What is this “poverty”?

Let them eat…grouse? Truffles? Caviar? Foie gras? Saffron-infused fish and chips?

Commons leader Jacob Rees-Mogg has accused Unicef of “playing politics” after the charity launched a campaign to help feed children in the UK.

The Tory MP said the charity was meant to look after people in the poorest countries and should be “ashamed”.

It comes after Unicef said it would pledge £25,000 to a south London charity to help supply breakfast boxes over the Christmas holidays.

Unicef said every child deserves to “thrive” no matter where they are born.

Surely even Jacob Rees-Mogg can grasp that living in a rich country is compatible with being personally very poor. If you live in a rich country with crap social services and an enormous disparity in wealth and incomes, there are going to be some poor people in that country. If you live in the United States, to pick an example entirely at random, there are going to be many millions of poor people. I hope Rees-Mogg understands that the fact that he is rich doesn’t mean everyone else is rich, or even prosperous enough to have plenty to eat.

Mr Rees-Mogg was responding to a question from Labour MP Zarah Sultana in the House of Commons.

“For the first time ever, Unicef, the UN agency responsible for providing humanitarian aid to children, is having to feed working-class kids in the UK,” she said. “But while children go hungry, a wealthy few enjoy obscene riches.”

She asked if Mr Rees-Mogg would “give government time to discuss the need to make him and his super-rich chums pay their fair share so that we can end the grotesque inequality that scars our society”.

Certainly not, peasant.

Responding, Mr Rees-Mogg said Unicef “should be ashamed of itself”.

“I think it is a real scandal that Unicef should be playing politics in this way when it is meant to be looking after people in the poorest, the most deprived, countries of the world where people are starving, where there are famines and where there are civil wars, and they make cheap political points of this kind, giving, l think, £25,000 to one council,” he said.

“It is a political stunt of the lowest order.”

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