A Telegraph journalist has suggested coronavirus could ‘prove mildly beneficial’ to the UK economy by killing off elderly Britons. In his column last week, Jeremy Warner analyses the US making an emergency interest rate cut to protect the economy against coronavirus. It went largely unnoticed when the Telegraph, whose average reader age is 61, published it on March 3, but one of the assistant editor’s economic reflections has since sparked an outcry on social media.
Warner compared coronavirus with Spanish flu, and how the 1918 pandemic ‘disproportionately affected’ young people, unlike the Covid-19 strain which ‘primarily kills the elderly’.
He reasoned Spanish flu had a lasting impact on supply because it killed off ‘primary bread-winners’, which he said is unlikely to happen with coronavirus. Then he said:
‘Not to put too fine a point on it, from an entirely disinterested economic perspective, the COVID-19 might even prove mildly beneficial in the long term by disproportionately culling elderly dependents.’
A screengrab of Warner’s comments on culling elderly dependents received a strong backlash online, with readers blasting them as ‘despicable’ and ‘deeply sinister’.
One shocked reader wrote: ‘This breaks my heart. My 85-year-old mom reads this paper every day and has spent the last 11 and a half months learning how to live well without my dad and her husband of 62 years.’
Responding to criticism in the article’s comments section, Warner said ‘on reflection’; he should not have used the word ‘cull’. But he said he is ‘unrepentant about the economic point I was trying to make’.
He wrote: ‘Any thinning out of those of prime working age is a much bigger supply shock than the same thing among elderly retirees. ‘Obviously, for those affected, it is a human tragedy whatever the age, but this is a piece about economics, not the sum of human misery.’ Metro.co.uk has contacted The Telegraph for comment.
The term ‘old people’ is a sanitised description of a generation why suffered and survived World War II, old people who endured grinding poverty in the post-war years. Old people whose living conditions were so impoverished that tens of thousands chose to emigrate to escape post-war Britain.
Those now dismissed as old people who had fought and died in Korea, in Burma, Egypt, and Africa. These are the old people who forfeited just under half their wages in direct or indirect taxes throughout their working lives.
These are the soon to be culled old people who brought up today’s taxpayers that now support migrants, whose early deaths will free accommodation and facilities for invading migrants. The herds of sheep before being fed into the abattoirs are far more favourably treated.
Jeremy Warner, the assistant editor of The Daily Telegraph, is one of Britain’s leading business and economics commentators. A serial winner of awards, he has also been honoured for an ‘outstanding contribution in defence of freedom of the media’ by the Society of Editors for his refusal to reveal sources to Government inspectors. He is @jeremywarneruk on Twitter. Like this story? Share it with others.
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