A couple of days ago I wrote a poorly researched blog entry which covered, broadly, what the political leaders or their parties had to say on the subject of obesity.
After I wrote it I realised that, in my wishy washy way, I hadn't really made any comment on what I thought of all this. I didn't want to upset anybody who might read this blog. In the same way that I never mention God, and try not to swear, I choose not to make my position on political matters clear. People who know me know where I actually stand on all these matters, and people who don't know me... well, I'm not sure anybody is reading this and I should really not care too much if my opinions aren't the same as everybody else's. Apparently that is how the world works.
The other thing that holds me back from actually stating an opinion is that I worry about not having actual facts at my fingertips, that I will say something wildly stupid. I don't think about things as much as some people I know and so a lot of my opinions are semi-formed, nebulous things which, under scrutiny, will turn out to be built on foundations of jelly.
But today, because I am a bit lazy and I can just cut and paste this from a comment I wrote on Facebook, here is what I thought of what the leaders have to say. And I think their opinions on fatness are reflective of what they think about a lot of things, about the balance between personal responsibility and the responsibility of the state, and about which direction they point their fingers of blame when they are trying to scare us into voting for them (that would be either down at the powerless who are portrayed as an amorphous mass of slavering scroungers/immigrants/benefits cheats or up at the powerful who are portrayed as an amorphous mass of slavering bankers/ fat cats/ tax dodging cheats) And the question is...who can do more harm to society the powerless or powerful? But who could do the most good to society - the powerless or the powerful. And who do we want to give more power to?
Anyway, this was my Facebook comment (I may be lazy, but look up there, I too the time to draw a picture of me in some jelly using the lovely Coloursoft pencils Denise gave me as an Easter present)
"The general tenor of the comments of the political leaders on obesity is that some parties see obesity as an issue which is characterised by scroungers on benefits who can't control their appetites even when it means that the NHS has to fund their extravagant eating and that bloody Europe will make us treat them as being disabled, or it is an issue which affects a lot of people who would benefit from some initiatives to help tackle obesity in the general population. The first group will fight for the right of big businesses to sell as much crappy food and drink and fags to us as possible whilst cutting the margins of food producers as much as possible. The second group will maybe think that higher taxes on some things are a price we must pay to discourage the buying of crappy food, of paying for sports facilities for public use, of helping those people (and there aren't really that many) who have serious health problems related to their weight. I'm guessing that most of the obese in this country are, as I am, in paid employment. Luckily I'm no longer morbidly obese. Now I'm just an overweight burden on society."
And that is all my semi-formed opnions have to say...for now.
Hi, I'm Andy, serial weight gainer. My year of dieting is over! But you can still give money to Shelter or the PDSA!