Meet Therese Coffey: The New Health Secretary with the terrible voting history
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Let me make myself clear from the outset, I think Therese Coffey is an abhorrent woman with incredibly backward views who’s unfit for modern day parliament. So, why is she our Health Secretary and Deputy Prime Minister? Well, largely because she’s Liz Truss’s mate.
Her appointment represents everything that’s wrong with this Conservative government. Roles in the cabinet aren’t based on merit, they’ve become a popularity contest that’s more in line with a secondary school council, not a diplomatic government.
As Health Secretary, I feel it’s only fair that we examine Coffey’s previous voting record on the subject. She has consistently voted against smoking bans. Yes, smoking, a practice that’s been proven to be awful for your health, is something she’s consistently voted in favour of. In 2010, she voted to exclude pubs and private members’ clubs from the smoking ban; however, the law remained the same. In 2011, she voted against a ban on smoking in private vehicles where children are present. The majority voted for the ban and eventually, in 2014, she again voted against the new law that required private vehicles to be smoke-free where a person under the age of 18 is present. Finally, in 2015, she voted against making it an offence for someone in charge of an enclosed vehicle to fail to prevent smoking within it, if someone under 18 is present. Regardless of her views, this too became law.
She clearly likes a smoke, which is not solely evidenced by her voting record but also in the pictures that are doing the rounds on social media. The highlight must be the image of Coffey with a cigar in her gob and a glass of wine in her other hand—though most of this she’s spilt down her front in the image in question. Matt Hancock was a terrible Health Secretary, but at least he was healthy. Therese Coffey looks like an NHS advert of exactly what not to do to live a healthy life. Does my comment constitute body shaming? Probably, but this is the Health Secretary…surely living an unhealthy life is the exact opposite of what you’d wish to portray within this role. What happened to setting an example?
Isn’t this the same scenario as ‘Partygate’ during Covid lockdowns? The sight of Conservative members partying made many people think, ‘Why should I obey the rules if they don’t give a toss?’. Wouldn’t one look at Coffey make you think, ‘Why should I take her advice/become less of a strain on our fragile NHS when she doesn’t practise what she preaches?’?
I described Therese Coffey as abhorrent earlier in this article, an opinion that goes deeper than how she votes in respect of smoking bans. I believe she’s abhorrent because of her opinions and views regarding abortion and LGBTQ+ rights. In 2013, she voted against same sex couples being allowed to marry. It’s estimated by the Office for National Statistics that 3.1% of the UK population identifies as lesbian, gay or bisexual. This woman would ban these people from marrying. I find this disgusting and archaic, and it’s a prejudice that makes her not fit for office. More recently, in 2019, she again voted against same-sex marriage, in Northern Ireland. How can a modern-day politician share this view? May I remind you, Coffey is the Deputy Prime Minister—arguably, our second most influential politician…and she is against gay marriage.
She’s a classic Thatcherite, based on her voting record…someone who wants greater privatisation and less tax for the rich, which is the typical stance of the Tories, so no surprise there. We’ve had four Conservative prime ministers in a row now. Not one of them has been particularly great, have they? MPs should be upstanding members of society. Their job is to represent the people in their constituency. Therese Coffey’s main responsibility, therefore, is to serve the people of Central Suffolk and North Ipswich. If you’re a member of the LGBTQ+ community in that area, you surely cannot believe that this woman is going to stand up for you.
How this woman was democratically elected is beyond me. Personally, I don’t feel there’s a place in today’s government for dinosaurs like Coffey. She’s not fit to be Health Secretary. She’s not fit to be Deputy Prime Minister. She’s not fit, full stop, and she’s certainly not fit to claim she represents her constituents, let alone the rest of the country when Truss has a day off.