Musings From The Padded Cell

On Saturday Afternoons.

“Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body; it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity.”
John F. Kennedy

I used the above quote in an article published in 2012 where I doubted claims that the London Olympics would kick start a new approach to health and fitness.

So the recent revelation that Bradford – and the UK in general – continues to have a huge obesity problem amongst it’s young is no surprise.

What was particularly woeful within this local article was the response from Bradford East MP Imran Hussain, a man who might benefit from a few hours on a treadmill.

Bradford East MP Imran Hussain

Whilst Shipley MP Philip Davies was bang on the money to focus on parental responsibility, Hussain pitifully lays the blame on the state and austerity. In doing so he displays his ignorance of the real issues.

Austerity is barely a decade old but we have witnessed almost four decades of an ever increasingly inactive population.

The State has been impotent in its efforts to stem this tide, having arguably helped kick-start it with the demise of school sport from the 1980s.

But how come obesity was not rife back in the depression and wartime years when poverty really was extreme?

The reasons for ever rising levels of obesity are complex but inactivity is as important as poor diets. As primary school kids our swimming trips to the local Victorian bathhouse were aided by a trip to the VG shop for a bag of Tudor crisps, Texan bar and a can of cream soda.

We liked our junk food but crucially we burnt this off.

You could blame rich Tory MPs terrified of upsetting the boardrooms of Big Food plc and selling off school playing fields making sport available only at an ever increasing price.

Or you could blame rich Labour MPs who threw money in lumps at Quangos like Sport England to fund politically correct vanity schemes as long as they were non-competitive and dished out a few gongs.

This quango’s recent strategy – Towards An Active Nation – commented on here in 2016 seems to be having little impact.

We blew over £10bn on the Olympics and yet obesity costs continue to soar.

“It is estimated that the NHS in England spent £6.1 billion on overweight and obesity-related ill-health in 2014 to 2015.Annual spend on the treatment of obesity and diabetes is greater than the amount spent on the police, the fire service and the judicial system combined.”

It is a failure of generations, one which the Establishment simply do not get.


Why would the T&A choose to bar comments on this article on child poverty whilst allowing the two useless local MPs bluster time?

Good old free speech in rude health!

Tales From The Scruffy – On Saturday Afternoons

Our Patron.

‘Twas the bleak midwinter when a call was heard from on high. Religiously, I found my second home and was allowed to sit on the fringes of the spirtual ‘Nob Ed Korna, joined by Morecambe and Wise lookalikes, Physcho O’Malley and Winky.

Both were grateful of a release from their beloved wives and Bradford City; sweet mercies for time off…from watching City of course.

Pop Idol

Physcho’s lad Jack is embarking on a career as a pop idol about to take Turkey by storm for the summer. Never have I met a lad more suited to being paid to be pelted by big knickers from burnt old turkeys.

New horizons too for Marsy having set up home with his love but released from the paint pots for a few hours. If he was seeking wise men for the road ahead this was no Bethlehem.

Big Al wandered in looking gloomier than the weather as several older locals sensed the changing of the guard and shuffled off home hoping they could remember where home was. Happy Hour was definitely over.

His lover Luckless Linda had a bad back and Saturday night nookie was definitely off. It was looking as if he would have to collect her and tackle the oven too.

The prospect of a sober night, Take Me Out and a lukewarm Chinese loomed.

Greenfingers was also morose for it had been a long time since he’d prodded anything soft and warm with his wooden dibber. Our Jackie jiggled past to collect a few glasses but some things are best left alone.

Fat Lad rolled in all ruddy cheeks and broad grin, a pint of Carling finding his spot. Few men can find contentment as easily.

Happy Days had commanded the remote, engrossed in the snooker, so locals switched to mobile devices emitting regular groans at bad news from football fields from Leeds to Bristol.

Physcho was reliving former glories, recounting how many opponents he’d hospitalised back in the day when “men were men”. I looked at this small, balding and homely old man for signs of lingering menace and saw plenty.

By this time there were more dogs than the local kennels. I prayed life never got bad enough to need to buy a furry shit machine just to have an excuse for a beer and offered Magic Joe a tenner to make a few vanish into a puff of fur.

Our Jackie was on her way to bingo to be replaced by Old Smouldering, her Benidorm luminosity brightening the occupants like a celestial heaven, more bling than David Beckham.

By now the local drunks from Hepworth Idle CC had arrived on a ECB recruitment drive for anybody under fifty with nothing to do this summer. I was just about to make my escape when in walked Three Pints.

Just when I thought I was out, they pull you back in.

Fake News – Again

Most newspapers contain more repeats than an old folks’ home and our local one is not shy.

Search the archives and there are hundreds of articles like this on the cost of car insurance. As with most stories it is largely bollocks.

It’s also irrelevant to large sections of the city unable to grasp the concept of car insurance…nor tax…nor speed limits…nor{STOP! Legal Dept.}


Sky’s latest blockbuster started last week and you can watch all nine episodes on the reel. Even if I could master the technology I would rather cut my toenails and fry them.

Here’s the formula for a Sky blockbuster.

1-assume viewing public are brain dead…fair enough.
2-blow a budget bigger than Jose Mourhino.
3-purchase a tanker of fake blood.
4-allow characters to talk like deranged gangsters.
5-introduce naked women with perfect complexions, huge breasts and pearly white teeth before first commercial break.
6-sorry I fell asleep.

One Hundred Years Ago

Fully taxed and insured.

Fabulous tale here about Heman and Jimmy the donkey.

More Tales From The Scruffy – Dear Donald

Idle serial killer?

As we anticipated the start of another week, talk switched to the false nuclear attack alarm set off recently in Hawaii. What would we do faced with this we all mused?

Big Al offered his take on this unlikely event, our fate sealed so to speak.

“I’d go around and stab all my kids!” he said confessing to a secret family somewhere “And then I’d sort my Mum and Dad out too…quick…no fuss! Then my mates’ kids as well! Then I’d bomb this place!

We looked aghast in unison as he slurped his pint contentedly, basking in the justification that his Final Solution had to be better than being nuked by Mad Kim.

Big Al’s Final Solution.

And Finally

Several over-paid and over-rated pompous twats at the BBC have decided to take a pay cut in support of female colleagues. Cue knighthoods!

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