Marcus Rashford and Food Vouchers

Posted on June 16, 2020

Old Boris Johnson seems to be making more U Turns than a knackered SatNav right now. The latest, under pressure from a footballer, being the extension into the summer that offers food vouchers for the poorest kids in society.

Sport & Politics

Of course, the government should be happy that a professional footballer is doing his bit for the Coronavirus. After all, it was footballers who they told to do more at the beginning of the crisis, not party donors or members of their own cabinet. You know, the ones who don’t like paying corporation tax.

Sadly, amongst the praise for a guy who is just 22, there are those who are calling him a virtue signaller and that sportsmen shouldn’t indulge in politics. Well, I’m sorry, if you have the right to vote, you have a right to express your views about society and politics. Especially when Matt Hancock(up) says you should do more.

Rashford didn’t even mention a political party, but we all know who thinks it’s okay for kids to starve and who doesn’t. There are also those who think that whilst you can take a horse to water, you can’t make it drink it. Whilst there is an element of truth in this statement, for those trapped in poverty, it seems like there aren’t many routes out. That can’t be right, can it?

Also, Rashford’s mother didn’t need leading to water. She did various jobs to keep the show on the road. However, that still wasn’t enough to stop Manchester United taking him on a year early so he could be properly fed. He was one of the lucky ones. Talent and hard work got him out of poverty.

Charity and Taxes

There are many footballers who do a lot of work in the community. Some do it after a poke in the right direction from their PR companies, whilst others do it off their own back.  Rashford has done it by himself. This is because his memories of a poor childhood are still vivid, and he wants to help.

For those who say that we can’t just keep handing out money we can’t afford, I say this. Look at corporation tax avoidance by political party donors. Jacob Rees Mogg’s company has allegedly made £105 million profit in the last five years and has not paid corporation tax. The last time I checked, a chairman’s role was to lead by example.

That’s roughly £20 million of revenue the HMRC has lost from that one company alone. Do we really want to live in a nation like that? A nation where giving food vouchers to kids is a waste of money, but the chairman of our government indulging in industrial scale tax avoidance, is okay?

Childhood and inner-city poverty are a complex matter that needs a great deal of thought and structure to stop, or at least offer a way out of it. It will take a generation of maverick decisions and mood change to get there, but it is, with the will, possible. We could start by not punching down on people less well off than ourselves and punching upwards at tax avoiders instead. Lost tax revenue far outweighs the cost of the social care system.

Hopefully, the actions of a thoughtful young man can do just a little bit towards making the world a better place. We certainly need some good news about human kindness right now.

Top work young man.

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