Friday, April 24, 2015

GE2015 Part Two

I hesitate to write this as I don't want to promote complacency but......

Not exactly scientific but in my recent travels around England and Scotland I have been struck by the almost complete absence of political posters in houses and front gardens.  Pleasingly, the ones I have seen most though, (please keep this from Lynton Crosby and George Osborne) are for Conservatives.

Driving in Scotland - through the Borders and on to Aberdeen - the ratio of Conservative posters, in fields usually, to those of other parties was quite significant.  I suppose that many of the 55% who voted against further independence for Scotland, in last year's referendum, worry about being intimidated by the thuggish Scottish Nationalist supporters and that is undoubtedly a factor but one has to wonder what else is causing this lack of political 'heart on sleeve' wearing.

Anyway, could it be a sign that the pollsters are wrong and the Conservatives might gain more seats, dare I say it, even a majority?  Let us hope so!

The Conservatives should really be in a much stronger position in the opinion polls.

  • Unemployment is low, certainly in comparison to our European partners (though still too high for young people).
  • Employment is at an all-time high and has, to some extent been re-balanced over the last five years.  A million less Public sector workers less and two million Private sector more.
  • The economy is growing quite strongly - please don't tell the Greens - they are anti-growth (except in terms of growing taxes and growing spending)
  • The Conservatives have promised a re-negotiation of the terms of membership of the European Union and a referendum on the outcome - realistically, this is something only they can offer.  UKIP cannot and Labour and the Lib Dems, won't.
  • Taxes are being cut and millions of low-paid people are being completely lifted out of taxation due to the raising of the tax-free allowances.
  • Public spending is back under control and projected to decrease further towards a healthier and more sustainable level.
  • The deficit is on a downward trajectory and, if the Conservatives are re-elected, should be essentially eliminated during the next Parliament.
  • The Conservatives even managed to pay-off some of the National Debt during the last Parliament - 1914-18 war debt.  Not a lot but a step in the right direction!

So why aren't the Conservatives in a commanding lead?

Labour is represented by people who are still intimately linked to the previous government that left Britain's finances in such a parlous state.  They are led by the seemingly buffoonish Ed Miliband ( check out YouTube - Ed Miliband and bacon sandwich!) however he seems to have escaped any more gaffes, so far, and clearly has a ruthless streak.

The big threat of course is the collapse of Labour in its Scottish heartlands and their replacement by the SNP.  Nicole Sturgeon has fought a good campaign and, if the polls are to be believed, stands a good chance of having the SNP as the 'kingmaker' at Westminster.  (See also here ).  There is a concerted effort, now underway, for people in Scotland, especially those 55% No voters, to vote tactically and switch their votes to the Conservatives or Lib Dems in an effort to keep out the Nationalists. If you see any tweets pushing the voting wheel, please encourage your Scots friends to vote tactically - you know it makes sense!

Again, so why aren't the Conservatives in a commanding lead?

UKIP is taking votes from Conservatives and will undoubtedly win some seats (my prediction is currently in the 8-15 range (with 10 being my best guess) but again, UKIP cannot hope to gain power and so, if you are a potential UKIP voter, do consider voting tactically and where UKIP are clearly splitting the vote such that Labour can come through the middle, then do the right thing and vote Conservative,  It is the only way you have a chance of an EU referendum!  Of course, this also requires Conservatives to act similarly responsible.  The mantra is ABEAN - Anyone but Ed and Nicola!

I do hope that post election, the Conservatives whether in power or not, will take the time to examine the media output from the BBC.  I have spoken previously of the left-wing bias of the BBC, as have many others - many of their commentators and interviewers are clearly left-leaning - but this time they have excelled and been very blatant.  They keep parroting the 'austerity' line pushed by the parties of the left - that is all parties except the Conservatives and maybe UKIP - when the BBC, know, particularly through their foreign correspondents, that what Britain has experienced is only the mildest form of cuts.  Look at youth unemployment in Greece or Spain, ask pensioners in those countries what has happened to their pensions and their living standards and then compare, as any decent news organisation would, against what has occurred in the UK!    Britain has categorically NOT experienced austerity but if we elect a Socialist government on May 7 or one that depends on SNP support, then it is surely only a matter of time, before the bailiffs come calling and Britain finds itself in a Greece-like position.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Mediterranean migrants

The leaders of the European Union are meeting, just now, to try and come up with a solution to the problem of migrants who risk their lives fleeing Libya and heading to mainland Europe.

Surely the best solution, indeed, the only sensible solution is simply to turn-around the boats that leave Libya and send them back to Libya and to keep on doing this.  In effect, establish a naval blockade of Libya.  If the boats become un-seaworthy or are deliberately scuttled by the migrants or their traffickers, then rescue the people and put them back onto Libya's beaches.

Allowing these migrants to get into Europe, as has already been done, just tells others that this is a gateway.  This gateway must be closed.

Some other observations.

Why don't those Nigerians that are fleeing Boko Haram, move to the South of Nigeria?  There is no Boko Haram there!

Why don't those fleeing Eritrea and Somalia and so on, travel to Saudi Arabia or Egypt or Algeria?  All are co-religionists and in the case of Saudi Arabia, the migrants would have a found a rich country, in which to find work and happiness.

Have any of those that say that the EU must launch rescue missions, considered how many of these people might be Al Qaeda or Daesh supporters?

Why do so many of these migrants have a single destination - the UK -  in mind?  In addition to providing Royal Navy resources to close the Libya gateway, the UK government must impress upon France the need for them to better manage migrant camps in that country and the UK government must impose full- check border controls at the UK border ports and immediately deport, before these people enter into England, all of these migrants.  Yes it will cause some chaos at southern ports but the benefits far outweighs the inconvenience.  These people simply cannot be allowed to come under the auspices of the Human Rights legislation.  If they do, Immigration Tribunals and leftist Justices, who live far from the consequences of unfettered immigration, will continue to ride rough-shod over the wishes of the British people and our elected officials.

Oh, and a question for the biased BBC.  When you push the story of the plight of these 'poor migrants' maybe ask them how they can afford iPhones?  Your 'right-on' reporter in the Calais 'Somalia' camp seemed so en-amoured with them that she missed the obvious!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

GE 2015 - Part One

This is turning out to be a funny old General Election!  I will put some of my observations here and maybe some will resonate.

The opinion polls have so far been stubbornly almost static.  What small movement they show for a party's support, tends to be contradicted by the next poll.  No UK-wide party is demonstrating a clear and commanding poll lead.  Labour and the Conservatives are stuck around the 32-34% mark.

In themselves, these results are surprising.  Given the improving health of the economy, especially considering the almost Greece-like basket case that the Conservatives inherited, the Conservatives should be further ahead in the polls.  Partly some of reason for them not being ahead will be a natural left-leaning bias in the media but much of the reason is the short-term memory of the average voter and, let's be frank, their selfishness.

The latter point first.  If the polls are to be believed, then the average person doesn't care that parties like Labour and the Scottish Nationalists or the even more extreme Green Party are happy to impoverish the nation and mortgage the country's future for our children, our grand-children and our great-grandchildren (etc., etc.,)  rather than undertake the structural reforms and yes, cuts in spending, that are a requirement to the improvement of the health of the UK economy.

This 'I don't care about the future of my country or kids, I just want my wide-screen TV, three holidays a year and lots of tax-payer subsidies, even if it does mean increasing borrowings and therefore debt and the deficit' attitude, can only be described as selfishness.  

Let us be very clear.  The UK has not experienced 'austerity'.  Has any pensioner seen their pension cut three or four times (as has happened in Portugal)?  No, of course they haven't.  And perhaps that is why the Conservatives are not enjoying the fruits of the economic position in which the UK sits.  People didn't feel any real pain, weren't turned out en-masse to live on the streets, those streets were not full of begging and ill-clothed children and families hawking their meagre possessions for the price of a tin of beans or a loaf of bread.   People's view of so called 'austerity' is that 'it didn't really affect me personally, too much and with Labour now saying we can spend a little bit more but tax the super-rich in order to pay for it, well that sounds reasonable to me!'  Don't worry, I am not a hair-shirt wearer who gets off on experiencing the pain of real spending cuts or seeing others experience it but I really do want to see Britain overcome it's debt dependency, for the sake of my children, grandchildren, etc., etc..

Fact is that UK government spending, under the Conservatives, has increased, every single year during this parliament.  The Conservatives went into Coalition with the Lib Dems, in 2010/2011 and total spending was £674 Bn, which was £19 Bn higher than the previous year.  In 2013/14 total government spending was £725 Bn.  Not a huge increase I will grant but neither is it a sign of the allegedly 'savage' cuts that Labour and their left-leaning allies in the media, particularly the biased BBC, would have you believe.  I believe though that the actions taken by the Conservatives will have the long term effect of reducing government expenditure.  Remember, from 1999/2000 to 2009/2010, Labour increased spending from £339 Bn to £675 Bn.  Almost doubling government spending and taking it to 47% of GDP.  The Conservatives have now got this heading towards a sub-40% position and, if re-elected will get this into a more sustainable 25-30% range during the course of the next Parliament.  Before you ask, I say sustainable because such a level of spending then allows the government the flexibility or room, if you like, to deal with unforeseen events, should they occur - to increase public spending if absolutely required.

Now to the earlier point.  The anti-Conservative bias of much of the media and particularly the BBC.
The narrative, from the Labour party, in the run-up to the election was that Conservative leader, David Cameron was a 'toff'.  Someone who had attended Eton and Oxford and was wealthy and out of touch with the general public.  Someone who lacks the 'common touch'.  Well no big surprise from Labour, there.  They project Cameron as such since it puts them, in their narrative, firmly on the other side - alongside the 'man in the street' (or has that become the 'person in the street'?).

How Labour must have chuckled last Sunday.  Cameron was interviewed by the BBC's Andrew Marr, and was asked about an interview he gave to the Countryside Alliance magazine (Countryside Alliance is a lobby group that represents rural interests and was very prominent in galvanising support from those communities, in opposition to the Fox Hunting Bill).  Anyway, Marr declared that Cameron had stated, in the CA interview, that fox-hunting was his favourite sport. Simple fact is that Cameron said nothing of the sort.  When Marr made the comment, Cameron looked non-plussed, as well he might, given that he had never said anything like that.  Just to drive home the point though, Marr then repeated the lie.  Marr has since apologised for his error but only on Twitter and only after being found out.  So, a question for the BBC and Andrew Marr -  did you knowingly lie when you falsely quoted from the CA article?  Or was it that you or your researchers were too lazy to check out the factual nature of statements?  Or was it maybe that putting such a statement, however false,  out there, would resonate with people and bias some of them, especially in urban areas, to be anti-Conservative and to confirm the Labour narrative about Cameron being a 'toff'?  Okay, so that's three questions, but you get my drift.

This is just the most blatant example of the BBC bias but you could also  include the constant interruptions made by Evan Davis in the interviews he has conducted.  Not only are these rude, they show a clear disregard for allowing the Conservatives to put across their message and response in a coherent way.  The Conservative message keeps getting broken-up into smaller 'bites' and the speaker having to try to stay on message and also to consider how and when to respond to the latest accusation.  Very poor!  The sooner the £145 TV tax is repealed, the better!

More to follow on this but my advice to Cameron is ignore the staged events and photo-ops.  Do a 'John Major' and get out on a soapbox in the towns and cities of the UK and talk directly to the people.  Show them that Conservatives passionately believe in the UK and it's people and tell them that Conservatives have a plan for us and our children, grand-children etc..  Don't let Labour and their 'cut from the same cloth' SNP allies, steal the election and our country!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Reluctant Britons

Recently, the media in the UK have been pursuing stories about UK passport holders that leave the UK and then go to Syria to join the so called Islamic State.  Hereafter I will refer to this group of murderous thugs and terrorists as Daesh, since they are not a 'State' and hopefully will never be so.

So, back to these Britons.  There seems to have been a steady stream of young men who become so 'radicalised' at their mosque that they decide to take-up arms not in defence of their fellow-Muslims but against them.  Well I guess that at the end of the day, that is their choice to make.  From my perspective, I would then expect the UK government to revoke the passports of these individuals, as soon as the names become known - I would think that our NATO ally, Turkey, should be able to provide the names and numbers of British people traveling into Syria from Turkey - and then if legally possible, refuse re-entry to the United Kingdom, to these people or, if that is not legally possible, to imprison these people for their support of a declared enemy of the UK. If the UK can pursue journalists with a 700 year old law, I am sure that there must be laws that have been passed, which make the actions of these individuals illegal.

We are now seeing though, that it isn't just 'radicalised' young men that are going to join Daesh.  Recently there was a case where a family group was stopped in Turkey and returned to the UK.  This group included 4 children.  Late last week, we heard that the group have been released without any charges being brought against them.  Presumably that is because they didn't manage to actually get into Syria?

However, how on earth are these parents allowed to keep their children?  Surely there are laws that touch on reckless endangerment that  reflect on the actions of these parents?  They apparently wanted to take their children into a war zone!  We hear countless stories about the plight of Syrian refugees that are fleeing Daesh and yet the UK authorities do not punish these people for apparently trying to take their children, the opposite way?  Now there is a story of Asif Malik an apparent member of the banned Al Muhajiroun, taking his British partner and their 4 young children (eldest aged just 7 years old) to Syria.

I ask these questions because back in 2012, many people were shocked to hear of the story of a couple in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, who, though they had already been foster-parents for a number of years, had children taken away from them, because these people were supporters of the entirely legitimate United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP).  This of course is the same Rotherham council  that allowed child abuse, on an almost industrial scale, to occur.  The council and the police ignored repeated claims from abused children that they were being sexually groomed and trafficked by gangs of men of Pakistan origin, in Rotherham.  Maybe they were too focused on targeting UKIP followers who were exercising their democratic rights, rather than addressing the evil within their midst?  Obviously, it was much more politically correct to deal with these UKIP people than to take on the politically powerful (certainly in South Yorkshire) Pakistani immigrant population.

How can it be that people who presumably care about children, have them taken away, while parents who take their children towards a war-zone are allowed to retain them?  WE have become used to there seeming to be one law for them and another for us but usually the 'them' is the political elite in London.  Are we now seeing that radicalised Pakistanis have been accepted into that 'club'?  That they are above the laws that are applied to normal people?

I can sort of understand why the Labour-run Rotherham council would act the way they did - as with many Labour-run councils, it is all about being politically correct rather than doing the right thing but how can those running for parliament be allowed to get away without being questioned and challenged about these things?  It's kind of a rhetorical question.  After all, Labour and their Health spokesman, the ever-emoting Andy Burnham, have managed to convince people that they are the party of the NHS, even after scandals like that at Mid-Staffordshire hospitals.

So I challenge UKIP and Conservatives and Lib Dem would-be MPs and their supporters to ask these questions and keep asking them.  Ask these questions of their Labour opponents and ask them of Theresa May, the (Conservative) Home Secretary.  These children are clearly in danger, while they remain with their parents, they should be taken into care.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Debate comment

I managed to watch most of last night's 'Leaders debate' via Sky News.  Hmm!

Is it me or was it basically 6 against one?

We had the leader of the SNP, who isn't even standing for parliament (see here) simply stirring the pot.  She was mainly there to make sure that Red Ed Miliband knows who he will be reporting to, should he enter into any kind of alliance with the SNP.

We had the leader of the Welsh Nationalists who, given a perfect opportunity to attack Labour, over its criminally inept running of the NHS, in Wales, chose not to do so.

We also had the Greens leader, the Australian Natalie Bennett, whose nasal twang failed to hide her extreme left-wing views.  James Delingpole, writing in Watermelons, his brilliantly written expose of the environmentalist movement, called 'greens' Watermelons - green on the outside and red on the inside but Nuttalie Bennett managed to be red all the way through.  Out of politeness, no one mentioned that Brighton town council, the only one run by the Greens, in the UK, now has a worse record on environmental recycling than under the previous regime.

Nigel Farage, from UKIP managed to make every issue link back to immigration and he successfully managed to get across the point that while the UK remains in the European Union, we can do very little to curb immigration from within the EU.

Nick Clegg, until recently, sitting around the Cabinet table with Conservative leader, David Cameron, sought to distance himself from the Tories and make claims of bravery, for the good of the country, etc..

Ed Miliband  pushed his economic idiocy - spend more, borrow more but we won't tax more - and as was to be expected, wrapped himself in the NHS.  As said earlier, he wasn't punished on the shocking state of the NHS in Labour-run Wales and banged on about spending more on the NHS, again and again.  Miliband mentioned the situation where one NHS hospital was treating or assessing people in an emergency tent, erected in a car park.  My own view is that I would rather be examined in a tent in a car park than treated in the Labour run Mid Staffs hospitals where people died unnecessarily because of Labour policy.

David Cameron was located on the edge, both literally and policy-wise.  He was standing on the economic competence of the Conservatives and had a good story to present - tellingly, none of the other parties managed to attack the Tory successes.  Cameron made some good points about all of the other parties wanting to tax, borrow and spend more and, addressing Nick Clegg, his propensity to 'pick and mix' which for Coalition policies he now  professes public support.

The Guardian newspaper, according to the BBC Today programme, (I would never buy the newspaper, I much prefer Andrex) referring to the debates spoke of  UK politics being 'fractured'.  I disagree with the newspaper.  UK politics are not fractured they are split.  We have the Conservatives on one side, providing a right of centre platform and then we have the other six parties, mentioned above, all pushing a platform of more spending - that's what less austerity means - more borrowings and higher taxes.  They all know, even the looniest Green, that taxing the 'rich' will never raise enough tax to pay for all of their welfare policies, and so taxes on the middle classes will have to increase.

This General Election presents the UK with a stark choice - continue taking the Conservative economic medicine which has done much to restore the health of the UK economy or go for any one of the others which will spend , borrow and tax more and will continue to impoverish our children and grandchildren.

There is almost only one choice - vote Conservative or perhaps vote UKIP where they have a chance against Labour.

The UK's democratic mess

Don't worry.  This isn't a tirade against the Labour Party (or maybe it will become so, read on) but more about the sorry state in which the United Kingdom finds itself, as it embarks on the road to a new government.

All recent and current indications from pollsters, indicate that this will be a 'hung' parliament, with no party winning the 326 seats at Westminster, required for an outright majority.    This happened in 2010 and the Conservatives and Liberal-Democrats formed a coalition.  The coalition has achieved a number of successes, not least of which has been following the Conservative's policies on the economy.   For Conservatives, in the country, it has been frustrating, at times, as the Liberal Democrat 'partners' pushing some of their distinctive issues.  That said, having pushed the economy to be the top performing one in the G8, the coalition can be said to have worked.

But I digress.

During the course of the last Parliament, one of the key issues, which really wasn't addressed within the UK Parliament, was the referendum on Scottish independence.  In September 2014, the simple Yes/No question was roundly defeated 55% to 45%.  In spite of all of the scare-mongering from the Scottish Nationalists (SNP), victory by those that support the United Kingdom, was achieved.

However, one somewhat ironic consequence of this result is that in opinion polls, support for the SNP  has soared and according to many observers, the SNP are set to largely obliterate Labour, in Scotland and emerge as by far the biggest party in that country.

This then presents the Labour Party with a big problem.  Scotland has proven to be a solid base for them and losing so many seats would cause them to have a seat shortfall after the election.  In short, they depend on these Scottish seats to form the majority party in parliament and so the only way that they can form a government is by entering into some kind of agreement - formal or otherwise -  with the SNP.  More on that, in a moment

For the English then, this presents a major problem.  The overwhelmingly largest country in the United Kingdom will find that having, as a country, elected a predominantly Conservative Party group of MPs, they may well be ignored and a strongly socialist and Scottish favoring Labour Party, supported by the SNP, will ignore their wishes and will once again push ruinous economic policies upon the UK.  You can't even call Labour's economic policies an experiment - their policy of taxing more and spending more and borrowing more has been tried before - that's how we got into the pre 2010 mess -  and don't let anyone tell you it was because of the 'financial crisis' - we were heading for a Greece-type meltdown due to the bound-to-fail policies of a Labour government that had the intelligence of an economic idiot, that of a debt junkie that needs the constant 'high' of more borrowings to get through the day!

So democracy?  Well, if the opinion polls have any kind of validity, Labour may seek to get into bed with the SNP.  Labour and the SNP share an economic policy that calls for an end to the so-called austerity that has helped to turn around the economy.  So not much to concern themselves there, except that the SNP will be wanting to see that public spending disproportionately going to Scotland.  And that must be a cause of concern for democrats.  It is not clear whether the SNP's opposition to the Trident nuclear programme, will mean that Labour have to acquiesce and not replace the programme, thereby severely weakening both the UK and NATO, in the process.  We can certainly expect the SNP to continue to push for even more devolution of powers to the Scottish Parliament and Labour to grant them because they would have no choice.  Something for any potential voters for Labour, in England, to consider.

And again, democracy??  Well, the leader of the SNP, Nicola Sturgeon, is not even standing for the UK Parliament.  That's right, Labour's leader, Red Ed Miliband will be forced to negotiate with someone who will offer to deliver the votes of her MPs but cannot vote herself!  I wonder how Miliband will manage to serve two masters - Nicola Sturgeon from the SNP and Ed McCluskey from the Unite union which helped get Red Ed elected as party leader and is the major funding source for the party.

Indeed, the SNP are not even standing candidates outside of Scotland - the  place where they were so recently humiliated in the independence referendum.   In truth though, Scottish independence aside, there is a much as a hair's breadth between the SNP and Labour.  Both are heavily into state funding of everything (though this blog receives no state financial assistance, you can be assured!) and the Labour party (remember Michael Foot?) have always had a strong anti-nuclear weapons position, so a 'fudge' on Trident wouldn't be too much of a barrier for them.

I strongly supported the opposition to Scottish independence but now am starting to wonder why, as we have, in the SNP, a viper in the nest, who, with a very small electoral position, may come to dominate the far larger English electorate.  Maybe now is the time to start a movement for independence for England and end this farce.  Maybe, maybe not but the way things stand now, we can't call the current likely outcome, democracy!

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Food banks

What is it with the UK's Labour Party and their socialist fellow-travelers that they so dislike food banks?

Food banks are organisations that receive gifts of food from members of the public and from retail organisations and then distribute this food to members of society that need it.

Okay they are usually locally focused and they don't have the normal top-heavy management structures, so beloved of other charities.  And yes they don't go in for a lot of lobbying against government policies and being hypocritical about pushing Green and so called Global Warming issues, while jetting around the world or driving to far-off conferences and 'get-togethers' in in energy consuming vehicles, while pushing a transport free future for the rest of us!  They don't have celebrities 'effing and blinding' and emoting on TV asking for the public to give money.

As said earlier, they rely on contributions from members of the public and supermarkets and such.  Obviously, I encourage all readers to put a tin or a packet or two into the collection trolleys at their local store or supermarket but I for one won't be giving you a hard time because you want to help you neighbors.  The old saw about 'charity begins at home' continues to strike a chord with people, who give, freely and without any instruction from their political masters!

Except, except the Labour Party and the SNP (and probably also the Greens and Plaid Cymru)  don't like food banks.  Is it because the Welfare State isn't involved in this example of welfare?  Is it because these food banks are run by volunteers and some are organised by religions?

I suspect that Labour and their ilk don't like food banks because they cannot act as a 'middleman'.  People that have, give to people that don't have and there is no one from the government involved.  No one from local government is regulating this.  No Health and Safety 'jobsworth' is interfering.

I am sure that Labour and the other socialists would say food banks are a symptom of poverty in society but that is just plain wrong.  People will, from time to time, experience hardship and under government welfare regulations won't be eligible for taxpayer provided assistance.  What then is Labour's solution?  To not have food banks?  No, I am confident, it is that 'Government' should step in and provide.  That Labour's failed welfare policies, which made living on welfare, a career choice, are surely so discredited, as to not need to re-hash the argument, must be a given.  Certainly the tax-paying members of society have been clear in their support of the welfare reforms that have taken so many off of the welfare rolls.  Tax payers, as opposed to Labour and other socialists, know that as a country, the UK simply cannot afford the unfettered access to welfare, that is so beloved of Labour.

 Food banks are just about people interacting with other people in a positive fashion.  This is how things used to be before 'government' got so big that it came to believe that 'it' needed to be involved in everything.

Food banks though are true charity.  When you hear socialists quoting (or usually mis-quoting) Jesus Christ, they talk about his alleged re-distributive leanings but what He is really talking about is giving your 'surplus' to others.  Jesus Christ didn't say you have to give to Save the Children for them to pass on your gift, less a deduction for overheads of course, to someone else.  He didn't say you had to pass a gift to Oxfam so that they could use it to lobby on behalf of Palestinian Hamas or whomever.  I believe that Jesus Christ would look highly favorably upon food banks.  He would see their founders and voluntary workers and those that give food to them, as His true followers and as people that understand and 'get' His message.

So, don't knock food banks - they are a wonderful institution - and do give generously, especially as we enter this holiest of weeks for Christians.