On the 28th July 2017 Jeremy Corybn MP re-tweeted, and commented on, an article on food poverty over the summer school holidays. He wrote:
'This is a national disgrace. We can't have millions of children going hungry over the school holidays.'
The Labour leader was picking up on comments made by Angela Rayner MP, reported in the Huffington Post piece:
'It is a national disgrace that millions of children across the country are at risk of going hungry this summer...
The government has admitted it has no plans to assist children who are facing hunger during the school holidays.
The Conservatives are failing in their duty of care to children in poverty, whose numbers are increasing to Dickensian levels under Tory austerity. With the IFS forecasting that child poverty will rise to 5 million by 2022, Labour is demanding that the government brings forward a new strategy to tackle child poverty.’
In response to this, and to an opinion piece of food poverty, written by Dawn Foster and entitled: ‘I know what it’s like to spend school holidays hungry. So do today’s kids’ I wrote a letter which was published in The Guardian (online 28th, print 29thJuly).
For a longer version of my letter (including a Dickens' reference) and further examples of food related communications see here:
As ever, Mr Corbyn’s tweet received attention. At the time of writing (31st July) it has been re-tweeted 4180 times and received 5,051 likes.
Amongst the positive comments (847 comments in total) there is the, sadly inevitable, callous and uniformed trolling. For example:
That’s millions less than would go hungry under your socialist agenda.
People shouldn’t have children if they can’t afford to feed them.
But the comment that shocked and distressed me, and many others, the most was in a re-tweet (28th July) by the Conservative MP for North Dorset; Simon Hoare:
Go on Jezza: do your thing with the loaves and the fishes! Best to stop walking on the water before you do though.
I’ll leave it there …
For more by this author visit Gayle Letherby's blog