by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Britain’s Conservative Party has long since adopted the role of being the nanny state’s enforcer: All for the “common good,” I suppose.
Michael Gove is, these days, something of a “Red Tory” and the minister in charge of the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, a name to conjure up gloom. …
… “Michael Gove’s planning officials have blocked pizza chain Papa John’s from opening a new store over fears it would exacerbate childhood obesity.
“In what is thought to be the first intervention of its kind, the Planning Inspectorate has rejected an appeal by Papa Johns to open a new site in Tyneside.” …
… Permission to set up new pizza places, it seems, is often refused if they are located within 400 yards or so of a school, for, of course, the sake of “the children.” But in Tyneside, it appears that this is not enough. Even though the proposed Papa John’s was more than the requisite distance from a school, the prospect that its dangerous products might still fall into the hands of some youngsters was too awful to contemplate, so this new business was stopped from opening.
The ban on the new outlet is bad enough in its own right, but it is yet another reminder (as if one were needed) that when it comes to the expansion of the nanny state, the slippery slope is all too real. The 400-meter pizza exclusion zone has now been supplemented by something (at least in this case, but there will surely be more) with boundaries determined by capricious, overbearing, and job-destroying regulatory whim.
Worse still, bit by bit, and in large things as well as small, the Conservatives are allowing precedents to be set that will be taken far further by Labour when the Tories are swept out of office in the general election next year.