When you see the value the government places on your life

While there is no blueprint for perfectly handling a global pandemic, I think it’s safe to say that the Conservative government in the UK have repeatedly royally fucked up. In this time they have confirmed what we all already suspected – that their chief interest is lining the pockets of themselves and their allies.

You can fight back all you like, but I will always point you to one thing – the abysmal free school meal packages given to the most vulnerable children in society.

The UK taxpayer is being billed thirty pounds for this. THIRTY. POUNDS.

Image of just one of the food parcels taken from Metro article (https://metro.co.uk/2021/01/12/free-school-meals-firm-with-tory-links-shamed-over-30-shopping-basket-13887331/)

And they are going to children living in poverty, children who need our help now more than ever.

Imagine being a child in poverty and receiving that. Imagine realising that that’s the worth the government puts on your life – a few near mouldy pieces of fruit and some bottled water.

Like most people, I am outraged, and not in the it’s-shocking-for-a-day-let’s-tweet-about-it-and-forget-it kind of way, but in the my-bloody-is-boiling-where-is-your-humanity kind of way. Perhaps it’s from teaching in schools where many children were on free school meals and being able to put a face to the story, or perhaps it’s just from being a decent person who knows that this is simply not good enough.

While MPs sit in their expensive homes and enjoy the fruits of their privileged, private school education that allowed them to make connections that got them to where they are today, the children they are willingly allowing to almost starve fight to make it through every day. Children who try hard at Maths, children who are brilliant brothers or sisters, children who have vivid imaginations, children who love nothing more than to make their teachers laugh… children who deserve better than what they are getting.

I thought that the worst part of all of this would be when initially MPs voted against the free school meal extension, but then photos of the rations came out. Worse still, we had to endure Matt Hancock shamelessly trying to bluster his way through an interview with Piers Morgan and skirt around the issue.

I am tired of watching from the side lines as the UK government repeatedly shows how little they care and how out of touch they are. Enough is enough. Do better – it is literally your job.

My challenge to Matt Hancock and every other person involved in deciding that what they did was okay would be – do you it. You live off those rations and feed them to your children, then stand there and tell the world that they’re reasonable.

Like what you’ve read? You can find me on Instagram at @jesskitchingwrites

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