I quite liked Jamie Oliver when he first started appearing on television. I liked his lack of pretension and his passion for good, hearty meals. Alas, his hatred for chicken nuggets drove him off the edge of sanity and he ploughed right through the British education system. No chicken nugget was safe, no burger could escape his wrath and he practically erased the Turkey Twizzler from the history books.
Whilst to some extent I can appreciate what he tried to do and applaud the strength of his morals, I really wish the self-righteous prick would now kindly fuck off. If he could take the British Government with him that’d be a bonus.
A letter organised by the chef prompted the UK government to contemplate banning two-for-one deals on junk food. This is of course in a bid to tackle the growing obesity crisis. Which is the last thing you’d want to tackle, as it’s likely to hurt and feel very sweaty. If that’s not enough, the government is now set to follow France’s example by banning free refills on sugary drinks. Apparently, we’re all going mad for these deals and hitting the machines with reckless abandon. In a few instances, this has led to people drowning in Pepsi. These people have not been identified because the sugar rotted all their teeth to nothing and therefore could not be matched to dental records.
The UK’s problem with obesity is apparently a problem. I can accept that to a certain degree. I saw three fat people today. It was hot and one of them had their shirt off. This is definitely a problem. I don’t want to be seen as body shaming, but if your body is unsightly, you shouldn’t be showing it off. I have the opposite problem. I’m so skinny that if I decided to walk around with no shirt on (because I’ve had a stroke or mental breakdown) I’d look like a skeleton and all the local necromancers would assume I was their servant.
To quote Wikipedia “In 2014 62% of adults in England were classified as overweight (a body mass index of 25 or above) or obese, compared to 53% 20 years earlier.” That was four years ago, so I can assume that the figures now show that 99.99% are now considered overweight and that there’s just one man somewhere in the Isle of Wight who’s considered healthy and he’s deeply unhappy because he’s forced to do all the jobs that require movement as he’s the only one that can climb stairs without getting out of breath.
What’s interesting to note is that twenty years earlier in 1994 more than half the adult population of England was considered overweight, but nobody seemed to give a shit (maybe that’s why hoho!). Why is that? We might ask. Is it a problem now because it’s putting unnecessary strain on the NHS? Is it because we have become increasingly obsessed with looks and therefore anything that doesn’t fit within very strict criteria is deemed undesirable? Or is obesity simply an easy target for news outlets to pad out a slow news week, rapidly ageing TV chefs to hang on to in order to remain in the public eye and for governments to talk about to avoid any of the more pressing matters?
They are all interesting answers, but ultimately irrelevant. What matters here is that the British public is at risk of simply rolling over and accepting nannyism of the highest order. Once upon a time, we were free to make our own choices. Each individual was responsible for their own actions and had to accept the consequences and accept we did, albeit with a great deal of anguish. Once upon a time, a festival would not have been cancelled because some people died taking ‘bad drugs’ as opposed to the really good ones that everyone should take on the reg. Instead, there’d just be a statement released saying “When you ingest substances you or a friend or even a friend of a friend bought from a stranger, there’s a small chance that might not end well. Take them at your own risk.”
On the one hand, we have the government, doing its best to ‘help us’, by relieving us of our right to choose. It started with the smoking ban. I myself hate smoking and think all smokers are fucking idiots (don’t get me started on vapers). I don’t see how anyone could get the urge to stuff some shredded leaves into a piece of paper, set it on fire and then inhale the result, but I don’t want to stand in the way of people making this truly foolish choice. Whilst it’s nice that I can sit in a pub and not have it smell as though it had recently caught fire, it was the start of something almost sinister.
Now it’s gone further. Tax on smoking was raised and then there was the plain packaging law because apparently bright coloured packages with pictures on them might encourage children to smoke, despite the fact that children can’t buy cigarettes. Then they were printed with death threats on them: “smoking causes tumours which cause you to die”, “smoking puts your children at risk”, “If you smoke, we’ll come to your house and get you.” It went on and on until someone decided that they have to be kept behind a locked cabinet and no one can look upon them. In turn, these cabinets are sealed with potent magic and should anyone ask for some tobacco they are immediately sent to re-education centres.
Whilst all this went on, adverts started to emerge warning us ignorant masses that drinking is quite dangerous, and we should all do so responsibly. Which was a shame as my dad used to spend his days drinking whisky whilst juggling chainsaws at the same time as cooking soup. Addled by the alcohol as he was and focusing on both the chainsaws and the bubbling soup, he didn’t notice my brother gnawing on the loose wiring. Since he was warned that drinking two pints can lead to you killing a woman with a magic table, he has changed his habits.
Alcohol tax has risen, and all bottles and cans now come with a ‘drink responsibly… or else’ tag. Some have even called that booze should come in some plain packaged forms because the government won’t be happy until everything is packaged plainly, even the people.
I can’t shake the fear that alcohol will one day be banned, and pubs will only be able to sell Coke. That is of course as long as they only sell one Coke per customer. It’s mad. Mad I say.
Combine all this with the ban on junk food deals and unlimited refills and we’ve got the beginnings of the perfect conspiracy. The government are habituating us to the regular removal of our rights. They take away tobacco, to keep us healthy and we applaud it. They clamp down on alcohol for our own good and we say, ‘fair enough’. Various foodstuffs and sugar we say ‘well… okay.’ Then they say, ‘we’re getting rid of all immigrants for your safety!’ and before you know it they’ve got rid of our right to vote because we can’t be trusted to use it wisely.
On the other hand, we have the incredibly vocal members of public who are also morons. The type that see fat people, or become fat themselves and cry to the government “and what do you plan on doing about this? Look at us. We’re disgusting.” As they cram their fourth Krispy Kreme into their greasy faces because they were on offer. “You need to do something. Look I can’t stop, I’m reaching for my fifth!”
Or worse, there are those who demand that the government think of the children. Who fear for the future of the wee bairns. If you care about your children, maybe don’t let them have more than one fizzy drink and cook them some damn vegetables. As for other people’s children, you’re not allowed to decide how they should be raised, unfortunately. I say unfortunately, because there are a lot of children living in my area who are going to grow up to be dicks and would benefit from a good old-fashioned beating. But as I say… not our place. I don’t know I’m drunk.
Stop banning things. Nothing good has ever come from banning something. If you want to raise awareness of the increasing obesity and diabetes issue, just say before someone buys an unlimited drink that they do contain a lot of sugar and might make you fat. Unless the person is already fat in which case they’ll know the drill.