Tag Archives: starving

‘Thicky’ Nicky Morgan spells it out: Tories denied poor children free school meals out of spite

‘We starve children’: Rishi Sunak’s slogan was a little different when he published it, but a member of the public has corrected it for him.

There’s a reason we call her “Thicky” Nicky. Tory High Command will be fuming this morning.

The reason? Former education secretary Nicky Morgan admitted on the BBC’s Question Time that she and her Conservative colleagues voted down a motion to give poverty-stricken children free school meals during the holidays – not for any practical reason, but because a Labour MP insulted one of them during the debate.

Angela Rayner has apologised for using that word during a speech by Christopher Clarkson. Considering the content of his speech, one is moved more to sympathy with her point of view than his.

So it is doubly hard to accept “Thicky” Nicky’s excuse as she peddled it out on Question Time – more so because she backpedalled in the face of criticism and tried to say the Labour Party was wrong to introduce the debate as an Opposition Day motion.

And she was still saying the Tories were reacting petulantly to the way the debate was being carried out, rather than to its content – the necessity of helping to feed children in England.

Those children are now set to starve, because Tories like Nicky Morgan made up excuses to be upset.

Here’s her outburst, as televised:

And here’s some of the outrage it sparked:

(There are more than 322 Tories but that’s the number of their MPs who voted down the motion to feed starving children.)

There are now moves to shame all the Tories who voted against this motion online, simply by pointing out what they did to their electorate.

This Writer notes that my own MP – Fay Jones – voted against it. She represents a Welsh constituency – and I don’t think it’s a good look for a Welsh Tory to be voting to starve English children.

Do you?

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Why aren’t Tory voters furious after their party u-turned on free school meals and all their other disastrous policies?

Tearing Britain apart: it’s what Conservative voters supported, so why aren’t they complaining about every policy alteration that prevents it?

This Twitter user makes a very good point:

Mr Maginn is absolutely right.

If you voted Conservative, you voted for a party that would starve your children in the school holidays. Why aren’t you demanding that they stick to their principles?

This got me thinking about all the other ways the Tories have let their voters down over the last few months.

For example, we know that the Tories dismantled all the systems that had been in place to combat a pandemic like Covid-19. Conservative voters supported that.

So, if you’re a Conservative voter, why aren’t you absolutely raging that your demand for the entire nation to be infected, in order to develop “herd immunity” has been rejected? Voting Tory means that’s what you wanted, no matter how many people it killed.

Why aren’t you furious about the lockdown that interfered unforgivably with your ability to make money for yourselves and your family and boost the economy? You voted Tory – that’s what you had a right to expect, even if it meant your entire family caught Covid-19 and died.

Why aren’t you frothing at the mouth about the fact that the Tories were shamed into casting around for PPE (personal protective equipment) for NHS staff dealing with the coronavirus in hospitals? You voted Tory and the Tories decided long ago that this equipment would not be necessary – and we know they have been quietly dismantling the NHS for the last decade; if doctors, nurses and support staff all caught Covid and died, that would achieve the aim very well.

If you voted Conservative, then you supported that party’s Brexit policy that has discouraged foreign workers from coming to the UK – so you must be seething at Tory attempts to entice them back to harvest this year’s fruit crop before it rots. You voted for that crop to rot in the fields! It is unconscionable that the Tories should go against your wishes in trying to save it.

Progressing from there, if you voted Conservative, then you support the underlying racism that supported the “hostile environment” policy, and the Windrush generation deportations. You must be raging against the Black Lives Matter protests that took place across the UK and the calls for statues glorifying slavers and racists to be taken down. Why aren’t you contacting your MP, demanding that charges against the Nazis who rampaged through London on Saturday be dropped on the grounds that they are only good British citizens acting in concord with the policies of the Conservative government and its racist leader Boris Johnson?

Need I go on?

Too often, voters confuse what the Conservatives have done with what they wanted to do.

If Boris Johnson’s government had done everything it wanted, then the United Kingdom would already have been decimated by plague and famine (caused by deliberate starvation as well as failure to bring in the crops) – with worse to follow.

It’s what Conservative voters wanted. Perhaps someone should point that out to them.

‘I’m starving’ says man in protest against the benefit system on Job Centre roof

Sometimes people have to stand on rooftops to make a point, it seems.

This Writer can’t approve of the damage to property implied by this particular gentleman’s behaviour, of course.

But I certainly sympathise with the motivation behind it.

He is reported to have said, “I’m starving” at one point.

Standing on the roof and shouting about it suggests this was the only way he expected to get his point across.

I wonder if he had already tried talking to the staff inside Upton Job Centre Plus before he resorted to standing on top of it and shouting.

It’s hard to get through when nobody wants to listen.

And now that they can pin criminal damage on this man, I wonder whether anybody will bother listening to him again.

Perhaps that’s how the Tories get away with victimising these people. What do you think?

Source: Man on roof for hours in job centre standoff with police – Liverpool Echo

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DWP to collect statistics on ‘food insecurity’ – but why should we believe the results?

Has anybody noticed how the Department for Work and Pensions contracts out the dirty work of benefit assessments to organisations that have proved untrustworthy – but can’t even be trusted to collect and release its own statistics in an appropriate way?

Congratulations to South Shields Labour MP Emma Lewell-Buck for getting the DWP to agree to measure the number of people who don’t have enough to eat, as part of a national survey carried out every year. It will refer to people who either can’t afford to buy sufficient food or are worried about their ability to buy food in the future.

But will these figures see the light of day? The DWP doesn’t seem to have published any responses to “Freedom of Information” requests since March 2016.

And if it is being asked to release information that makes the government look bad – such as, for example, statistics showing the police had shared information on disabled people attending public protests – the DWP seems simply to refuse to answer.

We know people have been forced to steal in order to feed their families, due to kack-handed DWP benefits incompetence.

And famished children have been caught stealing from school lunchboxes in incidents we may link with DWP policies.

Does anyone really think the DWP will admit information that connects these events with government policies?


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Food bank opens AT SCHOOL after famished children start stealing from lunchboxes

The food bank at North Denes Junior School in Norfolk.

Now even children are being forced into crime by repressive Conservative government policies.

Think it through: Schoolchildren are almost entirely dependent on their parents for nutrition and Conservative policies have pushed 14 million UK citizens below the poverty line.

This figure includes four million people who are in work.

We may conclude that this is because the Tories have deliberately pushed wages through the floor. Only last week, Tory ex-minister Dominic Raab was ridiculed after he claimed wages were rising at their fastest rate in eight years. They weren’t; and they’re still lower – in real terms – than in 2010 when Gordon Brown was prime minister.

Here’s the graph:

Fairy tale: Dominic Raab thinks it’s terrific that wages are lower now than when Labour was in office.

And the benefit nightmare the Tories euphemistically call “Universal Credit” only worsens matters. The Tories say there’s nothing wrong with it because, even though there is a five-week wait before people who are successful in claiming it receive the cash, they can apply for an advance of up to 100 per cent.

The problem is, they have to pay that advance back, meaning the amount they receive regularly drops below subsistence level – for months. It’s a poverty – and debt – trap.

And it leads to further social problems including poor health and rising crime; people who are starved of money often suffer from malnourishment, with all its attendant health problems, and may turn to crime, simply to feed themselves and their families. Their children may do the same.

The issue creates a huge problem for school authorities, of course.

Teachers are charged with pupils’ moral education, as much as parents and other figures of authority – and cannot, therefore, allow theft from lunchboxes to go unremarked, even if the thieves are starving. And obviously it must be heartbreaking to watch their pupils wasting away due to the policies of a selfish government of the rich and privileged.

So staff at North Denes Junior School in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, set up their own food bank for hungry pupils whose parents are struggling. It is thought to be the first at a British school

Half the school’s 420 pupils get free meals (although this won’t happen during school holidays, meaning that Christmas would be a miserable affair for them if they don’t get this kind of help.

Head Debbie Whiting launched the facility after seeing pupils so famished they were stealing from other children’s packed lunches.

Read more about the school’s food bank here.

But remember that, while the help for starving children is welcome, it is not a solution to the problem.

This is a problem that can only be solved by providing the whole workforce with wages that make it unnecessary for them to have to claim benefits – and by reforming the benefit system to ensure that those who are out of work can look for employment without having to worry about starvation or the threat of eviction.

That will never happen under a Conservative government.

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Penniless and reliant on foodbanks: how universal credit destroyed this mum’s life | Welfare Weekly

[Image: www.disabledgo.com]

If you’re not moved by this report, you’re not human.

The realities of Universal Credit, exposed by BBC News (reluctantly; they do their best to make it look good but after the report about Holly Sargeant, there’s no salvaging it):

Imagine being without money for eight months, left dependent on the support of foodbanks and family, and forced to sell your treasured belongings just to survive.

Theresa May claims universal credit is “working”, but try telling that to this mum who can’t even have her own child sleep over because of how this flawed system has torn her asunder.

That’s the reality faced by Holly Sargeant, who due to “administrative errors” by the Department for Work and Pensions and her poor mental health hasn’t received a single penny in support for several months.

You have to watch the following video from BBC News to believe how seriously flawed this new system really is.

Source: Penniless and reliant on foodbanks: how universal credit destroyed this mum’s life


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As commenters rush to his support, charities vilify Rees-Mogg’s food bank remark as “unchristian”

Jacob Rees-Mogg, making a gesture that well defines him.

Some people will defend anything.

That’s why, on the day Jacob Rees-Mogg called food banks “uplifting” while volunteers there said they couldn’t stop children starving, commenters tried to defend him and attack This Writer for pointing out his cruelty.

“I dislike the man but this is not a true representation of what he said,” claimed one. “Press in the country are a disgrace. Very little real journalism left.”

“If you need to lie to get your political point across, maybe you should take a look at your point,” stated another.

Okay.

My point was that Mr Rees-Mogg said he found it “uplifting” that children were starving because food banks could not feed them. I say that point is accurate.

In his LBC interview, he said “I don’t think the state can do everything… It tries to provide a base of welfare that should allow people to make ends meet… but on some occasions that will not work.” We know that statement is not true.

Firstly: The citizens of the UK do not ask the state to do “everything” for them.

Secondly: While we do pay our taxes on the understanding that the state should “provide a base of welfare that should allow people to make ends meet”, the state under a Conservative government has consistently refused to do so since 2010. That is common knowledge; you only have to look at my recent story about the Universal Credit taper to see evidence of it.

Thirdly: If it does not work on some occasions, then the government is not doing its job properly and should make way for one that does.

In short: If state schemes are not providing enough for people to pay their way, it is because the minority Conservative government – of which Mr Rees-Mogg is a member – is refusing to provide enough support.

That, of course, is why food banks have proliferated; why they have become necessary.

Mr Rees-Mogg, in his interview, claimed that the huge increase in the number of food banks was because the Conservatives had publicised them, allowing Job Centres to refer benefit claimants to them – but this has been refuted by food bank charity the Trussell Trust as follows:

Trussell figures show that, far from triggering a flood of referrals, the decision had little direct effect on food bank activity. In 2016-17, just 5% of referrals to Trussell food banks were from jobcentres, a proportion that has remained virtually unchanged for at least the past three years.

Charities said that year-on-year increases in the volume of charity food given out in the UK over the past decade were driven largely by welfare reforms, benefit delays and sanctions that had left low-income people in financial crisis.

Of course, five per cent of referrals still represents an increase in the actual number, because the number of food bank visits has skyrocketed over the last seven years in which we have had a Conservative government; but we can clearly see that the effect of Job Centres being allowed to refer people to food banks is negligible.

So we are left with food banks trying to provide for increasing numbers of people, with a finite amount of food – there were desperate calls for more from food banks that were running out of supplies over the summer, remember.

It is in this context that Mr Rees-Mogg says the “charitable” efforts of those who run and supply food banks are “uplifting”.

Regarding charity, I am reminded of a comment on another political website: “Charity merely sweetens the stench emanating from the sewers of capitalism.”

As for it being “uplifting”, I find myself in agreement with Chris Price of Pecan, who said, “What he [Mr Rees-Mogg] is saying is that it is great that people are in poverty and that we are here to help them. It is a very unchristian thing to say.”

Harsh words for a man who recently claimed his Christian beliefs meant he could not support abortion or same-sex marriage. But then, Mr Rees-Mogg was pilloried for that remark as well – most effectively by Iain Rowan, who said he thought “being a committed Christian meant following the teachings of Jesus, rather than standing at the pick-and-mix counter in a sweetshop, only choosing the fizzy snakes”.

And that’s what Mr Rees-Mogg was doing with his comment about food banks. He was happy to say how “uplifting” it was that they existed.

But he won’t talk about how “uplifting” it is for children to starve because food banks can’t help them and the government won’t. And that is why his defenders are wrong.

Charities have reacted angrily after the Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg said the rapid increase in food banks showed a “rather uplifting” picture of a compassionate country.

Challenged by a caller to a radio phone-in about the rapid rise in food banks, Rees-Mogg argued on Thursday that they fulfilled a vital function. “I don’t think the state can do everything,” he said. “It tries to provide a base of welfare that should allow people to make ends meet during the course of the week, but on some occasions that will not work.

“And to have charitable support given by people voluntarily to support their fellow citizens, I think is rather uplifting and shows what a good, compassionate country we are.”

Garry Lemon, the head of media and external affairs at the Trussell Trust, Britain’s biggest food bank network, said: “We agree that the work of volunteers and voluntary organisations is uplifting, but food banks are an emergency service and whilst they do all they can to offer support to people in crisis they cannot solve structural problems alone.”

Chris Price, the executive director of Pecan, which runs the Trussell Trust-affiliated Southwark food bank in south London, said: “What he [Rees-Mogg] is saying is that it is great that people are in poverty and that we are here to help them. It is a very unchristian thing to say.”

Source: Jacob Rees-Mogg view on food banks is unchristian, say charities | Politics | The Guardian


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After Rees-Mogg said food banks that couldn’t help the starving were ‘uplifting’ – he’s challenged to WORK in one

Volunteer Sarah Partridge helps out at a foodbank [Image: Rowan Griffiths].

Fat chance of that happening. Jacob Rees-Mogg has never done a day’s hard work in his life.

The challenge from a food bank in Bath comes after This Site reported on a food bank in Cornwall, where volunteers said they knew children were starving but they could do nothing about it because they didn’t have the resources.

It happened at the same time as Mr Rees-Mogg appeared on LBC radio to say food banks were an “uplifting” phenomenon, showing the charitable nature of UK citizens, and filling the gaps where government could not provide.

The point, of course, is that food banks do not have enough and cannot fill those gaps. People are starving because of government policy and people like Mr Rees-Mogg are mouthing platitudes about it while looking the other way.

This Writer agrees with Sarah Partridge of the Bath food bank.

A shift as a food bank volunteer would do him a power of good.

A stint as a food bank user would be far more educational, though.

Foodbank workers in Somerset [have] challenged MP Jacob Rees-Mogg to do a shift with them to witness the reality of their work.

It comes after the millionaire – touted as a future Conservative leader – claimed the huge rise of food banks was “uplifting”

Volunteers at the foodbank in … Bath can see over 20 people a day.

Volunteer Sarah Partridge, 53, said: “I would love Mr Rees-Mogg to sit by my side as I interview someone with real problems who has had their benefits stop, been sanctioned, been forced onto the streets, I would like him to see that.

“I would like him to sit in front of me when I have been faced with a hard-working nurse who works full time who cannot afford to pay for food, I would like to have him on the spot to see how hard volunteers work at these places and how hard life is for people who are forced to use them.

“Of course food banks are wonderful but I think Mr Rees-Mogg has missed the point here, the point is there should not be a need for them in modern Britain.

“I think he should walk in these people’s shoes before making comments like this.”

Read more: Foodbank workers in Tory Jacob Rees-Mogg’s constituency challenge him to do a shift


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Food bank says children are starving. Rees-Mogg finds that ‘uplifting’

A food bank [Image: Welfare Weekly].

Tory darling Jacob Rees-Mogg has described the increased use of food banks as an “uplifting” example of charity – while food banks are warning that they cannot cater for everybody coming to them and people are starving.

Jacob Rees-Mogg is an ignorant, homicidal fool.

A Cornish food bank has said that some children in Cornwall are literally facing starvation, as it called for a welfare system that does more to help struggling families before they reach crisis point.

The Camborne Pool and Redruth foodbank, which helps low-income households in one of the most deprived regions in the country, hands out 10,000 meals to hard-up households every month.

Donovan Gardner, who works at the foodbank, says he is often struck by the severe plight faced by families who are struggling to afford food for their children.

Mr Gardner said: “We know there are children out there starving and that really does hurt.

Source: ‘There are children out there starving’, says foodbank


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A quick thought about the Conservative ‘tax lock’ silliness

Anyone who thinks David Cameron’s promise of a five-year ‘tax lock’ is a good idea must need psychiatric help.

Cameron promised to introduce a law banning income tax, VAT or national insurance increases in the next parliament if the Conservative Party is elected back into office, clearly in the belief that anybody on average wages or less is too stupid to know what this means.

We know better, don’t we?

We know that taxes are set according to each income group’s ability to pay. This means that people in the lowest taxable bracket pay the lowest amount, as they need most of the money they earn in order to pay their way. The amount of tax then increases by increments up to the highest earners – who take home considerably more than they need to survive, and who can therefore afford to contribute a much larger amount with no impact on their quality of life.

We also know that a five-year ‘tax lock’ will not affect the lowest-earning people at all. Nobody earning up to £10,600 pays any tax at the moment, so a freeze on nothing is still nothing.

What will it do to the people in the highest tax bracket? Well, it depends what they earn and how fast their pay increases, doesn’t it? Let’s have a look at the handy guide to average UK pay rises, created by fellow blogger Tom Pride last November:

141112average-uk-pay-risesTomPride

So the director of a FTSE 100 company, paid the average amount of a mere £2.4 million, would have contributed 45 per cent in tax, or £1.08 million in the 2014-15 tax year. Over a five-year period, if that person’s income continued to rise at 14 per cent, then by 2020 – at a 45 per cent tax rate – they would pay a total of £8,138,360 in tax over the years until 2020. That’s certainly a respectable figure.

But Labour has proposed an increase in the top rate of tax, back to 50 per cent. Under the same conditions, this would mean FTSE 100 directors earning £2.4 million in the tax year 2014-15 would pay £9,042,623.

That’s a difference of £904,263; nearly a million pounds each.

This writer doesn’t have current figures for banker salaries and cannot, therefore, work out how much tax they would pay – but you can see for yourself that the difference between the two scenarios is likely to come to several million pounds per top banker.

Those people don’t need that amount of money in order to survive. The cost of living in the UK is less than 1/50 of what the FTSE directors take home, let alone the bankers. But David Cameron wants them to keep that money.

Meanwhile the UK Treasury goes without millions of pounds that could be used to help balance the national deficit, pay off the national debt, and boost the economy.

We’re back to ‘Starve the Beast’ economics again. The nation’s finances can go to Hell, as far as Cameron is concerned. He wants to starve the Treasury with tax cuts for the rich – either actual cuts or de facto cuts like his ‘tax lock’ – and then claim that public services cost too much and will have to be scrapped or sold off to rich corporations in return for donations to the Conservative Party – as we have seen in the years of the Coalition Government (most obviously in the case of the NHS).

Unless you are a banker, an FTSE100 director, or a member of Parliament, you would be mad to support such a wasteful and selfish plan.

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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