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Who’s behind Marcus Rashford? The combination of social justice, sport and celebrity is a lucrative one

Marcus Rashford, our first activist super player. Credit: Michael Regan/Getty

Marcus Rashford, our first activist super player. Credit: Michael Regan/Getty


December 22, 2020   6 mins

Until recently, the English did not expect much from their footballers. They never thought they’d see them do anything as heartwarming as Marcus Rashford: Feeding Britain’s Children, broadcast last night on BBC One. In the noughties, they were tragic heroes, with an emphasis, strongly placed, on the tragedy rather than the heroism. Back then, English footballers were greedy, horny and vulgar. They were a gift to comedians and red-top editors, and a reliable disgrace to their country. Their real game was scandal, not football. Tumbling out of nightclubs, having affairs, selling the FA out to the ‘Fake Sheikh’ — that was just Sven-Göran Eriksson, England’s manager at the time.

Was there a nadir? Was it the WAG parade at the World Cup in 2006, when Victoria Beckham drank bottles of Veuve Clicquot through a straw? (“We became a bit of a circus,” one player sagely reminisced a few years later.) Was it Ashley Cole’s admission, in 2006, that he nearly “swerved off the road” with anger when Arsenal offered him a new contract with a £55,000 weekly wage? Perhaps it was Wayne Rooney’s “romp with a granny” — or was it a naked Frank Lampard, jeering at grieving Americans in a Heathrow hotel bar on September 13, 2001? England expected that most footballers would try and sleep with their teammate’s wife.

That was off the pitch. On the field, if you can endure the recollection, they were even worse. England played like a scratch team dredged from the remedial unit of a Victorian institution. They burned up at tournaments in 2004, 2006 and 2010. They didn’t even qualify for Euro 2008. The game, through the Premier League, had never been more lucrative. The reputation of its players had never been lower. In a strange way it was appropriate. If England’s footballers were hideous in the 2000s, it was because England was. If they were trashily materialistic, it was because England was too. They were no better, and not much worse, than anyone else in public life at the time. That was the tragedy. “Morally corrupt” was how a group of bishops described the New Labour years in 2008. God only knows what the Right Reverends would have thought if they’d seen Footballers’ Wives.

Now the face of football is changing. England’s players are a source of pride rather than embarrassment. In 2018, led by Gareth Southgate, their impeccable manager, they reached the semi-finals of the World Cup — a moment of full-spectrum, flags-out, boozy national unity that most fans, inured to washout after washout, never thought they’d experience. Success brought English players an earned prestige, even an authority, that they hadn’t enjoyed since Italia ‘90. No more tragedy. They were just heroes. What would they do with it?

The answer, at least partially, lies in an office on Great Titchfield Street, Fitzrovia. That’s where Roc Nation Sports International’s headquarters is based. Founded in 2008 by Jay Z, Roc Nation has since washed into every cove in the modern entertainment industry. They manage artists and athletes, produce TV shows and films, and run a music label. Team Roc, a division within the company, is dedicated to efforts around social justice: bailing out BLM protestors in America this summer, offering pro-bono legal support for their families, creating buzzy media campaigns, and leveraging Roc Nation’s impressive celebrity roster to boost stories.

Their work blurs the lines between politics and sport, entertainment and activism. “We don’t consider ourselves a traditional agency — we really are a movement,” Roc Nation Sports International’s president Michael Yormark told the Telegraph in June.

The movement found a standard bearer in Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford, who became one of Roc Nation’s European clients earlier this year. An icon of the 2018 World Cup, and a courageous high-pressure penalty taker, Rashford grew up in a single-parent family in Wythenshawe. When he heard that schools would be closing as part of the wider national lockdown in March, Rashford, who’d relied on free lunch programmes as a child, turned to Kelly Hogarth, his personal publicist, and VP of strategic communications at Roc Nation Sports International — what could they do to help poor children secure vital meals?

Even hermits know what happened next. Rashford’s — and Hogarth’s — free school meals campaign, mammothly popular and relentlessly sincere, forced the Government into two U-turns. ‘RASHERS FOR PM’, screamed the Daily Star, one of dozens of headlines he made over the summer, then the autumn. Old media was full of sympathetic interviews with Rashford, or commentators, such as Matthew Parris, who were scared of criticising the campaign, for fear of sounding mean. Who, after all, wanted children to go hungry in a plague year?

Only monsters: when the Daily Mail tried to peg Rashford as a hypocrite for owning multiple homes, it was like watching a giraffe try to ride a bicycle. When you own new media as much as Rashford does — with 900,000 more followers than Boris Johnson on Twitter — attacks from mere newspapers don’t work. Alongside Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling and Aston Villa’s Tyrone Mings, who both campaigned for BLM after the death of George Floyd, Rashford was suddenly leading a generation of politically self-aware England players. The normally sedate New Statesman editor, Jason Cowley, called them — without mentioning the squadrons of PR flacks writing their tweets — “activist super players”.

Footballers, not poets, became England’s unacknowledged legislators. Rashford received an MBE, and millions of school children received lunch.

Traditional broadcast and print media never did more than boost Rashford’s signal. The narrative was too sexy — star footballer routs out of touch toffs at the top — for them to attempt anything else. To understand what was interesting about Rashford, and by extension Roc Nation, you had to go to the trade press, and media companies which focused on sports PR. The Rashford campaign was the subject of huge features in AdWeek and SportsPro, and he won PR Week’s “Communicator of The Year” award. What earned Rashford praise from them wasn’t feeding children. It was the exciting way Roc Nation has fused social justice and sport in order to boost Rashford’s profile, the better for him to serve as a conduit for digital marketing operations, the spread of branded content, and the sale of boxfresh trainers.

The bottom line wasn’t doing good; the bottom line, as SportsPro noted, was that during the campaign, Rashford’s Twitter following had grown by 65%, whereas the total social following of Manchester United — which hasn’t run any political campaigns this summer — had grown a sluggish 8% in the same period. Simon Oliveira, a long-term advisor to David Beckham, labelled Roc Nation’s efforts “genius”.

For experienced sports marketeers like Oliveira, Rashford’s campaign set a new precedent. During Beckham’s glory days, the most social justice a player would indulge in might involve being chauffeured, blatantly hungover, to a children’s hospital to sign autographs, or to a community centre to cut a ribbon. Nobody cared what Gary Neville thought about child tax credits. Complicated policy matters were for Oliver Letwin or David Laws or Ed Balls to work out. Roc Nation and Rashford changed all that. “The barriers have been well and truly broken,” Oliveira wrote over the summer. “Top-athletes, and the organisations they represent, can collectively reach more people than almost any politician and connect.”

The next horizon stretches beyond Rashford. His authenticity, precisely calibrated by the 20 “subject-matter experts” who work for Roc Nation in that Fitzrovia office, is rare. As the first “activist super player” to cut through with the public, Rashford was able to give the impression of spontaneity, relatability and unfilteredness prized by PR world, whatever the contrary reality. Other PR firms will go further than Roc Nation, and take stands on issues with far less room for consensus than feeding hungry children during a pandemic.

This represents an enormous shift away from sport as it was traditionally understood in England. It would be wrong to say that sport was apolitical, but it has rarely been a space for activism. According to the historian Derek Birely in Sport and The Making of Britain, sport had a “chauvinistic” side, but its role lay in “providing a safety valve, escape, sublimation, [and] socially acceptable outlets” for aggression. For Robert Colls, in This Sporting Life: Sport & Liberty in England 1760-1960, sport was defined by “knowing that not everyone is political”.

That knowledge is being replaced with the more contentious model of player-activism found in American sports. English football is already embroiled in a domestic culture war over the practice of “taking the knee” in support of BLM, and an international culture war over the Premier League’s “Rainbow Laces” campaign against homophobia. Perennial plans — looking ever more likely to come to fruition — for a European Super League will cement the game’s money-making capabilities, while severing the connection between England’s biggest clubs and their localities.

The four divisions of English football were always a parody of the class system; if the top clubs jet off, it will mirror the growth of our own transnational elite, who, like Manchester United, would rather play in Milan than Middlesbrough. Look on the bright side: United will be able, finally, to compete with the Dallas Cowboys for overseas markets on a more equal footing.

Top players in such a system will be like the American celebrities repped by Roc Nation. Extraordinarily wealthy and influential, but blandly removed from the audiences they sell their apparel and their opinions too. Maybe it will be then, when Jack Grealish is co-hosting a podcast with Greta Thunberg, or Mason Greenwood is co-authoring a popular book about antiracism with Reni-Eddo Lodge, that fans will feel a touch — just a breath — of nostalgia for Wayne Rooney and Ashley Cole. They were not good men, but at least their cynicism was genuine.


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Blue Tev
Blue Tev
3 years ago

The problem isn’t Rashford using what is small change for him to gain cheap PR
Or the sheer chutzpah of someone working with extremely wealthy footballers who regularly “manage” tax (though I am sure he himself pays full tax, given how noble he is), preaching to “give” money away from far less well off tax-holders

The problem, in a country that is amongst the most lavish when it comes to benefits, is the notion that personal responsibility doesn’t exist, that something as basic as feeding your own kids is the government’s job, that you can have as many kids as you want without bothering to think about how you take care for them. Most high band tax paying families I know struggle to have and provide for their kids, and none ““ ZERO ““ have as many children as the Rashford household where he grew up on benefits and free school meals.

I grew up in a poor third world country. For the first ten years (until my father – who incidentally took responsibility for his family – got promoted) our family had no hot water, no indoor heating, walk a long distance to school, no car, no TV, zero vacations.
Guess what was the first thing that got paid for when my parents got their salaries?
Food for their kids.
Guess what was second?
School fees (my sister was in an expensive fee paying school, btw)

All this is simply pathetic.

Tony Muller
Tony Muller
3 years ago
Reply to  Blue Tev

Who is saying that people having difficulty feeding their children are not taking personal responsibility? Where is the data to support this?

Blue Tev
Blue Tev
3 years ago
Reply to  Tony Muller

If you are having difficulty feeding children, that is a lack of personal responsibility if
a. you have multiple kids, without considering how you would feed them (single child, understandable, such as an unwanted pregnancy)
b. You have a heated house, can afford cigarettes, leisure, a big tv: stuff less fortunate families in poorer countries around the world cannot afford, but somehow their children get fed

Ian Perkins
Ian Perkins
3 years ago
Reply to  Blue Tev

Stuff less fortunate families in poorer countries around the world cannot afford, but sometimes their children get fed.
Hunger and poverty are expected to increase dramatically in 2021.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Perkins

Generally all evidence shows that there has been an improving picture and greatly reduced levels of world poverty over recent decades. See Hans Rosling etc. However the reaction to covid-19 both in developed and developing countries will almost certainly have severe adverse economic consequences falling mainly upon the poor – day labourers etc.

Ian Perkins
Ian Perkins
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

It already has here, despite COVID-19 barely affecting the country directly, with few cases and no recorded deaths from it so far.

Dave Smith
Dave Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Blue Tev

Accepting for a moment that your characterisations of people unable to feed their children might be true, in what way is that the fault of the children involved? Morally, should we stand idly by and let them go hungry? And would doing so improve the outcomes for the next generation?

Blue Tev
Blue Tev
3 years ago
Reply to  Dave Smith

What would you do with a home which has a beaten up and battered child? Send over free bandaids?

Of course, in a rich country like the UK you would want to feed, clothe and have a hot bath available for all those in need, and not just children .

But this has to be done with the caveat that keeping a child hungry in a country like the UK is not “poverty”, it’s a symptom of child abuse and irresponsibility, and at a minimum you need a visit from social services to make sure this doesn’t happen again.

And we also need to make it clear that relying on handouts, and having multiple kids while pleading helplessness at something as basic as feeding the kids, is utterly shameful behaviour.

Ian Perkins
Ian Perkins
3 years ago
Reply to  Blue Tev

It probably costs a lot more to send social services round to explain why there’s no more money than it does to provide free school meals.

Dave Smith
Dave Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Blue Tev

I wouldn’t pretend to know all of the circumstances in which children in the UK go hungry, but I’m guessing the landscape is far from homogenous. I know sometimes people fall on hard times, struggle mentally, find themselves crushed by debt, find it difficult to navigate through the bureaucracy to find the support they need etc. Some may, also, be lazy, relying on handouts, but i’m guessing it’s the minority. However, the constant in all of this is that it’s never, ever the child’s fault.

Ted Ditchburn
Ted Ditchburn
3 years ago
Reply to  Dave Smith

One part of the problem that is always present (and it isn’t about just let things go where they may) is if it is possible for families to hang together, parents forgoing/deferring whatever it is they forego/defer and the children being decently clothed and fed…but other households with the same, or even more income, having more and more things provided the less and less well they care for their kids, we end up creating a world of crazily inverted values that eventually ceases to function.

The issue is balancing off this issue as best we can.

Nearly a hundred years ago there were Means Tests which were meant to do that…to check what exactly people had and see what was being *wasted*. They were dropped because they were in a triple whammy, considered inhumane, inefficient and ineffective.

We have some means tests today usually for pensioners..where they seem to work…although every single test in any walk of life inevitably creates boundary decisions that when they arise often get used to discredit the whole idea even when they’re actually very small, often almost unique cases.

I am not saying *bring back means tests* all I am saying is that if we create peverse incentives we end up with perverse outcomes, and one of the peverse outcomes of the ever spreading idea of completely free stuff given to everyone is the erosion of incentives to work, either ‘at work’ or just to be a productive part of society.

That’s part of the reason we end up with ‘sink estates’.

These are really tough problems…and I am not going into my own life experience which, even to me, now sounds like some absurd caricture of the *Three Yorkshiremen* type…except that my own father (a miner) and mother (nurse) kept the family going despite a distinct shortage of cash around (or even an indoor bathroom…I told it you gets corny quickly….) and it’s because of them, their efforts and the values they inculcated that I raise contrarian points about the idea of free school meals for all, free school breakfasts (via Unicef), free shoes, laptops, phones, or whatever.

It doesn’t mean I support the idea of hungry, even starving, children to go unaddressed.

Nigel Farrah
Nigel Farrah
3 years ago
Reply to  Ted Ditchburn

There are plenty of means tested benefits today.

Nigel Farrah
Nigel Farrah
3 years ago
Reply to  Dave Smith

And so in practice what is your point? If you are arguing for free school meals then fine. If not then what? How do you get past that point?

rev.ian.hobbs
rev.ian.hobbs
3 years ago
Reply to  Blue Tev

I bet you read the Daily Mail… 🙂

Blue Tev
Blue Tev
3 years ago
Reply to  rev.ian.hobbs

No, only Breitbart!

Teo
Teo
3 years ago
Reply to  Blue Tev

You appear to be arguing that the poor of third world poverty are somehow morally superior to the indigenous poor of the developed world. One can only assume that when third world immigrants experience developed world poverty they are more than happy to abandon their third world moral superiority and milk the system.

Judy Johnson
Judy Johnson
3 years ago
Reply to  Blue Tev

The problem is that if the children are not helped
a. they pay for their parents being feckless
b they grow up with little example of alternatives
I do not believe that all people in poverty comprise the ‘undeserving poor.’

Arnold Grutt
Arnold Grutt
3 years ago
Reply to  Tony Muller

If people still can’t feed their children in a relatively generous Welfare State, what might that suggest?

Judy Johnson
Judy Johnson
3 years ago
Reply to  Arnold Grutt

That welfare payments are inadequate. Definitely some people are feckless but most people want to feed the children they love but rent and other payments have to be made too. Also, those of who can manage a budget have often grown up with role models who also managed their budgets and so we had an opportunity to learn.

Paul pmr
Paul pmr
3 years ago
Reply to  Judy Johnson

If you haven’t taught yourself to manage a household budget, then you shouldn’t have children…

rev.ian.hobbs
rev.ian.hobbs
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul pmr

Have you never heard of changed circumstances?

Tony Muller
Tony Muller
3 years ago
Reply to  Arnold Grutt

One of two things.

The parents my be incompetent and/or selfish

Or that the welfare system is inadequate for some.

Both are true.

Trevor Chenery
Trevor Chenery
3 years ago
Reply to  Tony Muller

The drum that Team Roc & Rashford don’t seem to be banging is the one for single parent families, why they are single parent, where is the missing spouse & if permanently absent is he/she contributing to the ongoing care, welfare and upbringing of the children involved. Or is that all being left to the state..

rosie mackenzie
rosie mackenzie
3 years ago
Reply to  Blue Tev

It was also offputting that he said people here have their water cut off when they don’t pay the bill which is untrue. He was in fact importing a grievance, yet again, from America, and applying it here for divisive effect.

LUKE LOZE
LUKE LOZE
3 years ago

Don’t you know that our entire history and current ‘truth’ are now to be based on the US.

Peter Turner
Peter Turner
3 years ago

I for one would have liked to know what was the point in this and similar comments that readers disagreed with so much that they down-voted. Who knows, it might have been valid, but otherwise it’s impossible to guess. Unfortunately, they don’t leave a comment themselves to explain.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  Blue Tev

“….a country that is amongst the most lavish when it comes to benefits”
Not compared with the rest of Western Europe, methinks. But perhaps your baseline is your statement that you grew up in a poor third world country.

“Most high band tax paying families I know struggle to have and provide for their kids”
By high band tax (I guess you mean 40% not 45%), you mean individual parents have gross incomes above £50,000pa and possibly well above that. With two working parents, the family income would be even higher. The median income in this country is around £27,000, so if those on £50,000 and well above are in a “struggle” as you claim, how do you imagine the average family, and those below average, cope?

Despite the street cred of “I grew up in a poor third world country“, what you’re really retailing is the old chestnut: we clawed our way to the top of the heap, so anyone who doesn’t is feckless..

rosie mackenzie
rosie mackenzie
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

Peres de famille on £50,000, living in London, do struggle, because they are paying for everything themselves and not getting any help, not even the child benefit they used to get. Whereas double earners on £49,000…

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago

Indeed. That’s what happens when a Government is run by people who aren’t very bright, but are very well-connected (it’s not what you know, it’s who you know). Does anyone seriously imagine that Boris Johnson would have become PM on the basis of his own abilities, rather than privilege?

Ian Perkins
Ian Perkins
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

Does anyone seriously imagine that Boris Johnson would have become PM on the basis of his own abilities?I’d imagine Boris does, if no-one else. He can quote two thousand lines of Homer in the original ancient Greek, you know.

Jonny Chinchen
Jonny Chinchen
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Perkins

You have no political points to make, only reverse snobbery ad hominem.

Jonny Chinchen
Jonny Chinchen
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

WTF are you talking about? He was elected Mayor of London, has been an MP for many years, and was elected PM by his party, then the Tories led by him were voted in by a massive majority.
What part of that was “privilege”?

There is a lot more “privilege” abuse going on in the Labour party, where planks like Dianne Abbot and David Lammy have benefited from a fantastic education which has not made them any the brighter, been promoted through the ranks due to their BAME status ticking boxes, then railed against private schools and privilege etc, despite sending kids to private schools and benefiting from being fast-tracked through our best institutions themselves.

That they are unelectable to government is entirely down to themselves and their see-through ignorance and hypocrisy.

John Nutkins
John Nutkins
3 years ago
Reply to  Jonny Chinchen

Excellent riposte on all points.

Blue Tev
Blue Tev
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

The old chestnut is that someone earning say 60-90k pa, ungrudgingly pays 20-30k tax to help fund free schools, hospitals or those less fortunate, which leaves barely enough in London to pay mortgage for a moderately decent house, maybe the odd vacation or private school fees (only one kid though, can’t afford more)”Š..
is a hybrid of scrooge and the Grinch if you question why parents can’t feed their children despite so much tax flowing into benefits or why have 3-4 kids if you are relying on handouts.

Also begs the question, if the above is so lavish, why is Santa Rashford coughing up just 200 odd k with 10mn or so (mostly tax free, footballer remember) annual income and 60m in assets.
I am sure he can manage with 95% of his entire earnings going to charity which still leaves, let me see, 10x the income of a typical greedy selfish, salaried high income Londoner

Ian Perkins
Ian Perkins
3 years ago
Reply to  Blue Tev

“Most high band tax paying families I know struggle to have and provide for their kids.”
I’ve known a few in my time, but absolutely none that ever had trouble putting food on the table. Their struggle, if any, was affording cocaine, caviar and champagne on top of private school fees.

rev.ian.hobbs
rev.ian.hobbs
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Perkins

Though that might be a tad exaggerated…. the high band taxpayers don’t always have a clue… They also have space to down grade their lifestyle… The poor don’t.

Kevin Ryan
Kevin Ryan
3 years ago
Reply to  Blue Tev

What’s pathetic? That a first world country, a member of the G7, has 2.5 million children in ‘food insecure households’ ?Yes I agree, it’s completely pathetic. And you can choose to lay the blame with government, with society or as you do with the individual parents. By all means encourage the notion of personal responsibility. But that’s a separate conversation than the one about what Rashford is doing now.There are hungry children in the UK this week, for Christmas. Your proposal is what? Tell them ‘tough sh:t kid, your mum shouldn’t have had you’ ?

Ian Perkins
Ian Perkins
3 years ago
Reply to  Kevin Ryan

Or tell them, “Lucky kids! You just might escape poverty by becoming a famous footballer like Pelé or Rashford.”

Jonny Chinchen
Jonny Chinchen
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Perkins

Take them into care until their parents sort themselves out?

Jonny Chinchen
Jonny Chinchen
3 years ago
Reply to  Kevin Ryan

Is it now the government’s direct responsibility to feed every child in the country?
That’s a level of socialism that even the Communist regimes couldn’t maintain.

Teo
Teo
3 years ago
Reply to  Jonny Chinchen

Communist regime: the boast of full employment, the criminalisation of the unemployed by sanctions, denial that children may be going hungry, not recognising the cause maybe economic policy failure, promoting the feckless citizen narrative.

Tony Muller
Tony Muller
3 years ago
Reply to  Jonny Chinchen

That is not what is being suggested.

Nigel Farrah
Nigel Farrah
3 years ago
Reply to  Tony Muller

What is then? I must be misunderstanding here.

SUSAN GRAHAM
SUSAN GRAHAM
3 years ago
Reply to  Blue Tev

Could not agree more – and I’ve been there and got the t-shirt, left with three children, large mortgage when benefits were a pittance compared with today but feeding my children came first. They were entitled to free school meals but I couldn’t put them through the embarrassment and they had healthy packed lunches and I cooked a proper dinner every night – this of course was in the days when mothers cooked – they never had takeaways or ready meals. And ‘breakfast clubs’ !!!! There were no food banks then but if there had been I could not have coped with the shame – but the money I had was spent sensibly, the kids came first and I put myself last.
It would be interesting to know how these ‘poor’ people spend their money, no doubt have the latest phone and many of the parents shown are not exactly wasting away so they are getting plenty to eat. There are no starving children in the UK these days but there are plenty in third world countries who could do with some food but guess that wouldn’t be such high profile PR for Rashford who I would like to tell a few home truths.
I wonder how he squares the circle of a nation of starving children with the childhood obesity crisis?

Ian Perkins
Ian Perkins
3 years ago
Reply to  SUSAN GRAHAM

“There are no starving children in the UK these days.”I’m not sure exactly how true that is, but there’s increasing hunger and malnutrition, due largely to widening inequality.

Jonny Chinchen
Jonny Chinchen
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Perkins

When you say “due largely to widening inequality” is that a fact? Is there no element of people making bad choices or failing to take responsibility for themselves?
“Widening inequality” sounds like a rather vague attempt just to shift the blame to government, the rich, corporations etc.
Perhaps a way to avoid the inconvenient truth?

rev.ian.hobbs
rev.ian.hobbs
3 years ago
Reply to  Jonny Chinchen

It is an established fact. The inconvenient truth isn’t hidden…
https://www.equalitytrust.o

Tony Muller
Tony Muller
3 years ago
Reply to  Jonny Chinchen

No sensible person would argue that there are not selfish people out there who do not prioritise their children. Rich or poor.

Why damn all those parents by the actions of the selfish? Why damn their children too?

Teo
Teo
3 years ago
Reply to  Tony Muller

Why damn all those parents by the actions of the selfish? Why damn their children too?

After decades of progressive poverty porn most do not comprehend what they are actually saying their conditioned sub-conscience is kicking in as a political actor.

crazydiamond2310
crazydiamond2310
3 years ago
Reply to  Jonny Chinchen

Even if people make ‘bad choices’ that’s not a good enough reason for children to go hungry. Marcus Rashford is an excellent role model for young people from less well off backgrounds. The Daily Mail’s pathetic attempt to damage his reputation by focusing on his property investments actually showed that he is a young man with common sense. Professional footballers have a short shelf life and are always one bad injury away from the end of their career. He has invested wisely so that when his career does come to an end he has an income.

Banaccringtonstanley Now
Banaccringtonstanley Now
3 years ago

I came from a place and background that make rashfords look like paradise. In this day and age if your children are starving in the UK its not the fault of the state that’s for sure.

rev.ian.hobbs
rev.ian.hobbs
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Perkins

I’m astonished that this is down marked by anyone. Of course some people are irresponsible.. But the rise in use of foodbanks is the employed. Some on this platform seem to have zero understanding of what’s around the country these days. Widening inequality is an established fact. If some income is “misspent” (and I’m all for tough personal budgets) a tad of forgiveness might be in order.

Ted Ditchburn
Ted Ditchburn
3 years ago
Reply to  rev.ian.hobbs

It’s why Rashford may start to get marked down…when bold, but over simplistic assertions are made to value signal rather than do anything worthwhile whether practically or to further debate, they’ll get marked down.

Nobody is thereby marking down *starving children* or even denying that there must be hungry or very hungry children, though perhaps not quite starving in the headline grabbing way it is used.

The misallocation of resources in providing not just every child who needs it with a free school dinner, but a free school breakfast and free school meals in holidays, is one thing people worry about (well off kids getting the free stuff..maybe that’s very acceptable and insignificant collateral damage…but the slow loosening of even more of the very often feeble bonds that bind together some very sad excuses for families we have, combined with the sticking plaster effect of feeling *something good has been done* covering up the ever deepening problems for another year or two may be unaccepetable collateral damage.

The idea of central command economies was dealt a very heavy blow by the collapse of the USSR and the Soviet empire in central Asia and Eastern Europe.

The idea of central command socities ought to have been as well.

For Marcus Rashford in this situation and these times the topic was a low hanging fruit. The reason I think he may get *marked down* is if vafter this he decides he likes the taste and goes for higher , less accessible fruit.

There is a growing surge already against the last decades easy but empty value signalling rhetoric, which all too often these days is essentially narcisissitic, or motivated by click addiction (entirely understandable for those who live by celebrity).

For now without reservation you have to applaud when a plan and a cause come together seamlessly…for the possible pitfalls, and accepting there will still be money to be made for the Sussexes, look no forward than last year’s well intentioned celebrity flavour of the month, this year’s hapless poseur; Prince Harry.

Jamie Russel Fisher
Jamie Russel Fisher
3 years ago
Reply to  rev.ian.hobbs

Foodbanks: supply stimulates demand in equal measure to demand stimulating supply (viz road building etc. etc.). The reality is not what you say, which is left wing dogma, but that a common preying on general community goodwill is leading to self-congratulatory public “charidee” and proliferation of unaccountable organisations set up for the self validation of individuals. There are too many people ready to take advantage, diluting the help available for those really in need!
Widening inequality: proof?? References?? The fact of the rich getting richer does not mean the poor getting poorer. There is virtually NIL real poverty in the UK & that which exists is principally the result of failure of the social security system to reach those most in need because the system is it totally clogged by chancers & the terminally mendacious pursuing their “rights”.
Income misspent: are you serious?? A low income family spending scant resources on fripperies instead of essentials should be FORGIVEN??? Meanwhile those of us with a sense of responsibility deploy our own finite resources to make absolutely certain we never become a BURDEN on the State.
Get real.

opn
opn
3 years ago

You get real. Make a real visit to a real Food Bank. Or do you “just know” ? That is prejudice, not reality

Nigel Farrah
Nigel Farrah
3 years ago
Reply to  opn

I know and I have time for what he says. It’s not the absolute truth but there is truth in there. I have seen people turn up to food banks in cars. I have seen them turn up with smartphones and unworn smart casual clothing. I have seen them turn up smoking very very often. Your call to your “reality” means nothing to me. It doesn’t match my experience on the whole.

Banaccringtonstanley Now
Banaccringtonstanley Now
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Perkins

Your statement makes no sense. Inequality relates to the level of difference between those at the top and those at the bottom. It is whether or not people chose to take the time to actually decipher it, nothing to do with poverty! We should also note that relative poverty is possibly the biggest BS in history as it has been utterly and completely invented by hard left morons. If you earn less than roughly 38,000 Pa your apoeremtly in relative poverty…….. Wtf!

If kids are starving how is this the case at the bottom end,housing is paid for and you review nearly.200pm per child plus your own.I hear people in fn africa and India aee queuing up to be in poverty in the UK!

Sisyphus Jones
Sisyphus Jones
3 years ago

In the US obesity is a FAR bigger health issue than hunger among the
poor. If people don’t get enough to eat it is not because there isn’t
food. Food banks and churches will literally deliver it to you. If there
are starving people in the US (and, I suspect, the UK) it is because
their caregivers – not an unjust society – refuse to make a phone call.

Steve Dean
Steve Dean
3 years ago
Reply to  SUSAN GRAHAM

UNICEF would beg to differ about children in the UK needing assistance with food. Does The Grocer count as the dreaded MSM in this bubble? They seem to provide interesting support for the number of children going hungry.
https://www.thegrocer.co.uk/community/how-prevalent-is-child-hunger-in-the-uk-and-what-can-be-done-about-it/648080.article

John Nutkins
John Nutkins
3 years ago
Reply to  SUSAN GRAHAM

Well said.

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  Blue Tev

I worked in Accountants for Temp reasons recent past, &90% of footballers had offshore Accounts, ..in Showbiz we have ”Virtuous” Bob Geldof &Jimmy carr with offshore tax havens..

Teo
Teo
3 years ago
Reply to  Blue Tev

Have read this diatribe template for third world poverty to be visited on the host country a thousand times.

Martin Butler
Martin Butler
3 years ago
Reply to  Blue Tev

So you want us to be like a 3rd world country do you? The whole point of a 1st world country is we don’t treat people like that! Can’t you grasp that? Personally I’d rather we move closer to the Denmark model than Nigeria. The people on here you get the sense the more 3rd world the better.

katiepert1970
katiepert1970
3 years ago
Reply to  Blue Tev

An oversimplification of poverty in England and an emotive rant. There are always some who abuse the system but there are many more who don’t. People on piss poor wages use food banks because the government isn’t doing their job properly.

Sax Guy
Sax Guy
3 years ago
Reply to  Blue Tev

Your father was a very good man of whom you should be very proud. This country needs fathers with such an outlook that binds a family together and makes them resilient. Thanks for he post

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago

Nobody cared what Gary Neville thought about child tax credits.
and was that so horrible? Instead, we have people flacking for BLM, a group they are wholly ignorant about, a group that took down the “what we believe” part of its own website because it didn’t look very good to never mention ‘men’ in an otherwise boilerplate leftist treatise. By the way, when you’re bailing out people who have engaged in looting, arson, and vandalism, you’re not standing on the high ground.

Teo
Teo
3 years ago

Celebrity rent seeking campaigns that are blatantly manipulative and beyond the trite act of virtue signalling. Politicians should not back down to political clickbait campaigns that are the marketing fronts for celebrity self-promotion.

J StJohn
J StJohn
3 years ago
Reply to  Teo

Wot? and lose the next election? No chance

Judy Englander
Judy Englander
3 years ago
Reply to  Teo

And also cost billions according to today’s Times. As if this country’s economy wasn’t in a sufficiently perilous state before Rashford’s intervention. Of course, only the little people who pay large chunks of their income in taxes will suffer. People like Rashford might ‘pay’ with one less home.

rosie mackenzie
rosie mackenzie
3 years ago
Reply to  Judy Englander

Footballers, however fashionable, should not be setting the budget.

Chris Hopwood
Chris Hopwood
3 years ago
Reply to  Judy Englander

Didn’t “Eat out to Help Out” cost almost a billion?

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  Judy Englander

I doubt if Rashford has as many homes as Rishi Sunak, Britain’s richest MP, who was an investment banker.

How much did we bail out the financial system with as a result of the Rishi Sunaks and their kind? £1.1 trillion. That’s 1,100,000,000,000.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago

A very good and timely article. BLM raised $10 billion this year. Most of this was funnelled to the Democrat Party while some was spent on houses and cars. Meanwhile, needless to say, the areas most adversely affected by the defunding of the police in Seattle and Minneapolis etc are those areas inhabited largely by black people. There is no end to the grift and the madness, and it will only get worse.

trialfree628
trialfree628
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

The grift and the madness end when Trump leaves office. Not a day too soon!

Andrew Thompson
Andrew Thompson
3 years ago

Rearrange the following words to make a well known phrase or saying: Put. Money. Your. Mouth. Is. Where. Your. Yes of course much good has come from this intuitive but it’s not his initiative though it is him that’s getting promoted to god like status because of it. He kicks a ball around for £250K a week FGS with an estimated worth of £65m. Nuff said.

Andrew Thompson
Andrew Thompson
3 years ago

Maybe I’m just an old cynic…………

Joff Brown
Joff Brown
3 years ago

You seriously don’t think he puts any of his own money in?

J StJohn
J StJohn
3 years ago
Reply to  Joff Brown

It’s his business , I can’t imagine Rashers not investing in his own business, he’ll reap the financial rewards down the line. When he’s older and wiser, I suspect he’ll realise that, though genuinely meant, the real winner was his own pocket. Whether he follows through, like Gates, or Ms Bezos or Buffett and makes a serious personal commitment remains to be seen. I believe he’s genuine and he will.

Ian Barton
Ian Barton
3 years ago
Reply to  J StJohn

So until then, let’s “Do as he does, not what he says” …

Nigel Farrah
Nigel Farrah
3 years ago
Reply to  Joff Brown

I think it is likely that he doesn’t give anything more than a nominal sum.

Doug Pingel
Doug Pingel
3 years ago

Yes but you are not alone!

Juilan Bonmottier
Juilan Bonmottier
3 years ago

The combination of the influential super rich and ‘charity’ ‘work’ rarely produces anything that is not utterly grotesque when one cares to look closely at it -though it is so distasteful to look at it is no surprise most do not want to see.

This sort of charity is the cover which temporarily masks the true ugliness of individuals and institutions that worship mammon and power as the ultimate Godheads – above all things -encompassed in the stupid idea that it’s more money and control over people which will solve the world’s ills -not more tolerance, compassion, understanding, courage, resilience, reality, honesty or truth. It sets up the narrative of ‘we, with our money will take charge of the world. We will decide what is best. You will do as we say. It is our money alone that decrees us as your entitled rulers.’

The worst possible outcome for this world is the combination of plutocracy and technocracy -the underlying ‘values’ of the ‘great reset’ -the ultimate expression of the shameless arrogance and omniscience of the narcissistic super rich.

It’s even uglier when the phenomenally rich, such as Rashford or Jay Z use influence to get others to pay out of what little they have for ‘the better world’ that Rashford and Jay Z wish to be not just associated with but revered for as its creators. And to use a projected form of guilt to do it is despicable.

I want to credit Rashford with some moral integrity, if little intellectual nous. I like to think that at some point in his meeting he experienced something like a nagging doubt in his gut, and thought to himself, ‘is this right, or could I be doing something better, more honest, more straightforward?’ -more reflecting perhaps the simple, difficult poverty in which he was raised? More linked perhaps to what might really help such a situation? Free food will not help, because social history tells us in spite of best intentions it seldom enables and invariably leads to a dependence on free everything else -usually because it goes hand in hand with a power grab from the wealthy that deprives people of genuine opportunities to have a better life.

Take NBA and BLM -NBA happy to earn gazillions in broadcast rights in China -one of the most pitifully oppressed nations on the globe -whilst simultaneously virtue signalling to the rafters their goodliness in the hope you won’t see what they are really up to and what horrors they are colluding with.

Actively debasing the world whilst at the same time avowedly and aggressively asserting one’s goodliness is about as low as it gets in my book.

John Nutkins
John Nutkins
3 years ago

Excellent points.

stephen f.
stephen f.
3 years ago

Lending help to the truly in need is worthy-aligning oneself with blatantly political and race-based causes is another. These matters are not congruent, but have been combined in the actions of many sport and entertainment figures. I long for the day, now gone (but maybe someday to return), when I could enjoy sports with other fans and leave all societies contentions outside for a while, arguing over a beer about sport, for God’s sake, no matter how we vote. I would like to watch actors without having to suspend my revulsion at some strident political or even laughably “scientific” statement remembered…

Stephen Lavin
Stephen Lavin
3 years ago

the narrative of a religious unmarried woman with 5 children working 3 jobs in New Labour Britain with access to housing and child benefit, shopping in Poundland etc but still being unable to put a loaf of bread on the table is clearly fiction or major evidence for intervention by social services … but the media in the search of clickbait articles, obsession with x factor type backstories of overcoming adversity, lack of due diligence and any form of investigation allow this nonsense to be published

Jim Shaw
Jim Shaw
3 years ago

I can’t really do anything about the Government frittering my tax contribution on free school meals simply because it is scared to say No but I can make sure that I give not one single penny of my disposable income to any of the money making charities and their rich directors, or any of the money making professional beggars that line our streets. This crap is a full blown industry nowadays and I for one will give them exactly what they merit…nowt!! ‘Have you got any spare change, mate?” “Yes, I have indeed, thank you.” To help with Rashford and his phoney campaign

Ian Perkins
Ian Perkins
3 years ago
Reply to  Jim Shaw

“Let them eat cake,” as Marie Antoinette so concisely expressed it?

Teo
Teo
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Perkins

“Let them eat cake,”

A better national aspiration than a nation aspiring to be marched towards the guillotine on a belly of stale bread.

G Matthews
G Matthews
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Perkins

No, let their fathers not abandon the mothers of their children

William Murphy
William Murphy
3 years ago
Reply to  Jim Shaw

Jim,

You don’t have any choice in the matter of donating to “charity”. Look at the accounts of Oxfam, Christian Aid, Caritas, etc and see how much they get from the UK Government. If you are getting 30 to 40% of your income from the taxpayer, you are just a fake charity and another branch of government.

Christopher Barclay
Christopher Barclay
3 years ago

What is most noticeable about the media response to Rashford is that no one asks him about his father. When Courtney Lawes, also a Person Of Colour, asked the pertinent question about whether we should think again as a society about marriage, family and raising children, he was ignored or criticised for raising the taboo subject.

This is happening because the economic inequality of this country has reached unacceptable levels and yet the very rich are not prepared to stop using their tax avoidance schemes or offshore bank accounts. What they do instead is to force people, who are struggling to support their own families, to support the children of absent fathers.

I doubt that it is a coincidence that Roc Nation and Rashford appear to be in line with one of the policy aims of BLM, that the organisation is now hiding. BLM’s website originally stated their aim to break up the nuclear family and place the responsibility for raising children on new political structures modelled on African villages.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago

it was curious how quickly the “What we believe” portion of BLM’s website went dark once people started reading it. Not one word about fathers and the only mention of ‘men’ was in terms of the potential threat they pose to women.

Christopher Barclay
Christopher Barclay
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

It also reflected the inconsistent attitude of Black Americans to Africans. They appeal to their African heritage when it is useful to do so and ignore it when not. The idea of family to rural and even urban Africans is often very different from that in Europe or the US. It is however equally different to that held by BLM. In traditional African societies, men do not relinquish responsibility. Instead they assume it as head of the family unit. Especially when it comes to raising adolescent boys.

Jeremy Poynton
Jeremy Poynton
3 years ago

“This is happening because the economic inequality of this country has reached unacceptable levels “

Never good but nowhere NEAR as bad as you claim.

Ain’t facts a sod?

https://www.closer.ac.uk/da

G Matthews
G Matthews
3 years ago

Good journalism, what I come to Unherd for, so thanks for that. I would like to know where Mr Rashford senior is, Robert Rashford. How is it that nobody is asking why the father was not providing for his children? I recall Marcus is one of 5 kids to that mother, I am not sure if they all have the same father or how many have the same father, but as he appears to still be alive and is pretty young at 55 then why is he not being blamed for not putting food on the table? Why was the child support agency not getting money from him? If I had brought a child into the world then not fed it I would have not been able to look at myself in the mirror. The fact that the father is never mentioned in any article makes it clear how closely Jay-Zs agency have been managing this narrative. It should be a narrative of a failure in basic personal responsibility.

Janet Balmer
Janet Balmer
3 years ago
Reply to  G Matthews

Robert Rashford is now Marcus’ agent. Seems he reappeared when his son became famous (and wealthy). He’s thus most certainly a player in all of this. Marcus seems like a good person but I fear he may be being used.

Ian Barton
Ian Barton
3 years ago

You have to admit this is a great piece of PR, even if, like me, you hate the idea of sport being corrupted with politics (disingenuous or otherwise).

The main risk for Rashford is that many people who would otherwise have no negative opinions about him, may judge him as someone who is milking other peoples misfortune for his own PR benefit.

That may/may not be fair, but it’s likely.

Barry Wetherilt
Barry Wetherilt
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Barton

I suspect he’s fulfilling the role of useful idiot.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago

There has to be a joke here about Phil Jones, but I can’t quite find it.

rosie mackenzie
rosie mackenzie
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Barton

Yes, there will eventually be a backlash.

Harry Powell
Harry Powell
3 years ago

Excellent piece of journalism. We may be witnessing the emergence of a media/PR/activism industry that will do what the charity think-tank NGOs used to do, namely be paid to astroturf and lobby for the kind of political policies that governments want but can’t be seen to campaign about. ASH was a classic example of this sort of sock-puppet. A supposed charity paid for by public money to lobby for an unpopular policy. Winning campaigns by future slabs will pay for themselves by augmenting the public profile of the celebrity in question, so there is the perfect cheap mechanism of policy laundering. Call it the Waldo effect if you like.

Nikita Kubanovs
Nikita Kubanovs
3 years ago

Although I’m sure Marcus Rashford will see a rise in his own personal stock from this isn’t that exactly what we want? Charitable action should be both socially and personally beneficial, otherwise nobody will be charitable. My only issue is that sport is not the place for a politial campaign, sport is one of the few outlets we have in society where your race or your gender or your political views are completely irrelevant, you gain success through your talent and your ability in your sport not whether you support BLM or not.

Andrew Harvey
Andrew Harvey
3 years ago

Here’s the point (and I’m trying really hard not to put it in all caps) — it’s not charity. Charity is using your own money or trying to convince others to use their own money. This is pure political posturing.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Harvey

I guess when a millionaire Tory banker calls for the Government to change the tax rules to give more money to hedge funds, your response is that the millionaire banker should give his own money to hedge funds if he wants to?

Instead, the Tories did alter the tax rules so that hedge fund managers pay a lower rate of tax than their cleaners – something which one HF manager wisely commented was unlikely to be sympathised with by the general public.

Laura Pritchard
Laura Pritchard
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Harvey

I believe he does put quite a lot of money where his mouth is but maybe you could look it up?

Dave Smith
Dave Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Harvey

By who’s definition? He’s giving his time, and ‘time is money’ I’m told…

Ian Barton
Ian Barton
3 years ago

Not so sure about the “personal stock” comment.

I and many others do plenty of “good work” and have no wish to increase our “personal stock” as a result – as genuine charity is a personal act of giving, rather than one that might make people like/pay us more.

I’m also old enough to remember the (justifiable) reputational risks that come with being seen as “Bono the 2nd”

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago

A lot of charity is done is out of the camera’s sight; there is no attempt at burnishing one’s “personal stock,” just a belief in the action being taken. As it is, the more that govt encroaches into space that was the province of charities, the less need there is for charities. Besides, charity never involves someone else’s money; it requires yours.

William Murphy
William Murphy
3 years ago

I have worked for charitable causes in the past for nothing and met dozens of great people who made a difference to others’ lives and wanted no recognition. And, in the course of a charity evening, we had the late Sir Jimmy Savile, OBE, KCSG, lecturing us charity plebs for not raising enough money. Though, to be fair to the old molester, he was probably doing that at the behest of the charity’s loathsome boss.

Jimmy is one obvious red flag which ought to make people wary of the rich, famous and publicly charitable. He raised £26 million for Stoke Mandeville!! How saintly can you be? And, when any investigator came sniffing, he had no shame about pointing to all the great charitable work which would be imperilled if anything nasty was published.

R S
R S
3 years ago

I think the issue from the authors POV is more with his PR agency leveraging this to make a lot more money down the road than rashford himself who seems to have done this for good intentions and rightly got the comms pros in to get the job done

David Weare
David Weare
3 years ago

Similar to the UN stunt feeding kids, these campaigns, despite doing good deeds, appear aimed at shaming govt and eroding public confidence.
For sure – State schools need all the help they can get WRT funding and it is scandalous how underfunded they are.
However –

Roc Nation have a political agenda – To disrupt and claim territory.

It is important IMO to differentiate between ‘Good faith’ action – And ‘Bad faith’.
Even when the results may be good on the ground.

john freeman
john freeman
3 years ago

Is it Unicef which is sending money to feed UK children? And at the same time as we the British are borrowing money to send overseas in the form of International Aid? There’s a racket somewhere.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  john freeman

The whole aid/charity/NGO/Unicef/UN thing is a racket, and has been for decades.

Jonathan Bagley
Jonathan Bagley
3 years ago

I admire him hugely, but disagree with giving the parent £15 a week. Providing actual food, as the film appears to show, really does feed children and is far less wasteful. I rarely spend more than £1 on lunch. 65p will buy a large can of beans, 2 eggs and 2 slices of bread.

Warren Alexander
Warren Alexander
3 years ago

Until one day when Rashford or some other “saintly” sports star commits some minor infraction of woke regulations and is committed to the bottomless pit of shame by the media.

stephen f.
stephen f.
3 years ago

Charles Leclerc refused to “take a knee” for BLM and Hamilton et al , and the twitters swarmed out of the hive to sting him with accusations of racism. He indignantly fought back-“I am not a racist, but I will not kneel”. This is real character, not wearing a t-shirt with a dead, violent drug dealer’s picture on it…woke is rarely saintly.

Teo
Teo
3 years ago
Reply to  stephen f.

Would only “take a knee” for God and Ferrari preferably at Monza.

leznikm8
leznikm8
3 years ago

An honest, possibly, boy in cynical hands.

Isla C
Isla C
3 years ago
Reply to  leznikm8

Yep, he is damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t..

William Murphy
William Murphy
3 years ago

Thanks, Mr Lloyd, for a wickedly funny article. Makes me nostalgic for the bad old days of Wayne Rooney and his hooker granny. I am reminded of Tom Lehrer’s immortal words on the Old Dope Peddler giving free samples to the kids:

“It’s the Old Dope Peddler.
Doing well by doing good.”

Among the hosannas surrounding Saint Marcus, has anyone mentioned him donating any of his own cash (don’t forget, it’s tax deductible)? Nah, use the taxpayers’ cash. But I sound like that rancid Daily Mail writer. Personal philanthropy or sacrifice is so five minutes ago.

Alan Hawkes
Alan Hawkes
3 years ago

If there are children who are regularly going hungry, really hungry, then a civilised nation does something about it. Having a debate to sort out the deserving poor from the undeserving poor is not the answer.

Wulvis Perveravsson
Wulvis Perveravsson
3 years ago

When Rashford defended his property investment, he said something about wanting to ensure the financial security of his family into the future. If he can’t manage that on £200k a week, even taking into account the relatively short career of a top-flight professional footballer, there is something amiss. His own actions demonstrate the sort of avarice that drives levels of inequality in our society ever higher.

stuart.marshall
stuart.marshall
3 years ago

England got to the quarter final of a major tournament in 2002, 2004 and 2006, and were knocked out by a fantastic Germany side in 2010 after having a goal wrongly disallowed that would have seen them level. I don’t how you can argue that’s substantially worse than the current era, but you seem to be generally trying to shoehorn football into a narrative that doesn’t really fit.

Mike Spoors
Mike Spoors
3 years ago

Well, a reading of this article and a scan of the comments, all most of them warrant, shows the gulf between the sort of people who read UnHerd and those who someone like Marcus Rashford has helped raise an issue about but one few here would concern themselves with. The fact that he has been helped by outside and expert sources does not diminish what he has achieved. He is hardly unique in needing such help, why even politicians and businessmen might actually need to use Spads and Consultants to tell them what’s what. But, Rashford is after all a mere footballer. He didn’t go to the right schools, he was brought up on what used to be called a Council Estate. As someone sneeringly says on another comment, he appears to be the product of a one parent family. How dare he be something other than what he is presumed to be? Many ‘ordinary’ people have been galvanised by his campaign to highlight the fact that children and their families go hungry. Those that don’t accept that such a thing is a reality might want to wonder why rather than impugn his motives with the condescension so typical of the middle classes

G Matthews
G Matthews
3 years ago
Reply to  Mike Spoors

So, what do you think about the role of his father here? If you created 5 kids, would you not feel a responsibility to feed and clothe them, rather than abandon them? You do realise it takes 2 people to make and raise a child? Why the silence?

Lindsay Coleman
Lindsay Coleman
3 years ago
Reply to  G Matthews

Yes it rather reminds me of someone else. A feckless, untrustworthy chancer scattering his seed willy-nilly. Bringing children into the world and then disowning them. Lying his way into high office and then rewarding all those who helped him on his way by stuffing them into the House of Lords to be supported by the taxpayer. That’s apart from all of the cronies who profit from the questionable contracts pushed their way. So who is behind Boris?

G Matthews
G Matthews
3 years ago

Very predictable attempt at deflection, yawn. Rashford went hungry because his father abandoned his wife and children, end of.

Claire Olszanska
Claire Olszanska
3 years ago
Reply to  G Matthews

I agree the fathers should be held to account – I do believe it was tried in the past but didn’t succeed greatly – but why punish a child for it’s parents actions?

Mike Spoors
Mike Spoors
3 years ago
Reply to  G Matthews

And the fact that Rashford was raised in a one parent family, if indeed that is the case, is somehow his fault/responsibility? Many children find themselves in such a situation but it seems it is only the less well off, as indeed he was when he was growing up, that attract the oppobrium of the censorious moralists that worry about how the lower orders disport themselves.

Martin Davis
Martin Davis
3 years ago

True enough we’ve gone down the celebrity filthy rich athlete rabbit hole with the rest of the Western world (and elsewhere as well – rags to riches is a seductive offer, after all, especially if you’re poor). And occasionally you get one turning up trumps, like Rashford. The PR angle is cute, in line with everyone else, of course (including and especially the politicos). But why all the moaning about Rachford’s behaviour? It might be that, sensitive to the ‘build them up and tear them down’, the celebrities now aim to appear to be on their best behaviour, with the help of their respective industries and associated publicists. But very few actually try and make a difference while ‘in office’, or even after. Credit where credit’s due, I reckon.

Don Gaughan
Don Gaughan
3 years ago

Interesting article on how the left liberal progressives activists in the woke dominated media build the PR shrines to their political icons and create their political “celebrities “and approved role models.
Looking closely at what the Marxist leninist influenced left wing progressive do ,say and undemocratically force on the free democracies of the west , they are far more guilty of the false accusations they slanderously inflict to suppress dissent than those they truthlessly censor ,cancel.and persecute.The blatantly racist left fabricated Critical.Race Theory dogma central.to their creed reveals the truthless malice and destructive intent towards the western civilization and the people and cultures who built it.
While many surrender and have capitulated to it, its encouraging to see people here and elsewhere see through the constant ever present propaganda , and are speaking out and standing up to the truthless progressive tyranny.
We have fought and prevailed over powerful entrenched tyrannies before,and we , and real justice and truth and our efforts can prevail over this one.

Korina Wood
Korina Wood
3 years ago

Taxpayers are behind him…. We are all being forced to Fund his Life Choice. Why are the Absent feckless fathers not being forced to fund the support of their children?

misterestyles
misterestyles
3 years ago
Reply to  Korina Wood

1) “we are all being forced to fund his life choices”. I think only someone heartless and lacking in compassion and basic decency would have the opinion that funding free school meals for the most vulnerable children in society is a bad use of tax revenue.

2) “why are the absent feckless fathers not being forced to fund the support of their own children”. You assume all children claiming free meals have “absent feckless fathers”. This comment smacks of your own projected supposition and bias. People in society have different starting points and opportunities in life based on their socio-economic backgrounds. Those who need help, especially vulnerable children, should be supported rather than vilified by others meritocratic hubris and morally repugnant judgements.

Are you Rees-Mogg in disguise?

Lyn Griffiths
Lyn Griffiths
3 years ago

I watched Marcus last night and he came across as a genuine guy who saw a community problem and wanted to help, and did so immediately. Not like some who talk and ponder and do nothing but keep talking. He sees action is louder and more effective and effective he has been. But what has spoilt his genuine heartfelt care, now he is able to help the people who need his help. It is the people who want to profit from him and have their own agenda, and that has become the cause of the divisive dialogue. The political, the nobody’s, the negative minds of a society who have become dislodged. Marcus not his colour, not his need for popularity, but a genuine nice human being, and this spoilt by narrators of dubious character.
Therefore, between the government who pour in millions and the charities and the individual groups who are all doing there bit. We as a nation and maybe seen stumbling at times. But we are all doing what we can. So for those who call on the racist card, the white supremists, the government failings. You are the ones with the problem and you trouble makers should clear off.

Jim Shaw
Jim Shaw
3 years ago

To hell with Rashford……..is what the last line should have read

michaelrieveley
michaelrieveley
3 years ago

There is a great deal of hypocrisy in this article and many of the comments concerning footballers and the money they earn. The Premier League is a highly successful British business with international appeal, surely something we should all support as we in the UK start on the road of independent world trade. The main assets are the performers and as the most talented rise to the top of their profession so their value rises which is then translated into earning capacity. We need not concern ourselves with how else they choose to conduct themselves, it is only if they should contravene the law that there may be some reason for public indignation.
This is surely what liberal freedoms allow. The market predominates. That Marcus Rashford chooses to use whatever influence he has acquired to further a cause which the vast majority of the nation are so evidently in favour is surely something to be applauded rather than denigrated. That he chooses savvy operators to assist him further suggests that he should not be underestimated.
Back of the net!

Roland Powell
Roland Powell
3 years ago

The same old “blame” arguments” rehashed again. I subscribed to read well researched and thoughtful journalism. This article and the comments it has elicited give me pause to reconsider?

R mcd
R mcd
3 years ago

Fascinating piece. Well done.

Paul Hunt
Paul Hunt
3 years ago

Are you alright??? Apart from the flagrant ascerbic bitterness of your entire piece the leaps of logic and history are astoundingly snobbish and wrong. “If England’s footballers were hideous in the 2000s, it was because England was. If they were trashily materialistic, it was because England was too. They were no better, and not much worse, than anyone else in public life at the time.” Tigers eat meat because the eagles also ate meat and they live in the same place. A logically vapid, narrow-sighted and snide assessment solely to prove your point that footballers, and black people generally, should shut up.

“Alongside Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling and Aston Villa’s Tyrone Mings, who both campaigned for BLM after the death of George Floyd, Rashford was suddenly leading a generation of politically self-aware England players.” Raheem Sterling became politically aware when the tabloid press decided to make every single thing he did front- and back- page news! A reaction rather than a personal decision to ‘cynically steal power’. Don’t worry mate, the rich black kids aren’t coming to steal your wife and apartment.

N P
N P
3 years ago

The real question is who is behind Will Lloyd?

James Moss
James Moss
3 years ago

I think a lot of us are.

Zorro Tomorrow
Zorro Tomorrow
2 years ago

Did Rashford have a whip round of his multi millionaire mates to help the poor? No. Did Rashford start any campaigns for poor indigenous whites? Does Rashford endorse a quasi terrorist poltical organisation to defund the Police and overthrow the government? Yes. Thick as pig s#1t and 2ce as nasty. When the left seize his assets or tax him 98% a la Harold Wilson and he flees UK at least he’ll have Meghan and housekeeper Harry to console him.

mike otter
mike otter
2 years ago

I think Rashford & co have a point but their words are distorted by both their pseudo left wing puppet masters and right wing opponents. There are underserving poor with many kids using foodbanks to save money for fags, lager, skunk etc. They are poster families for UK Labor party and US Dems. There are many more who feed their kids first yet are still poor despite working hard. To say they should not have had kids is to miss the point, we either believe in the right to a family life, liberty, pursuit of happiness, justice etc or we do not. If not its everyone for themselves or their clan. As Tom Morello said – ” arm the homeless”

mike otter
mike otter
2 years ago

I think Rashford & co have a point but their words are distorted by both their pseudo left wing puppet masters and right wing opponents. There are underserving poor with many kids using foodbanks to save money for “ciggies” lager, skunk etc. They are poster families for UK Labor party and US Dems. There are many more who feed their kids first yet are still poor despite working hard. To say they should not have had kids is to miss the point, we either believe in the right to a family life, liberty, pursuit of happiness, justice etc or we do not. If not its everyone for themselves or their clan. As Tom Morello said – ” arm the homeless”

Aiyana Petty
Aiyana Petty
1 year ago

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Jaylin Carpenter
Jaylin Carpenter
1 year ago

naturally like your web site however you need to take a look at the spelling on several of your posts. A number of them are rife with spelling problems and I find it very bothersome to tell the truth on the other hand I will surely come again again.

Landon Grimes
Landon Grimes
1 year ago

Pretty! This has been a really wonderful post. Many thanks for providing these details.

Palos CA
Palos CA
1 year ago

You are a delight and you are #1.

Colton Christopher
Colton Christopher
1 year ago

This post is a great reminder to stay positive and to focus on the good in life. Thank you for the inspiration.

Kath Thompson
Kath Thompson
3 years ago

Can’t help the feeling this is to basically to undermine his campaign. That a working class Black kid made good can’t really have the drive or knowledge to start a campaign-like some of us. That somehow having help with a PR ‘activist group’ delegitimises it. Further, how can he be in touch with the poor when he has a few houses. As if a poor kid acquiring wealth and investing his money in property somehow lacks authenticity or the capacity to remember his past. I think the cynicism lies with the author who somehow believes that only the Wayne Rooney’s were truly authentic. Let’s keep people in their boxes.

F Wallace
F Wallace
3 years ago

The real question is where did this concept that football isn’t political come from? This is right wing tosh, man. It always has been. The very basis for the great rivalries of Europe and South America are based on socio-political factors, it’s not just “they live nearby”. Ask yourselves why you guys down south have a rivalry with Germany for example haha.

Laura Pritchard
Laura Pritchard
3 years ago

Bah humbug.

Laura Pritchard
Laura Pritchard
3 years ago

Oh also, you’re buying into the narrative by writing about it and you’re profiting from it in exactly the same way. And that is your sole motivation, as far as I can see. Whereas the subject of the piece clearly has a motivation that is in fact genuinely considerate of others.

Ian Perkins
Ian Perkins
3 years ago

A disgusting attack on a true hero. Rashford got the government to feed children in need and poverty, remembering his own childhood of need and poverty. If he used a media firm to help, good for that media firm. The government has plenty of its own media consultants who could have tried making the case for malnutrition being a beneficial policy.

Alex Tickell
Alex Tickell
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Perkins

There is no such thing as poverty in the UK. How do I know? Because I remember poverty after the war, what it looked like and what it felt like. People who have children are still under an obligation to nurture and feed them, even if they themselves go without, but it is decades since I saw a thin kid or hungry parent.
Our society is killing itself by obesity not starvation. Rashford is simply a “tool” in the armoury of the tech and economic elite, a virtue signalling clown who does not know his real place.

Nick Lyne
Nick Lyne
3 years ago

Oh dear, what a nasty, really nasty little piece of writing this is.

Paul Boizot
Paul Boizot
3 years ago
Reply to  Nick Lyne

I don’t like the headline, but some of the article is good information to know. It does not yet stop me supproting Rashford’s actions. If you want nasty, however, some of the comments….

Kevin Ryan
Kevin Ryan
3 years ago

Rashford relied on free school meals as a kid. He wanted to use his profile to campaign to feed hungry schoolchildren. He called his PR agency to help him do that. Is that not the obvious thing to do? Did it not work?
So Rashford became even more famous because people admired him for remembering his roots, and not just living a spoiled remote lifestyle.
This is gutter journalism at it’s worst. Will Lloyd smearing the motives of a guy who’s worth ten of him, in order to get a few clicks. He even shoehorns in BLM and sexual orientation to prime the pump. How about a piece on how it is possible in 2020 that so many British kids are going hungry that Unicef needs to step in ? Shame on you Lloyd.

Andrew Harvey
Andrew Harvey
3 years ago
Reply to  Kevin Ryan

If you’re a multi-millionaire who wants to feed hungry children, you feed hungry children, not phone up your PR agent while buying another luxury mansion like Marcus Rashfordñ„±.

Kevin Ryan
Kevin Ryan
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Harvey

Usual excuse – “why not give Your money to charity”. What Rashford did was beyond one person’s wealth. He forced the govt to change it’s policy.

Andrew Harvey
Andrew Harvey
3 years ago
Reply to  Kevin Ryan

You remain “oddly” silent about how much of your income you donate to charity.

Tony Muller
Tony Muller
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Harvey

What a snide and irrelevant comment.

beancounting42
beancounting42
3 years ago
Reply to  Kevin Ryan

I find this an invaluable piece of advice from St Matthew’s gospel.
“Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”
Says it all really.

Kevin Ryan
Kevin Ryan
3 years ago
Reply to  beancounting42

‘Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all who are destitute. Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy.’ Proverbs 31:8-9

rosie mackenzie
rosie mackenzie
3 years ago
Reply to  Kevin Ryan

Can you remind us what the social security budget is?

LUKE LOZE
LUKE LOZE
3 years ago

This is what’s funny, it’s huge – the UK is already a part Socialist country with massive benefits, ‘free’ healthcare and the highest tax rate % GDP in 50 years – yet people like to pretend it’s some Ayn Randist / Victorian situation.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago

Most of the “social security” budget goes to the old. You know, the people who are given loads by Conservatives because they vote Tory. Meanwhile, things like tax credits for the working poor have been cut and many benefits have not been increased in line with inflation. You do realise that there have been big cuts in welfare in recent years, don’t you?

Paul Boizot
Paul Boizot
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

The social security budget for the old is, in part, paid for by those people’s own NI contributions when working. So in fact it is totally specious for some people to count it in with other benefits and then say how huge the benefits bill is.

Kevin Ryan
Kevin Ryan
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul Boizot

NI contributions were calculated at a time when the population didn’t live as long and didn’t cost as much in healthcare. Those paying NI now and having their retirement ages pushed back are effectively subsidising the underpayments of the retired.

Ian Barton
Ian Barton
3 years ago
Reply to  beancounting42

I’m not religious, but you are spot on.

J StJohn
J StJohn
3 years ago
Reply to  Kevin Ryan

He’s forced the government to coerce more money from the taxpayer , and nationlised the process of parents feeding their children.

Kevin Ryan
Kevin Ryan
3 years ago
Reply to  J StJohn

I come on this site to try and understand people who tend to have different political views to me. But if I live to be 100, I will never understand a sentence like that. It’s not even deplorable, it’s the mindset of an alien.

Steve Burston
Steve Burston
3 years ago
Reply to  Kevin Ryan

You seem to think that not only are your values the right ones, which is fair enough, but that everybody else should be coerced into sharing and funding your values. How about the value of only having children you can afford? Or the value of taking responsibility for the children you choose to have until they are adults? How much of my income is the right amount for you to expropriate to “feed starving children”, because it’s clear that for you and Mr. Rashford it’s never enough.

Tony Muller
Tony Muller
3 years ago
Reply to  Steve Burston

How about being hard working and then having your job taken away, or becoming sick and having difficulty paying the rent?

Stuff like Covid and businesses moving their sites overseas because of Brexit is real.

mtj.elliott7
mtj.elliott7
3 years ago
Reply to  Tony Muller

The reality of covid is that the lockdowns which are destroying the economy are entirely unneccessary.

If we never locked down at all, we would simply have a bad flu year – and we woudn’t impoverish millions for the next decade. It isn’t covid that is the real problem; it is the hysterical overreaction to covid.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  Steve Burston

“You seem to think that not only are your values the right ones, which is fair enough, but that everybody else should be coerced into sharing and funding your values.

So, a bit like Boris Johnson giving a massive spending rise to the Ministry of Defence, then? When of course, it should be left to individuals to donate voluntarily to the MoD if they want to?

I’m being sarcastic, I don’t believe the above – defence is a collective desirable, so of course an elected Government is entitled to “coerce” everyone to fund it – and so is feeding hungry children during a pandemic.

Kevin Ryan
Kevin Ryan
3 years ago
Reply to  Steve Burston

How do you people not understand the difference between conversations about govt policy (long term, societal changes)
and an initiative to help ensure that UK kids have enough food while the schools are closed ? (Now, This Week, over Xmas)

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago
Reply to  Kevin Ryan

Why is it alien? Poor people are not a new phenomenon. How did school kids manage before unknown third parties were conscripted to buy their meals? The worst of it is that once on such a program, at least in the US, the kid never comes off it. I’m to believe that in a K-12 education cycle, the parent was at no time able to provide something as simple as a sandwich and apple for his/her child.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

Actually, the campaign is phrased in terms of “during the pandemic”. It is not explicitly aiming for a permanent scheme.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

what are the odds against it being permanent? That’s the thing with these programs. Once enacted, they never end. Someone will work feverishly to justify its continuation.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

It it were proposed to become permanent, then the issue of its permanency would be relevant. But the campaign is quite explicitly about the special pressures on poor families during Covid.

G H
G H
3 years ago
Reply to  Kevin Ryan

As usual, and as were talking about footballers, don’t go for the ball go for the man. I think differently from you (ie that it is the parents responsibility to look after their own children not primarily the governments) so I am not only an deplorable but now an alien.

Arnold Grutt
Arnold Grutt
3 years ago
Reply to  Kevin Ryan

Yes, anyone who disagrees with what you say (however contentious and unsupported – please provide a detailed economic study of your belief that this is a ‘failure’ of Govt.) is obviously an ‘alien’.

Politics in this country is dominated by shallow-thinking people of your sort who merely regurgitate moralizing claims. It can be cured by your taking some time to think more deeply, considering alternative explanations one at a time, and less time posting personal insults.As for Rashford ‘forcing the Government to change its policy’ that is an shorthand for a weak Government being afraid of unfavourable media comment. It’s for the electorate to ‘force the Government to change its policy’ at a democratic election. I hadn’t heard we are now governed by movements of irresponsible, unaccountable, rich private citizens who form part of a global power elite.

Ian Perkins
Ian Perkins
3 years ago
Reply to  Arnold Grutt

You haven’t heard of the City of London Corporation, hedge funds, or the UK offshore banking network?

Kevin Ryan
Kevin Ryan
3 years ago
Reply to  Arnold Grutt

Rashford has forced the government to spend money to ensure that real children don’t go hungry while the schools are closed.

I’m happy to discuss all you like how we resolve a situation where so many children live in food insecure households.

But in the meantime Arnold Grutt, while you’re complaining about a weak govt, unaccountable elites and shallow thinkers, what did you think the kids are going to eat??

Rashford did something. He made a real change now. And no I can’t understand people who’d deny those kids food this week, under the guise of promoting ‘personal responsibility’

Happy Christmas to all on your planet

mtj.elliott7
mtj.elliott7
3 years ago
Reply to  Kevin Ryan

If Rashford really wants to keep children out of poverty he should be campaigning against lockdowns that destroy businesses and cause the loss of tens of thousands of jobs. That is how responsible people feed their children – using their own income.

mtj.elliott7
mtj.elliott7
3 years ago
Reply to  Kevin Ryan

You aren’t trying very hard, though, Kevin.

Here is a mental exercise for you if you want to actually understand these people who are disagreeing with you:

Try explaining to us from the perspective of a person living in London and earning, say, £35,000 with two children why that person should want to pay more tax to feed other people’s children, thus leaving less of the income they work hard 6 days a week for to feed, house, educate and care for their own children.

Tony Muller
Tony Muller
3 years ago
Reply to  J StJohn

On what basis do you make this statement? Where is the data to support it?

Sounds just like prejudice to me.

rosie mackenzie
rosie mackenzie
3 years ago
Reply to  J StJohn

Clothes and shoes next.

R S
R S
3 years ago
Reply to  J StJohn

Just wait until you see some of the companies who got PPE contracts for more than £120m!!

Judy Englander
Judy Englander
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Harvey

The problem with children at the bottom of the heap appears to be obesity more than hunger (or so I’ve read).

Basic food such as pasta, potatoes, unbranded baked beans, mince and even jars of cooking sauce can be extraordinarily cheap. Perhaps the problem is that parents no longer know how to cook. I live near a very deprived small town and the shops in the high street are dominated by takeaways.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Harvey

I guess you have no problem with multi-millionaires giving their money to the Tory party so that it can pay for its campaigning to give tax cuts to – er – millionaires?

LUKE LOZE
LUKE LOZE
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

That’s a strawman argument. The majority of the population are both against excessive benefits AND against tax evasion or ‘legal’ loopholes.

Excessive benefits are a sign of a sick society that not only discourages work, it disparages work too. The whole creep of tax credits, benefits etc allow companies to under pay people and leave the tax payer to do the rest.

We should be aiming for a society where benefits are for those unable to work (disabled) and those in temporary need. Long term unemployed and in work benefits are no good for the individual, society or the taxpayer.

It will take a massive change, but moving back towards a free market work economy with a welfare safety net is ideal. Imagine having more tax to spend on Health, Social Care, Education etc – or just bribe people with benefits.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  LUKE LOZE

“… in work benefits are no good for the individual, society or the taxpayer”

In a country deindustrialised by Margaret Thatcher and her friends, there are a lot of jobs which do not generate enough value to pay a living wage. The free market wage for those jobs will therefore leave people starving and unable to pay for a roof over their head. If the legal minimum wage is hiked towards the amount people need to live (as the Government has been doing in recent years, while reducing in-work benefits such as tax credits), those low-production jobs will evaporate and people will become unemployed. We’ve probably reached that point now, with recent hikes in the minimum wage, and possibly gone beyond it (have you tried finding an assistant in many shops nowadays? – they cost too much to employ). That’s why in-work benefits are necessary

LUKE LOZE
LUKE LOZE
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

Firstly the idea that the UK was deindustrialised by Thatcher is an old trope and misleading. Industry fell before Thatcher and after her, by some accounts slightly slower during her time than either side of it. We had 13 years of a Labour government which failed to even slow the decline.

Now regarding jobs and in work benefits you could say that there are 2 types of private sector jobs. There are jobs that coud be moved overseas and there are jobs that can’t. If wages go too high for a factory, then it will move. If wages get to high for Asda, they can’t ‘move’ abroad.

If prices had to go up a little to reflect actually paying people a living wage I do not think that would be a bad thing. The biggest users and benefactors of the gig economy and restraunts etc are the middle classes not the poor.

Whether to subsidise (for that’s what it is) other industries is debatable, take fruit picking: if you can’t compete with poorer countries then don’t. Either invest in technology or grow crops that offer a better return. Around high tech and an industrial base there is more of an argument for government subsidies, though these skilled jobs should themselves be way above living wage.

The best thing the UK could do to make itself more competative is to massively reduce the cost of housing. The current benefit system is often little more than a way of channelling tax payers money through the deserving poor and into rich people’s pockets.

Good quality, asperational housing at reasonable prices should be the aim. Not the current idiotic expensive rabbit hutches and stamp duty should become history.

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago
Reply to  LUKE LOZE

There is too much labour in the world for the market value of labour to be enough for all British Workers to receive a real living wage. Investing in technology may result in more better paid jobs but at the expense of even more low paid jobs.

Free Markets have no need or desire to keep people fed, healthy or in work – they are designed to maximise the benefits to the market winners. The welfare safety net is not there to benefit the recipients of welfare it is there to keep the allegedly free market/capitalist edifice standing. Just like state funded healthcare, education, roads and transport systems.

We live in a society that believes humans exist to serve markets rather than the other way round. If the free market doesn’t deliver what we need we try to fix the outcome with subsidies, protectionism or welfare but still we pretend it is in essence the market that is delivering what we need.

chriswroath
chriswroath
3 years ago
Reply to  LUKE LOZE

I normally down tick most of the comments and opinions from Kevin & Chris (on most other topics) because you have expressed my feeling exactly, however on this occasion, in the current situation I think Boris was right to let this one go (and give the MSM something to beat him with). He can take it.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  Kevin Ryan

‘How about a piece on how it is possible in 2020 that so many British kids are going hungry that Unicef needs to step in ?’

Education system devoid of all reason, rigour or discipline and a welfare system that more or less bribes useless people to have kids. Oh, and an insane lockdown in response to a virus that is no danger to any healthy person below the age of 70.
There’s your piece.

Pete Rose
Pete Rose
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

” Oh, and an insane lockdown in response to a virus that is no danger to any healthy person below the age of 70.”

While I agree that the lockdown is insane and we need to look at the wider picture of how lockdowns themselves do more harm than good, I am 54 and have spent between 3 and 5 days a week for the last couple of years attending CrossFit classes. That coupled with the fact that I’m a self employed plumbing and heating engineer fitting full heating systems means I would consider myself fairly healthy. I have no underlying health issues. I caught Covid off a customer while working in their house and developed a ridiculously light cough. When they contacted me to tell me they’d tested positive I went and got my own test done which also came back as positive. For the first 4 days this ridiculously light cough continued and I thought “this is easy”. On the fifth day I developed a fever with uncontrollable shakes that caused excruciating muscle cramps, followed by a 39.4 degree temperature and profuse sweating that left the sheets on my bed soaking. This carried on for 4 days, but on the ninth day I began to feel fine and thought I’d come to the end of my contagion. On day 10 I couldn’t breathe, called an ambulance who confirmed my oxygen level was down to 86 (the NHS sees an oxygen level of 94 as the bare minimum required before medical intervention and a level of 97 is normal). I spent the next 8 days in hospital on steroids, antibiotics, oxygen and blood thinners.

In conclusion, not everyone who is healthy avoids the worst effects of Covid, but yes, the majority do.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  Pete Rose

Pete, that’s a very valuable cautionary tale for the headbangers on Unherd threads who insist that the only people who get seriously ill with Covid are those who are 82 and had only a few months to live anyway (based on their refusal to understand the statistics).

Pete Rose
Pete Rose
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

Thankyou. I do still think we need a more nuanced approach to this though, other than just either perpetual lockdown with an unswerving focus on Covid on one hand or leaving the vulnerable to fend for themselves to complete herd immunity on the other. Lockdown and it’s variations will have a massive affect on the economy, people’s jobs and our children’s social skills. It is stunting the relationship skills of young adults and is already leading to premature deaths from diseases and illnesses that are preventable. A case in point is a friend of mine who was being treated for cancer whose treatment was put on hold during the first Covid lockdown. She died in August at the age of 34. I’m sure there are many other cases like this.

Pete Rose
Pete Rose
3 years ago
Reply to  Pete Rose

*effect.

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
3 years ago
Reply to  Pete Rose

Thanks for that stirring account of how you fought off this wretched Chinese virus.

However, by your own admission you are a fit young chap, and still alive. Had you not lived, I would have considered that an unnatural death.

The tragic death of your 34 friend was not only unnatural, but an outrage.

However had you been 82.5 you would probably have succumbed, and I would regard that as a perfectly natural death.

Life expectancy on this “sceptered isle” is a staggering 81.1. As Frederick the Great said to his somewhat timid Guardsmen,”Rogues, would you live forever?”

We cannot sacrifice the future of the young, on the altar of sanctimonious pity for the old and decayed.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Cost of the proposed scheme during school holidays: £15 per week per child.

Fees at Eton, alma mater of David Cameron and Boris Johnson: £43000 pa. Value of 20% VAT exemption of public school fees: £8600pa.
Cost of sending those children to a state secondary school: £6200pa
Excess cost of VAT exemption compared to them going to a state school: £2400pa = £46 per week.

So the all year round excess cost of VAT exemption of school fees is three times as much, per child per week, as the cost during school holiday weeks only of ensuring that children don’t go hungry.

And the gross cost (based on £8600 not £2400) of the VAT exemption is £170pw, eleven times as much as the cost of meal vouchers.

But I don’t see much indignation about these massive handouts to families which can afford to pay £43,000 per annum for school fees.

LUKE LOZE
LUKE LOZE
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

A VAT ‘exemption’ is not a handout.

University fees aren’t subject to VAT either.
Lots of training is VAT free too.

People who pay for private school fees are undeniably saving the tax payer money.

The cost to the rest of the us is nepotism, but that will both happen anyway and has nothing to do with VAT.

bob alob
bob alob
3 years ago
Reply to  Kevin Ryan

“how it is possible in 2020 that so many British kids are going hungry that Unicef needs to step in ?” because it’s not, Unicef have made a grant of a mere £25,000 for the UK and that is not “stepping in” as you describe, more like a charity doing what charities do.

Kevin Ryan
Kevin Ryan
3 years ago
Reply to  bob alob

Unicef UK – “in partnership with Sustain, the food and farming alliance, over £700k of Unicef UK funds is being granted to community groups around the country to support their vital work helping children and families at risk of food insecurity during the coronavirus pandemic”

J StJohn
J StJohn
3 years ago
Reply to  Kevin Ryan

Honestly, just like EU money – it’s OUR money, returned to us, as charity, AFTER the nontax-paying elite at the UN have taken their cut, providing we toe their line.

bob alob
bob alob
3 years ago
Reply to  Kevin Ryan

Apologies, the £25,000 figure is just one grant from that fund, I read a Guardian article which made no mention of the wider fund.

Teo
Teo
3 years ago
Reply to  Kevin Ryan

This is the defunding of the state welfare system, the principle shift is from a legal entitlement of subsistence welfare for all, to a self-righteous based sing for your supper or starve privilege. Even Alphonse Capone understood the corruption opportunity in the establishment of self-righteous food banks.

opn
opn
3 years ago
Reply to  Teo

There is nothing wrong with Food Banks. People in their kindness give food. Other people (many of them inspired by Christian ethics) pass it out to those who have been recommended to them by competent professional people (e.g. GP surgeries, head teachers). They receive enough food to provide a balanced diet for three days and are allowed (except in exceptional circumstances) three visits to the Food Bank. Why sneer at this simple activity ?

Teo
Teo
3 years ago
Reply to  opn

Last time I counted there were 7 meal days in a week, maybe those competent professional people have forgotten how to count in their self-righteous cheerleading of food banks.

The inference from the comment is that those competent professional people have become wickedly dependent on their 7 meal days and should practise what they preach by adopting the food bank inspired balanced diet of 3 meal days in a week.

opn
opn
3 years ago
Reply to  Teo

Who said anything about weeks ? Three days food is about as much as anyone can carry on a ‘bus.

Andrew Harvey
Andrew Harvey
3 years ago
Reply to  Kevin Ryan

Sustain is a joke. It’s a PR outfit funded by local councils and the lottery to do nothing but blow hot air with feel-good PR campaigns. They aren’t going to feed a single child.

J StJohn
J StJohn
3 years ago
Reply to  Kevin Ryan

Actually, no one doubts Rashford. Fact is though, he and his PR team will get rich on this – me and the taxpayers will be fleeced.

Blue Tev
Blue Tev
3 years ago
Reply to  Kevin Ryan

“He wanted to use his profile to campaign to feed hungry schoolchildren. “
Nope, he is using his PR agency and paying what is less than one week’s wages to build up his own media profile – while seeking to divert UK taxpayer money (mostly paid by people working hard to keep afloat and paying higher rates than multimillionaire footballers) to feckless parents who are too irresponsible to feed their children, there is not a single UK family who doesn’t receive enough benefits to do at least that

“Is that not the obvious thing to do?”
No, the obvious thing to do is to
a. Donate money if you want to, without expecting to become an unelected member of the govt.
b. Tell parents to be responsible for their own kids, tell fathers to stay around and take responsibility and for God’s sake stop having multiple kids until you are certain you can feed them properly

Tony Muller
Tony Muller
3 years ago
Reply to  Blue Tev

Yet children still go hungry.

Let’s not change anything and keep blaming the victims.

Jonny Chinchen
Jonny Chinchen
3 years ago
Reply to  Tony Muller

Parents are not “the victims”.
They bear the individual responsibility for feeding their kids.
If they consistently can’t, then the kids need to be moved somewhere else.

Teo
Teo
3 years ago
Reply to  Jonny Chinchen

They bear the individual responsibility for feeding their kids. If they consistently can’t, then the kids need to be moved somewhere else.

This is the political end game of this debate the destruction of the family – start at the lowest socioeconomic level and work upwards.

Rob Austin
Rob Austin
3 years ago
Reply to  Kevin Ryan

Well said

LUKE LOZE
LUKE LOZE
3 years ago
Reply to  Kevin Ryan

Please the Unicef thing was propaganda pure and simple. The UK taxpayer gives 100s millions to them, and they spend £700,000 on a publicity stunt.

Unicef and related international bodies amazingly make the UK government looks uncorrupt and efficent.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  LUKE LOZE

But a standard attack on international bodies from right wingers is “charity begins at home …. these organisations never help OUR poor”.

You people can’t have it both ways.

Jonny Chinchen
Jonny Chinchen
3 years ago
Reply to  Kevin Ryan

You have missed ALL the nuance here.

Why does he need to call a “PR agency”? Because he wants a cheap and easy fix done by someone else.

If he wants to be charitable, as an overpaid millionaire, why not invest time and money in setting up a sustainable solution that doesn’t involve the public who pay him having to pay more to solve the problems of people who they already pay to help through existing taxes etc?

Recruit other millionaire footballers and sportspeople to help out and voila, they are all genuinely helping redistribute some of their insane earnings back to the areas who support them every week.

That we could all applaud.