Sunday, 2 August 2015

THE GREAT FOODBANK FIASCO IS FOLLOWED BY "THE GREAT FOOD BANK SIEGE"

You will doubtless remember the fracas a week or so ago when the altogether hapless Viceroy of Scotland was invited to open the new Trussell Trust food bank (moto: Every town should have one) in Dumfries.

It turned out not to be one of his brighter moves. He had already ignored an invitation from the manager of the existing food bank in the town, First Base, on the basis that he was "one of these yes supporters".

Anyway, the day at Trussell went badly for Muddle. 

Not only was he met by protesters outside the food bank (including out own intrepid reporter, Arbroath), but once inside, having said his few works to the assembled dignitaries and just about to sample the generous fare which Trussell had laid on (''food bank feeds cabinet minister!''), one of First Base's volunteers asked him why he hadn't accepted the invitation to visit their food bank. (I wonder if it was because the food THEY have is for the victims of his government, not its ministers, and he'd only have got a cup of tea and a digestive there.) 

Anyway, in response he muttered a few words even more incoherently than normal (Aye, well...err...), and did an Iain Gray, but him being a minister of the crown, and there being no Subway in sight, it was oot the door and into a waiting car.

Fluffy's day didn't get any better though when it was discovered that the food bank wasn't in his constituency and he had broken various polite conventions on working in another MPs area.

Anyway, all this is a preamble to my pitch.

Mark's First Base has a funding shortfall of £15,000. Simply put unless it raises that money it will close its doors in January. It doesn't have the national weight of Big Charity Trussell behind it.

However, he's not the kind of guy to let stop him, so, wearing his other hat as writer, Mark sat down and wrote a book based on a Secretary of state's visit to a food bank, and his subsequent kidnap.

It's not available quite yet, but you can hear a preview here, read by Mark.

https://www.spreaker.com/user/franklandmark

Warning: There's a good few sweary words in it. Give it a miss if you're easily offended.

If your not easily offended by that sort of thing, you should give it a listen... I thought it was hilarious.

It will be out in a few weeks, and although I can't guarantee Mark will read the rest of it to you, you will be able to read it for yourself on Kindle for just £3, £1 of which will go to Amazon and £2 of which will go to First Base Food Bank so it can keep going and keep feeding people that this government has let down. With the benefit changes, I suspect that that number will grow  and grow in the coming year.

I'll unashamedly plug it here till everyone has bought a copy...:), but I know you won't mind.

43 comments:

  1. tris


    might find this interesting

    http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/aug/02/george-osborne-should-come-clean-over-who-wins-or-loses-in-his-budget

    Keen-eyed Treasury-watchers thumbing through the budget red book last month quickly noticed a key chart was missing: the one showing the gains and losses of the chancellor’s spending decisions for households at different points on the income spectrum.

    When Osborne made his post-budget appearance before MPs on the Treasury select committee, they asked him to explain why the chart had been dropped. He flannelled, but sent an extraordinary letter on 21 July. It’s worth quoting the relevant paragraphs in full.

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    1. Well, it looks like he thought if he put in a sufficiently complex sentence no one would have a clue what he was talking about.

      Top and bottom... 3 million people, mostly in families, lose £1000 each. This takes £3 billion (which would have been spent) out of the economy, so I don't see the advantage of it, and it puts people in situations where they can't afford childcare, so they may have to give up work. It puts people in a situation where they can;t afford proper food, or heating, or to give their children the things that other kids have.

      In short it created misery and stores up trouble for the future with poor physical and mental health.

      But they, he still has his paddock, which we paid for,and they'll find the £125 million for Buck House and £7 billion to repair the Palace of Westminster.

      Delete
  2. Could Mark put it up on Dropbox or similar, we download it and send the WHOLE £3 or more direct to First Base.

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    1. I've put the question to Mark on his website (linked in the right-hand bar) Aucheorn.

      You can talk to him direct there, if you want :)

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    2. I would be interested in doing that, if you manage to speak with Mark please could you let us know here, I intend purchasing one of Mark's books for the holidays. He has a good choice already on Amazon.

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    3. Well, if you can wait, this one would be good, and it will help his charity.

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  3. Ah good old Fluffy.

    Who can forget that wonderful day trip to Dumfries ... I certainly can't ... wonder if Fluffy has recovered yet. LOL

    Seeing as neither he nor Trussell Trust saw fit to send out a couple of sandwiches to the baying masses outside whilst he muttered some unintelligable words inside we had to make do with a Grand Slam at the Pancake Place. It's tough at the bottom but hey someone has to do it! LOL

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    1. I wonder what they did with all the food they laid on for his Right Honourableness!

      You'd have thought that they could have offered you a bit of the caviare and oysters, or whatever cabinet ministers eat.

      I think it's a bit unfair to blame Fluffy though. He was clearly out of his depth, as usual.

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  4. Foodbanks are evil close them now ,Frey bentos pies taste like shit !

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. Never heard of these pies but how do you know what shit tastes like?

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    3. Ermmm... yes John, we wondered about that but were much to polite to ask.

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  5. Well Anonymous I think they are evil too, I also think Trident and lots of other things are evil. Feeding those people who are poor because of what can only be best described as slave wages is not evil, what is is that people who are working are so poorly paid. What is the solution. I certainly always felt in the past that at least some of the money that the Government fleeced us out of went to keeping people going because of circumstances which can affect us all. Now we seem to be in a constant state of war and that is such a waste of money.

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    1. I don;t think food banks are evil. I think the NEED for them is evil.

      Those that can work should be paid enough that they can feed, house, clothe themselves and at least have something left over for pleasure.

      Those that can't must be looked after by the state...that is to say you and me... (and Munguin).

      Anything else isn't civilised.

      Britannia isn't civilised.

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    2. Did not do a good job of conveying my thoughts on that subject, Thanks to Munguin and your good self you sorted that out. Bought Mark's Book, Toxic for the Holiday but never mine I will still purchase this one, I read for Scotland, I had to go to Kindles as there is no room for all my books in the but and ben. I have to collect in case I am not in a position to shop.

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    3. Kindles are a great space saver!!!

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  6. Maybe my memory is fading but I seem to recall some politician claiming that he was "proud" to open a foodbank in his constituency? I thought it was Mundell but it may have been someone else?

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    1. Danny Alexander I think, but was it a contributory factor in him moving on ?

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    2. Yep, that's right. One of the many reasons he's now signing on.

      Delete
  7. Tris

    I must admit I would never invite any MP to open a food bank, even to shame them, let alone put on a spread for them either. It feels a bit weird, maybe even shameful, making a huge deal out of the opening of a food bank but I do understand the need to promote the service as wide as possible.

    The Trussell Trust do, from what I have seen, a good job overall but I am more inclined to prefer small local independent provision that could be advised and possibly supported by the Trussell Trust but not run by them. I get suspicious when charities get too big, like social housing associations, they feel like they lose touch with what it is they are supposed to be doing, staff at the top start to earn huge salaries and the offices etc start to put local governement and government to shame with trappings. I may be judging them harshly and I have seen voluntary sector provision that would make you cry, but the big charities do tend to suck money away from more local provision and I also wonder how much of each pound donated goes where it should be. I am a cynical middle aged git though so please correct any ignorance.

    Mundell, the least said the better. A man out of his depth, out of his time and many have noted he may be out of his mind. I just loath everything Tory and Red Tory now.

    Bruce

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    1. Just in case folks don't know Tris Trussell Trust did invite Richard Arkless along to the *ahem* great Mundell opening. However he turned them down on the gorunds that he was interested in doing a photo call but he would be more than happy to visit them without all the lights and media just as he had done at First Base.

      I used to think that Trussell Trust were one of the good guys but from what I've read recently I'm beginning to have my doubts.

      Firstly,apparently their directors are paid up to £60,000 a year ... I'll bet Mark Frankland can only dream of these sorts of salaries.

      Secondly, they also allegedly limit their *cough* clients to THREE visits a year whereas First Base have no limitations on the number of visits their clients can make.

      Third and most galling of all, in my view, is their apparent mission statement that "every town should have one!" in reference to foodbanks!

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    2. Thanks Arbroath. I did see Mr Arkless's article where he said he would be happy to come along and so some work for them with no publicity and presumably no groaning tables of dignitary food.

      I didn't, however, know about TT's 3 visits per year, or the £60,000 a year salaries for the top brass.

      I've made contributions to TT, but I'm seriously looking for an alternative charity which is run on more charitable grounds.

      No one needs £60,000 a year to run a charity.

      Every Town Should Have One is one of the most ridiculous slogans I've ever come across.

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    3. Bruce I agree with you. I don;t mind a member of a party that isn't responsible for the hunger going along.

      I'm sure Johann Lamont opened one, and Nicola has certainly paid visits to them.

      I have a problem with a Tory going (or in the past a Liberal Dem) because it was their policies that caused the hunger.

      TT appears to want to expand it's hold over food banks in every town.

      If they all have great jobs out of the Trust, you have to ask what their interest would be in there no longer being a need for them...

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    4. I think this confirms what I said before about the Trussell Trust Tris, at least from my understanding of some of the *ahem responses anyway to questions 6 and 9.

      http://www.trusselltrust.org/rumour-response

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    5. I think this confirms what I said before about the Trussell Trust Tris, at least from my understanding of some of the *ahem responses anyway to questions 6 and 9.

      http://www.trusselltrust.org/rumour-response

      Delete
    6. Thanks Arbroath. They clearly don;t think £60,000 is a big salary.

      And I take the point about 3 food parcels.

      Obliged to you for retrieving the info.

      Delete
  8. Let me know when it's available, I've been meaning to buy one his books, I enjoy reading his blog.

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    1. I'll certainly do that Jim. Mark's blog is listed in the side bar ===>

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  9. Food banks are evil and should be closed. But let's get rid of the main reason for them - IDS.

    I would never, ever invite a politician to an opening event, unless they were directly involved. I'd prefer having one of the people who have to use the Food Bank. They are far more important.

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    1. I get your point re: IDS but, food banks are not evil, the reasons we have them are; which is the point you were trying to make, I assume.

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    2. Yesw. I agree. Not only are the not evil, they are a god send to the hungry, no matter who it is that is running them.

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    3. Why would anyone use a food bank, especially if there is a perfectly good Waitrose or Marks & Spencer nearby,they carry a very limited range and won't deliver.

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    4. I meant evil in that they exist at all, not the good work they do.

      I had to use a Waitrose in Bridport last month when in Dorset. Never again. Crap shop.

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    5. To anonymous No:1:
      You couldn't use one, Trolls are not to be fed.

      Unless you feed them in "Fek-Uz". Which on this site, as well as many others, there is a dearth of, as we are generally speaking polite.
      Similarly there is a soporific effect within your witterings.

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    6. Aye Jim. Even we get them from time to time.

      Delete
  10. I'm inclined to agree that a charity should not be run as a business and expand at all costs. When they do that expansion and empire building become the reason for their existence and the charitable ethos is lost in six figure directors salaries, junkets and fancy head offices in London!

    Lets hope the Trussel Trust does not do that! But I don't understand why they are opening a food bank where one already exists especially under the tasteless banner of "every town should have one".

    I see ex Dundee foodbank supremo and now the head billydakis of the whole shooting match Ewan Gurr was there to glad hand the Viceroy and looking very well fed himself I note. The less said about his dubious early politics the better, God knows I'm not one to muck rake about embarrassing political affiliations. Also the less said about his cringe worthy apology in the Hearld for having the Tsar of North Britain along for a groaning spread of nibbles and finger food the better. I'm sorry I just cant stand canting bigots. I also don't agree with charities requiring their paid staff to be Christians as if charity doesn't come naturally to anybody that is not a follower of Christ!

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    1. Yes. Once you start to make expansion your objective, the work of the charity may become secondary. And large salaries, it is argued, are required to attract the "right" people to run a national or international organisation.

      But I have to say that if someone was paying me £60,000 a year, I'd be very much hoping that that situation wasn't going to change any time soon.

      I'm not in the business of criticising people's early politics. Most people change as they grow up. Let's hope that Mr Gurr has.

      It showed incredible lack of judgement to lay on any kind of food for a highly paid government minister when opening a food bank. What were they thinking about?

      A cup of tea would have been sufficient.

      When I donate to TT foodbanks, I do so so that folk down on their luck can get something to eat. not so that some politician or other well paid dignitary can be treated in the manner to which they feel entitled.

      As for it being necessary to be a Christian to be a paid employee, that should be against the law. Unless the job requires you to preach the gospels, it seems unnecessary. I've never understood how that has been expanded to include all manner of staff in, for example religious based schools.

      As I've said before I respect people's religious beliefs, whatever they are, but I don't think that religious belief necessarily makes you a good person, and I don't think that lack of belief makes you a bad person.

      It is interesting that TT relies heavily upon volunteers for its staffing. They are not required to prove religious belief. It seems that you only have to be Christian if you are being paid.

      There's something vaguely ironic in that!

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  11. "Why would anyone use a food bank, especially if there is a perfectly good Waitrose or Marks & Spencer nearby,they carry a very limited range and won't deliver."

    I don't think you understand the requirements for the operation of foodbanks Anon. At least that is the impression I get from your post.

    Food banks exist to help people who are in dire need of assistance. They help people out who have literally, and physically, have no money. They are not an alternative to supermarkets. I understand what you mean when you talk about supermarket's own brands and them being cheaper but what is someone to do who has no money?

    They can't just walk into a Waitrose or M&S and ask for some nutritional assistance they'd be laughed out the store. All supermarkets work on the simple principle of what you want you pay for. The essential point being your ability to pay.

    People who have been sanctioned by the abhorent D.W.P. have no money nor are they likey to receive any for weeks, or months in a lot of cases. What are these people supposed to do?

    People who have been sanctioned by the Killer regime of I.D.S. have only three options.

    1) curl up and die ever so slowly of malnutrition.

    2) commit suicide ( I.D.S.'s prefered option)

    3) look to utilise the help and assistance supplied by a food bank

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    1. I think the other Anon was being sarcastic. But then, IDS probably hasn't stepped into a food retail outlet for years. Probably gets a pleb to it for him, then claim expenses.

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    2. I think that you are right Anon2.

      You went to a lot of trouble to explain Arbroath and that was kind of you, but i think the other Anon was trying to be funny and failing. A sort of "Let them eat cake" without the class.

      I can't find it in my heart to laugh at the fate of folk who are starving.

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  12. Thanks Anon and Tris.

    After I had posted my last I did have a wee thought ( yes folks even I do have the occassional lapse and have a wee thought from time to time) that he may have been trying to be sarcastic. I just could not get to grips completely that he/she was not but then again I had a wee niggling doubt that they may have actually been serious so I just left my post up knowing that the fantastic crew on here would put me to bed suitably chastised no matter what! LOL

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    1. Here's yer cocoa... off you go to sleep...

      You're not chastised though.

      You're just of more charitable nature than Anon or me!

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