Don’t touch my bacon

One by one, the World Health Organisation is chipping away at life’s small pleasures. First they came for tobacco, which very few people cared about because it didn’t smell very nice. Then they came for sugar, which people are only lukewarm about because of its association with big ‘nasty’ companies like Coca-Cola. But now they are coming for bacon.

I should be welcoming this, purely because almost everyone loves bacon so if there’s anything likely to make libertarians out of health nutters then it’s an assault on the cornerstone of the British breakfast. You may take our lives but you’ll never take our Sunday morning hangover cure.

Don't touch my bacon

But there are several reasons why any government would be silly to pay any attention to this nonsense.

Even if you accept that your diet is the business of the health nutters, which I don’t for a second, it’s only natural to concede that tobacco and sugar have addictive qualities that make people consume more than actually is good for them. But do processed meats, really? Has anyone ever been treated for chronic chorizo addiction?

Unlike tobacco, pork is actually farmed here, with almost half a million pigs forming the UK’s sizable herd last year. This is, as you would expect, far less than in previous years but we still have a sizable industry. We even export pork, though not as much as we import. So any move to limit our consumption of pork will actually have a direct impact not just on retailers but on the supply chain as well, all the way down to the guy with a shed full of pigs in the Devon countryside. It could kill off the industry completely.

All of this actually relies on the Government paying a blind bit of notice of the WHO’s designation and the inevitable public health campaigns which will result.  From the point of view of those concerned with liberty, we need to stop this assault on pig-based products dead in its tracks or suffer the consequences.

Because who knows what will come next? My money’s on cheese, but don’t be surprised if one day they discover carcinogenic additives in quinoa. Then where would we be?

Conservatives for Liberty are holding a lobby evening on Wednesday 25th November called Forgive us our Trespasses: The moral case for choice and responsibility. If you want the opportunity to hear from a number of MPs about why they believe in individual choice, and to ask them any pressing questions you may have, including on the important issue of bacon, the read more about the event here.


Neil works in marketing for a large technology business and has been a Conservative member since 2005. In 2015 he stood for Parliament for the Belfast East constituency, notably achieving the party’s highest ever position there. Neil firmly believes that Northern Ireland’s problems are fed by unusually high levels of aspiration-draining state interference. Follow Neil on Twitter: @neil4ebelfast

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