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Prince Philip does it again

November 3rd, 2006 · Posted by Skuds in Life · 6 Comments · Life

The Queen descended on Crawley today (literally – she arrived by helicopter). Not only did she narrowly miss getting told where to go by our car park signs but she also avoided this sight – someone replaced the missing O a while ago.

During the visit the royal party went into the County Mall to chat with people in the Druckers bakery. After passing the display of cream cakes the Prince asked the Manager of the place if she is responsible for making people in Crawley overweight.

Maybe it was a joke, but a bit tactless, given that the Crawley Observer had a story just two months ago about Crawley’s residents being the fattest in West Sussex. It is a national problem, but some areas are hit harder than others and lets not beat about the bush those areas tend to be the poorer areas. Would he go to the East End and make a joke about the increasing levels of TB there? On past form he probably would, come to think of it.

Fat is a health issue and it is linked to poverty. The direct causes might be education, exercise and nutrition but the root cause is deprivation. That is not to say that all fat people are poor or all poor people are fat – our previous MP is proof of that – but it is a statistical tendancy.

Does the phrase noblesse oblige not mean anything these days? Or is it OK for extremely rich people to make jokes about everyone else’s poverty-induced health problems? Actually it probably is OK as the preponderance of chav jokes shows it is fashionable to dehumanise the working classes.

But having said that… I was still a little amused to see that the BBC story has a link right next to Philip’s comments and the title of the link is “Crawley’s growth over the years“.

(Full disclosure: I am more than a little overweight myself)

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6 Comments so far ↓

  • E Bungle

    Chav jokes are different for they are a sub set of youth culture that incorperates hooliganism as it’s route not social class, even very well off areas have chavs. I am working class yet have a problem with Chavs of all types.

  • Danivon

    Actually, the ‘root’ of the ‘chav’ joke goes back further than that. It’s not hooliganism, rather a fixation on ostentatious displays of achievement – such as designer clothes or ‘bling’. It mutated when people were able to easily get hold of knock-off gear.

    Still, the butt of the ‘chav’ joke is more likely to be working class – or to be thought to be aping us.

  • Skuds

    Humour is a difficult thing. The ‘targets’ of comedy like Wayne & Waynetta Slob, or Vicky Pollard are often those who find it funniest and although I find yeah-but-no-but and am-I-bovvered tedious I do enjoy Wayne & Waynetta.

    No harm done? Wait until they try to get a job and get pre-judged for their appearance. And so the vicious circle continues.

  • Jane Skudder

    To increase on your ‘full disclosure’ I would like to point out that you were on the plump side before you moved to Crawley…. So its probably as much genetic as pie-related. (Damn).

  • Mike

    The real cause of obesity is deprivation? I could attempt to explain the idiocy of this statement but it would be like trying to explain the internal combustion engine to a goat. Not worth the time.

    • skud's sister

      Mike – this isn’t idiocy. The deprivation isn’t of calories but of decent, wholesome and nutritious food. When you look at the crud you can buy in Iceland for £1 a bag (and then look at its fat & salt content) compared to the price of frsh fruit and veg and meat from identifiable bit of animals it is no wonder that it can be cheaper to eat badly than to eat well. In many deprived areas it is hard to find shops which will even sell fresh produce – but which are full of fast food places where chicken and chips is less than a quid….