Archives for posts with tag: anti-discrimination laws

Edwina Currie thinks I am Evil.
She said so when we dialogued ~ ok, ok, mud-slung ~ on Five Live
I think I have achieved, woooohoo! Evil! Has a certain ring about it No? She could have chosen a myriad of other adjectives, most of them much more offensive, but Evil is awesome, Evil has a touch of glamour ~ I may get a t-shirt printed.

To be honest, being called evil by a disgraced Member of Parliament was hardly on my to-do list, but if in my attempt to bring fat-discrimination to the attention of anyone-who’ll-listen, I have provoked a minor celeb fat-hater to make such a pronouncement well… icing on the cake.

And what was it that I said which was so heinous, so utterly dastardly and offensive to be deserving of such an accolade? Well she was there and so was I, because she had said in a previous interview on Five Live that fat people appearing on television was wrong, wrong, wrong ! Fat people or even it seems the mildly overweight, should be removed from our screens immediately, just in case viewers should mistake us for role models. Well there you go Oprah ~ you’re a bad role model, forget that you are the most successful broadcaster in history, if you’re fat, you’re banned!

So the nicely rotund Steve Nolan[1] who is about to begin another TV series,  invited me onto his Five Live late night programme to challenge Edwina on her lust for fat-censorship. She was in full flow explaining how dangerous fat role models are, complaining that fat contestants were being allowed on x -factor, that soon there may even be a fat news reader, God forbid!

I listened to this degrading outpouring of body fascism for a long minute or two, then simply encouraged any larger people listening to this nonsense to go to their mirror immediately and tell themselves that they are loved, valued and appreciated, which was the best idea that occurred to me at the time. I wish I could have thought of something more witty and devastating to say, which might have arrested her poisonous ejaculation more succinctly, but, hey-ho, it was the best I could do in the moment. I hoped perhaps it would  not only reach any fat listeners hearing themselves reviled and rejected, but also get our Edwina to realise that  she was insulting between 30 – 50% of her audience. Mind you, given that I had told her this earlier in our conversation and as she had ignored me completely, she clearly didn’t give a flying sausage how half the audience was feeling listening to themselves being described as unfit for public viewing. So I decided talking directly to the people she was insulting was my best shot.

She paused for a media-nanosecond and then said, Kathryn what you’re saying is Evil, it’s just wrong! But unfortunately, and here’s the rub, she didn’t clarify why encouraging larger people in a little mirror work is evil, or perhaps she just felt I was evil in suggesting that fat people should feel anything else than the utter shame she was heaping upon them ~ who knows. The last thing I want to do is to delve into the complex psycho-porridge of Edwina Currie’s motivation, I’d rather put needles in my eyes.

But as you’re pressing me, I’ll hazard a guess that she thought, as do so many self-appointed-body-police, that it is perfectly ok to publicly insult fat people and suggest they be banned from our screens, our talent competitions and our newsreader desks, in much the same way bigots before her have called for the removal of aging females, homosexuals and people with brown skin from TV, or indeed any other form of public life, for no other  reason than they feel they are not ‘normal’ or ‘average’ whatever that is. That’s why it’s called fat-ism, it’s ‘an extreme and irrational aversion’ just the same as racism and homophobia and ageism and all the other discrimination-isms, which affects arguably a larger section of our community than all the others ~ which is exactly why we need to add fatism to the list of irrational prejudices that have long been the subject of ant-discrimination law.

I am going to email Louise Hay [2] Immediately ~ she should know mirror work is evil. Or maybe it’s just raising the self-esteem of fat people which is evil, I mean what would the billion-pound diet industry do if fat people liked themselves?

Doesn’t bear thinking about.

1. Steve Nolan has two regular slots on BBC Five Live and begins a new TV series  on 2nd May 2012

2. Louise Hay, the originator and magnificent teacher of the power of mirror work and affirmations.


I haven’t yet told you what happened when I encountered the representative of the weight-bullying movement on Five Live radio. If you recall ~ and why should you ~ Karl Lagerfeld called Adele fat and Five Live held a debate about whether he was right to do so, no-brainer as far as I could see, nobody, even celeb royalty should imagine that they allowed to bully someone about their weight, but clearly I stand alone on this.

Well, my opponent in this debate was none other than an ex-NHS nurse, who told us with utter sincerity  that she felt it her duty to accost fat people in the street and tell them that they should lose weight. To be honest when I heard her say this I was temporarily lost for words as the image of this harridan slithering through the streets of London in search of hapless victims swam before me, I wonder did she wear her nurses outfit when she went stalking ~ we may never know because by the time I had gathered myself, she had moved onto the justification of her bullying.

Her reasoning it seems, was based on her belief in her own destiny at the cutting edge [her words not mine] of the Obesity Industry,  apparently, this means setting up obesity stations [ whatever they are ] at such venues as truck stops and  motorway cafes, where she accosts passing strangers and tells them that they are fat. Imagine,  standing between a lorry driver and his full-english and telling him he’s fat? After he has probably just driven halfway across Europe, I am amazed she got out alive.

She was clearly one sandwich short of a picnic, but I held my tongue ~  was she acting alone? ~ just some random nurse driven to insanity by low wages and NHS managers?  She had me then, a wave of compassion for all the fantastic underpaid nurses I have known rolled over me, but sadly it was short lived ~ she lost every shred of my sympathy when she revealed that she represented the Obesity Forum and the newly cooked-up Obesity Society, supposedly independent outfits, but both of which have all the usual pharmaceutical conglomerate suspects as financial backers, Roche, Abbott Laboratories, Sanofi Aventis, Novo Nordisk, Glaxosmithkline, Lipotrim [dieting/food replacement products] and Vita Clinics [Bariatric surgery] [1]  Bless them.

She and her Obesity Industry backers, felt that Karl Lagerfeld was absolutely correct to call Adele fat, because it was for her own good ~ well of course!  She waxed lyrical about weight bullying being a good thing, declaring that fat people are clearly delusional that we haven’t noticed that we are fat, that we need someone to tell us so and assist us in facing our denial. Would that we could luxuriate in denial for a bit, larger people and particularly larger children face their attackers all day- every day, publicly  mocked shamed abused, excluded, they are told to their face that they are unacceptable, ugly, disgraceful human beings. They hear insults that would never ever be levelled at any other group, because we have anti-discrimination laws, to prevent such behaviour, these laws just don’t happen to include fat people. More’s the pity.

This nurse encapsulates the reason why larger patients so often fall into the ‘late diagnosis’ category ~ we simply don’t go for breast checks and cervical smears or the routine drop and cough. Why should it be a problem for us to get our kit off?  squeeze into the tiny backless gown and throw our legs akimbo? ~ beats me ~

Perhaps it is because the moment we get our vulnerabilities out, the weight-bullying begins. Nothing worse than a hostile medic fiddling around with your nether regions whilst giving you the Obesity-Industry-standard-line.  We avoid this humiliation at all costs, we have to be really really sick, before we go to our GP, because we know we are going to be harangued about our weight,  even though we have only dragged ourselves in there with raging tonsillitis.

But there was more…..

A news item in the The Daily Telegraph on 12th March[2] said that 25% of primary care trusts are now refusing surgery to larger patients, to be honest it was great to get this discrimination out in the open, so far our complaints have gone unheeded. Again Five Live ran the story and again the nurse-stalker and I argued our respective corners and yet again she told me that refusing to treat fatter people ~ at present approx 50% of the population, was indeed a good idea.

So let me get this straight, you want us to continue paying 11% of each pound we earn into the NHS knowing that should we need to reclaim our tax investment, we will be refused treatment? Are you serious?

A larger sized lorry driver called Five Live during our debate, It crossed my mind he was an outraged victim accosted by the cutting-edge-obesity-nurse when he stopped for a pee and a bacon buttie, but alas no, he simply said that, as a hard working, larger sized taxpayer, perhaps needing a knee op after 30 yeas of gunning it across Europe to bring us our prerequisites, he would be refused surgery, yet a thin stowaway hiding in the back of his truck, falling out the back whilst attempting illegal entry to the UK would be treated automatically and for free. Where is the fairness in that?

As Dr Clare Gerada, chairman of the Royal College of General Practitioners, commenting on the revelation told the Daily Mail: [3] “It’s becoming the deserving and the undeserving. I think it’s discriminatory and I find it astonishing.”

You and me both Dr Gerada.