Ireland is on track to become the most obese country in Europe – it’s time to tax sugar.

Isn't that terrible news?

Except that it isn't.

Not only has it been the clarion cry of the health fascists for some time now, but the article itself would tend to show the lie beneath the screeching headline.

He quotes the department of health figures which state that 60% of the Irish are overweight or obese, and that if the trend continues Ireland will become the most obese country etc etc.  However the link he so generously supplied states that "It shows that obesity has plateaued and fallen slightly since the last survey in 2007 but 60% of people are still overweight."  So figures are falling [if you’ll pardon the expression] and if that trend continues we are hardly going to get the trophy for the fatties of Europe?

I am very disappointed in the author, James Larkin.  I did a little research on him and got nowhere.  He is either in Limerick University or Trinity College Oxford or else he is a dead trade union leader.  Whatever he is, I am disappointed at his complete lack of originality.

Taxing sugar, or taxing anything for that matter to try to solve a so called social problem is just going to screw everyone, including the skinnies amongst us and is going to hit the poorest the hardest.  Why can't they come up with some decent suggestions that wouldn't cost anyone a red cent and would solve the nonexistent problem?  I would propose a couple of simple measures.

First of all, all sweet shops [and fizzy drink shops] should be built on ten floor towers.  This would be excellent advertising for the shops as they could be seen for miles.  Obviously those towers would only have stairs so the customer will naturally burn off all that excess baggage on the way up and down.

Similarly all schools should be built at least three miles from the nearest road, with access only by a narrow footpath/cycle path.  As an added bonus, the school could be placed at the top of a hill.

All televisions, Xboxes, iPads and similar stuff could be easily modified so they are powered exclusively by pedal powered generators placed in the living room.  Imagine the fun deciding who is going to power the telly for the evening's entertainment?  Fun for all the family.  In fact a system could be easily developed whereby each member of the family gets to pedal, and whoever pedals the hardest would get their channel of choice.  No more arguments over whether to watch football or Coronation Street – just pedal harder.

Yet another alternative and the easiest to implement – just tell all these nagging Puritans to go fuck themselves and mind their own fucking business.

Problem solved.

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An Irish Jamie Oliver — 12 Comments

  1. "James Larkin is a masters student of global health in University College London. " says the blurb  at the end of the piece, so as he chose to pitch to an Irish paper my guess is he's an Irish student at a UK university.

    Speaking as someone with a little experience of these things, places on these kind of nonsense masters courses usually go to foreign students first, as they'll have to pay course fees at overseas rates – which can be up to 10 times the standard UK fee. The average UK kid with enough brains but no rich parents (and no local authority grants any more) has little chance of a place because of this, and if they were looking for this level of education would probably go for something with some industry support  and at least a short term apprenticeship on graduation. Also note, the Russell Group of universities (of which UCL is one) club together to market their courses at fees substantially above the going rate for the rest.

    Effectively then, I'd say that you Irish taxpayers are funding this lad through a very over-priced vanity degree. No wonder he's looking for a bit of pin money writing up his course notes for a newspaper.

    • Or to put it another way – yet another egotistical dimwit trying to make a name for himself at the expense of others.  As I said – another Jamie Oliver.

  2. I dunno, he might have a point. That Reilly bloke, the health minister or whatever he is, certainly seems to be carrying quite a few excess kilos. Maybe they could sew his mouth up or something to help him lose weight. That combined with a mandatory ten mile run every morning should sort him out.

    • That Reilly bloke is now Minister for Children which I find more than a little creepy.  Of all of them he is the one I would least like to see within five miles of the grandkids.  I just have vision of him offering them little sweeties if they just play a game with him. 

      Personally I would superglue his mouth shut.  Less chance of stitches coming undone.

    • Maybe I should patent it?  If each player had to do their own pedaling, maybe that could be reflected in the game – pedal faster for extra points, extra ammo, extra strength or whatever?

  3. Seems very fishy to me. There is a

    Mr James Larkin is Visiting Associate Fellow at CSSS. He is a nuclear security expert and a lead contact within the south african academic community.

    A newspaper making things up surely not.

  4. Did you ever wonder why morons always seem to achieve high office?

    Tax sugar? Yah, we've got that kind of BS circulating over here as well. Of course, they never seem to consider that nearly 100% of all junk food and sweetened anything does not contain any sugar whatsoever (except for baked goods from the bakery and not always then). Corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, dextrose, maltodextrin, yes–but not sugar. So in the end, the government taxing sugar only accomplishes one thing. Making more money for the government.

    And sugar itself doesn't necessarily cause weight gain. It's what the sugar is used as an ingredient in (like that 12 pack of chocolate éclairs bought at the local bakery that's eaten all in one go) that causes weight gain.

    But the government probably ignored that as well?

    • people have this subconscious equation that sugar equals weight, without any understanding of what sugar actually is.  It's a very convenient bandwagon for those seeking a bit of a headline.  If someone stepped up and said that obesity is down almost entirely to lack of exercise would they be as popular?  And I'm not talking about half an hour down the gym – I'm talking about walking and cycling miles every day simply to get to school, work or the shops.  Also the gubmints couldn't make any extra cash out of that!

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