David Cameron has ruled out the prospect of introducing a tax on sugar, dashing efforts by health campaigners who said it would help prevent an "obesity crisis". Downing Street confirmed on Thursday morning that the Prime Minister had no plans to introduce a levy on fizzy drinks and sweet food and said he believed there were "more effective ways of tackling" obesity. His decision comes despite a government report saying a levy would help combat the rising problem of obesity in the UK by curbing demand for sugary food and drink. The landmark report, which had been held back from publication amid allegations of political interference, PHE says obesity and its consequences cost the NHS £5.1bn a year. Full story >>
The cartoon by Schrank from The Independent references the song "A Spoonful of Sugar" from the 1964 musical "Mary Poppins". The original lyric goes "Just a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down", but in Schrank's cartoon Mary Poppins is telling her overweight charges that "It's time to cut out that spoonful of sugar, children" (one supposes because she's having difficulty lifting them up). Meanwhile, David Cameron appears at the top of Big Ben to admonish her, "Tut, tut, no nannying!"
The reference to "nannying" is a play on words. Mary Poppins is a nanny, so her activity is nannying, but Cameron uses the term in the figurative sense. If you "nanny" someone, you are overprotective towards them. And the expression "nanny state" describes a government that is regarded as overprotective or as interfering unduly with personal choice (a charge Cameron seems keen to avoid). • Sydney has become so bogged down by "nanny state" rules that people can break the law up to 10 times a day, without realising.
Tut tut is an exclamation used to express disapproval or annoyance. It can also be used as a verb. • Aunt Mary tut-tutted at all the goings-on.