It ain’t over ’til the fat lady sheds a few more stones

Last week government and GPs joined FAT, proposing health contracts and a fat tax. At last, rejoices Iain Murray – official steps to halt the rise of ‘great lardy arse’

It’s barely three weeks since this column launched its ground-breaking campaign FAT (Fight Against Tubbies) and already the official response has been overwhelming, with both the Government and the British Medical Association throwing their weight (no pun intended) behind the drive to eliminate the scourge of obesity.

The overarching aim of our outreaching campaign is to make fat people become thin in their own interest and whether they like it or not. To those of you who say, “What about freedom of choice?” I say this: forget freedom of choice, it’s freedom of choice that got fat people into this fix in the first place.

Our approach is holistic, multi-faceted and caring. We want to see fat office workers obliged to indulge their distasteful habit out in the street away from non-fat people. We want to see public places bearing signs reading “Thank you for not being Fat”. We want restaurants, shops and public transport to be fat-free zones. We want more research into the life-threatening phenomenon of passive fatness.

In short, we have declared all-out war on the fatties in our midst, men and women who simply will not listen to sense and seem determined to go their own lolloping way regardless of the advice of others, ourselves in particular, to whom superior knowledge and understanding has been vouchsafed.

It was with immense gratification, therefore, that we welcomed the Government’s proposal to deny treatment on the National Health Service to people who are demonstrably overweight.

Some have sought to pooh-pooh the policy by suggesting that it is impracticable. Nonsense! Nothing could be simpler. All that is needed is for the doors to GPs’ surgeries to be fitted with narrow turnstiles. If you can’t get through, you can’t see the doctor. It’s as simple as that. (It is beyond our remit to say this, but has no one in the Department of Health the imagination to see that a policy which denied health treatment to all but the fit and well would at a stroke remove an immense burden from the NHS, cut waiting lists to zero, and free thousands of formerly hard-pressed doctors for much-needed outreach work in the community.)

More good news with the BMA’s proposal that punitive tax rises should be levied on high-fat foods. The plan would impose 17.5 per cent VAT on products such as biscuits, cakes and processed meals. Dr Martin Breach, of the BMA’s GP committee, says, “Relying on the food industry to behave ethically is naive and unrealistic. The scale of this problem demands that strong action be taken by the Government.”

Quite right too. Making and selling fatty food is an evil trade. However, we at FAT feel Dr Breach has missed a trick. An overarching, multi-faceted and holistic road map should include at every junction, lay-by, and level crossing a warning. In other words packets of Hobnobs should be labelled “Fat Kills” and cream cakes should have stickers affixed reading, “Eat this and Die”.

Every campaign worthy of the name needs celebrity endorsement, and FAT is no exception. So it was with great excitement that we welcomed aboard the beautiful and talented Miss Ruthie Henshall. An interview she gave to the Daily Telegraph (Britain’s Best-Selling Quality Newspaper) was headlined in 48pt bold type across eight columns, “All I could see was a great lardy arse”.

The item to which she referred was her own and described her condition after giving birth. A truly shocking condition, you will agree. It is rare for anyone to be able to see their own arse; to do so to the exclusion of all else suggests a condition in which the fundaments have enveloped the rest of the human form in a suffocating, clammy and eye-popping embrace.

Well done, Ruthie, for being so brave and coming out. In a tribute to your courage we have adopted your words as our campaign slogan. We are now offering “Great Lardy Arse” T-shirts and limited edition thongs are to follow. French Connection eat your heart out.

Young female fatties are a particular concern of ours. Walk down any street, go into any shop and you will see girls aged from ten to 25 with rolling naked midriffs spilling over their waistbands. This may be attractive in parts of the Middle East where female pulchritude is measured by the kilogram – a four-bellied woman is prized above a camel – but is not in the Western tradition. More must be done to target these unfortunate young women.

Finally, role models. It has come to our attention that both Lord Irvine, the retiring Lord Chancellor, and Lord Falconer, his temporary successor, have several chins apiece. This simply will not do.

How are we to wage war on the curse of fatness when two of our foremost Law Lords are both roly-polys? How can we mount claims for compensation against food companies when there, seated on the judicial bench, are two of the fattest people in the land?

So come off it, m’luds and shed some pounds! When an actress with no legal training whatever can admit to a great lardy arse, it ill behoves overfed barrels of grease such as yourselves to sit on yours and pass judgment on the rest of us.

Further bulletins from FAT will follow in due course.

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