Media campaigns increasingly clutter up our TV screens, instructing us not to gamble to excess, not to overindulge in drink, not to drink and then drive, not to speed, to watch intersections, and not to smoke. Recently announced additions to this parade of government preachiness include new ads for KiwiSaver, new pictorial warnings on cigarette packets, and this week, the government announced a new campaign to encourage healthy eating.How about that? The Government is trying to encourage us to develop good habits and stop doing things that are obviously bad for us. Naughty, naughty Government. So, what solution does the Maxim Institute have?
The problem is not always ignorance, but the lack of personal motivation to make healthy choices, to put down the cigarette packet and pick up the broccoli. That motivation is primarily a result of individual choice and the formation of the heart and the conscience. As the messages advertising throws at us become more and more obvious, it is difficult not to wonder what is going so wrong that the formation of character and virtue is being left to the TV. Perhaps it is time we looked at a more intimate and real form of education the education which occurs in families, neighbourhoods and communities, where virtue and healthy choices are modelled and valued, not just preached.That's right; none at all. Once again, Maxim knows nothing about the issue and has no expertise or wisdom to offer. Maxim just dislikes the Government. Perhaps Maxim should spend a little time away from its wealthy donors and visit some communities. Perhaps they might see that, in some communities, very bad choices are modelled and valued. Perhaps they might take a look at some of the research done by people who know about these issues, which shows that these bad choices about diet and substance abuse come in clusters, that it is the poor communities who suffer the heart disease, diabetes and cancers caused by cigarettes, alcohol and poor diet. Perhaps they might stop to think that cigarettes, in particular, make people ill - they kill half their users - and poor. Perhaps, just perhaps, the Maxim Institute might then stop jerking off about the wonders of communities and realise that some people are making real efforts to improve the health of those who need it most.
Perhaps we should be asking why the Maxim Institute enjoys charitable status with the tax benefits that result. This bunch of charlatans is an educational charity, despite making no useful contribution to education. Why do we allow these pricks to avoid paying taxes? Now there's a real issue.
Here's the national anthem: