When this Government was found guilty of holding us in contempt, all I could think of was “what took so long, m’lud”?
For years they have viewed the people who don’t vote for them with the kind of detached coldness you see in a shark’s eyes as it swoops on a school of sardines.
They’ve had their collars felt for holding back legal advice about Brexit, but contempt-wise they’ve got a charge sheet as long as the banqueting table in Mrs Rees-Mogg’s ancestral pile.
Just look at some images from the past week alone. The laughter on the front benches when Jeremy Corbyn lamented a lost decade for wages.
The self-satisfied gobs on ex-Brexit secretaries David Davis and Dominic Raab, as they received The Spectator’s Cabinet Resignation of The Year Award for being the incompetent cowards who helped land us in this grave constitutional crisis.
And the shameless ploy that assumed we have the memory of a decapitated gnat: The co-ordinated dispatching of MPs to food bank drop-off points to make them look the models of compassion, when they voted for the benefit caps, the bedroom tax, the sanctions, the incapacity cuts and delayed payments that force people to beg for charity to stave off hunger.
The contempt shown by these poverty porn photo-ops is staggering, even by modern Tory standards. It’s like Stalin visiting one of his gulags and handing out aspirins to the skeletal, dying wretches while giving a thumbs-up to the cameras.
Four Scottish Tory MPs posted identical tweets after their visits, proving it was part of a central office script to make them look like champions of the dispossessed when they’re part-authors of this modern tragedy.
Raab tweeted a picture of himself smiling with volunteers, and the words: “Thank you to Tesco in Molesey and the Trussell Trust for partnering to encourage customers to generously provide food collections for families in our community, who are struggling at this time of year.”
Yet he recently told the BBC he didn’t believe people use food banks because of poverty but due to an occasional “cashflow problem”.
Funny how those problems have grown stratospherically under the Tories, isn’t it?
When Labour were in power in 2009/10, the Trussell Trust (whom the Mirror is fundraising for this Christmas) handed out 41,000 food packs.
Today that figure is 1.4 million and rising rapidly with the roll-out of Universal Credit which is driving struggling families off the cliff. The arrogance is mind-blowing. These photo-ops are effectively saying that, like pensioner coffee mornings or primary school concerts, food banks are normal aspects of a healthy community.
Which contrasts starkly with the senior UN investigator who called the scale of their use here “the sort of activity you might expect for a natural disaster or health epidemic”.
Jacob Rees-Mogg has described food banks as a “rather uplifting” sign of a compassionate country.
I’d say his party’s smiling acceptance of them is the most damning sign yet of the contempt they’ve always held for those who aren’t rich or strong enough to survive without help.
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