Wednesday 16 April 2014


These figures are UK wide
But at least we are still punching above our weight when
it comes to running the world and causing wars.
You'll be dust by the time that happens Skelly.

Figures show that in 2012/13 Scottish food banks provided help to 14,318 people, but in 2013/14 that figure had increased by 400% to 71,428.

Of those 22,387 - more than 30% - were children.

The DWP junior minister, the insufferable Esther McVey, says that it’s nothing to do with the Tories and their cuts… but as far as I can make out she hasn't been able to explain what IS causing this huge rise in dependency.

I suppose in Tory land these things “just happen”. Maybe they didn't realise that poor people need to eat too, because they had never been in the servants' hall at feeding time. Who knows?

However, despite all this hunger, there still seems to be no reluctance to renew trident at a cost of £100 billion and rising. Clearly, a few rich spoilt Eton brats getting to sit at the top table and pretend that they matter is, to them, far more important than starving children.

The government, our government that is, has made a million pounds available to help food banks in Scotland, as Nicola announced in her speech last week.

Edinburgh has already had to step in to help people beat the Bedroom Tax and other reductions in social security benefits, for which you may remember, we have all paid in our taxes. And we are still waiting for Freud to reply to the letter asking London for permission to exceed the amount of aid legally permitted by the UK government. 

How much more is the Scottish government going to have to find from its ever decreasing budget to help people in this potentially  very rich country being starved to death by London’s policies?

If anyone finds the clip of McVile on the news today (Niko mentioned it on the last post), can you please post a link.



  1. The endchildpoverty website gives figures showing levels of child poverty in every Westminster constituency in Scotland, and also at ward level for most constituencies. Checking with Hansard we can see the names of the constituency MPs who deemed it acceptable to support the Tory-Liberal government's cap on benefits spending, and lo and behold, the usual suspects are there, representing constituencies where at least 1 child in 5 lives in poverty: Willie Bain, Anas Sarwar, Margaret Curran, John Robertson, Ian Davidson, Ann McKechin, Lindsay Roy, Tom Harris, Gemma Doyle, Pamela Nash, Sheila Gilmour, Iain McKenzie, Frank Roy, Frank Doran, Sandra Osborne, Cathy Jamieson, Douglas Alexander, Tom Greatrex, Tom Clarke. What do they all have in common? They are Labour MPs. Do their children live in poverty?

    1. It seems to me that they are Labour MPs in name only.

      Tom Harris kindly reminded us that they were the party of the "working" man, not the "benefits dependent" man.

      Perhaps people like him are too far removed from ordinary life to be able to understand that sometime... no, quite often... the two are the same.

      The cap on benefits, a vile instrument, doesn't actually affect JSA (or whatever they have transferred people onto). It affects working people whose wages are too low and rents to high to cope, along with the sick.

      As the Labour-conceived and Tory-run regime, run, until even they became embarrassed by it, by Atos, makes sure that the only people left getting sickness benefits are those in the direst of need, the people this cap affects are either working or incredibly ill.

      No one would deny that the benefits bill is too high. No one would deny that we need to look at ways of reducing it.

      I doubt that anyone would deny that there are people claiming benefits who shouldn't be. I know there are. I've met some of them.

      So set up fraud teams. Do spot checks. Catch the people who turn up on crutches at the jobcentre and then throw them in the back of the can and pop off to play rugby. Attack the people who are cheating. This is like putting the whole class in detention, because you know that one boy stole your apple.

      And attack the root of the problem. We've said this time and time again. If you have a regime where landlords can charge whatever they want for rents, no matter how despicable the property, and the minimum wage is kept ridiculously low, then benefits bill will rocket.

      To paraphrase Mr Micawber, Take home wage, £250: Rent £25: reasonable life. Take home wage, £150: Rent £155: poverty and misery…and reliance on benefits.

      Why do Labour MPs not support some sort of rent control or a minimum wage you could live on?

      Thanks for that research, Moray… It’s good to know just how socialist our Labour MPs are

    2. I worked for the old DHSS in England in the 70s just before the end of the Callaghan government. At that time the Aberdeen South Tory MP, Ian Sproat, was trying to up his profile with a prolonged campaign against 'Social Security scroungers'. The DHSS had to set up an investigations unit to deal with allegations of fraud sent in by willing members of the public. Staff were moved from other work to deal with the investigations. To cut a long story short, 0.7% of the allegations were found to be of substance. I agree there is benefit fraud, and it should definitely be stopped.

    3. Interesting figures, Moray.

      I worked for a while with JC+. We were all told that if we had any suspicions of people claiming while working we should report them to management.

      But there was no fraud team any more.

      It was everyone's responsibility.

      I've no idea how you would know if someone was working on the side, or living with someone, or not, or whatever. You simply had no time to worry about that and do your own job, and reach all the ridiculous targets.

      I imagine if they looked at how many of our Noble Lords or our Honourable and Rt Honourable members were stealing the figure of 0.7% would pale into insignificance.

  2. These food banks are a disgrace they should be closed down immediately!

    1. Soon as we can make sure that people don't need them Anon.

  3. I would have to endorse what has been said about food banks and the fact that they exist at all in Scotland. God know it was bad enough for people before there was a Welfare State and I only know that because I was a keen listener to my parents and Grand parents generation when they talked about the "good old days". The fact that my grandparents rented a house with two bedrooms a box room and kitchen with inside toilet, a luxury indeed in those days, in which they managed to fit themselves, my Gran and her four kids and just about anyone who needed a roof over their heads. So you wouldn't think we would be heading back to those days, and I should add my Great Grandad kept chickens and grew a fair amount of veg as well. Now try doing that in a flat in a high rise.
    Considering that this and I am not just talking Scotland either is a rich country, nobody should have to go beg for food after paying for necessities like the rent. I should also like to add that I lost my Mother to TB, an illness caused by poverty and proven. We need out of this Union and into a socially inclusive country before it returns en masse.

    1. I think people of of our generation(s) who have lived with a welfare state brought about by the only real socialist government we ever had, had no idea, until recently, what it was like to live without a safety net, and to be obliged to beg from food.

      We are starting to find out. But it is hard to accept when some of the very richest people in the world live (at least part of the time) in London.

      The dismantling of the Health Service in England, which, because of finding issues related to Barnet, will eventually have to follow here, will have people once again dying of poverty diseases.

      The notion form a Labour politician, that we should all pay £10 a month for the right to visit a doctor, when we have been paying tax and National Insurance all our lives for just that, is horrific.

      We need to learn from the more enlightened Scandinavians.

  4. Tris

    I did a different take on this very subject yesterday, hopefully my kids will read it and learn something as one is undecided and one a no.

    It is disgusting that this is going on in this country and what angers me even more is the total silence from the Labour Party. I suppose food aid comes under Lamonts something for nothing culture. Maybe she would like to send the kids to pick up rubbish in the park before they get their 3 day emergency rations. People were better fed during the War.

    I am not interested in anything the Tories of all colours have to say anymore, they are a horrid bunch of toilet bugs to be honest. The more I think about it the more I get angry, in fact I think I will email McGovern and ask him to push for a proper investigation into why there is so much food poverty in the UK right now.


    1. Heading over to your place now Bruce.

      It would be good to know why people depend on foodbanks.

      Mrs McVile says it's nothing to do with the Tories... so what is it?

      They usually blame things on the EU?

      If so that is easily settled. According to her boss's boss, we have HUGE clout in the EU. That should be settles within minutes of Willie Hague lifting his phone.

  5. Tris

    Just emailed him, see below:


    I am writing to you to ask if it is possible for parliament to carry out a proper investigation into why there are so many people, especially children, having to access emergency food via food banks.

    From watching the news, and following the papers, it would appear that DWP Minister Esther McVey feels this has nothing to do with the changes to the benefit system since the Conservatives came into power. I do not accept this in any way and feel that at the very least an investigation requires to be carried out into the causes of this shameful situation.

    It is frankly appalling that we can find 100 billion pounds to renew weapons of mass destruction, a weapon that does nothing for our defence other than provide a little vanity for government, but we cannot ensure that the people in this nation are fed. I am also very concerned that Ed Miliband has stated that he will stick to government austerity policies should, however unlikely, Labour win the next general election in 2015.

    A little side note, forgive me if I am being difficult, but politicians could not call benefits ' Welfare ' like it was some sort of dirty word that implies that vulnerable people in need are undeserving. I would much prefer that we use the term ' Social Security ' as vulnerable people are people too and deserve at the very least our respect. The taxes I pay make up a part of what I prefer to think of as Social Security because that is what it is, it is not Welfare.


    1. Good email, Bruce.

      I've just read the post, and would comment if my computer would allow me to do so.

      It's ironic that they berate people like us for being "nationalists", when they want to stop people at the door of a food bank to find out if they are proper Englishmen, if they smoke, or if they have a phone.

      What is the notion here? If you are a foreigner you should be allowed to starve to death?

      And what about jobs? Does the person who wrote the "witty" comment about the "w" word, not realise that a large proportion of these people ARE working. They just have bigger rents than they have salaries.

      Amazing that we should talk about sterilizing people. Now we are talking Hitlarian policies. Are you unemployed, are you sick, are you foreign, are you Jewish...? well no food and just take this pill!...

      Revolting people.

    2. Do let us know if McGovern answers...

  6. Tris

    Will do. No idea why you can't comment on my blog, I did check the filters and everything the last time and all appeared ok.



    1. It's not just yours... same with Wings and Mr Bateman's

  7. Of course those pompus fools at Westminster are immune to the suffering of families not just in Scotland but in the rest of the UK. What on earth could a top Tory/Lib/Dem/Labour etc politician possibly know about hungry children.

    As Esther McVey and co quaff, top notch food such as quails eggs, and expensive bottles of wine, in a taxpayer subsidised canteen, kids in the real world often don't know where their next meal will come from.

    But how did we get to this situation in the first place, if Westminster really cared would we be seeing such deep poverty, I think not. Scotland isn't a utopian nation and it won't be one either after independence, but at least we can, begin to repair the damage that Westminster seems hellbent on inflicting, on not only the poor and disabled, but the working poor as well.

    1. Yes, it makes me laugh that these people get cheap meals subsidised by us, but they have problems with people who get around £5,000 a year being subsidised. They say they have to subsidise the food and drink in the restaurants and bars because the people who run them can't compete with the restaurants outside which can take their clientèle from the general public Free enterprise governments all, but they have to have bars and restaurants subsidised. The deal, it would seem to me, is that if they can't be made to pay they should close down.

      Additionally they get £100 a week food allowance.

      That's just about a tenner less than an OAP gets to live on.

      They get it on top of subsidised meals and a salary that is three times the average wage and probably around 8 times the minimum wage.

      All this would be fine if vile old bags like Esther didn't whine about people using food banks to get the cheap food so that they can drink and smoke more.

      I saw that there was an article this morning in the sun. They found someone on £22,000 benefits who goes to the food bank, so she says, to get food, because it's actually much better than the food she can afford to buy, and that means she can take her daughter out to the pictures...

      I wonder how much they paid her for that...

  8. tris

    cant find link shame must be out there somewhere.
    just like to say during the article they spoke to the
    elderly women at the food bank(in Wales it would be )
    who were honest kind and genuinely concerned over
    what was happening.and about which they did not have a
    clue of the awful consequences of Tory austerity abuse.

    Cut to Esther McVey the present day lord haw haw
    for the Torys.....

    Must admit bit of a clever piece of editing there
    evil in fake painted nail and hair extensions.

    As for Tom surely its Labour policy to say the
    majority of people on benefits are actually working
    on below the poverty line wages

    1. Thanks for looking Niko.

      I can well imagine her. I've seen her at work before. She's almost as repugnant as that loopy old bitch that used to sleep with John Major, and most other people in the commons. The Egg woman.

      I thought it was a wig she was wearing... and that maybe she shared it with Michael Fabricant,.

      I'm not sure what Labour's policy is, but as far as I can make out Harris is a Tory MP masquerading as Labour.

      He's about as far from anything that I would call Labour as... Tony Blair or Margaret Thatcher (and I always get them mixed up).