Conservatives in chaos over food bank stance

Credit where it's due: The vast majority of reasons for people being referred to food banks are attributable to the Department for Work and Pensions. Could that be why the DWP is so desperate to silence the food bank charities?

Credit where it’s due: The vast majority of reasons for people being referred to food banks are attributable to the Department for Work and Pensions. Could that be why the DWP is so desperate to silence the food bank charities?

Tories – what are they like?

The answer is, of course, even they don’t know – as evidenced by their current confusion over food banks.

David Cameron has enthusiastically backed their work at a Christian faith group’s Easter reception (and so he should, having sent so much of it their way), and Treasury minister David Gauke also praised them in an interview on Channel 4 News last week.

But the DWP says leading food bank provider the Trussell Trust is guilty of “misleading and emotionally manipulative publicity seeking”, with the rise in food bank use being the result of the charity’s leaders “aggressively marketing their services” and “effectively running a business”.

At least one commenter on this blog has been completely taken in by the DWP’s prattling, claiming that demand for food banks has not risen at all since Cameron came to office. No, it’s clear to this demented individual that opening a food bank anywhere is like opening a supermarket – if there isn’t one nearby already, people will flock through your doors.

This, of course, completely misconstrues the way food banks are used and assumes that anyone can walk through their doors, claim food poverty and take away a packet of supplies whenever they want. It doesn’t work like that.

Food banks operate on a referral system. As Trussell Trust chairman Chris Mould put it in an Observer report: “You can’t get free food from the Trussell Trust by walking through the door and asking for it; you must have a voucher. More than 24,000 professionals – half of whom work in the public sector and health service, the police, and in social services – ask us to give this food to clients of theirs because they’ve made the decision that this individual or family is in dire straits and needs help. We’re not drumming up demand.”

This is absolutely correct and no amount of negative campaigning by the DWP can change it. In fact, Mr Gauke spent some time crowing about the fact the DWP rules have been altered to allow “signposting” to food banks by Job Centre advisors, in his Channel 4 News interview (although claiming credit for government employees sending people to someone else, rather than providing help themselves, is in itself a mean-spirited shot in the foot).

Once again, the Conservatives are getting stuck in the mire while trying to claim the moral high ground.

Not only have they created a poverty-driven starvation threat that organisations like the Trussell Trust have been forced to step in and fight, but the Tories have also tried to vilify those good people for laying the blame where it belongs.

It is a situation so twisted, there can be no wonder the Tories are tying themselves in knots.

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20 Comments

  1. AKA John Galt April 19, 2014 at 9:23 pm - Reply

    Reblogged this on U.S. Constitutional Free Press.

  2. Joanna April 19, 2014 at 10:02 pm - Reply

    I thought at first that the trussel trust had some connection with the coalition. I hope I was wrong!
    Also shouldn’t food itself be a Human Right, and what about people who are diabetics, and wouldn’t type 1 diabetes be the cause of a lot of deaths that this government Are Guilty of?

  3. bookmanwales April 19, 2014 at 10:15 pm - Reply

    Unfortunately more than the one commentator on here believes the lies about foodbanks. Many I speak to say the same thing more foodbanks = more people taking advantage of this “free” food.
    Even people I used to think of as fairly intelligent seem to believe everything the DWP throw out, Lots of jobs, sanctions are not given at random, very few sanctions anyway, all unemployed should be punished even if it is only a few taking the mick because it’s easier to target everyone than actual individuals etc etc.
    Every person you talk to takes a good deal of convincing that lies are being thrown around like confetti, the main reason being that if they were lies they woulod have , by now, been found out.
    It is disheartning to see so many people falling for such crap and willing to see people starve just because they have no job.

    • Joanna April 19, 2014 at 10:34 pm - Reply

      That is why I believe food Should be a right! Also kids in schools should be taught common sense and to more importantly think for themselves!

    • jeffrey davies April 20, 2014 at 7:16 am - Reply

      Couldn’t have said it better it seems that 99 percent who ain’t rich are believing their lies about those on benefits but if rtu/ids ever gets universal credit working then they better watch out as most claim a benefit while working. they might think not but child benefit, working tax benefit – they all leave one open to be called into their local jcp and asked, what are you doing to get off benefits, yet they say i’m working 40 hrs or more. i’m not a social scrounger – welcome to rtu/ids’ world of ‘make the poor pay’ jeff3

    • jaypot2012 April 20, 2014 at 9:08 am - Reply

      Agreed 100%

  4. stewilko April 20, 2014 at 2:10 am - Reply

    Reblogged this on stewilko's Blog.

  5. sdbast April 20, 2014 at 4:56 am - Reply

    Reblogged this on sdbast.

  6. beastrabban April 20, 2014 at 7:12 am - Reply

    Reblogged this on Beastrabban’s Weblog.

  7. jaypot2012 April 20, 2014 at 9:16 am - Reply

    I want the coalition and the DWP to tie themselves into knots so tight that it will take years to straighten themselves out, or get into power again.
    We know that the Lib/Dems are a party that is going to take decades to ever be trusted again – I want that for the Conservatives as well.
    I agree with Joanna about the diabetes as well but would go as far as to say both types – starving or having food that is not nutritional or is full of sugar and additives is enough to make people with type2 need more and more help controlling their diabetes, this in turn put more and more strain on the NHS.
    I know this as I’m one of them with type2 and it’s getting harder and harder to purchase better foods due to the cost of living.

    • Joanna April 20, 2014 at 5:57 pm - Reply

      Hi Jaypot, I am type 2 diabetic, I am very lucky if I can get my blood sugar level below 20, it usually hovers around 25 and I am on 2000mg of metformin per day. So much food is filled with empty calories, which fill you for such a short amount of time and sugar is loaded into everything.

      Food should be “Human Right”! Because not one person can survive without it!!

  8. jaypot2012 April 20, 2014 at 9:17 am - Reply

    Reblogged this on Jay's Journal.

  9. prayerwarriorpsychicnot April 20, 2014 at 9:26 am - Reply

    You work and pay nearly half your earnings in taxes (tax free dayMay/June). When you lose your job, get made redundant, become ill, become a carer, the DWP uses every trick in the book to deny you welfare, and points you in the direction of food banks. Then the government accuse the food banks, provided for by the generosity of the public, who have already paid taxes for the safety net of welfare, of increasing demand for food banks by providing them.
    Adding insult to injury. If the govt is not going to give us what our taxes have paid for, they are stealing from us. Not content with making the public pay twice and leave provision to the patchy provision of charities, which they criticise for providing what they failed to, they continue to take our taxes, our charitable contributions, and do their damnedest to give us nothing – except a lot of free abuse and pointless advice.
    What is the purpose of government? To be a cartel of organised criminals whose only purpose is to pillage everyone in the country? Either supply the goods, or stop taking our money.

  10. prayerwarriorpsychicnot April 20, 2014 at 9:27 am - Reply

    Reblogged this on Citizens, not serfs.

  11. John Ray April 20, 2014 at 9:45 am - Reply

    It is ironic that MP’s can claim for a second home,food,utilities,council tax,TV license,travel Ect,…..Have I missed the point?

    • Joanna April 20, 2014 at 6:01 pm - Reply

      And they are Supposed to by working For Us!! Or maybe I too have missed the point!!!

  12. amnesiaclinic April 20, 2014 at 10:58 am - Reply

    Reblogged this on amnesiaclinic and commented:
    Excellent. Very clear statistics and some very concise comments. Exactly what is government for? They have indeed forgotten they are our public servants who need to carry out the will of the people. They are clearly failing in that so they need to go! NOW.

  13. nhawalthamforest April 20, 2014 at 5:43 pm - Reply

    Reblogged this on Waltham Forest National Health Action and commented:
    Upset and bemused about the fact that the government accuses a charity of running itself as a business surely because they are getting to many people needing their services that they COULD start running a business due to sheer demand. Of course the fact that none of their ‘customers’ have any money might be a slight barrier to profitable trade…

  14. chunkyfunkymunky April 21, 2014 at 6:58 am - Reply

    Reblogged this on chunkyfunkymunky.

  15. tavs1978 May 2, 2014 at 12:43 pm - Reply

    Reblogged this on Leeds Wellbeing Web.

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