Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Newsnight: Worthies discuss health issues

I've just watched last night's Newsnight after a tip-off from a commenter over at Taking liberties (9 August, 23.53). Health was discussed by Professor Steven Field, Caroline Flint and an epidemiologist, who seemed to look forward to a day when warnings on cigarettes would read 'Smoking can seriously affect your access to the NHS'.

No opposition was offered to the combined view that people's bad habits are a serious problem, and patrician intervention was the only right course of action, if only we knew how to do it. The 'people' themselves might as well have been zoo animals, for all the insight they were allowed to offer.

I telephoned the BBC to complain the last time a smoking story appeared with only a spokesperson for the anti-smoking side. The person who answered seemed to struggle with the idea that the problem had at least two sides and that more than one view should be represented. Doesn't appear that they learned very much.

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