Mr Balls has joined the impressive list of bossy Ministers telling people how to lead their lives. He wants to stop the school lunchtime chip run, and approves of Councils preventing people setting up fast food outlets near a school.
We are told we need eat five portions of fruit and vegetables a day, but not apparently potatoes cooked in one way.
Before fulminating against the ever popular potato chip, did Mr Balls investigate the amount of fat in mashed potato compared to low fat chips? Should he now go on to ban mash as well? Has he examined how much fat there is in a salad covered with dressing? Perhaps all dressed lettuce leaves should also be banned within a quarter mile range of schools? Is he about to ban gravy for containing fat from cooked meat?
Chips are one of life’s simple pleasures. By all means encourage low fat ones, and by all means find other things to add variety to diets. But let’s not ostracise the chip. It will just make it more popular with adolescents who like its flavour, by giving it the added piquancy of adult disapproval.