James O'Brien's epic monologue on the hypocrisy of the free school meals issue

22 October 2020, 11:07

EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

"This white working-class boys fall behind meme is as old as the hills," James O'Brien's passionate monologue on free school meals.

After Marcus Rashford's attempt to extend free school meals in England over the holidays was dealt a blow when MPs voted against the measure James O'Brien examines the hypocrisy over feeding those children who need free meals.

James said it was "rarely this clear" that you would see in "such a short passage of time" that people could move from "professing concern for the least privileged white children in the country on a Monday."

Moving to "suggesting that the reason they're going hungry is because all their parents are feckless workshy layabouts with drug addictions and 60 a day Rothman habits on a Thursday."

James said after the vote on Wednesday night it was in the House of Commons "that we saw callousness in its purest form displayed by most people sitting on the Conservative benches."

The suggestion free meals be made available during holidays was defeated by a majority of 61 votes in the Commons last night.

The government insists it's investing in the welfare system to support the most vulnerable families.

The LBC presenter urged his listeners to have a little think about this, "because it's really important and this, white working-class boys fall behind meme is as old as the hills."

Pointing out how things work to his listeners James said: "If I were trying to outrage you or weaponize your ignorance and your lack of understanding I would today do the show like this.

"You ready for this? Why is it only English children that aren't being fed when they're hungry? Why is it the English children that aren't being fed? The world's children are getting free school meals if they need them over Christmas, Scottish children are Why is it only the English why the English being left then?

James set out how he sees it as working, he said: "When children of colour, particularly black children were performing worst in British schools. It was cultural. It was because their parents didn't value education. It was because they were intrinsically or genetically lazy. It was because they didn't really engage in school, right?"

But pointing out the disparity he said: "When white children fall behind in schools, it's because of systemic discrimination."

"And of course, the people who profess concern about white working-class children falling behind in school have never got a syllable to say about the fact that white working-class children lag so far behind white middle-class children like what I used to be. Why do you think that is?" James asked.

James pondered why would you care "passionately about a white working class boy, doing worse in school than a black working class boy, and yet be supremely comfortable about white working class children up and down the land, doing profoundly worse in school than white middle class children?"

Asking: "Why would you care so much about white kids lagging behind black kids, but not care at all about poor white kids lagging behind wealthier white kids? Is there a word you can think of that might describe how the colour of the kid would change your perception of the problem? So completely?"

James told his LBC audience that on Monday, "we were all told to care deeply about the plight of underprivileged white working class children."

But on Wednesday, "we were told that if they're hungry, tough sod 'em, it's all the parents fault, feckless workshy layabouts. Do you see now?"

James said the attitude changed so quickly, on Monday, they're white, and they're losing out to black kids.

"So we must move heaven and earth to express our support for them."

James said he hadn't even mentioned the fact that most of the people claiming to be concerned about these kids lagging behind in school are the same people who "routinely put the boot into teachers to the entire education system to experts to students."

James said these people "turn around and pretend to care about the children that they have personally kicked in the aspirations in a particularly violent fashion."

He said people have managed to "move in the space of days from pretending to care, because black kids are doing better to inviting people to put the boot into hungry children because their parents are feckless."

Watch the whole passionate monologue from James in the video at the top of the page.