The Brexit-prompted HGV driver shortage means school canteens are going to run out of food, it was revealed – just as English schools reopened for the autumn term.
Now, why wasn’t this ever mentioned before?
HGV drivers are chronically low-paid, which is probably why there was a shortage of 60,000 even before all the EU-national drivers – 25,000 of them – were told to go home by Boris Johnson’s gang of xenophobes (you call them the government).
There were plans to train up 19,000 new drivers but they were foiled by Covid-19.
So that’s 104,000 HGVs that aren’t servicing our supermarkets and schools. It must be terrific for reducing pollution but it’s not so good for your child’s nutritional needs.
This pathetic excuse for a government can’t even get food into school canteens.
— Peter Kyle MP (@peterkyle) August 30, 2021
But that isn’t even the worst of it!
Farmers are struggling to get workers to bring in the harvest, meaning much of the food they have grown over the last year may spoil.
The palaver to get a seasonal workers permit is not worth the hassle or expense as they can get work far easier in EU countries. Why would they want to return to this plague ridden, 3rd world, nonentity Torydom when all they're met with is xenophobic abuse from Brexiters/NF/EDL. https://t.co/wCjFegSAhn
— Carole Hawkins (@hawkins_carole) August 31, 2021
Formerly people came from the European Union but “post-Brexit, that is a problem”.
Apparently 70,000 seasonal workers are needed but only 30,000 seasonal work permits are available to people now living in the EU. And there aren’t enough UK workers to fill the gap.
Either the Tories didn’t think about this when they were setting the number of seasonal permits available… or they deliberately planned to sabotage the harvest. Neither alternative is particularly palatable, is it?
This Writer will be charitable and suggest that the Tories didn’t think. There’s a precedent for this: they didn’t think the withdrawal from Afghanistan would be the mess they made it and they didn’t think giving Covid-related contracts worth billions of pounds to their inexperienced friends would do any harm, after all.
So this is probably just another symptom of Boris Johnson’s spectacular – nay, stellar – incompetence.
I’m sure you’ll take comfort from that when you look at your empty plate later this year.
And by the way, that’ll be partly due to a knock-on effect of all this: food prices are going to rocket:
— James O'Brien (@mrjamesob) August 31, 2021
According to the FT report,
the shortage of lorry drivers and more regulatory checks on imported food [will] combine with rising prices for fuel, freight and raw materials, experts have warned.
So that’s even before the effect on the harvest is taken into account!
People are, understandably, angry:
"Britain's full! Go home!"
Well, they've gone home.
— Marcus Chown (@marcuschown) August 31, 2021
But some are strangely silent.
For example – the BBC. The omission that Peter Stefanovic mentions below is just symptomatic of the Corporation’s efforts to safeguard Boris Johnson and his Tory gang from any responsibility for their stupid decisions:
How the hell is it possible that @BBCNews are this morning reporting on checks & controls required on goods entering Northern Ireland from the rest of the UK without pointing out Boris Johnson sold his “oven ready” Brexit deal to public & Parliament on the promise of NO CHECKS!👇 https://t.co/y5QlsCwmwL
— Peter Stefanovic (@PeterStefanovi2) August 31, 2021
And – inevitably – they are helped in this by the utter failure of Labour MPs to highlight the harm and the reason for it. Anyone would think they had faults of their own to hide:
Labour MPs who voted for Johnson's Brexit deal complaining about Johnson's Brexit deal.
Journos & celebs who enabled the election of a lazy, self-serving, bigot complaining about the lazy, self-serving, bigot.
It would be hilarious if it wasn't so tragic.
— Prof Gayle Letherby 💙 #PeaceAndJustice (@gletherby) August 30, 2021
The silence from @UKLabour and @Keir_Starmer is a dereliction of duty. The determination to support this govt at the expense of all of us as the food chain collapses. Inaction from both labour and govt is criminal but the party I once loved, the party we conce relied on has gone
— 💚Billy J Wells (Muhammad Ahmed) #CorbynOutrider (@BillyJWells) August 31, 2021
Perhaps it’s time people were reminded that they voted for this fiasco. Given a choice between a leader who would have ensured that there was food on our plates and Boris Johnson, the UK’s people voted for starvation:
You can call Jeremy Corbyn a “national security risk” all you wish, but you can bet your bottom dollar you would’ve still been able to get a milkshake with your extra value meal.
— Rachael Swindon (@Rachael_Swindon) August 31, 2021
For some, this will be the hardest part to swallow.
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