government policy.

But then he went on to not endear himself – to me anyway:

He announced the launch of the National Institute for Health Protection, as having the “single and relentless mission to protect people from external threats to this country’s health”.

So we are all so very healthy that it is only external threats that menace us. Yet with Covid – 19 being something that is proved to be more susceptible to diabetics and the overweight and with Britain being the third most obese country in Europe he seems to suggest that a Briton’s susceptibility is entirely incidental – or probably the fault of our European cousins for being so thin?

Where exactly is that threat external?

This doesn’t bode well for promoting a healthy life.

What Conservatives especially, seem never to understand is that protection from penury is healthy, and after 10 years in power, I am struggling to think of any major policy from the Tory government that has improved people’s lives. They have largely punished them – well actually that’s us.

If Hancock is as genuine as my friend suggests is possible – then his Health agenda has certainly to be very much wider…


  1. Geoffrey Pearce -

    I haven’t studied the details, assuming that there are some details to study, but gather that Public Health ‘England’ is being subsumed within a ‘National’ institute, and wonder what the devolved administrations think of this apparent centralisation. There also would seem to be a danger of the vital matter of public health being further degraded by being ‘lost’ within a body which, as you say, is primarily looking outwards rather than inwards.

    1. Peter May -

      As I understand it the National Institute applies only to England – but it has to be said that because England has more skilled people simply by virtue of its population then it has a disproportionate influence on devolved administrations. Tests on aerosols released by singing, for example, were conducted by Public Health England and not anyone else. And I’m sure their conclusions will be followed by devolved administrations. The PHE ‘Eatwell’ guides, deluded and subject to vested interests as they are are also followed by everyone.

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