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Poverty views give food for thought
CHRIS STEWARD’S rant in The Press of January 3 shows the true face of the Tories.
Confronted with evidence of the poverty caused by their disastrous handling of the economy, they seek to shift the blame on to the poor.
From the Chancellor down, it’s the same hard-hearted story. People in poverty are unable to budget or are spending their money on booze and fags instead of feeding their kids.
There is no evidence to support this claim, just the usual myths recycled by their Tory chums in the tabloid press. Let’s hear from Julian Sturdy, the MP for Outer York. Does he back Coun Steward on this issue?
TJ Williams, South Bank, York.
• WHEN I was a boy almost all of the people who lived in York were thin. Furniture, food and sweets were on ration. The city was unaware of McDonald’s and lived on a diet of meat and two veg.
A war had been contested and won, troops were returning to civilian life.
During these turbulent times unemployment in York stood at less than 1.4 per cent and Winston Churchill was expected to win the General Election.
The electorate had had enough of the pomposity of the Tory elite and voted Clement Atlee in. He and his Labour Party delivered the peacetime promise of full employment, sick benefits, unemployment benefits, nationalised steel, railways and, best of all, the National Health Service.
In the twilight of my years I see all of these gains destroyed. Manufacture in York is non-existent. I could give a long list of firms long departed, but it would be too depressing. Yet, surprisingly, Terry’s Chocolate Oranges made in Poland are sold in York.
My purpose in writing is to state my abhorrence of the views of Coun Steward, who can see no need in these particularly difficult times for food banks.
I did read a book once about a prosperous clergyman who eventually blew up because of overindulgence. Could I commend The Ragged Trouser Philanthropist to Coun Steward as good night-time reading?
Tony Wareham, Linton Road, Nether Poppleton, York.
• COUN Chris Steward’s criticism of food banks has drawn predictable condemnation, but it is a sad reflection that many website comments were personally abusive.
This was unwarranted and the individuals who post such remarks should remember that the Conservative group does not have a monopoly on weight problems. Coun Steward makes a valid point which deserves to be debated properly. Plenty of “poor” people seem to have no difficulty in keeping up a significant intake of cigarettes and booze. If their priorities were different they might not need to visit the food bank.
John Jones, Sand Hutton Manor, York.
• Editor’s note: The abusive comments were removed from the website.