Fat or sugar. Make your choice.

There is a current spat on Twitter about the low-carbohydrate vs low-fat diets. Which one is better for weight loss?

Neither.

Also… both.

Anything can make you fat. I have met the occasional fat vegetarian. I was once pretty fat because of whisky. Really. There are around 1800 calories in a bottle of whisky so a daily bottle plus all the food plus the fact that, back then, I spent most of my time in front of a computer, made me into a stunt double for Mr. Blobby. Some nights I became less intelligible than him…

I cut down a lot on the whisky, landed a job as a janitor (times were very, very hard). Very physical working 6 to 8 hours a day, 6, sometimes 7 days a week – the weight simply vanished. I made no changes at all to my actual food intake. It was the same ‘unhealthy crap’ I always ate and still do. Curries, pizza, lemon chicken, anything I can culturally appropriate, I’ll eat it. Except rat on a stick. Everyone has a limit. I’d try it once though.

It’s really simple (as long as we are talking solely in terms of weight loss and ignoring essential amino acids, vitamins etc). Calories in, calories used. If you take in more fuel than you use, your body will store the excess. If you use more fuel than you take in, your body will use its stored excess to make up the difference.

What should you eat to lose weight? It does not matter. Eat what you like but don’t eat more than you need. Eat less than you need and you will lose weight.

Do remember to stop dieting at some point though. Too thin is actually more dangerous than too fat. Having a little bit of reserve is always a good thing – you never know when you might need that little bit of extra energy reserve. Chubby Venezuelans will attest to this. So will all the currently-villified British fatties if Corbyn gets in.

There is much more to it than weight, of course. Healthy eating does not simply consist of calories. The above considers body weight in isolation, it does not consider what those calories consist of.

Sugar, the naked truth – you don’t need any, other than what’s already in the food. Now before you get all outraged, hear me out. I don’t need to smoke, I don’t need to drink whisky. In fact I know that those things are likely to be bad for me one day. I do them because I like them. I know the risks and accept them because to me, the enjoyment outweighs the risks. Okay I don’t drink as much as I used to by any means but I do still like my whisky. One of the advantages of reduced whisky intake is that I don’t need the swill at the bottom end of the market. I now have smaller amounts of the good stuff.

I like sugar too. I will not buy aspartame sweetened things because I know, from personal experience over many experiments, that aspartame will make the world drop out of my bottom. My guts don’t like it at all.

Then there are the energy drinks, or ‘wakey water’ as I call them. I have, again, restricted my intake to one or maybe two a day and never after midnight. But I still like them. Actually I prefer most of the cheaper ones to the full-fat Red Bull but that’s a matter of personal taste and also wallet strain. One for about £1.50 compared to a pack of six for £1.50, it’s not a heavy decision for a one-time homeless guy in Scotland.

As I said before, calorie-free ‘energy’ drinks are a joke. If you drink those and believe they give you energy you are insane. And probably awake and tired.

We use sugar because we like it. Yes, too much is bad for you but too much of anything is bad. The dose makes the poison – even too much water will kill you. It will kill you faster, too. We do not, however, need raw sugar in the same way that we need water. In an internal sugar shortage, your body can make the sugar it needs from fatty acids produced by bacteria in the gut, and even from protein. There is also sugar in a lot of foods anyway, especially plant foods. Your body can get all the sugar it needs from a salad but, well, salad… chocolate… no contest really.

Oh I eat salad sometimes. With salt, because everything is better with salt.

That’s another issue. The healthists insist we have a daily salt allowance. I do not accept any kind of ‘allowance’ because I’ve always been a rebellious little goblin and always will be. I live by my own rules and often break those too.

The salt thing is bollocks on many levels. If you have a job that involves a lot of physical work you will sweat a lot. If, like me, you really don’t like hot weather because it makes you sweat to the point where you have to replace your eyebrows with rain gutters: If you labour day in, day out at heavy lifting… you lose salt as well as water in that sweat.

If your job involves sitting at a desk in an air conditioned office then you don’t need to sweat much. If you are one of those Satanic hybrids who like hot weather and don’t feel like you’re melting whenever the sun hits you then you probably don’t sweat as much as those of us from normal, cold places. So you don’t lose salt and water so quickly.

A one size fits all approach is horrifyingly wrong. In anything, if it comes to it. I eat a lot of salt. I’ve no idea how far over the ‘allowance’ I am because I don’t care enough to measure it. I carry little salt packs from takeaways with me everywhere and I have been known to just open one of those packs and eat the contents as raw salt. On very hot days, usually.

Your body regulates its salt/water balance. Too much salt and your urine is salty. Too little salt and you die of hyponatremia. It takes a hell of a lot of salt intake to wreck that balance, and you’ll know if you’re heading that way. Your kidneys will tell you with pain.

It doesn’t take very long to die if you have too little.

There is no point drinking water on hot days if you’re not also taking in some salt. You lose water and salt in sweat, you have to replace both, not one, or your body will simply piss out the water to keep them in balance. Modern medicine makes no allowance for this, nor for differences between individuals. Modern medicine uses the British Standard Human as their model and if you don’t fit the manual, well tough. They will let you die.

It used to be enough to have a bag of peanuts or crisps to get plenty of salt. I have, in recent years, had to add salt to peanuts and crisps when I eat them because it’s now been reduced to silly levels. Like the calorie-free energy drinks, we now have ‘ready salted’ crisps to add to our list of false advertising. I remember when crisps were unsalted but came with a litle blue twisted bag of salt to add as much as you wanted. Sometimes a pack had two bags of salt by mistake. I loved getting those.

Let’s talk about fat.

You do not get fat from eating fat, unless you are eating human fat. Or you are eating too much fat. Your fat is not the same as cow fat or pig fat or sheep fat or nut fat. Yes, bags of nuts now have a ‘high fat’ warning. Sigh. They are seeds. The plant has to start growing underground, in the dark. It has to have energy reserves in the form of fats and starches until it can get its leaves into the light and start making its own.

Seeds are full of stored energy. That’s why we eat them.

In fact seeds – cereals, grains – are so full of stored energy that you can get very fat indeed eating those things. Even if you never eat any meat based fat at all.

When you eat a bag of nuts or cereal or rains you are not eating pure carbohydrate. You are also eating some protein and a lot of plant fats. So don’t tell me you are ‘avoiding fat’ by eating those things. You are avoiding certain types of fat by eating loads of another type.

In the end it doesn’t matter. Any fat you eat is broken down by your cells and if it doesn’t need to be used, it is reassembled, along with any excess carbohydrate, into human fat and then stored. Fat does not make you fat. Carbohydrate does not make you fat. Taking in more calories than you use is what makes you fat.

There’s a lot more – there’s enough for a series of lectures in this topic!

Some vitamins are fat soluble and you will not get them at all on a fat free diet. They only exist in the fat. They are insoluble in water. Vitamin K – ever tried to make a bacterial growth media where that was an essential ingredient? It just sits on top in a little blob.

So much more, but this is just a little backwater blog and putting whole lectures up feels somewhat futile.

Protein is worth a mention. Some years ago, the Atkins diet was all the rage. No carbs, just protein. Everyone on it was instantly recognisable because they had acetone breath. Their bodies broke the protein to make sugar and dumped the excess parts as nitrates and acetone. Sure, you can live like that but if your only goal is weight loss it’s pointless. All it does is make you smell like cleaning fluid.

All you need for weight loss is to take in fewer calories than you use. That is all there is to it. There is nothing more complex involved and it will save you money, not cost you money. You spend less on food. Alternatively you can spend more to have someone else to tell you to spend less on food. Can you see how silly that sounds?

Diets are expensive. You pay people to tell you to spend less money on food. You pay more than you save. Does anyone see the scam in this?

Look, it’s really simple.

Are you happy with your health on your curent diet (ignore weight)? No? See a dietician. A proper, quialified one. Yes? Your diet is fine.

Are you feeling like you have to lose weight but answered ‘yes’ to the first question? Just eat less and/or exercise more.

Are you feeling like eating a cake of yourself and don’t give a shit? Good. Carry on.

All of those are correct answers. If you want to lose weight, take in less than you use. If you are feeling bad, and you think it’s because of what you eat, see a dietician. If you are happy as you are, carry on.

Modern medicine will never get it.

So the diet scammers have an open field for profit, when losing weight should, by any definition of logic, cost less than whatever you spend on food now.

You can change your life and body without outside help.It does not depend on how much you want to spend.

It only depends on how much you care about it.

Boycott Suicide

It’s all the rage now. Boycott this or that because they are connected, sometimes tenuously, with something or someone who is the current focus of today’s Two Minute Hate.

I’ve been feeling a bit left out. Everyone is boycotting things I’ve never bought anyway so I can’t join in.

Not that I would anyway. I can’t be bothered with boycotts, other than personal ones. The ones where I get shitty service in a business and simply go elsewhere. I’ve never demanded anyone else boycott that business. Maybe I was the only one to get shitty service. Maybe most people are happy with shitty service. I strike them off my list of shopping places and move on. Life is too short to get involved in organised boycotts and silly vendettas.

I’m not talking about the supposed ‘boycotts’ of reduced-sugar fizzy pop or breakfast cereals. People have stopped buying them because the new taste is awful, not because of any organised boycott.

I have also not boycotted pubs. I rarely visit since the smoking ban but it’s not a boycott. I just don’t feel welcome in them any more. It’s no longer an enjoyable experience so I don’t go there.

This has been made worse by the Spiteful Nannying Puritans of the Scottish government and their recent lowering of the alcohol limit for driving to where one beer puts you over the limit. The local pub is two miles away. I could take a 40-minute walk to a place I can’t smoke with my drink, or drive to a pub in which I can now neither smoke nor drink. What would be the point? The same drive takes me to Local Shop where I can buy a bottle of whisky, drive home, and then drink and smoke indoors in comfort.

The real boycotts are coming from howling Twatter/Farcebok mobs. None of them work and most seem to have the opposite effect to that intended. A recent one involved an American burger takeaway called ‘In and Out’ or some such. Sounds more like a brothel name to me but we don’t have that company in the UK so I couldn’t have boycotted them anyway. Apparently business has boomed since they got all that free Twitter advertising. They are now out of the shadow of MacDonald’s and the other really big franchises. Boycott? They’re lovin’ it.

I can’t remember what that boycott was about. It was, most likely, something very trivial. They usually are.

There was a call to boycott Amazon some time ago. Well I’m not going to do that. They sell Leg Iron Books! Boycott my biggest outlet? That would be as much of a commercial suicide as, say, Lucozade selling energy drinks in which they have reduced the sugar – the primary source of energy in the drink. It would be a stupid thing to do.

Incidentally, I have noticed some so called ‘energy’ drinks describing themselves as such, then boasting that the can of chemical fizz is sugar free and calorie free. So there is no energy in there at all. It’s just chemical fizz with caffeine. It’ll keep you awake and tired. I fail to see the advantage in this.

Back to Amazon. I live about 15 miles from the nearest town that’s big enough to have an Aldi and Tesco. Two miles away is Local Shop and it’s actually called that. Prices in there are not sky high. They are quite reasonable. Also they have cut price whisky sometimes and I’ve become quite partial to a drop of Glen Keith whenever they have it at £20 instead of £30. It’s one of the few places I’ve seen Glen Garioch on the shelves too. They don’t have a big range… of anything. It’s a small shop. You can’t really stock up your kitchen there without emptying their shelves.

Actually, as long as the bridge is out, Local Shop is 8 miles away along single track farm roads at harvest time, which is very inconvenient as it’s also the post office.

So if I need something that’s not stocked by Aldi or Tesco, I can drive all the way to Aberdeen (nightmare!) or I can bring up Amazon on the browser, click ‘buy’ and it’s delivered to my door. I don’t care what they’ve done to upset the perpetually offended. I am not boycotting them.

The most recent boycott involves some football bloke with big hair called Colin Kapplenapple or something like that. I wasn’t really paying attention. Seems he got fired from football for being useless and a pain in the arse, and lots of Americans despise him. So Nike, the sports mob, have taken him on to advertise shoes. Now, lots of Americans want to boycott Nike. I may be a bit sketchy on the details because I don’t actually give a shit. I don’t know anything about American football (it’s a bit like rugby for girls, I think), I’ve never bought anything by Nike and I have no interest in any sport that involves no sharp objects.

The bit that got my attention was all the idiots on Twitter videoing themselves burning their Nike shoes. What is that about? You do not hurt a shoe company by buying shoes from them and then burning the shoes. You still have no bloody shoes, have you? So now you have to go and buy more shoes. The shoe company doesn’t care. They have the money you gave them for the shoes. So you burned the shoes. You cannot cost them a sale by reselling yours.

If you don’t want your Nike shoes any more, give them to the homeless. They don’t care about fashion or politics or boycotts. Trust me on that, I’ve been there. You would wear Lady Gaga’s goat-hoof shoes if that was all you had.

I wonder if I can convince these maniacs to burn books. Get them to buy all the books I publish and burn them all. That would be fantastic. I’d get paid, the authors would get paid, and those books won’t be floating around the second hand shops cutting down sales of new ones.

The best part is they are all print on demand. Keep buying them and we keep printing them. And getting paid.

We make more per sale on the eBooks. Are there people stupid enough to buy fifty copies of an eBook and then burn their Kindle? There has to be at least one out there.

The search begins.

Please sir, can I have a business?

The confectionery industry is preparing for the next phase of the anti-sugar Puritan onslaught. What a waste of time and money.

They have keeled over on the sugar tax rubbish and are now trying to get ready for a ban on advertising. They are doing this by throwing money at packaging so their brand will be recognised when (not, as the article optimistically says. ‘if’) advertising of anything containing sugar is banned.

Total, complete, utter, waste of time and money. The Template is in action here. Once advertising is banned it’ll be plain packaging next. All that brand recognition is wasted money. There will be no brand. Sweets will be sold in olive green packs with the sweet name in 10 point Times New Roman and with pictures of Bella Emberg’s somewhat rounded figure, Shane MacGowan’s teeth, and heart attack victim actors taking up at least half the pack. Why spend money on a brand that will be forgotten in less than one generation? Confectionery companies, you are, basically, fucked. And you brought it on yourselves.

You could have taken the BrewDog approach. You could have responded as Buckfast (Glasgee’s Finest) did when told they were irresponsible for mixing alcohol and caffeine in their tonic wine (basically, ‘see you pal, you’re gettin’ it, so y’are, and meanwhile fuck off’). No, you did the Oliver Twist (it’s not a dance, you uneducated morons of modern youth, it’s a book from the old days of actual books they used to teach us in schools in the times when education made you smarter rather than compliant) .

You confectionery companies stood in your rags and held up your bowl and said ‘Please, Mr. Unelected Gobshite, can we have a business?’

Unelected Gobshite said no. And you rolled over to get your tummies tickled. ‘Sad’ is far too small a word. You think of yourselves as powerful businessmen but honestly, inside that expensive tailored suit, is there anything at all? Is it just full of smug money-love? Is there not a trace of the courage and conviction of the entrepreneurs of old? It seems not. Empty suits. Stuffed with cash soon to be sucked away by the Puritans you pander to.

The flipside of course is the silly Left argument that business controls government. Really? These cowering piles of weasel shit can’t stand up to stomping self-important arseholes, never mind actually-elected lawmakers. When Government ministers cave to these simpering woodlice then we had better think long and hard at the next election. Maybe next time we should elect someone a bit further up the food chain. Perhaps a wasp would be a good option.

 

You know, I don’t really have a dog in this fight. To paraphrase the old rhyme:

First they came for the smokers,
and I’m a smoker,
and nobody spoke out when they came for me and they still don’t,
so frankly, bollocks to the rest of you.

You face a future where every shop front is olive drab green with warnings and graphic made up gore all over it. Even fruit has sugar in it so that will be sprayed drab too. You think they are going to stop with sweets? You are honestly pitiful if you believe that.

Did you think they would stop with booze?

Did you think they would stop with tobacco?

Did you vapers think you had got away? Oh your attempts to ally with the haters was so funny. We still-smokers are still laughing at that and a few of you are still doing it. Keeps us entertained.

It never stops and never will.

Because when they came for me and nobody spoke out for me, when they came for my smoking and drinking and food choices, you Puritan-lovers supported it all. Because of you, it will not stop. You did this. Revel in it. Enjoy hating me and dehumanising me. I’ve grown used to it. You’re on the list too. How will you deal with it? It’s easy but I’m not telling you. Remember, I was the first line of the rhyme. You bastards in the end lines are on your own.

When they come for you, don’t you dare ask me to speak out for you. I will not.

You can only stop it by stopping it all. Leave one thing for them to latch on to and it all starts again. Defund all of it. ALL of it, or learn to live in an olive drab world where you live exactly as directed.

Let’s play a game.

Live in a world where some people do things you personally don’t like, but you can avoid those people who do those things, or live in a world where there is no choice at all and everything, including things you like, are banned. A world of diversity or a world of grey conformity.

Make your choice.

Your time is short.

Sugar (and books)

It’s true that eating too much sugar is bad for you. Too much of anything is bad for you. Even water (I rarely touch the stuff myself, having kept pet fish and observed what they do in it).

Yet, having no sugar is bad for you too. Okay, you can get a lot of it as sugar in fruit (in season) and your liver can make sugar out of some other foodstuffs but you have to remember that your body works on sugar. That’s its fuel. Cut out all sugar, all carbohydrate, and your metabolism will burn protein for energy and you will go into ketosis. That is definitely not healthy.

It’s worse with salt. Too much salt is bad, yes, but a little too much is no problem. Your kidneys will dump the excess. It’s what they do. Too little salt – well, your body cannot create sodium. It’s an element. If you have too little, then hyponatremia beckons and if you persist in your salt-free diet while getting sicker, you will die.

Maybe this is a population-thinning exercise. It’ll certainly wipe out the genes of people who put healthy kids on salt, sugar and gluten free vegan diets. A global experiment in Darwinism, maybe?

Lately we have the gobby kitchen staff, in the grinning shape of Jamie Oliver, demanding all breakfast cereals reduce their sugar content. Yes, he’s self-promoting again.

It is worth pointing out every time, that this flabby-tongued gobshite has never been elected to anything, has no medical background, is neither a nutritionist nor a dietitian, and makes pronouncements to get people to notice him.

He is a cook. Since when did business boardrooms and elected MPs take orders from kitchen staff?

They do though. He has one of his tantrums and they all go ‘ooo, the Dreaded Cook is coming, we have to reformulate everything so it tastes like a troupe of weasels peed over it and then nobody will buy it’.

Stupid, isn’t it? But that’s how the world works now. Gobby bastards who have never stood for any kind of election and who have no qualifications in the subject they are spouting off about are the ones being listened to by our vacuous elected representatives.

Every political party should have ‘superficial preening party’ as at least part of their name. Every one. None of them are any use any more. There are very, very few MPs with any brains at all. Load of prancing popinjays who think they have been voted in to do what the hell they please to the people who voted for them.

This is where Cromwell came in last time the government was so out of touch. They won’t know that because they have fucked up education so badly now that history students think Henry the Eighth was the spitting image of Idi Amin and they don’t remember what happened last time we had a King Charles. It was even worse the time before and we’ll soon have Charles III. Who is already bonkers so he has a head start on the first two.

It’s all coming together very unpleasantly, I think…

We’re still in January. We are expected to eat only vegan food and touch no alcohol this month. As you would expect, I have had not one meat-free or whisky-free day this month and have no plans to do so. If they move the Stoptober nonsense into January we can just rename it Miserable Puritan Month and get it all out of the way at the start of the year.

Government by gobshite. Who’d have thought it could come to this? All we have in Parliament is a bunch of mindless expenses claimants who do what they are told by charities and kitchen staff. People who claim to be experts but who are only expert in self-aggrandisement and thuggish controlling methods.

Anyway… the next book from Leg Iron Books is going to piss off these people massively. It has lots and lots of smoking and booze in it, and it’s extremely funny. A complex plot that leads to a logical conclusion – and when you get to the part with the chugger, I reckon every reader is going to have to wipe tears of laughter from their eyes. Unless you’re a chugger, in which case you might want to be a little less aggressive in the future.

It’s by Lee Bidgood, who has appeared in the last two Underdog Anthologies and it’s a really good one. Target is release by the end of the month (my visit to Wales in January has been postponed because of a reason) and it’s certainly possible.

On book promotions, I was sent a link by an early author, Justin Sanebridge, to a promoting site that sends out tweets, farcebok posts, Google+ posts (whatever they are) and more to advertise a book. They also have a free sample that sends it out once so you can try it.

The base 30-day plan costs just $14.99 (currently £10.80) to get it sent out twice a day for 30 days. At 50 cents a day that’s pretty cheap. I will send one book a month for this promotion. If I send them all at once I’ll have books competing with other books from the same publisher (me) and I want to see if it affects sales. If it makes $15 a month it’s a good one.

But hey, if anyone wants to use the free one-day thing to give their book a shot now, go for it. if you want to use the paid service yourself, tell me you did it so I’ll be able to link it to sales.

First one out is Justin Sanebridge’s ‘The Goddess of Protruding Ears’ because he found the site so that’s only fair. I have 30 days to decide whether to do the rest in order or at random. I might not add the anthologies because they are priced to the bone so they’d have trouble getting the initial stake back. They’d be bottom of the list anyway – the authors go first.

An advertising budget of $15 a month won’t break me. If it works, if it makes more than the stake, they have heavier-duty plans I could move up to. Advertising budget is tax deductible too.

Which reminds me, I have a chunky tax bill to pay this year. I don’t want to give money to people I know will use it to make my life a misery, I’d rather give it to a trembling street corner junkie who will only damage themselves, but they’ll come for me if I don’t.

First tax bill in years. I am sure I will be claiming a lot of it back next year though.

 

 

Antifat demands more money

Not a misspelling. The anti-obesity Puritans now say that ‘junk’ food companies have far bigger advertising budgets than they have. Therefore they cannot compete. Well, boo hoo.

First of all, they are not supposed to be competing with private companies. They, like most modern ‘charities’, are funded by Government to give Government new ways to be oppressive, totalitarian bastards.

Secondly, I do not care how much money any private company spends on advertising. It’s not my money, never was and never will be. It’s not being paid for by squeezing taxes out of the rest of us. If you buy their products then you’re adding to their profits but that is entirely your choice.

Nobody is forced to buy any of those products. They do not come round and force-feed you chicken nuggets and canned spaghetti hoops then rifle through your pockets for money. They simply make products available for those who want them. Advertising is their way of telling us all that the product is available. You can ignore ads, you know. Only a gullible idiot would consider advertising as any kind of ‘forcing’.

Antifat, on the other hand, get their money from Government which takes it from us by force. If you don’t hand over a chunk of the money you worked for to a bunch of self-important entitled suits in Wastemonster, they will put you in jail and take the money anyway,

That is why I do not care at all about the £143 million spent by food companies on advertising. They aren’t making me contribute a penny towards it. I care a hell of a lot about the £5.2 million wasted on keeping jumped-up prodnoses in a cushy job because I am forced to contribute to that.

It annoys me immensely and I’m not even overweight. It annoys me because it’s another arm of the Smoker Hate and Booze Hate that I’ve also been forced into contributing to.

There are already strict rules on advertising food ‘to children’ (who have limited to zero means of buying any of it) and yet it’s never enough, is it? As with all the other Puritans we pay for, there’s always another increment, another slice of the salami. And now they will tie in nicely with Tessie Maybe’s long-held desire to control the Internet harder than China does.

All this crap has to go. We’d pay less tax and the NHS would have more funds if all this shit were swept away.

And we could have a bag of chips without watching out for the prodnoses.

Size matters

Today is 370 years since the opening paragraph of Jessica’s Trap. That story started on April 30th, 1647, the eve of Beltane. I have to find out what’s going on with that book, the contract with the publisher expired over a year ago and I’m still not sure whether it’s been taken off sale. Sometimes it’s there, sometimes not. It’s going to come back under Leg Iron Books.

But to get to the point, this one is about sugar. Specifically, the sneaky lies around the subject. Also about the bollocks we get now, in general.

Today the Daily Fibber states that some ready meals have more sugar than a doughnut. Do they mean pro-rata? No, they mean in absolute terms. Basically, they are saying that you are better to feed your kids a single doughnut for lunch rather than a pasta bake or a curry with rice.

Among the worst culprits is Kirsty’s Kids’ Kitchen Chicken Korma With Brown Rice. It is promoted as a ‘nutritionally balanced’ meal with ‘no added sugar’.

But the small print reveals it has a total sugar content of 14.8g, almost four teaspoons, more than twice the 6.2g found in a McDonald’s Sugar Donut.

If you were to compare the sugar content as sugar per 100g of product, the doughnut would win hands down. If you were to compare actual nutritional content, the curry would win every time. However, that does not allow you to pretend that all ready meal companies are subsidiaries of Big Sugar, charged with shifting as much of the stuff into kids as possible.

The whole article is utter bollocks, but then it is the Daily Mail so we’re used to that. Even so, this kind of shit is what politicians believe, because they have no minds of their own and have to have signs on their headboards so they can find their way out of bed in the mornings.

Honey, fruit juices and agave syrup are high in sugar but are not labelled as such.

That’s because they are made of sugar. I wouldn’t expect to see ‘high in sugar’ on a bag of Tate and Lyle’s best granulated sucrose. I fully expect that bag to contain 100% sugar.

It is claimed that we eat more sugar than we used to. I don’t think that’s true at all. Sugar sandwiches were a staple of my youth. Pancakes were coated in golden syrup and sugar. Syrup on toast was a favourite. Sugar mice were mouse shaped blocks of sugar with a hint of food colouring and a bit of string for a tail. You can still get them – a sweet shop in a nearby town sells them.

Yes, a sweet shop. It’s called ‘The sweet shop’. They sell sweets. Nothing else. Just sweets – including ice cream in cones that have been dipped in chocolate and sugar sprinkles. It’s the anti-sugar brigade’s equivalent of a tobacconist or an off-licence. I’m sure they get palpitations even knowing it exists. They’ll go into full meltdown if they find out that, just along the road, is another shop called ‘The chocolate bar’ which sells only chocolate. You wouldn’t burn the calories in a single cube of chocolate fudge by walking between those two shops – and there’s a pub in between in case you get peckish on the way.

There were many sweet shops when I was a kid. All within easy reach of school. We didn’t get fat – well some kids did but really, only a few. Like now. Look at the feral little groin-fruit scampering out when school closes. There are a few fat ones, some chubby ones (who will lose it all when they hit the growth spurt of puberty) and a lot of scrawny little urchins.

They are probably, on average, a bit heavier than my generation but we didn’t have computers and Xboxes, we did most of our playing outside. Then again, we did have Scalextric and train sets and toy cars and soldiers and a lot of really good board games so we did a lot of sitting around too. Especially in lousy weather, which we get a lot of in the UK.

People have been getting larger as generations progress. Look at those antique dining chairs. They are far too small to be useful now. So this generation being a tad larger and heavier than my generation is not an anomaly. It’s normal.

If modern kids are getting fatter it has nothing to do with sugar. It has more to do with mollycoddling. They aren’t allowed to climb trees. They can’t wander off in the woods in case Gary’s Gang is lurking. Even the toys are no fun any more.

I had a chemistry set. It included magnesium ribbon among other dangerous things. Of course I burnt the magnesium. Who wouldn’t?

I bought my son a chemistry set when he was young. It was the most boring, God-awful waste of time I have ever seen. It had safety glasses! Mine didn’t have those. Safety glasses in a set that was based entirely on the safest experiments you can imagine. Growing copper sulphate crystals is fun the first time but the novelty soon wears off. Where’s the stuff that burns and/or goes bang? Not in the set? Then what the hell are the safety glasses for? He wasn’t much interested and when I looked it over, I saw no reason to push it.

Plastic test tubes and pipettes. I had glass ones. I bought more in the local chemist. I learned how to draw out a pipette into a flexible capillary long before getting chemistry lessons in school. I think I still have a piece of one in my thumb. It only twinges occasionally as a reminder not to do it again.

That set would never kindle anyone’s interest in science. It makes it look extraordinarily tedious.

All this dumbing down in the name of ‘the cheeldren’ is too easy to laugh at. It’s really very dangerous. Making children super-slim means they have no energy reserves for that massive growth spurt at puberty. A lot of us looked like bean bags at 11 years old and like panel pins at 14. No intervention was necessary. It was nature.

I’m still wondering whether the introduction of spectacles when I had blurry distance vision at 11 was a bad idea. I was in that growth spurt time. Things were changing and not all at once. My eyes might have been short-sighted because the eye sockets were growing at a different rate to the eyes in them. It might have corrected itself.

When (if) it did, it adjusted to give me correct vision without realising I had glass lenses in the way. Now I have to wear them – not all the time, only when I have to look at things.

My close-up vision has definitely deteriorated with age though. I could see things clearly less than 10 cm in front of my eyes which is why I could paint the eyes onto 1/72 scale figures. Can’t do that now without a magnifier, but that’s normal. My closest clear focus is now 25 cm without any lenses between.

Yet I wonder, would my long vision have corrected itself if my growing body wasn’t looking through those lenses? I suppose I’ll never know.

I used to laugh at the daft pronouncements and at the anenecephalic politicians who just lapped it all up. That was before I realised how deadly it actually was.

There are people claiming that vaping is as dangerous as smoking. It’s steam! I have seen, recently, claims that there is antifreeze in vape. No, antifreeze is ethylene glycol. Vape contains propylene glycol, a harmless food grade thickening agent found in yogurt and many other things. Including asthma inhalers, in case you want to jump up with ‘Breathing is not the same as eating’.

Smoking has risks. They are vastly overplayed, the risk to others is so comical I could never skip the chance to terrify an antismoker. But yes, there are risks. There were risks in my first chemistry set, my first airgun, my first forays (untrained) into meddling with electricity and explosives and I accepted the risk and did it anyway. That will never change for me. ‘Perfectly safe’ is no fun at all.

Perfectly safe is what the idiots in the pressure groups claim to want. What their aims will achieve is the extinction of the human race and in some cases, of all life on the planet.

Bill (wee fookin’ bawbag) Gates has stated that he wants to reduce atmospheric CO2 to zero. Really. Zero. I have thought up a way that it could be done but I will die before I tell a single soul. If atmospheric CO2 was zero, every single plant and alga on this planet is dead within days.

When they die, nothing is producing oxygen. We breathe oxygen, as do the rest of the animals around us. We exhale CO2. My device mops it all up.

The oxygen will run out. ‘Bye. Well, some anaerobic bacteria will be around so the planet can start again. Makes me wonder if that happened before…

That is Bill Gates, multi-millionaire who thinks money makes him clever. He’s not alone. George Soros thinks money makes him superior. So do the Virgin Beard Guy and the rich tart he’s funding (can’t be bothered looking them up, it’s late) to make us vote for what they want, not what we want. Politicians think they are superior because they have money even though they only have money because they extort it from the rest of us in taxes. They produce fuck all. No wonder they support benefit spongers. Kindred spirits.

They want to tax Electrofag. They have paid shills pretending it’s dangerous. Smoking is nowhere near as dangerous as they claim. By comparison, vaping is harmless. Well, mostly harmless. I mean, come on. If you believe breathing smoke is deadly then surely people breathing steam is a better thing?

All the politicians look for are tax opportunities. They would love to tax food and the fat, sugar and salt Puritans are glad to give them enough lies to let them do it. The general public…

…are mostly gullible idiots. I speak from personal experience. I have convinced people of utterly nonsensical things for fun. Tax the rich? They’ll vote for it without realising that as they have a job, they ARE the rich! The really rich don’t pay taxes, they collect them,

I digress, as usual.

Zero salt will kill you. Zero sugar will kill you faster. Zero smoking will kill ASH, which is why they pretend Big Tobacco controls Electrofag even though Electrofag would be the greatest thing ASH could hope for if they really wanted what they say they want.

Too much of anything will kill you too. Eat and drink and smoke whatever you want, if it starts to hurt, slow down.

Oh, I remember when you only saw doctors when you were ill and they fixed you without judging your life…

…and now you have to fit the standard. Be the right size or be shunned.

 

We’re going to need a bigger van…

…for those trips to Europe.

Cigarettes are to rise in price again and there is now a system in place whereby no pack of cigarettes can cost less than £7.24. You can get a pack for less than half that in any other country in Europe.

Assuming we do eventually leave the EU, there will be a limit imposed on how many cigarettes we can bring back per person. There is no limit on how many you can bring back for your own use at the moment due to the EU’s free movement of goods rules but if you have loads, expect to have them stolen by border control anyway. So the imposition of a limit isn’t any reason to stay in the EU.

If the limit is, say, 300 (15 packs) then if you have a weekend in Europe you’ll save about £54 per person by stocking up while there.

The tobacco story is an old one. I can’t remember a time when it wasn’t cheaper everywhere outside the UK. Even as a child, if we went to France or Spain my dad would take the limit home and so would my mum (who never smoked). Lately my parents often went to Portugal and brought me home five 50g packs of rolling baccy. At the time it was a gift worth at least £75 at UK prices. They paid half that. Unfortunately they are getting too old for those trips.

Oh yes, my parents are still alive. My father, a lifelong smoker and my mother, a lifelong passive smoker, are both still alive. Neither have experienced cancer. It’s not just me who defies NHS statistics. It’s the whole family.

Alcohol is also a lot cheaper in most EU countries. I noticed, in Germany, that whiskies like Famous Grouse were the same price in little corner shops as they are in big supermarkets here. I also noticed that only the idiots in charge of the UK have fallen for hiding tobacco behind doors and putting them in plain packs. Nobody else has fallen for this one.

Nobody else will fall for the utterly cretinous notion of putting all booze, including fine malt whiskies, into plain packs and hiding them behind shutters. Oh it’s coming. Plain packs for ‘non-approved’ foods is already being talked about as the Next Logical Step in the bullying of the entire nation. These thugs are never satisfied. Never. When they have total control they will start telling you how many steps you have to take every day – oh wait, that one’s already out there.

Now we have a tax on sugar. Initially on sugary drinks but if you think it will end there you really haven’t been paying attention at all. Imagine a world where Coke and Pepsi are in the same olive drab packaging with photos of meth mouth and Cyril Smith on every bottle. The company name relegated to 10-point Times New Roman. It’s all behind doors and you have to ask for it. Imagine it well because if you are under 50 you’ll see it in your lifetime.

Fancy a burger? You’ll get it with MACDONALDS on the olive green box in 10-point Times New Roman with a picture of someone syringing lard through an artery on the top. Actually not hard to copy. I like liver and it often has a large artery or two going through it.

Fancy fish and chips? It’ll be a lot smaller and cost more, not least because the chip shop has to buy olive green wrapping paper with pictures of Bernard Manning nude and a warning that all fish are so full of mercury that they will roll off the table if left unattended.

Oh I know. You’re scoffing. You don’t believe it can happen.

Go back to 2004 and tell the pub customers that soon they will be banned from smoking in there. Tell them they will buy cigarettes in drab green packs from behind doors and they will pay £7.24 for the cheapest brand. Listen to them scoff at you.

You’re going to need a van for a lot more than tobacco on future visits abroad. If you fly it will very likely be well worth paying an excess baggage charge.

As for smugglers, they’re likely to steal Mr. MacDonald’s favourite line.

‘I’m lovin’ it’.