Caring for a coeliac

The sense of righteousness here is simply nauseating.

Simply put, middle class Mummy has two year old with coeliac disease type thingie. And she\’s outraged, outraged I tell you, that she will no longer be getting gluten free foods on prescription. The PCT has decided to spend the money on other things.

And as it turns out in the comments, even that\’s not quite right. Gluten free basics will still be available on prescription. It\’s the treats, the sweeties, that no longer will be.

At which point there\’s three things that can be said.

The first is that in recent years there\’s been an explosion in the availability of gluten free foods. Here\’s the Tesco list. It\’s not immediately apparent that such foods need to be on prescription any more even if they arguably once did need to be. (If Pootergeek is around we\’ll let him comment on that.)

The second is that this massive increase in availability comes from, in part, one of the readers of this blog (Hello there Cleanthes!) and his wife. In fact, they\’ll even offer you £1 off a loaf of gluten free bread and, nice guy that I am, I pointed out this coupon to the author of the piece.

Thirdly and finally, jeebus, grow the fuck up woman. Looking at the Tesco prices the diference between normal bread and gluten free appears to be, for something wholemeal stylee, full of crunchy goodness, about 50 p a loaf. For a two year old, perhaps one loaf a week? You\’re seriously taking to the newspapers about how oppressed you are that you might have to do a whole \’nother 5 minutes of minimum wage work to feed yer ickle darlin\’?

I\’m all for there being a safety net, even for the existence of a welfare state. But don\’t you think that perhaps, just somewhere in the dim recesses of your soul, you might just be overdoing the indignation at what it doesn\’t provide you with?

14 thoughts on “Caring for a coeliac”

  1. Shhhhh!

    ‘While your enemy is destroying himself, step out of the way’

    The more CiF articles like this one, the greater the chance that people will start to question ALL their stances…

  2. My son has coeliac. Not ‘wheat intorerance’ – I mean full on sick down the toilet pan followed by curled up ball and long-term malnutrition.

    I reckon his diet costs us another £20 per week. For example he can eat sausages, but only Black Farmer, not Walls (twice the price, natch). The bread might only be 50p dearer, but its 1/3rd of the size and lasts 3 days. And so on and so on.

    What’s on offer (so far) is a very limited range of goods (basically bread, pasta, cakes and biscuits) which probably halves the incremental cost of feeding my son. Noone is offering to subsidise the fact that the sausages and ham I buy from him must always be the more expensive ones.

    Now I can well afford it, so I personally have no gripe here, but I can see why that could still be a stretch for some people, and why withdrawing the cakes and buscuits could make a bad situation worse.

  3. I know I’m ranting a little, but I guess it comes down to the issue of responsibility and its limits. imho the welfare state must incentivise/encourange/reward/encourage citizens to take responsibility for their responses to most life circumstances. But we must also surely accept that there are always some circumstances where that principle reaches its limits: the disabled cannot be told to shut up and get on with it for example. And so with coeliacs (on a much reduced scale). The cost is unavoidable and there is literally zero scope to take responsibility for your response since you (medically speaking) have no choices. That creates an incremental financial burden which not all people can bear. I can, and that’s great for my family, but that will not be true for many families.
    So as ever the problem is a little more strucural than it appears. My proposal is to give an incremental allowance to cover the additional costs and let the patient/parent buy what they need. Not unlike DLA. Unless you pay 40% income tax (like me) in which case you can clearly afford the addtional cost.

  4. gary – if it is a true case of coeliac disease then ok…but there is a lot of diagnosis slippage and not everybody is 100% intolerant etc…but it calls for a commsense response

  5. @diogenes
    Agreed. That’s another parallel with DLA, but the Guardian author does claim her child took the endoscopy…

  6. @ Gary
    This is not a poverty-stricken individual who is complaining: this is a (“freelance”) journalist writing for the Guardian – you know, the paper that can call abolishing child benefit for higher-rate taxpayers an attack on the poor. If the extra cost of paying for her child’s food is a stretch for her then one may ask “why?”

  7. @John 77
    Entirely agreed. I suggested above that I shouldn’t really be eligable, nor should anyone else on 40% income tax i.e. probaly the Guardian journalist. I also think her hysterical writing style doesn’t help.
    But it doesn’t change the underlying logic, which is that the welfare state should provide a safety net for those who take full responsibility for their circumstances, and also the very, very small minority who cannot take full reposnsibility for various reasons (disabled, mentally impaired, etc).

  8. I am curious as to where evolution is taking this.

    Normally this child and probably her mother would be dead, genes gone from the pool.

    I suspect we will start differentiating very soon, with healthy – smart breeding only (statistically speaking) with healthy – smart, until healthy – smart can no longer even breed with say, the average leftist. Couldn’t resist.

    I have long warned my sons to stay the hell away from people like these, not that either of my two are all that splendiferous, gene wise, but why make even worse babies?

  9. @ Fred Z
    I am not convinced your stupidity is contagious, but perhaps you could keep clear of this blog just to make sure?

    To make the point more directly, this is a blog targeted at classical liberals. If you can’t keep up, then my recomendation is
    good luck.

    Tim adds: “this is a blog targeted at classical liberals.” Umm, sorta, umm, no. More like “aimed at convincing people to become classical liberals”….

  10. @ Gary
    Yes, of course the welfare state should provide a safety net for those who cannot manage on their own and that was the basis of the welfare state when I was young. What I found distasteful was a very-well-off young woman demanding that the Surrey PCT pay not even the *extra* cost but the *whole* cost of her daughter’s food and cut back on its provision for those in real need in order to do so.

  11. I doubt a freelance journalist is a 40% taxpayer. The Grauniad pay about £80 an article, if they ever get round to paying. Since organisations not engaged in lefty cammpaigining don’t expoloit workers, rates elsewhere are better, but not all that much better.

    Tim adds: £80 is for comment is free stuff. Actually in the paper I think it’s £250 to £300. I think the Telegraph is around £250 for a comment piece now. Express 50 p a word, Mail £1 a word.

  12. Who cares about the earning status of the individual the point is that is more expensive and that is the issue. It’s not subsidising bad habits it is an autoimmune disease like diabetes which can lead to cancer if not checked which will cost the nhs even more. It’s so easy for kids to fall off the wagon as it were. They need packaged treats so they are like everyone else and not picked on or worse still bullied.

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