Michael Buerk – former BBC presenter and I’m a Celebrity, Get me out of here! contestant – has issued some controversial statements, claiming that overweight people are a drain on the NHS and should be allowed to die early.
Didn’t need to be said, did it? No-one was going around saying “I wonder what Michael Buerk has to say about the obesity crisis,” were they?
Even – and this is a hypothetical – if he was right, he’s not the man to hear it from. There’s hardly anyone who’s going to hear what f*cking Michael Buerk said and go “you’re right. I need to make some changes…”
Just leave it out, Michael Buerk.
Yes Michael Buerk has made headlines for certain comments he made in a column for The Radio Times (a TV guide, right?), where he stated “You’re fat because you eat too much.” Presumably he followed this with “Have I Got News For You is on at 10pm on BBC2.”
No he actually went on to say – also citing the issue of overpopulation:
“Let us positively reframe the argument.
The obese will die a decade earlier than the rest of us; see it as a selfless sacrifice in the fight against demographic imbalance, overpopulation and climate change.
Give them the facts to make informed decisions, by all means, ‘nudge’ all you like, but in the end – leave couch potatoes alone.
They’re weak, not ill.”
To be fair to him, Buerk did try to balance the argument, arguing that a healthy person living to an old age would cost similar money from the NHS for other treatments.
“Who can calculate how much an obese person would have cost if they were slim?
How much would he or she cost if, instead of keeling over with a heart attack at 52, they live to a ripe, dementia-ridden old age, requiring decades of expensive care?
In any case, VAT on takeaways, confectionery and fizzy drinks more than covers it.
The freedom to make bad choices is what personal autonomy, indeed democracy, is all about… who is to say longevity is the ultimate goal in life?“
It’s hard to know what he’s getting at here, really. Least of all in a TV guide. He has a go at overweight people for costing the NHS money but then moans that old skinny people are also a problem if they go and get dementia like the selfish pr*cks they are.
There’s no pleasing Michael Buerk.
Images via Getty