Non-binary food writer Jack Monroe eviscerates Brexiteer Annunziata Rees-Mogg over tone-deaf potato comments

A photo of Jack Monroe posing at the National Book Awards

Food writer Jack Monroe has opened up about the horror of living through poverty as a result of “Conservative led austerity measures”.

The non-binary writer – who uses both she and they pronouns – responded to comments made by MEP Annunziata Rees-Mogg about the cost of food.

Rees-Mogg faced backlash when she tweeted that potatoes are cheaper than frozen chips, and added: “The oft repeated but inaccurate belief that low quality/unhealthy food is always cheaper than raw ingredients is part of the problem. It’s why learning to buy/budget for food is important alongside learning to cook.”

Monroe, who has written extensively in the past about their experience of living in poverty, responded to the comments in a blog post that has since gone viral.

Jack Monroe brands Annunziata Rees-Mogg a ’21st century Marie Antoinette’.

The food writer branded Rees-Mogg a “21st century Marie Antoinette” in a stunning rebuke.

“I know the price of a bag of potatoes, Annunziata,” Monroe wrote. “Having lived in grinding poverty and with its aching and unshiftable groggy hangover ever since, I know the price of potatoes at three different supermarkets through eight consecutive years.

“I know the price of potatoes that are fresh, frozen, loose, baking, bulk, tinned, chipped, powdered into instant mash, from the greengrocer, growing my own, and hauled back from the corner shop in five kilogram bags,” they added.

I am a broken, f**ked up, messy rotten husk of a human being who almost died – several times – under Conservative led austerity measures. 

Monroe continued: “I know this, because I’ve been Properly F**king Poor, and I can tell you the most economical way of buying literally anything.”

They went on to write about the pain of being evicted from their flat with a toddler when their housing benefit was suspended.

“I have spent the last seven years working with families who are still in situations similar to the one I found myself in, living in poverty in the sixth richest country in the world. 

“I do almost all of this work for free, not because I can afford to (I can’t), but because that’s just the way it is at the sharp end.”

Monroe said they ‘almost died’ due to Conservative-led austerity measures.

Monroe also detailed the trauma of living in poverty, and said she still runs into a back room at home when there is an unexpected knock at the door.

“I’m not an inspiration, and I’m not an example,” she added.

“I am a broken, f**ked up, messy rotten husk of a human being who almost died – several times – under Conservative led austerity measures.

“I still live in fear, haunted by hunger and cold and failure and self-neglect.”

Monroe continued: “The fear never goes away. I understand now that it probably never will. Poverty has been proven to change the very makeup of a person’s brain.”