Andy McSmith's Diary: If the poor like being fat, do the rich like talking drivel?

 

The reason poor, badly educated people are fat is because they like being fat, according to the latest declaration of prejudice to plop from the brain of Gordon Gillick, the Ukip member of Cambridgeshire County Council.

He contributed his thoughts on the undeserving poor during a debate on whether the council should focus its reduced resources on the most socially deprived parts of the county. “The people we describe as obese, thick, badly educated, whichever way you like to phrase it... they enjoy being 25 stone, they’re not discontent, they’re just a burden on the state,” the Cambridge News reports him saying.

He then appeared to contradict himself by blaming unemployment on competition from East European migrants living in their cars or “14 to a house”.

Last November, the elderly councillor provoked a flood of complaints after he asked three children from foster homes what it felt like to be “takers”. His wife, Victoria, was briefly famous in the 1980s for her campaign to prevent doctors prescribing contraceptives to under-16s without parental consent.

Meet Mystic Tred

How distressing to learn that people have been saying that the Tory MP David Tredinnick is mad, though I suppose it was some comfort to him that – as he pointed out to MPs just before the Commons broke up for the summer – people used to say the same of the late Tony Benn.

Benn believed in socialism. Tredinnick believes in astrology. He told the Commons: “Those who look at the map of the sky for the day that they were born and receive some guidance will find out a lot about themselves, and it will make their life easier.”

Peerless indolence

A written question from Lord Ashcroft has elicited the information that 54 peers who were members of the House of Lords in May 2010 have not been seen in the building since, 34 of whom are still alive. Some are very old, some – such as the EU High Representative Cathy Ashton – have jobs which have kept them away.

The absence of Lord Black of Crossharbour until May 2012 was unavoidable, on account of his being banged up, though there has been nothing to stop him resuming his seat since.

Some just do not seem to be interested, such the Earl of Snowdon, who owes his place in the Lords to the fact that for a time he was married to the Queen’s sister, Margaret. The last time he contributed to a debate was in April 2000.

Renationalise Sodor rail!

A mother, writing on the Guardian website, has stirred up some controversy by suggesting that for various political reasons Thomas the Tank Engine is unsuitable viewing for children. Oddly, she missed the obvious socialist message underlying the series. The privately-owned railway on the Isle of Sodor is owned by Sir Topham Hatt. Its safety record is abominable: barely an episode does by without some life-endangering accident. Need I spell out the obvious conclusion?

Jeger bombed out

Frank Dobson told an instructive story as he announced his intention to retire after 35 years as a London Labour MP.

His predecessor, Lena Jeger, was out canvassing in the 1950s. High up in a tower block, she delivered the standard left-wing line on German rearmament. The woman to whom this was addressed asked: “Did you come up in the lift? Stinks of piss don’t it?” Ms Jeger agreed that it did, and had to admit that she could not stop people urinating in the lift. “Well”, said the voter “if you can’t stop them pissing in our lift, how can you expect me to believe you can stop the German’s rearming?”

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Sport
football This was Kane’s night, even if he played just a small part of it
Travel
travel Dreamland Margate, Britain’s oldest amusement park, is set to reopen
News
news
News
Founders James Brown and Tim Southwell with a mock-up of the first ever ‘Loaded’ magazine in 1994
media
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
News
Threlfall says: 'I am a guardian of the reality keys. I think I drive directors nuts'
people
Voices
voices The group has just unveiled a billion dollar plan to help nurse the British countryside back to health
News
The Westgate, a gay pub in the centre of Gloucester which played host to drag queens, has closed
news
  • Get to the point
2015 General Election
May2015

Poll of Polls

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Practice Accountant - Bournemouth - £38,000

£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped commission: SThree: Does earning a 6 figu...

Recruitment Genius: SEO Executive

£18000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: New Lift Sales Executive - Lift and Elevators

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A challenging opportunity for a...

Day In a Page

The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss