Search

Fat chance that the Tories will charge

PUBLISHED: 12:30 06 August 2010 | UPDATED: 09:48 16 September 2010

TO describe anyone as “thick” or “fat” four months ago would have been tantamount to inflicting a mortal wound.

The culprit would have been hauled before the Court of Hurt Feelings and prosecuted by the political correctness police.

TO describe anyone as “thick” or “fat” four months ago would have been tantamount to inflicting a mortal wound.

The culprit would have been hauled before the Court of Hurt Feelings and prosecuted by the political correctness police.

The “victim” would have collapsed a gibbering wreck “traumatised”, been signed off work for months, claiming they had been “stigmatised” and marched to a no-win-no-fee personal injuries lawyer to seek compensation for the mental scarring and upset.

How times have changed. The Tories have declared open season on saying it how it is. Take cover. Straight talking is back.

But before you could say 'ugly', the sugared pill of comfily-upholstered Labour language - the academically challenged and clinically obese - was chucked out with Gordon Brown's furniture and in roared hardball Tory speak.

In Tory speak it's perfectly acceptable to call people “thick” and “fat.” In fact, it's widely positively encouraged. They do it themselves.

How many Tory or Lib Dem voters on May 6 thought their education secretary might refer to their child as “thick?” Or public health minister order GPs to call you “fat”?

But government ministers wasted no time in putting the verbal boot in. First, education secretary Michael Gove spoke of “rich, thick kids” overtaking “poor clever children” at school. “Thick” is not the talk of government. It is unkind, subjective, and offensive. Like “dim” and “stupid”. For strugglers to be dismissed by the education secretary is more than worrying.

On the same day - did 'Call me Dave' issue a plain talking directive at Cabinet that morning? - public health minister Anne Milton told doctors to stop pussyfooting around and tell overweight people they were fat. She wants the NHS to ban terms like “obese”, she said. Calling people fat was more likely to make them diet.

Why stop there? How about ugly and stupid too? Useless even?

At least fat is measurable. If people are overweight they are fat. It's what tips the scales. Not big bones, swollen glands or anything else - just plain old fat because they eat too much and move around to little.

Ministers should know better. If it's acceptable in Westminster, it will be in playgrounds and classrooms and a whole new culture of nastiness is endorsed.

Apparently, a new “language of the new government” brief exists for mandarins to speak the speak if they want to get on with Dave. Has the new government got nothing better to do in a time of national crisis than fiddle with terminology and offend its voters?

In Dave's Big Society - Labour's old 'state'. Keep up - the thick and the fat now know their place. It appears the nasty party seems never left the building, just hidden behind a more acceptable face? But that face is getting ugly.


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Lowestoft Journal. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Lowestoft Journal