May 6 2013
The Financial Times/Lewisham Campaigner, with thanks to Bob Chewie.
Figures for those people in the UK now relying on food-banks to feed their families vary greatly.
What is for sure is that whatever the true figure is, it is an absolute outrage that people in the UK are having to depend on charity food parcels to survive.
By far, the biggest operator of these food-banks is the Trussell Trust, who are described as ‘a Christian charity that does not affiliate itself with any political party’.
However, according to the lewishamcampaigner blogspot, the afore mentioned description couldn’t be further from the truth.
Indeed, Lewisham Campaigner Raywoolford claims that the Trussell Trust are not exactly being up front in regards to their affiliations.
Why am I not surprised?
On a separate issue, the above information was sent to me by Bob/Robert Chewter.
Bob is very well known for commenting on AM blogs, and will be the first to admit that he sometimes does so to the point of irritation.
Having said that he is an enormously intelligent guy who suffers from certain disabilities. Never the less, he is extremely clued up and his heart is in the right place.
Bob emailed me last week, extremely upset and agitated by an article that had appeared on the mysubdomain blogspot alleging that:
“Bobchewie is a government-designed computer system, originally designated BOBC43W01, created by a man named Stephen Falken in 1983 – at the forefront of artificial intelligence technology”.
Why did mysubdomain allege this?
Because Bob happened to disagree with one of his posts.
Finally, after a week or so, I see that the site has now put up the following comment:
Update: As activity on this post has died down a bit, I will confess that it is nothing more than a piece of creative writing. I’m sure that “bobchewie” is a perfectly nice guy, and this was not intended to offend him in any way. His ubiquitous commenting simply served the piece well.
So what this cretin is now saying is that he let this piece of old bollocks run for a week before admitting that it was bollocks. In that time any number of gullible idiots will have taken it as fact.
As for not intending to offend Bob Chewie. Your foresight is sadly lacking pal. Perhaps you would like to see the panicked emails Bob sent me?
I cannot abide fucking bullies.
It is because of bullies, egomaniacs, disinformation and lack of tolerance that we are in this mess.
With sites like mysubdomain writing shite like that, don’t expect any change to come about soon.
More hard-up Britons turn to food banks
By Esther Bintliff
The number of people in Britain receiving emergency food rations has more than doubled in the past year, data showed on Wednesday, as inflation eroded incomes and government spending cuts pushed hundreds of thousands into crisis.
The Trussell Trust, which runs the largest network of food banks in the UK, saw referrals to its centres jump to almost 350,000 in the year to April 2013, up from 130,000 the previous year. The charity estimates that about half of the households it helped had at least one person in work, and a third had children.
ON THIS STORY
- Food banks a day in Tower Hamlets
- Bishops pile on pressure over welfare
- Gillian Tett Where austerity really hits home
- Credit unions win state funding pot
- Janan Ganesh History is leaving UK welfare state behind
ON THIS TOPIC
- London skyline illustrates economic gap
- UK services keep economy from sinking
- Companies find ways round bank squeeze
- Tax pensioners more, says Fabian Society
IN UK POLITICS & POLICY
The 170 per cent surge in demand for food handouts will fuel debate over the impact of government austerity on poorer households, amid concerns about the effect on demand as consumers cut back on everyday spending.
Trussell Trust food banks do not accept walk-in requests for help. They only provide food to people who have been officially referred by a recognised frontline agency, such as a GP, jobcentre, social worker or the police. For policy makers, the high proportion of emergency food going to working households illustrates the wider trend in the post-recession job market,where many new jobs are part time, temporary and low paid – meaning even those in work sometimes struggle to put food on the table.
“A lot of people we see are in work,” said Simon Wright, whose Salvation Army church in London’s east end houses the trust’s Tower Hamlets food bank. “There was a real shock with one group [of donors] at the concept of the working poor . . . We know many people who are doing everything they can; they’re in a job, they can’t find another job that pays more, they’re paying rent, water, council tax, electric, and they honestly struggle to buy food for their family.”
The Trussell Trust figures predate April 1, when a number of the government’s key reforms to the welfare system began to kick in. Chris Mould, executive chairman of the charity, said he expected demand to continue to rise. “We have already seen a significant increase in the past few weeks in the number of people who are being referred because of the cuts in housing benefits, the reductions in the benefit cap, and the devolution of the social fund to local authorities,” he said.
That is putting extra strain on local branches, which rely on donations of food from the public for 90 per cent of their supplies, and are staffed mainly by volunteers.
While prime minister David Cameron has praised food bank charities as an example of the “Big Society” in action, the UN’s special rapporteur on food, Olivier de Schutter, has warned they should not be seen as a “substitute” for a functioning welfare system.
“In the past few weeks, it’s been really difficult, not just for myself but for other food bank managers,” said Denise Bentley, who set up the Tower Hamlets food bank two and a half years ago. “We are being so pressured to fill the gap that is now being created by the welfare reforms – and we’re not that. We are meant to be short-term help.”
A spokesperson for the Department for Work and Pensions said: “Our welfare reforms will improve the lives of some of the poorest families in our communities, with the Universal Credit simplifying the complex myriad of benefits and making three million people better off.”
The Trust has launched food banks at a rate of three a week in recent months, and now operates 345 branches across the UK. Part of the rise in referrals can be attributed to the network’s rapid growth, but while food bank branches have risen by 76 per cent in a year, referrals have increased by 170 per cent. “It’s a more much intense use,” Mr Mould added. “The fundamental thing is that more and more people are living an increasingly precarious life financially.”
The Trussell Trust describes itself as “a Christian charity that does not affiliate itself with any political party”. It is controlled by Tory Party Councillor and Mayor of Worthing, Neil Atkins and director Chris Mould, who splits his time between the Trussell Trust and the Shaftesbury Partnership.
The Shaftesbury Partnership is a “practice of professionals committed to large scale 21st Century social reform.”
Co-founder was Nat Wei, who was appointed the Government’s Chief Adviser on Big Society in May 2010, now a life peer.
Other people in the Shaftesbury Partnership :
Dominic Llewellyn(Conservative party candidate in 2010 )who co-authored the government’s Big Society policies.
Shaftesbury’s recently departed head of operations Antony Hawkins states that he “developed conservative unemployment and welfare reform policy (“The Work Programme”). Planned the implementation of Conservative welfare policies in the Get Britain Working manifesto”.
The Shaftesbury Partnership’s aim is to “design our solutions so that they are both scalable and have sustainable business models, maximising the potential for social transformation”.
The Trussel Trust, was introduced to dole offices specifically as an alternative to the ‘crisis fund’ previously run by the state
If the Tories believe that their policies will reduce poverty, why are the instigators and creators of its ‘Big Society’ policies investing in, and directing food banks?