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Tuesday, 16 June 2020
Rashford Nutmegs Boris
Once again, the less than dynamic duo of alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson and his chief polecat Dominic Cummings have been shown to have feet of clay when it comes to responding to what Harold Macmillan once called “Events. dear boy, events”. Bozo is coming to resemble Austen Chamberlain, of whom his hero Winston Churchill once said “he always played the game, and he always lost”.
The game Bozo and Dom played this time was over free school meals for as many as 1.3 million children from less well off backgrounds. They decided not to carry on paying for them over the summer break; opposing them was Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford, who was not just another Premier League star. Rashford had been there himself as a kid. It was a campaign destined to develop not necessarily to Bozo’s advantage.
Rashford advocated for free school meals to continue; the Government refused. He then laid off the ball to Gary Lineker, who appeared onNewsnight to confirm his support for Rashford’s campaign, and “said it was strange that there was such political disagreement over getting children fed”. Then, this morning, the offside trap was sprung.
Rashford was given a platform by the Times. Beth Rigby of Sky News liked this quote: “I don’t claim to have the education of an MP in parliament, but I do have a social education. I’m clued up on the difference a U-turn decision would make on 1.3m vulnerable children registered for free school meals because ten years ago I was one of them”.
And by lunchtime, the ball was in the net, as Paul Waugh of the HuffPost told “[Boris Johnson] has U-turned on summer free school meals for England. An extra £120m to be spent on extending vouchers through summer holidays. Huge victory for [Marcus Rashford] + other campaigners”. It had been pointless to refuse the funds, as James Doleman noted: “Now the Tories look both heartless and weak. Classic Dom”.
David Allen Green observed “Government u-turning after [Marcus Rashford]’s intervention with all the dignity of nutmegged defender”, and Adam Bienkov added “Boris Johnson’s spokesman: ‘The PM welcomes [Marcus Rashford’s] contribution to the debate around poverty and respects the fact he has been using his profile as a leading sportsman to highlight important issues.’” Said, no doubt, through gritted teeth.
A humiliating climbdown, an easily avoided U-Turn, another admission of both weakness and ineptitude. But there will be a quid pro quo: Bozo and his cheerleaders in our free and fearless press are nothing if not vindictive - and racist with it.
Rashford will know all about what happens when the tabloids come after anyone from a BAME background who incurs their displeasure: across Manchester, Man City’s Raheem Sterling was given a torrid time by the press just for having a tattoo. To his credit, Sterling later called out the sly racism doled out to black players. As that same press mainly supports Bozo, and Rashford has humiliated their hero, he will get it too.
An on-field argument, loss of form, dispute over pay, anything personal - the right-wing tabloids will be down on Marcus Rashford like a tonne of bricks. No change there, then.
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