UK Government To Make Us All Look Fit

I am fat. I know this because I calculated my body mass index. I then tried to work out ways that I could prove BMI to be an unreliable measure. The classic case to mention is rugby players. Their BMIs are often in the overweight range but they’re athletes.

I, however, am not an athlete. And if the only sports person I can compare myself to are the ones known for downing pints, it’s a pretty weak argument. Deep down I know it’s right.

It’s something we might be hearing more as part of the Government’s new plan to get us fitter is to tell GPs to be frank. Our doctors should tell us, “You’re fat.”

I know what I’m like, I am oversensitive and I don’t take criticism well. When my doctor tells me I am fat I will probably retort with, “Well, playing golf isn’t exactly keeping you in shape either!”

Some people make the case that fat shaming, as it is known, isn’t going to help people. If something makes you feel bad you might turn to food to make you feel better.

I am not sure that your doctor would be fat shaming you in this instance. I presume your GP will only tell you the news and doctor-patient confidentiality prevents them from shouting, “Give way for fatso,” as you leave their office. They won’t post it on social media.

The only person who will know that you’ve been called out on your unhealthy size is you, so you could tell everyone in your life that you got a clean bill of health. If the doc every tells me I’m too large I’ll report back that he said I was in great shape for a rugby player.

While I don’t agree that these actions are fat shaming, I am not convinced that it will help. As a large chap I can tell you that we fat people are fully aware that we are fat.

You may think you’re bringing some new information to our attention but please remember, we see ourselves fresh out of the shower. We know what it’s like when we bend down to tie a shoelace and feel our stomach push one of our lungs into our neck. We were there when we had to undo our belt after winning at an all-you-can-eat buffet lunch. They are a competition, right?

However, I'm sure the Government's scheme will work and make us all thin. That's as long as they're not also telling us to “Eat Out To Help Out” at the same time.

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Guess Who Just Got Richer (Hint: The Rich)

Are you tired of reading about how bad the economy is going to get? Sick of hearing about V-shaped recessions or U-shaped recessions, or a W-shaped one if there’s a second wave of infection? Maybe this will cheer you up.

There is news of someone doing well out of the pandemic. It’s Jeff Bezos. He’s the man behind the Amazon website and he’s the richest man in the world.

It’s actually an impressive achievement to be the richest man in the world when you remember that he has been through a divorce. He could easily have ended up with the title of “ex-husband to the richest woman in the world”.

In the space of one day recently Jeff got over £10billion richer. That should keep Jeff going for a while. He’s a long way off not knowing where the next meal is coming from. I’m sure he has Amazon Prime, so he could get one delivered within a day.

The reason he is richer is thanks to us. During the pandemic we have been staying away from shops and buying things online. I can understand why. If you shop online you don’t have to stand in a queue and you don’t have to wear a mask. Heck, you don’t have to wear trousers.

Many experts have been saying that this way of shopping will hit our economy. Well, now we know where all that extra money ended up. Jeff has it.

Mr Bezos is now estimated to be worth £148billion, which means his worth is only £11billion less than the GDP of Greece. To be fair, Greece isn’t that well off. Have you seen their tourist attractions? They’re in ruins.

I’m sure the news that Jeff Bezos is now even richer will make us all feel happier as we worry about our jobs.


Rishi, The Groupon Chancellor

Do you fancy going out for dinner? I’m not offering to pay, but the Chancellor is.

Rishi Sunak announced that we will be getting our restaurant or pub bills cut in half. He’s becoming the Groupon chancellor.

I hope this doesn’t mean that after we have used our Government voucher we will then get emailed all the time about cut price deals on waxing treatments. To the best of my knowledge I have never been waxed and yet Groupon have me on a list of people who might be interested.

The Government deal is that if you dine out in August, on Monday to Wednesday, you will get 50 per cent off. It feels strange to know that a member of parliament is buying us dinner. I remember politics in the 1980s so it seems strange to be getting a meal from an MP without it being part of some sleazy tryst.

The scheme is called Eat Out to Help Out and of all the Government plans to save our economy this is one I can do well at.

When they announced plans to get furloughed Brits to pick fruit I knew my back would give out. When they spoke of plans to get young workers back into jobs I saw myself in the mirror and had to admit I’m old now. When they planned to pause stamp duty I knew I wasn’t going to move house, I hate packing.

Eating, however, is something I am good at. If anything, during lockdown, I have improved my eating skills. I certainly put the hours of practice in.

When my grandchildren ask what I did during lockdown I can say, “I helped by ordering a starter when I didn’t need one. And that’s why I still get these waxing emails to this day.”


[Podcast] Corona Special 4 - Pret & Other Shops Closing

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It's the Steve N Allen's Week Podcast (with Steve N Allen), helping us through the lockdown. You can get the last episodes here.

In this podcast:

We look at the news that Pret will not open some stores and hear about the time they asked me not to be naked. Also we talk to Mark Machado about which shops are on the way out.

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Local Lockdowns Start In The UK

It's nearly P Day. After months of being stuck at home, the day of the pub is nearly upon us. I am getting ready for my first pub visit. I have my contactless payment card, my hand gel and I have stopped washing; that should keep people at least two metres away.

We have to be careful or we might end up like Leicester, and no one wants that. It's the first place in the UK to be subject to a local lockdown. While we're enjoying a nice pint the people of Leicester will be trapped at home once more.

Local lockdowns are strange because they have an edge. There will be a place where one street is in lockdown but the next street along is free. We could see a situation where you could find it easier to travel back from Spain than nip round to your neighbours.

On that topic, I am not sure I believe what the Government says about removing quarantine from some countries. When I had my first job in a factory the old guys working there pulled the classic prank on me. They sent to me the stores to get a glass hammer, a left-handed screwdriver and a bubble for a spirit level. I was young and foolish and I fell for it. I felt so silly afterwards. So when the Government starts talking about "air bridges" I'm not falling for that one.

The big worry is that people in a local lockdown will travel to other towns to go to pubs and restaurants. Keep an eye out. As we're enjoying a drink on the weekend, if someone is doing a bad accent while wearing a flat cap and eating a pork pie, it might be time to call the police.


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