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Category: Charity

The Mail on Sunday, Foodbanks and Self Esteem

Thank the Lord it is self esteem Friday, perhaps now I can finally pay these bills.  Hi, is that British Gas?  I’m skint but I feel fantastic.  I’m wondering, are you prepared to accept self esteem?

I’ve been a bit busy of late. When we finished the final shout of “he is risen indeed” I discovered that the Mail on Sunday chose the day of resurrection to… not to put too fine a point on it… Lie despicably to steal food from the poor. Here’s the strap line:

HOW MOS REPORTER GOT 3 DAYS OF GROCERIES… NO QUESTIONS ASKED

The reporter then details how lots of questions were asked but he… how do I put this…  lied through his teeth.

As a trustee of a food bank I was interested in the developments. There have been some good things to come out of this. There has been a huge surge in donations to Foodbanks. Thank you humanity for restoring my faith in you. More importantly, there has been a backlash against the Mail on Sunday as they have exposed themselves for what they really are.

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Thanks to @jamiedm

 

Here is an open letter to the MOS from a parent of a two year old.

I’ve got a little boy. His name is Isaac, and he’s nearly three. Like any little boy, he loves cars, balls, and running around. He’s barely ever still.

A few days ago though, he was. I took him to the supermarket to spend his pocket money, and we passed the donation basket for our local food bank. It was about half full – nothing spectacular, in fact, mostly prunes and pasta – and he asked what it was. As simply as possible, I tried to explain that it was for people to give food for other people who couldn’t afford it.

This affected his two year old brain fairly deeply. After a lot of thought, he decided to spend a little bit of his pocket money on some treats to donate, because “children haffa have treats when they mummy and daddy is sad!” Nothing exciting. A chocolate swiss roll (about 29p), some angel delight (about 40p). Just a treat for a child, from a child who cares.

Daily Mail, I’ve got to ask. Why does my two year old get it better than you do?

Please go and read the whole letter. Kevin Bridges gets it: “Imagine working in a shop where everything is worth a pound except you” . A two year old gets it. The Mail on Sunday don’t get it.

Next week you will probably find an expose about me gracing their pages because I’ve written this blog. It’s probably all true. Or not.

Lord Truro and the “Undeserving Poor”

Once more all decent folk found themselves under attack from the ever hungry and multiheaded mythological beast. Fortunately Lord Freud was able to defend us all once more from the onslaught of the “undeserving poor”.

20130703-074824.jpgThe daemonisation of the poor is a well documented phenomenon and a tool that is being used to drive ideological political change. “Why don’t they help themselves out of poverty?” We have a situation in the UK where food bank use has trebled in the past year. Lord Freud seems to be of the opinion that food banks are one of the many choices that people mmakes when planning their weekly shop. “We can get some cold cuts from the farmers market, they do that lovely Brussels Pâté. We need to make sure we get to Waitrose on the way home for the loo roll and dishwasher tablets. Ooooo, and we’d best stop at the Food Bank and get some beans for the kids”.

The Bishop of Truro challenged Lord Freud on his statements to The Lords. Church Action on Poverty challenged these ideological beliefs five weeks ago. Oxfam challenge this ideological belief daily. Everyone who works with people in poverty challenges this blame culture, designed to shift the focus of blame for the current global economic climate to the most vulnerable in our society. The people who aren’t challenging this are those who are using the myth to drive ideological political change.

The growth in food aid demonstrates that the social safety net Is failing in its basic duty to ensure that families have access to sufficient income to feed themselves adequately. The exponential rise in the creation of food banks reflects a growing problem and only delivers mitigation. Food banks provide a vital emergency service to the people they support but they do not address the underlying structural causes for the growth of food poverty. – Walking the Breadline

Silent Night

I spotted this guy outside Covent Garden begging/busking.  He’s found a traffic cone and he is playing all of the Christmas Classics on it.  He was very good.

Of course this photo doesn’t exist because we don’t have any poor people in the UK.