Baker hits out at Bucks poverty levels in food bank debate

Bucks Free Press: Wycombe MP Steve Baker Wycombe MP Steve Baker

STEVE Baker said yesterday it is "a scandalous indictment of the welfare state" that up to one in three children in his constituency go to bed hungry.

The Wycombe MP was speaking in the House of Commons during a debate called by Labour demanding the government reduces public dependency on food banks.

Work and Pensions minister Iain Duncan Smith was widely criticised for leaving the debate without answering questions, while a speech from his deputy Esther McVey was described by veteran Labour MP Sir Gerald Kaufman as the 'nastiest' he had heard in 43 years in politics.

The number of food banks - which provide food and financial assistance to the poor - in the country has increased markedly over the last decade, MPs were told.

Mr Baker said 12,000 children in Buckinghamshire live in income poverty, as he revealed details of his own upbringing when he said he would often go hungry as well.

He said: "My father did absolutely everything he could, but where was the welfare state? It was not there for him, because it did not know what to do for an independent, self-employed man who had run out of work.

"Unfortunately, that went on and on, to and fro, in the legacy of the previous Government - it was tough for a self-employed builder. My father coped by finding further work. My mother took on two and even three tough jobs.

"I saw her get arthritis in her hands, ageing her early, all because there was no food. What happened eventually is, of course, that they divorced, and my mother went on to live with a man who could at least put food on the table. So I certainly know the consequences - I live with them today - of having too little food in a home."

Mr Baker added: "The quality and quantity of welfare produced by the state has not been good enough for a very long time. It is astonishing and shaming that the welfare state can tax and spend so much, and yet leave people hungry.

"Some 12,000 children in Buckinghamshire live in income poverty, and one in five children in Wycombe go to bed hungry. That increases to one in three in some parts of my constituency. It is a scandalous indictment of the safety net that is the welfare state that this happens."

Mr Baker praised the work of the Wycombe-based charity the One Can Trust, naming Sarah Mordaunt and Kate Vale as the leaders of a group of 100 volunteers.

He said: "The One Can Trust has delivered 2,859 parcels since March 2012, reaching 3,182 adults and more than 2,000 children. Without the trust, poverty in Wycombe would be truly desperate."

Comments (19)

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11:31am Thu 19 Dec 13

tigeran says...

This is all brought about by the Labour governments last reign of terror by which they almost encouraged people to bring up families on benefits. You now have second and third generation families used to being supported and living very comfortable lives on benefits and not knowing any different than to have handouts to supplement their wide screen TV's, their X box addictions and expecting a good standard of living well above what they should expect because they were supplimented by benefits and now the bubble has burst and people still expect that standard of living and are not prepared to cut back accordingly.
We are all now going to have to pay for both this encouragement to procreate well above your means and also the ignorant members of our society who expect and will instill in their children to expect someone else to foot the bill. There are two guilty sections of our society to blame for this, not just people on benefits.
This is all brought about by the Labour governments last reign of terror by which they almost encouraged people to bring up families on benefits. You now have second and third generation families used to being supported and living very comfortable lives on benefits and not knowing any different than to have handouts to supplement their wide screen TV's, their X box addictions and expecting a good standard of living well above what they should expect because they were supplimented by benefits and now the bubble has burst and people still expect that standard of living and are not prepared to cut back accordingly. We are all now going to have to pay for both this encouragement to procreate well above your means and also the ignorant members of our society who expect and will instill in their children to expect someone else to foot the bill. There are two guilty sections of our society to blame for this, not just people on benefits. tigeran

4:46pm Thu 19 Dec 13

sai-diva says...

You really do look back with both blinkered views, and rose tinted glasses eh Tigger? In doing so you shift the blame from those who are guilty to their victims.
When Thatcher came into power,in 1979, there were about 1,5million unemployed,by 1984 there were over 3 million, so who do you think is really responsible for the start of the generations of 'scroungers' who you always seek to blame for our current predicament?
What size TV do you find it acceptable for an unemployed person to own. Should the children of the poor be forced to live in 'sackcloth and ashes' just because their parents are on minimum wages and zero hour contracts.
Can you try and answer without your usual insults this time please, facts and figures would be good, play nicely now.
You really do look back with both blinkered views, and rose tinted glasses eh Tigger? In doing so you shift the blame from those who are guilty to their victims. When Thatcher came into power,in 1979, there were about 1,5million unemployed,by 1984 there were over 3 million, so who do you think is really responsible for the start of the generations of 'scroungers' who you always seek to blame for our current predicament? What size TV do you find it acceptable for an unemployed person to own. Should the children of the poor be forced to live in 'sackcloth and ashes' just because their parents are on minimum wages and zero hour contracts. Can you try and answer without your usual insults this time please, facts and figures would be good, play nicely now. sai-diva

4:49pm Thu 19 Dec 13

sai-diva says...

and for what it's worth, I admire Mr. Bakers honesty in this, a rare thing for a politician.
and for what it's worth, I admire Mr. Bakers honesty in this, a rare thing for a politician. sai-diva

4:54pm Thu 19 Dec 13

demoness the second says...

As a matter of fact the poorest people are those who ARE working on minimum wages and who cannot make ends meet because of the ever higher costs of living.
Some families and older people are making the tough choice of either eating or heating their home.
As a matter of fact the poorest people are those who ARE working on minimum wages and who cannot make ends meet because of the ever higher costs of living. Some families and older people are making the tough choice of either eating or heating their home. demoness the second

6:04pm Thu 19 Dec 13

tigeran says...

sai-diva wrote:
You really do look back with both blinkered views, and rose tinted glasses eh Tigger? In doing so you shift the blame from those who are guilty to their victims.
When Thatcher came into power,in 1979, there were about 1,5million unemployed,by 1984 there were over 3 million, so who do you think is really responsible for the start of the generations of 'scroungers' who you always seek to blame for our current predicament?
What size TV do you find it acceptable for an unemployed person to own. Should the children of the poor be forced to live in 'sackcloth and ashes' just because their parents are on minimum wages and zero hour contracts.
Can you try and answer without your usual insults this time please, facts and figures would be good, play nicely now.
I will play nicely Sia diva and from the bottom of my heart do genuinely believe that people like yourself, with all due respect, have no idea whatsoever of the real world. Let's just agree to disagree! Happy Xmas!
[quote][p][bold]sai-diva[/bold] wrote: You really do look back with both blinkered views, and rose tinted glasses eh Tigger? In doing so you shift the blame from those who are guilty to their victims. When Thatcher came into power,in 1979, there were about 1,5million unemployed,by 1984 there were over 3 million, so who do you think is really responsible for the start of the generations of 'scroungers' who you always seek to blame for our current predicament? What size TV do you find it acceptable for an unemployed person to own. Should the children of the poor be forced to live in 'sackcloth and ashes' just because their parents are on minimum wages and zero hour contracts. Can you try and answer without your usual insults this time please, facts and figures would be good, play nicely now.[/p][/quote]I will play nicely Sia diva and from the bottom of my heart do genuinely believe that people like yourself, with all due respect, have no idea whatsoever of the real world. Let's just agree to disagree! Happy Xmas! tigeran

6:12pm Thu 19 Dec 13

tigeran says...

demoness the second wrote:
As a matter of fact the poorest people are those who ARE working on minimum wages and who cannot make ends meet because of the ever higher costs of living.
Some families and older people are making the tough choice of either eating or heating their home.
Hello demoness! As I have a very much changed and much higher opinion of you, I would just like to say that with any of my blogs I never aim at the people that actually try in life, claiming benefits or not. I am always referring to the unfortunately ever increasing multitude of multiple children, never worked in their life, feckless families that plague our society. I promise you I have solid reasons and actual facts to back my opinions up with this. If you knew the things I knew about these people and experienced it yourself, you may change your opinion and understand where I come from. Anyway, happy Xmas and all the best to you!
[quote][p][bold]demoness the second[/bold] wrote: As a matter of fact the poorest people are those who ARE working on minimum wages and who cannot make ends meet because of the ever higher costs of living. Some families and older people are making the tough choice of either eating or heating their home.[/p][/quote]Hello demoness! As I have a very much changed and much higher opinion of you, I would just like to say that with any of my blogs I never aim at the people that actually try in life, claiming benefits or not. I am always referring to the unfortunately ever increasing multitude of multiple children, never worked in their life, feckless families that plague our society. I promise you I have solid reasons and actual facts to back my opinions up with this. If you knew the things I knew about these people and experienced it yourself, you may change your opinion and understand where I come from. Anyway, happy Xmas and all the best to you! tigeran

6:24pm Thu 19 Dec 13

fishyfingerz says...

i made a chicken stew for less thank a fiver on Monday, it provided 8 good meals. A packet of rice for 70p added some starch. If they stopped stocking up on iceland ready meals they would be able to afford food.
i made a chicken stew for less thank a fiver on Monday, it provided 8 good meals. A packet of rice for 70p added some starch. If they stopped stocking up on iceland ready meals they would be able to afford food. fishyfingerz

5:49am Fri 20 Dec 13

demoness the second says...

I think those of you who are cynical might do well to read this.
http://agirlcalledja
ck.com/2013/12/19/th
oughts-on-the-foodba
nk-debate-from-the-p
ublic-gallery/

These are not so called benefit scroungers - it is the so called working poor who are using the food banks.

It is a disgraceful situation and one that should never be happening in our own country.
I think those of you who are cynical might do well to read this. http://agirlcalledja ck.com/2013/12/19/th oughts-on-the-foodba nk-debate-from-the-p ublic-gallery/ These are not so called benefit scroungers - it is the so called working poor who are using the food banks. It is a disgraceful situation and one that should never be happening in our own country. demoness the second

11:01am Fri 20 Dec 13

gungun says...

The benefit scroungers are in KFC or Maccy D's or round the local chippy, The foodbank users are not necessarily the same, it would seem that hard working (sometimes minimum wage earning, sometimes not) people are cooking from scratch, making ends meet, creating hashed, mashed, boiled and bashed meals from whatever monies they have to buy food at the end of the week/month. They gernerally look at a takeaway (of any form) as a treat...not the norm

Fishy Fingerz mentions the chicken stew and this is a prime example of cooking well for less... regular takeaways and iceland style foods are lazy foods for lazy people.
The benefit scroungers are in KFC or Maccy D's or round the local chippy, The foodbank users are not necessarily the same, it would seem that hard working (sometimes minimum wage earning, sometimes not) people are cooking from scratch, making ends meet, creating hashed, mashed, boiled and bashed meals from whatever monies they have to buy food at the end of the week/month. They gernerally look at a takeaway (of any form) as a treat...not the norm Fishy Fingerz mentions the chicken stew and this is a prime example of cooking well for less... regular takeaways and iceland style foods are lazy foods for lazy people. gungun

1:47pm Fri 20 Dec 13

Kadoogan says...

Shame Mr Baker was one of the MP's that voted against further investigation of this issue. Some fine words from him, but when it came to the crunch he followed the Tory party line. Useless.
Shame Mr Baker was one of the MP's that voted against further investigation of this issue. Some fine words from him, but when it came to the crunch he followed the Tory party line. Useless. Kadoogan

1:04am Sun 22 Dec 13

Undercover Euro Yob says...

sai-diva wrote:
and for what it's worth, I admire Mr. Bakers honesty in this, a rare thing for a politician.
If the BFP report is reasonably accurate and complete I suspect that although Baker was one of the MP's who voted against HS2, his remarks are aimed at Tory voters who might defect to UKIP over this and other things - the vague references to 'the Welfare State' and the implausible story about his dad falling through the welfare cracks followed by a pat on the back for a 'big society' (remember that?) style help project in his constituency seem pointless and unsubstantiated.
[quote][p][bold]sai-diva[/bold] wrote: and for what it's worth, I admire Mr. Bakers honesty in this, a rare thing for a politician.[/p][/quote]If the BFP report is reasonably accurate and complete I suspect that although Baker was one of the MP's who voted against HS2, his remarks are aimed at Tory voters who might defect to UKIP over this and other things - the vague references to 'the Welfare State' and the implausible story about his dad falling through the welfare cracks followed by a pat on the back for a 'big society' (remember that?) style help project in his constituency seem pointless and unsubstantiated. Undercover Euro Yob

1:12pm Sun 22 Dec 13

sai-diva says...

tigeran wrote:
sai-diva wrote:
You really do look back with both blinkered views, and rose tinted glasses eh Tigger? In doing so you shift the blame from those who are guilty to their victims.
When Thatcher came into power,in 1979, there were about 1,5million unemployed,by 1984 there were over 3 million, so who do you think is really responsible for the start of the generations of 'scroungers' who you always seek to blame for our current predicament?
What size TV do you find it acceptable for an unemployed person to own. Should the children of the poor be forced to live in 'sackcloth and ashes' just because their parents are on minimum wages and zero hour contracts.
Can you try and answer without your usual insults this time please, facts and figures would be good, play nicely now.
I will play nicely Sia diva and from the bottom of my heart do genuinely believe that people like yourself, with all due respect, have no idea whatsoever of the real world. Let's just agree to disagree! Happy Xmas!
So no actual facts and figures then,? Just vague 'if you knew what I know'' comments, and accusations of lack of knowledge, (couldn't resist a dig could you?).
Opinions, unless they are backed up by provable facts are just that, opinions. When you are presented with reasonable questions, backed up by facts, you refuse to answer.
I can't'' agree to disagree'' with such an attitude.
[quote][p][bold]tigeran[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]sai-diva[/bold] wrote: You really do look back with both blinkered views, and rose tinted glasses eh Tigger? In doing so you shift the blame from those who are guilty to their victims. When Thatcher came into power,in 1979, there were about 1,5million unemployed,by 1984 there were over 3 million, so who do you think is really responsible for the start of the generations of 'scroungers' who you always seek to blame for our current predicament? What size TV do you find it acceptable for an unemployed person to own. Should the children of the poor be forced to live in 'sackcloth and ashes' just because their parents are on minimum wages and zero hour contracts. Can you try and answer without your usual insults this time please, facts and figures would be good, play nicely now.[/p][/quote]I will play nicely Sia diva and from the bottom of my heart do genuinely believe that people like yourself, with all due respect, have no idea whatsoever of the real world. Let's just agree to disagree! Happy Xmas![/p][/quote]So no actual facts and figures then,? Just vague 'if you knew what I know'' comments, and accusations of lack of knowledge, (couldn't resist a dig could you?). Opinions, unless they are backed up by provable facts are just that, opinions. When you are presented with reasonable questions, backed up by facts, you refuse to answer. I can't'' agree to disagree'' with such an attitude. sai-diva

2:10pm Sun 22 Dec 13

sai-diva says...

Undercover Euro Yob wrote:
sai-diva wrote:
and for what it's worth, I admire Mr. Bakers honesty in this, a rare thing for a politician.
If the BFP report is reasonably accurate and complete I suspect that although Baker was one of the MP's who voted against HS2, his remarks are aimed at Tory voters who might defect to UKIP over this and other things - the vague references to 'the Welfare State' and the implausible story about his dad falling through the welfare cracks followed by a pat on the back for a 'big society' (remember that?) style help project in his constituency seem pointless and unsubstantiated.
whether the story about his past is true, I don't know, but your quite right, he revealed his true colours when voted against further investigation. Was nice to think that we had an honourable MP. Sorry about that.
[quote][p][bold]Undercover Euro Yob[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]sai-diva[/bold] wrote: and for what it's worth, I admire Mr. Bakers honesty in this, a rare thing for a politician.[/p][/quote]If the BFP report is reasonably accurate and complete I suspect that although Baker was one of the MP's who voted against HS2, his remarks are aimed at Tory voters who might defect to UKIP over this and other things - the vague references to 'the Welfare State' and the implausible story about his dad falling through the welfare cracks followed by a pat on the back for a 'big society' (remember that?) style help project in his constituency seem pointless and unsubstantiated.[/p][/quote]whether the story about his past is true, I don't know, but your quite right, he revealed his true colours when voted against further investigation. Was nice to think that we had an honourable MP. Sorry about that. sai-diva

11:57pm Sun 22 Dec 13

tigeran says...

sai-diva wrote:
tigeran wrote:
sai-diva wrote:
You really do look back with both blinkered views, and rose tinted glasses eh Tigger? In doing so you shift the blame from those who are guilty to their victims.
When Thatcher came into power,in 1979, there were about 1,5million unemployed,by 1984 there were over 3 million, so who do you think is really responsible for the start of the generations of 'scroungers' who you always seek to blame for our current predicament?
What size TV do you find it acceptable for an unemployed person to own. Should the children of the poor be forced to live in 'sackcloth and ashes' just because their parents are on minimum wages and zero hour contracts.
Can you try and answer without your usual insults this time please, facts and figures would be good, play nicely now.
I will play nicely Sia diva and from the bottom of my heart do genuinely believe that people like yourself, with all due respect, have no idea whatsoever of the real world. Let's just agree to disagree! Happy Xmas!
So no actual facts and figures then,? Just vague 'if you knew what I know'' comments, and accusations of lack of knowledge, (couldn't resist a dig could you?).
Opinions, unless they are backed up by provable facts are just that, opinions. When you are presented with reasonable questions, backed up by facts, you refuse to answer.
I can't'' agree to disagree'' with such an attitude.
Your ignorance is truly amazing. X
[quote][p][bold]sai-diva[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]tigeran[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]sai-diva[/bold] wrote: You really do look back with both blinkered views, and rose tinted glasses eh Tigger? In doing so you shift the blame from those who are guilty to their victims. When Thatcher came into power,in 1979, there were about 1,5million unemployed,by 1984 there were over 3 million, so who do you think is really responsible for the start of the generations of 'scroungers' who you always seek to blame for our current predicament? What size TV do you find it acceptable for an unemployed person to own. Should the children of the poor be forced to live in 'sackcloth and ashes' just because their parents are on minimum wages and zero hour contracts. Can you try and answer without your usual insults this time please, facts and figures would be good, play nicely now.[/p][/quote]I will play nicely Sia diva and from the bottom of my heart do genuinely believe that people like yourself, with all due respect, have no idea whatsoever of the real world. Let's just agree to disagree! Happy Xmas![/p][/quote]So no actual facts and figures then,? Just vague 'if you knew what I know'' comments, and accusations of lack of knowledge, (couldn't resist a dig could you?). Opinions, unless they are backed up by provable facts are just that, opinions. When you are presented with reasonable questions, backed up by facts, you refuse to answer. I can't'' agree to disagree'' with such an attitude.[/p][/quote]Your ignorance is truly amazing. X tigeran

2:50pm Mon 23 Dec 13

sai-diva says...

Phew, back to the old Tigger with the insults. If the figures I gave are wrong correct me,
Enlighten me then Tigger, educate me. Quote me some facts that you can back up, rather than your bland' 'if only you knew what i Know''.
To excuse your views I can only think that you must be a in a job, where you have to deal with the poor and that has jaundiced your view of life.
Phew, back to the old Tigger with the insults. If the figures I gave are wrong correct me, Enlighten me then Tigger, educate me. Quote me some facts that you can back up, rather than your bland' 'if only you knew what i Know''. To excuse your views I can only think that you must be a in a job, where you have to deal with the poor and that has jaundiced your view of life. sai-diva

7:50pm Mon 23 Dec 13

Undercover Euro Yob says...

sai-diva wrote:
Phew, back to the old Tigger with the insults. If the figures I gave are wrong correct me,
Enlighten me then Tigger, educate me. Quote me some facts that you can back up, rather than your bland' 'if only you knew what i Know''.
To excuse your views I can only think that you must be a in a job, where you have to deal with the poor and that has jaundiced your view of life.
A private sector job dealing with the poor (rather than creating them) - A4E?
[quote][p][bold]sai-diva[/bold] wrote: Phew, back to the old Tigger with the insults. If the figures I gave are wrong correct me, Enlighten me then Tigger, educate me. Quote me some facts that you can back up, rather than your bland' 'if only you knew what i Know''. To excuse your views I can only think that you must be a in a job, where you have to deal with the poor and that has jaundiced your view of life.[/p][/quote]A private sector job dealing with the poor (rather than creating them) - A4E? Undercover Euro Yob

11:33pm Mon 23 Dec 13

Undercover Euro Yob says...

The more I read this article, the less easy it is to understand what point Baker was trying to make unless Baker himself was not really sure what he wanted to say himself.
Labour calls a debate on making food banks redundant for helping the victims of poverty. The government minister responsible for dealing with poverty, Iain Duncan Smith - the Quiet Man with no substantial education or military career, who lives in a listed mansion belonging to his landed gentry father-in-law - leaves the debate without participating, and lets his deputy speak instead. During all this Steve Baker attacks the nebulous ‘Welfare State’ telling us a story about his dad being unable to feed the family. According to BBC Democracy Live Baker was born in June 1971. According to Hansard the story Baker told of starvation in his family (a bit of an implausible story - his father: ‘picked up that plate of food and slung it straight in the swing bin, bellowing, “All right, we will both go hungry.”’) took place, when Baker was: ‘a young boy … about 33 years ago, at the age of eight or nine’ - that is in 1979, the year Margaret Thatcher came to power or the next year 1980. (http://news.bbc.co.
uk/democracylive/hi/
representatives/prof
iles/83404.stm and http://www.publicati
ons.parliament.uk/pa
/cm201314/cmhansrd/c
m131218/debtext/1312
18-0003.htm)

Baker would have been 15 in 1986 at the height of the 80s building boom - I have never heard of a self-employed builder, or even a construction industry tradesman, being poor between 1970 and 1989 - maybe less well-off at times but never poor - particularly never so poor that his wife had to take on ‘three tough jobs’. This is the kind of story that one hears or reads of, from people who were children in the interwar depression or periods of trade depression in the 19th century - Baker’s dad however was so poor during this period that he was unable to feed himself and his son at the same time, and went without food to give it to his son (though we now know that on at least one occasion he threw it away in the bin in a temper). If Baker’s father was 21 the year Baker was born, Baker’s father would have been born himself during the years of the ‘baby boomers’ in 1950 - the year my brother-in-law, who worked in the building industry as a labourer, a bricklayer and latterly a site manager, was born. All the construction industry people from those years I have ever met say there was money to be made in return for hard work and that was the reason they went into the trade - the work was sometimes hard and always low status but it kept them well in pocket. When I left school I worked for a while for the DHSS, as the DWP was called at that time and in the 1970s there were non-contributory benefits payable, admittedly at a very low rate, to people who had no contribution record - I think it was called supplementary benefit.

The BFP account of our MP’s words is incomplete - although he finally voted for it he also spoke against his own party:

We have repeatedly warned the Government that the legacy of their policies would be felt most keenly by the most vulnerable in our society. The very poorest are bearing the brunt of the cost of living pressures that the Government’s various regressive policies have created, and the consequences are there for all to see. There is a hidden country that is unseen by the Government and dismissed by the Prime Minister, and it shames them both. The working poor are emerging as the Prime Minister’s legacy, as millions of people live in quiet crisis. The explosion in the number of food banks should haunt him, shame him and move him to act, but I doubt that it will.
Baker seems right to me in saying that: ‘There is a hidden country that is unseen by the Government’ - it recalls Disraeli’s words about two nations. He was making a point in the teeth of competition from both sides of the house with the bit between his teeth:
Susan Elan Jones (Clwyd South) (Lab): Will the hon. Gentleman give way?
Baker would not - he carried on:
I will just make this point. The cause of this crisis has been pretending that there is some magic wand: that prices can be declared to be lower; that wages can be declared to be higher; and that if only Labour Members were on the Government Benches the state would be responsive and in times of crisis would quickly leap in. That is not true now, it was not true 33 years ago and it will not be true in the future. It is essential that things such as food banks step in, but I am encouraged by things such as the community store, which go further and make this kind of mutuality and co-operative approach—this charitable endeavour—much more sustainable by making inexpensive food available to the working poor.
Baker’s contribution to the debate is difficult to understand - I always thought the crisis was a world-wide credit crisis that was caused partly by sub-prime lending in the US and in the UK caused jointly by the Conservative Party’s friends in the City of London issuing too much credit while the City of London’s other friends in New Labour were being, in the words of Peter Mandelson - " … intensely relaxed about people getting filthy rich" and maintaining a policy of ‘a light hand on the rudder’ however Baker attributes the crisis to wilfully self-deceiving belief in magic wands and a yearning for Labour government.
He deplores the poor service provided by the ‘welfare state’ but also says it is: ‘essential that things such as food banks step in’ and that he is: ‘ … encouraged by things such as the community store, because they make: ‘ … mutuality and (a) co-operative approach (and) … charitable endeavour—much more sustainable’ - apparently: ‘by making inexpensive food available to the working poor’.
Baker does not say why he is encouraged by the increased sustainability of mutuality, a co-operative approach and charitable endeavour, and is apparently unperturbed by the existence in our society of ‘working poor’ at a time of rising inequality. These are all things characteristic of the 19th century so I suppose he may be just enthusing about ‘Victorian values’ like the woman who did so much to cripple mutual and workers’ organisations, and the welfare state, after 1979 the year Mr Baker’s dad furiously threw the fried egg his son had mocked into the swing bin.
If he is making a point it seems to be that private charity is better than state social security.
I have given below the online Hansard account of what Baker said in the debate, and the web address for it. If you read it you can make up your own mind what the MP for Wycombe was trying to say.
http://www.publicati
ons.parliament.uk/pa
/cm201314/cmhansrd/c
m131218/debtext/1312
18-0003.htm
Columns 822 to 824:
5.4 pm
Steve Baker (Wycombe) (Con):
The quality and quantity of welfare produced by the state has not been good enough for a very long time. It is astonishing and shaming that the welfare state can tax and spend so much, and yet leave people hungry. Some 12,000 children in Buckinghamshire live in income poverty, and one in five children in Wycombe go to bed hungry—that increases to one in three in some parts of my constituency. It is a scandalous indictment of the safety net that is the welfare state that this happens. But I am proud of the One Can Trust, run by Sarah Mordaunt, Kate Vale and more than 100 volunteers in Wycombe, which steps in with emergency food when the state fails.
Sir Alan Beith (Berwick-upon-Tweed) (LD): A mistaken impression has been created in this debate that all that food banks do is distribute emergency food. What they actually do is give financial advice and debt advice to people who have got into difficult situations—emergen
cy food is only part of what they do.
Steve Baker: I am grateful to the right hon. Gentleman for that, and indeed the One Can Trust also provides recipes which help people to get through and use that food effectively. The One Can Trust has delivered 2,859 parcels since March 2012, reaching 3,182 adults and more than 2,000 children—without the trust, poverty in Wycombe would be truly desperate. It operates five pick-up centres, has eight sessions at which people can pick up food and usually delivers within 24 hours. The trust enjoys support from the Big Yellow Self Storage Company, and has matched funding from Barclays and Santander. Warm drinks are provided to volunteers by Starbucks, and the Eden shopping centre provides parking for volunteers. This is an astonishing exercise of social power, and I am very proud of what the trust is doing, particularly because of the story of one young boy.
This is a young boy who about 33 years ago, at the age of eight or nine, bounced down the stairs because his loving father called him down for his tea. This boy bounced joyfully down the stairs but thought it was funny, in his youthfulness and his childishness, to poke the fried egg and say, “Ugh, what’s that?” At that point, his father, with his great working man’s hands, picked up that plate of food and slung it straight in the swing bin, bellowing, “All right, we will both go hungry.” That was my father, a working man who had reached the end of the money and the end of the food. I did not mean to wound my father then, nor do I mean to wound him now, because he loved me and he loves me still. My father did absolutely everything he could, but where was the welfare state? It was not there for him, because it did not know what to do for an independent, self-employed man who had run out of work.
Unfortunately, that went on and on, to and fro, in the legacy of the previous Government; it was tough for a self-employed builder. My father coped by finding further work. My mother took on two and even three tough jobs. I saw her get arthritis in her hands, ageing her early, all because there was no food. What happened eventually is, of course, that they divorced, and my mother went on to live with a man who could at least put food on the table. So I certainly know the consequences—I live with them today—of having too little food in a home.
I am therefore proud of the One Can Trust, because in times of crisis it feeds families. I like to believe that had food been available in my home when I was a child, not only would my father not have had to go hungry, but perhaps my mother would not have had to take on those jobs, perhaps they would not have divorced and perhaps a range of things that ought not to have happened but which did would never have taken place. I am very proud indeed that at this time people across our nation are stepping up where the state is falling that little short. However, I must ask: what is the cause of the crisis? The cause of this crisis—
Susan Elan Jones (Clwyd South) (Lab): Will the hon. Gentleman give way?
Steve Baker: I will just make this point. The cause of this crisis has been pretending that there is some magic wand: that prices can be declared to be lower; that wages can be declared to be higher; and that if only Labour Members were on the Government Benches the state would be responsive and in times of crisis would quickly leap in. That is not true now, it was not true 33 years ago and it will not be true in the future. It is essential that things such as food banks step in, but I am encouraged by things such as the community store, which go further and make this kind of mutuality and co-operative approach—this charitable endeavour—much more sustainable by making inexpensive food available to the working poor.
I will leave the final word to the chairman of One Can Trust, David Rooke. He has said:
“David Cameron has got it exactly right. Society needs to be empowered to step up. That’s what The One Can Trust is all about.”
I am proud of it.
5.9 pm
Jessica Morden (Newport East) (Lab):
I was e-mailed last Friday by a woman in my constituency who asked me to attend this debate. She said:
“I would ask if you could attend to represent the poverty and daily struggle that can be found in our area. I am writing as a former user myself of the food bank which at the time was a life-saver for me. At the beginning of this year, the DWP sanctioned me for six months due to an administrative error, which I did not ever receive a written apology for. I had to live on £27 a week for six months until my support worker found out and helped to get me back on my feet. I am not a waster or a shirker but having to receive food parcels because you have nothing in your cupboards is embarrassing for anyone. I also know people who work as hard as they can but because of low wages can’t manage.”
That was powerfully put. If the Minister listens to nothing else today, I hope she listened to that.
It is fair to point out that food banks are not new in this country. When I was elected, there were two in Newport—the Ravenhouse Trust and the King’s Church—and they did an amazing job.
Alison Seabeck (Plymouth, Moor View) (Lab): I thank my hon. Friend for giving way. Is she slightly shocked, as I am, that there is not a single DWP or DEFRA Minister now sitting on the Front Bench?
Jessica Morden: I thank my hon. Friend for that valuable intervention, which speaks volumes
The more I read this article, the less easy it is to understand what point Baker was trying to make unless Baker himself was not really sure what he wanted to say himself. Labour calls a debate on making food banks redundant for helping the victims of poverty. The government minister responsible for dealing with poverty, Iain Duncan Smith - the Quiet Man with no substantial education or military career, who lives in a listed mansion belonging to his landed gentry father-in-law - leaves the debate without participating, and lets his deputy speak instead. During all this Steve Baker attacks the nebulous ‘Welfare State’ telling us a story about his dad being unable to feed the family. According to BBC Democracy Live Baker was born in June 1971. According to Hansard the story Baker told of starvation in his family (a bit of an implausible story - his father: ‘picked up that plate of food and slung it straight in the swing bin, bellowing, “All right, we will both go hungry.”’) took place, when Baker was: ‘a young boy … about 33 years ago, at the age of eight or nine’ - that is in 1979, the year Margaret Thatcher came to power or the next year 1980. (http://news.bbc.co. uk/democracylive/hi/ representatives/prof iles/83404.stm and http://www.publicati ons.parliament.uk/pa /cm201314/cmhansrd/c m131218/debtext/1312 18-0003.htm) Baker would have been 15 in 1986 at the height of the 80s building boom - I have never heard of a self-employed builder, or even a construction industry tradesman, being poor between 1970 and 1989 - maybe less well-off at times but never poor - particularly never so poor that his wife had to take on ‘three tough jobs’. This is the kind of story that one hears or reads of, from people who were children in the interwar depression or periods of trade depression in the 19th century - Baker’s dad however was so poor during this period that he was unable to feed himself and his son at the same time, and went without food to give it to his son (though we now know that on at least one occasion he threw it away in the bin in a temper). If Baker’s father was 21 the year Baker was born, Baker’s father would have been born himself during the years of the ‘baby boomers’ in 1950 - the year my brother-in-law, who worked in the building industry as a labourer, a bricklayer and latterly a site manager, was born. All the construction industry people from those years I have ever met say there was money to be made in return for hard work and that was the reason they went into the trade - the work was sometimes hard and always low status but it kept them well in pocket. When I left school I worked for a while for the DHSS, as the DWP was called at that time and in the 1970s there were non-contributory benefits payable, admittedly at a very low rate, to people who had no contribution record - I think it was called supplementary benefit. The BFP account of our MP’s words is incomplete - although he finally voted for it he also spoke against his own party: [italic] We have repeatedly warned the Government that the legacy of their policies would be felt most keenly by the most vulnerable in our society. The very poorest are bearing the brunt of the cost of living pressures that the Government’s various regressive policies have created, and the consequences are there for all to see. There is a hidden country that is unseen by the Government and dismissed by the Prime Minister, and it shames them both. The working poor are emerging as the Prime Minister’s legacy, as millions of people live in quiet crisis. The explosion in the number of food banks should haunt him, shame him and move him to act, but I doubt that it will. [/italic] Baker seems right to me in saying that: ‘There is a hidden country that is unseen by the Government’ - it recalls Disraeli’s words about two nations. He was making a point in the teeth of competition from both sides of the house with the bit between his teeth: [italic] [bold] Susan Elan Jones (Clwyd South) (Lab): [/bold]Will the hon. Gentleman give way? [/italic] Baker would not - he carried on: [italic] I will just make this point. The cause of this crisis has been pretending that there is some magic wand: that prices can be declared to be lower; that wages can be declared to be higher; and that if only Labour Members were on the Government Benches the state would be responsive and in times of crisis would quickly leap in. That is not true now, it was not true 33 years ago and it will not be true in the future. It is essential that things such as food banks step in, but I am encouraged by things such as the community store, which go further and make this kind of mutuality and co-operative approach—this charitable endeavour—much more sustainable by making inexpensive food available to the working poor. [/italic] Baker’s contribution to the debate is difficult to understand - I always thought the crisis was a world-wide credit crisis that was caused partly by sub-prime lending in the US and in the UK caused jointly by the Conservative Party’s friends in the City of London issuing too much credit while the City of London’s other friends in New Labour were being, in the words of Peter Mandelson - " … intensely relaxed about people getting filthy rich" and maintaining a policy of ‘a light hand on the rudder’ however Baker attributes the crisis to wilfully self-deceiving belief in magic wands and a yearning for Labour government. He deplores the poor service provided by the ‘welfare state’ but also says it is: ‘essential that things such as food banks step in’ and that he is: ‘ … encouraged by things such as the community store, because they make: ‘ … mutuality and (a) co-operative approach (and) … charitable endeavour—much more sustainable’ - apparently: ‘by making inexpensive food available to the working poor’. Baker does not say why he is encouraged by the increased sustainability of mutuality, a co-operative approach and charitable endeavour, and is apparently unperturbed by the existence in our society of ‘working poor’ at a time of rising inequality. These are all things characteristic of the 19th century so I suppose he may be just enthusing about ‘Victorian values’ like the woman who did so much to cripple mutual and workers’ organisations, and the welfare state, after 1979 the year Mr Baker’s dad furiously threw the fried egg his son had mocked into the swing bin. If he is making a point it seems to be that private charity is better than state social security. I have given below the online Hansard account of what Baker said in the debate, and the web address for it. If you read it you can make up your own mind what the MP for Wycombe was trying to say. http://www.publicati ons.parliament.uk/pa /cm201314/cmhansrd/c m131218/debtext/1312 18-0003.htm [bold] Columns 822 to 824: 5.4 pm Steve Baker (Wycombe) (Con): [/bold]The quality and quantity of welfare produced by the state has not been good enough for a very long time. It is astonishing and shaming that the welfare state can tax and spend so much, and yet leave people hungry. Some 12,000 children in Buckinghamshire live in income poverty, and one in five children in Wycombe go to bed hungry—that increases to one in three in some parts of my constituency. It is a scandalous indictment of the safety net that is the welfare state that this happens. But I am proud of the One Can Trust, run by Sarah Mordaunt, Kate Vale and more than 100 volunteers in Wycombe, which steps in with emergency food when the state fails. [bold] Sir Alan Beith (Berwick-upon-Tweed) (LD): [/bold]A mistaken impression has been created in this debate that all that food banks do is distribute emergency food. What they actually do is give financial advice and debt advice to people who have got into difficult situations—emergen cy food is only part of what they do. [bold] Steve Baker: [/bold]I am grateful to the right hon. Gentleman for that, and indeed the One Can Trust also provides recipes which help people to get through and use that food effectively. The One Can Trust has delivered 2,859 parcels since March 2012, reaching 3,182 adults and more than 2,000 children—without the trust, poverty in Wycombe would be truly desperate. It operates five pick-up centres, has eight sessions at which people can pick up food and usually delivers within 24 hours. The trust enjoys support from the Big Yellow Self Storage Company, and has matched funding from Barclays and Santander. Warm drinks are provided to volunteers by Starbucks, and the Eden shopping centre provides parking for volunteers. This is an astonishing exercise of social power, and I am very proud of what the trust is doing, particularly because of the story of one young boy. This is a young boy who about 33 years ago, at the age of eight or nine, bounced down the stairs because his loving father called him down for his tea. This boy bounced joyfully down the stairs but thought it was funny, in his youthfulness and his childishness, to poke the fried egg and say, “Ugh, what’s that?” At that point, his father, with his great working man’s hands, picked up that plate of food and slung it straight in the swing bin, bellowing, “All right, we will both go hungry.” That was my father, a working man who had reached the end of the money and the end of the food. I did not mean to wound my father then, nor do I mean to wound him now, because he loved me and he loves me still. My father did absolutely everything he could, but where was the welfare state? It was not there for him, because it did not know what to do for an independent, self-employed man who had run out of work. Unfortunately, that went on and on, to and fro, in the legacy of the previous Government; it was tough for a self-employed builder. My father coped by finding further work. My mother took on two and even three tough jobs. I saw her get arthritis in her hands, ageing her early, all because there was no food. What happened eventually is, of course, that they divorced, and my mother went on to live with a man who could at least put food on the table. So I certainly know the consequences—I live with them today—of having too little food in a home. I am therefore proud of the One Can Trust, because in times of crisis it feeds families. I like to believe that had food been available in my home when I was a child, not only would my father not have had to go hungry, but perhaps my mother would not have had to take on those jobs, perhaps they would not have divorced and perhaps a range of things that ought not to have happened but which did would never have taken place. I am very proud indeed that at this time people across our nation are stepping up where the state is falling that little short. However, I must ask: what is the cause of the crisis? The cause of this crisis— [bold] Susan Elan Jones (Clwyd South) (Lab): [/bold]Will the hon. Gentleman give way? [bold] Steve Baker: [/bold]I will just make this point. The cause of this crisis has been pretending that there is some magic wand: that prices can be declared to be lower; that wages can be declared to be higher; and that if only Labour Members were on the Government Benches the state would be responsive and in times of crisis would quickly leap in. That is not true now, it was not true 33 years ago and it will not be true in the future. It is essential that things such as food banks step in, but I am encouraged by things such as the community store, which go further and make this kind of mutuality and co-operative approach—this charitable endeavour—much more sustainable by making inexpensive food available to the working poor. I will leave the final word to the chairman of One Can Trust, David Rooke. He has said: “David Cameron has got it exactly right. Society needs to be empowered to step up. That’s what The One Can Trust is all about.” I am proud of it. [bold] 5.9 pm Jessica Morden (Newport East) (Lab): [/bold]I was e-mailed last Friday by a woman in my constituency who asked me to attend this debate. She said: “I would ask if you could attend to represent the poverty and daily struggle that can be found in our area. I am writing as a former user myself of the food bank which at the time was a life-saver for me. At the beginning of this year, the DWP sanctioned me for six months due to an administrative error, which I did not ever receive a written apology for. I had to live on £27 a week for six months until my support worker found out and helped to get me back on my feet. I am not a waster or a shirker but having to receive food parcels because you have nothing in your cupboards is embarrassing for anyone. I also know people who work as hard as they can but because of low wages can’t manage.” That was powerfully put. If the Minister listens to nothing else today, I hope she listened to that. It is fair to point out that food banks are not new in this country. When I was elected, there were two in Newport—the Ravenhouse Trust and the King’s Church—and they did an amazing job. [bold] Alison Seabeck (Plymouth, Moor View) (Lab): [/bold]I thank my hon. Friend for giving way. Is she slightly shocked, as I am, that there is not a single DWP or DEFRA Minister now sitting on the Front Bench? [bold] Jessica Morden: [/bold]I thank my hon. Friend for that valuable intervention, which speaks volumes Undercover Euro Yob

2:17pm Tue 24 Dec 13

sai-diva says...

Undercover Euro Yob wrote:
sai-diva wrote:
Phew, back to the old Tigger with the insults. If the figures I gave are wrong correct me,
Enlighten me then Tigger, educate me. Quote me some facts that you can back up, rather than your bland' 'if only you knew what i Know''.
To excuse your views I can only think that you must be a in a job, where you have to deal with the poor and that has jaundiced your view of life.
A private sector job dealing with the poor (rather than creating them) - A4E?
A4E missing targets and ripping the taxpayer off, and paying huge bonuses, then blaming employees for their failings. I'd have a jaundiced view of life if I worked for them.
[quote][p][bold]Undercover Euro Yob[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]sai-diva[/bold] wrote: Phew, back to the old Tigger with the insults. If the figures I gave are wrong correct me, Enlighten me then Tigger, educate me. Quote me some facts that you can back up, rather than your bland' 'if only you knew what i Know''. To excuse your views I can only think that you must be a in a job, where you have to deal with the poor and that has jaundiced your view of life.[/p][/quote]A private sector job dealing with the poor (rather than creating them) - A4E?[/p][/quote]A4E missing targets and ripping the taxpayer off, and paying huge bonuses, then blaming employees for their failings. I'd have a jaundiced view of life if I worked for them. sai-diva

5:34pm Tue 24 Dec 13

Undercover Euro Yob says...

sai-diva wrote:
Undercover Euro Yob wrote:
sai-diva wrote:
Phew, back to the old Tigger with the insults. If the figures I gave are wrong correct me,
Enlighten me then Tigger, educate me. Quote me some facts that you can back up, rather than your bland' 'if only you knew what i Know''.
To excuse your views I can only think that you must be a in a job, where you have to deal with the poor and that has jaundiced your view of life.
A private sector job dealing with the poor (rather than creating them) - A4E?
A4E missing targets and ripping the taxpayer off, and paying huge bonuses, then blaming employees for their failings. I'd have a jaundiced view of life if I worked for them.
Which privatised public service was that - oh A4E.
[quote][p][bold]sai-diva[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Undercover Euro Yob[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]sai-diva[/bold] wrote: Phew, back to the old Tigger with the insults. If the figures I gave are wrong correct me, Enlighten me then Tigger, educate me. Quote me some facts that you can back up, rather than your bland' 'if only you knew what i Know''. To excuse your views I can only think that you must be a in a job, where you have to deal with the poor and that has jaundiced your view of life.[/p][/quote]A private sector job dealing with the poor (rather than creating them) - A4E?[/p][/quote]A4E missing targets and ripping the taxpayer off, and paying huge bonuses, then blaming employees for their failings. I'd have a jaundiced view of life if I worked for them.[/p][/quote]Which privatised public service was that - oh A4E. Undercover Euro Yob

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