British Prime Minister David Cameron wants to educate the British to be more health-conscious. Fat people, junkies and drinkers are feeling the pinch.
David Cameron is campaigning at the expense of the sick. Picture: reuters
Anyone who eats and drinks too much or uses drugs and is therefore unable to work should no longer receive aid money. That is the election promise of British Prime Minister David Cameron. Around 100,000 people are affected, 56,000 of them alcoholics and almost 34,000 drug addicts. The rest are obese people. Each of them gets about 100 pounds a week without having to undergo therapy.
But the problem of binge drinking among young people has declined in the UK. Only two percent, two-thirds fewer than in 2005, admit to regular binge drinking. The number of people between who don’t touch alcohol at all has risen from 19 percent in 2005 to 27 percent, and a third of all Londoners are teetotal. Yet hospitals remain full of alcohol corpses, especially on weekends.
"It’s not fair to ask hard-working taxpayers to fund people who refuse treatment that could help them get back to work," Cameron said. If the Tories win the May 7 general election, he plans to have specific measures passed.
This could save the state 500 million pounds a year. Finance Minister George Osborne had already announced in January that he would cut welfare by 12 billion pounds in the coming legislative period to combat the budget deficit.
Applause from the right
The right-wing tabloid press applauds Cameron for his pleas against "welfare scroungers" and pushes stories by the dozen: "Fat Aftab couldn’t leave his house for five years," read one headline. Another paper rumbled, "Council spends £3,000 to send fat kid to fitness camp." Another headline, capitalized for untrained readers, read, "Obesity crisis costs West Midlands 115 MILLION Pounds a year."
Voter approval is also high, with about three-quarters thinking it’s right to take money away from fatties and put them on zero diets. According to the latest polls from ICM, the Tories have moved past Labour in the past four weeks and are four points ahead. In other polls, however, Labour is still ahead, if only by a narrow margin, but ICM has usually been right in the past. When it comes to popularity, Cameron fares even better: 41 percent think he’s good. Only 23 percent say the same about Labour leader Ed Miliband.
The charity for overweight people, Big Matters, pointed out that there is a lack of good therapy services for fat people and drug addicts. Former Labour Party PR chief Alastair Campbell, who struggled with alcohol addiction for years, called Cameron’s push embarrassing. "At a time when other government leaders are focusing on issues like the fighting in Ukraine or the Greek economy, he’s worrying about stuff like this," Campbell said.
Cameron, however, did not contest that. During a parliamentary debate, he poked fun at former Labour minister Michael Meacher, who had criticized the government for its investment policies. Cameron wanted to know from Meacher whether he had taken any mind-altering substances. In response, the latter’s Labor colleague Ed Balls asked the prime minister whether he had ever used cocaine. Cameron refused to answer.