Trougher of the Year?

Troughers are pretty much the same; they’re all after one thing – bludging more money from the taxpayer.

Trougher of the Year nominee Boyd Swinburn

Trougher of the Year nominee Boyd Swinburn

We’ve seen troughers like the very dodgy Shane Kawenata Bradbrook (who is still sucking on the public tit). But over the last year or so, a new breed of troughers have started to take the lead.

Yes, they’ve been on the public tit for years as well, but their focus has changed. No longer is tobacco the flavour of the month. No that was so last year. Now the target is Big Food.

Egged-on by the WHO, Tony Ryall can now expect to see troughers being paid by his Ministry of Health attend grand junkets all over the world.

One such trougher, and a lead contender for Trougher of the Year is Boyd Swinburn, Professor of Population Nutrition & Global Health at the University of Auckland. After years of sucking at the tobacco control tit, he moved onto the new big momma of health handouts – obesity.

However, to be eligible for WO Trougher of the Year Award, troughers really have to demonstrate extreme troughing abilities. And while it’s not quite the end of the year, Professor Boyd Swinburn is in a class of his own when it comes to leading the way.

His nomination comes in the form of a extravagant junket to the Bellagio Obesity Conference 2013. 

image014

How very nice.

The “Bellagio Declaration” was the result of this 4-5 day junket. While impressive sounding, it’s no Treaty of Versailles. In fact, it’s just a summary from 30 odd global troughers who stayed at the Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni, on the shores of Lake Como, Bellagio, Italy.

Troughers this deep in the public trough have certainly learnt a thing or two about fear mongering and Big Food is now in their sights. Expect to hear calls for more taxes, more restrictions on what you can eat, moving the blame for being fat onto companies instead of the individual, and the old chestnut of the need to keep Big Food away from politicians and the policy making process.

No you say. That’s not going to happen… Oh wait, what’s this then

image016

Troughers are also fiercely territorial. They believe they deserve the coin, not others. Trougher of the Year nominee Boyd Swinburn’s demonstrated this nicely here, telling the world that another trougher Agencies for NUTRITION ACTION (that tucks into $315,000 of public money each year), is…

image017

I bet they’ll be thrilled to hear that. I bet also they’d like to take trips to enjoy one of the oldest and most elegant hotels in the Lake Como area and stay at the only 5 star de-luxe hotel in Bellagio.

Boyd Swinburn tucking into the champagne

Boyd Swinburn tucking into the champagne

Nominees for other Troughers of the Year are now open via the tipline.


Do you want ad-free access to our Daily Crossword?

Do you want access to daily Incite Politics Magazine articles?

Silver Subscriptions and above go in the draw to win a $500 prize to be drawn at the end of March

Not yet one of our awesome subscribers? Click Here and join us.

As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story.  And when he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet.   Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet, and as a result he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist that takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him.  But you can’t ignore him.

53%