Tuesday, 12 January 2021

Food Packages Scandal: Nation Finally Seems to Realise Child Hunger is Bad

If you're wondering why I've been relatively quiet recently, imagine having a really bad month of long Covid while running around after three kids who are at home around the clock and reaching a point you're so exhausted, you slip a disc in your back by friggin' coughing, and then you can't sleep properly, or even scratch your own arse, with the pain. Yeah, that's me right now, and it's why I haven't been writing anywhere near as much as usual, so sorry about that. I'm bloody knackered!

But anyway, here I am at nearly 10.00pm with some actual spare time, and social media is going nuts. The reason? A Twitter user by the name of Roadside Mum has tweeted about her meagre food parcel which was supposed to be worth £30 and was in fact worth £5.22. This parcel was intended to replace free school meals during lockdown but is clearly nowhere near sufficient. 

It included a loaf of bread, two bananas, three apples, three Frubes, a tin of beans, a block of cheese, one tomato, two potatoes, a small packet of pasta, and two Soreen lunchbox loaves. Roadside Mum was expected to feed the kids for ten days with this apparently.

I was actually supposed to pick up our food parcel this week, but I could barely walk so I didn't, and therefore I have no idea if ours would have been any better. But I'll let you know on Friday when the next one is ready.

Anyways, last night, my friends and I kicked up a huge fuss when we stumbled across this tweet which has since gone super-viral. The mainstream media jumped on the story and the catering company involved - Chartwells - are insisting the image is not a typical representation of their food packages.

This prompted many other Twitter users to upload images of their own food packages, some of which were even worse (including one with half a tomato and half a pepper!) Now it's worth pointing out, not all the packages came from the same company, but if anything that makes matters worse, not better. It shows a complete failure of Tory ideology - the principle of injecting "the market" into essential services to make them more efficient. Clearly, that's total bollocks.

Not only are the Tories adding a needless middle man, but they're introducing the profit motive, and the outcome of that is always inevitable. Profit will always come before human well-being, even when children are involved because that's the very nature of markets.

Now I'm told these catering companies were contracted to provide food packages to the value of £30, and if that's true, it suggests they've pocketed the other £25. It very much looks like food has been stolen from the mouths of children. And that possibility is truly horrifying.

It has been reported that, rather predictably, the CEO of one of these companies is a Tory donor. They always seem to be Tory donors, don't they? It has also been reported his company is responsible for a string of food-related scandals around the world, but I'll not get into that because at present, I'm unable to verify. 

All I'm saying is it would not surprise me, given the way this government hands out ridiculous contracts to its donors, paying way over the odds for repeated failure. It's just this time, the victims are children and the consequences are so visible, it's hard for the privileged classes to hide away in their bubble of denial. This kind of thing, this corruption, is what you get with a Tory vote. It creates human suffering, the kind they love to pin on personal failure, rather than the abject moral failure of their government.

So Marcus Rashford got involved again. Who else? 

And he kicked up such a fuss that privileged people remembered they're supposed to care about hungry children, only a year after they vilified Jeremy Corbyn who would've made access to food a basic human right. The fucking monster. 

We sure dodged a bullet when we elected meal stealer Johnson, eh? I mean Corbyn used to wear the wrong kind of coat and didn't bow low enough. Plus, he would've left our food shelves empty like Venezuela with his crazy plans to spend our money on food. Much better to not spend money on food. That's a much better way of eliminating hunger. Just like not spending money on homelessness is the best way to eliminate homelessness. 

Or at least, we pretended all that was true, and then the pandemic came along and showed us the completely selfish ignorant bullshit our nation swallowed was in fact, completely selfish ignorant bullshit.

The Tories couldn't possibly eliminate homelessness until the first lockdown came along, and then they just magically got every rough sleeper off the streets before later choosing to dump them back onto the streets.

And the Tories couldn't possibly eliminate child hunger until a popular footballer kept embarrassing them on social media. Let's bear in mind this is a party that was willing to spend far more money sending middle-class people to restaurants with Eat Out to Help Out than it ever was feeding hungry kids. 

And even when the Tories did agree to feed the kids, they couldn't help themselves, could they? They  had to find a way to profiteer, to stuff money into the pockets of their rich mates. Honestly, how do these bastards sleep at night? Is there anything they won't profiteer from?

The most frustrating thing is the Tories have been starving people for over a decade now and we lefties have been decried as loonies every time we've pointed this out. But now finally, it's reaching the point where privileged people cannot deny the situation. 

Tragically, they will still find a way to blame us though, even when we've been proven right, even when we've tried to reason with them, to plead with them, to prick their conscience. They will still blame Jeremy Corbyn, even though they chose the guy who starves kids over the guy who wanted to feed them. They'll still pretend he supports terrorists or some other nonsense because vilifying a perfectly decent human being is the best way to deflect from their own moral failings. 

They voted to starve the kids so we must be the monsters. These people don't do humility, but at least they are finally coming around in their own grudging way. At least they are now demanding better for our kids. My only question is why is it always so hard to get these people to give a shit? For some of us giving a shit is the default.

Soon, the Tories plan to cut Universal Credit by £85 a month, like it's not already woefully insufficient. Will the outraged privileged classes stand with the working class then, or against us? Will they pretend we're all feckless layabouts, even when most UC claimants are working families like ours? Or will they remember the hungry kids and remember their own conscience? We shall see...

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email: r.d.hale@outlook.com