Russia’s veteran nationalist politician Vladimir Zhirinovsky has said that there should be some “limits” on the weight of civil servants and on that of the general population.
Speaking to Komsomolskaya Pravda radio earlier this week, Zhirinovsky was asked to comment on a recent article in the British Daily Mirror newspaper. It had reported that the UK state-run Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency had asked staff to inform management of their waist measurements. This, supposedly, would help it to decide which employees should work at offices or from home.
Zhirinovsky, who leads the nationalist Liberal Democratic Party of Russia, said that providing guidance on body mass is a good idea. “The weight of a civil servant should be 100kg (220lbs) and not more. If it’s 120kg (264lbs) or 150kg (330lbs) – what even is this?” the politician argued.
He added that civil servants should be “oriented” towards healthy habits. “Why do you eat so much? You already have not Type-Two diabetes, but Type-One,” he proclaimed. “Our idea is to provide some recommendations to citizens. Because they don’t want to follow a diet just like that – they eat a lot of candy and pastry products.”
Zhirinovsky continued, proposing that there should be “some kind of limits” set on the body mass of the general population, but emphasized that he was not calling for firing someone based on how much they weigh.
“As I said in 2014 – seven years ago – let’s make it 80kg (176lbs). I’m not saying we have to fire people,” he explained, adding that he himself is not perfect in this regard. “I weighed 103kg (227lbs), and now I weigh 95 (209lbs).”
He further argued that an “extraordinarily fat person” eats up a lot of state money that is spent on “treatment and diets,” while people “who feel fine” are under-receiving aid.
A six-time presidential candidate, Zhirinovsky has become known for many eccentric and shocking suggestions. In the past he has proposed the cleansing of the Russian language of “Americanisms” and the use of the military to shoot down birds that may have avian flu. He also said that the Kremlin should be painted white, as was regularly done before the 1917 revolution.
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