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Touched a nerve, Jamie?

I may have mentioned this before but I’m not a fan of Jamie Oliver. I used to be, at least a bit, back in his Naked Chef days when he was about cooking tasty food with fairly basic facilities, because at the time I had a flat with a kitchen even smaller than the one he used in the show. No kidding, if I was in it there wasn’t room for a stick of celery to join me – and no, before you say anything, that’s not because I’m a fat bastard. But the Naked Chef days are over and Jamie Oliver has long since morphed from rubber lipped Mockney celeb chef into rubber lipped Mockney celeb nannying crusader twat. Frankly it’s not a bad thing to wake up every morning knowing that I live ten thousand miles away from the fucker.

Unfortunately he’s touring Australia again, and yes he’s been invited – I can hardly believe this – by various politicians for his input, or perhaps his output, to help tackle the obesity crisis.* And it might be because of this that a journo asked him if he hadn’t put on a little weight himself recently.

This is 'ow yer use chopsticks, righ'? Now 'ow abaht some more dim-sum, me ol' china?

And it went down like a scallop that had been deep fried in batter for an hour and a half and left in the shell.

Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver says he regrets snapping at a reporter in Australia when he was quizzed over his weight.

Oliver was answering questions from the media during a promotional trip to Sydney when the journalist asked if he’d piled on the pounds since his last trip to Australia.

“I don’t know. I think the last time I had a filling in my teeth, which was quite recently, I was in good nick (condition). But really, I am not really sure. Are you from a tabloid? Thanks for noticing, you bitch,” he retorted.

Tone says a lot and there’s no mention of whether this was in an angry tone or a more light hearted and jokey manner, though the fact he’s saying he regrets it makes me think that it might not have come across as jokey as it could have been. However, the fact that he’s said it at all makes me think that it’s a sore point. Nobody likes being called on hypocrisy, even though we’re all guilty of it now and then. But when you’ve changed the course of your career to point due Nanny it can’t be all that comfortable to feel that you’re being criticised for not practising what you preach. And so…

But News Limited papers report he had time to think about the remark on his way to Melbourne on Wednesday.

Oliver told Myer representative Nicky Buckley he eats fresh food and trains twice a week but could “do better”.

Which seems to have prompted a response from Oliver mate, upside down sleb chef and supermarket TV ad regular, and also owner of Australia’s biggest shit eating grin, Curtis Stone.

Australia's best loved shit eating grin. Pictured here on a chef.

Chef Curtis Stone has weighed into the debate about Jamie Oliver’s size, saying his fellow celebrity chef needs to practise what he preaches.

Stone was co-hosting a US talk show on Friday when he criticised Oliver for calling an Australian journalist a ”bitch” after she questioned whether he had gained weight since his last visit here. He has urged Oliver to show more responsibility because of his stardom, The Hollywood Reporter revealed yesterday. Stone was on a CBS television show The Talk when he spoke up about Oliver’s behaviour during his Australian tour.

”The interesting part of this for me is that Jamie is a big voice and he preaches, you know his show is called The Food Revolution,” Stone said. ”So, he’s there talking about healthy food and you’ve got to practise what you preach.”

And I can’t disagree with that except inasmuch as I’d rather Oliver and Co. didn’t preach at all – my body, not yours, and if I decide to put one or six of Mrs Exile’s delicious cookies into it that’s entirely up to me. But I also have a question. Jamie Oliver’s squeezed a tour of Oz into his hectic advertising and nannying schedule. Curtis Stone, similarly, has managed to fit in co-hosting a talk show in the US around making adverts for Coles supermarkets in which he says he personally visits the farms that supply Coles’ fresh produce.

Do any celebrity chefs (with the possible exception of the culinary version of a B-movie mad scientist, Heston Blumenthal) actually cook anything anymore?


* Tackling the obesity crisis is easy: between the ankles and knees while it’s moving so that its own momentum brings it down. Never try to tackle an obesity crisis above its hips.

And then they came for the… Jesus Christ, popcorn eaters? Is this right? – UPDATED

Okay, this is just specific subset of ‘And then they came for the salad dodgers’ really, but Jesus fucking Christ on a state approved dietary regime, popcorn? Seriously? Well, since Velvet Glove, Iron Fist is taking a look at a comment piece in the Independent entitled ‘Filling your face with popcorn is not a human right‘ one has to assume that it is serious. And so insanely authoritarian that even the normally restrained Chris Snowdon has seen red.

…it’s clear that many people find it hard to resist fatty food and cheap alcohol, which leaves government intervention the only serious option.

Well, let’s not be so hasty. Are we sure that all the other possibilities have been exhausted? Have you, for example, considered the option of fucking off and leaving us alone?

Quite. It’s a thorough fisking and not wishing to steal his thunder I recommend you go read the whole thing there. There’s little I can add except for two points. First, and I’m getting a bit personal here, if one person cannot be free to smoke or drink or eat popcorn then why should another be free to walk around with a face like a dropped pie? That’s not personal abuse aimed at Joan Smith – well, okay, actually it is really, but it’s not just personal abuse. The point is that if it’s okay to be so judgemental about certain people’s harmless habits then why not others? Why not be as judgemental about who they play hide the sausage with as you are about how many sausages they eat? And why not other aspects, even physical imperfections? It’s not like it hasn’t all been done before by various other bunches of mad left-wing authoritarians with hard ons both for improving health and for the cost to the public purse. You can sound the Godwin alarm all you like, I don’t give a rip. Because it’s fucking true, d’you see?

“This person suffering from hereditary defects costs the community 60,000 Reichsmarks
during his lifetime. Fellow German, that is your money, too.” – Wikipedia.

Secondly I’d expand on something else Chris Snowdon says:

Once we have accepted the healthist world view, no principled and logically consistent objection can be made against photos of rotten teeth on soft drinks. Those who welcomed the 85% sales tax on cigarettes are in no position to oppose an 85% sales tax on bacon. They can only wriggle and squirm and hope the puritans tackle their pleasures last.

And so, in a sense, I welcome the likes of Joan Smith and Jonathan Waxman for finally coming clean and alerting us all about what is afoot.

Yes, but I think they should also be welcomed simply for reaching these insane levels of wanting to regulate popcorn intake and put health warnings on bangers and mash (also a wank fantasy of another a revolting authoritarian cunt – the aforementioned Waxman – and also fisked at VG,IF). If something is going to derail their plans, if something is going to halt the marching of those nasty little boots, then it could well be when the owners of those boots strap them onto a surfboard before going and jumping a shark.

UPDATE – Oh, Jesus, this is just so fucking depressing. How can people understand liberty when it comes to people inclined to bump uglies with someone of the same gender but be unable to grasp the concept when it comes to everyone deciding what food to insert in the other end of their bodies?

Could it be simply that they’re not supporting gay marriage for reasons of liberty but because they’ve been they’ve been made to think they should, just as they’ve been made to think that the government should be doing all their thinking for them?

Baaaa. Baaaaa.

Then they came for the drinkers… redux

How long have I been banging on about this? Bloody long enough, I reckon, and other blogger have been at it far longer. Smokers? Pah. Oh, don’t get me wrong, they’re still very much in the firing line, very much the modern untermenschen. But the battleground has shifted and the current main target, whether they know it or not, are the drinkers, and quite a big gun has just been fired right at them. Less than three months ago I blogged about the tell tale signs that this gun was being loaded and remarked on how it was a gun that had been shot at smokers several times. Well, now it’s gone bang and it only remains to be seen how much damage it does. En bloc – my bold.

State and territory ministers have signed off on the introduction of mandatory pregnancy warning labels on alcohol.

Ministers responsible for food regulation met in Melbourne today to consider their response to former federal health minister Neal Blewett’s review of food labelling.

Dr Blewett’s most controversial recommendation, that a “traffic light” system be introduced to help consumers make healthier food choices, has been rejected.

The traffic light system of colour coding would tell a consumer, at a glance, if the food had high, medium or low amounts of fat, saturated fat, sugars and salt.

Instead, ministers have agreed that public health, consumer and industry groups be consulted in the development of an alternative front-of-pack labelling system, which is to be considered in June and hoped to be in place by the end of next year.

They also want to give industry two years before making pregnancy warning labels on alcohol mandatory.

Food Standards Australia New Zealand is drafting a standard for nutrition and health-related claims and ministers also agreed to the development of a national nutrition policy.

The federal government has come under fire from public health and consumer groups for opting not to pursue the traffic light system, but the food manufacturing industry has welcomed the move.

Does this sound at all familiar? It certainly should, and it will to smokers. Anyone want to bet that it’ll stop there and will not progress towards huge pictures of diseased livers covering two thirds of the label of whatever’s your preferred tipple? Any takers? No? Yeah, thought not.

Don’t get smug about this being more Australian nannying. It is, but I think it’s as much to do with Australian politicians having less on their plates than their counterparts in some parts of the world, especially Europe and the US, and so more time to listen to the whining of the nannies, moralists, control freaks and wowsers. Wherever you are, this is coming to a label near you soon.

And I can’t help but feel that if more people had stuck up for the smokers it wouldn’t be happening at all.

It’s not wrong if lefties doing it – UPDATED

Compare and contrast. First, something that needs no source and which the Righteous and right-on are saying is very, very bad, though as we should all know by now is lacking in context.

Frankly, I’d have them all shot. I would take them outside and execute them in front of their families.

Second, via Churchmouse writing at The Orphanage, and which he notes has gone entirely unremarked and without complaint by the Righteous and right-on in general and Unison in particular, something from the Birmingham Mail reporting on the public sector strike activity in their area.

A small group of protestors carried a mocked up guillotine with images of Nick Clegg and David Cameron, with a slogan saying “heads will roll”.

I do hope that’s cleared things up for everybody.

UPDATE – Churchmouse has left another example at the Orphanage, this time of an overdrive of leftie foam-flecked. outraged, offence seeking because some student Conservative Society burned an effigy of the Obamessiah, preceded three years ago by a deafening silence when someone else burned an effigy of Sarah Palin. And not forgetting that Camermong/Clegg guillotine thing.

That what’s good for the goose is also for the gander is something the left and right alike struggle with, though I’ll credit the right with less absurd examples of hypocrisy, while those libertarians who’ve been similarly hyperbolic have tended to be consistent and asked for enough lengths of piano wire to string up left and right wing statists all at the same time.

That’s you lot told

Click for linky

Wolfgang Schäuble said that, despite the current crisis in the eurozone, the euro will ultimately emerge as the common currency of the entire European Union. He said he “respects” Britain’s decision to keep the pound, but insisted that the survival and eventual stabilisation of the euro will convince non-members to join the currency club. “This may happen more quickly than some people in the British Isles currently believe,” he added.

The message to the UK is obvious – it’s not your country anymore. But there is another way of reading it, another subtext below the one which really barely qualifies as subtext: we’ve nailed our colours to the Euro mast and its unravelling, and we’re hoping like hell another big economy jumping on board will manage to keep it going and save our careers and/or reputations. I’m not sure that isn’t a bit optimistic given Britain’s level of debt and the fact that the Cobbleition government are really no less profligate with other people’s money than their predecessors, but from here it seems like time is running out. The Euro car had a dodgy handbrake and was parked on a hill by a cliff, and now the bugger’s rolling toward the edge and everyone who helped pay for the car is running like hell after it hoping to stop it in time. Getting a country with a good credit rating on board (though fuck knows why the UK still has a good rating) might buy them some more. Either that or when the car reaches the cliff Britain won’t have an advantage over those that kept running after it right over the edge.

The alternative is pretty clear. Herr Schäuble must be told, in no uncertain terms, to fuck off.

Lalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalala we can’t hear you

Via the von Mises blog, the latest move in Europe to solve the continent’s economic problems: ban credit ratings agencies from downgrading member states’ credit ratings.

The European Commission on Tuesday (15 November) is to unveil proposals to clamp down on the credit-ratings industry, seen as one of the key villains in the eurozone debt crisis melodrama.

Internal market commissioner Michel Barnier is to propose a series of measures including a ‘blackout’ in the rating of troubled states in an attempt to limit the ratcheting up of market instability the EU executive accuses the sector of being responsible for when it has delivered downgrades to the credit ratings of countries.

The draft law would allow the EU to temporarily ban companies such as Standard & Poor’s, Fitch and Moody’s from issuing ratings changes if regulators assess that such moves would exacerbate market volatility.

Nice to see such great value being placed on free speech in the EU. If it might harm the project, even if it’s an honest opinion, you can’t say it. End of. As was said at von Mises, this is simply shooting the messenger. In fact it smacks of such desperation that I’m surprised that the messenger isn’t already saying, ‘Look, fuck that, I’m not going anywhere near the place and I’d advise anyone else with a vestige of sanity not to go anywhere near it either.’


Questions to which the answer is "Fuck off"

Yes, I know there are lots of these and that anything on an official census probably qualifies, but the one that’s uppermost in my mind at the moment is this:

How much do you drink?

A report to be published on Monday will say eight million professionals are routinely drinking too much alcohol, and endangering their health, even though they do not binge drink or get drunk.
It calls for new checks, so that GPs quiz all patients about their drinking habits, first at the age of 30, and again as part of general health checks which occur every five years from the age of 40.

And even though it’s a non-issue for me and my honest answer would score maximum healthist brownie points, my inclination would be to choose from a range of replies starting with “Why are you asking?” and finishing with “Go fuck yourself.” Aside from the intrusiveness I hope everyone can see in this that the concept of no-safe-level-every-drop-is-killing-you-a-bit has taken one more jackbooted step from neo-puritan idealism to policy. You don’t have to binge and you don’t have to get drunk, but you can still be drinking too much. How much is too much? Who can possibly know when, as pointed out on Devil’s Kitchen a couple of years back, the recommended consumption levels for alcohol were pulled out of the collective arse of a working party of the Royal College of Physicians (the article is only available to people who pay The Times as even archives are behind the paywall now, so the rest of us have to put up with seeing it for free on Wayback – fuck you, Rupes).

Guidelines on safe alcohol consumption limits that have shaped health policy in Britain for 20 years were “plucked out of the air” as an “intelligent guess”.
The Times reveals today that the recommended weekly drinking limits of 21 units of alcohol for men and 14 for women, first introduced in 1987 and still in use today, had no firm scientific basis whatsoever.
The disclosure that the 1987 recommendation was prompted by “a feeling that you had to say something” came from Richard Smith, a member of the Royal College of Physicians working party that produced it.
He told The Times that the committee’s epidemiologist had confessed that “it’s impossible to say what’s safe and what isn’t” because “we don’t really have any data whatsoever”.
Mr Smith, a former Editor of the British Medical Journal, said that members of the working party were so concerned by growing evidence of the chronic damage caused by heavy, long-term drinking that they felt obliged to produce guidelines. “Those limits were really plucked out of the air. They were not based on any firm evidence at all. It was a sort of intelligent guess by a committee,” he said.

I’m not sure how a guess can be both intelligent and plucked out of the air, but really it’s by the by. The point is that they have a number based on fuck all evidence and a vague feeling that the medical profession really ought have an answer, and if you exceed that number then you’re drinking too much, end of discussion. Doesn’t matter whether you’re an enormous flanker type with the capacity to out-drink a small Moscow suburb or a five foot nothing woman who can get pissed on a glass of wine, you’re drinking an amount which is officially unhealthy, and since a large glass of wine is three units on its own you certainly don’t have to get sloshed to get there. Small wonder that some healthist think tank can found that 8 million people – about a fifth of the workforce overall and so a good chunk of the number of white collar jobs I suspect they mean by “professionals” –  are drinking too much. Christ, even if you just get tipsy once a week and that’s not the only time you drank then you almost certainly had more than 21 units, although the current article implies that they’ve been raised slightly at some point.

Government advice states men should drink no more than four units a day and women no more than three.

Which despite being more over the course of a week is actually a subtle move towards further puritanism – it’s still no more than a large glass of wine or a pint of medium beer per day for the ladies and a pint and a half of the same beer or maybe two pints of coloured water variety beer for the fellas. Even your openly teetotal and increasingly lightweight Exile could probably still drink two pints of piss-strength without being what anyone would really call drunk, and if I was going to make them last all day I seriously doubt I’d even feel it. That the goalposts have quietly been made so wide seems a little suspicious, and so I had a little Google and almost immediately I found a BBC article from August 09 that mentions the reason for the low daily limit rather than an even lower weekly one.

The 1987 sensible drinking limits, which set the bar at 21 units per week for men and 14 units per week for women, remained in place until 1995.
It was then that the government decided to switch the limits from weekly to daily in a bid to curb binge drinking and emphasise the harms of saving up a week’s limit to blow in one or two sessions at the weekend – a decision it stands by today.

Which should be surprising only in that it was the previous Tory nannies rather than the Labour nannies or the current Cobbleition nannies who were behind the move. It certainly shouldn’t be any surprise that after three different governments under four different PMs British drinkers are still being told to restrict themselves to the equivalent of two pints of fizzy piss a day in case they choose – and how dare, how very bloody dare they even think of choosing for themselves – to lay off the sauce during the week so they can make merry, or at least a little less miserable, at the weekend. Oh, except for British drinkers with breasts, who are to have no more than a pint and a half of fizzy piss, probably not even that if they’ve got children. Jesus, these days you could probably heave a brick at an Alcohol Concern meeting and hit half a dozen people who’d tell you it should be less even if someone hasn’t got children but was in a slightly wistful and broody mood for half an hour or so around mid-afternoon. Yes, of course I’m being sarcastic but I’m afraid to Google again in case I also turn out to be right.

As an aside before returning to the current nannying there’s one other thing in that 09 BBC article I’d like to draw attention to, which is that it was basically about neo-puritans getting their cocks in a knot because – you’ll never guess, oh, fuck me sideways with a beer barrel, you just did already – the guidelines aren’t tough enough and are fooling everyone into drinking too much.

Daily limits on alcohol consumption are meaningless and potentially harmful, experts have warned.
The government says men should drink no more than three to four units per day and women no more than two to three.
Liver specialist Dr Nick Sheron, of the Alcohol Health Alliance UK, says these limits were devised by civil servants with “no good evidence” for doing so.

Why should there be? There was no good evidence for the previous suggestions either, remember?

He says the advice runs the risk of people taking it to mean that it is safe to drink alcohol every day.

And the older advice risked people not drinking daily and having what the puritans doubtless regard as a skinful and what everyone else would think of as a few drinks at the weekend. Heads the nannies win, tails the drinkers lose.

Dr Sheron’s comments follow a report by MPs on the Public Accounts Committee which suggested public confusion about safe drinking levels was fuelling problem drinking.

Of course it is. On Planet Righteous where the public naturally deals with any confusion by getting throughly shitfaced nearly anything can fuel problem drinking. Certainly anything that doesn’t make it absolutely crystal clear that no level of alcohol… come on, everyone, you all know the words by now.

Dr Sheron says we should go back to using the old weekly limits, which are based on sound research.

Sound research? Do us a fucking favour, they were based on two fifths of fuck all. Calling it sound research is either ignorant of the Times article less than two years before in which someone who was actually there admits that they were made up, or is simply bullshit.

And from misleading, ah, sorry, confusing the public with arbitrary limits based on nothing much and other policy based evidence it’s now suggested that GPs have yet another set of boxes to tick, along with a financial incentive to tick ’em, in the form of interrogating patients about their alcohol consumption and having a regular schedule of opportunities to do so. All backed up by a report with some numbers to make it sound justified, natch. And don’t go thinking this is lefty do-gooders at work here (my bold).

The report, by 2020 Health, a centre-right think tank, says many middle class drinkers are not aware of the risks of their evening tipple…

See? This is nudge stuff. That (mostly) unspoken assumption that you don’t know what’s best for you, are incapable of finding out for yourself and understanding, and therefore can’t be trusted make your own decisions on the matter. It’s old style rightist paternalism of the kind the alleged Tory PM, David Cameramong, is absolutely in fucking love with, the supercilious prick. In the minds of these people failing to comply with recommendations cannot possibly mean that an individual has simply weighed and accepted the risks – it can only mean that they didn’t understand, that they’re in a state of confusion and must be helped and guided and steered, and if need be cajoled and bullied and forced.

It’s denormalisation, folks. Come now, you didn’t think that was just something to be used on smokers, did you? The “normal” amount of alcohol consumption has been determined to be as near to nothing as makes no odds, and you will be questioned to see if you comply and nagged if you don’t. And in case you’re wondering who did the determining, here’s a familiar name.

The Royal College of Physicians said the current guidance was ‘extremely dangerous’ because it implied that drinking every day was safe.

This is presumably the very same Royal College of Physicians that not so very long ago more or less sat around a table making up some very similar sounding guidance. There isn’t an actual question in there, not as such, but all the same the answer to that is also “Fuck off.”

Out on the street, Grandad, you don’t need this place anymore – UPDATED

In case you haven’t heard about this… well, they call themselves a charity but since what they’re suggesting doesn’t seem too charitable I’ll just call them this bloody Intergenerational Foundation mob, and their idea of ‘encouraging’ old folks to sell up and move to smaller houses I’ll direct you to the Snowolf, Longrider and Bucko the Moose, who all cover everything I could possibly say about it and much more besides. All I’ll add is that if the name ‘Intergen Foundation’ came up in a movie you’d probably assume it was an evil sci-fi corporation. How close that is to reality is probably down to how you see retired homeowners.

UPDATE – despite the strong waft of fake charity emanating from this bunch I see that they’re a new charity (like the world was fucking short of ’em) and so there are no accounts to look at yet. But it’ll be very interesting to see what proportion of their income comes from the public sector when they do produce accounts, very interesting indeed.

Cobbleition out-Labouring Labour yet again

Click for linky

Oh, here we fucking go again. Another fucking government, another fucking initiative involving another fucking database. I’m getting so fucking dog sick and fucking tired of repeating this, but it really is like Labour never went away, isn’t it?

The Police National Database, which will be launched by ministers next week, will hold the records up to six million apparently innocent people, including every victim of sexual assault and domestic violence.
According to official figures a total of 9.2 million people in the UK have criminal records, which means the new database will hold information about up to six million people who have not committed an offence.

Up to six million innocents? Orly? Because as bad as that sounds, and I think it sounds pretty fucking awful, I suspect it’s actually much worse. Because we’re told that the majority of crime – sometimes 80 or 90 percent – is committed by a hard core of persistent offenders numbering somewhere in the region of 100,000 or so. With me so far? Good.

Now count the fucking zeros.

No, I haven’t missed one, that is one hundred thousand. And 100,000 subtracted from 15 million leaves rather more than six million innocent people on the database. The only way to pad out 100,000 career criminals to 9.2 million plus six million innocents is to add more than 9 million other people who are technically not quite pure as the driven slush. You just know who’s going on there, don’t you. I’ll take a punt on everyone who’s ever been given a police caution for absolutely fucking anything from a pub brawl a dozen years ago to allowing smoking in a pub last week, everyone who’s done a week or two inside for protesting about council tax or TV licensing by refusing to pay up, everyone who’s been convicted of any victimless crime or a purely technical offence and especially everyone who’s ever fallen foul of any of the three thousand plus laws the Cobbelition’s predecessors and partners in weapons grade cunticity, New Labia, brought in during its thirteen years of savagely fucking the country into a ditch.

Advocates of the database claim that it is the nature of police intelligence that the records of people without convictions would be held.

Why? Give me one good fucking reason why. Oh, I can think of convincing reasons – too much effort to remove the non-crims plus the assumption that lying with dogs gets people fleas so there’s the prospect of a few easy collars in the future – but they’re not what I’d call a good reason.

More than 12,000 approved police officers and staff will be able to access the database when it is launched next week.

And with the track record of epic cuntishness and bastardry in modern governments we can expect that to be 24,000 a year from now, not all of whom will be police. In five years I bet there will be more cops and various level state drones able to access the database than there will be career criminals on the fucking thing.

Let me take you back to early last year. Let’s have a little reminder of things some of the key players said in the run up to the election (my bold).

If you care about our liberties, if you want people to be free from the clutches of an overbearing state, and if you want a government with liberal values, vote Conservative.”

Said the dishonourable member for Beaconsfield and Attorney General for England and Wales, Dominic Grieve.

”Whether you’ve been a Lib Dem voter or a Labour voter or a Green voter – if you care about the environment, if you want action to improve your quality of life, if you care about civil liberties, if you care about people power, if you want a clean break from the past – vote Conservative.
“If you have a view that we need to do more on our environment, more on civil liberties, more on quality of life there is now a modern Conservative Party that can get things done.”

And that would be the dishonourable and discharging member for Witney, the Right Wanker David Wliiam Donald Cameron.


Well, you’ve really fucking delivered, haven’t you, you disgraceful pair of hypocritical, deceitful, authoritarian suppurating cunts. Fuck your Cobbleition, fuck its twisted ideas of liberty, and fuck you all. Fuck you deep and hard and right in the lungs.

A personal message to AFL tipping

In the time I’ve lived in Oz I’ve grown to quite like Aussie Rules football, even if after a few years’ watching – and to my in-laws’ annoyance – I’ve still not nailed my colours to any particular club’s mast and really watch mainly in the hope of seeing a good game rather than this team beating that team. One part of the game that I’ve got into is weekly tipping, which at its simplest is no more than predicting which games will result in a win for which teams. There are more complex variations on this theme and obviously it can involve betting on your predictions, but many tipping competitions run by newspapers etc. are completely free to enter and any prizes are put up by sponsors. Not being a betting man by nature and also being a total footy virgin when I arrived in Oz I’m only in a friendly tipping tournament where it’s just a bit of fun and the AFL’s own tipping competition in the vague hope of becoming good enough or more likely lucky enough to win a few bob.

And now I’m going to stop. Not the fun, friendly weekly tipping where the only prize is bragging rights, but the official AFL tipping competition for sending me this via email:

Click for embiggerfication and nannying brain damage

And as a non-smoker here is my reply:

Fuck off and fuck you, and especially to Quitline, fuck you right in the lungs. Do you really have to inject this killjoy fanaticism into fucking everything? Does the AFL really need to get into bed with these Strength Through Joy wowsers who feed off of people’s backs in the same fucking way they accuse the fucking tobacco industry of doing, except by being tax funded they do it to everyone, smoker and non-smoker alike? Well, that’s up to you but don’t expect me to join in. I’m all for the grounds banning smoking if that’s what they wish since it’s their property and they’d have to sweep up afterwards, though after a game I’ve never seen either the MCG or Docklands stadium looking like anything other than an explosion in a fast food factory that someone has attempted to extinguish with a million plastic glasses of beer. Still, their property, their rules, and the hordes of smokers who rush to the exits at the end of each quarter for a quick smoke in the free zone beyond the doors must accept it. Or spend their money on a Foxtel subscription so they can smoke in front of their own TV instead. And I’m all for the AFL to accept whoever it likes as sponsors for its competitions, but just as we don’t have to watch the games in the grounds we don’t have to play a competition sponsored by the worst kind of paternalist, nanny-state arseholes. I’ll be tipping locally only or in one of the other big competitions from next week on.

My unkindest disregards to your buddies, the health fascists,