Oliverian

Reading time: 2 mins

Jamie Oliver. Love him or loathe him he has to be applauded for his current stance and activity surrounding school dinners.

Firstly I think he is a genuine guy, and even if his “cheeky charm” and “mockney” attributes put you off, if you’ve seen any of his recent series (I only saw a couple of episodes) or his last series where he took some challenging students (for want of a better term) through a chef’s course (which I followed avidly) you can’t argue that he does think he can make a difference and is passionate about what he does. For that I applaud him.

On the flipside, the cynic in me will agree with you if you state that he does get some very good publicity from these ventures (any publicity is good publicity after all) and that it is certainly a factor, but again I think he realises that he can use his celebrity status in a positive way but to do that he needs to remain a celebrity. Mind you, Sir Jamie Oliver? Not quite yet I don’t think.

However there is something that sticks in my throat, particularly concerning his recent series. Namely how out of touch our government appears to be with such simple matters. As I said elsewhere:

So the current fad is for the diet of children, that’s all well and good, but I hope it forces home a stronger point.

Parents are responsible for their children.

Simple really yet so many believe that it’s not their job to educate “that’s why they get sent to school”. Until those types of parents are held accountable for their childrens actions and education the system will continue to fail and we’ll have to rely on ‘celebrities’ to highlight these basic basic things.

Don’t get me wrong I think Mr.Oliver has done a good thing (and look at all that publicity for him as well! /cynic) but it’s a sad state of affairs when it’s NOT at the forefront of the affairs of state to worry about the future of our country.

So, bravo Jamie Oliver for raising the profile of this issue. But I do wonder if it is too late, how many generations ago should this parental malaise have been tackled? Are we into the second or third generation of the uneducated, globalised masses, and can I fit in any more grand generalisations (which apparently is my word of the month)? I don’t think it’s too late just yet, but the longer we leave it the harder it will be.

Addendum
I have to say I’m surprised that this hasn’t been fully latched onto by the political parties. Seeing as how there is an, unconfirmed, election coming soon, this kind of populist topic should be a pretty easy sell, at least I would have thought so.

This then leads me to start pondering on the future of politics and how it won’t be long until the topics of debate are generated from daytime TV (or are they already?), and how you’ll be able to phone-in to win a copy of “The Great Debates: The House of Commons discusses Burberry caps” on DVD by answering the following question:

Is the Prime Minister: A) a human being. B) a lump of coal? Calls cost £5 per second, please ensure you know how to use the phone before picking it up.

Actually, that question might be a bit too hard.