28 June, 2011


Serendipity corner

A strange, almost stereotypically Daily Mail story about immigrant agricultural workers and some bizarre child benefits mix-up involving, in effect, a protest by proxy hunger strike.

Scores of parents sent their children to school without packed lunches in an apparent protest over having their benefits cut.

It led to the extraordinary step of a charity having to give out food parcels to the 150 children as their parents, mostly Eastern European migrant workers, did not provide lunches for two weeks.

The parents had been employed locally but their contracts had run out. Consequently, their benefits were stopped.

Apparently as a result, they sent their children to the Frederick Bird primary school in Coventry, with no lunch despite them not being eligible for free school meals.

To feed the children, the school was forced to dip into an emergency fund, teachers had to make packed lunches and the Coventry Foodbank charity had to hand out food parcels.

All good stuff, with lots of scope for questions about benefits for immigrant workers, including the fact that not only are we paying dole for the displaced indigenous workers who — and I am not without sympathy for their position — are unwilling to turn out for the piss-poor wages, undoubtedly bringing in less after costs than their existing benefits, but we are also, it seems, paying tax credits to the incomers to top up those piss poor wages. Remind me, who is the low-wage economy fuelled by mass immigration supposed to be benefiting, again?

But that's a whole nother rant. What catches my eye on this occasion is the juxtaposition between this comment from Mr Kibble (who I am sure is nothing like as self-righteous in real life as he appears in the Mail's piccie),

But Gavin Kibble, manager of the Foodbank charity, spoke of his shock that parents in Britain were living in 'third-world deprivation'.

He said: 'Before this, if you'd said to me there are people in Coventry who are so poor they can't send their kids to school with a packed lunch I would never have believed you.

'Yet there are people in Coventry living with third-world deprivation in a first-world country.

with this handy photograph of the sign of the primary school involved

A first-world country? Oh, really?

I can't read any of the squiggly languages but I can translate them roughly :


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