| Tony Blair exercises on a cycle in Bournemouth, England. (Reuters)
London, Nov. 29: Tony Blair yesterday proposed a ban on advertisements for unhealthy children’s food and the introduction of incentives for people to go to the gym.
The Prime Minister, who has suffered two health scares in recent weeks, put forward a string of ideas to improve the nation’s fitness as he launched “a big conversation” with voters on future government policy.
Other proposals to make people fitter and more productive included levies on alcohol advertising, new powers for councils to ban smoking in public places and plans to cut binge drinking by making club owners pay for controlling disorder caused by drunken louts.
Opening the most extensive consultation in Labour’s history, Blair told Labour leaders in Newport, south Wales, that he was feeling “absolutely fit” after suffering stomach pains this week. On Thursday, he was given the all-clear after his doctors twice visited Downing Street in the previous 24 hours.
Adopting what some saw as a new, puritanical tone, he said the world was changing so fast that individuals, businesses, political parties and whole countries would be left behind unless they moved with the times.
A 77-page consultation document, to which the entire nation has been invited to respond by e-mail, text message, post or through meetings with MPs, suggested a range of policy ideas to enhance social justice and develop social responsibility.
Blair has received guidance on what to eat and how to work out from his wife Cherie’s lifestyle guru, Carole Caplin.
He avoids rich food, shuns puddings at lunch and drinks little.