Keren David

Martin Lewis is a Jewish hero whose campaigning will save lives this winter

The MSE founder is the Uber-mensch we need in these uncertain times


LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 05: Martin Lewis and Deborah Meaden take part in the Platinum Jubilee Pageant in front of Buckingham Palace, on day four of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations, on June 05, 2022 in London, England. The Platinum Jubilee of Elizabeth II is being celebrated from June 2 to June 5, 2022, in the UK and Commonwealth to mark the 70th anniversary of the accession of Queen Elizabeth II on 6 February 1952. (Photo by Jonathan Brady - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

September 01, 2022 12:08

It was unlikely, I know, that this year would produce a true Jewish hero. But there he stands, speaking up for the powerless, defiant in the face of seemingly impossible odds, exuding authority in a nightmare situation.

And I’m not talking about President Zelensky, although obviously all the above applies to him as well. I’m talking about our very own home-grown hero, Martin Lewis the money-saving expert. The man we once looked to for advice about insurance policies or interest rates has responded magnificently to the cost of living crisis, a furious voice calling out politicians and plutocrats alike, asking how they will help individuals, families and businesses facing an economic onslaught of rising inflation and huge energy bills.

Yes, he does this with emotion, his voice shaking with fury. But he backs it all up with facts and (devastatingly) figures. He knows his stuff. He has gotten rich from knowing his stuff. But he’s never ever stopped caring about the people who struggle with figures and finances, the ones who don’t live in luxury, who don’t have savings. It’s obvious that he cares. He’s an uber-mensch.

 Edwina Currie (remember her?) tried to chide him yesterday, tweeting: “I would like you, Martin, to stop using words like “catastrophe,” and instead advise people take sensible steps to reduce the effect on their families and businesses. And stop pretending that governments can do everything. They can’t.”  Lewis replied: “It is a catastrophe, Edwina!
Energy bills by Jan will cost on average over half the full state pension & a bigger proportion of basic Universal Credit. No sensible steps cover that!” 

He’s called for whoever wins the Tory leadership contest to appear on his ITV show and be questioned about their policies. I hope they are listening.

Earlier this year he talked to Nick Robinson on Radio 4 about his Jewishness, telling him how he experienced antisemitism at school. 

"I get on social media sometimes, 'ah no wonder you're so good with money, you're Jewish. I call back and say, 'You do realise that's antisemitism, " he said. "I think we just need to separate that, I am not the Money Supermarket Expert because of my religion."  Listening, I thought at the time how brave he was to call out the antisemites, and how many of us (myself included) have internalised antisemitism around Jews and money to the extent that it’s difficult to discuss financial matters in any competent way. Martin Lewis never let that hold him back.

President Zelensky will deservedly edge it when we’re deciding on Global Jewish Hero of the Year for 5782. And Stacey Solomon  -  absolute national treasure, possibly the nicest person in the entire nation, queen of daytime TV and Instagram -  might even be British Jew of the Year. But Martin Lewis is impressing me more every day. His campaigning may well save lives. All power to his elbow. I just hope our new Prime Minister will take his advice.

September 01, 2022 12:08

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