That Marcus Rashford has been able to force a change in government policy tells us a lot about the modern power of celebrity, premiership football, social media – and the astonishing weakness of the Boris Johnson government.
Another U-turn, then, almost routine now. If a government cannot get its policies through parliament with a majority of 80 or so, and less than six months after a thumping victory in a general election, then it’s worth asking what it’s for. How, if it can’t sort out free school meals, is it is going to shape “Global Britain” through the 2020s, as seems to be its increasingly unrealistic ambition?
Rarely has a handsome win at the polls been followed by such a swift denouement. Mr Johnson is having to execute as many U-turns as Theresa May’s minority government. Of course, much of the narrative volte-face have little to do with the merits of the case. Mr Rashford, who comes from a poor background, understands poverty and made a powerful appeal via the powerful medium of Twitter.
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