Confused Andy Burnham Wades into Obesity Discourse

Perhaps feeling out-nannied by the Tory council-endorsed LGiU report released earlier this week that suggested massaging the council-administered benefits of claimants who did not wish to engage in empowering community exercise sessions, Labour’s Andy Burnham yesterday Helen Lovejoyed his way into the ‘idiot fatty’ foray.


The shadow health secretary, it turns out, has been outfoxed in the past by naughty advertising companies insinuating on their packaging that “low fat” or “enriched with vitamins and iron” automatically equals “healthy”:

“Like all parents, I have bought products like cereals and fruit drinks, marketed as more healthy, that contained higher sugar levels than expected,” he told the Daily Telegraph. “I don’t think that any parent would be comfortable with their child eating something that is 40% sugar.”

It is extraordinarily depressing that Labour’s choice for health secretary doesn’t seem to understand that you get the nutrition information from the clearly marked box on the back of the food packaging, and the marketing bollocks from the speech bubble next to the cartoon toucan’s head on the front. It is even more depressing that in response to his being deceived, he would like to ban all the food that confuses him during his weekly shop. His experience is not the experience of “all parents”, he is a special fellow who is easily distracted by smiling cartoon fruits doing the conga, and free stickers.

"It said 'Contains Real Fruit Juice' on the front... I'm sorry that you have no teeth, kids."

“ said ‘Contains Real Fruit Juice’ on the front! I’m sorry kids. I’m sorry that you have no teeth.”

With that in mind, this appeal to personal experience can’t really stand as a good enough reason to make food with a high sugar content illegal like guns or cocaine.


People Should Not Lose Out of Work Benefits for Being Overweight

Jonathan Carr-West of the LGiU think tank has been a busy little thinky-bee lately. His organisation have published a paper extolling the possible public benefit of mandating exercise sessions for benefits claimants who are overweight. The arguments contained within are, according to Carr-West, “intended to stimulate and provoke… [with the hope that] they can lead to a debate”.

Jonathan Carr-West. Twitter: @joncarrwest

Jonathan Carr-West. Twitter: @joncarrwest

The thing is though, there is no debate to be had. It’s a thoroughly stupid and unenforceable idea for a scheme, dreamed up by a bunch of middle class wankers who long ago stopped viewing people on low incomes as being anywhere near capable of having valid ideas, views, thoughts, opinions or plans. We’re scrawping baby chicks who refuse to leave the nest; ugly, flightless, and utterly dependent on regurgitated sustainence spewed down our throats as often as is required to keep us alive – and we’re happier about all this than pigs rolling around in shit. This view is shared by many middle class members of society, regardless of professed political affiliation. This view is so popular that people like Carr-West can make professional names for themselves as guardians of the poor, offering their warped interpretations of so many bits of data to other, even more insulated middle class people, who haven’t a clue about the actual lives of poor people. These patchy, guesswork assessments of poor people; loaded with cognitive bias, become accepted by the majority of middle class people. Once the basic model of the feckless idiot pauper becomes generally accepted by the majority of the middle class, it’s a veritable piece of piss to convince them that the best way to deal with us is to treat us like stubborn, petulant children.

So pervasive is this attitude that intellectual rigour flies right out of the window, and even the most mediocre middle class bore feels quite at home donning the imaginary doctor’s coat and prescribing their invaluable homespun remedies and cures for all the poverty, addiction and illness in the world. I spent ages today, transfixed by the idiots on CiF who were blathering on about what’s to be done with the fatty fatty scruff scruffs; and the appalling lack of evidence offered to back up the sneering proclamations from on high was enough to make me shed a single tear for all those unfortunate children who are never taught to think critically – then grow up to become thick, insufferable twats.

Not like these guys. These guys are cool.

Not like these guys. These guys are cool.

The truth of the matter is that forcing people to exercise for their out of work benefits is just as ridiculous as it sounds. Aside from there being absolutely no medical evidence to suggest that the strategy would work in the long term, the point remains that as long as a person is honouring the agreement they made to actively look for work, they should receive their Jobseekers Allowance and any Housing Benefit and Council Tax Allowance that their active Jobseeker status entitles them to.

If the NHS genuinely can’t deal with the sick people in this country then it is sadly not fit for purpose. No amount of crying about which illnesses cost the most to treat can change this fact. I suggest that all these truly concerned, bleeding heart middle class people go private for healthcare and ease the burden on the people at the bottom who cannot afford to take that action. See, we can all just say things. I came up with that in my bedroom think tank, fuelled only by a delicious can of sugary, branded cola; which also helped immensely with the hangover from yesterday’s heavy drinking. I bet loads of you would like to know whether your taxpayer money paid for it. Well fuck off and stop being so fucking rude before I shit out septuplets just to get a free house off you, because I’m poor aren’t I; and I haven’t got ambition like you, and I want to cripple myself with care commitments until I die so that I can keep taking your money and getting spoken to and about like a piece of shit.

Get real, thinky-bees, and come back when you have something of more substance to offer than the tired, unevidenced recommendation that we simply shepherd strawmen.

Iain Duncan Smith Cares About Drug Addicts, Tesco

There is an interesting snippet tucked away at the end of this Telegraph piece regarding Iain Duncan Smith’s decision that use of the Universal Jobmatch site will now indeed be mandatory for Jobseekers from the New Year (the title, incidentally, was changed from the original “Government to Spy on Computers of the Jobless” to “Jobless to Be Remotely Monitored by Government” by the internet fairies at some point between the publishing date of the 20th December and now, with the original showing on Google and linking to the same piece with the new title).

"We’ll just switch the subject and object around. We’ll just blatantly do that.”

“We’ll just switch the subject and object around. We’ll just blatantly do that.”

Iain Duncan Smith has confirmed that he and his pals have been taking some more time off to don sackcloth and ashes; to pray and fast around the clock until the problem of Drugs and Poor People Using Them is solved. Reports that the giant, golden, jewel encrusted calf that they had been prostrating themselves before actually came to life – eyes blasting out laser beams – and bellowed “SMART CARDS!” as its nostrils belched out pure sulphur and baby screams are as of yet unconfirmed; but it has been confirmed that these jokey little scraps of plastic (“smart” cards preloaded with an allowance to spend on specific essentials from specific stores only, replacing existing JSA cash payments to benefits recipients who happen to also be addicted to drugs) are exactly what the pious parliamentarian and his chums have offered as a solution to the complex and multi-layered issue of drug addiction on the breadline.

As he mentions himself, they can’t actually do any of this, but the very fact that he could bring himself to shamelessly attempt to sell such a thoroughly stupid idea to the public is breathtakingly insulting. People who are dependent on drugs (including alcohol) will not magically “get better” and stop feeling like they need to take drugs just because their bank balance says “zero”. Without additional measures such as decent rehabilitation programs for those who’d take them, medical support for those suffering the acute physical and mental illnesses brought on by abrupt cessation, and increased police numbers to deal with the subsection of people who will in their desperation turn to theft and violent crime; the overall impact on society would be very obviously negative. The social burden of supporting these cashless addicts would fall on the surrounding community – likely as not a less prosperous one – through increased council tax charges or reduced council tax benefit to cover the cost of increased social services, while more prosperous communities would be shielded from the impact due to not many dirty smackheads being able to afford to live in nice houses, in nice towns.

This approach shifts the eventual cost of dealing with drug addicts onto the people in the local community anyway. With that in mind, wouldn’t it be saner to at least allow them cash that could be spent in any local business as opposed to cards that are only allowed in a tiny selection of big chain stores? If the Azure cards, currently being issued to failed asylum seekers temporarily unable to leave the country – are any indication of what Iain Duncan Smith would have to offer, then frankly, as an at least somewhat responsible member of my community, I’d respond with a great big “piss off, Dunky”.

The free market is for citizens, not foreign scum, get it right guise.

The free market is for citizens, not foreign scum, get it right.

As far as Iain Duncan Smith is concerned, he’s not going to be affected either way by the results of his crazy schemes, he’s far too far above us to ever have to consider actually coming face-to-face with a stupid useless junkie anyway. This is the cynical scapegoating and proposed tormenting of a group of vulnerable people, in order to satiate a public simply salivating over the prospect of seeing yet another group of disempowered individuals kicked to the gutter, and gleefully stamped all over in the name of “tough love”. And it wouldn’t even do a damn thing to fix the problem for anybody. Fortunately, as mentioned before, they can’t do it yet, and won’t be able to for a while.

Don’t buy into the bullshit. Drug addiction and poverty, especially when happening simultaneously, are serious and terrible, and the right sorts of confidential support should be in place. The invasive, expensive and humiliating ideological experiments of a handful of chinless wonders are not, I expect, what the doctor would order.

Unless you're me, lol.

Unless you’re me, lol.