Reply To: Elections Aftermath: Was our 2019 Vote & the EU Referendum Rigged? #TORYRIG2019

Home Forums Discussion Forum Elections Aftermath: Was our 2019 Vote & the EU Referendum Rigged? #TORYRIG2019 Reply To: Elections Aftermath: Was our 2019 Vote & the EU Referendum Rigged? #TORYRIG2019

Kim Sanders-Fisher

In the haunting gospel song “All my Trials” Joan Baez sings, “If living were a thing that money could buy, the rich would live and the poor would die, All my trials Lord, soon be over;” it seems to epitomize this corrupt Tory cabal’s philosophy on Governance and the value of life itself! Their selfish decisions will ensure that the privileged elite of this country will not only survive this Pandemic they will exploit it mightily to greatly increase their extreme wealth, thriving while the children of the working poor are abandoned to suffer and starve to death. The UK’s most notorious ‘benefit scroungers’ will be granted a secure place to hoard their untraceable plunder closer to home in newly constructed ‘Freeports’ where the exploitation of workers will likely be beyond the prying eyes of any regulators or tax auditors. Meanwhile with jobs shipped overseas, soaring unemployment: the weakest and most vulnerable in our society, those not fit enough to be trapped in perpetual servitude, will be left stranded, without support and unable to survive.

The Canary Article entitled, “As Unicef step in to feed hungry UK kids, No 10 defends £45k pay rise to Dominic Cummings” cruely exemplifies Tory policy. They say, “Downing Street has defended Dominic Cummings’ pay rise of around £45,000 as taking him to the ‘correct level of salary’ for his role as a ‘most important’ special adviser. His salary raise to up to £144,999 provoked anger for rewarding an individual whose trip to Barnard Castle during the first lockdown has been cited as undermining public confidence in the government. The news comes on the same day that Unicef has launched its first UK operation in its 70-year history to feed hungry children. As Labour MP Richard Burgon tweeted, in the UK, ‘poverty is a political choice’. Cummings is in the process leaving his role as Boris Johnson’s chief adviser after a bitter public power struggle gripped Number 10.”

The Canary report that, “Labour said the “bumper bonus” was an insult to public sector workers receiving a pay freeze after a Cabinet Office report showed Cummings was paid the equivalent of £140,000-£144,999, up from £95,000-£99,999 last year. On Wednesday the Prime Minister’s press secretary Allegra Stratton said: ‘It’s the case that Dominic Cummings’ revised salary reflected the fact that up until his departure he was one of if not the most important special adviser. ‘…the new salary he received was in line with the salary chiefs of staff and people of that rank receive. It was not that his new salary took him over and above what you would expect for the kind of role he performed’. Stratton, who earns between £125,000 and £129,999, added: ‘It’s the correct level of salary for the role that Dominic Cummings performed’.”

The Canary reveal the staggering bill for ‘services rendered,’ “The overall cost of special advisers, known in Westminster as Spads, was £9.6 million in the year up to April 2020, the same as in the previous period. Former communications chief Lee Cain, who left Downing Street last month along with his Vote Leave ally Cummings, was paid between £140,000 and £144,999, the same as the previous year. Labour’s deputy leader Angela Rayner said: ‘Boris Johnson defended Dominic Cummings when he broke lockdown rules, then awarded him a £50,000 pay rise. Yet he’s freezing pay for key workers and refusing to give our care workers a pay rise to the living wage. ‘Cummings’ bumper bonus is an insult to key workers denied the pay rise they deserve. It’s another example of how under this Government, it is one rule for the Tory Party and their friends and another for the rest of us.”

A Canary Article entitled, “For the first time in its 70-year history, Unicef is feeding hungry children in the UK,” exposes the stark reality of extreme poverty in the UK; hardly the shining example of thriving post-Brexit “Global Britain” we should be projecting to potential trade partners! “Unicef is helping to feed hungry children in the UK as part of the charity’s first domestic emergency response in its 70-year history. Some 1,800 families struggling as a result of the coronavirus pandemic will receive breakfast boxes over the Christmas school holidays, the charity School Food Matters said. The Food Power for Generation Covid initiative, in partnership with Sustain: the alliance for better food and farming, and the Southwark Food Power Alliance, has been made possible by a £25,000 grant from Unicef UK. It represents the first time the organisation has developed a domestic emergency response. Unicef said the coronavirus pandemic is the most urgent crisis affecting children since the Second World War.”

The Canary highlight the stunned response, “as Labour MP Zarah Sultana tweeted: ‘For the first time ever, UNICEF, the UN agency for providing humanitarian aid to children, will help feed kids in the UK. This should not be necessary in the sixth richest country in the world. Let’s instead tax the super-rich and end child food poverty for good’.” They say, “Labour MP Richard Burgon pointed out that in the UK, ‘poverty is a political choice’: “Britain is one of the world’s richest nations. UNICEF, for the first time ever, is now delivering emergency food to children here. Poverty is a political choice. The Gov’t could end UK child poverty by making the super-rich pay fair taxes. It refuses to.’ The families in Southwark, south London, will receive 18,000 breakfasts which will be distributed by schools for two weeks when they break up. ‘A longer-term solution is needed’ The programme will also provide 6,750 breakfasts to families over the February half-term break.” Where is Sir Keir Starmer’s outrage in defence of the poor?

The Canary report that, “Anna Kettley, director of programmes at Unicef UK, said: ‘This is Unicef’s first ever emergency response within the UK, introduced to tackle the unprecedented impact of the coronavirus crisis and reach the families most in need. ‘The grant for School Food Matters will address the gap in current provision for children, providing approximately 1,800 children with breakfast bags during the Christmas holidays and February half term. This funding will help build stronger communities as the impact of the pandemics worsen, but ultimately a longer-term solution is needed to tackle the root causes of food poverty, so no child is left to go hungry.’ School Food Matters founder Stephanie Slater said: ‘The response to our summer Breakfast Boxes programme has shown us that families are really struggling and many were facing the grim reality of a two-week winter break without access to free school meals and the indignity of having to rely on food banks to feed their children. ‘By providing our breakfast boxes, families know that their children will have a great start to the day with a healthy nutritious breakfast’.”

The Canary point out how badly, “The government has failed.” Deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner said: “‘The fact that Unicef is having to step in to feed our country’s hungry children is a disgrace and Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak should be ashamed. We are one of the richest countries in the world. Our children should not have to rely on humanitarian charities that are used to operating in war zones and in response to natural disasters. ‘Charities and businesses across the country have done a brilliant job stepping in where the Government has failed, but it should have never come to this’.”

The Canary Article entitled, “Foodbank use increased almost 90% this year, as benefits not covering basic survival,” highlights how the food poverty crisis is intensifying. They say, “Independent foodbanks are giving out more than 13,000 emergency food parcels a week as demand soars during the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, data shows. Some 340,994 three-day food parcels were distributed by 189 independent foodbanks in the UK between April and September, according to the Independent Food Aid Network (IFAN). This is the equivalent of 13,043 parcels a week – or 1,863 a day. IFAN expects the number to pass half a million before the end of the year, with demand continuing to rise and an anticipated spike expected in the run-up to Christmas. The network surveyed 134 independent foodbanks about their activity in 2019 and during the pandemic, and received data from an additional 55 foodbanks from April.”

The Canary report that, “This represents less than a fifth of the 961 known independent foodbanks and does not include those run by the Trussell Trust, meaning the true scale of food poverty will be much higher. Recent Trussell Trust figures showed its network of 1,300 centres distributed more than a million parcels in the six months to September. The IFAN data shows that overall, 426,958 three-day food parcels were distributed between February and October by the 134 foodbanks, an 88% rise from last year. The number of emergency food parcels given out soared during the first lockdown, before falling slightly over the summer. In April and May there was a 156% and 155% rise in the number of food parcels distributed compared to the same months in 2019. This figure then dropped between July and September, but was still on average 70% higher than the same period last year.”

The Canary point out that, “Since October, demand has crept up again with foodbank managers anticipating a steep rise before Christmas as families struggle to meet additional costs. Foodbanks are seeing more families needing help, including the newly unemployed and those on benefits who cannot afford essentials. People who managed to keep afloat during the summer are now struggling to pay high energy bills that come with heating their homes, IFAN said. Foodbanks are also seeing people who have been struggling for some time but have resisted coming forward. The most common reason for need was people’s benefits being insufficient to enable them to afford food, according to 51 organisations running 125 foodbanks which recorded reason of use. In September, 92% of these foodbanks said this had affected 10 or more people who they had helped that month.”

Reporting on the crisis the Canary say that, “Some 63% of the foodbanks cited changes to existing benefits causing a delay to payments in at least 10 people helped that month, and 65% said demand was from people who are newly unemployed and waiting for Universal Credit. There is also an increasing need among people who are living in poverty despite being employed. More than half (51%) of the foodbanks said this was a factor in at least 10 people they helped in September.” Meanwhile they document that, “A government spokesperson claimed: We have always been committed to supporting the lowest-paid families. That’s why we have provided billions of welfare support this year, including the £170 million Covid Winter Grant Scheme to help children and families stay warm and well-fed during the coldest months, and a further £16 million funding for food distribution charities.” But the demand at local foodbanks demonstrate that their pathetic strategies are simply ‘not fit for purpose!’

The Canary report that, “Charlotte White, manager of the Earlsfield foodbank in south-west London, said it is currently helping between 90-100 households per week, up from 20-25 this time last year. She said: Of this increase, the majority are people who have never used food banks before and we’ve noticed a significant increase in households with children. Many people are coming to us because of delays or problems with benefits or Universal Credit, and we’re also seeing a big increase in people with low income, often zero-hour work. We can give people food but food poverty is a symptom of the problem, not the cause. Until we tackle the underlying structural problems, the situation will worsen.”

The Canary report that, “IFAN co-ordinator Sabine Goodwin said: Independent food banks are picking up the pieces yet again as more and more people struggle to pay the bills. There needs to be a realisation that we cannot continue to provide an emergency response to a long-term crisis. The Government’s £170 million funding has huge potential to support people through a ‘cash first’ approach and the provision of cash payments by local authorities instead of food bank referrals. But ultimately it’s the social security system and the payment of adequate wages that need our attention to end food poverty for good. IFAN is calling for the government to make the £20 uplift to Universal Credit permanent, remove the benefit cap, and end the five week wait before people can receive their first Universal Credit payment.”

In another Canary Article entitled, “A short film made by a community is getting international recognition,” they report that, “A short film about a community project in south London during the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic has gone global. It’s already picked up an award at an international film festival. And the film is being screened at several others.” They say the film about surviving in Lewisham called, “Feeding Lewisham – Foodbanks In Crisis” is a short film that centres around the work of a grassroots group. The group is called We Care Food Bank, Corona Community Support Network. It works out of Deptford, south London. During the pandemic, it provided food and supplies to around 5,000 people and pets in need of support. But crucially, it did all of this without any money from government or local councils. What’s more, We Care Food Bank also extended out of its home borough of Lewisham. The team told The Canary that it supported people across another six neighbouring boroughs.”

The Canary say, “As its co-founder Ray Barron-Woolford noted, the film was made during lockdown. He said it was created: with talented local film professionals laid off due to covid. One of these was director and producer Cara Bowen. She told East London Lines: I wanted to help out my community and was able to offer my skills and equipment, neither of which I was using! I also felt very passionate about the subject, I think the overall message we wanted to convey was poverty. Poverty is the real issue here and COVID has thrown light onto it. Money is being tossed at COVID without trying to find solutions to the systemic problems that have affected our communities for generations, especially people of colour. Without much help from the councils or government, communities have come together to provide for those in need, and that’s what Ray’s documentary really emphasises.”

The Canary explain how, “The film documents the work that an army of volunteers did during the height of the pandemic. It also shines a light onto the situation for the people the foodbank helped. Since it was made, Feeding Lewisham has been recognised internationally. First, it won an Award of Excellence at the Canada Shorts Film Festival. Moreover, it’s been shortlisted as a finalist at the New York City International Film Festival. And the Five Continents International film Festival in Venezuela is also screening the film. In the UK, Feeding Lewisham is playing as part of the London International Short Film Festival. You can watch it online via the festival. The film was only finished in October, so to already be featured in festivals is impressive. Currently, Feeding Lewisham is only available to watch via festivals. But Woolford told The Canary that it’ll be released fully next year, hopefully in June.”

Woolford told The Canary: “We are delighted that our film ‘Feeding Lewisham’, made out of love and with zero funds, has been selected for, and is winning, awards globally. We believe this is, in part. because the world is all facing the same Covid challenges. But our film is also different. It does not go down the misery and poverty porn route. Instead, it shows how powerful communities can be when governments and councils fail them. It shows how awesome we as neighbours can be – united in solidarity. And it shows black people as leaders not as victims. Overall, Feeding Lewisham highlights the work of the We Care Food Bank. It also gives an insight into the situation for the people it helped. Overall, the film highlights not only the awful situation so many people in the UK faced during lockdown, but the fact that these people were in that situation in the first place.”

The Canary report more progress, “Now, We Care Food Bank has expanded its operations. It has opened the We Care Food Pantry and Kath’s Place, a community food centre, charity shop, and hub in Deptford.” They say, “You can read more about the projects here,” and Donate to Support the We Care Food Pantry and Kath’s Place. They remark on how the film has been, “Inspirational, globally; As Woolford wrote: we cannot thank enough those people who gave their time and still do to help others during this crisis and those in the film team who gave hours of time for free because what was happening in Lewisham was [too] important not to be told whilst the film also is a model for others to copy and be inspired by globally Feeding Lewisham certainly inspires. It also serves as a piece of historical evidence of a time in British history where for so many the only support they had in a time of crisis was each other. To Get Involved: Watch Feeding Lewisham via the London International Short Film Festival here.”

This Tory Government has already been reprimanded by the UN for their Human Rights abuse of the disabled and now UNICEF is stepping in to feed the UK poor. Food poverty and reliance on Food Banks did not start with the Covid 19 crisis and the sharp rise in unemployment due to periods in lockdown, the problem has been getting steadily worse for years due to Tory imposed austerity measures. People who thought their job and their income were secure are discovering the harsh reality of subsisting on Universal Credit and waiting for that initial payment. That wait is entirely unnecessary and purely punitive, but despite the crisis it remains in place. The targeting of the north of England with the toughest lockdown restrictions and a time-lag in support funding is another conscious decision made for political reasons, so too is the planned crash-out Brexit that will knowingly force destitution on the working poor. All of this is leading up to the consolidation of a dystopian slave state ‘new normal’ under Tory Sovereign Dictatorship.

In a Journal Article entitled, “A Political Economy of the Food Riot,” Raj Patel and Philip McMichael analyse the political dynamic that causes a starving populous to riot. The abstract states that: “This article views the food riot as not simply a demand for staple foods, but about the wider political economy of food provisioning. From a world-historical perspective, the food riot has always been about more than food, usually signaling significant transitions in political-economic arrangements. Food riots are, in other words, political, and therefore their interpretation needs to be threaded through endogenous political debates and power struggles, to see the articulation of international economic relations behind protests with local struggles and organized alternatives to existing structures of power. That is, the protests themselves are agentic moments in movement toward an alternative that is best captured in the term ‘food sovereignty.’ Accordingly, the spread of food riots has a great deal to do with a specific kind of rebellion against the political economy of neoliberalism.”

There is a certain tipping point where the sheer desperation of starving people will overcome the fear of infection and any hesitance in rebelling against authority. The Tories were fully aware of this risk, but they have already made contingency plans to deploy the army to quell the anticipated rioting. This was outlined in ‘Operation Yellowhamer’ in response to Brexit; the Covid crisis has just provided another excuse to subjugate the population by force to solidify absolute power. The grotesque injustice of trying to deny school meals to hungry children while squandering billions on private contracts and dysfunctional schemes demands public protest and legal challenge. Ever since they managed to convince the nation their incredulous ‘landslide victory’ in the Covert 2019 Rigged Election was legit the Tory outrages have got bolder and even more obscene with soaring Covid deaths. We must Challenge the legitimacy of their majority to derail the Tories Sovereign Dictatorship and hope that our neighbors in the EU support our uprising. DO NOT MOVE ON!