Wednesday, 9 April 2014

The Hunger Game

Hunger has become political. It used to be a straightforward argument about ethics and logistics which had reached near universal consensus long ago, that hunger must not be a weapon. So now in Britain in 2014 there is actually a heated argument being had about three things; What is hunger? What is causing acute hunger? Who is responsible for it?

Doesn't take a genius
Food, water, shelter- we now have two out of the three most basic human needs called into question and most fingers are being pointed at our government. They should be lucky that it is already the law that licensed premises can not refuse tap water to anyone requesting and water companies can not cut off a household or else we'd also have an epidemic of water-borne diseases from rivers and ponds. 
A patient with 'birdseye chimeras'
Another study has linked the incidence of food banks with government policy and in spite of ministerial denials about any suggestion that would make them responsible and therefore using hunger as a weapon, the evidence mounts up that this is the case. Remember though, even before the media bothered to pay attention to food banks- Westminster council banned them and soup kitchens from distributing food to anyone who was homeless. Our politicians seems to not want it rubbed in their faces even before the current government came in. They're not simply ignorant, they actively do not want to see the full picture and so will trot out the most absurd talking points which don't stand up to seconds of critical thought. 

Take for instance the claim that food banks create the demand and the variations of(such as Normon Tebbit's howler that poor people collect from food banks to save money and then use that money to buy the stuff they like). The problem being that food banks have existed for a long time- I remember as an infant my school collecting donations from pupils and I brought in a bag of sugar because sugar is awesome and makes the bland stuff everyone else brought taste better. Even vegetarians can eat it. Yet it is only after 2010 that the growth in food banks went into phenomenal overdrive with the largest, The Trussel Trust, only having opened their first branch in 2001. They weren't exactly promoting themselves either; this was before the media were bothering to show any interest. John Humphrys even claimed in October 2011 in his truth-allergic BBC2 polemic The Future State Of Welfare that Britain didn't have food banks. Remember that this programme had more errors than minutes, but Humphrys got off scot-free for it despite the extensive efforts of myself and two other complainants.

If the excuses for food bank demand given by establishment figures made sense, then they would still have to explain why the sudden behaviour changes among the public began in 2010 when food bank growth was much slower before.


  1. Ever so "helpfully"the DWP has published a collation of the effects of "welfare reforms" which it is labelling costings.Well a cut a paste from previous Budget red books etc cobbled together .Ad hoc and released timely to avoid scrutiny .I suspect some frenetic coverage in friendly media .Pure political machinations of course rather than the stated "there is some interest" because it is the only time they are doing it.But,hey look,savings from the removal of DLA Mobility for residents penned in for last year and future years.Now,if you remember there was some consternation as to this original appearance after they said they were not going ahead with it,yet it remains.

    1. Jumped the gun a bit ,it is accounted for in later figures.Sorry.