The underclass of Britain in the 21st century? The fat and the disabled, of course…

I first wrote this on February 22, 2009. Based on the article in today’s Telegraph, and the moronic comments, it bears repeating.

Although I don’t plan to rewrite much of what follows to take account of it, it’s worth mentioning that I’m no longer fat – terminal illness has slimmed me down nicely. No doubt the Torygraph’s editor, and his gutless scribbler who churns out such toxic crap, anonymously, will find that news cheering.

So, this, mostly (with some minor tweaks), is what I wrote in 2009, and it’s still relevant now:-

You know, I’m awfully tired of people bitching and whining about fat people, and regarding us as if we were on a par with axe murderers or rapists, and disabled people are treated no better. Get some perspective, you whiny bastards!

From that, you’ll have gathered that I am one of the aforementioned fat people, but consider this. Yesterday, I ate a can of Baxter’s tomato soup for lunch, in the evening I had a can of Heinz macaroni cheese, with a spoonful of grated Parmesan tossed in, plus some home-made pickled beetroot, and before going to bed I had one slice of Warburton’s stoneground wholemeal bread with Clover and Sandwich Spread, and that was a fairly typical day (in terms of quantity, not quality).

For years I’ve averaged around 800kcals per day, yet I’m substantially overweight. The cause is not overeating, as the cowardly, anonymous, author of the Telegraph’s piece fondly believes, but enforced inactivity and prescription drugs, because I’m disabled too. That’s also the case with many other chronically sick and disabled people.

The anti-fat brigade, of whom there are many, will just see a fat bloke and slip straight into condemnatory mode, without the slightest thought passing through their pointy heads about the reason for my weight. And, of course, it’s not just me, it’s anyone who doesn’t meet their scrawny criteria. And where do they get off being so fuckin’ judgemental anyway? People with the intellect of an oyster are in no position to judge anybody.

I can’t speak for other guys (though many have genuine reasons, NOT excuses, for their weight), but there are several reasons why I’m fat (and like many guys, my excess weight is gathered around my waist, which has pretty much become an equator – were it evenly distributed, I’d look a hell of a lot better). You’ll find a load of reasons on this page . That’s my meds list, or part of it anyway, the part that relates to COPD – there are other drugs taken to treat the symptoms of my ME/CFS (symptoms because there is no treatment for ME/CFS itself, no matter what snake-oil merchants claim), and my osteo arthritis, and a fair proportion of my meds, especially the steroids, cause weight gain.

The other reason is inactivity. I spend much of my day in front of the computer, or reading, because – for much of the time – I’m not able to do anything else. That’s NOT ABLE – not can’t be arsed, OK? And when I’m not doing that  I’m in a powerchair, because I can walk only a few yards.

Before I became ill, I was a backpacker (not the gap-year kind, those buggers have just hi-jacked the name, but the long-distance walking , carrying everything you need for survival on your back, kind), touring cyclist, Sunday rambler and sea angler – I spent every available minute outdoors. Then, in 1985, I crashed in flames.

These days I’m in often severe pain 24/7/365 (and that’s with medication – among much else, my CNS was damaged by a lighting strike in 1983), permanently breathless and unable to walk more than a relatively few yards. That, no matter how little I eat, is why I’m fat (and my metabolism hangs on grimly to every sodding calorie it gets, no matter how few!), and being judged by my weight really – I mean REALLY! – pisses me off. Though not as much as being judged by my disability, to which we’ll come, well, now.

Some years ago, when I was younger, I got talking to a very attractive woman in the pub. We got on like a house on fire, talking for hours and buying each other drinks. Inevitably, though, I needed to pee, and reached behind me to retrieve my crutches. And her smile vanished. When I got back she’d vanished too, as had the scraps of paper on which we’d exchanged phone numbers. So, without crutches I was clearly desirable, but with them I wasn’t. Thing is, though, either way, I was the same person! And that’s prejudice, pure and simple, my friends.

A lot of disabled people – fat or not – are in the same position; they couldn’t get laid if they were eggs! And that’s because, for the most part, people are amazingly shallow. Not to mention those who are witless enough to see disabled people as completely asexual!

David Freud, ex-crony of former work and pensions secretary and all-round waste of blood and organs, James Purnell, lied atrociously to the Telegraph about Incapacity Benefit claimants in 2008, and the effects of this still rumble on today (in 2012, Freud, now ennobled to give Cameron’s government a tame lying bastard in the House of Lords, was a major architect of the hugely dishonest Welfare Reform Bill), reflected in the way central government treats us (see here if you missed it), which was seized upon by the equally dishonest and lazy hacks at the Daily Mail, here (dishonest, by the way, because it would have taken just a few minutes to find out the truth, but they simply couldn’t be bothered – why let the truth get in the way of a disgraceful story?). This would have quite possibly seen Freud hauled up in court had he lied to the same degree about almost any other minority group.

This wasn’t, incidentally, simply a guy getting his facts wrong by accident – this was Freud quite deliberately lying his arse off, and there wasn’t a word of truth  in what he said (which sparked a campaign to force him to retract; he didn’t). This, quite deliberately, was an act of propaganda on a level that Joseph Goebbels would have been proud of, and it was massively damaging to the public perception of the disabled community. It still is.

In this country, it is an offence to discriminate on the grounds of race, religion, gender, age, sexual orientation and pretty much anything else. Unless you’re fat and/or disabled, in which case, too damn bad – you’re fair game.

And please, don’t wave the Disability Discrimination/Equality Act at me – it’s a bad joke. Here’s just one aspect – if I am discriminated against on the basis of my disability, I have to bring a prosecution myself, at my expense under the terms of the DD/EA. Try doing that on benefits!

In Britain, today, the fat and the disabled have truly become society’s underclass (don’t take my word for it, go read the Daily Mail and the Telegraph for a couple of weeks; Express, too), because we’re easy targets and – unless we have pots of money to throw at the problem (yeah, right) – we have no comeback.

Anti-fat, anti-disabled bigotry pervades all levels of society, from the government (led, of course, by a porky bugger!), all the way down to personal relationships and, frankly, people, you’re a disgrace.

2 thoughts on “The underclass of Britain in the 21st century? The fat and the disabled, of course…

  1. Really well said again Ron. I have put on a terrible amount of weight due to my disabilities! I am stuck in the house most of the time – I get around the house on a zimmer by hopping on one leg (try doing that for 6 months anyone who thinks I’m fat due to the food that I eat!) – but the thing is, I’m supposed to be keeping both legs up for most of the day as the calf in my left leg is now swelling up ‘cos I hop! Wtf else am I supposed to do to get around the house? I don’t eat a great deal – I have never liked food – it’s just the way I am and I only eat to live – not live to eat like the blasted people who put me in the fat and disabled class.
    I never used to be fat, I was as thin as a rake until my disabilities started – I didn’t go backpacking Ron (Jeez, the thought brings me out in a sweat 🙂 ) – but I did keep myself fit with lovely long walks when I lived in North Wales and then when I moved to Scotland and discovered the Glens.
    I miss all that – I don’t want this weight and I don’t eat enough to justify it. If I do go out it’s in a wheelchair or on my electric scooter – that’s to get fresh air and to get me out of the house! Now that the darker days have arrived, so has the colder and wet weather so I stay in more.
    And you are so right about the Porky Bugger bit!
    That Freud ought to be hung, drawn and quartered, and I bet there’s a lot of him to go round – the B*stard!

Comments are closed.