Rod Liddle

Rod Liddle: If we don't stigmatise fat people, there'll be lots more of them

The last thing our gargantuan, slobbering masses need is for self-serving charities to indulge them

19 October 2013

9:00 AM

19 October 2013

9:00 AM

Trying to get good, healthy, nutritious food down the ungrateful throats of the lower orders, especially northerners, has become a serious national problem. At the moment these awful people eat nothing but fat coated in breadcrumbs and deep-fried in engine oil, and so as a consequence they are gargantuan, slobbering masses of compacted lard, so vast that there would be room, if they so wished, for Hogarth to do their tattoos. Have you ever wandered about in the centre of Sheffield or Rotherham? It’s like being transported to a film set where Quentin Tarantino is shooting a version of Gulliver’s Travels with belching and farting, shellsuit-clad Brobdingnagians waddling and wheezing in and out of fast-food shops, gripping hold of deep-fried oblongs of saturated fat with their black-pudding fingers.

Poverty, we are told, is the major cause of this epidemic of obesity, but I’m not sure I buy it. I heard one chap from a leftish think-tank explain that northerners eat this cheap fattening filth because it is very quick to heat up in the oven, and they cannot afford to have the oven on for longer than 20 minutes because of the prices charged by those bastards who run the energy companies. Surely, then, a simple solution would be for the poor to invest in an Aga? I have had a shin of beef casserole with morels, butter beans, black kale and Puy lentils bubbling away for the last three hours — no extra cost, because the Aga is always on! Sometimes the lefties don’t think of these common-sense solutions, probably out of resentment and bitterness, and yet one of the upper-end Agas would improve the look of their usually rather frowsy kitchens no end.

We are constantly told that we are in the grip of an obesity ‘epidemic’, the word ‘epidemic’ suggesting that it is something extraneous which has been imposed upon people, in the manner of the black death, or influenza. But of course it isn’t, as Max Pemberton rather brilliantly explained in last week’s magazine. That the explanation was necessary is the shocking thing, in a way; we are doing with obesity what we have done with alcoholism and drug addiction, which is to remove the individual’s responsibility for the predicament in which he finds himself. By describing obesity or alcoholism as a disease, rather than lose weight or stop drinking he can demand treatment, because he has been afflicted by something which was not of his doing.

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As Max argued, telling patients that they are fat and will succumb to some horrible ailment or even die if they do not do something about it is clearly the approach doctors should take. But they have become brainwashed into not doing this, and as is ever the case, the people doing the brainwashing are the third sector: the pressure groups, the quangos, the NGOs, the charities. It is what they always do.

Take Mend, which was set up to combat childhood obesity and has swallowed lots and lots of your money. The acronym stands for Mind Exercise Nutrition Do It, which is by itself sufficient to make me more emetically inclined than a bulimic in a pie factory. The message this undoubtedly well-meaning organisation sends out is that obesity is a medical issue, one afflicting a third of our children, and that subjecting the obese to ‘negative attitudes’ (such as calling them fat gannets, or hideous lard-buckets) is ‘not acceptable or helpful’. Au contraire — yes it is. Remove the stigma and you remove a very powerful inducement for the individual to watch his or her weight. Stigma is what society uses, in an ad-hoc manner, to control behaviour which is antisocial or harmful to an individual. If you insist that we should not stigmatise young single mothers, for example, you will one day have many more young single mothers. So it is with obesity.

Mend does not stop there, however. In its advice to parents it insists that they should not, when talking to their blubber-ridden children, ‘link being thin with being successful and attractive’. Again, au contraire: they should link it at every available opportunity, because being thin will make you more attractive, in most cases, and certainly more successful with the opposite sex. And that again is a powerful inducement to lose weight, is it not? Mend also announced that two thirds of parents wanted ‘more support around discussing weight issues with their children’. This is a fabulously self-serving statement, based upon a self-serving question in the survey they sent out. And again — it is what these charities and pressure groups do. In all of their actions, they assert their own indispensability, even if, like Mend, they have not existed for very long at all and are in fact eminently dispensable.

If you are a charity or pressure group sucking up taxpayers’ money to fight some fashionable cause, there are two things which you must do as soon as you have trousered your first grant. First, big up the cause — insist that it is much more widespread than was believed and hint that it could afflict any one of us at any time. Second, exculpate the individual from even the vaguest notion of blame and insist that it is a condition to be borne by the country as a whole. ‘Don’t blame and shame,’ as Mend has it. And they do this not in order to alleviate the problem, but because they are stakeholders in the problem, and they know on which side their bread is coated with low-fat butter.

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Show comments
  • The_greyhound

    I shouldn’t put the black Kale in the casserole until right at the end of the cooking. Three hours will reduce any brassica to mush.

    • rodliddle

      Yes. I made up the bit about the kale in order to make our family supper seem more middle class. It was, instead, shin of beef with turnip, butter beans, onions, tomato puree, home made beef stock, a small amount of red wine, mushrooms (the ordinary ones, not morels, and added later) carrots and herbs. I suppose the total cost of this meal for three (times two, we had it the following day too) was about five quid.

      • The_greyhound

        The mere fact that it was supper renders the meal entirely middle class. There was no need to add kale.

        But as you rightly imply the issue is as much about resourcefulness as resources.

        • Fergus Pickering

          Who on earth would WANT to be working class? I know people do, but why do they?

      • Eddie

        Kale middle class?
        Traditional Welsh working class fare actually.
        That was before the Welsh population shunned all vegetables in favour of pies, fried chicken, ready meals, snacks and takeaways of course.
        I am a couple of stone overweight, but in South Wales I look positively anorexic and emaciated.

      • Ripple

        That sounds much nicer than the meal you described!

      • Cornelius Bonkers

        With the class struggle in mind; had you had any green kale would you have considered popping it in? If so, I recommend 3 minutes steaming as a side dish only and never to be included in the actual casserole (stew?).

  • s_o_b

    I have no experience of being morbidly obese, however I do know quite a lot about alcoholism and alcoholics. Do you really think that it is as easy as just telling an alcoholic that he is killing himself and should stop drinking? I am not particularly comfortable with defining alcoholism as a disease, preferring to think of it as being an allergy to alcohol.

    Why allergy? Because alcoholics have an injurious and abnormal reaction to alcohol. The reaction is partly mental, in that even when they are not drinking they obsess about it – planning the next drink, how to pay for it, how to get away with it. It is also physical, in that as soon as the first drink is taken, some sort of switch is thrown whereby it becomes increasingly difficult, over time, to stop.

    I have no idea whether it is the same for ‘hideous lard-buckets’ but I rather suspect they need a little bit more than straight-talking doctors. If the similarities do exist, then it may be rather harder for compulsive eaters than alcoholics. The latter, if they find a way to stop drinking and stay stopped, then they can at least function normally. But not eating is not an option.

    I suspect that in the same way that there are heavy drinkers, who can cut down or stop relatively easily, and alcoholics, who can’t, there are over-eaters who need information, honesty and willpower, and compulsive over-eaters who may be mentally ill and who need more intensive help.

    • Advocatus_Diaboli_69

      Suggest you watch repeats of Supersize v Superskinny on Channel 4

      If that’s anything to go by then there are an awful lot of fat people who are obese out of habit, nothing more. They have otherwise normal lives (partners, children etc) but they are in the habit of consuming thousands more calories per day than they need because it’s just so easy to sit down to take-aways and sweets, or they cook too much food and eat all the helpings.

      Their partners know they’re obese. The people themselves know their obese, but neither they nor their partners will give them the stern talking to that they need to change, so the habit continues, and the more fat people they see the more ‘normal’ the feel. It’s a downward trend.

      It’s really not that mysterious for the majority. Look at other countries, look at how they behave.

      • s_o_b

        Thanks but I think I’ll give the programme you mention a miss. However, I would posit that anyone who appears in such a programme is likely to be abnormal, as they make for ‘better’ viewing.

        Notwithstanding this, I don’t think you’ve written anything that undermines my suggestion – that some overheat out of habit or just don’t talk enough exercise to burn off the calories they consume, and can break the habit and lose weight fairly easily should they choose to, and that there are others who know very well that they are morbidly obese, are scared of what their lifestyle is doing to them, hate themselves for what they do and have everything to lose….and yet still overeat.

    • Lungfish

      dee dums, leave the twat and go down the pub. Its probably you that drove him to it anyhow. Stop pissing in the poor blokes ear and get a life fatty.

    • rtj1211

      Depends exactly what they are consuming, but the following certainly have addictive properties:

      1. Sugary drinks like Coke, IrnBru or the like.
      2. Chocolate of any form (caffeine et al).
      3. Cake.

      The first thing to be aware of is that sugar is a pain killer. People in shock/grieving are often given cake to eat as it dulls pain. If your life is fairly unbearable, eating dulls the pain. One of the inevitable results of capitalism is that it produces large numbers of ‘losers’, because that’s what the winners need. If you create a society where losing is derided and winning is worshipped, then losers are going to hurt like hell until they give up. if they give up, they get called ‘feckless’ by the winners. If they don’t, they hurt so much that they drink, they do drugs, they eat too much or smoke.

      No point asking about how to stop them dulling pain until you remove the cause of the pain.

      Can you remove capitalism??

      Do tell us all if so. Even if you wanted to, you won’t be allowed to.

      Just call obesity ‘acceptable collateral damage’.

      Until you decide that it isn’t.

      • Ripple

        Capitalists create more opportunities than existed originally for people of all kinds to ‘win’ in all manner of ways. We are all winners now that we don’t live in the Stone Age. You’re a winner because you can whinge about capitalism on the computer and Internet that capitalism made possible for you. No doubt at some point, in addition to sugar, you’ll need to take medicine discovered or invented and produced thanks to capitalism’s factories and laboratories.

      • Ripple

        As my husband so trenchantly pointed out, the only societies that have ever made the word ‘peasant’ not a valid category are capitalist societies. Even the poor people — which capitalist societies have always striven to help — are in the minority, and are better off than they would have been under any other econo-political dispensation.

        • Jackthesmilingblack

          Bet you have a joint bank account.

          • Ripple

            What will your next non sequitur be?

          • Jackthesmilingblack

            Get a life, an independent life.

          • Toby Esterházy

            Spare us your supposed wisdoms of life! Your parents are Japanese peasants outside of Tokyo!

          • Jackthesmilingblack

            How`s the kiddie porn collection coming on, Jock. Obsessive, compulsive disorder syndrome makes it difficult for you to form relationships, so where else are you going to turn?

          • Toby Esterházy

            And this is your life, too: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-24614830 !

          • Ripple

            Get a life with your loved one, Toby Whatserhazy. And don’t bother to address me again.

          • Toby Esterházy

            Disqus error. Our comments got mixed up. My comment was intended for one notorious pest.

            I am probably now too disabled to be but a bachelor, although ATOS would have my friends think differently. Currently in happy matrimony, I presume?

          • Ripple

            Oh, sorry about that. Florida’s Finest orange juice?

          • Toby Esterházy

            The Pharmaceutical kind, of course! No, seriously, I literally cannot digest the other produce these days, so I would probably never emigrate to your parts or marry an American! Never mind!

          • Jackthesmilingblack

            Your name seems familiar. Have I offended you before?

          • Ripple

            No offence taken.

  • Jackthesmilingblack

    One good thing thing about living in Japan, you`re not surrounded by fatties. Except at the airport where the Caucasians arrive obviously. Wall-to-wall thin people really gives you motivation to stick with the diet and hit the gym daily. While being surrounded by over-weight, obese… what the hell, fat bastards makes you think, “What the hell?”
    Jack, Japan Alps

    • Picquet

      Yes, but what do they eat? Too much rice, no dairy products and probably no bacon. Might as well commit hara-kiri…

      • k flo

        I am sure you’ve never been to Japan or you just don’t know other countries very well at all. Enjoy your bacon!

        • Toby Esterházy

          Dairy products in Japan? Most are definitely imported from Australia!

          • Jackthesmilingblack

            Hokkaido mainly. Something else you are almost sure about?

          • Toby Esterházy

            Not even the case 20 years ago when I was there!

          • Jackthesmilingblack

            He says it like he`s some sort of of authority, but the reality is that Jock McNutter knows less than half of FA.

          • Toby Esterházy

            You, like all good and typical Japanese and Koreans, have this mad inferiority complex (massive chip-on-the-shoulder) that holds that having to admit that your own Country need to import anything from abroad as a sign of inferiority.

          • Jackthesmilingblack

            Japanese dairy products mostly come from Hokkaido. Although there is French cheese.
            So wrong again, Jock. On a scale of 1-to-10, you almost rank a zero.

          • Toby Esterházy

            A blatant falsehood; and why would you care? Are you British or a Japanese? Kindly, make up your mind!

          • Jackthesmilingblack

            “Are you British or a Japanese?”
            If you have to ask you`ll never know. And you`re the one that needs to make up his tiny deranged mind.

          • Toby Esterházy

            If you have to decide and chose between the English association football team and the Japanese soccer team, which team would you elect to openly and publicly support?

          • Jackthesmilingblack

            I hate all aspects of football, but especially football supporters, aka football hooligans. So which football team do you support, Jock? Rochdale Football Club?

          • Toby Esterházy

            That fact alone proves that you are not and cannot be British.

          • Jackthesmilingblack

            And you are a obese, junk food gobbling, chain smoking, football hooligan, benefits cheat, unemployable know-it-all, closet alcoholic who is driven literally insane by the use of US English, who deals in drugs on the local sink estate, BNP member, illegally imported booze dealer, savage dog owner with serious body odour, kiddie porn down loading degenerate with serious compulsive obsessive disorder issues who has difficulty forming relationships.
            This libeling is easier than I thought. How many did I score?

          • Toby Esterházy

            Your English is so ungrammatical that I stopped half-way through the second line.

          • Jackthesmilingblack

            Funny you should mention Kamakura. I`ve got a house there. Suck it up, Jock.

      • Jackthesmilingblack

        Reading the Red Tops for a laugh is one thing. Actually believing and disseminating their racist garbage is quite another, Pic.

      • Jackthesmilingblack

        “Might as well commit hara-kiri…”

        It takes a lot of guts.

      • Jackthesmilingblack

        If they gave you an enema you could be buried in a matchbox.

        • Picquet

          Are you going in and out of a cider-induced coma? Get help.

          • Jackthesmilingblack

            Hey boy, the tax here is so low you can afford an 18-year-old malt.
            Jack, the only Brit in the village

          • Toby Esterházy

            It looks like Care-in-the-Community in also practised in Japan!

          • Toby Esterházy

            Care-in-the-Community, more like; although hounding him like a Greyhound probably makes me slightly unsound as well!

    • First L

      Really? I thought that Japan led the world in fatties. But over there they make them wear nappies and wrestle.

      • Jackthesmilingblack

        Kindly refer to comment on Red Tops as a component of UK trash culture.

        • Toby Esterházy

          Whereas your brand of taking outright liberties with the truth (lying) is Japanese culture?

          • Jackthesmilingblack

            If a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, none at all must be absolutely lethal.

          • Fergus Pickering

            It isn’t a little knowledge, which makes no sense. It is a little learning.

  • DougS

    Hard to argue with any of that.

    As a North Easterner myself I see what Rod describes (in his first two paragraphs) above, on an almost daily basis. I’m sure that once we all realise that the Aga is the answer though, the problem will be solved – at a stroke – no pun intended.

    My only nagging worry is that, if we’re all going to die early as a result of obesity, how come annuity rates are plummeting because everybody’s living longer?

    Could obesity be good for us?

    • Lungfish

      The Aga is a maft southern twatsrketing gimmick for da

    • stickytape

      Well as another North Easterner I have to disagree, where I live we’re all like stick insects on account of only being able to go to food banks for our food.

      Today we had half a head of lettuce, cooked to perfection by my other half, by gum t’ were good, all seventeen of us were bursting at t’ seams.
      I don’t know what tomorrows feast will be, but next week, we’re hoping for a chicken thigh.
      I pray it’s not an exasperated chicken with a lisp.

      • davidshort10

        If you are going to pretend to be from the North East, don’t use Yorkshire argot.

        • stickytape

          I am from the north east dummy.

          • davidshort10

            If so, then you are doubly stupid as no one in the North East says ‘by gum’ or contracts ‘the’ to t’. I think this qualifies you as a tosser. And at least I have the courage to use my real name.

          • stickytape

            A man who knows about tossers speaks out, I assume you learnt everything by looking in the mirror.
            And wtf does using your real name have to do with anything, do you really think it makes you courageous?
            All it means to me is that I can now put a name to a pedant who tried to be clever, by showing how much he knows, and instead showed what an idiot he was.
            I come originally from the Durham coalfields, my Grandpa often used to say by gum, and he often contracted ‘the ‘ to ‘t’. Dialects in mining villages could change from village to village, I had relatives in Chester-le-Street, and I could hardly understand them, and vice versa, and we only lived 15 miles away from each other. I had relatives just down from Hartlepool and they had another dialect, although not as extreme.
            Sorry davidshort10, you know nothing like as much as you think you do.

          • Jackthesmilingblack

            When the nutters start to call you at home at all hours, or delete all your e-mails, you will start to appreciate the wisdom of a username.

        • Rocksy

          Argot? Is that another of those fancy foods you Southerners eat?

        • No Body

          It’s not even Yorkshire. It’s t’other side ot’ill.

  • AndyB

    Nice use of a semi-colon in the third paragraph, I thought. Good piece – all round – on the abuse of the colon.

    • Jackthesmilingblack

      That`s quite amusing, albeit under appreciated.

  • Lungfish

    An Aga is at least eight grand you fuckin southern monkey.

  • Lungfish

    Rod, quite a few charities have fuck all to do with government. Charities are often better off with no affiliation to crooked wankers an wannabee twats in the media etc. In fact the media twats quite often do damage by distorting facts and twisting stories for their own advantage. By respected independence sometimes charities can achieve quite good results. Just my personal opinion, I may be wrong of course.

  • Jackthesmilingblack

    Great picture for my “UK Trash Culture” presentation.
    “Who ate all the pies …

    • Toby Esterházy

      We only live once. No-one likes to live like a miserable and autistic g** and t*** like you but you!

      • Jackthesmilingblack

        Rewrite

        • Toby Esterházy

          Rewrite what?

          • Jackthesmilingblack

            Don`t top yourself, Jock. Because Goddamnit, we need you, you crazy bastard.
            Just kidding.

          • Toby Esterházy

            No-one but you likes a miserable and autistic little g** and t*** like you!

          • Jackthesmilingblack

            Speak for yourself… Oh you were.

          • Toby Esterházy

            Who likes you, exactly?

          • Fergus Pickering

            What is a g** and a t***?

          • Jackthesmilingblack

            Some up-north sub-culture, archaic syntax no doubt. Imprisoned by their language, or rather lack thereof.

          • Toby Esterházy

            Jane Austen? Emily Brunty? (Expect one otherwise-witless Japanese to rush in to “correct” my “mistake”!)

          • Jackthesmilingblack

            Emily who?
            Got this idea for a TV series. “Support Mental Health Or I`ll Kill You.” (Provisional title) You take some run-of-the-mill delusional nutter with personality problems beyond the dreams of analysts, have a panel of shrinks psycho-analyse him. Identify the moment in his dysfunctional childhood where it all started to go wrong. Throw in psyco-babble about cause, treatment, prognosis, cure… You up for this, Jock? I`ll make you famous, to quote Billy the Kid? Bang!

          • Toby Esterházy

            The surname of her grandfather from Ireland? You are so smart, aren’t you?

          • Jackthesmilingblack

            “I`m never wrong”
            Your middle name, right?

          • Toby Esterházy

            You don’t know I am talking about, do you, my Nippy Japanese “Japan Alps Brit” friend?

          • Toby Esterházy

            I am too well brought up to spell those words out!

          • Jackthesmilingblack

            Stop lying. You know the monks beat the $hit out of you.

          • Toby Esterházy

            The monks? I do not remember enrolling myself at Shaolin Temple!

          • Jackthesmilingblack

            Does your mother come from Ireland, or were you born that stupid?

          • Toby Esterházy

            Since monks do not teach children in schools in Ireland, I have no idea as to what you are talking about!

  • al

    For the first 3 paragraphs, I thought this was a satirical piece.
    After that I started to worry it wasn’t.
    Then I realised that it was genuinely serious.
    Then I was amazed at what an utterly repulsive and hopelessly deluded character the author is.

    Invest in an aga
    and while they’re at it, let them eat cake.

    • a_ha81

      Might that be because the opening paragraphs are indeed satirical and the rest is not? I can see how that must have confused you, poor little dope.

      • al

        But it’s not satire if it directly (and this is the key word) reinforces the points made in the rest of the piece.

        • First L

          No, just sarcasm.

          Well placed I might add.

          • Aware

            Liddle of course hales from the north..ancestral wise..where the mars bars are fired.

    • Rocksy

      Hell no! Not cake! carrots I should think.

    • Matt Bowyer

      It’s a serious point made in a satirical fashion.

      The message “poor people should get Agas” is not serious.

      The message “saying that it’s OK to be fat isn’t helping” is serious.

  • Marcus

    ‘Stigma is what society uses, in an ad-hoc manner, to control behaviour which is antisocial or harmful to an individual’.
    The left are fully aware of this when it comes to homophobia, racism, bullying or ‘transgender hate’.

    • Matt Bowyer

      But being gay or transgender isn’t bad for you (that said, being gay will probably reduce your attractiveness to the opposite sex, but it’s sort of a problem and a solution all in one).

      Being fat is.

  • Robert Taggart

    Speaking as a 5’6” 17’5” Northerner – no amount of ridicule will force us to loose any of our ‘rotundness’ – our taxpayer funded indolence will see to that !
    Guessing it be so much easier for those of 6’+ ? – their input has to work so much harder ?? – to reach all corners of their bodies ???
    Either way – tha blames poverty – now then, pay your taxes Southerners – and pay us more !

  • Michael Stafford

    I’m trying to make sense of this.Do you at first make fun of lefties who make out being fat is a disease,then worry in case you’ve overegged your scorn,and retreat into posing as an out of touch righty by recommending poor people buy Agas?Is this the Swiftian irony we hear so much about these days?If you’re not careful you could cut yourself,Rod.

    • Fergus Pickering

      I think the Aga thing is a joke. But they might invest in a slow cooker which runs very cheaply. How much does a poor family pay for its television? Does the poor family have Sky? How much does the poor non-breadwinner spend of beer and fags?

  • allymax bruce

    Comfort eating? Living a life of Northern Poverty, entrenched by cyclical sneer reinforcement of the South East Rich; only exacerbates the need to find solace within one’s ‘poor’ soul. I mean, f*** it, if I’m gonna be perenially poor, I might as well enjoy it!
    As for the Lefties; they are only the manifest products of their own persecution anxieties. Greetin-faced self-absorbed utopian whingers, stuck in their own childhood anxieties, desperately wanting to blame the world for all their own ills. As axiomatic fact, on-cue, these Lefties will tell you of their own ‘hard-luck’ stories, using it as reason for their pathetic subservience to minority-issue politics. Placating society, as it’s own ills; it’s pathetic, but a disenfranchising muse for the ‘re-education’ of society, that the Marxists delineate. I mean, how better for the Marxists to divide & conquer the masses, other than by telling these persecution plebs they are right to condemn the masses of society, for the hurt feelings of these minority-issue persecutions!
    Comfort drinking?

  • Conor O’ Reilly

    The usual self-righteous tripe from someone who just cannot understand why everyone is not designed to be stick-thin. I am a person who suffers from obesity, not through choice but because I am metabolically designed this way. I have always believed that stereotyping people who have weight issues is the last acceptable form of racism and a disgraceful article like this only confirms it. Shame on you Rod Liddle and shame on the editorial team who allows journalists to publish such discriminatory articles.

    • Forest Fan

      Yeh but Conor, surely you don’t believe that metabolism alone explains why you are obese?

      • Conor O’ Reilly

        Like anyone else, I like my creature comforts but I have never been and never will be stick-thin. If I was to be on a diet that resulted in me being stick-thin, my quality of life would deteriorate significantly to the extent that I wouldn’t have any sort of life at all. We are all built differently. I just can’t figure out how some people cannot understand that.

        • commenteer

          An awful lot of us would be obese if we didn’t exert self control. Nobody’s asking you to be stick-thin; just to stop eating too many calories. You’d feel an awful lot better if you did.
          Why not try the fasting diet on a permanent basis, as so many of us do? You only have to cut your calories to 600 for two days a week, which isn’t difficult, especially if you have huge stores of fat on which to draw.

        • Alexandrovich

          ” my quality of life would deteriorate significantly to the extent that I
          wouldn’t have any sort of life at all. We are all built differently. I
          just can’t figure out how some people cannot understand that.”
          Some people cannot understand that because people with denial ‘issues’ are hard to understand.

        • Fergus Pickering

          Conor, we are talking about people who are twenty stone, thirty stone, forty stone. FAT people.

          • Jackthesmilingblack

            You jokers in UK still using stones? What is it, 14 pounds one stone? Now that is so convenient, NOT.

    • Bo

      I wonder where all of these genes were hiding around the beginning of the 20th century. Surely you haven’t “evolved” in the last 50 years? Oh hold on, “metabolically designed”, does that make you some kind of creationist?
      It’s intriguing that waistlines have expanded, or ballooned at the same time that food became very cheap and very high in saturated fats, and somehow it’s solely down to genetics.

      “stick-thin”
      I like how you try to stigmatise anyone who isn’t obese as being stick like while simultaneously complaining about stigma.

      What’s that about racism you fat b*stard? I don’t think there is any evidence of a distinct human race comprised of obese plonkers, but do let me know.
      I worked in a supermarket part-time when I went off to Uni, you learn a lot about people in those places. I don’t mean to stereotype but it was a shocking coincidence to discover the fatter they were, the more garbage they bought.

      • Ripple

        Your first para: that was my point to someone the other day insisting that genes are what it’s all about. I never heard back from him.

      • Conor O’ Reilly

        People who have to resort to cheap personal attacks is a sure sign that they have lost the argument. I don’t engage in discussion with such people. Thank you for proving my point though for the need to eradicate such abusive and racist behaviour. QED.

        • James Strong

          It’s physics. (You might say it’s biology, chemistry, bio-chemistry but in the end it all comes down to physics.)
          If a person takes in more calories than they use up then they gain weight.

          That might not be a convenient truth but it is a simple one.

          • Jackthesmilingblack

            If you`re into physics, you might want to switch to joules.

      • Fergus Pickering

        In Houston, Texas,the fattest people (and they are FAT) are black. I don’t know why that is, but it is so.

    • Ripple

      To be fair, I don’t think Rod is stick-thin. Also, I think one’s body’s responses to food and exercise can be tweaked and improved before weight-gain gets out of hand. Probably what you suffer from most at this point is the fact that it is relatively easy to store fat but difficult to shed it once it’s there — mainly because of the dedication and self-discipline required by the owner to shed it.

    • Alexandrovich

      You know why you’re fat? Because you “… have always believed that stereotyping people who have weight issues is
      the last acceptable form of racism.” If you can’t address reality, what chance of addressing your weight ‘issues’?

  • rtj1211

    Well, clearly the first thing to do is ban Liddle from working in journalism, as he’s certainly too fat to be writing this article.

  • David

    That beer and burger looks amazing

  • tolpuddle1

    But if we don’t stigmatise you, Rod, for what you are – a brutal, arrogant and bullying pub-counter yobbo posing as a political journalist – there’ll be more people like you.

    And that truly is a terrifying thought.

    • Fergus Pickering

      I fear that I don’t suppose Rod cares what the likes of you think. He likes winding you up. And he has.

      • tolpuddle1

        So he really isn’t a political journalist at all, but merely a wind-up merchant, a bully with a pulpit ?
        Yes indeed, but no harm in telling him the truth.

        • Fergus Pickering

          Of course Rod isn’t a political journalist. And fool hack can be that. And is.

    • Jackthesmilingblack

      Note how quickly Brits switch to personal attack. A nation of bullies, it`s undeniable.

  • tolpuddle1

    Try pulling your head out of the sand, Rod – it’s not 2003; Western Capitalism is broke and going down with all hands. And real, physical poverty again exists in the UK.

    • Fergus Pickering

      So people are immensely fat because they are poor if I get your drift.

  • davidshort10

    It’s a bit of a mixed message this Liddle one as he obviously knows people on benefits don’t have an Aga and could never afford one even if they did. His point is that people can make large, nutritious meals cheaply including the cost of fuel but this kind of talk has gone on for decades. Even Orwell wrote something similar in thirties. This is what people choose to do. The authorities, being from a world that is alien to the kind of people they comment on, feel they should do something about it. They can try, but they will fail, except that they will still collect their comfortable salaries and live in their comfortable homes and collect their comfortable pensions.

    • Ripple

      The problem is that they are on benefits rather than earning a spendable income. And then there is that wretched 20% tax….

    • Fergus Pickering

      Orwell did not. Orwell said quite the opposite, that the poor must be allowed their pies, beer and fags because that was all that made life worth living

  • davidshort10

    I meant to say people on benefits would not even know what an Aga was.

    • mehercle

      He owns race horses , doesn’t he ?

    • paradise 33

      that’s a huge assumption re: the educational attainments of those on benefits!

    • Fergus Pickering

      I dont think most of them would know much and that’s the truth.

  • davidshort10

    The point is that people do not know how to cook and there are Greggs everywhere. McD’s always get the bad press, but in my small home town in the North East, there are three Greggs on the high street and three other similar shops. There’s even a Greggs facing you the minute you step out of Arrivals at Newcastle airport. Who can resist the temptation of a huge hot sausage roll or chicken and bacon pastie immediately available rather than wait three hours for a shin of beef from the Aga? Not Geordies or Yorkshire people. That’s three hours they could be down the Bigg Market.

    • Fergus Pickering

      But you don’t have to wait three hours. You just prepare it earlier and then reheat it. Of course that means thinking ahead which means thinking.

  • victor67

    Yes Rod I am all for stigmatising the fat f—kers like Boris Johnston and Eric Pickles as well as the fat Northern welfare junkies

    • Ridcully

      Don’t forget Lord Prescott.

      • Jackthesmilingblack

        As if we could.

    • Fergus Pickering

      I don’t care how fat people are if I don’t have to pay for their upkeep. So Boris and Eric can go on eating as much as they like.

  • Peter Crawford

    I live in Holyhead and am very thin. There are three kebab shops in town. Two are Bangladeshi owned and are shit. The other (1 William Street) is Turkish owned and is superb
    The Chef Special is highly recommended. Chili sos for you ma fren?

    • Fergus Pickering

      Another score for the Turks.

  • ohforheavensake

    Here’s some figures, Rod. There’s no automatic link between income and obesity-

    http://www.poverty.org.uk/63/index.shtml

  • Barbara

    Never read such a self interested piece of work in my life. If you can call it work. The people who are fat are not happy with their lot and many try to lose weight constantly. They cannot afford to join gyms but the parks are free to use we all know that, but of course while doing so you run the risk of being robbed, or a woman being raped while running round the free enterprise. Being fat is not good we all know that, but good food is expensive pre-packaged food as caused this lack of cooking skills amongst many. If its not in a tin or packet its no good. Fresh food which is cheaper, should be the choice of the day, but cooking it preparing a meal from it, that is the thing many cannot do. Time is another factor if one works, out of a packet or tin after an 8 hour day is more inviting than cooking from fresh. Being fat is not good, getting off the fat is harder to achieve, we need constructive help not rude assumptions about sections of society give people the knowledge they lack on food not just rudeness, then we may re-educate people to eat more sensibly.

    • Bo

      “pre-packaged food as caused this lack of cooking skills amongst many.”

      Are you actually on the internet right now? You know you can take an entire course on western philosophy from Harvard professors for free? I’m sure learning how to cook rudimentary meals is a synch, but alas, they choose not to. Maybe they are lazy? Maybe that’s why they got fat in the first place and never bothered to learn how to cook a meal. But we mustn’t blame them for being lazy, it must be society’s fault for creating ready meals.
      So if they run (lol) the risk of being raped and robbed every time they step foot out of their houses, how do they get to work? Maybe they also have to suffer another one of man’s cruel creations, the auto-mobile, gasp!

      • Alexandrovich

        Do fat people get raped?

        • Fergus Pickering

          With extreme difficulty. And not by other fat people. Buggery would be less of a problem, wouldn’t it? Where there’s a will….

          • Sue Ward

            What a vile comment! You might be interested to learn that it is not just young attractive girls who get raped but women of all ages, children, mentally or physically disabled people and even…men. Rape has nothing to do with what wider society finds attractive it is about inadequate men exerting power over another human being through violence and fear. I would have expected better of you Fergus.

        • Barbara

          Yes they do and all ages into the bargain and its not a subject that is funny, if you were a victim you would perhaps think before you wrote or thought.

      • Barbara

        Your reply is too simplistic life is not always so cut and dry humans are so different from each other, I accept all as they are and love them for it, may be many should try the same and they will have many friends fat or thin.

    • A Grant

      You make a run round the park sound like Escape from New York. Thousands of people go running, cycling, walking etc everyday. Just excuses me old china..

      • Barbara

        No I’m not making excuses at all where I live to run round the park takes some nerve with all the nutters about, and mostly men at that!
        I know all about exercising at home so don’t need to be told at all, but is it not down to personal choice, and why should a journalist think he can dictate to any one? I’ve lost weight recently by cutting down what I eat, and lost 2stone with little effort, but having a recent injury of a broken ankle exercise is limited, I much prefer accepting people as they are and loving them for being them without recriminations!

    • Ripple

      Barbara: Have you not heard of exercise videos? You exercise in the comfort and safety of your own home with hardly any outlay. A towel on carpet will do if you can’t afford some sort of mat. Hand weights are cheap but you could improvise with those, to start with. I realize that not everyone has room for a treadmill, but they are fantastic inventions, not only because you can burn a lot of calories on them at any time of day or season, but also because you can read while doing so!

  • chan chan

    When I take my mum to the Berni Inn for the carvery, the fatso customers can be seen piling their plates as high as they can possibly be piled without collapsing. And they go back for seconds, and even thirds. Fat people are fat because they’re greedy, they eat too much, and they don’t exercise.

    And don’t give me the poverty is the cause crap. The food they buy when shopping is more expensive. I see them in the supermarket. Twenty years ago, my two mates who were dirt poor used to go to the street market at the end of the day to get cheap fruit and veg from the vendors. They ate properly, and were never hungry. And it saved money for important things like a Long Island Iced Tea in Groucho’s.

  • Ripple

    Interesting they couldn’t get a genuinely fat person for the picture. It’s obviously a normal man with stuffing under his shirt.

    On another subject that bothers me: When is Britain going to stop charging people 20% tax every time they have a transaction? I pay 7% sales tax in Florida, and that’s not on everything (much of what I buy through the Internet is not taxed at all). Property tax and road tax tends to be high in America, though some places are much better than others (rural beats urban, essentially). But I don’t feel squeezed by tax every time I move. The tax is not a consideration when I consider hiring a service or buying goods. It is never a make-or-break factor.

    Yet in Britain, 20% is so substantial that it can make goods or services unaffordable to even reasonably solvent people. And when people pull back on purchases they would have made if the tax had only been less punitive, the whole economy suffers. There’s an architect out there right now who is not going to get the job because someone wanting minor changes can’t afford both his services and the g-dd-mn 20 percent. I can’t believe that anyone would run a country that way. It’s as if British politicians have opted to bankrupt the citizens and make their country poor.

  • Ripple

    Another thought: Why cook in an oven instead of on a range or an outdoor grill? We hardly ever use the oven these days (and a cheap toaster oven would do for most of what we do use it for). Surely most modern cooking can be done fairly quickly in pots and pans. Also, grilling is a very healthy and delicious way to cook and it can even be done with indoor grills — though I have known people to nip outside amidst deep snow to pop a salmon on the grill near the doorway.

    • Fergus Pickering

      What’s this thing about ovens. I must have missed it. Are you suggesting the poor can’t afford ovens?

      • Ripple

        No, I’m saying that ovens aren’t needed for good, quick cooking. Most of our cooking at home is accomplished on hot surfaces with very little oil and time investment.

  • Mottahead .

    Can’t agree more with that.
    Even if I think it’s a very impolite/rude thing to say – well, sometimes rude things have to be said in order to shake up some people into becoming aware of their own unhealthy ways.
    I like this ” let’s quit pretending you’re a victim of society when everybody knows your bad eating choices are not made at gun-point, ok?” message.
    You’re fat, unhealthy and addicted to junk food? DEAL WITH IT.

  • Jackthesmilingblack

    Today`s fashion tip: Have you noticed how those “who ate all the pies types” are always bursting out of their clothes, thus calling attention to their obesity. So if you are challenged in that direction, get down to the charity shop for three sizes too big garments; shirt and trousers. And for Pete`s sake uses braces (suspenders for Americans or cross dressers) rather than a belt. Oh, and use button-on type braces, those clip-on types are worse than useless. They tear the trousers.
    Jack, the Japan Alps Brit

  • Rocksy

    I am impressed by the abundance of puns in this article.

    Fat can attack at any time much as mental illness, alcoholism, pregnancy.

    • Ripple

      Too much work can do it, too. Employers and just the demands of doing a good job in many fields take so much time that there is precious little energy left for anything else — people have to sleep!

  • jazz606

    Given up smoking yet Rod ?

  • Eddie

    It is easy NOT to be slobberingly fat. How? Join some expensive girly pity party hugfest weight-loss class or course? Nope. Just do the following:
    1) Walk a lot. Forget sport, gyms, jogging – all bad for you and likely to injure you (our local chemist dropped dead running a marathon last month…). Just walk, like what people used to, innit…
    2) Don’t snack. Ladies in offices, I’m a-looking at you here.
    3) Eat proper meals – at least one per day. That means learning how to cook a little. which brings us to:
    4) learn how to cook a little. Just the basics. Otherwise you are a just a slave to the supermarkets and ready meals companies. Why disempower yourself? It’s more expensive anyway, and you are such a LOSER if you live like that.
    5) stop ordering takeaways and visiting coffee shops/sandwich bars.
    6) eat out of date food. I gets sick and tired when people moan that they cannot afford to eat well. Really? Maybe because they do not shop wisely and chuck perfectly good food away (I cooked some eggs yesterday that were 4 weeks out of date over the weekend and hadn’t been in the fridge – I NEVER keep eggs there. They were luverly tasty, my dears…). Also, eat properly, which brings us to:
    7) eat plenty fo fruit and veg. I see that people these days try and get their healthy fix via the odious yuckie ‘smoothies’. Or perhaps juice. Not good. Far better to have at least one proper meal a day, based around carbs (spuds, pasta, bread, rice) with protein (meat, fish, beans) plus veg (frozen is fine too).
    8) Learn how to peel a potato. When I was utterly broke and unemployed over 20 years ago, living in a veritable slum in West London, I used to buy a big bag of potatoes and pasta, a dozen eggs, tins of tuna, bacon off cuts, and all the cheap veg, salad stuff and fruit I could when the West Ken market was closing at 4pm on a Saturday. Lived on £20 a week. Bit boring, yeah. But healthy and cheap.
    9) In short, we need to return to the way people ate in the past. Despite the propaganda that our international ethnic diet is healthy, it ain’t. The 1950s bread and potatoes based diet, with small amounts of meat, lots of veg, and oodles of bread and butter and spuds was WAY healthier than our smoothie/readymeal/traffic light system/calorie counting/Jamie-inspired messed up modern diet – which in the main does not involved ‘proper meals’ (as my old mum used to call them).
    Rant over. (But why oh why do people pronounce ‘ate’ as 8 these days? It’s pronounced ‘ett’! 8 is a number between 7 and 9)
    Y’know, I should formulate the above and sell it as a diet plan for a few quid eh…
    Right, where’s that out of date bread – I’m off to make cheese on toast (with cheddar 2 weeks out of date too). Yum.

    • Ripple

      You say ‘don’t snack’ but some people advise not going more than about three hours without food (while awake, obviously), the aim being to keep one’s blood sugar steady. It’s not a case then of feeding to fill up but feeding to prevent hunger attacks and glycemic spikes and dips. I guess it amounts to spacing your calories and nutrients more evenly throughout the day than one would by eating three full meals.

      • Eddie

        Bad advice – and it clearly does not work, judging by the blubbery folk I see waddling around offices everywhere.
        In fact, diets don’t work either – that’s just an money-making industry. Cod advice from bimbo ‘nutritionists’ means nothing. Snacking is bad for you. End of. No need to eat every 3 hours, except for the old, ill and infirm.
        3 meals a day is more than enough. Small breakfast, light lunch, large dinner – or any way you want it.
        So much spurious ‘science’ spouted by the dieting industry and the largely unqualified women who work in it (parroting what they have read in some pamphlet).

        • Ripple

          I think you said you were rather overweight, didn’t you?

          • Eddie

            No, I didn’t. I said I was a couple of stone overweight, which is within a healthy range, not ‘rather’ overweight. Not obese. Probably slimmer than you – as if that is relevant to analysing this issue.

          • george

            I guarantee that you’re not slimmer than I am. I am slim (and toned), full stop.

  • liamjq

    you’ve had that same blue shirt for years Ron

  • Jackthesmilingblack

    Is it true that charity shops still only accept cash? Meaning that those with immediately liquidity issues are compelled to pay garment retail. And only the mug punter pays retail.

    • Toby Esterházy

      Except that a “mug-punter” is an Australian betting man. You are so “British” that you literally make the same mistakes for the last 9 years!

  • dalai guevara

    It is very easy to lose weight and keep it that way. Dave and I on the sun loungers in Benirras/ Ibiza know what we’re on about. Did he dine in that photo op resto at the beach? Of course not, were he did will never go public, unlike the Gidiot burger.

    And just look at him. He is young, energetic, and will not even put a jumper on in winter, just shake off the pounds. We all like him for that.

  • Sue Ward

    I will accept abusing the obese for their own good if we are also going to also publically abuse smokers and drinkers. Yes I know there are warnings on packets but you don’t tend to hear people shouting “F£$% off beer monster” or “you smoky b$stard” in the street.

  • Wary Consumer

    The only “overactive gland” a fatty has is the one just below his nose – it’s called a mouth.

    Stop eating ! Fuel in, no work out = fatty. Get it ?

    You’re too lazy to work it off, so don’t eat it in the forst place ! SIMPLES !

    Forget the fad diets. Just diet ! Eat less ! You don’t see too many obese African villagers, do you? Could that be because they don’t have too many McFattyBurgers?

  • CharlieInTheBox

    Well! That was a good 1000 or so words of blather, ignorance and simplification.

    Listen, twig, there are many, many factors that go into excess flab – I’m sorry. There are emotional factors, psychological, sexual, mental and spiritual.

    Let me ask – do you know a single fat person? Ever ASKED them about their weight, how they got that way, what, if anything they are doing about it, beginning your interview with something like, “Listen, I really don’t know what I’m talking about, but it seems to me that shame is an excellent way to get you to lose that disgusting flab. Then, when you get down to size I deem acceptable, the world will once again be a wonderful place.”

    In short, you are a know-nothing. But don’t let that stop you spouting hateful nonsense.

  • Guest

    fuck you snob liddle

  • http://www.biggerfatterpolitics.blogspot.com BiggerFatterPolitics

    Obesity is the result of gluttony. I am a gluttony defender!

    How
    to Combat Fat Shaming Click Here

    People need to grow up and stop living to be offended but instead have a witty comeback. I OINK at them and smile.

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