Just flog yourself with barbed wire


When Rob Hamill and the late Phil Stubbs were seeking sponsorship for their Trans Atlantic rowing race entry they asked Sir Bob Jones for help.

He replied, they should just flog themselves with barbed wire. It would have much the same effect for a fraction of the cost.

There may have been moments when Shaun Quincey felt that flogging himself with barbed wire may have been easier and less unpleasant than his solo Trans-Tasman rowing attempt.

But he persevered and had the satisfaction of completing the challenge nine days faster than his father Colin, who rowed the Tasman from New Zealand to Australia in 1977.

Ultra marathon runner Dean Karnazes reckons you start running with your feet, continue with your head and finish with your heart. Long-distance rowing must take a similar level of physical fitness, determination and emotional strength.

It’s a feat he can be proud of and we lesser mortals can be inspired by.

Fear of freedom leads to storm in lunchbox


The Greens still haven’t learned to pick their fights:

Greens health spokeswoman Sue Kedgley yesterday started a petition to persuade the Government to yield to public pressure.

In effect, it asks for the re-introduction of the ban on regular sales of unhealthy food and drink in schools.

What is it about freedom which frightens some people? Is it that with freedom to choose goes the responsibility to exercise that choice wisely? 

If there is sufficient public pressure for re-introducing the ban then surely there is no need for one because the public will not allow their children to eat the food they object to and will have worked with the schools their children go to to ensure that ban or no ban only “healthy” food is available in their canteens.

Or does the pressure for prohibition mean the public doesn’t have the courage of their convictions and have been unable to persuade their children and their schools to do what they think best and so want the government to use compulsion?

This is all just a storm in a lunch box because lifting the ban doesn’t compel schools to change what they’re providing. They still have a responsibility to provide “healthy” options and teach children about good nutrition.

A couple of what Poneke calls celebthorities have joined the campaign and one, Rob Hamill, shows he’s better at rowing than logic with this comment:

“If it’s about freedom of choice, why can’t we sell cigarettes in schools? … We know it’s wrong.

“If we are putting crap food in the diets of kids, not only are they going to underperform, it’s going to set a habit for life.”

The difference between cigarettes and food is that even one cigarette causes harm but while nutritional value varies, there is no junk food only junk diets. If the children are eating a balanced diet the odd suasage roll, pie or cream bun isn’t going to hold them back.

The real problem isn’t about what’s offered in school canteens it’s what the children eat most of the time and those concerned about children’s development would achieve more by working to provide breakfast for children who arrive at school hungry than they will by calling for a ban. 

Hat Tip: Kiwiblog who thanks the Greens for reminding us about the growth of nanny state under Labour.

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