Psychopathic Tories now blame rise in food bank use on Christian 'Evangelism'

(28 Posts)
ttosca Mon 09-Jun-14 19:27:50

As yet another report — this time from Oxfam, Church Action on Poverty and the Trussell Trust — links changes to the welfare system to an increase in food bank use, the government trots out its usual line:

“It’s simply not possible to draw conclusions from these unverified figures from disparate sources.”

Perhaps its worth reflecting on DWP’s own attitude to the truth. Giving evidence to a Scottish Parliament committee on food banks recently, department director Neil Couling questioned the motivations of the UK’s biggest supplier of emergency food aid by implying that a motivation for their growth was Christian “evangelism” and that the food banks were merely an “evangelical device”:

“For the Trussell Trust, food banks started as an evangelical device to get religious groups in touch with their local communities. As far as I know, the Government has no policy on evangelism.”

The comment elicited a furious response from the Trussell Trust chair, who wrote to Couling last month:

“Please provide me immediately with the evidence you have to support this assertion. You are directly challenging the integrity of a registered charity and its trustees both past and present. If you are not able to provide evidence to support this assertion please write immediately to the Scottish Parliament Welfare Reform Committee to withdraw the statement.”

This smear comes from a department whose secretary of state has claimed that problems of poverty have a “spiritual base”.

politicalscrapbook.net/2014/06/now-dwp-blame-christian-evangelism-for-growth-in-food-banks/

Isitmebut Wed 11-Jun-14 14:06:49

The Totally Sane Socialist Utopian Economy & Social Policies that CAUSED Food Banks During The Longest & Deepest Global Recession In Over 80-Years Beginning in 2008;

Mass immigration of 2.5 million new citizens adding “diversity” that magically find spare jobs and homes the indigenous multi cultural population don’t need.
www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/6418456/Labour-wanted-mass-immigration-to-make-UK-more-multicultural-says-former-adviser.html

*An unemployed/poor indigenous multi cultural population that don’t need to find jobs and homes, and our welfare/benefits bill can rise in ‘booms’ as well as ‘busts’, and even a national debt of the current/growing £1,300,000,000, 000 (£1.3 trillion) and £52 billion current annual interest charge that could be better spent on helping the poor - will NOT be a factor, having condemned the poorest in society (that didn’t need those 2.5 million new jobs and homes) to homelessness and welfare dependency for another generation at least.
www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/10574376/Graphic-Britain-outstrips-Europe-on-welfare-spending.html

Every Benefit and Welfare claim is ‘totes’ genuine and taxpayers should be please government does not need to spend time/effort worrying about unreformed expenditure, there is ‘loads of money’ to pay for it via increased taxation on the employed.
The current www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/9963012/900000-choose-to-come-off-sickness-benefit-ahead-of-tests.htmll

Growth IN THE SIZE OF GOVERNMENT is the way to ‘create’ sustainable jobs FOR ALL and paying bureaucrats £60k to £200k boosts UK consumption and GDP is not only the way to sustainable UK ‘growf’, but there must be a way to Export it, to pay our way in the world – so who cares about the condition and sustainability of the UK Private Sector Businesses, Jobs and their taxes, that USED to pay for it all.
www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1214001/The-cost-quango-Britain-hits-170bn--seven-fold-rise-Labour-came-power.html
www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1358144/Labours-3m-town-hall-jobs-bonanza-employed-deliver-frontline-services.html

The Private Sector will accept whatever red tape and taxes a socialist government will throw at it and built (at their own cost) and then RENT it out to the State and masses, homes, hospitals, schools and nuclear power stations – while money is thrown at fat, inefficient, and expensive government.
www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/8779598/Private-Finance-Initiative-where-did-all-go-wrong.html
www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/9356942/Blair-defends-PFI-as-NHS-trusts-face-bankruptcy.html
www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2363808/Labours-NHS-denial-machine-Experts-verdict-ministers-covered-problems-failing-hospitals-thousands-died.html

And The Result of a Totally Sane Socialist Utopian Economy On The Poor?

Even the Labour Party FINALLY realised the implications of their own policies and the ‘Money Tree’ that funded unprecedented increases in government spending (financed by the taxes of speculation) had gone, and only a huge national debt and annual deficit remains - so reforms were necessary.
www.economicshelp.org/blog/5509/economics/government-spending-under-labour/

*“Labour to substantially cut benefits bill if it wins power in 2015”
www.theguardian.com/politics/2013/aug/21/labour-to-cut-benefits-bill-2015*
“Labour will cut the benefits bill "quite substantially" and more effectively than the Tories if it wins power in 2015, the shadow work and pensions secretary said on Tuesday”

And finally, ‘the people’ you represent, believe you when pretending that all the economic and social problems, began in 2010, for the Coalition NOT following the Labour 2010 manifesto pledge of ‘more of the same’, until something turns up, to get the economic and social problems AT LEAST back to 1997 levels they inherited. Marvellous.

AgaPanthers Wed 11-Jun-14 14:56:48

It is clearly correct that the food bank growth is in large part due to Christian evangelism, given that

(a) the Trussell Trust is a Christian charity
(b) a high proportion of the food banks are run in churches, staffed by church volunteers

If there were no food banks there would be no food bank users. 10 years ago there were no food banks. That does not mean that 10 years ago there was no need.

Regardless of government, policy, economic conditions, in every society in human history there are people who need food and don't get it. This is not about the psychopathic Tories, it is life. The fact that food banks now exist in most of the country means that those people can now get food. And that is a good thing, and separate from whatever policies on benefits, etc. you want to talk about.

ohmymimi Wed 11-Jun-14 15:12:52

First Food Bank - 1967.

AgaPanthers Wed 11-Jun-14 15:17:27

Yes, in Arizona. Not really relevant to the UK.

There is a need for food banks and there shouldn't be. That's completely separate to the question of why religious organisations feed the poor and traditionally it has been evangelism.

SconeRhymesWithGone Wed 11-Jun-14 15:34:30

Christian charity and Christian evangelism (which usually connotes proselytizing) are not necessarily the same thing. Are these organizations proselytizing with their food banks? I am in the US so not very familiar with the issue and could not find out much online. I do know that many food banks in the US are run by churches and religious organizations with no strings attached and no evangelical component.

Christianity has a long history of philanthropy - trying to help the poor simply because it is a good thing to do, and because it is the sort of thing that Jesus did.

That is totally separate from evangelism - 'spreading the word'.

An organisation might do one or other or both.

AgaPanthers Wed 11-Jun-14 17:20:52

The evangelistic Christians often have more money and bigger congregations, which might enable them to do this more than the more staid Christians. Whether that is the case or not I'm not sure.

Separately Christian charity can be deemed an act of evangelism by itself, absent of any proselytising.

ttosca Wed 11-Jun-14 21:25:04

> There is a need for food banks and there shouldn't be. That's completely separate to the question of why religious organisations feed the poor and traditionally it has been evangelism.

That many charities have previously been Christian is not the point.

The point is that there has been a large increase in the need for food banks, and this is the result, as many charities have pointed out, is due to Tory austerity measures and social security 'reform' (i.e. dismantling).

ttosca Wed 11-Jun-14 21:35:48

Aga

> It is clearly correct that the food bank growth is in large part due to Christian evangelism, given that

> (a) the Trussell Trust is a Christian charity
> (b) a high proportion of the food banks are run in churches, staffed by church volunteers

This is a non-sequitor. Your conclusions don't follow from your two premises.

Neither one of these two points logical implies (formally or informally) that the growth in food bank use is due to Christian evangelicalism.

The Trussell Trust is more than 10 years old, and many other charity organisation are many decades older. Yet we have seen a many fold increase in the number of people needing foodbanks since the the Tory scum came in to power.

> If there were no food banks there would be no food bank users. 10 years ago there were no food banks. That does not mean that 10 years ago there was no need.

Ten years ago, social security would have ensured that vast majority would at least get enough money to pay for food and rent in order to survive. This seems to no longer be the case.

> Regardless of government, policy, economic conditions, in every society in human history there are people who need food and don't get it.

This is irrelevant.

What we're discussing here is the cause of the rise of food banks which, almost all of us can agree is a bad thing. Poverty caused by economic, social, and political policies. It can be decreased and increased by changing those things.

> This is not about the psychopathic Tories, it is life. The fact that food banks now exist in most of the country means that those people can now get food. And that is a good thing, and separate from whatever policies on benefits, etc. you want to talk about.

No, it's not 'life'. There is nothing 'natural' about food poverty in the 5th richest nation on the planet. Poverty is caused by economics and social policies. As such, it can be made better or worse. If there is a will, it can be eradicated almost entirely.

ttosca Wed 11-Jun-14 21:36:49

Trussell Trust told ‘the government might try to shut you down’

The chair of the Trussell Trust has said that the charity made a decision to tone down its criticisms of the benefit system after someone in power warned them that they could get shut down.

Chris Mould, chair of the Trussell Trust, was giving evidence to the Panel on the Independence of the Voluntary Sector yesterday when he said that the charity, which aims to tackle poverty, had been criticised by the government for raising awareness of the need for food banks.

He said that he had seen several examples of how “people in power do pretty inappropriate things at times to try and curb and curtail independence of a voluntary organisation when it proves to be inconvenient to them”.

Mould, who made it clear that the charity was not a campaigning organisation, told the panel that most of these examples had arisen in private conversations with those in power.
'Government might try to shut you down'

He said that in a face-to-face conversation in March 2013 with "someone in power", he was told that he must think more carefully otherwise “the government might try to shut you down”.

Mould said: “This was spoken in anger, but is the kind of dialogue that can occur. It exposes the way people think in the political world about their relationship with the voluntary sector when things are getting difficult. What can we do?”

The charity then took the decision to tone down its criticisms so that the government would maintain its contact. Mould said that this decision was a response of a “positive nature”.

He also spoke of another example of when the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions' office contacted him in 2011 in response to publication of the Trussell Trust’s concerns about the benefits system.

Mould said he received a phone call on his day off “from someone in the Secretary of State’s office which was basically to tell me that the boss was very angry with us because we were publicising the concerns we have over the rising number of people who were struggling as a consequence of delays and inefficiencies in the benefits system”.

However Mould, who spoke of “ongoing efforts to belittle the organisation” by the government, said that a decision made by the charity’s trustees in 2005 that they would avoid seeking government funding meant that they were in a better position to resist government pressure.

Mould also spoke of how the charity's commitment to professionalism, including its expanding trustee board which attempts to cover all areas of expertise, and the quality of the statistics it produces, gave the charity more capacity to resist pressure.

Earlier this year, a criticial article by the Daily Mail about the Trussell Trust led to the charity's appeal raising more than £50,000 in two days.

Blanche Jones, campaigns director at 38 degrees, also spoke to the panel yesterday about the reception the organisation receives from politicians.

The campaigning organisation received criticism last year from Conservative MP Peter Bottomley who said that 38 Degrees was one of several organisations whose members were spamming the inboxes of MPs causing them “chaos”.

Jones said that she wished government would see this engagement as a more positive thing, as such comments from MPs contribute to a “growing feeling of disengagement and disempowerment”.
Oxfam reported to Charity Commission

A new political attack on charities was seen yesterday when a Tory MP revealed that he is reporting Oxfam to the Charity Commission for its “perfect storm” promotional campaign on austerity. Conor Burns, Conservative MP for Bournemouth West, said the campaign was "overtly political and aimed at the policies of the current government".

www.civilsociety.co.uk/governance/news/content/17632/trussell_trust_chair_told_the_government_might_try_to_shut_you_down

PartialFancy Wed 11-Jun-14 21:47:56

AgaPanthers, you're talking so much rubbish I don't know where to start.

The number of people needing food and not getting it is clearly NOT independent of policy and economic conditions. In any country. Ever.

"Those people" aren't some fixed group. The same people who are eating from food banks now were paying for their food in supermarkets with their wages this time last year.

Donations to food banks do not all come from church congregations. The Trussell Trust have collections going outside supermarkets and take from all sorts of people. We're atheists, and send money to food banks even though they are administered by churches - because churches tend to have the infrastructure to run them.

Isitmebut Thu 12-Jun-14 13:18:24

ttosca ....

"The point is that there has been a large increase in the need for food banks, and this is the result, as many charities have pointed out, is due to Tory austerity measures and social security 'reform' (i.e. dismantling)."

Labour's £trillions wasted, increased non EU immigration they had control over, ignoring the prospects of millions of indigenous multi cultural poor/unemployed, uncontrolled/unreformed welfare/benefits bribes to keep them quiet, fewer social homes when they left power than when they came in - all no pressure massive parliamentary majority Labour policies in a decade of a global boom, when the money was there, as they are the 'caring' party' getting citizens out of poverty.

If they can't get it right in a 'boom', what chance of getting their promised welfare reforms right in 2015, with the deficit budgets after their 'bust'?

After the worst, deepest, longest recession in over 80-years, most of Europe still flirting on recession and a Eurozone unemployment rate average over 11% and not meant to improve for some time yet - we should be GLAD we have food banks to help out for whatever reason, as what does those worst affected with the likes of IMF spending restrictions do without them.

AgaPanthers Thu 12-Jun-14 13:59:48

"AgaPanthers, you're talking so much rubbish I don't know where to start."

But I didn't say any of the words you put in my mouth.

"The number of people needing food and not getting it is clearly NOT independent of policy and economic conditions. In any country. Ever."

I didn't say this. I said that there are always people who have less than they need. Always. Not that the numbers are constant, clearly the numbers vary.

However we cannot deduce need from usage because it was impossible to go to a food bank 10 years ago whether you needed to or not. Further, since food bank eligibility is not strictly assessed, and because it's well known that lots of people don't take up their entitlement, because of lack of awareness, it's very hard to what extent increased usage is due to the fact that almost everybody now knows what a food bank is, whereas a few years ago they were unheard of.

'"Those people" aren't some fixed group. The same people who are eating from food banks now were paying for their food in supermarkets with their wages this time last year.'

Some of the people last year using food banks are this year using wages and vice versa.

"Donations to food banks do not all come from church congregations. "

I didn't say that all. The fact is without the churches and the Christian charity running this you wouldn't have a food bank to send your money to.

Specifically the fact that unlike many charities the connection between donation and recipient is very clear and transparent, and those administering it would appear to be decent, trustworthy members of society, means that donating to a foodbank is an appealing means of giving.

On the other hand, while malnutrition and need is much greater in many countries around the world, we generally can be much less confident, and have much less insight into what our donation is doing.

Food banks are giving away food, to people who want to eat it. And we can actually buy the physical food, not just 'send £5 a month to sponsor a hungry child', we are actually physically handing over food, for people to eat. That's incredibly powerful for potential donors, and is an impetus to the growth of food banks.

But again it doesn't tell you that there is more need.

It's very well-known that some charities attract disproportionately large amounts of donations, while others struggle with almost nothing. The Donkey Sanctuary gets three times as much donations as the Samaritans, for example.

If donors give more to a charity, the charity will grow, they will do more, they will go further towards meeting their goals.

ttosca Sun 15-Jun-14 15:31:29

Mumsnet needs an 'ignore poster' function.

ppplease Sun 15-Jun-14 15:37:14

I dont often linger on the "In The News" section, becuase I just dont understand most of you. It is too hard for me to follow and the posts are too long winded.

I am not sure whether my beliefs are against AgaPanthers and her agreers, or against PartialFancy and hers!

BMW6 Sun 15-Jun-14 20:07:35

Mumsnet needs an 'ignore poster' function.

Be careful of what you wish for - you may find you are talking to yourself grin

It is shameful that, in the fifth or sixth richest country in the world, there are people so desperate that they have to rely on charity to eat.

This whole nonsense about 'it's all the fault of the food banks, they are just creating a need' is so wrong-headed. It's like saying Oxfam causes famine. But sadly there are plenty of people who seem to have forgotten that compassion is a virtue.

AgaPanthers Mon 16-Jun-14 12:36:36

Why is it shameful? Some people are better than others at managing finances. You could have two different families with the same resources, one manages them better than the other, one feed their family with them, the other needs to rely on charity.

What does that tell you exactly? That the government is wicked? Or that people vary in their abilities to cope with life, their intellectual capacity, budgeting capabilities and other related factors.

We do not have famine in this country, whereas the evidence of that in countries Oxfam works in is very plain.

BMW6 Mon 16-Jun-14 13:18:39

This ^^ 100%

Isitmebut Mon 16-Jun-14 15:00:42

On those last good points, on the basis that there will always be a solid demand for free food - could a government take the kind social responsibility of Food Banks FURTHER to help combat food poverty - by having them take a larger role in families discretionary spending?

By this I mean apart from a family's fixed costs, the balance of monies left could be transfered to a family account at a food bank, to ensure there is a food priority over grown up 'indulgencies' many don't see as such e.g. booze, fags and the odd flutter?

I'd call it a type of Co-op run by someone flowery from the clergy, but we tried that (a-hem).

Just a thought.

dawndonnaagain Tue 17-Jun-14 09:59:30

The Trussell Trust started food banks in 2000. Before that, the Salvation Army, working with Health Visitors would provide in emergencies.

Aga, No, it tells us people are in desperate poverty. You are making a lot of assumptions about people who have to go cap in hand to food banks - referred by other agencies, you can't turn up - which are very convenient for your point of view.

What evidence do you have that 'some' people can manage perfectly well on incomes that drive other people into destitution?

God forbid you ever find yourself in such a desperate situation, but it is worth bearing in mind that ill-health, accident, or disability can happen to any of us. Or to our children. Disability is a leading cause of poverty.

Isitme, again, you are falling into the trap of assuming poverty is the fault of people who are poor - your suggestion rests on the assumption that poor people actually have plenty of money but choose to waste it on things that you consider are inessentials. Has it occurred to you that maybe they just don't have enough money?

AgaPanthers Tue 17-Jun-14 16:33:18

Edam, it is far from simple and nobody would claim it was. Clearly there is need not met. But providing for need without unintended consequences, such as entrenching worklessness, is very hard indeed. There are boroughs of London where half the children grow up in workless households.

Things like tax credits have consequences e.g., they encourage people into work, but they also ensure that people have little motivation to improve, since the withdrawal of tax credits results in them receiving as little as 30p in the pound for each extra hour worked.

This Labour policy, designed to nudge people into work, did that but it also ensured that there would little motivation to move beyond lowly paid zero hours minimum wage jobs into taking more responsibility, because the financial rewards for doing so were almost non-existent in the short-term.

The housing market, which Labour utterly fucked up in their 13 years of power, is another problem, as the private rented sector is expensive and insecure and runs a mile from 'difficult' tenants. So the result is that social housing is disproportionately occupied by problem tenants.

There are many problems in our society, but simplistic rants about food banks don't really help in solving them.

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