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Food Banks.

Your thoughts please ?

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Male
Michaelt  Male  Devon 11-Jun-2019 14:37 Message #4741629
Hello everybody, im new here so please be gentle.

My question is very simple.

Should food banks be necessary in a rich country like ours ?
Male
tsunamiwarrior  Male  Hertfordshire 11-Jun-2019 15:32 Message #4741632
Yes I think they are perfectly acceptable. No matter how wealthy a country is who how well of it;s citizens there wilol never be a time when a bit of help for the less well off isn't apprecaited.
There are thousands of charities and societies around the country helping all sorts of people and that must be a good thing.

When the Labour government first introduced food banks they threatened local councils they would withdraw funds if they received bad publicity as they knew they would be come a political issue and they were right and now foodbanks have often become more about tit for tat politics than giving a helping hand to those who will appreciate it.
Male
Michaelt  Male  Devon 11-Jun-2019 16:02 Message #4741637
tsunamiwarrior , For what its worth we havent had a "Labour" Government since the 1970's and the Harold Wilson Labour Government.

What we had under New Labour 1997- 2010 , whom you refer to under Tony Blair, was a continuation of what had been ousted under the then Tory leader Margaret Thatcher, ie Blair continued Mrs Thatcher's race to the bottom competitive deregulated free market agenda, which included welfare cuts and this is why food banks were introduced under New Labour.

Things have got worse since 2010 when Cameron and Osborne waged war on a so called overly burdened welfare State, for the low waged relying on benefits to get by, and the unemployed, because of delays to Universal Credit, people are actually starving and having to rummage through rubbish skips for food. Single mums and dads are giving any food they can get, to their children, then going without food for days for that reason.
Male
tsunamiwarrior  Male  Hertfordshire 11-Jun-2019 16:20 Message #4741638
That is quite ridiculous. I'm sure what you meant to say is that you havent approved of the Labour governement since the 1970s because Blair was a very successful leader of the Labour party whether you liked him or not.

Anyhow i thought this was about food banks.
Male
Michaelt  Male  Devon 11-Jun-2019 17:35 Message #4741643
Blair did not lead a Labour Government. Blair lead a New Labour Government that basically embraced Mrs Thatcher's free market agenda. So no its not ridiculous. Its true.

You opened the door to Labour by saying that Labour started food banks, when Labour did not start food banks.

I asked for comments on food banks in one of the richest countries in the world.
Male
mancers  Male  Greater Manchester 11-Jun-2019 17:40 Message #4741644
Blair was Maggie lovechild a wolf in sheep’s clothes, the Tories government love the food banks it’s another excuse to impoverish the low paid in this country, the days of give them enough for a couple of pints and a packet of cigarettes has gone, food banks will be here as long as they are in power in fact it’s flourished.
Female
Andromeda  Female  Berkshire 11-Jun-2019 17:51 Message #4741646
I have to agree with tsunami that whatever your political views Blair was a Labour Prime Minister. I suppose the Conservatives could say Thatcher was nothing to do with them because she was New Conservative.
Plainly ridiculous.
Male
Witheflow  Male  North Yorkshire 11-Jun-2019 18:08 Message #4741647
Welcome to the forum Michael. A very succinct and honest explanation of "neo liberal" Blairite understanding. But alas; some on this forum do not want to understand, the economic social policy and cruelty used by certain political governments.

Food banks are Modern day workhouses. Cruel and despicable austerity has inflicted misery on many (One in five of the UK population (22%) are in poverty - 14.3 million people. 8.2 million working-age adults, 4.1 million are children and 1.9 million are pensioners) UN report on poverty in Britain 2019.

Food banks are proof that neo liberalism has failed. It is a concocted "hostile environment", not just for legal immigrants but for benefit claimants. Then the government and its allies in the media blame the victims. It is Neoliberalism, or Hayekism: no freedom for anyone but those who hold the wealth.

Shame on those who justify and normalize this disgusting policy.
Male
Michaelt  Male  Devon 11-Jun-2019 18:11 Message #4741648
Witheflow , Nicely put. Well said.
Male
Michaelt  Male  Devon 11-Jun-2019 18:13 Message #4741649
Andromeda , Blair was not a Labour Prime Minister. On winning the 1997 General election, Blair continued Thatcher's free market agenda...
Female
wonderoushen  Female  Gwynedd 11-Jun-2019 18:40 Message #4741650
No they shouldn't, the worst thing is that so many people who end up using them are working, people like to pretend its only feckless and lay people who can't be bothered to get out of bed who use food banks. I hate them, but I do donate to them because if we all stopped then I believe people would starve.
Male
tsunamiwarrior  Male  Hertfordshire 11-Jun-2019 18:54 Message #4741656
As a number of long term members of this site know, I have worked with food banks for many years and not just sat at home and moaned about then. I see the people who use them and know a great many personally. I have also started volunteering on Christmas toy banks for children.

I wasn’t criticising Labour for starting the banks I was complimenting them as I believe they are a good a useful facility whatever the state of the nation.

The first foodbanks appeared around 2004 and Labour, during both Blair and Brown, increased them throughout the country. By the time the next Conservative government took over in 2011 the number of foodbanks had increased by around 5000% and have continued to increase since then.

As I have already said there are too many playing politics and not actually caring about the disadvantaged.
Male
Witheflow  Male  North Yorkshire 11-Jun-2019 19:22 Message #4741661
@ Tsunami. I am sure some members of the community agreed with Work Houses and helped maintain them in the 19th century. But seriously, do you enjoy it? Wouldn't you prefer them not degrading people like they do? Or are you getting a kick out of it? Following your previous input on political views on this forum, you appear to support this grotesque neo liberal embarrassment. You would be wiser and more humane, to disown them, than attempt to make yourself a martyr in their existence.
Male
tsunamiwarrior  Male  Hertfordshire 11-Jun-2019 19:35 Message #4741662
It’s easy to bleat on here but more difficult to get off your backside and help. I have worked with the disadvantaged for many years so no I don’t get any kick out of seeing anyone suffer.

Neither do I admire anyone who uses the plight of the needy for their own political gain.

Male
brisinger  Male  Lancashire 11-Jun-2019 20:08 Message #4741663
Oh what a surprise. Yet another thread degenerating into political willy-waggling...
Male
tsunamiwarrior  Male  Hertfordshire 11-Jun-2019 20:17 Message #4741664
An opportunity to welcome Michaelt back to the mse fold as it’s been a while and I’m sure someone missed him.
Male
Hierophant  Male  East Anglia 11-Jun-2019 21:58 Message #4741667
I think it's like most free things, if you make them more available, then more people will use them. A bit like the NHS...
Male
SQL  Male  Devon 11-Jun-2019 22:04 Message #4741669
Witheflow - 11-Jun-2019 19:22

I am sure some members of the community agreed with Work Houses and helped maintain them in the 19th century.

I seriously suggest you study the 'workhouse' system before you try to denigrate it, you obviously have little understanding of it at the moment.

you appear to support this grotesque neo liberal embarrassment. You would be wiser and more humane, to disown them, than attempt to make yourself a martyr in their existence.

That's your opinion there - not a fact.

SQL
Male
Witheflow  Male  North Yorkshire 11-Jun-2019 22:13 Message #4741671
@ SQL. I have studied the poor houses. But like all historical accounts, It depends on the authors personal bias. Workhouses and the deserving and undeserving poor. It all depends who's moral opinion it derives from. Your morality is very clear. But fear not. It is just false conciousness that contaminates reality.
Female
RAACH84  Female  Buckinghamshire 11-Jun-2019 22:53 Message #4741675
Getting back to the original question by Michaelt. I don’t know that food banks are necessary because our benefit system is a good one but the food banks are an asset worth having.
When I first became a single parent of two young children I was struggling in every way financially and mentally. I was eternally grateful that I was living in the U.K. which does look after people like me when the chips are down.
Buckingham has a very good food bank at the church and I was able to get help there through the local CAB office. Most people I met there were in a similar financial situation to me. We obviously wouldn’t starve without it but using it allowed us just a few extras that we couldn’t otherwise afford. There are some who take advantage but the majority are genuine.
I love the U.K. for helping me when I was rock bottom and the people and officials around me who have always been kind and this has allowed me to find part time work and support myself. I occasionally give my time to the food bank as a way of saying thanks.
They are a good thing.
Male
Hierophant  Male  East Anglia 12-Jun-2019 07:44 Message #4741681
Sadly, like most things they have become political footballs and the facts get completely distorted by the media.
The same old stuff gets trotted out day after day... "6th richest country" "zero hours contracts" "poverty" "foodbanks" blah blah blah
No wonder Corbyn is looking so haggard and stressed these days, the pressure being put on him by his followers to solve all this country's problems, is taking it's toll.
I really do hope he doesn't let you all down...
Male
Michaelt  Male  Devon 12-Jun-2019 10:03 Message #4741683
Hierophant , Foodbanks are due to cuts in welfare, and benefit sanctions at job centres, plus people are having to wait for their Universal Credit due to delays, people are finding themselves with literally no money to feed themselves or their young children, people are starving, and in many cases dying of starvation.

Cuts in welfare are because the Tories are dogmatically and ideologically opposed to the welfare State. This is the real issue here, so yes, Foodbanks are very political indeed.

About 15 miles from me there is a place run by volunteers that helps homeless people and single parents get food and items for their children, people can also shower. A local hotel has opened its doors to homeless people.

I'm in touch with the person who started this charity, and the stories she tells me could come straight from a Dickens novel. Many single parents are going without food so they can feed their children care of what little money they have.

It should be stressed that many people having to use food banks are working people, but on such low wages they can’t manage, and im aware that this could open the door to the term “personal responsibility” which is also bandied around today by some people.

The fact is that accidents happen, and we as a nation should be prepared for it, and not to vilify people, or even discriminate.

I thought we were a compassionate, understanding, and Christian country. ?
Male
Hierophant  Male  East Anglia 12-Jun-2019 10:07 Message #4741685
"Cuts in welfare are because the Tories are dogmatically and ideologically opposed to the welfare State. "

What utter nonsense...
Male
tumbleweed  Male  Gloucestershire 12-Jun-2019 10:14 Message #4741686
Good post Raach...and an excellent from me as well, to add to the others...
Female
wonderoushen  Female  Gwynedd 12-Jun-2019 10:31 Message #4741688
Whats being a "Christian" country got to do with it? It sounds like you're implying that those of other faiths or none have no compassion or understanding.

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