29 January, 2008

Call for a ceasefire: seconded!

It's well worth checking out Rob Lyons' article Let's call a ceasefire in the 'war on obesity' in the online UK publication spiked, which often takes a polemical view.

He completely dodges the issues of health and aesthetics (good move! they're irrelevant to fat rights!) and focuses on the stupidity of fighting this war that doesn't need to be fought. Some choice quotes:

Like every other measure the government has ever announced on obesity, it promises greater intrusion and regulation of our everyday lives, and to make our society a more fraught and joyless place.

As the American academic Paul Campos neatly put it, maybe the best way to win the war on obesity is to stop fighting it; to stop waging war on actually quite normal people who enjoy eating nice, rich foods.

It is time there was a ceasefire in the war on obesity - and time that the government decommissioned and put beyond use its weapons of fearmongering and fatty-bashing.

Thanks for posting this, Harriet. Ugh. Universal health care used to seem like such an obvious good to me. But now I'm finding all of this information about how, In England, the fat (not to mention the elderly) are being denied this supposedly universal care and it terrifies me. Who's a girl supposed to vote for in the primaries? It kills me.
And . . . sorry for confusing you with Harriet, HT. Apparently I skim a little too lightly.
Hello, HT, and thanks for this. (Just found your blog via Shapely Prose - good to see someone fighting the good fight for FA in the UK.)

Lyons is spot on - I'm actually not convinced it's about health at all, anyway. I think it's about whipping up hatred against a group that many people are already prejudiced against, so that Gordon and his morons can hit them hard in the pockets without incurring the wrath of (self-righteously thin) taxpayers. This is why fat is compared (re: Lyons' earlier article) to global warming. If you belong to a society that's guilty about its consumption of energy and so forth, people you can point at and claim that they visibly consume too much (even if it's a lie) are a handy scapegoat.
You may be right, Emerald. I also wonder whether there aren't an awful lot of people who are just misinformed and think they are being terribly noble by fighting against obesity. We need to get the correct information out there!
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