Tim Lang’s looking for his K

The government has been accused of a “shocking” disregard for the basic nutrition of the most vulnerable members of society during the pandemic by a group of leading food policy academics.

A letter written by Tim Lang, professor of food policy at London’s City University, was sent early in the Covid-19 crisis to George Eustice, secretary of state for the environment, food and rural affairs, and Duncan Selbie, chief executive of Public Health England.

It called for the creation of an expert committee on food and nutrition to oversee the contents of food packages sent to 1.5 million people required to shield during the pandemic and to the 1.3 million children eligible for free school meals. The letter was co-signed by Erik Millstone, emeritus professor of science policy at the University of Sussex, and Terry Marsden of Cardiff University. They proposed a committee that would mirror the work of Sage, the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies, which has informed government policy throughout the crisis.

Because running that sort of committee is how you get your K of course.

Would be fun if they did set one up – well, no, not really, but – and didn’t invite Tim Lang. Bit like when they asked Snippa to aid drafting the anti-avoidance clause then didn’t take his advice nor offer to pay him.

28 thoughts on “Tim Lang’s looking for his K”

  1. “Would be fun if they did set one up…. and didn’t invite Tim Lang.”

    Well yes, and shouldn’t this be a solid and non partisan convention? That if you advise the setting up of something you don’t get the call, nor anyone in your current institution.

  2. SAGE has played a large part in fucking us up–because they have the ear of Jellyballs Johnson and his gang.

    No more fucking SAGEs. Asking people off the street to be govt advisors would produce no worse results than the “experts” have.

  3. Tha’s odd. When I initially opened this page to read the comments there was an item over on the right hand side, post written by Tim on 20/6/20 regarding Chechens in Dijon. Clicked on it & read it. But it doesn’t turn up anywhere on the current Home Page. Now it’s disappeared from the right hand side of this page. You censoring yourself, Tim? Or is it something from the past but your system’s generated a more recent time stamp for some reason.? Odd, because it’s something I’d remember if I’d seen it. I\ve friends in Dijon.

  4. “Oversee the contents of food packages sent to 1.5 million people required to shield during the pandemic”

    Effectively this means stopping them getting stuff. These days so much comes down to stopping people having or doing something that doesn’t fit with the proposer’s views.

  5. Just to clarify: It was a post on this site. Not Contins or elsewhere. I opened the link & read it. It even had some comments, below

  6. TMB, we need people to feed us scare stories about peak wheat and how climate change is destroying agriculture

  7. “…to the 1.3 million children eligible for free school meals”

    Err….. that’s the job of their schools, not the guvvmtn.

  8. So Much For Subtlety

    It called for the creation of an expert committee on food and nutrition to oversee the contents of food packages sent to 1.5 million people required to shield during the pandemic and to the 1.3 million children eligible for free school meals.

    It is outrageous that the proles aren’t eating the food the Right Thinkers think is good for them. They need experts to wean them off KFC and on to a proper diet of lentils and gruel.

    I would take food experts more seriously if they got anything right. They are quietly admitting all their dietary advice was wrong. Good fats and bad fats? Yeah right.

    The government is highly dependent on the good will of soldiers – and their ability to do intermittent hard work in horrible climates. Yet feeding them has always been a bit of a problem. Experts be damned – the experts gave the world the C ration. How can anyone take them seriously after that?

    Napoleonic soldiers probably ate better than British soldiers did for most of the second half of the 20th century. All due to experts.

  9. So Much For Subtlety

    jgh June 22, 2020 at 9:21 am – “Err….. that’s the job of their schools, not the guvvmtn.”

    Funny innit? I always thought that was the job of their parents. If you can’t feed them ….

  10. Isn’t it usually only a C for chairing a committee? Thought you had to do a few to get a K (unless it’s a really major one, but I wouldn’t have thought a lumchbox inspector would be enough).

  11. SMfS, that all changed with Lyndon Johnson in the 60s. If you didn’t feed your kids, they were removed from the home. Johnson decided that giving people money to feed their kids would be better than removing them. So if you don’t feed your kids in the U.S., the government will give you money.

    They still don’t feed them. So government schools feed them.

  12. Michele Obama notoriously took control of American school lunches, what was to be in them. Untold billions of meals were dumped straight in the trash.

    A ‘group of leading food policy academics’ don’t choose what kids will eat. Kids do.

  13. Bloke in North Dorset

    “A ‘group of leading food policy academics’ don’t choose what kids will eat. Kids do.”

    As Jamie Oliver found out in no uncertain terms,

  14. I first encountered Tim Lang whilst I was at University. He had written a great screed on the evils of E-numbers in food (remember them? This was back in the day when the Awful Europeans were insisting on pumping devilish additives into us, rather than the Americans) Anyway. It took me very little research to debunk huge chunks of it. Seem to recall that I got a distinction for that essay. So he’s been writing bollocks for decades.

  15. @ SFMS
    Napoleonic soldiers probably ate better than British soldiers…
    The French have always taken their food seriously.

  16. Napoleonic soldiers probably ate better than British soldiers…

    That’s because Napoleon fed his armies largely by theft. The British Army – for example in the Peninsular War – was under strict instructions to pay for its food. Causing your allies’ farming families to starve was reckoned bad policy.

  17. School meals are the job of schools, regardless of who pays for them. Parents are (should) be responsible for breakfast and tea, and weekend and out-of-term meals. With the Corvid Lockup the summer has effectively been declared term time, if they’re calling them school meals, and providing them through the school meals system, it’s the schools’ job. And many schools catering services would welcome the work.

  18. E Numbers are food addatives specifically tested and cleared for safety. Such as E162, beetroot juice; E260, vinegar; E300, vitamin C; E330, lemon juice. Ban vitamin C, it’s got an E number!

    It’s the ones *without* E numbers that you should be afraid of.

  19. So Much For Subtlety

    dearieme June 22, 2020 at 11:43 am – “That’s because Napoleon fed his armies largely by theft. The British Army – for example in the Peninsular War – was under strict instructions to pay for its food. Causing your allies’ farming families to starve was reckoned bad policy.”

    The quote was truncated. I said “Napoleonic soldiers probably ate better than British soldiers did for most of the second half of the 20th century. All due to experts.” So it is probably true that Napoleon stole and Wellington paid. But that has nothing to do with a poor Squaddie paddy bashing in Malaya.

  20. Why the heck is the government sending out food parcels? Reading the comments on Mumsnet (don’t judge me!) they’re all tinned spam and mouldy cabbage. Far better to hand out Tesco vouchers and let people pick food that they’ll actually eat.

  21. Andrew M said:
    “Why the heck is the government sending out food parcels? … Far better to hand out Tesco vouchers and let people pick food that they’ll actually eat.”

    This is people “required to shield” – isolated because they or someone in their household is a high risk. Presumably they can’t go out to Tesco.

    I’m guessing here, but the problem could be that normally the government could hand out Tesco vouchers and they could choose stuff to get delivered, but the media and government scared so many other people that the supermarket delivery services were overwhelmed.

  22. We have had meals on wheels for ages and then there’s food banks and assorted charities, why would you need a committee for this, a committee that would cost a fortune and likely not report until it was too late

  23. “Far better to hand out Tesco vouchers and let people pick food that they’ll actually eat.”

    It’s the LBJ problem. They’ll just sell the vouchers.

    BWTM. We don’t want them enjoying what they eat. Tinned spam and mouldy cabbage will keep them alive, and striving to provide their own damn food.

  24. It called for the creation of an expert committee on food and nutrition to oversee the contents of food packages sent to 1.5 million people

    Translated: Tim Lang and his mates want Govt to create a new Quango and employ them.

    No. Not needed. Simple solution to ‘made up’ problem: cheap A-Z Multi Vitamins and Minerals pills added – job done

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