20 October 2009

It should be a crime!

Take this ridiculous statement reported by the BBC today:

Kathryn Szrodecki, who campaigns on behalf of overweight people, said that in the UK fat people were stared at, pointed at, talked about and attacked.... "This is a very common event - someone being beaten up should be a crime."

Oh it isn't? Woo hoo, let's go out and drat some brathchny tonight droogs, tolchock his yarbles and it will be a horrorshow raz.

Campaigners in the UK want a new law to ban discrimination on the basis of weight, so that people cannot be refused employment, housing or even be told by their doctor to lose weight, like a law in San Francisco.

So on the one hand, the state spends money telling people how to eat and to exercise, and wants to restrict advertising of unhealthy food, and use various tools of coercion to change eating and lifestyle habits, on the other hand there are people wanting the state to make it a crime to refuse services to people if they are overweight.

The report continues "Another campaigner, Marsha Coupe, said: "I have been punched, I have had beer thrown in my face, I have had people attack me on the train."

All of which are criminal offences. People who aren't fat face being attacked too, why is it more severe because of your weight (or indeed anything else)? Is Marsha simply not reporting the offences to the Police?

Yes it is true that people who are overweight do suffer cruel jokes, and the like. That is simply rude, and I am not endorsing such childish behaviour. However, is this a reason to pass a law against it? What next? No discrimination on the grounds of hair colour because blondes find it harder to be taken seriously and redheads are refused work because people fear they'll lose their temper?


You do not have a right to not be offended. People will judge others for numerous reasons, from hair colour to eye colour to facial hair to weight, body shape, height and clothing. If overweight people want to campaign or boycott companies for being rude to them, then let them be - but this is not a matter for the law.

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