The milk train rolls on
The Coalition Government may be ripping into the National Health Service and state education, but some things are obviously sacrosanct – witness the recent bumbling over free milk for children under five in daycare. No sooner had health minister Anne Milton suggested that the £50m scheme could be scrapped, than David Cameron leapt in to pledge the Government’s unswerving support for the mini bottles.
The move was obviously prompted less by a conviction that the milk is a good thing for children’s health, than by nightmare visions of the chants of ‘Thatcher, Thatcher, milk snatcher’ that have pursued the former PM ever since she abolished free milk for over-sevens in 1971.
Ironically, those of us who actually drank the stuff as schoolchildren several decades ago shed few tears at its loss. It was part-frozen in winter and halfway curdled to butter in the heat of summer. Either way, it was to be feared rather than relished!
But the climbdown is a small victory for public opinion. Perhaps those looking to save other services should come up with a handy rhyming chant incorporating Cameron’s name to aid their lobbying.