Saturday 1 October 2022

We'd starve if it wasn't for foodbanks


The Left argues that there are people starving in Britain and it is for this reason that we need foodbanks. I have attempted to argue otherwise by pointing out that many ingredients are very cheap. The result is vast amounts of abuse and a Twitter storm that distorts the argument.

When I point out that it is possible to buy a kilo of oatmeal for 70 pence, no reasonable person would conclude that I am suggesting you only eat porridge. That is obviously a strawman argument. It is based on not reading the article which the tweet links to. With the money saved from eating porridge for breakfast, it would be possible to buy other cheap ingredients to make other meals.

I am used to Twitter storms. I have had them for years from Scottish nationalists. But I am not going to be shouted down or intimidated by anyone. This I am afraid is what the Left has been trying to do with a whole range of issues.

No, I will continue to tell the truth as I see it. I will use reason and argument and I will refrain from personal insult. Your response to this says more about you than about me.

There is a real prospect of Labour winning a majority at the next election, so I assume the top priority of this government will be to deal with starvation in the UK. After years of wicked Tories refusing Oliver Twist some more at the work house, Keir Starmer will ask the international community for famine relief. After that he will do everything, he can to abolish the scourge of foodbanks so never again will they be necessary in Britain. But what practically will he do?

The Left’s argument must be that someone on benefits must be starving because he does not receive enough money every week. So how much should Labour raise benefits? If we doubled all benefits would that be enough to end starvation in Britain? Apparently, it would not because many on the Left want us to have a universal basic income instead of benefits. Would a universal basic income be enough to end starvation? After introducing it we can assume that all the foodbanks would be banished from the land. But we have a problem?

In Britain it is poverty that causes starvation and makes people need foodbanks. But poverty is defined as 60% of median income. So even increasing benefits or providing a universal basic income would not end poverty unless it closes the gap between median income and those who are poor. Theoretically if average income was one million pounds a week, those on £600,000 would be poor and one assumes starving even if they could stay in top class hotels and eat caviar for breakfast. Too much salt, bad for nutrition.

But it is not just those on benefits who are starving. I have been told by my friends on the Left that nurses finish their shifts and go straight to the foodbank in order not to starve. But if nurses are starving, then we can assume that everyone who earns less than nurses must be starving too. This means that Labour would have to raise wages for everyone who earns less than nurses and those on benefits too.

If the lowest paid nurse earns £20,000 pounds per year and is starving then it is obvious that everyone ought to be paid a minimum of £20,000 whether they happen to work in a shop, or even if they don’t work at all. How else is Labour to remove the need for foodbanks.

People on the Left keep telling me that those on the minimum wage are starving and need to go to foodbanks. But the UK already has the 7th highest minimum wage in the world. So, we can assume that everyone in the world except the top six are starving and reliant on foodbanks.

So how high will Labour have to raise the minimum wage before the Left decides no one is starving anymore in Britain and we can disband the foodbanks? But unfortunately raising the minimum wage will be no good unless it is at the level of the highest paid person who has ever gone to a foodbank because he is starving.

State spending as a percentage of GDP has increased under the wicked Tories from 2019 onwards peaking at 51.6%. These cruel Dickensians paid our wages during lockdown and are spending billions subsidising our fuel now. But obviously this is not enough according to the Left because huge numbers of British people are starving and reliant on foodbanks. So how much higher should public spending go?

If we were to increase benefits to such an extent that no one starved, would we need to add 10% to public spending or 20%. How much would that add to income tax. The Left needs to tell us. If we were to introduce a universal basic income or make sure that everyone whether they worked or not earned as much as nurses what if anything would need to be cut? Labour really needs to publish these figures. Those on the Left who see starvation everywhere and think it is impossible to live on benefits or the minimum wage need to tell us how much they want to spend and how to balance their budget

The truth is that there is almost no starvation in Britain. Around 2% of people are underweight. The majority will be very old people who can’t absorb nutrition. Britain has a problem with obesity rather than starvation. One of the best ways to help people be less obese is if they were encouraged to buy ingredients and make meals from scratch. There is no need for anyone to be suffering from malnutrition let alone scurvy when you can buy a bag of pears for 60 pence at Tesco. The ingredients necessary for a balanced diet are cheap. It is ready meals that are expensive.

I have never seen a starving person in Britain. I have hardly even seen someone who is obviously underweight. But the Left requires the myth of the starving Briton, because it is a useful tool to bash the Tories with.

It’s all very well shouting and swearing at me for wondering why people come to Britain in rubber dinghies only to starve. But let’s say you vote Labour with the expectation of finally getting your socialist paradise.  How do you pay for it if everyone needs to earn £20,000 pounds not to starve? If you pay me that much I would be delighted not to work nor pay any tax at all and I won’t need to live on porridge.