Exercising Silly Ideas

Midway through reading an article on the BBC news website this afternoon, I have to admit, I laughed so hard that I snorted. It was the article about obese people who refuse to exercise having to face the possibility of a cut in their benefits. This proposal bought to you byWestminster Council means that overweight or unhealthy people who refuse to attend exercise sessions could have their benefits slashed. The aim of this proposal is apparently to save £5 billion from the NHS budget when the local authority takes over the public health provision this coming April.

Westminster Council plan to introduce smart cards (like the TfL Oyster Card), to monitor the use of their leisure centres (presumably only the council run leisure centres in the borough ofWestminster). The plan is to allow GPs to prescribe an exercise regime to a patient who is overweight and/or unhealthy in their lifestyle choices and then the patient will use the smart card to access the gym.

Firstly, good one Westminster Council, good one. It is so clearly an idea that hasn’t been thoroughly thought out at all, therefore it will never work when you try to implement it.

Yes you can introduce a smart card, and ask GPs to prescribe an exercise regime, but how exactly is it going to work AND save that £5billion?

Also, who’s going to pay for the initial outlay cost to implement this (frankly stupid) plan?

So you create a card (for each person in each household that is on benefits). I assume that this proposal also includes children who are obese, and if said child does not comply then parents will have their child benefit slashed also? This card will need to have the person’s photo on it (to prevent fraud of course). Not only does the card have to be electronic, it also has to be durable and water proof (gyms are sweaty places, not to mention how wet it gets in the swimming pool!) Then you have to write a covering letter, give a “how to use” leaflet, put it in an envelope and post it out.  What happens if you lose your card, or your handbag is stolen?

How will it work at the leisure centre? How will you be able to prove that the person actually exercised? Will they simply swipe in when they get there, or will they have to swipe in and out on each machine they use?  Surely it’ll be the latter, as you’ll want proof that said person actually did follow his or her prescription!  So then you’ll need to fit every single piece of equipment in the gym with a smart card reader.  Also? What about swimming? At the end of each length will people need to swipe their smart card on the side of the pool?  How on earth can you be sure that this scheme is going to work? Have you actually thought about any of this?

Then you have to consider, who’s going to pay for the gym?  Have you seen the gym prices?  Heck, my gym charges £50 a month for a membership, I work full time and I still can’t afford that.  How is someone on benefits going to afford these prices (even concession costs) especially if you then cut their benefits.

So there’s a lot more cost involved here. Putting a swipe card system on each machine and then possibly paying for people to go to the gym, not to mention the cost of making the cards, sending them out, sorting replacements, hiring people to manage that new council department.

However this is a NHS prescription, so does it mean that each exercise regime will only cost approximately £8 for a gym membership?  If so, will this apply to obese/unhealthy people who are not claiming benefits? Otherwise, it’s really not fair, is it?

How will it work with people who have mobility issues or those who have disabilities?

What happens if someone is in hospital for 2 weeks, will they be penalised for not meeting their regime prescribed?

What about smokers, or alcoholics, or drug users?

Basically Westminster Council, what you’re saying is, as long as people take their GPs advice and exercise then they can keep their benefits. It’s probably a good thing gyms have a policy of “no eating” whilst on the exercise machines; otherwise you could end up with people walking on a treadmill whilst eating a double cheeseburger from McDonalds. Careful you don’t slip on that gherkin now!

Whilst I applaud Westminster Council for looking at ways to reduce obesity and promote a healthy lifestyle, this isn’t the way to do it. Start tackling fast-food restaurants, encourage people to eat healthier food. Reduce the cost of gym memberships. Increase the cost of fast-food. At the end of the day, people need to want to lose weight; they need to want to be healthier. This plan I suspect is either going to fall flat once it hits the starting post or it will be scrapped (thus wasting the money spent coming up with it).

Either way, I don’t see how any money is going to be saved here. It’s just taking money from one pot and putting it into another.



mrs flams on politics

As a general rule, I don’t get too involved in politics, I look at party politics, make myself aware and then choose who I’m going to vote for.  Unfortunately most (if not all) politicians are lying sacks of flaming poo and can’t be trusted to carry out their party promises for one reason or another.  After all, I voted for Mr Clegg in the last election and he screwed over his voting constituents. I’m pretty sure that David Cameron has his hand wiggling up Mr Cleggs backside and is using him as a puppet. Maybe one day Mr Clegg will become a “real boy”.










American politics is a whole other ball game; it’s much more interesting than British politics. In the last UK general election we (the UK) had televised political debates and the most interesting part was Gordon Browns mouth breathing, it was however also disgusting, but something that you just could not stop watching. In the US, politics are dynamic and exciting and everybody gets riled up, not just in the US of A, but in other countries across the globe. It also brings out the bigots, the hypocrites, the radicals, the fundamentalists, and it gets pretty dirty. So dirty and underhand on occasion, that it’d probably be a real money spinner to have each presidential candidate mud wrestling whilst wearing teeny tiny mankinis. I bet that would bring in the party donations.







There has been a lot of talk about the Republican and Democratic Party policy. I’ve looked at each and I’ve read each parties manifesto (which can be found online) and I find myself firmly rooting for Obama.  I’m not an American, and I can’t vote, but I can still express my opinion.  I can’t support a party that wants to send women’s rights back to the 1950’s. I can’t support a party where men and women can’t have equal rights when it comes to marriage. I can’t support a party who will make sick and vulnerable people bankrupt and destitute because they’re struggling to pay for treatment.

Recently I made a comment on a family member’s Facebook status. The basic gist of the Facebook status was that if Americans didn’t vote for Romney and his Republican party then the rest of the world will continue to be in recession for another 4 years.

I commend both parties for looking at the economy and trying to save money to bring America out of the recession, but I hardly doubt that it will be done in 4 years, and I don’t think it will make a huge impact on the rest of the world. It is unlikely that America will solve its deficit in the next 4 years and improve the world’s economy, not when countries like Greece, Ireland and Spain are practically bankrupt.  After all, it’s not like America will suddenly be miles in the black (financially) and will be sending out cheques to other countries.  Fixing the debt problem will take a lot longer than 4 years. I’m not an economist or a politician, but I’m not stupid either.

I made my points clear about what part of the policies I couldn’t support, and was met by Republican friends of my family member stating they were “glad I was not an American” and “glad I cannot vote” and basically being very “un-Christian” for supposedly Christian people. Yes, I get it; you don’t like Obama or his policies, but calling him derogatory names? That’s such a great Christian trait you have going there. Don’t forget to ask God for forgiveness though, otherwise he won’t let you into Heaven, and I’m pretty sure that some of the stuff you’ve come out with can be classed as a sin; after all, there are almost 700 of them.







Before you read on any further, Yes, I am about to go “there”.

Again, I’m entitled to my opinion, and this is my blog and if you don’t like it, then it’s just tough.

Based on some of the comments directed at me, it seems that quite a lot of people care more about Mitt Romney being the next POTUS because he is a Mormon, funnily enough, that’s because all the people have made these comments are all Mormons.  So far I have seen no one make a comment about the policies I raised concerns about (except the gay marriage one). Whilst I have no qualms with any persons choice of religion or faith, I really feel that politics and religion should not mix. America is a country with approximately 314 million inhabitants. America does not have 314 million Christians. Pushing government policy based on your religious beliefs is not fair to the entire population, and in many of the Republican policies, that it exactly what is happening.

Government policies affect every single citizen and therefore should be made with the very best interests, in mind of the people you plan to subject those policies on. They should not be made to satisfy your own opinion that everyone is doing what YOU as an INDIVIDUAL think is right.