A London neighborhood’s response to the "epedemic of obesity" reveals the elitism of the governing class and its army of social engineers. Fed up with the obvious popularity of purveyors of politically incorrect food, the Waltham Forest council is poised to drive them out of business the old fashion way; banishment. In this case establishments designated as fast food restaurant will not be allowed to operate within 400 meters (1,300 feet) of a school or park located outside town centers. In the more congested town centers only one in 20 retail units could operate as a fast food joint.

Many are the sins of these restaurants, ranging from being hot beds of littering and anti-social behavior to contributing to bad eating habits, especially of children. Those are the ostensible reasons for banning them but the Watham Forest council leader is more honest: "We have too many fast food outlets in this borough and we’ve had enough."

Obviously the residents haven’t had enough or there would be no demand for the offending eateries. As to littering and bad behavior whirling about the fast food outlets, if indeed that is the case, there are already plenty of laws that are designed to curtail these social ills so law enforcement is obviously falling short of its duty, something far more worrisome than bad eating habits.

The council leader goes on: "We don’t want to tell people how to live their lives." The inevitable "but" follows in a recitation about how government rules will somehow provide more choice for the residents who simultaneously want fewer fast food restaurants yet perversely patronize these businesses. Governmental mandates that expand "choice" through prohibition is oxymoronic. The "right" restaurants will flock to a particular area based on criteria that don’t include the prohibition of the "wrong" restaurants. Market forces used to decide but in Britain’s brave new world the wise men and woman occupying the halls of power know best and those beneath them will comply, for their own good of course.



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