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back to article Prof says fatties a bigger menace than bin Laden

Government health adviser Professor David Hunter believes obesity in the UK is now a greater threat than terrorism. The Durham University prof reckons the NHS needs to stop focusing exclusively on treatment of ill health and do more to promote good health. Hunter said: "The government was quick to move for things like ID cards …

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JUST?

If it is only _just_ as significant as the current terror threat, it's not worth bothering about. I thought most health professionals thought it was more serious than this. It is certainly not as serious as the demographic timebomb, however, the best hope of dealing with which is to let people die earlier from their unhealthy lifestyles.

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Black Helicopters

So if the terrorists are fat....

...then we're *really* screwed. :-o

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Bin Liners?

I'm not scared of fatties, I can run a heck of a lot faster than your average fat git.

Bin Liner on the other hand, man, he scares the living be-jebus outta me!

He could be hiding anywhere in London with that big long beard of his, incognito, ready to strike at any moment!

A fatty you can spot from a mile away, throw a few choice taunts and still out manoeuvre the podgy big pie eaters.

That Prof is talking cobblers, Bin Liner is a real and present danger and citizens should be vigilant - and eat less pie.

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Stop

Chalk and Cheese

"obesity in the UK is now a greater threat than terrorism"

That's the sort of interesting comparison we get from government advisors - especially when they have an axe to grind.

On that basis crossing the road is a greater threat than terrorism.

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Joke

Just plain wrong

I wish people would stop coming out with this rubbish about how fatties/smokers/drinkers etc are going to kill the NHS and drive the country bankrupt. It's just complete nonsense.

They are contributing huge amounts of dosh to the public coffers by paying for their disgusting habits. They are then contributing all over again by paying for fad diets, nicotine patches, gymn memberships etc. etc. THEN they are doing us another huge favour by keeling over with a heart attack at the age of 45, removing themselves from the pension pay-roll and massively reducing the amount the NHS has to spend on looking after them in their dotage.

The people who are costing us a fortune are the namby pamby bastards who insist we should treat them and keep the nasty fuckers alive!

Save oil. Burn a fat-bloke!

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Anonymous Coward

not shocked

Not shocked at all, terrorism is a crock of shit where as people are dying all the time of preventable mundane stuff. Being fat. Driving like a retard. Not having the correct home care.

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Begging for failure?

It's curious that the Prof picks ID cards and 42-day detention without trial - two highly unpopular strategies, which will probably be repealed when the Tories get in at the next election - as examples.

Surely getting the NHS to do more disease prevention would be a popular strategy. The anti-smoking stuff hasn't been popular, but people do understand it. I'd think a well-considered attitude to fatties would be taken the same way.

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False economics

The second most annoying thing about this sort of interference (the most being the patronising attitude of individuals going far beyond their brief on advising into interference) is the misleading claims about the extra costs of obesity, smoking, or whatever..

The fact is that everybody is going to die of something - yes, you might postpone it, but as the government is finding out, extending lifespans introduces costs of its own. Quite apart from the known fact that health care for the elderly increases with age (controlling all those chronic conditions, nursing and so on), the social costs of caring increase too. If we could arrange a health care system where people lived healthier lives then suddenly dropped dead with minimal costs to the health care services, then there would be some validity in the argument that obesity, smoking, or whatever costs the NHS money. As it happens, all that is likely to result is that the onset of chronic conditions will be delayed a few years into the end of a longer life where, if anything, the welfare and health costs will be higher.

By all means this guy can make a case that improving health and lifespan is a valuable thing in its own right, but what it will not do is save the taxpayer money and to claim so is downright fraudulent. From a purely economic viewpoint encouraging people to smoke would make more sense - lung cancer tends to kill quickly without extended periods of chronic diseases to treat for year after year, you can tax the addicts who are too stupid to break the habit and in many cases they will drop dead before they get to be a huge burden on the welfare state and after they've made most of their economic contributions.

So by all means promote better health and related longer lives, but please don't pretend it saves the state money. (I recall a Yes Prime Minister episode expounding this very point about tobacco tax revenues).

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Coat

WMDs?

My imagination wanders onto a special-forces team surrounding the lard section in my local Tescburys...

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Alien

Fear peddlers bigger menace

The damage to civil liberties and useless airport / border security measures pretty much are a greater menace to average joe than bin laden, the alienation of whole populations with stupid laws, increasing the threat.

The cure worse than the disease.

I can see now a greater menace of BMA health nuts being a greater menace. Taxes on non healthy foods, national insurance hikes if you skip the gym.

The cure worse than the disease.

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Who are you calling fat, four eyes?

Pretty much everything is a greater threat in the UK than terrorism - lawnmowers, decorating, onions, contact lenses, rain, fish bones - the list is endless. Of course, we might well ask "threat to what, exactly?" Public health is NOT the practice of preventing people from dying. We all do it, and we need a wide variety of interesting ways to die to keep conversations at funerals interesting "oh, so he died of septicemia after sticking a garden fork through his foot? How sad...".

Face it, that book is pulp before it even hits the shelves.

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Black Helicopters

Unfortunate choice of words

Hmm, I don't think he'll win many friends by connecting the government's "leadership" in state repression with his own anti-chubby agenda. What next, dawn raids to confiscate your pork scratching stash?

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Anonymous Coward

quite right

I agree, even tho I may be slightly more rotund than the optimum.

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Ru
Pirate

"obesity in the UK is now a greater threat than terrorism"

So until recently this was not the case?

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Sensationalist comments and

a book to punt, who'd of thought it.

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Alert

What a twat

Title says it all.

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Flavour of the Week

Isn't it time to find something else to pick on? This obesity kick has been going on for a couple of years now. Surely these sensation mongers can find some other subject to extract research funds for.

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Heart

Die for your country, fatty!

People who die early are a net saving for the NHS. None of that expensive long term end of life care has to be provided which is way more expensive than the average heart attack.

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Something smells .....

..... and it's not cooking!

Hands up anyone who honestly doesn't believe the Government is angling to impose some sort of tax on "unhealthy" foods, and using obesity scare stories to groom us into accepting it?

Since the opening-up of the European market, the government have not been making nearly so much in fag tax as they used to (when was the last time you saw a packet of cigarettes or tobacco with English writing on it?) and so have decided almost, but not quite, to ban smoking altogether. (Another effect of this move was that smugglers stopped importing Moroccan solid, which was heavy and had limited appeal, and switched instead to importing cigarettes which weighed considerably less and had much wider appeal; thus prompting a short-term upsurge in consumption of harder drugs until people started growing dope at home.)

Meaning that, in order to fund more pay rises for MPs and tax cuts for the obscenely rich, another source of revenue is required. They tried taxing fuel, but people beat that by walking. But people can't not eat! A tax on food would be the Holy Grail -- if, and only if, it could be made to fly. Hence the constant bombardment with stories about obesity. Even better are stories about **childhood** obesity; because that gives them an excuse to get kids thoroughly used to the idea of being weighed, measured and having their lunchbox contents inspected like good little citizens.

Don't fall for it, people! Tomorrow it will be taxes on chips and chocolate. Two budgets down the line, you won't be able to buy a small organic rocket salad with fat-free, salt-free, vinegar-free, oil-free, taste-free dressing without paying tax on it.

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Tim
Alert

Looks like I'll have to change my daily IT prognosis...

No longer is it terrorism that made the computers crash, its the obesity of the nation. I was getting sick of that old chestnut anyway.

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Dead Vulture

Fatties are an eyesore and should be treated like graffitti

I agree with him. Not only are fatties a health issue (Fancy one tripping over and landing on you?), they also not appealling to the eye. I say that anyone not within a defined weight/height graph definition of normal should be sent to fat camp to slim down.

And that ugly women should be banned from leaving the house.

And that all attractive women should wear really skimpy clothes.

A few other things I think should be made law, but I'm already at risk of being shot for the above comments anyway.......

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Stop

So,

Detain overweight tourists for 42 days without food? Introduce body mass measurement at airports rather than getting people to take their shoes off? Refuse to allow airline passengers to fly if their trousers won't stay up without a belt? Make carrying food onto an airplane illegal? Reduce the width of airplane seats?

Oh, wait, fat is killing people. I thought you said fatties were killing people.

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Paris Hilton

Should shut his cake hole

Right, so porking out is a bigger threat than terrorism?

I can only think of one possible way this could even remotely be true - this would involve a "Mr Creosote with a wafer thin mint"-esque scenario, with said chubber exploding over those nearby.

Other than that how do we (acknowledging I'm not in the waif brigade) pose as big a threat as some disgruntled Allah-lover crying "Jihad" and detonating his Semtex waistcoat?

This sounds like another story of some Fu©ktard professor who's not stepped outside the loving hug of his campus since 1978 trying to commentate on real life.

Oh, and sell a book on it as well. There goes any shred of credibility that may have remained.

Paris, cos she's skinny and has the intellect of a Durham Professor.

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AC
Flame

they can all fuck off

if someone wants to be or just is a fat bastard thats their shout and their life.

the government needs to learn to stay the fuck away from my private and personal life.

before i find some outraged fatty to blow them up.

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Unfortunate choice of words

To right, claiming obesity is equal to the current security issues is pure bollocks, obesity is a serious threat that will cost billions in health care. And security? blah....conspiracy theories....blah...all out to get you....blah...etc...etc, I'm not even going to bother except for this. We are under this huge threat that could bring the nation to its knees, right? So how come all the power lines and sub-stations aren't surrounded by security?

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IT Angle

fat cats

Why would the government 'fat cats' care?

What has this got to do with IT though Daily Reg?

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Anonymous Coward

to quote a familiar source

If sack and sugar be a fault, God help the wicked! if to be old and merry be a sin, then many an old host that I know is damned: if to be fat be to be hated, then Pharaoh's lean kine are to be loved.

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Happy

Solution to the fuel crisis?

Offer liposuction on the NHS....

1) People get thinner/healthier without having to lay off the lard.

2) Industry gets a high quality natural oil to play with.

3) Farmers can stop growing bio-fuels, and grow food again.

4) It might even save the whale.

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Bring Back Not the Nine O'Clock News

The "Stout Life" sketch. Fucking hilarious.

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Trrsm

Is a war waged against you, and not by terrorists either.

Also, fat people are heroes. Think of the added value and jobs provided by industries servicing piles of lard, on top of said piles' already awesome consumption.

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Flame

You are NEXT!

First it was smokers, then drinkers, now fatties (I'm 24Stone, a smoker AND a moderate drinker) but soon it will be you.

Yes, once they have banned everything else that can kill you they will ban motorcycles/bicycles/skateboards/all adventure sports/excessive workouts/dieting/not dieting/etc.

You will be destined to live forever in TOTAL BOREDOM with everything decided for you. You will get your days calculated rations from a government controlled system and if you don't do your days prescribed workout you will get less food tomorrow.

If I die of a heart attack tomorrow at least I had fun on the way.

If I live to 90 I'll have had twice as much fun. :-)

The Nanny's can all go f*** themselves.

If I wanted to live forever I might give a s*** but I don't so they can all go hump a tree.

They can have my fags/food/drink/motorcycles when they pry them from my cold dead hands.

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Fatso Gluttos

I agree. Anyone who is obese should be prosecuted and sent to prison for three months to do yoga, eat a vegetarian diet and reflect upon the fact that they are stuffing their fat faces with food that kids who are dying of hunger could eat.

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Unhappy

Threat to who or what?

This fad to reduce salt in foods has caused me to have more cramps. Fortunately the summer is typical, or this would be worse. But I know what to do - more salt on my dinner. Unfortunately not everyone knows this connection - has Big Brother govrnmnt ever mentioned it? - so I can see GPs time being taken up by cramp-stricken "clients". And that assumes GPs spot the obvious connection and don't order expensive diagnostics or further referrals. I wonder if Prof has researched this hidden cost.

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Pirate

Professorial fatuousness a bigger menace than bin Laden

Government health adviser Professor David Hunter proves by example that fatuousness is now a greater threat than terrorism.

Hunter said: "The government was quick to move for things like ID cards or 42-day detention without trial - now it needs to show similar leadership in public health...The threat to our future health is just as significant as the current security threat," he said, according to the Beeb.

Hunter is clearly enamored of academia's obsession with public/private "partnerships" which thrust mindless wankers into the Beeb spotlight with weekly cries of some crisis or other demanding Better Leadership to make the Hard Decisions to Enhance Tax Revenues to Fund More Research. Oh, yes, and to buy and distribute copies of his new book in all schools, colleges, police stations, airports, and fast food restaurants.

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Coat

Entirely safe

Trying to become less of a menace to society (didn't get really really obese, just borderline- still not nice losing the ability to comfortably jog, though...)

Covered by private healthcare, loads of life insurance to make sure that my voluminous corpse can be laid to rest by the H&S mandated forklift without it burdening anyone else

So I'm entirely safe. Fuck. You. Professor.

It's the one with the burgers in the pockets.

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Bronze badge

Make footpaths wider.

Seriously, make footpaths wider and people will walk more. Make stairs in shopping centres more than an afterthought in the back corner and people will climb them. Taxing fatty food is all very well but no substitute for encouraging people to actually exercise.

Now excuse me, I'm off to walk to the supermarket at the top of the hill. It's my personal way of excusing the unhealthy food I'll buy from them. It works too, my bodyfat is falling in spite of pizza and cake.

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Joke

Come over here and say that.

You may be able to run but I will corner you and pop your neck like a chicken you skinny cocksmoker.

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Bronze badge

Oh yes, a prediction

The government will impose a tax on anyone over a certain approved weight for their height, irrespective of their actual bodyfat levels. Most of our olympic medallists will be fined for being obese.

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Alert

@Solution to the fuel crisis?

Think you got your list slightly wrong there...

>"Offer liposuction on the NHS....

>1) People get thinner/healthier without having to lay off the lard.

>2) Industry gets a high quality natural oil to play with."

3) Tyler Durden

4) ???

5) Prophet!

FTFY!

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Why Terrorism Is A Big Threat

If people might break a leg when they go skiing, at least they had the fun of fresh air and exercise, so the risk they endured was in return for a profit they experienced.

If people die of heart disease because they ate the foods they enjoyed, that too is a risk experienced for a benefit they had.

So both these things are really non-issues, except for keeping NHS costs down, and the proportion of young men fit to conscript for war up.

When a factory owner gets rich by belching smoke into the sky, and other people die of lung cancer because of it, that is an injustice, because a risk is imposed on other people for one person's profit.

Terrorism is also a risk inflicted on us for the terrorists' agenda, so it is a big issue in exactly the way that fat is not.

Except: some people are fat because they have to eat high-calorie snacks at jobs they take long bus rides to get to in order to keep alert for long days of work; so there are ways to work on the fat problem that involve regulating work hours, improving public transport, stimulating the economy - so that more people get a regular good night's sleep. So when fat is inflicted on people, work on that.

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Heart

Second hand eating?

Finally, after years of being victimised as a smoker (from a bunch of whiners that are chicken shit of cancer and heart disease) we have a new devil.

So I demand equal protection. If I can't kill people by smoking in their faces, I don't want to be the victim of passive eating.

You know how it is. You do the right thing, a bowl of bran cardboard mixed with white water some people call fat-free milk and when you get to work some bastard is eating a bacon butty. Before you know it you're on a full English breakfast with a side of lard cake and pint of warm grease to wash it down.

So huzzah for the evil fat people, that will wear out our pavements and roads, take up 1 1/2 seats in an airplane and fill up all the hospital beds needed for kids with botulism or whatever it is they catch these days.

I can once again have a fag in the office and no one will care, because they'll be too busy poking the fat guy with pointed sticks. Hah, they might even blame the cancer and heart disease I give them on the fat bastard too.

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Bronze badge

Being an old bugger

I have been flying (and expanding my carbon footprint) since the sixties, and in all of that time have never been hijacked by a terrorist or even mildly irritated by one. I have, however, been lucky? enough to have sat next to a number of lardy arsed passengers, who lately are more often than not British. They have contributed far more toward my UNwellbeing than terrorists have so far, a terrorist has never sat next to me on a long haul flight to San Francisco for 14 hours and farted in my general direction whilst sweating on me and threatening to overwhelm the fundamental structure of both his seat and mine, but a lardy arsed Brit has.

Detain them for 42 days on a minimal diet of bread and water.

Did I tell you by the way, about the restaurant around the corner ? 6€ for a big, fresh ground beef burger with bacon and cheese and a fried egg, MMMMMM dinner!

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A
Stop

Oh great

My question is, how do you define unhealthy? What food stuffs are currently deemed "safe" by the nutritionists?

You could say that Diet Cola is safer than Cola, as there's none of that nasty fattening sugar in it. However, you in Diet Cola instead of sugar you get those wonderful preservatives (which I'm sensitive to), and a truckload of artificial sweeteners, many of which seem to be of debateable safety.

Personally I'd rather risk a slight increase in tooth decay and weight, both of which are easy and cheap to solve; rather than say brain or stomach cancers, which are far harder to diagnose and both unpleasant and expensive to treat.

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Pirate

Funny

Funny, children are going to be so fat they will all die before their parents, next minute size zero models are criticised for setting a bad example. A minute later there is an impending world food shortage and we are all going to starve, and now we are back to dying from being fat again.

The real danger is death by prolonged immersion in bullshit.....

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Coat

But of course

Since anyone's risk of dying at the hands of "The Terrorists" is infinitesimal compared to an everyday hazard like , for instance, choking to death while drinking a beverage, of course <put latest scare here)> is always more dangerous than terrorists, sheesh!

That's the government checking my pockets for terrorists over there.

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@ Peter Fairbrother

"ID cards and 42-day detention without trial - two highly unpopular strategies, which will probably be repealed when the Tories get in at the next election"

AAAAAAAAAHHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAHA

HAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHA

HAHAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHA etc etc.

Are you for real? If Maggie had thought for one secont she could have gotten away with doing that to union members & Irishmen back in the day, she'd have been all over it. You *really* think that the Tories won't just let these lunatics do all this nasty stuff for them so they don't have to bother, and then waltz in for their turn shafting you, me and everyone else? Cameron and his nasty, venal public schoolboy chums won't make it better you know. That's not what they got into politics *for*...

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@ Gilbert Wham

Absotively correct

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@James bassett

"Save oil; burn a fatty" I think that will be my new motto (sorry I modified it to be non-gender specific = wouldn't want to be un-pc now, would we?)

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@Gilbert Wham

Gilbert you beat me to it - Almost exactly the post I was going to make (admittedly with a bit less gloating).

ID Cards and 42 days without trial are very much Tory-style policies. They only oppose them because they are in opposition, so what else are they going to do? Obviously when they come to power they will find reasons they cannot undo them and blame it all on the previous government.

I'm really depressed by people that think everything will change if the Conservatives come to power. I can only assume that these people are either too young or too senile to remember what a conservative government is really like. Let me spell it out for you - exactly the same as the one we have now. New labour beat the tories by becoming the tories. In doing so they have destroyed the balance in British politics.

I am not a socialist, or for that matter a conservative or a liberal - I believe that party politics is at best a flawed but workable system. However it only really works if you have balance. You need a left wing party that gets a decent share of the vote to balance out the right and vice-versa. As long as there is political balance of this type and no one party has an overwhelming majority in the house, the system works.

However New Labour screwed it all up by switching sides.

We now have two right wing parties and nothing on the left to balance them out (as frankly you can't count the lib dems as any kind of serious counterweight).

They have stuck us in exactly the same situation as the US where voters only have two right wing parties to choose from - Oh the republicans portray the democrats as hippy lefties or liberals, but they are very nearly as right wing as our conservative party - It's just that the republicans are much more right wing than that!

So basically we are in a similar situation to the US and new labour and the conservatives will just switch around every so often - Each side will stay in power until they make a complete balls of it, then will get voted out, the others will come in, do all the same stuff until the next huge cock-up then it's time to switch again and so on. It's all so bloody depressing.

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hrm

Fatties, no, they're only a danger to themselves. The real problem is the complete lack of disrespect and plummeting social standards. Bring back the birch! In fact, let the fatties birch them!

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