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The boy done well!

June 17, 2020 1:54 PM

We have no idea about Marcus Rashford's political allegiances if any but the outcome of his campaign to maintain free school meals in the summer was a notable success.
6yrt (Photo by Tevarak Phanduang on Unsplash)It helps he has a massive following on social media particularly amongst many who are not normally politically engaged but the fact he spoke from the heart about family deprivation helped his success

The welcome U-turn from the Government ( yet another one! ) has lessons for us all

1 For the Government supposedly committed to " levelling up" this was an enormous own goal that is hard to fathom.

The provision of free school vouchers had already happened over Easter so no new principle was at stake. As the media coverage built and more MPs of all parties came out in favour of the campaign Ministers were sent out yesterday to tell the public adequate money had already been provided. Local Suffolk MP Therese Coffey the Secretary of State for Works and Pensions got into a twitter spat with Rashford arguing water is not cut off in response to a different point he was making about not having money to pay to heat it before later backing off and praising the passion of Rashford was a particular low point of the campaign . The hapless Minister is having a poor time with the media having already been accused recently by Piers Morgan of "lying through her back teeth" over the number of daily coronavirus tests being carried out in the UK. and telling the BBC the Government was " proud" of its testing performance.

It cannot have been the cost of the vouchers as Liberal Democrat Education spokesperson Layla Moran said: It's not rocket science. If the government can spend £120 million on a Brexit 'festival', they could easily spend the same on ensuring the most disadvantaged children have enough to eat over the summer holidays .

The Prime Minister when announcing the change of mind argued implausibly that he had been unaware of the campaign

For a Government elected with a stonking majority it seems to be without strategy leaping from one tactical announcement and U-turn to another. The Prime Minister seems to have lost control of the political agenda and is failing to show any leadership.

2 For social campaigners the experience gives hope of what can be achieved with a clear simple message, great use of social media and a refusal to be brow-beaten and ignored by Ministers. A Prime Minister who avoids detail and wants to be liked may not be good for a country in the middle of a health crisis but it does give hope to those wishing to bring change in Government policy