Prue Leith, the judge on The Great British Bake Off who isn’t Mary Berry, revealed last week that she had canceled her membership with the Conservative Party. This came after the Tories rejected an amendment to protect British food standards after the horror of Brexit takes place. Leith was one of several major public figures who had urged the British Government not to allow the importing of inferior food following our split from the EU. This may prove awkward for the Leith clan as Prue’s son, Danny Kruger, is the MP for Devizes and voted for the bill.
So the Tories lost one of their most high-profile and popular celebrity members because she stuck to her guns on something. Sounds reasonable, right? We all have causes we’re passionate about and guns we need to stick to, and sometimes we reach our limit. Seems fair?
Ha. Nope. F**k this.
For those of you who don’t follow the utter horror of British politics under the Boris Johnson government, you may not be aware of a recent scandal involving free school meals. Marcus Rashford, a footballer for Manchester United, has been prominently campaigning on the issue of child food poverty for the past few years. He regularly visits homeless shelters and provides essentials to those who need them. He works with food waste charity FareShare to delivers meals to kids in the Greater Manchester area who are no longer receiving free school meals during the lockdown. In June, he wrote an open letter to the UK government calling on them to end UK child poverty, and that led to the government extending the provision of free school meals during the summer holidays. Now, his fight has extended to ensuring the expansion of free school meals, an issue that’s particularly popular given the current lockdown situation.
The Labour Party proposed an opposition day debate on the matter, but it was rejected by a majority of 61 MPs. The Tories voted it down. The Tories voted in favor of starving children. The government has been sending out MPs to explain themselves on this vote and all of their reasoning has veered between 1984-style newspeak and that one scene in The Emperor’s New Groove where Yzma chastises a peasant for his hunger. Local councils are stepping in to help, and even McDonald’s is doing more than Johnson’s government. This is where we are right now: A wildly popular and universally supported bill to stop children from starving due to the questionable restrictions of this government and its continuing dedication to the choice of austerity was voted down by those in power.
So why am I discussing this is a post about Prue Leith? Because I question her limits. The maintenance of food standards in the UK is important, but why was that her limit and not the Tories choosing to let kids starve? Why was that her limit and not the endless lies of Johnson over Brexit, or the government’s failure in dealing with COVID-19, which has led to thousands of deaths? In that context, her ‘dignity’ seems especially shallow. I’ve no effing patience for this sort of faux-nobility, especially in the face of a government that would rather let working-class kids go hungry than do something about it. So maybe, Prue, think about that the next time you’re worried about food in the UK.
Header Image Source: Getty Images.