Give them bread and circuses and they will never revolt.

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Give them bread and circuses and they will never revolt.

This government has failed the people at its most fundamental point.

For a man that studies the classics, Boris Johnson is failing to fulfil the fundamentals of keeping the mob happy.

Rome was eight and a half centuries old when the poet, Juvenal, penned his famous tirade against his degenerate countrymen. At about 100 A.D. he wrote:

“Now that no one buys our votes, the public has long since cast off its cares; the people that once bestowed commands, consulships, legions and all else, now meddles no more and longs eagerly for just two things, bread and circuses.”

Forty years later, the Roman historian, Fronto, echoed the charge in more prosaic language: “The Roman people is absorbed by two things above all others, its food supplies and its shows.” 

Rome was a dying Republic its people had finally succumbed to the blandishments of clever politicians. The people had relinquished their sovereignty to government administrators to whom they had granted absolute powers, in return for food and entertainment. And the surprising thing about this insidious progression is that, at the time, few realised that they were witnessing the slow destruction of a people by a corruption that would eventually transmute a nation of self-reliant, sovereign individuals into a mob, dependent upon their government for the means of sustaining life.

If a government cannot feed its people in a time of crisis yet feels it is justified in giving the peoples wealth to sham companies, a government that practices cronyism as a standard method of giving contracts, contracts disguised in the mockery of fighting the coronavirus yet have no real function then that government should be removed.

More than £1billion of outsourced government contracts have gone to firms run by Tory “friends and donors” since the pandemic took hold, an analysis reveals.

The figures include deals for PPE provision, testing and polling – as well as the Government’s much-maligned contact tracing system.

Some of the firms were awarded work under emergency procedures that allow public bodies to give contracts without asking other firms to bid for the work.

This government has failed to provide entertainment.

The free licences were introduced by Labour in 1999 as part of a plan to improve conditions for pensioners, with the cost funded by government. But in 2015, the Conservatives announced they would phase this out by 2020

Right now millions of people throughout the UK are under local lockdowns, they don’t have a social bubble the scourge of old age is loneliness with little more than a TV to keep them company, they now face extra hardship this government could not even get this right and extend the free licences into 202 neither could they properly cover the thousands of entertainers unable to work due to covid social restrictions.

The failure to support the wider entertainment business from actors to street entertainers including cinemas and small theatre is an article on its own but to leave our children hungry when parents are forced to furlough is unforgivable.

But the failure to give bread is unforgivable.

Over 1.4 million children benefit from free school meals. Nearly 900,000 eligible children live in areas subject to Tier 2 and Tier 3 restrictions. Their families face a furlough cliff-edge, an inadequate replacement system, and the deep fear of growing unemployment.

Hungry bellies have been the motivation of revolution throughout the world, it beggars belief that this government in the middle of a pandemic that is seeing the poorest suffer most, where incomes are slashed by over a third due to covid restrictions, now reject the motion to continue free school meals helping to feed more than 1.4 million hungry children in vulnerable families in the across the UK.

Over the following two millennia those that have ignored the people have witnesses Revolution. A Hungry belly motivates and what motivates both France and Russia bore witness to that in revolutions seeing people take back the power.

In shameful scenes, Tories voted down the motion, which was defeated by 322 votes to 261, leading Child Poverty Action Group to say “We’ve reached a low point” with the Government ducking its “moral responsibility”.

Marcus rushford
Marcus the peoples champion

England starlet Rashford slammed the situation, lamenting that this is “not politics, this is humanity,” headlining his tweet with the words “Time we worked together.”

The player urged politicians to “unite” to protect the most vulnerable children and vowed to continue campaigning, writing on Twitter: “For as long as they don’t have a voice, they will have mine.”

Marcus said on Twitter in response: “Put aside all the noise, the digs, the party politics and let’s focus on the reality.

“A significant number of children are going to bed tonight not only hungry but feeling like they do not matter because of comments that have been made today.

“We must stop stigmatising, judging and pointing fingers. Our views are being clouded by political affiliation. This is not politics, this is humanity.”   

Rashford added that child food poverty “has the potential to become the greatest pandemic the country has ever faced”.

“We talk about the devastating impact of Covid-19 but, if projections are anything to go by, child food poverty has the potential to become the greatest pandemic the country has ever faced,” he wrote.

“We must start working together and unite to protect our most vulnerable children. No more sticking plasters.

“Let’s face this head on. Let’s level up once and for all. The asks of the Child Food Poverty Taskforce remain the same. We are endorsing Government-commissioned policy recommendations that were built from extensive research and data analysis.

“These policies are vital to stabilising millions of households across the UK and need to be implemented without delay. Child hunger should never be faced with looming deadlines.

“We need a long-term sustainable framework, and thanks to the 300,000+ signatures, we will now be offered the opportunity to discuss this.”

A twenty-first-century repetition of the mistakes of ancient Rome would be inexcusable.

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