It will be noted that among the names on the above list is that of Therese Coffey MP [Con, Suffolk Coastal], recently appointed as Secretary of State for Work and Pensions. The role has been held by deadheads before, idiots such as Iain Dunce Duncan Smith and Esther McVey.
So who is Therese Coffey?
Therese Coffey was born in Lancashire, to parents about whom neither Wikipedia nor her own website say anything at all. She was brought up in Liverpool, according to Wikipedia, which however says that she was at school both at St. Mary’s College, in the small North Wales town of Rhos-on-Sea, and at St. Edward’s College, Liverpool. Both were at the time private Roman Catholic schools. Coffey is a name of Irish origin.
Therese Coffey was awarded a B.A. degree by Oxford University (subject unknown), she having gone up to Somerville College; then (oddly, on the face of it) she acquired a Ph.D. in Chemistry from UCL. Therese Coffey is often referred to as “Dr” Therese Coffey.
[Update, 21 May 2020: since writing the above, I have discovered that, while Oxford’s usual Chemistry degree is a 4-year course leading to a Master’s degree (M.Chem), the University does offer other chemistry-related 3-year science degrees
[Update, 7 September 2002: Wait a minute… it now turns out that Therese Coffey was asked to leave her Oxford college because she was not up to the course academically, and/or failed her exams! See update at foot of this blog post for more]
In England (though not in some other countries, notably Germany) it has always been considered infra dig to use the title “Doctor” unless one is either a medical doctor or some sort of working academic, scientist or clergyman. Unfortunately, there has fairly recently developed in the UK a strange affectation, of people insisting on referring to themselves as “Dr” when all they have is a doctorate in something (other than whatever they do professionally or whatever). So we have “Dr” Julian Lewis MP [Con, New Forest East], who holds a doctorate (D.Phil) in Strategic Studies. Another is “Dr” Louise Raw, “antifa” type prolific on Twitter, who holds a Ph.D. and whose special subject is one particular industrial strike in 1888. Now we also have “Dr” Therese Coffey.
Therese Coffey was awarded her doctorate in chemistry in 1998, at the age of 28. Her own website says that she was at one time a “management accountant”. She worked for Mars, the confectionery company, and for a subsidiary of the same, at which latter she was apparently Finance Director. She also did some work for the BBC. I think that we can assume that Therese Coffey’s non-political career was far from stellar.
Therese Coffey failed to become a Conservative MEP at the EU elections of both 2004 and 2009. She was, however, selected for the Conservative candidature at Suffolk Coastal (despite having been born and brought up in the North West of England, later living in Andover, Hampshire and having no obvious connection with Suffolk or East Anglia).
The expenses claimed by Therese Coffey in her first 6 months as MP were more than double those claimed by MPs in some other nearby seats. She seems to have kept her house and flat in Hampshire, which (it has been said of at least one) are being let.
Therese Coffey was one of the 72 MPs (almost all Conservatives) who both have an income of over £10,000 p.a. from rental property and voted out a bill requiring landlords to ensure that their properties were fit for human habitation! In other words, Therese Coffey is a parasite.
Therese Coffey voted to sell off woodland and forests in public ownership to private interests (the bill was dropped after a huge public outcry).
Therese Coffey has written a position paper recommending that pensioners pay National Insurance. She is a member of the extreme Free Enterprise Group within the Conservative Party.
Therese Coffey has been in favour of both Rupert Murdoch and gambling interests in the past.
Therese Coffey has from time to time bunged her own sister some money out of Parliamentary expenses for work (presumably) done.
Therese Coffey likes a “rock band” called Muse, it seems. I had never heard of them until now. Her interest in rock music seems bizarre, looking at her photographs and thinking of what can be gleaned of her personality (not very much). She certainly looks more like Patricia Routledge’s portrayal of the retirement-age Lancastrian private eye, Hetty Wainthropp, in Hetty Wainthropp Investigates. However, Ms. Coffey’s liking for real ale (she is a member of CAMRA) is rather plausible. In fact, Ms. Coffey is only 47 years old, surprisingly, she having been born in November 1971.
I would have assumed that Therese Coffey is a lesbian, looking at this tank-like, Guinness-drinking, cigar-smoking person who likes football, but there is nothing I have found on the Internet to support such a conclusion directly; and she voted against “gay marriage” (and in that alone I support her, inasmuch as I feel that “civil partnership” provided whatever socio-legal comfort was necessary to deal with the inadequacies of the English law as it was in the previous century).
What disturbs me most about Therese Coffey is not so much what she has said, written and done, though that is bad enough, but what I have not seen from her: I have seen no intellectual curiosity that goes outside the box, for example any discussion of the need for Basic Income; neither have I seen anything else of intellectual interest from her. Admittedly, I have only been looking since her elevation to Cabinet (she was only a non-Cabinet minister earlier in 2019, and before that only one of the Conservative whips, traditionally a role for plodders…). If my view changes, I shall update this article, being by nature fair and just.
Therese Coffey may be the Cabinet minister with the lowest public profile. She is unknown to the general public. How long she will remain in Cabinet, I have no idea. If Boris-Idiot falls, “not long” is my guess. It may be thought unfair to dub someone with qualifications in both chemistry and accountancy a “deadhead”, but from the socio-political point of view I think that she well merits it. At any rate, as MP she is not going away, in that Suffolk Coastal is one of the safest Conservative seats.
She made extra money this way: https://www.speakers4schools.org/speakers/dr-therese-coffey/ (Why am I not surprised at her cupidity?)
Update, 17 September 2019
God, she is a ghastly bitch!
Update, 24 October 2019
Update, 20 May 2020
Update, 6 October 2020
Update, 13 September 2021
The deadhead strikes again, attempting to justify removing £20 per week from some of the poorest in the UK:
Just as well that she does not have the power to give DWP benefits claimants an electric shock via a dog collar…
Update, 6 October 2021
I could comment, but my words would probably be regarded either as “grossly offensive” or as “incitement” to…something or other…
One thing is for sure— standing outside the Conservative Party Conference holding up placards asking for this kind of political criminal to be nicer to people just does not work…
(and what about this?)…
Jesus Christ! Could it get any worse? Do you call for its nurse, or just put it out of its misery?
Update, 6 September 2022
Well, whether you call it “the irony of fate”, a concatenation of unexpected events, or just madness, Therese Coffey has not only survived the fall of “Boris”-idiot, and stayed in Cabinet, but has been effectively promoted to two new positions— Secretary of State for Health, and Deputy Prime Minister.
It seems that —unknown to me until today— Therese Coffey and the (it seems strange to use the words) new Prime Minister, Liz Truss, are rather friendly. I suppose that, in that snake pit, Liz Truss would rather have a few friends around her rather than potential backstabbers who might, however, actually be competent at the jobs occupied.
The Twitterati have not been kind:
As I noted, impliedly, in my blog assessment of Therese Coffey, three years ago, keywords are callousness and incompetence.
So there it is. Those who follow my blog, or read it regularly, will know or perhaps can guess what I think (inter alia, that tweeting, blogging, or complaining and protesting, will not rid our country of incompetent, corrupt, or evil politicians). Let’s leave it there…
Update, 7 September 2002
Wait a minute… it now turns out that Therese Coffey was asked to leave her Oxford college because either she was not up to the course academically, and/or failed her exams.
So how did she get even a BA degree from Somerville? Or is that a total fabrication, like Iain Dunce Duncan Smith’s notoriously fake CV? Other MPs also have faked or partly-faked CVs.
To my mind, Therese Coffey warrants further and deeper investigation. She may be, or may have been, involved in other fakery, fabrication and/or fraud.
Still, it seems now, more than ever, that she fully deserves the title “deadhead“.
Update, 21 September 2022