Op-ed: Ahead of the 2015 General Election David Cameron tried to spin Foodbanks into something positive rather than the stain they are on 21st Century Britain. It is a sorry state of affairs when we have money to burn around the world, often on weapons and taking part in unwinnable wars, but some of the poorest people in the UK need to use these types of facilities-21st Century soup kitchens in many ways.
This week foodbanks in the UK have been headline news as supermarket giant ASDA removes donation drop of points from its stores.
Shoppers had been able to donate food items for foodbank use at these drop of points but the food did not have to be bought in store. Perhaps that is what ruffled ASDA bosses feathers.
If that is the case though they could have simply changed the rules.
Asda quietly removed the donation points but it was quickly noted. The Guardian reports:
Asda has removed permanent collection points for food banks from stores across the UK, in a move that has caused alarm among charities and the supermarket chain’s customers.
So it is bad news for charities and foodbanks.
Asda have failed to comment fully but an Asda spokesperson "confirmed the national change in policy, and told the Guardian that charities were still welcome in their stores, but “we just ask that volunteers are on hand to talk to customers and explain where their donations are going. We know this personal interaction helps to increase the amount of donations received”." The company also insisted they would be upping charitable donations.
This week figures released show that "Supermarket Asda has seen sales fall 5.8% during the three months that include Christmas - its biggest quarterly sales fall on record." And across the Pond Walmart stores are in the same pickle.
According to the Rugby Advertiser Friday "Asda has sought to reassure the public after a policy change, which removes unmanned food bank collection points in UK stores, alarmed some charities."
To be fair the logistics and workability of the donation points probably did need addressing.
In late October DWP boss Iain Duncan Smith had yet another bright idea and it related to foodbanks. A man who is full of bright ideas about reducing welfare budgets, re-classifying paid for entitlements as hand outs and slating the jobless of the country as lazy and worthless does lack credibility however. His 'bright' idea, at that time, was deploying job advisers in foodbanks, a move which may appeal to core Tory supporters if no other person. A trial scheme in Manchester could be rolled out across the country said IDS who was giving evidence to the Work and Pensions Select Committee.
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British political scene
The next General Election in the UK may not be scheduled any time soon but the British political landscape is changing. With that in mind this blog will concentrate on the political scene but with a left wing perspective. Opinion pieces and news will bring you the stories that the MSM prefer to ignore.
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