The DWP’s plan to place staff in foodbanks is class warfare

food-bankI once attended a talk by a DWP employee on Universal Credit. There was a power point presentation that looked like it had been made by someone who had never seen one before. The term “benefits assessment unit” was used where “family” would have been more appropriate. But best of all there was this gem:

“Of course, your job will be obsolete because the government is making the benefits system so much simpler” Perhaps, he suggested, we could give our clients job search advice instead.

I remembered that lecture at the beginning of last month, while watching this exchange at DWP questions between the chair of the DWP Select Committee, Frank Field and the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions , Shailesh Vara:

Frank Field:

“A benefits adviser has been working in the food bank [in Birkenhead], and the number of people having to come back for a second bag of food has dropped by 65%. Whenever the Secretary of State refers to this experiment, he talks about “benefit advisers”, while other senior people talk about “work coaches”. Might the Minister persuade the Secretary of State to say that his phrase is not an offensive one? If someone who is hungry thinks that the person at the food bank is a work coach, it might put them off going to the food bank in the first place.”

Shalesh Vara:

“Both terms are applicable. May I just say that we should not get bogged down in the terminology? The important thing is to make sure that people actually have support to get them back to work … our long-term plan is working. We want to make sure that as many people as possible are in work so that they do not have to resort to food banks.”

For the uninitiated, “Work Coach” is the term used by the DWP to describe the people who oversee signing on, police job-searches and refer petty misdemeanours (arriving a few minutes late, not filling in a job search record properly, applying for too few jobs) through to decision makers to consider a sanction. They were previously known as “personal advisors”. Both terms are misleading. They neither “coach” nor “advise”.

There was no way I could imagine the presence of a “Work Coach” causing a 65% reduction in demand for food parcels. Sure enough, a bit of digging revealed that the Birkenhead benefits advisor to be an independent Welfare Rights worker from a nearby advice centre. People like me and the audience of that terrible DWP lecture.

What this shows is that, in Birkenhead, as elsewhere a very large proportion of food need is caused by the mistakes, maladministration or deliberate cruelty of the DWP. The Birkenhead Benefits Advisor is clearly very good at his job. A part of his effectiveness is in the fact that he is working in opposition to the DWP, not as part of them.

There is also a completely separate pilot scheme, in the Lalley Welcome Centre in Manchester, involving DWP “work coaches.” The project is in its early days and no information is available on its effectiveness.

The Lalley project is very much beloved by the government at the moment. The project originates in a letter from Sister Rita at Lalley to Ian Duncan Smith, suggesting that he make DWP workers available to the service. This rather audacious request was enthusiastically taken up by Mr. Duncan-Smith who not only provided the workers but also announced his intention to extend the project to Food Banks nationwide.

It will be worth watching this project very closely as it will no doubt be trotted out to justify government policy down the line.

A quick look at the Lalley Welcome Centre’s website page reveals the food bank to be an off-shoot of a longer running advice and support centre. This means that users at Lalley Welcome Centre already have access to the independent welfare rights advice that made such a difference in Birkenhead. Lalley’s existing welfare rights advisor may even find that his work is made easier by direct access to the DWP.

If the Lalley project is successful, my prediction is that this background will not be mentioned and the same results will be expected from the mere presence of the DWP at every small scale food distribution project. If the project is unsuccessful, of course, we may never hear about it again.

Frank-Field-551678And there are good reasons why the Lalley experiment may not be successful. People who run food banks are usually highly sensitive to the likelihood that users will be feeling anxious, embarrassed and desperate and are careful to avoid do anything that might suggest judgement.

A DWP presence would drive a (work) coach and horses through their efforts. It may make a visit to the Food Bank even more of an ordeal. In some cases it may prevent people from accessing support at all. Hopefully the people at Lalley will have put careful consideration into all this. Foodbanks nationwide will want to do the same. The biggest food bank, the Trussell Trust has indicated to campaigners that it is not on board with the plan.

Frank Field seems confused. The description of “benefits advisors” as “work coaches” is wildly inaccurate. They are two separate things.

This would be an understandable mistake in a lay person, but from the Chair of the DWP select committee it is not so easily forgiven. He has presumably read the report from which his 65% figure originates, “A route map to ending hunger as we know it in the United Kingdom.” It largely contains sensible examples of best practice of interest to the voluntary sector. At no point does it recommend the presence of DWP staff.

Mr. Vara on the other hand is opportunistic. He answered a question on the Lalley project earlier on in the debate, so he must be well aware that it is different from the Birkenhead initiative referred to by Frank Field. Nonetheless he was happy to both co-opt and erase the work of the Birkenhead Welfare Rights Advisor in order to promote his own agenda. And what’s more, to conflate benefits advice with “support to get back to work” as though the two were the same thing.

It was all very similar to that terrible DWP speaker who thought careers advice was a better occupation for us Welfare Rights Officers.

You only have to put it into a different context to see how ridiculous it is. I can’t imagine a worker at the HMRC saying: “We’ve simplified the tax system- independent tax advice is obsolete.”

It is taken for granted that the rich can seek advice on the areas of law that touch on their lives and arrange their affairs to their best advantage. I provide the same service for the poor and people act as though there’s something disreputable about it. I’ve lost count of the number of people who have asked me, with feigned concern about whether it concerned me that I might be helping someone to “work the system.”

Behind the double standard is a Victorian morality. The poor should just accept what they’re given whether that’s benefits sanctions, baked beans, or pious advice on getting a job.

Meanwhile 16% of jobseekers have been sanctioned in the past year. Hardly anyone challenges a sanction but of those who do 60% see their decision overturned. It’s no wonder an experienced Welfare Rights worker can reduce hunger by 65%. Knowledge is a weapon in the class war, and the Tories want to see us disarmed.

Comments (27)

Join the Discussion

Your email address will not be published.

  1. Dougie Blackwood says:

    The thought of a DWP presence in a foodbank gives me the shudders.

    In many instances the customers go there because of the activities of the DWP in imposing sanctions. Poor people are mostly afraid of what might happen to them and the organisation that pull the purse strings is very much the bogeyman.

    The public contribute to foodbanks to help those in need regardless of their circumstances. Someone with a clipboard in the corner taking names and national insurance numbers is the last thing we need.

    1. C Rober says:

      Is it time for civil protectionism/activism here , videoing the fish out of water so to speak , and uploading it to ayetube , of those working outside of Benefit offices confines operating outside Scots law? I bloody think so.

      Legal Rights.

      Outside of Benefit offices , both their employee and claimant , or indeed anyone , has no LEGAL right to NOT being recorded or filmed in a public place.

      Nor have the DWP the right to ask for NiNo , or identification of any kind , from anyone outside of the BO itself without a warrant.

      Though in the case of a “a specific individuals investigation of Benefit fraud” they can ask for police to take you to the station to provide this in the process of their investigation , or you too can demand this , where you will effectively have more legal rights than in a BO itself , and only if they believe they have already identified you as the individual concerned.

      BTW this also applies for Police and Tv licence inspectors , with regards to filming in public places whom may lie and say it is illegal for you to film them.

      If they ask you to stop filming them , BTW only the police can demand the recording device , but only as they enact acticle S44 or S58a , but they will also have to prove this later .

      Remind them failure to do so can result in a badge no complaint , thus possible charges against the officer themselves , on failure to prove “cause” for deletion , destruction or confiscation. If an officer decides to confiscate the phone and asks you to come in to the station to retrieve it , lock it first and have a lawyer with you for unlocking it.

      If confiscated the Officer will have to provide you with a reciept there and then , with badge number , your name and address , station address for deposit , and details of the phone itself including operational status.Demand it or they will ignore it.

      The food-bank charities , are obviously a public place as defined in Law.

      They can also demand that the DWP personnel make their NON legal power stance known from the off , they are therefore NOT acting as a member of the public in a public area , however if acting as a BO employee and not a member of the public…They have to.

      Clearly identify themselves including Named Identification on entry , and reason for being there.

      Before asking for anyone’s NINO , they have to also inform the claimant has “no need to give them that information legally” in a public place at this time , unless they have a named warrant and suspect it to only be that person named on the warrant.

      Failure to do so , or without warrant shown –

      They can be asked to leave the premises under a “Breach of the peace” , without a need of a police officer – but they can phone them should they refuse to leave , or indeed by any person operating in an official capacity within the foodbank.

      Therefore I would ask that ALL foodbanks read this and confirm with what is left of CABS , and have it displayed at the entry point itself. Better still get it confirmed by the Office of the Justice Minister at Hollyrood , if he can actually be arsed.

  2. Gralloched says:

    It’s a mystery to me how anyone can possibly be confused by what the predator class are doing.
    Their agenda has always been to grasp power, then to perpetuate their perceived entitlements, their privileges, and their wealth.
    Read your history.
    Since 1980 their agenda has been to destroy the ” post war consensus “, to destroy the welfare state, the NHS, workers rights, social rights and provisions, and to create a low tax, low wage, and debt-burdened cowed and servile populace which cannot resist anything they do.
    They don’t even try to disguise that anymore.
    They have reduced a nation to a racket, which resembles nothing more than packs of crazed, diseased rats fighting t the death over the contents of a burst bin-bag.
    Read your history. Since 1980. Don’t talk about the ” labour” party. They were thatcherite new right to their marrow.

  3. Kenny Smith says:

    I always said I feared a no vote more than the relative uncertainty of a yes vote because I seen all this coming even if Labour did win the GE. What a mess. I totally agree with the comments above. Disgusting Tory barstewards. I could understand why some voted no through fear or through a misplaced loyalty but sometimes its hard to find it in my heart to forgive them for leaving us at the mercy of these rat bags. Independence was not the answer to everything in itself but I just don’t believe a government in Holyrood what ever the colour could be so heartless and horrible. We need to escape this madness pronto.

  4. C Rober says:

    I have long been the advocate against the SNP and how it allows the DWP to run ruffshod over claimants , and it is the SNP that are the problem here , for they legistlate in Scotland as a majority , and as far as I know the Justice Secretary has always been an SNP MSP. But I may be wrong on the last part , so feel free to correct me.

    Scotland has LEGAL power over how the DWP must behave and operate lawfully in Scotland , but nothing else regarding its operation (because it is not a devolved power) , not Westminster’s fault as the SNP would have you believe (simply for “poor me points” thus sheep votes each election).

    When I brought this LEGAL FACT to one former Justice secretary’s attention regarding the treatment by ATOS of Scots claimants and how it was allowed to operate , the protection of Scots courts overrules Westminster sanctioned ATOS behavior , within the ACT of Union itself , he simply “forwarded the complaint to Westminster” and that was his single line reply to me.

    For Hollyrood to cower like this , when it has ABSOLUTE LEGAL POWER , should be addressed and highlighted at every opportunity , including their failure to use the legislation they have against it. Then again I am not surprised in that the “socialistas” have been for nearly 2 decades shaping Scots law for the lawyers , not for the people that have ticked the box and using the poor as political sandbags.

    I also Blame SLAB on this , since Blairism. Had they been Socialist as they profess they are , it would have embraced Indy or brought FFA to the vow , they did not , and suffered for it.

    This is why I highlight long term failure of the SNP , and SLAB , not because I dont believe in Indy , but that they dont instead , so the electorate must know of their “inactions portrayed as inability” within the same media.

    For a divergance..

    The same legal powers of Hollyrood could well be enacted onto the TvLicence fee also , declaring its collection and even payment illegal in Scotland.

    As it is currently operated as funding for the RUK BBC , and until it is wholly funding the SBBC with all monies raised in Scotland used in Scotland , Arg 1 “unfair taxation” , which has unlike other Crime ARG 2 “no means to avoid” , which is a cornerstone of legal defence in Scotland.

    Arg 3 , Hollyrood must argue that the licence fee is to be digitally encrypted , and apply the EU rules on transmission via Brussels .

    The EU protects members states airwaves over borders in exactly this way , encryption , which ironically is against a free market economy , but I suspect that has more to do with history , hate and propaganda rather than market protectionism.

    For a party of lawyers , making laws , they are pretty lazy when it comes to using it , unless its for the enrichment of those same professionals.

    1. Jeff says:

      Claptrap. Ye cannae even spell Holyrood. Don’t want to pay for a TV licence? Unplug your telly from the network then, same as thousands of us already have.

    2. Ken Clark says:

      Until the benefit system is devolved, the rules will be set by Westminster. It’s not a situation you can blame the SNP for.

      As for DWP’s system being operated “lawfully”, define lawfully.

      1. C Rober says:

        @ Ken .

        Law is devolved , law is defined in Scotland.

        SNP and Holyrood choose to ignore it when it suits for whinge points , benefits claimants are their biggest sandbags , if not a large disenfranchised voting demographic in the YES vote. Take it yer on the books?

        It is a cornerstone of the Act of Union , and where it is denied is also reasoning for its voiding , and its dissolution.

        The DWP reserved powers do not make them invulnerable , staff or agency , to operating in Scotland within the law , just ask any lawyer that has been to a benefits appeal , whom like to remind them of that at every opportunity – and are nearly always successful because of it.

        Then again the briefs do get a fat chq for the service , so are somewhat reluctant to make themselves redundant to this kind of profitable endeavor , and by letting the cat out of the bag its like just like a Westminster SNP MP where independence , the parties original goal , is counterproductive to their personal income.


        As for not being able to spell , its a bit godwin law waiting on the Nazi comeback , this time Grammar wan innit. Whats next , my command of English? GOttA luv spell checkers and red underlines , so purty.

        Tv licence.

        Again Holyrood have LEGAL power to prevent its collection through legislation , but are happy with the nat sheep shouting about bias in the BBC instead.

        Check out the legality of Filmon on taking on the establishment , but then again billionaires do have good legal teams , no licence required to view BBC via internet , this when rebroadcasting is supposedly a crime…. well if your a billionaire it is not.

        My legal arguments on TV licence law are well founded , as is my knowledge of what Scots courts and judges can be directed on by Holyrood as any crime – including classing it , the licence fee , as unfair taxation instead of a licence.

        Westminster reserved powers over airwaves are a separate issue , but the law on what is a crime and its punishment is in Scotland are not reserved , so they (SNP and Holyrood) do have the power to prevent criminality for non payment – to destroy Westminster’s power and control over Scotlands media.

        No mention of devolving airwaves to Scotland during the VOW , or by the SNP , hardly surprising , they both win with the status qou.

        As I said the SNP are a party of inaction , using the electorate through “projectwhinge” needs to be addressed.

        1. Ken Clark says:

          My polnt was, how would you prove their actions were unlawful?

          I have, after an operation left me with me long term health problems, been embroiled with the system under discussion here. They have been perfectly polite and followed the rules, but I am now unmistakenly viewed as a skiver, a burden on this country’s resourcrs, even though I have contributed to this country’s economy since leavimg school.

          It is the attitude behind the politeness that rankles. The small, demeaning, minor body language signs which seperate ‘them’ from ‘us’.

          How would you express that in court, or prove the system is geared to stigmatising you?

          I understand the predicamemt of the food bank users. To have these same people in a facility you use as respite from their government led agenda would be extremely off putting.

          It is class warfare. Our avenue out of this, for the people of Scotland is preferably independence, or at the very least, control over our nenegits system.

          1. Ken Clark says:

            Sorry, should read, benefits system. Small pad, big fingers!

          2. C Rober says:

            @ Ken

            Go to some of the forums on appeals , what starts as well mannered help can soon become attack.

            Of course the media doesnt help that , kyle , express and so on , making the electorate blame the BC and not the bankers for austerity.

            Just this week I have recieved email on people having benefits removed because they are trying to keep fit instead of dying before pension age , including denied for the ability to make a cup of tea.

            Carry on living old chap , until soylent green is on the bill agenda , or ye see some guy called Logan training for his run.

        2. Mike says:

          Rober you are such a bare faced liar. The Scottish Government cannot prevent the BBC licence tax from being imposed on Scotland. Even after the new so called powers are implemented. They can no more do that than they can prevent VAT from being collected.

          And the DWP are fully reserved under the UK Government as is the Civil Service.

          Once again we see how the opposition are reduced to trolling lying deceiving shit stirring and being all round pathetic because they have nothing worth putting forward that is positive.

          They have to spend their entire energy hiding who and what they are instead because its too shameful and despicable for public consumption.

    3. Mike says:

      WTF are you havering about? The entire article references the DWP under the UK Government. The experiment mentioned above took place in Birkenhead.

      This is a direct clear and transparent reference to IDS UK Government welfare policy being conducted South of the border.

      Just another online SNP bad troll who cant come up with a single justifiable complaint and ends up as usual resorting to making up pish.

      What I understand from the article above is the Home Office putting personnel into food banks in order to vet and process attendees.

      A kind of judgement of desperation. You cant have any food because you don’t meet my desperation criteria.

      That’s pure Tory UK Government not Scottish Government. And something Labour no doubt would adopt if ever they gained power in Westminster again.

      Seems IDS is concerned that not enough unworthy people are dying from malnutrition and is looking for ways to ensure more are put to the sword.

      1. C Rober says:

        @ Mike

        I do actually know its a pilot in Birkenhead , but only time will tell.

        I was surpised it wasnt rolled out in Scotland , but then again that may be the final straw for Indy pushing it over the line , where the SNP and Holyrood would actually have to act , not instead WHINGE , and with the powers they have already to put spanners in the works called Scots Law.

        Thats why i did the post about putting up posters and the legality of public places , videoing for youtube etc , preventative strike or a shot across their bows.

        The SNP and Holyrood as a power were tested and found wanting , I reminded the Justice Secretary on the law being devolved in Scotland , and that even the civil service are not above human rights abuses , and where Law is both cited and denied by them , or those working their behalf , atos , then the Scots parliament has a duty to act or is a willing participant.

        However when you consider the high rate of Lawyers and Ex Lawyers in the party one should at least consider that law is being weighted towards the enrichment of lawyers , not for the electorate , which is evident by the legislation changes they have , or are trying to implement.

        Cyclist law and Claires law , both meaning presumed guilty , the removal of DJ , reducing corroboration , and of course allowing Apeals in English courts.

        The removal of RTB combined with 3 billion pounds to aid banks and developers , money that could have been used much wiser to reduce the housing crisis , while some SNP politicians are landlords , which would force landlord stock to be offloaded if the money had been used to create factories for SIPS based council stock and employment.

        Then we have the no case to answer with some of the SNP MP’s , missing money , private businesses based on housing profiteering , where the only possible way you get punted is using the hate words. And lets not forget they had the chance to change how hiring family members works , increasing the MSP take home pay , but did not.

        But ask them to fight the wealthy , you know those they profess a dislike for , especially the Landed Lord , well bending the rules is not outwith their remit on using Farmland for housing , against their own legislations and directives , and ignoring the communities themselves when they say no….not just for nimbys on wind pylons.

        But then again I am no zealot , the worst thing they could have done is wear the socialist badge , just like Slab. But then after reading a few of my posts I have no affiliation to any party ,

        But I keep forgetting unless the shits on fire on a voters doormat then yer typical Nat wont ask why.

        I am not doing a SNP bad , I am doing SNP should not be sanctified.

        They have lost the way from the one I was introduced to by one of the early SNP councillors that was my actual history teacher , whom was right about Labour should it move away from unions for selection with private educated career politicians , where those warnings are so similar to the SNP of Today.

  5. Lochside says:

    Reserved Powers: (1)Benefits and Social Security….So how can the SNP legally interfere with the DWP and its actions? (2) Broadcasting….so are the SNP to interfere with the BBC’s charter to collect the licence fee?

    I for one want to see both of the above in Scottish government control, but to attack the SNP for keeping within the present restrictions of the constitutional straightjacket continued by 55% of our electorate voting ‘NO’ is juvenile and what you’d expect from Brit leftists..the ones that told me constantly during Thatcher’s reign that the ‘British’ working class had to defeat her and her acolytes.. not have Scotland go for Independence with a majority of non tory (slab) UDI.

    I was naïve enough then to believe that SLAB cared enough about the Scottish people to possibly consider that world changing constitutional act. I now know that the British left, whether far left or not is, at bottom , British first and last. Only by seizing power, with a majority of the Scottish electorate backing them can any Scottish government protect us from Anglo-Saxon/American neo-liberal policies. There are too many people in England who support tory ‘principles’ and who will never see the iniquity of the current elective dictatorship being imposed on Scotland by these bastards.

    1. C Rober says:


      Not get an argument fae me on SLab , nor on Thatcher , but ye will when it comes to fighting the powers that be , be that Slab , the legacy of Thatcher , or indeed the inaction of the SNP and Holyrood – well thats another thing.

      Bit like all those troops “jist carrying oot orders your honour” , or indeed by the accused that “ignorance of the law is no excuse” , except citing the lack of devolved powers.

      Do you honestly think that there is nay power in the Scottish legal system , and that it is not protected in the Act of Union ?

      If power is not used it is a power removed.

      If they are the elected protectors and legislators for Scotland then why are they failing it , unless its firstly for the enrichment of lawyers , or secondly for whinge points when they are foon oot.

      I never said interfere with the actions of the DWP.

      I said that the DWP thinks it is above Scots law and therefore interfering with that , and that by right the SNP and Holyrood has a DUTY to act on that transgression , not be party to it.

      Hollyrood responding to Scots law being broken is not interfering.

      When the DWP cites law , or applies English law in Scotland which it has done , or lies on what is law in Scotland , or ignores the rights of claimants to the law while doing so , then the SNP and Hollyrood should act and come down hard for it.

      Scots courts laying down the law just on an individual claimant case at appeal is only making lawyers richer , on the backs of the Scotland poorest . If Holyrood or the SNP are serious about the poor then protecting them with the powers they have should be paramount , or highlighted when they refuse to act using the powers they have.

      SO why have they not laid down the law and drag individuals into court on human rights abuses , including the staff “jist following orders” , or the Work and pensions secretary himself , he whom controls its operations , that provides the staff with the operational handbooks on how to do it.

      But has the SNP and Holyrood got the sphericals to remind Westminster , no.

      Which is a pity because by showing its power then maybe it would cancel out the remnants of Project fear , instead of installing its own “project whinge” , ie show power and get those voters and Indy over the finishing line , rendering the SNP at Westminster redundant. Hollyrood is then a toothless gaurd dog , a jumped up coonsil.

      Perhaps the SNP are jist Lionfearts , jist incase Westminster starts to say hings like “we will cancel yer giro for interfering” , something benefits claimants hear every week , and can then TRULY sympathize with the very electorate they are playing with for votes with their faux socialism – playing the “Hollyrood nae power here , move along” victim kerd when challenged is not enough.

      “Cap in hand” is appropriate , and considering it was a song by their former SNP supporters the Proclaimers rather apt , as they too have seen “the light” another Proclaimers song , but on the SNP – but they still want indy.

      But then again they may have just like other Scots just took the silver , or is it English gold , instead.

      1. Jeff says:

        More claptrap.

  6. Grigor MacCowan says:

    I am a fortunate person, I don’t need the services of either the DWP or a food bank. But, who knows, at some stage in life I may do?

    I view food banks as being places where well intentioned, decent and dedicated folk give of their time to needy, vulnerable and disadvantaged people in our society. Under successive labour and tory governments, food banks have filled the gap that I believe government should provide. The SNP have limited capability in this respect due to the DWP being reserved to London rule.

    People who work in DWP I also view as decent folk, sadly successive labour and tory governments have poisoned the work and ethos, i.e support the DWP gave to unemployed and others on benefits has been changed into investigative snoopers who impose sanctions on the poor compounding poverty and eroding any remaining confidence. Hardly helping those in need, more like penalising!

    Frankly, pardon the pun, I couldn’t five a fig for what Frank Field says, 25 years ago I would have, he was the top politician in this field, pardon pun again. However, he has been dragged to the right by new labour. Very, very sad in my opinion.

    The powers coming to Scotland will eventually see devolution of the DWP under the uk or under independence. The priorities must be to fund the service, focus staff work to support people (not clients) at a low pint in their lives, rebrand the service head to foot and tap into and involve the voluntary sector that is plugging the current gap via food banks,

    I am happy my taxes go to funding fellow countrymen and women out of work, down on their luck, disabled and or unable to work. Yes there needs to be checks and balances to prevent a small minority abusing the service. But funding won’t solve everything, so yes to actively seeking the voluntary sector’ crucial involvement.

    How many food banks could trident fund?

    1. C Rober says:

      Bang on post , bit like the one I read recently about Labour and the Unions wanting to protect the jobs on the Clyde for trident , where someone done the maths and worked out they could be pensioned off handsomely instead … with the income of a banker , and still have 100 billion left over for the use of job creation and housing.

      But then again there would be a shale gas boom on the Clyde , safer than on land , were Trident to be removed from it , something that Both Labour and Tory lied about is the wealth on and under the Clyde.

    2. Mike says:

      You seem to think food banks are a complement to policy decision making. Let me enlighten you a bit here. Food banks are a sign of policy failure and dogmatic corruption. They shouldn’t exist at all. The fact that they do is testament to despotic Government with fascist intent.

      They are now part of our union benefit. Our price for a No vote which brought the right wing ideologically unnecessary imposed policy of austerity with it.

      That’s right the people who voted No have indirectly helped the UK Government to starve people to death in Scotland.

      Bless them all.

      1. Grigor MacCowan says:

        Can’t see how you arrived at that conclusion!?

        The people who work in food banks do so of their own time, they are hell bent on helping people, despite little recognition. Those peoples’ decency, motivation and capacity to deal with the less fortunate in society must be tapped into and used for good, irrespective what the state supplies or doesn’t, as in uk 2016.

        There is no policy failure by the uk government regards benefits! It’s cold, calculated and deliberate to make life on benefits a soulless, moral sapping and utterly dreadful experience. Be absolutely clear and not naive, this is not happening by accident or policy going awry, the tories could not give a damn about poor and vulnerable people, neither could the uk parliamentary labour party.

        What did you think duncan-smith was doing in Easterhouse? Looking to help poor people, aye right.

        Look no further for evidence on tory duplicity and intent than the Scottish budget funding framework and English junior doctors. The first policy is designed to reduce Scotland’s budget the second is to destroy the NHS in England. Alternatively look at thatcher policies of the 80s. Both the 2016 policies, if they succeed, will have catastrophic outcomes for the people of Scotland unless we gain independence!

        Moral being you can’t trust tories be they blue or red!

  7. Mike says:

    “I said that the DWP thinks it is above Scots law and therefore interfering with that”

    What “Scots law” has the DWP broken?

    1. C Rober says:


      “I said that the DWP thinks it is above Scots law and therefore interfering with that”
      What “Scots law” has the DWP broken?

      Forcing staff to remove the legal rights of claimants , which is criminalizing the staff as an act of employment to which they may be fired for refusal , and human rights abuse of the claimant , interviews under caution without the rights that come with it.

      One can also argue on the cash for sign off schemes for removing claimants is incentivising workers criminality , where the DWP as an employer can simply have a job done yet wash their hands of the employee’s actions.

      As I said the SNP and Holyrood know of the cases , and refuse to believe they have a right as well as a power to act on it.

      Either they are or are not the legislators , sitting in the middle when they can act and pulling out the “whinge” kerd is not good enough , and ironically would actually speed up any INDY argument when Scotland has a dog in the fight.

      1. Mike says:

        Using troll speak to say none. The DWP are not in fact breaking any Scottish law and are not being run from the Scottish Parliament. The DWP is IDS’s baby and you cant bring yourself to place the blame for their actions where it is because it wouldn’t make an SNP bad story.

        Too busy being pathetic pro union corrupt and dishonest to contribute anything worthwhile or credible.

        If like the opposition in Scotland you cant find any real justification for attacking the Scottish Government then just Shut the FK up and spare us having to deal with your bullshit.

        1. C Rober says:


          “Too busy being pathetic pro union corrupt and dishonest to contribute anything worthwhile or credible.
          If like the opposition in Scotland you cant find any real justification for attacking the Scottish Government then just Shut the FK up and spare us having to deal with your bullshit.”

          Oh how wrong you are.

          I am pro Indy , more FFA these days but again due to the SNP inaction , and VERY anti corruption . I have been since High School , where my politics were formed from a History teacher that was SNP , and a Modern Studies teacher that was anti establishment and radical socialist that taught me that the Fenians were a political party for indy , one that included land lord protestants.

          I seen Thatcher at work , protested with miners and Strikers , and Today I can see that more from some of the SNP than I can from Tory …. ironically.

          I say Irony because the Tories put more on the table with the Vow than Slab and Nulabour offered , but then again we are talking about the party that redrew the North sea , and a Scotsman that signed it off , then with his “better together” friends sold the Country back to indentured slavery to the wealthy with “project fear” triumphing over “project whinge”. Do I really sound Pro union to you?

          I just read a piece on Facebook being booted from India , re colonialsm of India , in that a professor of history drew a line on what those in power offer the people. Which is particular apt considering your now on to losing the argument , thus going the route of “we should be thankful” , like the serfs we are you mean ?

          He summed up pretty much your mindset , or that of the SNP as a majority in Holyrood.

          IT is thus.

          1. ride in like the savior

          2. bandy about words like equality, democracy, basic rights

          3. mask the long-term profit motive (see 2 above)

          4. justify the logic of partial dissemination as better than nothing

          5. partner with local elites and vested interests

          6. accuse the critics of ingratitude.

          Where I see your now in phase 6.

          Does that mean voters should not hold the party they voted for to task , and when they do be accused of trolling and Pro union sympathies for it?

          I wont vote rise , I wont vote Labour , and I will burn in hell buggered by syphilitic demons before I would ever vote Tory. So what is left then , ignore the obvious pun here , the greens or Sheridan…. No it will still be SNP , but I will still police them , because its obvious they wont police themselves.

          A party rife with landlords and Lawyers that define housing policy , where the benefit is for them more than the electorate , profits the banks and developers , ignoring their own legislation in land use in SNP majority councils.

          Change or be changed.

  8. Mike says:

    “I was surpised it wasnt rolled out in Scotland , but then again that may be the final straw for Indy pushing it over the line , where the SNP and Holyrood would actually have to act , not instead WHINGE , and with the powers they have already to put spanners in the works called Scots Law.”

    The most risible and pathetic part of that statement is the fact that its because of people like you who voted No in the referendum that we have directly imposed Tory Westminster Government still imposing their fucked up fascist agenda on Scotland.

    How any miserable No voter actually has the gall to complain about the Scottish Governments inability to protect the people of Scotland from the reserved policies of Westminster is simply despicable.

    1. C Rober says:

      Argument lost , I was not in any way a no voter , and you sum up perfectly how the SNP is on the downturn , but still the lesser evil.

      I have always been the advocate of bringing in the No Voter , not alienating them.

      It has taken a very longtime for genetic voting for Labour to be redressed , this has now happened at Westminster , with nearly a clean sweep in a protest vote , seeing the SNP returned in numbers they could only dream of. IT was a night of shocks not just for SLab but as equally for the SNP.

      17 years of Labour promises under Thatcher , to reopen mines , empower councils , restart shipbuilding on the Clyde etc , but with 15 years of Labour in Westminster it seems only the politicans have made money and forgot those promises. Even after that Labour voters still voted blindly , that is until it became obvious of their intentions and control over Slab in Scotland during INDY.

      Yet are SLAB enacting the change demanded to come back to their numbers , no , its still the status qou of middle class , middle management , privately educated career minded tory in red. Except they are now gearing up for list seats for the few , scrambling like the dogs they are , assassinating other members to do so.

      It serves the SNP to hear that warning , and change internally , the fooling of the masses that they are somehow socialist will only last so long.

      For me , well I havent been fooled , with SLab and Nulab , nor am I fooled by the SNP and their lip-service whinge politics , inaction to use the tools at hand , and housing lies.

Help keep our journalism independent

We don’t take any advertising, we don’t hide behind a pay wall and we don’t keep harassing you for crowd-funding. We’re entirely dependent on our readers to support us.

Subscribe to regular bella in your inbox

Don’t miss a single article. Enter your email address on our subscribe page by clicking the button below. It is completely free and you can easily unsubscribe at any time.