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Thursday 12 May 2022

Lee Anderson Is NOT MasterChef

Of all the 2019 intake of Tory MPs, Lee Anderson, who represents the unfortunate voters of Ashfield, is head and shoulders above his contemporaries when it comes to knowing everything about everything, or at least being willing to give that impression. There seems to be no subject on which Anderson is ready and willing to pontificate.

Lee Anderson MP ...

His problem is the gaping chasm separating his opinion from the cold reality facing many in a country governed by the party of which he is a member. So it was when he stood up in the Commons yesterday and pontificated on the subject of food banks. It soon became clear that this was a campaign destined to develop not necessarily to his advantage.

As Adam Bienkov of Byline Times observed, “Conservative MP Lee Anderson says there isn't a massive need for food banks in the UK, it’s just that people ‘cannot cook properly, they can't cook a meal from scratch, they cannot budget’”. Anderson followed that by asserting that a meal could be prepared at a per person, per portion, cost of 30p.

But here a problem entered: it was pointed out to Anderson, and those who willingly shill for him, that not only is it a seriously difficult proposition to get within that budget constraint (for example, I reckon the portion cost of a veg-only spicy daal with crusty bread comes out at around 50p when energy costs are factored in), it was pointed out to The Great Man that it is not possible to consider budgeting when there is no money with which to budget.

As to budgeting, Liam Thorp of the Liverpool Echo noted “Lee Anderson MP, who today said poor people forced to use foodbanks 'cannot cook or budget properly' claimed £222,000 in expenses in 2020/21 - including £4,100 on travel and ‘subsistence' … This was some way higher than the average MP expense claim”.

That £222,000 is on top of Anderson’s MP salary, which is now over £80,000 a year, putting him in the top 5% of earners. And while he has been ready and willing to spout supremely false equivalences as “I grew up in a mining family, I’ll take no lectures from anyone on the left”, others are not so interested in his lecturing them.

And the most damning intervention came from campaigner Jack Monroe, who gave the impression they have heard one Tory lecture too many. “You can’t cook meals from scratch with nothing. You can’t buy cheap food with nothing. The issue is not ‘skills’, it’s 12 years of Conservative cuts to social support. The square root of fuck all is ALWAYS going to be fuck all, no matter how creatively you’re told to dice it”. And there was more.

You can’t ‘budget better’ when rents are fixed, private rents are extortionate, poverty wages are rife, benefits aren’t rising in line with inflation, energy bills are through the roof, UC payments are deliberately delayed forcing people to take on debts … For a party so keen to push personal fiscal responsibility back onto the most vulnerable individuals, the Conservatives are remarkably reticent to take any degree of responsibility for deliberately pushing those people into such difficult desperate situations in the first place”.

... and the elusive 30p meal

Jack Monroe is someone with real experience of living with very little spending money. For some reason, Lee Anderson, shooting off mouth first and taking very few questions afterwards, does not yet seem willing to discuss poverty, why the country has so many food banks, and his party’s role in all of that, with them. I’ll just leave that one there.

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Anonymous said...

Every now and then some utter moron promotes "progressive tories". There was an example of it this morning via the Plastic Jock Campbell on BBC R5.

The problem for such idiots is, of course, that there is no such thing as "a progressive tory", be they blue, red, yellow or purple with green spots. There never will be.

Anderson merely demonstrates that a twisted gobshite is a twisted gobshite whatever the upbringing or accent. And we have a decaying country with too many of them.

Anonymous said...

Alan/Anon, you're consistent. I'll grant you that.

Even when the story is about something else, you can steer it back to your standard rant. You have nothing specific to say about Anderson, but you'll say something, dammit!

Just as scummy London cabbies have "the knowledge", you have the ignorance.

Anonymous said...

This'll be the same Lee Anderson that was a Labour councillor in Ashfield, yes?

Mr Larrington said...

Anderson is going to find it increasingly difficult to deny that he’s a moron.

gillette said...

Yes, sadly

Ben Lapointe said...

Jack Monroe is like Candyman... If you talk crap about food poverty, she'll appear out of nowhere to rip you up (her words, not mine)

Mr Larrington said...

@17:46 Yes. Yes, it is. And according to one of my Sinister Agents he was a scab during the miners' strike before finding his natural home in the Conservative Party.

His article on Wikinaccurate is already stating “He later stated on Facebook that his comments [about food banks] had been misinterpreted”.

Anonymous said...


"Scummy London cabbies".

Good grief.

iMatt said...

Some of us will remember the Harry Enfeild 'Tory Boy' sketch where he shouted through a megaphone whilst being driven past a group of jobseekers outside a Job Centre:

"Layabouts, scroungers. You've priced yourselves out of a job, and you've nobody else to blame. Vote Conservative!"

We laughed at this satirical send up of the Tories. Anderson is now worse than that caricature. If he really does believe he can cook a meal for 30 a day, he needs to be challenged to do so for at least 3 months, preferably 6 with no access to his very generous salary and credit card. And should (or more likely when) he refuse to accept said challenge, he needs to be challenged to do so again. And again. And again!

gillette said...

Misinterpreted? Well, he would wouldn't he

Anonymous said...

Labour Party (before 2018):

He was a long-time Labour Party member, and served as a councillor in the Huthwaite and Brierly ward of Ashfield, where he was elected in 2015.[4] Anderson also worked as office manager for Ashfield's then-Labour MP, Gloria De Piero, having campaigned alongside her for the 2015 and 2017 UK general elections. Anderson was a vocal Brexiteer, having supported the Vote Leave campaign in the 2016 EU Referendum.

While serving as a Labour councillor on Ashfield Council in 2018, he was suspended by the party locally for dumping boulders to block access to a Traveller camp site. He was later given a community protection notice over the action, and instructed to remove the boulders.

I find it hard to believe that people in the Labour Party, including its MP, had no idea what he was like.

Anonymous said...

To 22:45:

"[Matthew] Parris [former far right tory MP, now a full time far right tory propagandist] is now a radio and television presenter, The Times columnist, and pundit. As an MP he took part in a World in Action documentary during 1984 requiring him to live in Newcastle for a week on £26.80, the then state social security payment set for a single adult by the government he supported as a Conservative. The experiment came to an embarrassing end when he ran out of money for the electricity meter. Twenty years later, in 2004, he attempted the experiment again for the documentary For the Benefit of Mr Parris, Revisited."

Thus demonstrating by example that toryism is and always will be nothing more than organised hypocrisy, greed and sociopathic lunacy.

Mr Larrington said...

And now Anderson, and fellow halfwit Martin “Which ones are England again?” Daubney, have been slagging off Jack Monroe on Gammon Broadcasting. Writes Monroe:

“Frothing right wingers so desperate to falsely prove that I’m a hypocritical millionaire that they’re willing to libel me extensively in order to try to make it happen. Beautiful.”

Lawyers are involved already. Take 'em to the cleaners, Jack!

gillette said...

2 jobs Bradley who had the brass neck to support Anderson.

gillette said...

People asking how to help. I don’t have a crowdfunder - if I need to I’ll let you know, but not today. So in the meantime the real crucial battle is where it’s always been for the last 12 years: Text TRUSSELL 5 to 70085 to donate £5 to those who really need it right now. Ta. X