Are we “too old – too fat” – or are we just not managing Covid too well?

Therese Coffey has had a row with Piers Morgan as reported on the newswires. Here’s the Mirror’s version of events.

Piers Morgan furious as MP Therese Coffey storms off GMB after ‘insulting’ remark

Work and Pensions Secretary MP Therese Coffey was probed by the Good Morning Britain host on why the UK coronavirus death rate is the highest in the world

GMB for those who work in the morning  is Good Morning Britain, Piers Morgan until recently Donald Trump’s #1 fan and Therese Coffey a political heavyweight.

Is calling people “fat” an insult?

I suspect it is, though being obese is much the same thing and I spent much of the last 12 months being told that I was obese and that if I didn’t lose weight, Covid would have me on toast.

So I think Theresa Coffey was right when she linked our Covid death rate with obesity – or us being fat.

And I’m surprised that when Piers Morgan complained that she was telling us we were fat, she took his comment as insulting us. Or did she take it personally?

Anyway, it’s best to know that if you are obese – you are fat – if only to remind you that it is possible to lose weight (in most circumstances). So I’m with Therese in emphasizing that we could be thinner and this would bring down Britain’s Covid death rate.

And I’m with Piers on just about everything else.

Is calling people “old” an insight?

Actually, I’d rather be a few months older than I am, as I’d get the vaccine a few weeks quicker (not that I need it so much as I’ve just had Covid). But most people wouldn’t mind being called old, if it meant they could be vaccinated tomorrow.

On a less emotional basis, we are not as old as we feel, we are as old as the number of years since we were born and in Britain we are quite old. However we are not as old as people in Japan who seem to have got off with much lower death rates.

And as we can’t do anything about being the age we are (unlike the weight we are), I am not with Therese Coffey in blaming age on our very high Covid death rate. I suspect that the Government have made some serious errors in protecting older people. They didn’t get the care home strategy right, they didn’t get us wearing masks early enough and they send out complicated and confusing messaging about mixing with the elderly, especially to the asymptomatic young.

So Government shouldn’t be blaming the ageing population, but – like Japan – protecting the ageing population better. And we should not be inferring that the old had it coming to them – which is what I suspect Piers and Therese are bitching about.

Is criticizing Government an insult (to Theresa and others)?

I’m not sure it helps much, but I do think that Government are there to be criticised. As I’ve written several times, we (and especially the older fatter people like me), need to have some confidence in Government.

What is not good is to have Cabinet Ministers walking off TV sets and rowing with journalists (even journalists who have Trumpian views).

I am a great admirer of the tolerance shown by the Prime Minister and the scientists when they are criticized at press briefings. I think that people in Government who stand up to criticism and come through it – are worthy of praise. Credit where credit is due, the behavior of Government is normally pretty good

So – if I can be so bold, I hope that Therese Coffey eats a bit of humble pie and apologises to GMB for getting a bit flouncey and I hope we can all get on with the week with a bit more of a sense of humour!

Article from the Mirror below – make up your own mind!

Piers Morgan was left seething with rage after MP Therese Coffey stormed off after branding his remark “insulting”.

The Work and Pensions Secretary had been probed by the Good Morning Britain host on why the UK coronavirus death rate is the highest in the world.

After Ms Coffey suggested that it may have to do with the UK’s ageing population and obesity, Piers thanked her for being open about finally pointing out some reasons why.

He added: “None of your colleagues last week could give us any! You’ve given us two now – ageing population and obesity.

“So are you saying that the reason for us having the worst death rate in the world is because of the public? We’re too old and we’re too fat?”

However, Ms Coffey wasn’t impressed by Piers’ remarks and branded his comment “insulting”

“I think that’s a very insulting thing that you’ve just said, Piers,” she remarked.

“Well you just said it,” Piers pointed out.

The minister continued: “I’m conscious that there are a variety of factors that would have sadly led to being ill during this time, sadly that translating into deaths.

“I’m very conscious that this is a very serious impact that our prime minister was in hospital, in intensive care himself last April. I am conscious that we want to have a wrap-around response from people-“

Piers interjected: “What did you find insulting, out of interest? What did you find insulting?”

The MP continued: “I also need to point out that you started this interview late, unfortunately I need to go to other broadcasters as well and I wish that we had more time.”

Piers pointed out that he hadn’t interviewed her since May and that it was her who boycotted the programme.

“Please don’t play the ‘You haven’t given me enough time’ card,” Piers raged. “Because we gave you eight months and you didn’t turn up.”

The Tory MP then quickly said that she needed to go and refused to answer any questions, infuriating Piers as she disconnected the call, saying: “You’ve already has 20 minutes of my time, I appreciate your time as well.”

As the screen went black, Piers fumed: “She throws out two reasons why we have the worst death toll in the world, apparently – we have an ageing population – so we’re too old, and we have an obesity problem – we’re too fat.

“When I said, ‘So it’s the public’s fault, is it? We’re too fat and it’s nothing to do with the government.’ I was the one insulting?!”

Piers snarked: “She wanted to have her little moment.”




About henry tapper

Founder of the Pension PlayPen,, partner of Stella, father of Olly . I am the Pension Plowman
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3 Responses to Are we “too old – too fat” – or are we just not managing Covid too well?

  1. DaveC says:

    You have to die of something, unless you’re immortal.

    No matter what you do, you’ll drop into one of those categories eventually.

  2. Tim Simpson says:

    Hello Henry,
    Never having watched the show, I can only comment on the Daily Mirror’s report; Piers being a former Editor of that newspaper. Nevertheless it seems that, yet again, a Minister has attended an interview where the Presenter is well known asbeing both astute and tenacious and a master at putting words in politicians mouths. This Minister has been immediately as through not knowing/understanding the latest facts and has atttempted to camouflage it by flouncing out; leaving the Presenter ‘chuffed’ that she has left the Government opinion that the fatalities are primarily due to age and obesity. Being aged 75 I would query that.! Score: Minister-Nil, Presenter- a very easy One. Enjoy your [elderly] day. Tim

  3. John Mather says:

    Over the last 4 years I have worked with a medical start up and learned much about self inflicted habits which shorten both the quality and quantum of life. There is a science behind obesity .but this good news will take a while longer to filter down to the sound bite press that influences many decisions. I was encouraged to listen to an interview on Radio 4 this morning which is worth listening to on the study of Genetics & Food

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