The mainstream media’s (MSM) response to Jeremy Corbyn’s recent free school meals policy proposal — which would be funded by the introduction of VAT on tax-dodging private schools — perfectly illustrates just how far to the right the MSM and mainstream political spectrum has shifted over the years. It is now considered controversial for a left-wing politician to say that they want to ensure every child under the age of 11 is able to eat at least 1 decent meal 5 out of the 7 days of the week — during term time.
Like most of Corbyn’s policy proposals, the latest is tepidly modest by traditional socialist standards — because Corbyn is clearly and simply a standard center-leftist himself — hardly the dangerous and crazy socialist that the MSM so tirelessly and ridiculously brands him on a daily basis.
The fact that the policy would be paid for by taxing the very wealthiest people in society — who currently abuse a myriad of schemes to avoid paying taxes (including when they send their children to these elitist institutions) — being yet another point of controversy for the MSM commentariats.
This point bears repeating as it’s so shocking:
In one of the richest countries in the world, these people consider it to be controversial to feed all children under 11 at least one decent meal a day.
Sometimes covering this stuff just doesn’t feel real anymore, yet, sadly, it is all too real.
Class Warfare By The Tories
Corbyn’s policy proposal is in the spirit of many of the already existing universalist and popular, wealth redistributive government programs that form the core of state-socialist policy. Policies such as non-means-tested benefits like the disability benefit Personal Independence Payments (PIP), State Pension, or in fact, the NHS — policies, and programs that everybody is entitled to regardless of wealth. The idea is clearly to increase equality across the board.
Child Benefit used to be a non-means tested benefit as well, meaning that all children/families were entitled to it — until the Tories started their assault on our welfare state, and made it so that a couple earning more than £60,000 a year aren’t entitled to the benefit — this was done under the guise of saving money. They then cut child tax credit — also a universal benefit — by capping it to a maximum of 2 children per family, again under the same guise of austerity.
The real reason for the cap, and limits? To destroy the idea that the welfare state acts as means to equalize society, and that we should care about each other, help each other, and, of course, to institute class warfare in the process of doing so. The upper-middle class isn’t entitled to child benefit at all — which means that they are less likely to care when child tax credit is capped for poorer families, or in fact, will even be glad of the cap — supportive of such a measure.
The poorer families with more than 2 children then envy those who are making say £45,000 a year but have 2 children and still get the same in child benefit/child tax credit as they do. The couple making £45,000 might be perturbed from making more money because of the effect this could have on entitlement, and so on, and so forth. At the core of this policy is the idea that you shouldn’t ever help anybody else. If the children of the family who have fallen on hard times that lives on the other side of the country are starving then it’s not your problem, in the neo-liberal system one must only care about themselves.
The classic tactic of divide and rule used mercilessly by Tory scum. This is the real reason for austerity as one quick glance at the ever mounting pile of government debt will attest to. Keep the masses fighting, hating and endlessly competing with each other. Each driven by fear and loathing of the other, desperate to ensure they have enough for themselves and always aware that their own security could be pulled from beneath them at any moment, therefore ensuring that they are ever more compliant and obedient within the selfish neo-liberal system. A system which will ultimately lead to the poverty of all except a tiny opulent minority in the end, unless steps are taken to reverse and end the neo-liberal nightmare.
Corbyn Is Trying to Bring Ideas Of Equality Back Into Society
Corbyn’s proposal clearly aims towards this principle of equality and would benefit basically everybody except the estimated 7% of the population who are currently educated at elitist snob factories AKA: private schools.
Private schools have long been criticized for their elitism — the privately educated take the best jobs in this country — we all know that by now. As well as this they are ethically wrong in a society that claims to be meritocratic in any real sense of the word — essentially the wealthy are just buying their way into elite positions — this has nothing to do with hard work or intelligence.
Corbyn Isn’t The Only One Who Wants To Tax Private Schools — Even Gove Agrees
Corbyn isn’t alone in thinking that we need to tackle the gross inequalities of private schooling. Even the much hated former education secretary Micheal Gove noted many of the disgusting inequalities that private schools champion in a recent article he wrote for the Times, Gove slammed private schools, saying that children of the rich are not:
instrincally more talented and worthy, more gifted and more deserving of celebration than the rest,
Adding that privately educated people are:
massively over-represented in the highest ranks of politics, business, the media and sport
Gove also raised another important point about private schools (one that until Corbyn raised his policy proposal has often been overlooked.) Private schools are as Gove put it:
Adding the fact that private schools are run for the benefit of:
children of plutocrats and oligarchs
Gove attacked the VAT exemption given to private schools who falsely declare themselves to be charitable institutions — a practice which Gove described as being:
egregious state support to the already wealthy so that they might buy advantage for their own children.
And explained some of the ways in which private schools milk the taxpayer:
Charitable status, and the tax exemptions it offers, is very far from the only way the state subsidises private education. We taxpayers give free uniforms, weapons and rations to private school cadet forces, indeed we pay for the instructors and hand over £20 cash per cadet. The Eton Rifles are welfare junkies.
Although I’m no fan of Gove (quite the opposite in fact) — and I suspect he is just saying this to promote his free school vision — which are far worse than private schools — insofar as they are essentially private schools funded mostly by the taxpayer — opened up purely on the approval of the secretary of state for education, outside of the control of local authorities meaning that they are less democratic than state schools, and less accountable for their actions as a result.
One of the Gove’s and Cameron’s first “flagship” free schools led to a massive scandal in which three members of staff (two of them being members of the same family) were convicted of committing fraud, and the headteacher sentenced to 5 years in prison. This is not the only case of fraud being committed by free school staff — the problem is no doubt far bigger than this.
None the less the point he raises about private schools being elitist, damaging, welfare queens is correct, his points also illustrate how unpopular private schools are across the political spectrum.
As well as the points Gove makes there is also a myriad of other ways in which wealthy parents can dodge tax to pay for private schools as this article from thisismoney.co.uk points out here.
It seems clear then that something must be done to close the loopholes, and tax the ultra wealthy who are sending their kids to these elitist institutions, which actually end up costing the taxpayer.
We Have a 3 Tier Education System Driven By Class & Wealth
In my view we should get rid of private schools altogether — the general consensus is that they create a two-tier education system, which isn’t true: we have a three tier education system and it is split along class lines. Middle-class children who are stupid at age 5 have a 35% greater chance of going on to have a successful career in the professions or similar, than a clever child born into poverty.
So while it is clear that schooling does have an impact, it would make more sense to focus on equalizing not just education, but also wealth and opportunity. Getting rid of private schools would be a start, but the whole system needs restructuring to ensure that we get closer to a meritocratic society. One in which the wealth you’re born into plays little if any role in how well you do in life. Instead, we have the opposite: the wealth you’re born into almost entirely decides how well you will do in life. The linkage that exists in the popular consciousness between intelligence, hard work and wealth cannot be justified given the fact that the wealth you’re born into essentially dictates the life you will have — not the intellect you’re born with, and the hard work you put into achieving — as any sane rational society would.
Child Poverty — The Shocking Reality Ignored By Elites
We live in a country in which 1 in 4 children lives in poverty — that’s 9 out of 30 children in an average classroom — since the Tories came into power in 2010 child poverty has skyrocketed from 2.3 million at that time — as a direct result of benefit cuts, austerity and tax that number is projected to be 3.6 million by 2020. In 2014-15 there were 3.9 million children in poverty in the UK — 28 percent of children.
The idea that these families are just part of somehow hopeless, feral underclass is catastrophically wrong, two-thirds (66 per cent) of children growing up in poverty live in a family where at least one member works — work then despite the rhetoric does not provide a route out of poverty.
A lot of children miss out on free school meals despite being in poverty – the criteria for free school meals is very limiting, for instance, some contribution based disability benefits such as the disability benefit Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) or non-means tested disability benefits such as Disability Living Allowance (DLA), do not qualify a child for free school meals — even though families relying on these benefits are still living in poverty. This Means that many children who are living in poverty are completely left out of the system. Furthermore due to the stigma attached to free school meals some of those that are eligible are too embarrassed to claim — like with many benefits, or entitlements.
The effect that poverty has on you never leaves you — I was one of those children who didn’t qualify for free school meals, even though we lived in poverty: born into a family with a parent who has Multiple Sclerosis (MS) — I attended a school that was considered to be one of the worst in the country, in one of the poorest areas of the country. I know first hand the damage all of this does to you. I saw from a very early age that — we — the people living in an awful council estate, attended the worst schools where nobody cared about out futures — essentially left to rot. This is the truth about poverty that nobody ever speaks off, because it’s hidden away by the mainstream media, and largely ignored by the political elites.
Having also worked in education I’ve seen teachers feed children who can’t afford food because their families aren’t entitled to free school meals — yet these families and children are still living in poverty. This isn’t just some fantasy world: this is the reality of our country — and this is precisely why it is so shameful to see the MSM’s response to Corbyn’s modest policy proposal.
The Mainstream Media’s Response To Corbyn’s Free School Meals Policy Has Been Shocking & Disgusting
When Corbyn announced the free school meals policy last week it was instantly met with usual sneering and fear mongering from the right-wing press.
The Daily Mail leading the charge against Corbyn and his abhorrent desire to feed children under 11.
Apparently, Corbyn had come under fire for the proposal. The main ones unleashing the bullets being the Mail themselves, of course — as usual.
The Sun also joined in — this is frankly disgusting even by their sub-human standards.
The Sun which claims to represent the working-class acts as if the working class should feel sorry for the wealthiest people in society — literally the ultra wealthy — madness.
Painting Corbyn as a “hapless socialist” and sneering at his proposal that would just about make the most minor of steps towards equality — the most minor — a minor step that would help feed all children under 11.
The policy did receive some positive press coverage, and by that, I mean neutral press coverage.
However, the majority of the so-called left MSM, and commentariat quickly found multiple reasons to dismiss, and denounce Corbyn’s policy proposal.
This time on the basis that it’s a useless way of helping children because former Lid-Dem deputy Prime Minster Nick Clegg failed to implement a similar scheme under the coalition — there is no relevance here to Corbyn so I won’t bother debunking it now.
The Independent accused Corbyn of being a headliner grabber — with no substance.
Jane Merrick then diddled herself to orgasm over the fact that in her opinion Corbyn’s policy will never be introduced — thank god!
Indeed Jane Merrick — thankfully children won’t be able to eat at least 1 decent meal a day 5 out of the 7 days of the week, during term time. I apologize for the repetition here, but the point is just astoundingly nasty to me and bears repeating.
And then, of course, the inevitable narrative that Corbyn f*cked up again — the idiot. The reason, well, isn’t it obvious? No? well, luckily, the Indie 100 explains it for us.
That’s right the scheme will turn into a giant corporate welfare check for big catering companies! Oh well then, sorry children — looks like the liberal media doesn’t want you to have at least one decent meal today. Such caring people these liberal journalists aren’t they? And then journos wonder why normal people hate them and don’t give a f*ck about what they have to say anymore?
The reasons concocted against Corbyn’s proposal are just stupid and irrelevant. The claim that the money would be better spent just on poorer children, OK, but then what about the NHS? A billionaire could, in theory, use the NHS — and I think that’s a good thing ultimately as they’ve paid into it — the same kind of principle is applied to Corbyn’s proposal here: If the rich are forced to contribute more to the state system then perhaps they will be more likely to use it — but more importantly it heads towards the equalising of society, albeit in a very timid and modest manner.
The other reasons concocted against the policy aren’t even worth covering quite frankly. Corporate welfare? Perhaps, but I’d rather that than have children starve, call me old fashioned that way….
The Corbyn MSM Cycle — Rinse & Repeat Till The End Of Time
The latest event follows the Corbyn MSM cycle that we’ve all come to expect by now.
1. Corbyn makes some sort of modest, usually popular policy proposal.
2. The MSM covers it mainly by finding some sort of imaginary problems, often using talking points from special interest groups such as privately funded right-wing “think tanks” or just out and out lies about the policy and Corbyn.
3. They then label Corbyn a moron or failure for trying, and the bleat on about polling ratings.
4. They ask Corbyn to explain why he doesn’t just quit given the recent policy/polling rating disaster at any given opportunity, no matter how inappropriate.
5. Corbyn responds, usually pushed to the point of losing his cool a little bit as the reporters fail to ask about his policies, preferring instead to endlessly ask about the polling numbers, and why he won’t quit.
6. Corbyn’s response to the reporters about the endless inappropriate use of this question gets used against him for slightly losing his cool — the clip of him losing his cool gets taken out of context and circulated by the MSM to prove that Corbyn is unelectable, etc.
7. Corbyn makes a policy proposal, the cycle starts again.
And guess what? the children of this country still live in poverty, and hunger, while the rich get richer, and the poor increase in number, and in poverty. The fact that stupid children from richer backgrounds have a 35% greater chance of success in life is a testament to the trap of poverty.
I’ve spent a lot of my life being lectured by these people about hard work, and trying your best, and all this garbage — that’s easy to say when you’re at the top of the pile. When you’re at the bottom hard work isn’t a badge of honor, it’s inevitable — not something special as I’m often lectured about by these elites.
The media should feel such a deep shame for the way they discuss and treat these things — yet they don’t, they wallow in their own righteousness.
I wish I had a clever and smooth line to finish this piece, but I don’t, so let me just say it as eloquently as I can.
WATCH: Children explain why the need to eat food on channel 5.
Correction — the original article published on the 13th April 2017 wrongly stated that child benefit was capped at two children per family. The “two-child” cap applies to child-tax credit (also a universal benefit), not child benefit. The cap that applies to child benefit stated at the time was correct — that a couple earning over £60,000 aren’t entitled to child benefit since 2013 under Tory austerity. Apologies for any confusion this may have caused, the mistake was caused purely by human error.