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Gov egghead: Companies should have daily PT

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One of the government's top social-policy eggheads has said that companies should have exercise periods for their staff, according to reports.

Professor Julian Le Grand, a bigwig at the London School of Economics, outlined his plans during a speech to the Royal Statistical Society this week. His remarks were reported in the Evening Standard.

The idea of the prof's plans is that rather than people opting-in to healthy lifestyles, they would be compelled to take active steps in order to do anything unhealthy.

"It is not like banning something," said Le Grand to the assembled number-crunchers.

"It's a softer form of paternalism."

Thus, if you didn't care for corporate PT you would have to specifically choose not to join in; normally, your enthusiastic participation would be assumed. All companies with 500 or more employees would have to provide organised exercise sessions (and presumably associated showers, gymnasia and such).

Likewise, those thinking of taking up the demon weed wouldn't be able to buy any snout until they had paid a fee and applied for their governmental smoking permit. One might also presume some kind of cooling-off period for people seeking to buy shitty deep-fried food, or maybe an obstacle course or something to be completed before you could reach the Sara Lee cakes at Iceland.

Prof Le Grand claims input into many recent government notions, including the recent brainwave in which new kids are given some gov cash to kick off a savings account at birth. Families are then encouraged to top this up from their own resources, ensuring a decentish sum of money gradually builds up. Then, when the kid has become a teenager, the entire painfully-accumulated stash is automatically given to them to do with what they will, no matter what their parents may think of the plan. This pretty much ensures that it won't get spent on a deposit for a house, tuition fees or anything remotely sensible.

(Some bitter old curmudgeons put away money for their kids' future in such a way that they can't blow the lot as soon as they turn 18, but this is without help from the good professor.)

Le Grand also openly admits that he is "one of the principal architects of the UK Government’s current public service reforms introducing choice and competition into health care and education". ®

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