30% of people in South-West have skipped meals to feed family, survey shows

NEARLY a third of people in the South-West have skipped meals to feed their family, or relied on loved ones to put food on their table within the past year.

That's according to research carried out jointly by Tesco, food banks charity The Trussell Trust, and food redistribution charity FareShare.

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8:36pm Mon 2 Dec 13

smithy99 says...

While I am sympathetic to those who are genuinely in need of help I am sceptical of surveys like this. Yes some people may skip meals but do some of these who skip meals also give up smoking - not usually is the answer. The Joseph Rowntree Foundation also did a similar study about people in poverty. What the JRT also stipulate is that being in poverty is classed as someone who only has "one" holiday per year and can only afford the lowest and cheapest broadband. We'll to me that's not poverty or struggling. I'm not in poverty but I can't afford a holiday or any luxuries. This is a good eye catching headline but people who are skipping meals to feed their family can help themselves in other ways. May sound harsh but just look at the research and hard evidence.
While I am sympathetic to those who are genuinely in need of help I am sceptical of surveys like this. Yes some people may skip meals but do some of these who skip meals also give up smoking - not usually is the answer. The Joseph Rowntree Foundation also did a similar study about people in poverty. What the JRT also stipulate is that being in poverty is classed as someone who only has "one" holiday per year and can only afford the lowest and cheapest broadband. We'll to me that's not poverty or struggling. I'm not in poverty but I can't afford a holiday or any luxuries. This is a good eye catching headline but people who are skipping meals to feed their family can help themselves in other ways. May sound harsh but just look at the research and hard evidence. smithy99

8:23pm Wed 4 Dec 13

Somerset.SocialistParty says...

So Boris Johnson, the London Tory mayor, thinks working class people are poor because they are of low intelligence. His comment that "16% of our species have an IQ below 85" and that is "surely relevant" to "a conversation on inequality" has caused a furore.

But these kinds of views are common amongst Tories. After all they need to find justifications for the grotesque inequality that their system, capitalism, causes.

However Johnson, who is a possible future contender for the Tory Party leadership, does say that there are other factors "operating on human beings who are already far from equal in raw ability". In fact he recognises that inequality has been intensified by "the harshness of competition" which acts like a "violent economic centrifuge". At least in one respect he is more honest than other defenders of capitalism - he says inequality is a good thing! Inequality is essential for the spirit of envy and greed because these are a "valuable spur to economic activity".

Thatcher and Reagan

'Greed is good' was the mantra of the Thatcher and Reagan years when the controls on the finance and banking industry were relaxed and taxes were cut on the basis that if the rich got richer some of that wealth would trickle down to the rest of us. The reality, however, is that the rich got richer at our expense - since 1979 the wealth of the richest one per cent in the UK has increased by 300% while that of the bottom 20% has increased by just 16%.

But there is an element of truth in some of what he says: Capitalism causes inequality. But more than that, inequality is built into its foundations. The bosses get rich because they are stealing the wealth created by workers. The more they exploit, the bigger the income gap. Whatever Ed Miliband may say about wanting a "responsible capitalism", it cannot exist without that exploitation.

This wealth gap has increased vastly in recent years. In the US, tax returns show that the gap between the top 1% and the remaining 99% is at a record high. 1% of earners now have 19.3% of household income, breaking the previous record from 1927.

In the UK, a study from the 'High Pay Centre' says the share of the national income going to the top 1% has more than doubled since 1979, to 14.5%. 2,714 bankers in Britain now earn more than a million Euros a year. On the other hand average weekly wages are still declining in real terms according to the Office of National Statistics, despite the so called 'recovery'.

Household debt in the UK is now at record levels, £1.43 trillion; it now exceeds the levels before the crisis of 2008. The real effect on the poorest in society is shown by the huge rise in the use of foodbanks and even the fact that the police report a rise in the numbers of people stealing food.

But if we are going to talk about who is stupid, what about the 'clever' top bankers and financial speculators who either believed that the bubble of sub-prime mortgages would go on forever or at least didn't care that it wouldn't? How clever were they when they triggered the economic collapse of 2008?

How stupid is a system that goes into meltdown every few years, destroying the means of producing wealth, throwing workers - and all the talents that they do have - onto the scrapheap? It is a system that cannot plan to use the huge wealth that does exist to benefit the world's population or safeguard the environment of the planet we live on. These things exist because capitalism is based on the immediate and short term need for profit for those who own the big companies - who are the ruling class.

Wasteful system

It is an unplanned and wasteful system. The talents of billions of people are not utilised because of the lack of education and opportunity resulting from the way capitalism operates.

Just one example of this craziness is the fact that some housing associations are considering demolishing three bedroom homes, and even two bedroom flats because they can't get people to move in due to the bedroom tax. Yet it was supposedly designed to deal with the shortage of housing! An 'intelligent' system would use the skills of building workers to create affordable good quality council housing and solve the housing crisis, whilst abolishing legislation designed to hit the poorest.

Of course the ruling class themselves aren't really stupid, after all they are skilled in the task of holding on to their privileges. But a mass movement of working class people with a socialist alternative can remove them.

Ordinary working-class people aren't stupid either. They don't trust greedy bankers and greedy and corrupt capitalist politicians. Only 19% in the latest National Centre for Social Research survey think the banks are well run (down from 90% in 1983) and only 18% of people trust the government 'most of the time'. That is why the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition will be aiming to stand in as many seats as possible in the local elections next year, with a programme of using the wealth that is flowing to the top to restore public services and reverse the cuts.

The crux of the matter is that a system based on the motive of profit for Boris' mates (in reality a handful of rich and greedy businessmen), cannot provide for the needs of everyone and will always result in the impoverishment of billions worldwide. But a system based on democratically planning the resources of society for human need not private greed, a socialist system, would be a far more intelligent choice.

The Socialist Party fights against inequality and injustice, we support every struggle of working class people to defend and improve their living standards. But inequality and injustice can never be fully abolished until we get rid of capitalism altogether and replace it with socialism.
Don't just get angry ...Get organised... Join the Socialist Party at: www.socialistparty.o
rg.uk
So Boris Johnson, the London Tory mayor, thinks working class people are poor because they are of low intelligence. His comment that "16% of our species have an IQ below 85" and that is "surely relevant" to "a conversation on inequality" has caused a furore. But these kinds of views are common amongst Tories. After all they need to find justifications for the grotesque inequality that their system, capitalism, causes. However Johnson, who is a possible future contender for the Tory Party leadership, does say that there are other factors "operating on human beings who are already far from equal in raw ability". In fact he recognises that inequality has been intensified by "the harshness of competition" which acts like a "violent economic centrifuge". At least in one respect he is more honest than other defenders of capitalism - he says inequality is a good thing! Inequality is essential for the spirit of envy and greed because these are a "valuable spur to economic activity". Thatcher and Reagan 'Greed is good' was the mantra of the Thatcher and Reagan years when the controls on the finance and banking industry were relaxed and taxes were cut on the basis that if the rich got richer some of that wealth would trickle down to the rest of us. The reality, however, is that the rich got richer at our expense - since 1979 the wealth of the richest one per cent in the UK has increased by 300% while that of the bottom 20% has increased by just 16%. But there is an element of truth in some of what he says: Capitalism causes inequality. But more than that, inequality is built into its foundations. The bosses get rich because they are stealing the wealth created by workers. The more they exploit, the bigger the income gap. Whatever Ed Miliband may say about wanting a "responsible capitalism", it cannot exist without that exploitation. This wealth gap has increased vastly in recent years. In the US, tax returns show that the gap between the top 1% and the remaining 99% is at a record high. 1% of earners now have 19.3% of household income, breaking the previous record from 1927. In the UK, a study from the 'High Pay Centre' says the share of the national income going to the top 1% has more than doubled since 1979, to 14.5%. 2,714 bankers in Britain now earn more than a million Euros a year. On the other hand average weekly wages are still declining in real terms according to the Office of National Statistics, despite the so called 'recovery'. Household debt in the UK is now at record levels, £1.43 trillion; it now exceeds the levels before the crisis of 2008. The real effect on the poorest in society is shown by the huge rise in the use of foodbanks and even the fact that the police report a rise in the numbers of people stealing food. But if we are going to talk about who is stupid, what about the 'clever' top bankers and financial speculators who either believed that the bubble of sub-prime mortgages would go on forever or at least didn't care that it wouldn't? How clever were they when they triggered the economic collapse of 2008? How stupid is a system that goes into meltdown every few years, destroying the means of producing wealth, throwing workers - and all the talents that they do have - onto the scrapheap? It is a system that cannot plan to use the huge wealth that does exist to benefit the world's population or safeguard the environment of the planet we live on. These things exist because capitalism is based on the immediate and short term need for profit for those who own the big companies - who are the ruling class. Wasteful system It is an unplanned and wasteful system. The talents of billions of people are not utilised because of the lack of education and opportunity resulting from the way capitalism operates. Just one example of this craziness is the fact that some housing associations are considering demolishing three bedroom homes, and even two bedroom flats because they can't get people to move in due to the bedroom tax. Yet it was supposedly designed to deal with the shortage of housing! An 'intelligent' system would use the skills of building workers to create affordable good quality council housing and solve the housing crisis, whilst abolishing legislation designed to hit the poorest. Of course the ruling class themselves aren't really stupid, after all they are skilled in the task of holding on to their privileges. But a mass movement of working class people with a socialist alternative can remove them. Ordinary working-class people aren't stupid either. They don't trust greedy bankers and greedy and corrupt capitalist politicians. Only 19% in the latest National Centre for Social Research survey think the banks are well run (down from 90% in 1983) and only 18% of people trust the government 'most of the time'. That is why the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition will be aiming to stand in as many seats as possible in the local elections next year, with a programme of using the wealth that is flowing to the top to restore public services and reverse the cuts. The crux of the matter is that a system based on the motive of profit for Boris' mates (in reality a handful of rich and greedy businessmen), cannot provide for the needs of everyone and will always result in the impoverishment of billions worldwide. But a system based on democratically planning the resources of society for human need not private greed, a socialist system, would be a far more intelligent choice. The Socialist Party fights against inequality and injustice, we support every struggle of working class people to defend and improve their living standards. But inequality and injustice can never be fully abolished until we get rid of capitalism altogether and replace it with socialism. Don't just get angry ...Get organised... Join the Socialist Party at: www.socialistparty.o rg.uk Somerset.SocialistParty

8:25pm Wed 4 Dec 13

Somerset.SocialistParty says...

We need a pay rise! The sums just don't add up. We're told there's a recovery but if feels more like a robbery.

The profits of the 'big six' energy companies are up 75% this year while the UK is second only to Estonia among European countries for the number of people struggling to pay their energy bills.

No one would consider having a roof over your head a luxury. But research found that 31% of people paying a mortgage or rent spend more than a third of their disposable income each month doing so.

Workers are increasingly finding their wages are out of step with the rising cost of living. Pay packets are down 7% since the 2008 crash and it'll take until 2017 for them to return to the pre-crash level, according to the TUC.

It's of little wonder then that over 500,000 people queue at food banks as the gap between the money and the end of the month grows. An ever increasing number of people forced to rely on food banks are in work.

This situation is a disaster. It means, for example, that a third of children in Liverpool are growing up in poverty in the sixth richest country on the planet.

It's time to take action!

--------------------
--------------------
--------------------
--------------------


Nick Parker, a trade union activist, says:

"Workers need action over continual wage freezes. Lecturers and support staff in higher education, for example, will be taking strike action on 3 December over a below inflation, 1% pay offer - a 13% pay cut in real terms since 2008. In further education lecturers will also be striking on the same day over a derisory 0.7% pay offer.

Other workers are in dispute too. Probation officers are tackling the government over privatisation of the service and cuts. Firefighters are resisting attacks to their pensions, with many also citing station closures and cuts as a source of major anger.

Socialists believe that working class people should join trade unions immediately if they aren't already members, as we are all the more powerful when organised together.

And when members of different unions are all in dispute, every possible step should be taken to ensure that strike action is coordinated to maximise its strength.

That's why we call on the TUC to name the date for a 24-hour general strike against the government's austerity measures and employers' attacks on jobs, wages and working conditions.

The leaders of the three main parties - whatever their rhetoric - all support capitalist austerity dumped on the backs of workers, and are all implacably hostile to workers when they take strike action.

Socialists, on the other hand, say that strikes are in fact one of the most powerful weapons at our disposal.

We can turn the tide on 'the race to the bottom'. It won't be easy, but they don't call it the class struggle for nothing."

Don't just get angry! ...Get organised!... Join the Socialist Party at: www.socialistparty.o
rg.uk
We need a pay rise! The sums just don't add up. We're told there's a recovery but if feels more like a robbery. The profits of the 'big six' energy companies are up 75% this year while the UK is second only to Estonia among European countries for the number of people struggling to pay their energy bills. No one would consider having a roof over your head a luxury. But research found that 31% of people paying a mortgage or rent spend more than a third of their disposable income each month doing so. Workers are increasingly finding their wages are out of step with the rising cost of living. Pay packets are down 7% since the 2008 crash and it'll take until 2017 for them to return to the pre-crash level, according to the TUC. It's of little wonder then that over 500,000 people queue at food banks as the gap between the money and the end of the month grows. An ever increasing number of people forced to rely on food banks are in work. This situation is a disaster. It means, for example, that a third of children in Liverpool are growing up in poverty in the sixth richest country on the planet. It's time to take action! -------------------- -------------------- -------------------- -------------------- Nick Parker, a trade union activist, says: "Workers need action over continual wage freezes. Lecturers and support staff in higher education, for example, will be taking strike action on 3 December over a below inflation, 1% pay offer - a 13% pay cut in real terms since 2008. In further education lecturers will also be striking on the same day over a derisory 0.7% pay offer. Other workers are in dispute too. Probation officers are tackling the government over privatisation of the service and cuts. Firefighters are resisting attacks to their pensions, with many also citing station closures and cuts as a source of major anger. Socialists believe that working class people should join trade unions immediately if they aren't already members, as we are all the more powerful when organised together. And when members of different unions are all in dispute, every possible step should be taken to ensure that strike action is coordinated to maximise its strength. That's why we call on the TUC to name the date for a 24-hour general strike against the government's austerity measures and employers' attacks on jobs, wages and working conditions. The leaders of the three main parties - whatever their rhetoric - all support capitalist austerity dumped on the backs of workers, and are all implacably hostile to workers when they take strike action. Socialists, on the other hand, say that strikes are in fact one of the most powerful weapons at our disposal. We can turn the tide on 'the race to the bottom'. It won't be easy, but they don't call it the class struggle for nothing." Don't just get angry! ...Get organised!... Join the Socialist Party at: www.socialistparty.o rg.uk Somerset.SocialistParty

8:28pm Wed 4 Dec 13

Somerset.SocialistParty says...

Food banks and fighting austerity

Time to get political

In the last six months an extra 100,000 people have been added to the food bank queues. Attendance at food banks seems to be one of the few growth areas of the economy.

They play an important role in preventing a whole layer of people falling into absolute destitution. The volunteers and coordinators are selfless individuals who want to do good.

But I think food banks should organise those that they feed, they should get unapologetically and resolutely political.

Food banks should imitate the best traditions of the soup kitchens and squatter camps of the 1930s.

They should not only feed people but inspire and organise those that they feed to join up with the wider labour movement to defeat this unnecessary austerity.

This crisis is not a tsunami or hurricane, it is a man-made crisis. There is no need for such suffering, and to defeat this onslaught needs politics - I would argue, of the socialist variety.

The rich

Even though many of us are suffering, there are those doing just fine. The stock market is surging, luxury goods are flying off the shelves and in central London, multimillion-pound properties are selling like hot cakes.

According to the recently published Sunday Times Rich List, the UK's 1,000 richest residents have a total wealth of £450 billion.

There are 88 billionaires among the UK's super-rich, including 15 individuals and families - a combined wealth of a staggering £119 billion.

Imagine if that money was invested in jobs and public services and decent council housing. Then the 350,000 people queuing at food banks could be employed, housed and fed. Surely that's not too much to ask in the 21st century?

One of the most shocking statistics has been the creation of 13 new billionaires during the economic crisis. How can it be, if 'we are all in this together', that billionaires are created as food bank queues swell?

Surely if the stock market recovers then the queues at the food banks should shrink? If big business's balance sheet goes back into credit then the banks should pay the money back that they owe the British public. Remember we gave them £500 billion in bailout money.

Morgan Stanley has repeatedly pointed out that many companies' cash balance sheets are some of the highest since 1988. Companies are sitting on literally mountains of cash.

To add insult to injury many of these companies are now employing ex-HMRC tax officers to take tax avoidance measures to the tune of billions every year - £6,000 for every man, woman and child is stolen through corporate tax avoidance.

I believe charity without politics disguises the role that victims could play in fighting back against the injustices they face.

Unite to fight back

A movement that organised those receiving food parcels would be a force to reckon with. This is without counting all those at the night shelters, in the job centres and those having their benefits cut and undermined.

As a start I would like to see the TUC organise a 24-hour general strike. The TUC is still the biggest and most authoritative organisation for the working class, it represents over six million people.

For all those suffering at the moment, whether queuing up at food banks or queuing in the unemployment lines, a 24-hour general strike would fuse all the helplessness, discontent and the anger together and direct it against the people who did this to us.

I think the time is not only ripe for this to happen, it is rotten ripe. If the labour movement doesn't step forward and organise these victims of this crisis into a united struggle against austerity then other forces will.

People who are receiving food parcels at the moment will be questioning how this happened to them. If it is not answered with class politics it could be answered with right-wing nationalism, as in Greece.

In Greece whole villages that were wiped out by the Nazi invasion during the Second World War are now voting for the fascist Golden Dawn.

The Golden Dawn built their organisation by feeding the unemployed first and then fused this service with right-wing racist propaganda.

Their organisation has gained some traction in working class communities based on the failure of the trade union leaders and social democracy to build a coherent fightback.

We can't let that happen here.


Don't just get angry! ...Get organised!... Join the Socialist Party at: www.socialistparty.o
rg.uk
Food banks and fighting austerity Time to get political In the last six months an extra 100,000 people have been added to the food bank queues. Attendance at food banks seems to be one of the few growth areas of the economy. They play an important role in preventing a whole layer of people falling into absolute destitution. The volunteers and coordinators are selfless individuals who want to do good. But I think food banks should organise those that they feed, they should get unapologetically and resolutely political. Food banks should imitate the best traditions of the soup kitchens and squatter camps of the 1930s. They should not only feed people but inspire and organise those that they feed to join up with the wider labour movement to defeat this unnecessary austerity. This crisis is not a tsunami or hurricane, it is a man-made crisis. There is no need for such suffering, and to defeat this onslaught needs politics - I would argue, of the socialist variety. The rich Even though many of us are suffering, there are those doing just fine. The stock market is surging, luxury goods are flying off the shelves and in central London, multimillion-pound properties are selling like hot cakes. According to the recently published Sunday Times Rich List, the UK's 1,000 richest residents have a total wealth of £450 billion. There are 88 billionaires among the UK's super-rich, including 15 individuals and families - a combined wealth of a staggering £119 billion. Imagine if that money was invested in jobs and public services and decent council housing. Then the 350,000 people queuing at food banks could be employed, housed and fed. Surely that's not too much to ask in the 21st century? One of the most shocking statistics has been the creation of 13 new billionaires during the economic crisis. How can it be, if 'we are all in this together', that billionaires are created as food bank queues swell? Surely if the stock market recovers then the queues at the food banks should shrink? If big business's balance sheet goes back into credit then the banks should pay the money back that they owe the British public. Remember we gave them £500 billion in bailout money. Morgan Stanley has repeatedly pointed out that many companies' cash balance sheets are some of the highest since 1988. Companies are sitting on literally mountains of cash. To add insult to injury many of these companies are now employing ex-HMRC tax officers to take tax avoidance measures to the tune of billions every year - £6,000 for every man, woman and child is stolen through corporate tax avoidance. I believe charity without politics disguises the role that victims could play in fighting back against the injustices they face. Unite to fight back A movement that organised those receiving food parcels would be a force to reckon with. This is without counting all those at the night shelters, in the job centres and those having their benefits cut and undermined. As a start I would like to see the TUC organise a 24-hour general strike. The TUC is still the biggest and most authoritative organisation for the working class, it represents over six million people. For all those suffering at the moment, whether queuing up at food banks or queuing in the unemployment lines, a 24-hour general strike would fuse all the helplessness, discontent and the anger together and direct it against the people who did this to us. I think the time is not only ripe for this to happen, it is rotten ripe. If the labour movement doesn't step forward and organise these victims of this crisis into a united struggle against austerity then other forces will. People who are receiving food parcels at the moment will be questioning how this happened to them. If it is not answered with class politics it could be answered with right-wing nationalism, as in Greece. In Greece whole villages that were wiped out by the Nazi invasion during the Second World War are now voting for the fascist Golden Dawn. The Golden Dawn built their organisation by feeding the unemployed first and then fused this service with right-wing racist propaganda. Their organisation has gained some traction in working class communities based on the failure of the trade union leaders and social democracy to build a coherent fightback. We can't let that happen here. Don't just get angry! ...Get organised!... Join the Socialist Party at: www.socialistparty.o rg.uk Somerset.SocialistParty

8:10am Thu 5 Dec 13

Somerset.SocialistParty says...

Food banks without politics don't help

At a recent Socialist Party branch meeting held in Taunton; Walthamstow Party member Nancy Taaffe explained her severe misgivings about food banks. Further details published on the Food Bankers' blog at:

http://thefoodbanker
s.wordpress.com/2012
/11/30/guest-post-na
ncy-taaffe-explains-
why-shes-against-foo
dbanks/

Every Saturday the Anti-Cuts Union has a stall in Walthamstow campaigning against cuts. The Labour council has passed a budget taking £65 million away from local services.

Children and young people's services have been decimated by cuts. I lost my long-time job in a library.

The three main political parties say there's no money but that's a lie. £750 billion is locked away in banks by the rich, who see no immediate way to make a profit so they sit on the money and let it collect interest. £120 billion is squirrelled away through tax evasion. 1,000 of Britain's richest people increased their wealth by £155 billion last year, enough to wipe out the nation's deficit overnight.

My local Food Bank runs a stall every Saturday next to the Anti-Cuts Union and asks the poor of Walthamstow to donate tins and toiletries to the destitute of Walthamstow. But we, the poor, shouldn't pay for a crisis we didn't create.

Food banks are often set up by well-intentioned people who want to help, but does a food bank without politics actually help? Poverty is not like a hurricane or a flood, it's man-made and it can be human-solved.

We regularly had protests outside the town hall, demanding that Labour councillors set a needs budget and reject cuts but they all voted for them.




I stopped my local MP Stella Creasy (a big proponent of Food Banks) in the street (as I was losing my job) and asked her to make a public statement condemning cuts to libraries and children's services but she wouldn't.

Why? Because getting behind the consequence of cuts is far easier than fighting a pre-emptive battle.... if you're a career politician.

When three million public sector workers took industrial action in November 2011 for decent pensions to prevent poverty in old age the same MP who stands behind the Food Bank stall wouldn't support them.

It seems to me if you're crushed by poverty then you get patronised and pitied. But if you stand up and assert yourself through your trade union then you get condemned.

It's the hypocrisy I can't stand, the councillors who voted to sack me, all support food banks.

Poverty

My Liverpool grandmother told me of the poverty her family endured in the 1930's, of picking up orange peel in the road to gnaw on to alleviate hunger pains.

She also described the humiliation many mothers endured from "charitable organisations," standing in a cold church hall with children clawing at your skirts putting your case to the parish fathers why you should have money to survive.

Often these "parish fathers" were local businessmen and factory owners who paid poverty wages and were vicious if 'their' workers struck for decent pay and decent working conditions.

The working class rebellion after World War Two was a revolution against the humiliation of poor relief and welfare administration built on 'charity'.

If Food Banks got political and mobilised those they feed to get organised then I could support them.

If, like the unemployed movements of the 30's, they stirred people up to fight for revolutionary change, I would get right behind them.

Oscar Wilde said: "We are often told that the poor are grateful for charity. Some of them are, no doubt, but the best... are never grateful.

"They are ungrateful, discontented, disobedient, and rebellious. They are quite right to be so. Charity they feel to be a ridiculously inadequate mode of partial restitution, or a sentimental dole, usually accompanied by some impertinent attempt on the part of the sentimentalist to tyrannise over their private lives....

"Disobedience, in the eyes of anyone who has read history", he said, "is man's original virtue." Long live disobedience!

Don't just get angry! ...Get organised!... Join the Socialist Party at: www.socialistparty.o
rg.uk
Food banks without politics don't help At a recent Socialist Party branch meeting held in Taunton; Walthamstow Party member Nancy Taaffe explained her severe misgivings about food banks. Further details published on the Food Bankers' blog at: http://thefoodbanker s.wordpress.com/2012 /11/30/guest-post-na ncy-taaffe-explains- why-shes-against-foo dbanks/ Every Saturday the Anti-Cuts Union has a stall in Walthamstow campaigning against cuts. The Labour council has passed a budget taking £65 million away from local services. Children and young people's services have been decimated by cuts. I lost my long-time job in a library. The three main political parties say there's no money but that's a lie. £750 billion is locked away in banks by the rich, who see no immediate way to make a profit so they sit on the money and let it collect interest. £120 billion is squirrelled away through tax evasion. 1,000 of Britain's richest people increased their wealth by £155 billion last year, enough to wipe out the nation's deficit overnight. My local Food Bank runs a stall every Saturday next to the Anti-Cuts Union and asks the poor of Walthamstow to donate tins and toiletries to the destitute of Walthamstow. But we, the poor, shouldn't pay for a crisis we didn't create. Food banks are often set up by well-intentioned people who want to help, but does a food bank without politics actually help? Poverty is not like a hurricane or a flood, it's man-made and it can be human-solved. We regularly had protests outside the town hall, demanding that Labour councillors set a needs budget and reject cuts but they all voted for them. I stopped my local MP Stella Creasy (a big proponent of Food Banks) in the street (as I was losing my job) and asked her to make a public statement condemning cuts to libraries and children's services but she wouldn't. Why? Because getting behind the consequence of cuts is far easier than fighting a pre-emptive battle.... if you're a career politician. When three million public sector workers took industrial action in November 2011 for decent pensions to prevent poverty in old age the same MP who stands behind the Food Bank stall wouldn't support them. It seems to me if you're crushed by poverty then you get patronised and pitied. But if you stand up and assert yourself through your trade union then you get condemned. It's the hypocrisy I can't stand, the councillors who voted to sack me, all support food banks. Poverty My Liverpool grandmother told me of the poverty her family endured in the 1930's, of picking up orange peel in the road to gnaw on to alleviate hunger pains. She also described the humiliation many mothers endured from "charitable organisations," standing in a cold church hall with children clawing at your skirts putting your case to the parish fathers why you should have money to survive. Often these "parish fathers" were local businessmen and factory owners who paid poverty wages and were vicious if 'their' workers struck for decent pay and decent working conditions. The working class rebellion after World War Two was a revolution against the humiliation of poor relief and welfare administration built on 'charity'. If Food Banks got political and mobilised those they feed to get organised then I could support them. If, like the unemployed movements of the 30's, they stirred people up to fight for revolutionary change, I would get right behind them. Oscar Wilde said: "We are often told that the poor are grateful for charity. Some of them are, no doubt, but the best... are never grateful. "They are ungrateful, discontented, disobedient, and rebellious. They are quite right to be so. Charity they feel to be a ridiculously inadequate mode of partial restitution, or a sentimental dole, usually accompanied by some impertinent attempt on the part of the sentimentalist to tyrannise over their private lives.... "Disobedience, in the eyes of anyone who has read history", he said, "is man's original virtue." Long live disobedience! Don't just get angry! ...Get organised!... Join the Socialist Party at: www.socialistparty.o rg.uk Somerset.SocialistParty

8:48am Thu 5 Dec 13

THOUSANDS NEED & DEMAND A PAYRISE! says...

smithy99 wrote:
While I am sympathetic to those who are genuinely in need of help I am sceptical of surveys like this. Yes some people may skip meals but do some of these who skip meals also give up smoking - not usually is the answer. The Joseph Rowntree Foundation also did a similar study about people in poverty. What the JRT also stipulate is that being in poverty is classed as someone who only has "one" holiday per year and can only afford the lowest and cheapest broadband. We'll to me that's not poverty or struggling. I'm not in poverty but I can't afford a holiday or any luxuries. This is a good eye catching headline but people who are skipping meals to feed their family can help themselves in other ways. May sound harsh but just look at the research and hard evidence.
Smithy99,

Couldn't see that this post contains so much as even one ounce of 'sympathy' for the hungry in society: despite the disingenuous claim at the start.

As one of the ever-increasing numbers who have to shuffle through the hard pressed food banks doling out the modern day expression of 'Poor Relief', I would say that even if you were offering genuine 'sympathy' many of us wouldn't want it!

In reality of course, you offer no sympathy to the 'deserving' poor any more than you offer to those you describe as the 'undeserving' poor... no... your comments are simply a steadfast defence of the capitalist system and all the consequential poverty it causes. So much so that you are forced to concede that your comments "may sound harsh".

At anti-bedroom tax meetings many people report that they are going without food as they try to pay their rent. The level of cuts in benefits for people on already low incomes means that the struggle to pay rent will be too much for many - leading to the threat of evictions.

Bedroom tax-enforced poverty contributes to a situation where 500,000 people in Britain are relying on food banks. The number has more than tripled in the last year. Oxfam reported on "destitution, hardship and hunger on a large scale". The charity predicts more people will be forced to turn to food banks which "may not have the capacity to cope with the increased level of demand."

Increasingly, people who are in work but on poverty pay are also being forced to go to food banks. One in four children in Britain - 3.4 million - are expected to be in relative poverty by 2020.

Food banks were meant to be a temporary measure for exceptional circumstances, but are now officially part of welfare provision. Some local authorities give grants to food banks. The Department for Work and Pensions issues food bank vouchers. Is this Cameron's "big society"?

Actually, it is a return to Victorian times of haphazard and degrading charity support for the 'deserving poor', or the days when people had to plead in front of the Poor Law guardians for help.

But Britain is the seventh richest country in the world. Earlier this year Oxfam reported that the piles of un-taxed wealth hidden in tax havens internationally are sufficient to eradicate world hunger.

It's not complicated, is it - we need benefits, tax credits and minimum wage levels that are sufficient for everyone to have adequate housing and to buy their own food.

We need to take action to end poverty and make food banks unnecessary. Reverse cuts in benefits, reverse public spending cuts, tax the rich to make them pay for the crisis they created!

To achieve that means getting organised! And getting political. Socialists argue for building mass action against the bedroom tax, including anti-eviction armies, and standing 'no cuts' candidates against councillors who implement austerity.

These attacks on the living standards of the poorest are the direct result of the demands of the rich to get richer. They are an inevitable part of the system of capitalism that we live under - we need to get rid of it. That means building a new system based on meeting the needs of the billions instead of the greed of the billionaires.

I'm not just getting angry....I'm going to get organised...
I'm joining the Socialist Party!
[quote][p][bold]smithy99[/bold] wrote: While I am sympathetic to those who are genuinely in need of help I am sceptical of surveys like this. Yes some people may skip meals but do some of these who skip meals also give up smoking - not usually is the answer. The Joseph Rowntree Foundation also did a similar study about people in poverty. What the JRT also stipulate is that being in poverty is classed as someone who only has "one" holiday per year and can only afford the lowest and cheapest broadband. We'll to me that's not poverty or struggling. I'm not in poverty but I can't afford a holiday or any luxuries. This is a good eye catching headline but people who are skipping meals to feed their family can help themselves in other ways. May sound harsh but just look at the research and hard evidence.[/p][/quote]Smithy99, Couldn't see that this post contains so much as even one ounce of 'sympathy' for the hungry in society: despite the disingenuous claim at the start. As one of the ever-increasing numbers who have to shuffle through the hard pressed food banks doling out the modern day expression of 'Poor Relief', I would say that even if you were offering genuine 'sympathy' many of us wouldn't want it! In reality of course, you offer no sympathy to the 'deserving' poor any more than you offer to those you describe as the 'undeserving' poor... no... your comments are simply a steadfast defence of the capitalist system and all the consequential poverty it causes. So much so that you are forced to concede that your comments "may sound harsh". At anti-bedroom tax meetings many people report that they are going without food as they try to pay their rent. The level of cuts in benefits for people on already low incomes means that the struggle to pay rent will be too much for many - leading to the threat of evictions. Bedroom tax-enforced poverty contributes to a situation where 500,000 people in Britain are relying on food banks. The number has more than tripled in the last year. Oxfam reported on "destitution, hardship and hunger on a large scale". The charity predicts more people will be forced to turn to food banks which "may not have the capacity to cope with the increased level of demand." Increasingly, people who are in work but on poverty pay are also being forced to go to food banks. One in four children in Britain - 3.4 million - are expected to be in relative poverty by 2020. Food banks were meant to be a temporary measure for exceptional circumstances, but are now officially part of welfare provision. Some local authorities give grants to food banks. The Department for Work and Pensions issues food bank vouchers. Is this Cameron's "big society"? Actually, it is a return to Victorian times of haphazard and degrading charity support for the 'deserving poor', or the days when people had to plead in front of the Poor Law guardians for help. But Britain is the seventh richest country in the world. Earlier this year Oxfam reported that the piles of un-taxed wealth hidden in tax havens internationally are sufficient to eradicate world hunger. It's not complicated, is it - we need benefits, tax credits and minimum wage levels that are sufficient for everyone to have adequate housing and to buy their own food. We need to take action to end poverty and make food banks unnecessary. Reverse cuts in benefits, reverse public spending cuts, tax the rich to make them pay for the crisis they created! To achieve that means getting organised! And getting political. Socialists argue for building mass action against the bedroom tax, including anti-eviction armies, and standing 'no cuts' candidates against councillors who implement austerity. These attacks on the living standards of the poorest are the direct result of the demands of the rich to get richer. They are an inevitable part of the system of capitalism that we live under - we need to get rid of it. That means building a new system based on meeting the needs of the billions instead of the greed of the billionaires. I'm not just getting angry....I'm going to get organised... I'm joining the Socialist Party! THOUSANDS NEED & DEMAND A PAYRISE!

12:51pm Thu 5 Dec 13

Somerset.SocialistParty says...

“When I feed the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor are hungry, they call me a communist”

Helder Camara, Liberation Theologian

Don't just angry... Get organised..... Join the Socialist Party, at: www.socialistparty.o
rg.uk
“When I feed the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor are hungry, they call me a communist” Helder Camara, Liberation Theologian Don't just angry... Get organised..... Join the Socialist Party, at: www.socialistparty.o rg.uk Somerset.SocialistParty

12:58pm Thu 5 Dec 13

FreeSpeech? says...

Yeh join the SocialistParty and we will show you a real foodbank or should that be food queue, socialism like the USSR where we are all equal and everyone has to queue up to buy anything if the shops have that is.
Socialism the way the Union leaders tell it, where everyone's equal but they're more equal than you with their six figure salaries, chauffeur driven cars and large expense accounts to wine and dine with their comrades and all payed for by the workers.
Decided to repost this as relevant to the story and the spurious claptrap posted about it.
Yeh join the SocialistParty and we will show you a real foodbank or should that be food queue, socialism like the USSR where we are all equal and everyone has to queue up to buy anything if the shops have that is. Socialism the way the Union leaders tell it, where everyone's equal but they're more equal than you with their six figure salaries, chauffeur driven cars and large expense accounts to wine and dine with their comrades and all payed for by the workers. Decided to repost this as relevant to the story and the spurious claptrap posted about it. FreeSpeech?

2:52pm Thu 5 Dec 13

susan 2003 says...

While our countries government can send 50 million abroad to help other countries , may be it should think about its own citizens there are people in this country , who have to make a choice between heating & eating people with water meters who think twice about flushing the loo, people having to go to food banks , people losing their homes due to the bedroom tax ,

May be this government will only be happy when we have bought the work houses back.

Our citizens have the rights to the basics too heating food and water
While our countries government can send 50 million abroad to help other countries , may be it should think about its own citizens there are people in this country , who have to make a choice between heating & eating people with water meters who think twice about flushing the loo, people having to go to food banks , people losing their homes due to the bedroom tax , May be this government will only be happy when we have bought the work houses back. Our citizens have the rights to the basics too heating food and water susan 2003

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