Felicity Lawrence. Describing her as a health dominatrix doesn’t really work; some people find that fun. In this article, Why the new McDonald’s menu won’t make us thin, she writes:
The coalition government has chosen to cast public health as a matter of personal responsibility. It takes the classical liberal view that individuals should make their own choices, free from state intrusion. Nudging us to healthier choices is OK, but regulating is not.
On this liberal reading, the fact that your risk of being obese relates closely to your socio-economic status is not a question of social justice but a problem of the feckless poor being too ignorant or spineless to make good choices.
This is a dangerous misrepresentation. It conflates the right of the individual to freedom from interference with the right of business to the same freedom from government constraint. It ignores the fact that business intrudes on our choices constantly with its powerful marketing and sales strategies.
The part where she is projecting is the part I have put in bold type. It is Felicity Lawrence, not the supporters of a belief that individuals should make their own choices, who is conflating the right of the individual to freedom from interference with the right of business to the same freedom from government constraint. She is conflating the two rights so as to get her Guardian audience, generally hostile to business, to give up their residual hippy belief in freedom to do what one likes with one’s own body in return for the quick thrill of an anti-business sugar rush.
Those who believe that individuals should be able to do what they like with their own bodies may also believe that businesses should be free from government constraint. I do. They are both freedoms. They are not the same freedom. I would say that the freedom to do what you like with your own body, and mind, and life, is the fundamental freedom – is, in fact, freedom. The specific freedom of businesses is merely an application of that to certain uses of your time and applied to specific types of groups.