An Interesting Use Of The Word Should Here


A small discourse on how we’re ruled these days. To explain quite how the prodnoses manage to take over. All encapsulated in this use of the word “should“.

Fast food meals are less calorific than many restaurant dishes, research published in the BMJ has found. The study found that meals served by popular high street eateries – including Harvester and Hungry Horse – contain more than twice the amount of recommended calories. Health officials say that a main meal should contain no more than 600 calories. But the study found that the average dish served in a chain restaurant contains 1033 calories.

That “should” there is an entirely new invention, made up out of whole cloth. These same health officials decided, only a few months back, that they would redefine how much we should be eating at any one meal. There’s no science behind this, none at all. If we did in fact follow their advice for the calorie count of a meal, and didn’t snack as well, we’d waste away into anorexia. No, really, even by their own numbers that 600 is wrong.

But, first the assertion of what they think should be. Then mere months later we get the “should”. It’s already established d’ye see? No proof, merely assertion, self-assertion even, and now we and public policy all have to fall into line.

Sadly this is commonplace. Decades back poverty was living on yesterday’s crust and lard to dip it into only on Sundays. Once that sort of destitution was beaten – by 1959 according to Barbara Castle – this would have left a lot of anti-poverty campaigners with nothing to do nor nice warm offices to do it in. Thus they started shouting that poverty was actually just less than 60% of median household income. That is, that inequality was in fact poverty. Thus all those indoor jobs are safe.

Drinking guidelines, there’s no science there at all. The original guidelines, of 20 odd units a week, were entirely pulled from the aether. The more recent 14 units completely made up. But now it’s a government target, tax rates are set to ensure it.

The tax gap started out as how much, given current law, should be collected but ain’t. As this didn’t produce bloodcurdling enough figures it morphed into how much should be collected according to the prejudices of the one doing the recording. The latest version appears to be anything less than the full taxable capacity of the economy. Anything less than the maximum that could be extracted is a gap.

This is actually how we’re governed. The invention of a definition then months later the insistence that this phantasm must be imposed upon us all. Which is the meaning of that “should”. Total nonsense, but that is what is imposed upon us.