Rod Liddle

Sir Liam Donaldson can seriously damage your health

Sir Liam Donaldson can seriously damage your health
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Apologies for the interregnum – I’ve been away in Austria, where there are mountains and you can smoke in hotel lifts. It’s a beautiful country. While there I read Michael Burleigh’s superb book, Moral Combat, which is about why we were totally right in World War Two. It was an enormous pleasure to have it propped up on the breakfast table as the Austrian waiters scurried hither and thither.

I wonder if Sir Liam Donaldson has ever gone to Austria and if so, what he took to read there. Austrians have the highest smoking rate of any country in western Europe. They also have a fantastically unhealthy diet; not a single thing on any menu I saw for two weeks would be allowed into a child’s lunch box over here. There is a total absence of salad – unless it consists simply of cheese and ham – and close to a complete absence of vegetables, except for potatoes, which are usually fried. Huge cakes and vats of beer make up the rest of the diet. The consequence of all this is that they have the highest life expectancy of any country in Europe.