16 comments on “Timmy elsewhere

  1. It claims ‘the single most common reason for people to need food aid is that their benefits have been changed, delayed or stopped’.

    I’m sure that in a small number of cases that’s very true. However, the cynic in me suggests that those who know how to “work the system” have discovered that if they produce a decent sob-story so they get free food it leaves more money over for fags, booze, designer trainers etc.

  2. Food banks are a sort of reverse Potemkin village.

    Have you seen the size of our poor? Hunger is not their main problem.

  3. However, the cynic in me suggests that those who know how to “work the system” have discovered that if they produce a decent sob-story so they get free food it leaves more money over for fags, booze, designer trainers etc.

    If you want a food bank voucher, you have to get a referral from a doctor, job centre, social worker, etc. Faced with a sob story that might be true or risking someone kicking off if they don’t get their way, why would any of these people refuse a referral? Knowing that there is free food out there just perpetuates demand for it. Indeed The Trussell Trust is reliant on this for its business model. It actually has expansion plans and targets for new food banks! Build it and they will come, and all that…

  4. Very true Puss n’Blue. If they’ve opened a food bank in Camden (N. London) reckon i could give you the names of the first ten people in the queue from here.

  5. Personally I find the most sickening aspect of this to be the way churches – CHURCHES – are using Christmas as the excuse for a nakedly partizan poltical campaign. Tim has hit the nail on the head by describing the poster as highly political. It is indeed political and is a long-planned Christmas campaign by a number of organisations to push ‘food poverty’ to the top of the political agenda over the Christmas period. It is no coincidence that 38 Degrees is organising a Christmas petition to have foodbanks debated in Parliament and no coincidence also that Richard Murphy – yes that twat – has referred to the Trussell Trust in his tweets. I have no doubt his Christmas message – oh how queeny – will invoke that convenient Quaker background to claim Christ himself would demand action on ‘food poverty’ (he would of course cut the tax gap as well).

    I disagree with Tim Worstall’s view on this; I think that, if government is to have any legitimacy as an agent for society, then it must take steps to ensure all its citizens are properly fed. However, I am truly sickened by shites who actually have no interest in the poor, but who invoke the poor to claim a moral highground from which to fight their (party) political battles.

  6. Blue Burmese,

    Exactly. What’s a GP going to do? Stand arguing the toss over something that costs him nothing, or just write the referral?

    Someone should do a bit of surveillance on these “starving” people, grab some documentary footage of where they go after the foodbank. It’d probably blow a hole in the whole lefty-driven scam. I’m sure there are some people in genuine need of emergency food, but half a million? Bullshit.

  7. The really weird thing that for many people the solution to “Government is incompetent”.
    Is to give the Government more power and money.
    I really find that hard to understand.

  8. @Ironman “I disagree with Tim Worstall’s view on this; I think that, if government is to have any legitimacy as an agent for society, then it must take steps to ensure all its citizens are properly fed.”

    I find myself in agreement with 90% of what you write, Mr Man, but not this.

    Firstly, the government actually does this via the benefits system, and no-one actually needs to be hungry.

    (Some kids are, because they have terrible parents, but the way to stop this is not by intervening via millions of social workers but to change the policies which allow and encourage these kind of people to have children.)

    Secondly, it is not the job of the State to feed people – it is the job of people to feed people.

  9. @The Stigler

    “Someone should do a bit of surveillance on these “starving” people, grab some documentary footage of where they go after the foodbank. It’d probably blow a hole in the whole lefty-driven scam.”

    Agreed. It is a scam facilitated by a credulous, lazy and/or complicit media.

  10. Advertising works!

    Tell everyone that you are giving away free food and more people will take advantage of it!

    And, funnily enough, I can tell you where a lot of the food ends up. It really is an ideal business model when you get your product for free…

  11. Interested

    No, I didn’t and don’t expect many on this blog to agree with me on that. I stand by my view though and will also add that the government didn’t really think through the transition that would be required with the ‘bedroom tax’.

    Please stick with my main point though: this has nothing to do with these charities giving a toss for the poor and everything to do with them using the gullibles’ money to campaign for a Labour victory.

    P.S. If there really are such compartmentalised forms of poverty such as ‘food poverty’ and ‘fuel poverty’, then should we start handing our food vouchers rather than giving benefits out in money?

  12. Firstly, the government actually does this via the benefits system, and no-one actually needs to be hungry.

    But the claim is that it doesn’t “actually” do this – because of screw-ups, delays, bedroom tax or whatever.

  13. There is a demand and supply issue here which puzzles me.

    What percentage of people in the UK physically require food banks to survive? Must be near zero as we had very few instances of people seriously ill with malnutrition before the expansion of the food banks (excluding eating disorders* or cases where parents or carers weren’t ensuring adequate malnutrition). But probably not exactly zero – food handouts, begged or charitable, may well have been needed by the homeless who slipped through the safety net, rejected asylum seekers, addicts who’d use any cash on drugs, ..

    What percentage of people in the UK would use a food bank if they had access? I think this would include anyone who shops at a budget or mid-market supermarket and wishes they could get the food cheaper. People more concerned about quality, who buy from M&S or Waitress, can safely be excluded. But I suspect that leaves more than half the population who would benefit, more than de minimis, from access to a food bank.

    As such it’s not obvious how big a food bank “should” be. It would be a legitimate charitable aim to give free healthy nutrition to a big chunk of the population. For a long time yet, so long as they open foodbanks they’ll get used. But at some point the purpose stops being a life and death thing.

    * Whatever happened to EDs? Few years back you could hardly open a paper without coming across the dangers of the internet and pro-ana websites, or the harm caused by society’s preference for thin models, or the criminal lack of treatment facilities. Have ED rates reduced, or the cause become less fashionable, or my eyes and ears just become insensitive and screened it all out?

  14. TheStigler, “Someone should do a bit of surveillance on these “starving” people, grab some documentary footage of where they go after the foodbank.”

    Someone has. And some “starving” person was shown to be a liar and chancer and hoodwinked the trusting people at the food bank. I’ll see if its on youtube. It was on one of the major channels earlier this year I think. C4? Or was it last year.

  15. MyBurningEars – I think the ED hysteria died down a little, because people were starting to figure out that it’s not the huge crisis it was made out to be. Figures of 100K-250K dead annually in the USA from anorexia and bulimia turned out to be closer to 100-250 – without the K. It got noticed that while extremely ill people do exist and need intensive help, they’re relatively rare. Counseling is sufficient for most of the milder cases, the more common ones by far. People you wouldn’t know are sick unless you know them well; to a stranger or casual acquaintance they blend right in and usually look normal and healthy, though thin (for anorexia; bulimics can be any size).

    The argument seems to have shifted to general body image and causes of problems with it, an argument that has its own issues and often attacks the wrong things. But is at least the premise that many women have body image problems is true, whereas anorexia and bulimia being giant crises annihilating up to a quarter of a million lives a year was all-out BS.

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