Politicians, particularly on the right, are constantly talking about the necessity of choice – ‘Consumers want choice!’ but what does that mean in reality?
In the first 20 years of my life, the number TV channels increased from 1 to 2 to 3. Freeview now offers me several hundred channels which my TV guide shows 13 channels 6 of which are showing at least 3 episodes of the same programme and two of which are showing 8 episodes of the same series. Another channel is showing a feature film we watched on a different channel last week – so where is the choice? I realise that the current plethora of TV channels and Internet sources has swallowed 100 years film production in no time at all but again I ask where is this choice?
I also recently heard some ‘food snob’ deprecating the large number of people who eat the same lunch at work every day. What is wrong with that ? Stress is often linked to decisions and the number we have to make every day. Now if you are a food writer making an avocado and blueberry dip to go with your freshly baked sourdough sandwich with quinoa and seed salad washed down with a strawberry and Persimon smoothie, this is not just your lunch but also forms a part of your work but please if I need a quick lunch whilst working on a complex task allow me the freedom to eat a £3 deal cheese and onion sandwich with a packet of crisps and a bottle of water even if it is for the fourth or 15th day in a row!