Reduced “weight of government”

The phrase, the “weight of government” often conjures up negative connotations – something along the lines of “what stupid thing are they going to force on me now”.

I assume the idiom comes from a time when there were so many people in government, sitting round doing nothing and getting fat. In Israel, there are currently 30 ministers of government, 25% of the whole Parliament. Clearly, the public budget has mushroomed in order to accommodate all of these people, their assistants, offices and other heavy baggage.

Israelis are used to seeing TV pictures of the opening of cabinet debates, where the table is full of sweet-tasting goodies. But suddenly, several months back, Prime Minister Netanyahu instituted a policy that has won the support of all factions and all religions. Fattening, unhealthy delicacies will no longer be provided. Ministers have been asked to join keep fit programmes. Cut up veggies are now the main part of the noshing menu.

If I was to paraphrase from a popular American TV reality programme, if the Israeli executive wants to change people’s lives, it has started to set an example with their own behaviour,

Netanyahu is reported to have lost 5 kg; the minister for tourism – 6kg; Yisrael Katz at the Transport Ministry – 30 kg; Barak and Lieberman, defence and foreign affairs – 6kg and 15kg. The finance minister plays basketball once a week.

Just adding up these figures alone comes to the average weight of an adult female. In other words, in terms of fat, the Israeli government is literally shrinking away. Now there’s a thought for the country’s enemies.

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