The Curmudgeon


Sunday, December 07, 2014

We Three Kings

A report into food poverty has been shrugged off in expectable fashion by the Conservatives, and leapt on with predictable desperation by the bandwagon-hopping leader of the Deputy Conservatives.

The report suggests that ministers, the voluntary sector, the Church and other commercial concerns might be able to do a bit more to relieve food poverty. Damian Green, formerly a minion of the mad old cat lady in the Ministry for Snoopery and Prole Control, squealed that the whole thing was a Socialist plot to nationalise food banks and compel the taxpayer to spend more on welfare. When faced with the possibility of less malnutrition in the world's seventh-largest economy, Green said, "I'm not quite sure what the additional value is."

Matthew Hancock recited Lord Freud's theory that food banks are only being used because people know about them and enjoy a free lunch. The only solution to poverty, proclaimed Hancock (formerly of Oxford, the family business and the Bank of England), is good honest labour, whether or not it pays a living wage; and since there are more people than ever now on workfare and zero-hours contracts, it stands to reason that poverty must be coming down whether or not people are getting less poor.

Nick Clegg, attempting to distance himself from the measures his party has supported with remarkable unanimity all through the present Parliament, said that some of the problem might be alleviated by cutting benefits after one or two warnings. I smell something there, but I'm not sure it's votes.


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