Was she trolling those MPs who refused to feed hungry children when a day or two ago she produced this spectacular tweet? “Word of the day is ‘pinchfart’ (16th century): a miser; one who withholds money to the detriment of others.”
We will never know. The woman in Dictionary Corner is too diplomatic to sully herself by criticising the 322 MPs who voted against half-term school meals for those in poverty. Curiously, the same 322 claimed £11,031,894.61 in expenses during 11 months of 2019-20, which might instead have funded dinners for hungry kids.
As such characters as Ben Bradley conflate hungry kids with crack dens and brothels – I know, it’s quite a leap – then attack those who’d taken him entirely in context for taking him out of context, Marcus Rashford was rising above the fray. Refusing to get drawn into a tedious row over whether kids should be fed, he kept it classy by simply getting on with the job. No doubt it’ll soon be Rashford 2 – Johnson 0, for the Prime Minister’s Government may find it challenging to keep up its Starve A Kid Save A Quid campaign as we head to Christmas. The public is on Rashford’s side, for he is the adult in the room, the one protecting their children when Boris won’t.
It’s not just the general public, us who vote, who abhor the parsimony of MPs who won’t work across party lines to assist impoverished kids. It’s doctors, too, who have set out the negative impacts of malnutrition.
Still, Boris doesn’t have a monopoly on bad decision making. The Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford announced a review of absurd rules banning people from buying quilts, clothing, birthday cards and other ‘non-essential’ items during the Welsh lockdown. A better review might surround the reason for introducing that ludicrous rule, for it’s patently clear that picking up a greeting card or new pair of shoes for a child while getting bread and milk will not contribute to the spread of Covid-19. It will, however, hasten the death of High Streets and accelerate the success of Amazon.
Still, when Covid gets people down, they can look to Brexit for light relief. Even Michael ‘Honest John’ Gove admits leaving deal-less would cause ‘some turbulence’ – that’s a euphemism for noting the cost of some imported items will rise by 30 per cent.
And forget £350 million a week for the NHS.