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My MP and the Foodbank Debacle

Just before Christmas Parliament disgraced itself in a new low. It was supposed to be a serious discussion; the issue of foodbank use was the subject. Instead it proved to be a bear pit of braying, sneering and self aggrandising grandstanding. At the top of this pyre sat the appalling Employment Minister, Esther McVey, whose perfoermance, as an understudy of darkness, seemed to evoke an almost childlike misconception of theatrics trading propaganda and lies for honesty and hollow flamboyance for substance. It was as if she was auditioning; indeed her master, the Dark Lord of the Smith, was present - briefly. We've all seen the image of him skulking off to the bemusement of even the Speaker. Perhaps he needed to empty his internal colostomy bag of hate. No human can bear that much bile for long I would think.

Afterwards I sent an email to John Penrose, a not particularly well known tourism minister who looks a bit like a straggle Alexander Armstrong (not really relevant, but the likeness always gets me). More importantly, he's a Tory. I didn't think I'd receive a reply, but to his credit I got one yesterday.

He claims he wasn't one of those laughing during the foodbank debate. I have no real problem giving him the benefit of the doubt; enough of his colleagues were. He says that Parliament gets like that sometimes, particular during PMQ's. Unfortunately he uses a link to Guido Fawkes' website (which i hesitate to link to, but here it is) wherein the odious Fawkes attempts to smear Labour by providing blurry images of three Labour politicians talking with colleagues sat next to them and appearing to laugh or smile. Not quite the same thing and it reeks of desperation. It is perhaps most telling that the first comment on his article (if you can call it that) implies that all female Labour politicians are good for is sexual gratification - and they aren't even generous enough with that. Says it all really.

I find it curious that he's included a link in a letter, it just looks odd on the page (printed out including highlighted hyperlink text, straight outta the word processor). I wonder if Tory HQ have ordered that link be used in reply to anyone enquiring about this. I think that was the whole point; Fawkes is close to the Tories and writing crap like this is perfect for them. I bet mine isn't the only letter, on this subject, to include this link, "look we weren't the only ones laughing". Even if that were true, it's not a particularly glowing defence.

He comments that the picture provided by the Trussell Trust and others paints a complex picture mentioning benefits errors and delays (and saying Universal Credit would help with this - can I please LOL?), and the fact that 'the current Government has removed all restrictions on advertising for them (the previous Government banned this, probably because they were more worried about embarrassment than hunger, but this has now been reversed)'. He also mentions the role rising food prices have played.

'The result is that there's little or nor correlation between increasing use of food banks and poverty
(huh?); in fact use of food banks increased ten times during the previous Labour administration, including when the economy was booming.'

I don't know if that's true and I don't support Labour. This is a man that has been to the local foodbank and is trying to balance what he must be seeing with the line his party toes and its ideology.

He then makes the point about UC making people better off I mentioned earlier.

His final point is to resort to the 'welfare dependency' trope, which I both deny and abhor. Everyone is dependent in this system. Unless you're one of the lucky rich you need an income. I'm sure the average Tory would start wailing if theirs was taken or cut (they pressed for a higher pay rise than the 11% on the table). He talks of the underlying causes of want which sounds like victim blaming: the poor want too much or the wrong things. It's their fault they are in poverty or are hungry: they spend their money on booze scratchcards texting and playstations. He claims 1.2 million jobs have been created since May 2010 and there are fewer than a quarter million households in which no one has ever worked. We all know the quality of these jobs (assuming that figure is true - which doesn't address whether they still exist) and the quality of the pay offered these days. It also alludes to the bizarre statement (hilariously reinforced by that astounding machine of ignorance known as Nadine Dorries) that there are 'record' numbers of people working - there are record numbers of people ffs!

None of which gets to the heart of the crisis caused by austerity, Tory ideology and the hypocrisy of the financial class that runs the western world and, in Britain, goes into bed with the landed gentry we still haven't gotten rid of. Politics is now incestuous; it's locked into a cycle of singular petty agendas and scapegoating. The current administration blames the previous and so on, even though both are largely exactly the same and both are driven by a need to please the media to be seen to please the people. Tangentially this is what makes UKIP more dangerous. Their current popularity (they are perpetually on the air, invited to an equal seat in all discussions - a privilege only they enjoy) forms a toxic and beguiling fragrance to the ignorant and confused when combined with the fact, having had no real political responsibility, they are free from the aforementioned vicious cycle. This pre-election phase is already starting to stink.


  1. Happy new year GW.

    Rank apologism for blood dripping evil it is.

    He has no way of avoiding the responsibility for what his party has done to the weakest in society. Every death, every injury, every malnourished infant and stunted life under this demon regime can be put on him just like the others.

    The statistical bullshittery over food bank growth when it was still only in the low tens of thousands is meaningless as is the million Job Fairy deliveries since 2010 ex population growth and DWP fakery.

    Btw, good news about the Tribunal decision!


    1. Thanks. Happy new year also.

      I contacted him before through a 38degrees campaign, one of many. His response was all very reasonable, as it was here. But he made a point of trying to tell me 38d were not objective and that, implicitly, they shouldn't be trusted - at last not completely. In other words they had an agenda.

      Well, duh. I share that agenda. That's why I wrote to him.

      Now here he is posting a link to Guido Fawkes who, if anyone can be called partisan, it's him. Laughable.

  2. "UKIP more dangerous. Their current popularity (they are perpetually on the air, invited to an equal seat in all discussions - a privilege only they enjoy)"

    You`d think the Establishment would at least try to provide a smidgeon of discreteness about their UKIP pushing after being rumbled on every other party, but no, they arrogantly assume they can pull off another (last?) mud pie in the face for the British people.


    1. I think the estalbishment tories are happy to have ukip promote a message they share in order to look more reasonable and take some of the heat off.


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