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This (only slightly) satirical little rant by the ever-reliable Rod Liddle appeared in the Sunday Times. It needs little or no elaboration from us, except
 

this picture

 
The government is considering a scheme to pay hideously obese people to lose weight, offering them "vouchers and rewards" for shedding enough pounds to enable them to see their own genitals for the first time in 30 years. This is part of a programme which will cost the rest of us, those of us who are merely "chubby" or "fat", some 327m. If you take the health advice at face value, almost the entire nation is overweight, encased in blubber, our poor arteries clogged like the straws of a McDonald's vanilla milk shake when you get to the bottom of the carton. We are all afflicted and all to blame, etc.
 
For years we have been cautioned against stigmatising people for a whole array of unfortunate situations - teenage single mothers, divorcees, fat people. But, of course, stigma is the means by which society expresses its disapproval of people who choose lifestyles which, one way or another, cost the rest of society money. Remove the stigma and people think such behaviour is perfectly fine. As a result we have become a nation of obese, sexually incontinent lunatics.
 
Perhaps instead of offering fat people money, which they will only spend on pies, we should once again stigmatise them. School children could be encouraged to pelt fat classmates with cakes, exclude them from playground activities and subject them to cruel jibes. And pinch them on their horrible fleshy arms during assembly (if schools still have assemblies). Fat adults could be forced to pay for two seats on public transport, could be given the worst seats in restaurants and scolded over their choice of dessert.
 
"Have the fruit salad, you fat pig," and so on. Most obesity is, after all, a consequence of stupidity and indolence and not of some genetic affliction. It is a lifestyle choice which people would be less inclined to adopt if they knew we all hated them for it.
 
There is another, better approach, of course, which is to leave people alone to live the lives they wish to lead. I was in Austria recently where everybody is truly, grotesquely fat. All of them are huge, flatulent, pasty-skinned spheres of compacted frankfurter sausage, fried potato, sour cream and stale beer, rolling around their pretty mountains belching and singing in a tuneless, guttural manner.
 
The average life expectancy in Austria is 79.21 years - one of the highest in the world and a good five or six months longer than we can expect to live - and increasing rapidly. In fact, much though the quacks and government ministers might hector us, there is very little correlation between obesity and early death, according to recent studies.
 
So you might conclude that this is a sort of fashionable meddling for the sake of it by a government which is never happier than when telling us how to conduct our lives.
 

 

 
The GOS says: Just a wee thought about the picture at the top of this page, which was sent to us by our French correspondent.
 
The expression "BBW" or "big, beautiful women" has become quite common in recent years. There seem to be a lot of fat women who have decided that they can't be arsed to do anything about their weight, so they'll just make a virtue of it, eat as much as they like, and pretend that they think fat is beautiful.
 
Odd, isn't it, that only women appear to think like this? There are plenty of fat men around, of course, but at least they just eat too much, drink too much and fart a lot. They don't give themselves airs and pretend they're beautiful.
 
I have news for you BBWs out there: you're kidding yourselves, big time. If you're enormously fat because of a medical condition, you merit our pity, and we hope medical science will eventually find a solution for you.
 
But if you're fat because you eat too much, then hear this: fat is NOT beautiful. Fat is ugly. Fat is a turn-off for almost all men. Fat takes up too much room. Fat fills up the pavement and gets in people's way. Fat is impossible to dress successfully because in the end you still end up looking fat. Above all, except for a few American perverts, fat is definitely not sexy.
 
Rod Liddle thought he was being satirical.
 
We're not.

 

 
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