Monday, 12 January 2009

Confused. Who is the Least Judgemental?

There's an interesting difference of opinion amongst commenters on Letters from a Tory.

I have to say that I don't agree with him/her either.

... you have been told by Leeds City Council that you are ineligible to do so as you weigh 24 stone. You have been informed that a reapplication will be considered if and when you slim down. Harsh as this may sound, I’m siding with your local council as you seem unable to grasp the dangers that your weight poses.

The guy is 37, and 6'1" in height. He weighs 24 stone, but his BMI is 42 as opposed to the arbitrary 40 that the council decrees is 'safe'. Who decides these limits? Are they plucked out of the air like the one about 'safe' drinking?

LFAT then goes on to explain ...

First, a basic lesson in health risks.

Good God. Is this what we are to expect if the Tories take charge? We've heard enough of that from James Brokenshire thanks.

Obesity is a major risk factor for heart disease and heart attacks as it increases cholesterol levels, raises blood pressure, induces diabetes and can lead to joint and muscle problems for obvious reasons.

There we go, sweeping generalisations a la Labour. All humans quite obviously follow a set path as dictated by scientific computer models. It saddens me greatly to keep reading the terms 'risk factor', 'health risks' etc, coupled with the bald statements that it definitely leads to illness and/or death. There is no 'may' in any of this assertion.

I know that the age-old saying of “the only thing that matters is that a child is brought up in a loving environment” can be wheeled out here. Even so, the BBC reported recently that carrying extra fat around your middle substantially increases the risk of an early death, in which a new study found that every extra 2 inches (5cm) around the waist raised the chance of early death by between 13% and 17%. If this figure is applied to you, the statistical risk of you dying young is frighteningly high.

New study? BBC? Why am I getting so very disappointed with Tories if they think and write like that? And ridiculing the 'age-old saying' by condescendingly stating that it can be 'wheeled out'? No, it's true. The central point of fostering surely has to be that a child is brought up in a loving environment. Anything else should surely be secondary to that. To dismiss someone primarily on their weight is wrong, surely, or has game theory taken such a hold that such things are irrelevant?

I accept that Leeds City Council’s decision may be hard to swallow (pun intended) but surely you can see where they are coming from. The fact that you don’t smoke and don’t drink is a credit to you.

A nice joke against the fatty (not the only one), followed by a congratulation that is probably fuelled by more adherence to what was read about some study or other in the paper recently, which without doubt was funded by some pressure group or other who are, in turn, funded by the Labour Government. Way to go, Tory.

My attitude on this matter is that despite your protestations of possessing good parenting skills, you cannot escape the reality of what you are offering an adoptchild: a potentially single parent family crippled by the early death of a parent caused by obesity plus the subsequent trauma this would inflict on a child who has presumably experienced enough pain and suffering already.

So let them keep suffering and rotting away in council care then? According to you LFAT, Damien isn't going to last long enough to bond anyway. There is still one parent left to look after him/her though.

Of course, there is no reason why the guy won't live to a ripe old age anyway. I know of a father in the Puddlecote household who is now 69 and has a BMI much higher than 42, he's on a blood-thinning drug too thanks to an inherited dodgy ticker. He is 69 and doesn't look like shuffling off this mortal coil anytime soon. In fact, we can't bloody stop him working from 6am till 6pm, more's the pity.

Why on earth do we have to all suddenly class people by their lifestyle choices or appearance rather than the people that they are? Because the BBC say so? Because it is righteous? Seriously, I don't understand.

It seemed to me that the couple had very many qualities that would have stood up well to adopting. Unfortunately, rather like this bunch of idiots at Redbridge Council (subsequently copied in other areas), the central point seems to have been missed by Leeds Council. Are they good parents or not? Bringing out the crystal ball to try to second guess the future on puritan grounds, whilst there is a shortage of people such as these, doesn't appear to be sensible to me.

Mr Hall made the observation that he is no different to a normal parent where life expectancy might not be certain. I venture to suggest that he may have a point.

I'm certain that Labour are confusing people with statistics on paper sent to them by those with a vested interest. I know also that the Lib Dems are equally useless when it comes to ignoring junk science and judging people on merit. I thought the Tories would be a bit better. I'm truly confused now. Can they all be succumbing to this bullshit?


Sue said...

I must admit I was disappointed at this "letter" on LFAT's site.

His articles are usually very inspiring and mirror my ideals entirely but I am of the same opinion as you (as is Bob's Head Revisted) in this instance.

I do hope this is not going to be Conservative policy. As with potential "smoking" parents, the idea that a child is better off in a children's home rather than with smoking parents is completely ludicrous!

Roger Thornhill said...

I doubt there is much (fresh) air in the place from where the 40BMI was plucked out of...