Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Blubber and the noseprods

I suspect I am not really more than averagely bigoted, but I am most definitely fat. Today I heard the Conservative opposition outlining plans to attack the chubby and I just sat here. No rage, no surprise, just a resigned shrug that in the modern world of noseproddery any deviation from a randomly selected norm is fair game for a cheap headline. We are used to it by now. Smoking, drinking, eating red meat, driving a car and being a portly fellow are all on the naughty list and must be quelled by massive taxes and further additional direct penalties when the taxes don't work.

Do not mistake my position. I am not saying that being fat is a good thing. Frankly, I find it a touch depressing when a six foot six hugely muscled boxer weighs in for a super-heavyweight contest and tips the scales at less than than my five foot nine corpulence. It is obvious to any but the most moronic that being fat puts strain on the heart, increases the risk of contracting a number of serious medical conditions, causes joints to wear out, reduces the ability to engage in sports and, in the eyes of many, is aesthetically displeasing. I do not need a politician to tell me that, I know it already because I am not mentally retarded. It is also obvious to any but the most moronic that the vast majority of fat people are fat because they consume more potential energy than they expend actual energy. I could shed my diet of at least 1,000 calories a day if I stopped drinking booze. There is no need for anyone to tell me, I know already because I have a brain.

So, why don't I lose weight? I could do it and have done it before on occasions, the last time was about five years ago when I stopped drinking for a few weeks and lost over two stones in weight. The reason I do not reduce my calorific intake permanently is as simple as simple can be, it is because I enjoy eating and I enjoy drinking. They give me pleasure so I do them. I weigh that pleasure against the health risks and against the shame and discomfort of being a sweating ball of blubber. To date the pleasure wins, hands down. And the reason it wins is because only I can judge how I value that pleasure and how I value the downside. Any number of do-gooders and experts can tell me that I will feel much better if I cut my drinking or eating in half, but in saying that they make a fundamental mistake. They assume my definition of pleasure to be the same as theirs. "Ah, Mr FatBigot, you will feel much happier taking a gentle mile jog every evening so put down that pork pie and pint of cider and shed those naughty pounds!" Who says I will feel happier? Only I can judge whether that would be the case and, having once been younger and fitter, I have experience of gentle mile jogs and can say without fear of falling into error that I am happier at this stage in my life with the pork pie and pint.

You see, it is my life. Only I live it. Only I have lived any part of it or will live any part of it in the future. Only my life began when I was born and only my life will end when I die. Only I have ever enjoyed the collection of experiences that make up my personal history, no one in the future will have the same life and no one has had it before. It is unique. It is mine. It is me.

For a politician of any party to tell me that I must change my behaviour because it will be better for me is for him to prove himself unfit for election to anything. By all means legislate against behaviour that does harm to others. By all means make provision for those who wish to change their behaviour and need a helping hand. But do not ever presume that you have the right to remove my choice of how to live when my choice can harm only me. Mr Cameron and his merry men seem to feel that New Labour interference is now the norm and that they must engage in the same in order to avoid being labelled uncaring. I can tell them they will gain more friends by announcing that they will leave people alone to live their lives as they see fit.


Anonymous said...


Larry Teabag said...

But do not ever presume that you have the right to remove my choice of how to live when my choice can harm only me.

I don't think any party is planning to actually ban fattery.

TheFatBigot said...

That rather depends what you mean by "ban", Mr Teabag.

I see no sign (yet) of any party wanting to make fattery (as you so splendidly put it) an indictable offence.

But if the availability of foods and bevvies that contribute most to fattery are restricted in supply and/or subject to specific bad behaviour taxes and if we are bombarded with guilt vibes the choices of porkers will be restricted and, in some instances, removed.

By the way, I soak a lot of your relative in boiling water, it's nothing personal.

Andrew W said...

"I can tell them they will gain more friends by announcing that they will leave people alone to live their lives as they see fit."

I wish that were so, but I think you fail to appreciate just how many do-gooding busy bodies there are in society, and just how many people actually like a government telling them how to live their lives.