These folk are collecting in Tescos South Queensferry this weekend http://edinburghnw.foodbank.org.uk/ and of course I bought tinned spuds, pasta sauce, UHT milk, tinned fruit and jelly as requested. But the regular donations page of their website is broken so the momentum built up by this weekend’s outreach cannot be turned into regular donations.
Besides which. What the actual fuck?
This is Cameron’s Big Society – it imposes a voluntary “decency tax”. This tax is paid only by those of us who think “there but for great good luck go I” and pay out in the hope that our tins of potatoes and suspended coffees will make any kind of a blind bit of difference, and in the sickening awareness that no, they really don’t.
I should not be giving tinned food to Foodbanks, I should be paying taxes which fund benefits that enable people to buy their own food. I should not be buying suspended coffees, I should be paying taxes that fund housing benefits for the houses people actually live in, not the non-existent theoretical houses that don’t exist so they selfishly and fecklessly end up on the streets. No-one should be forced into the desperation that makes them beg for charity from strangers, they should be claiming the support that they are entitled to from any half decent society, and that society should give them the helping hand they need to get up and out of poverty.
And yes, I know the argument that benefits breed a culture of entitlement. But who is really displaying entitlement here? The person terminally ill with cancer who is “fit for work”? Or the trust-fund Tory who stashes their money offshore? The CEO paid tens of millions of pounds, building up enough wealth to keep their grandchildren in coke and botox all their trashy lives? Or the poor fools forced to work for them for free because it’s “experience” and “without experience they won’t get a job”? The Energy Company bosses making millions? Or the people freezing to death because they cannot afford heat and food?
People freeze to death in their homes. In a western country. Just because it is winter. Which comes around once a year.
This is what the Tories do – they make taxation optional. Only pay to help others if you want. If you don’t want, no problem. That’s fine. Really.
But yes, I do want. So yes, I handed over the tinned spuds, pasta source, UHT milk, tinned fruit and jelly in the knowledge it’s a band-aid stuck down on top of gangrene.
But I really shouldn’t have had to.