Jeremy Clarkson Accuses People Of ‘Whingeing’ About Free School Meals
Jeremy Clarkson has accused people of ‘whingeing’ over free school meals, just one month after it emerged that 16% of children in the UK had missed meals due to hardship over the course of the pandemic.
Clarkson has taken issue with people expressing concern over the widespread issue of child hunger in the UK, claiming that parents would simply end up exchanging their food vouchers ‘at the supermarket for fags and scratchcards’.
The motoring journalist and broadcaster is estimated to be worth around $60 million, according to the latest figures from Wealthy Gorilla. The median household disposable income in the UK was £29,600 in the financial year ending 2019, according to estimates from the Office for National Statistics’s (ONS’s) Living Costs and Food Survey.
Various prominent anti-poverty campaigners, including footballer Marcus Rashford and food writer Jack Monroe, spoke up after a photograph went viral that revealed the contents of one of the inadequate free school dinner packages distributed to parents following the closure of schools.
The post, originally shared by Twitter user Roadside Mum, argued that the food in the package could have been bought for just £5.22, despite families being entitled to £30 worth of food under this scheme.
Rashford slammed the parcel as ‘unacceptable’, and helped boost the discussion by sharing other, similar pictures. He also spoke directly with Prime Minister Boris Johnson on the phone, urging him to take action.
Following widespread public pressure, the government has reintroduced free school meal vouchers for eligible pupils, allowing schools to place orders for supermarket gift cards for the parents and carers of eligible children.
In a recent column for The Sunday Times, Clarkson asked, ‘Where’s our Dunkirk spirit? Indoors, moaning that the sea’s a bit choppy and the boat smells’.
In a tone that one could arguably describe as ‘whingey’, Clarkson stated that he agreed with the stance taken by caring individuals such as Rashford, but lamented that he is ‘fed up’ with people ‘whingeing’.
Clarkson, who earned an estimated £1 million per series during his time as a presenter on Top Gear, stated:
On the food front, I think [Rashford’s] fight is noble and well judged, and I agree that some shameless profiteering is going on. But I am fed up to the back teeth of the whingeing this story unleashed.
Of course, this is by no means the only time Clarkson appears to have become riled up over the matter of dinner. In March 2015, he allegedly punched producer Oisin Tymon after allegedly being served a cold steak at the Simonstone Hall Hotel in North Yorkshire.
A report published in December by the Social Market Foundation (SMF) think tank estimated that 14% of British children (a total of 1.7 million) have suffered such persistent hunger over the course of the coronavirus pandemic and could be classed as enduring ‘very low food security’.
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The Sunday Times
UK Government & Parliament
Social Market Foundation (SMF)