Waddle We Do about it?
There they were, as we were striding along the Norfolk Coast Path, two obese parents waddling along with two small children equally plump.
What a tragedy! Tony Blair’s present views on our obesity problems are spot on. Over the last decade of our walks, Jane and I have watched with growing incredulity that people are growing fatter and fatter. The problem is that now obesity is the new normal; as everyone appears to have grown larger, few seem to be noticing what‘s happening around them. I suppose teachers and doctors feel constrained to comment for fear of causing offence. The healthcare bills for heart conditions, worn-out joints and diabetes are overwhelming.
A new tax on fatty foods has to be the answer, however unpopular this may prove to be.
Noel Coward once said to Ivor Novello, “Ivor, Darling, if you ever hear that I’ve made rude comments behind your back, rest assured, the rumour is entirely true – I have!”
ZANE often observes the activities of large charities with interest to see is there’s anything a small charity like ours can learn. It’s been an interesting study. Many charities have created “Human Resources” departments, with staff who presumably spend donor money on woke issues such as “gender recognition” and “progressive ideologies”. They give much space in their reports to “environmental and social” issues, or to another preoccupation, “biodiversity” – whatever that may be. Others proclaim to be at the cutting edge of “inclusion, diversity and purpose”, while one claims a social duty not to spend all its donor money on humanitarian relief – which is what it was set up to do – but a significant proportion on combatting climate change.
And what can ZANE learn from one of the best-known charities, which has decreed that instead of writing “woman”, we should instead write “people who menstruate”? Apparently, it may be better to write “Womxn” (as a mark of “solidarity and inclusion”) and we should avoid using the acronym “BAME” (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) and instead use “BIPOC” (Black, Indigenous and People of Colour). It seems that both these former terms are outdated.
Granny told me that unless you can say nice things, you should say nothing at all. Well, although I won’t do everything Granny said, I will at least try to be brief.
Will ZANE change its conservative ways? The answer is, of course, an emphatic “no”! We have always relied simply on common sense in the way we operate. We believe in “Do as you would be done by”. Showing integrity in all our dealings and doing what’s written on our tin – which is to spend donated money wisely and on the issues that our supporters want their money spent on – are the things that matter to ZANE. Over the years, we have been privileged enough to develop a solid relationship with our supporters – one that is built on trust – and ZANE does not propose to play fast and loose with that trust by wasting money on fashionable nonsense.
We are told that all institutions turn “left” in time unless there are people around who stop the drift. ZANE forges its path looking neither left nor right, but straight ahead.
DEFRA authorised a report into to why black, Asian, and other minority groups see the countryside as a “white environment”. Now I hear there is to be a study on racism in the countryside. It is bound to be damning, encouraging victimhood on the part of ethnic minorities and making it a win-win for them. But if the report concludes that the countryside is not “racist”, then the work will be condemned as a “whitewash”. So being human and wanting to be paid, the report’s members will form the usual firing squad and find racism in hedgerows and up trees.
I understand the Leverhulme Trust is funding some of these reports. Leverhulme was a hard-bitten businessman who made his money out of Sunlight Soap. He must be spinning in his grave.
Allow me to be helpful… If I and my family emigrated to India, we might discover that most people living there aren’t white. I suppose, I could wander around loudly condemning the population and shouting “hate crime” – if I could find anyone who would quietly listen to me (doubtful). But I think I’d probably see that I was being unrealistic and plain rude. I could well be stoned – or banged up by unfriendly police who might reasonably conclude I was deranged.
Being a friendly and decent society brings problems. Everyone comes to the UK because of our virtues, and then a vociferous minority abuses these virtues. Then another group of fanatics abuses us further because our society doesn’t resemble the country they left.
What a nonsense it all is.
Antiques Road Show
I saw a Desperate Dan look alike with a shiny bald head on the weight machines at my gym. I decided to try the equipment out and made a new friend.
Henry is a delightful Pole working at BMW – it’s daft to judge by appearances – and he told me about himself.
The next time I was exercising, I saw that Henry and a friend were both staring intently at me while muttering. Later, I asked him who his friend was?
“I had to persuade him to come to a gym,” he told me. “He’s 55 and thought he was too old to exercise and would surely die. I told him that I have a friend who is ancient… and I persuaded him to come and look at you!”
The gym has a nubile recruit. Perhaps they should put me on commission?