David Penberthy

Nov 25, 2011

Bob Brown Wants Your Smarties!11!!1!1!

An embarrassing effort in the Herald Sun

Pure Poison IconAn embarrassing effort in the Herald Sun the other day, with David Penberthy turning a bill by Bob Brown to “ban fast-food advertising and competitions from children’s television and websites” into somehow stopping parents from being able to buy confectionery at all:

It would remove the power of discretion from adults, many of whom, this one included, see absolutely nothing wrong with giving the kids the occasional junky snack, or indeed the occasional junky meal… as many parents will quietly admit under a certain degree of sufferance, sugary treats can sometimes play the same role in parenting as cigarettes do inside jail, in that they can occasionally be traded in return for good behaviour – tidy your room, clean out your school bag, and so forth.

Such practices will probably soon be illegal if the likes of the [Obesity Policy Coalition] and Bob Brown get their way, meaning time-poor parents will lose a handy weapon in the war against unruly kids.

Remember, what Brown was actually calling for was a ban on ADVERTISING these things during children’s programs. Not a ban on lollies. Children are not exactly critical consumers of advertising, and advertisers are very good at manipulating them. This might be a good thing for the confectionery companies, and the advertising agencies, and media organisations that sell advertising space… but restrictions on such advertising aren’t exactly a restriction on parents’ freedom.


…DURING CHILDREN’S TELEVISION BROADCASTING. You seem to have omitted that rather critical fact from your misleading caption.

Still, if you ignore the reality for a moment, it’s a much more dramatic – and colourful – story to pretend that tyrant Bob Brown is taking away your access to Smarties. And, in the end, isn’t excitement more important than boring old reality?

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35 comments

35 thoughts on “Bob Brown Wants Your Smarties!11!!1!1!

  1. Angra

    In memory of Mark Twain’s birthday – here’s a quote from the great man…

    “Politicians are like diapers; they need to be changed often and for the same reason.”

  2. Bondles

    Moynihan: “Liberals look at life and come to certain conclusions based on what they see. Conservatives decided small government is the best idea when they were uneducated infants, and haven’t questioned the idea since.”

  3. Aliar Jones

    [“Somehow liberals have been unable to acquire from life what conservatives seem to be endowed with at birth: namely, a healthy skepticism of the powers of government agencies to do good.”

    Daniel Moynihan (American Politician, 1927-2003)]

    Also known as the ‘sit on your arse and let everyone else burn’ policy

    Glib and moronic

  4. fractious

    On recent visits to my local village shop for some milk I have noticed that THEY ARE OUT OF SMARTIES!!! and have not rectified this appalling lapse FOR THREE DAYS!!!1!

    The shop owners’s response was that they just hadn’t had time to get fresh stocks, but of course they would say that, wouldn’t they. I think we all know what the real agenda is here.

    I shall be monitoring the place closely to see if any other lines of confectionery disappear: if they do it will be cast iron evidence that the village shop is just a puppet of Overlord Bob Brownski and his grab for Werld Domination.

  5. silkworm

    I heard that the tobacco companies put sugar in cigarettes to make them more addictive. Can anyone confirm?

  6. Jack Sparraaggghhh

    Yeah jules, in fact sweeties often become a crutch for those who quit the ciggies. A workmate who gave up a while ago is constantly craving cake and other junk. He’s always dibbing into my bowl of werthers, of which I might have one or two a day to his dozen or so. Fortunately he also took up a gym membership when he Quit, so he can work off the extra joules.

    Oh, the war on unruly children has and will go on perpetually. And like all wars on stuff, it’s a war for civilisation. The kids’ll never live down the shame of that lord of the flies scandal (fly-gate).

  7. Lord Barry Bonkton

    As someone that don’t buy Ltd News or “Click on ” their sites , What’s is this Peta Credlin and Abbott story all about ?

  8. jules

    Jack, I found ciggies easier to give up than sugar – its insidiously everywhere. I have it in tea and coffee, but I don’t usually drink soft drinks. Apparently they are loaded with it. Its in (homemade) cakes and stuff as well as all sorts of candies and chocolates. I’m talking about cane sugar btw.

    This is an interesting study:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2235907/?tool=pmcentrez

    Of course food is by definition the sort of addiction that’ll kill you if you stop it. If you don’t eat you can’t shit, and if you can’t shit, you’ll die. Its a bit like being addicted to air/O2 its not the sort of addiction we should be trying to stop. And sugar is a food …

    And yeah the Hun is being appalling, as usual, but I am interested in perpetuating the war on unruly children, as we don’t really have enough wars on stuff.

  9. Jack Sparraaggghhh

    jules, a pity people can’t kick the ciggies as easily as they can kick the sweeties. But true enough, sugar can be a crutch of sorts, and in excess can have deleterious effects.

    What can one say about Penbo’s pushing of the substance to kiddies in order to foster a shallow reward morality? And what does it suggest about the culture of the Herald Sun, if not the broader news corp culture?

    Appalling.

  10. jules

    Jack @ 21, sugar is a drug of addiction, tho its probably no more dangerous than coffee or cannabis.

  11. Archer

    I have never read David Penberthy’s columns before and I find this one to be clumsy and purposefully dramatic. Had he stuck to the crux of the matter rather than spiraling off into a rant he may have been able to put forward a relevant case, by concentrating on the OPC.

    Bob Browns association with what is basically a re-badged anti smoking lobby has an obvious agenda, not so much for himself but for the OPC. You just have to read the resume’s of the senior staff and advisers to deduce a pattern.

    OPC Staff:

    Jane Martin, Senior Policy Adviser
    Jane has a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) majoring in Public Policy, and a Masters in Public Health. Jane has worked in tobacco control for 20 years, commencing with Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) Australia, then as Policy Manager with Quit Victoria.

    Nicole Antonopoulos, Legal Policy Adviser
    Nicole is a qualified lawyer, with an Honours Degree of Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Arts (Political Science) from Monash University. She is currently undertaking a Master of Public Health through the Victorian Consortium of Public Health (Deakin University). Nicole brings experience in public health law and policy, having previously worked for Quit Victoria and the VicHealth Centre for Tobacco Control in a legal policy role.

    Sarah MacKay, Legal Policy Adviser
    Sarah MacKay is a qualified lawyer with a Bachelor of Arts (Psychology) and Law (Honours). Sarah has worked in public health law for a number of years with the Obesity Policy Coalition and Cancer Council Victoria.

    “Somehow liberals have been unable to acquire from life what conservatives seem to be endowed with at birth: namely, a healthy skepticism of the powers of government agencies to do good.”

    Daniel Moynihan (American Politician, 1927-2003)

  12. Deziner

    At least we know where Tony Abbott gets his political strategy from: if our opponents suggest it, it must be bad. Oh, it’s not so bad? Well then, misrepresent!

  13. Matthew of Canberra

    “the same role in parenting as cigarettes do inside jail”

    I’m no expert – I’ve never been to prison (and my time in any sort of gaol is limited to the one at burra, port arthur and possibly the odd historial gaol here and there in victoria), but my limited viewing of prison dramas tells me that cigarettes exist almost entirely as barter for (a) escape tools, and (b) sexual favors. Now … is that REALLY the role that smarties should be playing? What sort of parents are you?

  14. Jack Sparraaggghhh

    as many parents will quietly admit under a certain degree of sufferance, sugary treats can sometimes play the same role in parenting as cigarettes do inside jail

    Anyone who depends for his argument on an analogy between parenting and the criminal justice system, or between candy and a dangerous drug of addiction, is plainly at the end of his rope. I’d be disinclined to trust their political judgement.

  15. Aliar Jones

    Chardonnay Latte swilling Smarties!

  16. Muddy Waters

    I always thought “Smarties” were part of the “Elite” anyway….

  17. Muddy Waters

    Well he’s not going to find any “Smarties” at the Herald Sun, that’s for sure!!!

  18. AR

    kids as prisoners. What’s the problem? For the raving Right.

  19. Sean Doyle

    Silly Penbo.

    M&Ms are way better than Smarties. /unAmeristralian

  20. jules

    Penbo likens kids to prison inmates and the target of war if they become unruly.

    That sounds a bit off to me.

  21. Andrew McIntosh

    Banning Smarties is a capital idea.

  22. John Reidy

    [That is correct, the only (or at least only effective) way at getting children to stay in line is to bribe them with junk food. This, of course by default, extends into offering them “herbal brownies” in their teens and a covenant drive to the needle exchange clinic/ heroin injection room by their early 20`s.]

    that can’t be right everyone knows (thanks to the HWT) that the greens are pro drugs….

  23. Daniel

    im in ur woolies taking ur smarties

  24. Mephistopheles

    Taking time out to deconstruct the piece is really not worth it so I’ll say seven simple words:

    Penbo – put the crack pipe down. Now!

  25. Chris Tallis

    Penbo has nothing to worry about then because his readers are all dummies.

  26. Aliar Jones

    He put his name to it!!!!

    surely this is a work of satire.

    Sasha Barron Cohen – come out from behind that David Penberthy prosethetic!!

  27. heavylambs

    “…sugary treats can sometimes play the same role in parenting as cigarettes do inside jail…” Oh,Penbo,really?

  28. 2dogs

    “time-poor parents will lose a handy weapon in the war against unruly kids”

    That is correct, the only (or at least only effective) way at getting children to stay in line is to bribe them with junk food. This, of course by default, extends into offering them “herbal brownies” in their teens and a covenant drive to the needle exchange clinic/ heroin injection room by their early 20`s.

  29. Tomus Barava

    [sugary treats can sometimes play the same role in parenting as cigarettes do inside jail,]

    Do his kids get to sleep in cells too?

  30. Holden Back

    So, how does they ‘bribing children with sugar is like giving prisoners cigarettes’ sit with the Hun’s rabid law and order crowd?

  31. Bondles

    DEY TUK AIR SMEERRRRRRTEES!!!!!

  32. Eric Sykes

    But…but…without advertising for the unhealthy choices how will children learn to be unhealthy? Surely choosing to be unhealthy is a….free speech an that…kinda…..issue?

  33. Gerry Hatrick, OAP

    Is he trying to hoard the red and green ones? Surely there’s a mention in there about the green ones having a red interior, or it wouldn’t be the Hun I know

  34. monkeywrench

    Well, now we know why Penboid is the shape he is…

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