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Wings Over Scotland

The pride of Britain

Posted on July 31, 2013 by

It’s very rare, viewers, that we get so angry in the course of writing a post that we have to stop.

But when we ran a picture last night of Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander MP, opening a foodbank with a cretinous smile on his face as if being a member of the government of a modern industrial nation in need of foodbanks was something to be happy about, a reader suggested making a gallery of similar images.


This is as many as we could bear.

Above: Johann Lamont (Labour) in Aberdeen.


And the aforementioned Danny Alexander (Lib Dem) in Inverness.


Michael Connarty (left) and Graeme Morrice (right, both Labour) in West Lothian.


Alex Fergusson (Conservative) in Castle Douglas.


Hugh Bayley (Labour) in York.


Andrew Selous (Conservative) in Dunstable.


Iain Wright (Labour) in Hartlepool.


Stewart Jackson (Conservative) in Peterborough.


Alex Cunningham (Labour) in Billingham.


Zac Goldsmith (Conservative) in Richmond.


Douglas Alexander (Labour) in Renfrewshire.


Dorothy Thornhill (Liberal Democrat, Mayor) in Watford.


Nick Smith (Labour) in Brynmawr.


Paul Uppal (Conservative) in Wolverhampton.


Frank Roy (Labour) in Wishaw.


Simon Wright (Liberal Democrat) in Norwich. He’s the one on the right.


Gordon Brown (Labour) in Kirkcaldy.


Andrew Bridgen (Conservative) in Coalville.

MPs are currently paid £65,000 a year plus tens of thousands more in expenses, including substantial food allowances. They’re about to accept a pay rise of around another £9,000. We’re going to be generous and assume the reason most of them look so damn pleased with themselves in these pictures, when they should be begging for forgiveness, is that they know this is the only time they’ll ever have to visit such a wretched national shame of a place.

Yeah, we’re getting the best of both worlds alright. We’re definitely better together.

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146 to “The pride of Britain”

  1. Macart says:

    A big cheesy grin on every overpaid, expenses fed kisser and all the gaul required to actually show up.
    They did this! Their parties did this and people are expected to feel grateful they’ve turned up for an opening?
    The self centred, self important careerists are lucky that tar, feathers and a rail weren’t waiting for them.

  2. Simon says:

    Is it only Unionist politicians that think posing for photos at a food bank is a good idea?

  3. Shinty says:

    Ribbon cutting, balloons and all for the ceremonial opening of a FOOD BANK!

    As my Mum used to say ‘black burnin’ shame on them’

  4. CEMarshall says:

    You can probably guess BT’s response: “If the SNP are so bloody compassionate, how come you don’t see Alex Salmond or any other SNP MP or MSP at a food bank opening?”

  5. Ian says:

    Looking at these pictures would make a man weep. Danny Alexander is the worst of them all, a disgrace to Scotland and to humanity.

  6. Grim... says:

    At least Hugh Bayley has the sense not to look chirpy.

  7. Albalha says:

    But you do, so they’d be inaccurate, politicians of all flavours have visted foodbanks and been pictured, including the SNP

  8. Gordon Bain says:

    A plague on all their houses!

  9. Doug Daniel says:

    When I was younger I wrote a song about celebrities, including the line “charity just means publicity to you”, in reference to the fact they’re always going on TV programmes, ostensibly to raise money for charity, but in reality just to raise their own profile.
    Looks like I could have included it in the song I wrote about politicians as well.
    Just look at these grinning morons, smiling away as they embrace the inevitable failures of unfettered free marketism. Right-wing idiots cutting public services to the bone, blithely expecting charities to pick up the pieces.
    Fuck them all. Independence is a must.

  10. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Tory MSP Alex Fergusson”

    Nice work, adding that one. (Russell Brown one is the wrong shape.)

  11. Yesitis says:

    I love my country.

  12. scotchwoman says:

    It’s sad that poverty can be presented as an external factor, beyond our control. The growth of food banks should generate outrage but it seems to be widely accepted with a stiff upper lip and a self-congratulatory pat on the back for our charitable goodness.
    We’ve screwed up your economy and society but this tin of beans will make everything OK.
    This is the UK we live in and there’s no sign of it changing anytime soon, other than through a YES vote in the Referendum. 

  13. magnus barelegs says:

    Utterly degrading and shameful like something out of the third world. A pox on all of them.
    Vote Yes and lets get away from this orwellian nightmare that is slowly enveloping us courtesy of wastemonster and all the pigs who trough for a living there. 

  14. Training Day says:

    How long before Sally Magnusson solemnly intones ‘Tonight there’s a warning that foodbanks will disappear if Scotland separates’..

  15. Robert Bryce says:

    OH MY FUCKING GOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  16. Edinburgh Quine says:

    The sad thing is they are so in thrall to the right wing drivel that serves as a main stream media in this country that they think it’s ok.  They should hang their heads in shame.  Not so much the tories, we dont expect anything better from them, but for Labour… Labour…!!!  I’m just for a second or two, lost for words

  17. CEMarshall says:

    Albalha: “You do, so they’d be inaccurate,..”
    Hasn’t really stopped them before, now has it? ;0)

  18. Albalha says:

    I’m on the same side but SNP politicians have been at them too, the irony of saying in this case BT would be right didn’t translate well, clearly.

  19. Robert Louis says:

    I must say, Danny Alexander stands out as one person, for whom the term ‘selling his soul’ is a serious understatement.  He is paid 135k, then has the temerity to charge taxpayers 8,500 for his kiddies to fly to London, whilst in almost the same breath telling those on benefits 26k a year is more than enough.  An overpaid, undertalented nobody.  I have worked in senior industry positions, and not once have I heard of ANY employer allowing staff to expense awayday trips for their kiddies, when they work away from home.  Do MP’s even realise thay are so out of touch with reality??????
    I really hope beelzebub has a special place set aside for people like him, when his time comes.
    However, the picture above that really stands out is Hartlepool.  I mean balloons and cutting a ribbon FFS!!!!!  Why not have an Elvis lookey likey as well????  This is the ultimate expression of how much these overpaid Westminster troughers have right royally screwed the entire country, and they have the temerity to turn up and cut a ribbon.  FFS, I mean seriously, FFS!!!!!!!!!!
    Horsewhipping would be too good for the whole cursed lot of them.
    Vote YES in 2014, for a better, more caring, independent Scotland.

  20. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “However, the picture above that really stands out is Hartlepool. I mean balloons and cutting a ribbon FFS!!!!! “

    Aye. If you look, there are several ribbon-cuttings, as if they were launching a fucking cruise liner.

  21. Triangular Ears says:

    Why are the (presumably) volunteers also smiling?  Don’t some of them at least realise who is to blame for the situation?  Or are some of them well-paid staff?
    Perhaps my suspicions about most charities being gravy trains are right.

  22. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “I’m on the same side but SNP politicians have been at them too”

    I’ve only been able to find one, who wasn’t opening it but was quoted applauding its work.

  23. chalks says:

    It’s not only the politicians we should be upset about being in photo’s, what about the people using the foodbanks and smiling alongside these fkn idiots? 
    They clearly have no idea that the very people they stand next to with the suits on and the scum who have put them in that position…

  24. CameronB says:

    A food bank in Richmond! I’m off, you can sort out the vote amongst yourselves. 🙂

  25. Robert Louis says:

    Here’s my tip to young people, do whatever you need to do, to get selected and win a seat as an MP, or preferebaly an MEP.  It is the ONLY way nowadays, to guarantee a very high salary, a second home in London/Brussels, free flights to london/Brussels, free lunches, subsidised alcohol every night, free furnishings for both your homes (ask Alistair Darling or Jim Murphy), a mortgage paid by the taxpayer, and no strict requirement to do much at all.
    Oh, and if you screw up, you keep the job for five years anyway (no matter how awful you are), and get a great big 65k golden goodbye at the end of it.  In five years you will earn the equivalent of 31 years at minimum wage for an 18 year old, and have the only gold plated pension in the UK, together with a 65k lump sum in you pocket, plus more BA air miles than you could possibly ever spend.  If you really brown nose it, you might even get ermine robes, and spend your remaining years in the house of lords getting paid 300 quid a day, just for turning up.
    Honestly, if I was a careers advisor, I’d seriously suggest it.

  26. Rod Mac says:

    Zac Goldsmith (Conservative) in Richmond.
    Richmond FFS shurely some mistake????
    That has to be one of the richest constituencies in entire UK

  27. Albalha says:

    Danny Alexander wasn’t at an opening either as far as I know. Isn’t that the Blysthwood Care, Highland food bank?
    Wasn’t that the start of it all?

  28. southernscot says:

    I echo the sentiments above.
    Politician – Photo call
    Me – Confirmation of their collective failure
    I remember in the early seventies when there was very little welfare, my mum feeding kids in the street that were hungry and giving food the neighbours. Looks like we’re heading back there. Soon be back to the Victorian age.

  29. CameronB says:

    @ Robert Louis
    The Crown doesn’t just employ any riff raff off the street. Their’s years of serious grooming, sorry vetting, to ensure you are of the correct caliber. One must have the proper values, to advance in the service of Her Majesty.

  30. Albalha says:

    And the FM taking part in a trolley dash to promote their work, well, can’t say that’s palatable either.

  31. chalks says:

    Someone REALLY needs to mock up a Better Together poster, with a collection of their finest MP’s asking people to vote No, so they get to keep their salary, pension, expenses….whilst obviously listing these amounts as well…..might wake a few people up.
    I’ve always found it very odd that these folk get paid so much, for doing what is supposed to be a public service, representing the people shouldn’t be rewarded in monetary terms, why should it be?

  32. CameronB says:

    Sorry, that’s two theirs in one day. Oops.

  33. Murray McCallum says:

    In general I do not see the problem of politicians opening a food bank and/or praising their work.  I do agree the celebration style is odd and even insulting.
    However, the specific issue for me is hypocrisy.  To be precise, how can any politician in any Party (in Westminster or Holyrood) be pictured in the above circumstance when they have:
    1. Referred to a “something for nothing culture”
    2. Refered to “strivers” in drafting government strategy
    3. Through 1 and 2 created a culture of “the undeserving poor”.
    Charities have filled the void designed by the State.  It also seems odd to me that the charities wish to be photographed with some of these politicians.

  34. Jiggsbro says:

    Here’s my tip to young people, do whatever you need to do, to get selected and win a seat as an MP
    My tip to young Scottish people would be not to bother trying to be an MP. You’ll have a year at most. MEP might be a better prospect, but there’s uncertainty there. MSP…not worth it, unless you’re actually interested in doing the job rather than feathering your nest.

  35. Albalha says:

    And then there’s Fiona Hyslop at the Whitburn opening, or doesn’t it count if there’s no image on her website? That’s just a quick check.

  36. Andy-B says:

    These low life scumbags have a look on their smug faces, as if to say this is a step in the right direction…”Oh!  look at me Im opening a foodbank, arent I wonderful”.
    The fact foodbanks exist at all, is a sign of shame on Westminster, and its disgusting policies.

  37. Dal Riata says:

    “The Trussell Trust partners with churches and communities to open new foodbanks nationwide. With over 370 foodbanks currently launched, our goal is for every town to have one.”

    “…our goal is for every town to have one.” … and this, in the year 2013… in the ‘United’ Kingdom. In “every town”? Really? That is your “goal”?….
    And some organisations and their representative say we’re better together? Unfortunately, sadly and incredibly, yes, some of them do say that. 

  38. HenBroon says:

    You appear to be trying to defend or condone these trough snuffling idiots why? If you have pictorial evidence of a grinning SNP politician at the opening of one of these places you really ought to link to it. Strange.

  39. Red Squirrel says:

    The shame of forcing the poor, the ill and the disabled to beg for food in what is meant to be a modern society should shatter any illusion that we are better together.  For these hypocrites to use it as a photo opportunity is beneath contempt. 

  40. CameronB says:

    As I said earlier, Westminster’s Scottish reps. BT, hope to ensure a future for all banks.

  41. Doug Daniel says:

    Albalha – the main difference is the SNP have given a concrete promise to reverse the bedroom tax if they get the power to do so. The Tories and Lib Dems are the people who are to blame for the situation which has necessitated the need for foodbanks, and Labour are just as guilty because they a) started the ball rolling for a lot of the things the Coalition are now doing, and b) refuse to pledge that they’ll reverse any of the cuts, meaning there is absolutely no political pressure on the coalition whatsoever to stop what they’re doing.
    In essence, the Tories and Lib Dems have battered a person on the street while Labour watched with their hands in their pockets, meekly saying “oh no, don’t do that” but making no effort to stop them. Then when a doctor comes along (called by someone else entirely), all three crowd round the doctor, mugging for photos and saying how ruddy, bloody brave people are.

  42. Caledonalistic says:

    This makes my fucking blood boil.  And I don’t care what party they’re members of.  I’m a member of the SNP and my message to our representatives is exactly the same. “Stay the fuck away and, instead, focus on eradicating this fucking travesty from our shores.  Don’t celebrate them for fuck sake!  And don’t dare tell me you’re supporting them either!  It’s nothing more than a fucking photo op.” 
    I’m also a man who very seldom drops the f-bomb but I can’t help myself in these circumstances.  I’ve worked in some of the poorest countries on this planet, up and down the west African coast and South-East Asia.  I never would have believed I’d see something like this in my homeland.  This is utterly fucking shameful.
    Well done Rev.Stu.  How these bastards sleep at night, along with the media fuckheads who turn a blind eye, is completely beyond my comprehension.  Sorry if I’ve given you too much to edit out.

  43. Paula Rose says:

    This is so shameful, how can these so-called representatives of the people who crow about being a great nation allow this to happen? Oh sorry forgot – this is the (better together) UK.

  44. Chic McGregor says:

    It’s about 5 months now since the UN first warned the UK about the increase in food banks, wonder how that is progressing?

  45. Albalha says:

    As I said Danny Alexander isn’t at an opening and there are pictures of AS in a similar situation, personally I don’t think any politician should be going to them and/or opening them with or without photographs.
    But if that’s the distinction you want to draw then fine.  

  46. Albalha says:

    Yes I’m well aware of the policies, that wasn’t my point.

    So why go to them at all?

  47. Luigi says:

    Apparently, politicians love the photo opportunity of a food bank, so much in fact that I heard that they often invite themselves along to these events (Dear Food Bank, can I attend, please, please!).  Maybe they think it shows their caring side, but most people are aware of their game.

  48. Albalha says:

    And this is what Fiona Hyslop said about the opening of the Whitburn food bank, ‘delighted’, good grief.
    Fiona said;
    “I was delighted to meet with the staff and volunteers of the Whitburn Foodbank and welcome them to their newest branch here in West Lothian.
    “The foodbank workers dedicate much of their time and energy to building better communities and helping those who need it most. The opening of a Foodbank in Whitburn will strengthen our society and engage local residents and most importantly, prevent those who are worse off from going hungry.”

  49. Max says:

    Austerity with a smile on its face.
    Doesn’t say much about the volunteers at these food banks that they allow politicians to behave in this way.  These are pictures of shame. 
    I find the cutting of ribbons especially reprehensible. WTF is that all about? I think I would rather go hungry than accept food from these smiling jerks

  50. Beastie says:

    I would suggest being delighted a facility which charitably helps people is not in itself bad, but the primary difference between a SNP politician at one of these things and, say, Danny Alexander, is a SNP politician is not one of those causing the problems that make these places a sad necessity.

    Any Lib Dem MSP or MP, and their Tory counterparts, is part of the problem. Seeing them cheerfully mugging at a photo opportunity opening up a food bank is just about puke inducing. Labour, well, they’re not quite as bad. On this point, and this point alone. Not that I think they’d be any better, since they’ve asserted they would carry on a programme of cuts if they get back into power in 2015.

  51. Albalha says:

    And another quick search reveals that in April this year something/someone called ‘Phil the Trolley’ was given a warm welcome in Edinburgh, piped through the streets of Edinburgh and even met the FM.
    Phil’s role in life is to raise awareness and support for’UK Foodbanks’.

  52. Tasmanian says:

    Really only one SNP politician photographed at these places? How does that happen? Did some canny spindoctor issue a very stern memo to them all or is it genuinely a different political attitude?

  53. Caledonalistic says:

    Foodbanks don’t need publicity.  The people who find them do so regardless because they’re absolutely desperate.  Fiona and the SNP may not be culpable for the existence of food banks but she’s still guilty of naivety.  Next time, she should pay for a newspaper add in the local rag and keep her name off of it.  They don’t cost much if you stick to plain text and refrain from sticking a colour photo, cheesy grin et al, at the top of the page.  Better still, volunteer/donate and don’t take a photographer along for the trip.
    Hers is a comparatively minor offence I’ll grant.  The rest of these c*(&s have to answer for them actually being there in the first place, given they’ve all been in power at Westminster in the recent past or present, and still they show up!  Like Davidson showing up to a bedroom tax protest.  “It wasnae me but!”  Karma can’t catch up with them soon enough.

  54. joe kane says:

    Most of the reason for the existence of foodbanks is because of the DWP sanctions regime which even steals social security benefits off those too sick and disabled to work (any patient in the ESA WRAG is eligible for sanctioning) never mind the millions unable to find work because there isn’t any.
    I read a tweet of a report by a Citizens Advice worker, from London I think it was, who witnessed mums fighting over free baby-milk for their starving young infants.

    Reference –
    Benefit sanctions sky rocket under under coalition
    2.25 million Jobseekers sanctioned since Coalition came to office!
    07 June2013 

    Foodbanks are a growing necessity and are the future according to Labour Party policy chief Jon Cruddas –
    Jon Cruddas on Labour economics part1/2 (13Feb13)
    Jon Cruddas MP – BBC Newsnight 13.02.2013 Part 2/2

  55. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “And another quick search reveals”

    I must admit, I’m a little curious as to what cause you’re trying to aid with this stuff.

  56. Caledonalistic says:

    That’s a bit more grey for me.  The foodbanks themselves may seek publicity.  Blameless politicians (or those opposed to the party line) may want to highlight the travesty of food banks.  It’s about context and presentation.  A smiling photo op just smells bad.  It’s like smiling over a corpse in my mind.  If you’ve been sitting in a green chair on the government benches at any time in the last 10 years then you should do the honourable thing, apologise, apologise some more, and then shut the fuck up and get on with sorting it (quietly).  In other words, be humble.

  57. Albalha says:


  58. joe kane says:

    Sorry about my naff formatting of those 2 video links to Jon Cruddas and his support for foodbanks. Here they are again –
    Jon Cruddas on Labour economics, part1/2 (13Feb13) 

    Jon Cruddas MP – BBC Newsnight 13.02.2013 Part 2/2 

  59. Arbroath 1320 says:

    I just don’t know what to say without going over the top with abusive language! To say that I’m disgusted by all those cheery smiling good for nothing rat bags is an understatement at the very least!
    All those smiling money grabbing thieving snouts in Westminster troughies are doing absolutely nothing for my appetite for my tea!
    Quick pass the sick bucket and my shotgun, not necessarily in that order!

  60. velofello says:

    @ Albalha: The SNP didn’t create the economic catastrophe, Labour did, and the Tories with their little helpers, the LibDems seem to be happily returning the living conditions of the general population to early 1900s standards. 
    Foodbanks are assisting people in difficult circumstances and I can accept and understand that an SNP politician supporting the Food Bank movement is consistent with their efforts to mitigate the consequences Westminster policies on Scotland but for the Unionist politicians, in the photos above, to stand there having their photo opportunities is shocking hypocrisy to me.
    Alex Ferguson MSP Conservative I understand is a land owner with wind turbines on his land providing additional (unearned?)income and he finds himself able to generously donate a basket of food!
    I truly hope that people learn and understand the dark future that awaits them if Scotland fails to vote Yes.Cold blooded people are living amongst us.

  61. Caledonalistic says:

    I can probably better sum up my sentiments as follows:
    political photo op’s won’t eradicate food banks.  High media focus and shaming politicians into action stands a better chance of doing that.  This article serves as a good example.  The mainstream media aren’t doing nearly enough.
    (I’ve almost calmed down)

  62. Dal Riata says:

    Politicians, and others, will use these foodbank openings to show the public their ‘caring and kind’ face. Result? The majority of people will look and think to themselves that it is a good and positive thing – a human reaction to what is viewed as an act of kindness. Ergo, the politician, or whoever, is looked upon in a positive light.
    What is hidden behind the nice pictures and the façade of righteousness to that majority of people is why this act of ‘kindness’ even came about.
    A complicit right-wing UK media is not there asking the smiley-faced politicians questions. Why is a foodbank needed here in your constituency? Are you happy about that? Why are some people in your constituency unable to buy basic provisions for themselves? What does it say about your party’s policies that some people come here because they are literally starving? What are you going to do to it eradicate the need for foodbanks in society? And etc.
    Hopefully, more and more people will, themselves, look beyond the ‘milk of human kindness’ angle and start to ask questions… and demanding answers.  

  63. Albalha says:

    I don’t disagree with any of that.

  64. Chic McGregor says:

    How about if every Westminster MP donates their £9000 raise, which they clearly do not want anyway, to the food banks in their constituency?  That would at least be a worthwhile photo-op for their local rag. 
    And that way they can time their donation so that they don’t have to be pictured alongside empty closets.

    Great incentive for them to eliminate the need as well.

  65. How can anybody have pride in the poverty of their country?we have been pushed into economic slavery.These Westminster politicians all seem to have an air of pride in themselves at opening up food-banks,they should be ashamed but too stupid to feel shame.Who will admit voting for this crowd of bandits?

  66. Archie [not Erchie] says:

    @ Caledonalistic – Similar to yourself I have travelled extensively in Africa [esp. Kenya] and witnessed extreme poverty that makes one’s heart bleed. I have seen the same here in [rich?]Aberdeen. What you see with the foodbanks is just the tip of the iceberg. The word NGO’s is identifiable with other continents but they are also in Scotland and ironically some of the Aberdeen Nigerian churches supply food & prayer to the needy.

    Its a sad day when the very people from Africa we help by whatever means now recognise our own plight and come to give us food. Its so very very sad and demeaning that our country is perceived as a basket case.

    For the last 2 years or so homeless, destitute or financially challenged? [poor] people approach the Benefit System for help and then they are processed etc. Along with the usual plethora of multicoloured forms to fill in they are given a list of places to go, on a daily basis, for free soup, toasties, meals, food bags, clothes, sleeping bags etc. Side alleys of churches, dark basements full of cast off jeans and wooly hats, well meaning volunteers filling bags with boxes of cheesy pasta.

    This is the sub culture below the normal day to day life that we usually see in town centres. This is the Scotland that is being forced into the dark drains and gutters of our land by the pompous, arrogant and self serving politicians that pretend they care by ‘Look at ME’ photos that the Rev has supplied.
    Its about time these political spongers got down on their knees and asked forgiveness from their electorate for failing them. Have they ever asked the question WHY? WHY is there a FoodBank opening up in my constituency? If I was one of them I would sure want to know WHY and then let hell contain my wrath on those that caused this situation.

    Sort of reminds me of circumstances prior to the French Revolution. However emasculation would wipe those smiles away.

    Annoyed? Me? Yes!

  67. Scaraben says:

    I think that it is important to distinguish between on the one hand, the need for food banks and those who are responsible for that need, and on the other hand food banks and those who support food banks.
    Given the onslaught on the most vulnerable people in the UK, begun by Labour and continued by the ConDems, it is a good thing that there are so many food banks to mitigate, at least slightly, the effect of benefit cuts. Of course, it would be much better if no-one had to rely on a food bank.
    It follows that it is reasonable for SNP politicians to support the work of food banks, since welfare is reserved to Westminster where the SNP are too few to have any influence. It is, however, hypocritical in the extreme for any Tory, LibDem or even Labour politician to support (or perhaps pretend to support) food banks when their parties are responsible for them being needed in the first place.

  68. CameronB says:

    Re. the MSM and their social commentary, I think Chumbawamba’s song “More Whitewashing” about sums it up. Recorded in 1991. Plus c’est change. Careful a bit loud and crash-y. 🙂

  69. Dal Riata says:

    @Archie [not Erchie]
    That is just incredible!
    No disrespect at all intended to Nigeria or any Nigerians, but are you saying that in Aberdeen there are Nigerians supplying food and other essentials to those – Aberdonians, Scots – who are unable to do so for themselves? Really??

  70. Archie [not Erchie] says:

    @ Dal Riata – Yes I am sayin  that and one of the places is smack dab in the centre of town., with another place not far from Union Square shopping mall. Both mainly Nigerian churches. Yes you have to comply and respectfully listen to words from the Bible and perhaps a short time of prayer but a food bag is the reward. Isnt it so sad?

  71. Albalha says:

    This started when I simply pointed out all politicians visted food banks including openings, I was asked to provide proof and so it went.
    I know the state of the nation, why we’re here, who’s responsible but the idea that not only we have food banks but you have to be referred to them by say a GP or Job Centre …… and they’re more than just tolerated, they’re almost welcomed.

  72. And this in a country with £1.5 Trillion of oil in it’s waters. Come on Scotland, waken up, for Christ sake. 

  73. Archie [not Erchie] says:

    @ Dal Riata – Just to let you see the local situation I have appended a link to Aberdeen Council [Free Food for the Homeless]
    On it you will see Peace House and Fountain of Love – Both of these are basically Nigerian Churches but I am sure other African countries are represented there.

  74. James Morton says:

    the foodbanks are proof of the mis-managed decline of the UK. The fact that they exist makes me feel ashamed. That people come together to help is a good thing, for a politician to get his fizog on the openeing ceremony photo – well that depends on what they do next is key here, not the stupid smile on the photo. And we know that one group are all to eager because they are dumb enough to think this is acceptable. The others think it is something that needs to fixed so that they are not needed.

    when I see this it saddens me, when I hear someone bleating on about how we are better together, I would like to drag them down to one and speak to the people there who have come to rely on them. You know what the sickener is? The unionist would probably think this was the positive case for Union.

    The mind boggles.

  75. Hetty says:

    Diabolical this is being accepted as anything resembling normality. Not a protest in sight, and the smiley faces of all involved makes my blood boil, as my dad would have said and he’d be turning in is grave now, glad he’s not here to see what the Labour party are doing by completely complying with tory policy. It’s criminal really. 
    Roll on 2014, for a better, fairer more equal Scotland.

  76. Taranaich says:

    What I don’t understand is how anyone could be celebrating the opening of a food bank. Politicians I can understand: they’d provide a smiling photo op for anything if they can spin it into good press. But what I cannot fathom is why the volunteers are treating this as if it was the grand opening for a new restaurant. In what universe could opening what is effectively a relief operation be cause for a celebration? It’s like having a politician opening up an emergency shelter for people made homeless by a disaster which only happened because those same politicians slashed budgets and ignored safety concerns.
    Forget tarring and feathering, I’m surprised these people haven’t been run out Farage style.

  77. Barontorc says:

    What you should know is that this is a fully strategised operation that has been through the due resilience process. When foodbanks were ‘mooted’ almost 12 months ago it was being implemented like an emergency war program in each area of the country with social services at the hub of it.
    This didn’t just happen, it was planned to happen and all politicians were privvy to, or in contact with a network that was privvy to, the cause and effect elements of the upcoming UK benefits-cuts strategy. Witness Lamont at FMQ and party conferences as she didn’t just fall promptly into line, but was, as in a farce, leading it. All of which makes their photo-opportunities even more obscene and fundamentally lays bare their inept moral collapse. The truly responsible MP would have been appalled by what was about to come down on their constituents and manning barricades to avert it.
    This operation may have a perceived fiscal necessity attaching to it, but it’s enforcement and total abandonment of basic human dignity has a haste that does not provide for any alternative. A disgraceful episode that spells out clearly Labour have totally and irretrievably lost the plot. Good bloody riddence to them and the sooner the better.

  78. teechur says:

    That we even have foodbanks in the first place is an horrendous indictment of repeatedly failed policies by successive Governments. There are no words to express the contempt with which I view politicians of any colour who are being photographed at them in the interests of personal aggrandisement. It shows just how lacking in understanding, sympathy and empathy these politicians have become. They have forgotten that they are there to serve the people like us who elected them in the first place.
    As a final point, and feel free to call me old and cynical (on the grounds that I am old and cynical), I wonder how many of the politicians pictured will have claimed the expense of their contributions back? I’d be very surprised if Danny Alexander hadn’t. FoI request anyone?

  79. CameronB says:

    It would be nice to think that prospective candidates for election in an independent Scottish, would first be required by our constitution, to undergo psychological assessment using the Psychopathy Checklist. The couple of paragraphs below the Abstract, gives you the general outline.

  80. Scaraben says:

    You say you are ‘old and cynical’. I do not know whether I am older than you, but perhaps I am more cynical, as I am not convinced that the need for foodbanks is the result of ‘repeatedly failed policies’. Perhaps the real policies of the Tories and their clones are more successful (and more evil) than you give them credit for. To encourage people to work for very little money, and thus make the rich even richer, they must have the real prospect of having no money at all and only surviving on charity. Above all, the poorest people must be seen by the rest as despicable failures; divide and rule. For the Tories, austerity (but not for members of the Establishment) is a means to an rather than an unfortunate necessity.
    Meanwhile, Labour are Tories pretending to be someting else.

  81. Beastie says:

    And publicising where they are will ensure more people know where they are when they need to find them. Or do you suggest people just wander around until they spot one?

    The point remains that any party not involved with the implementation of the current cuts does not carry anything like the blame that the likes of that wee rat Alexander does. And whilst I don’t like the idea of the places being needed at all, the fact remains that if a politician turns up to open them press cameras will also turn up and the place is then guaranteed to make the local press complete with picture. More people will notice it.

  82. Dal Riata says:

    @Archie [not Erchie]
    Thanks for the link.
    “Free breakfast.” “Free lunch.”  “Free dinner.”
    “Each agency may have specific criteria for providing such help and this is not always limited to homeless households.”
    Good on these agencies/churches/whatever for providing for those less fortunate.
    Again, I repeat my statement of no disrespect to Nigeria or Nigerians, or of any of Africa’s countries or people, when I repeat my astonishment at this situation.
    Here we have good and kind African people supplying basic foodstuffs to Scottish people in Aberdeen to stop them from possible starvation.
    “Hey, British Empire, want to take a look to see what’s going on here up in North Britainshire, where people of an African country which you fully exploited in your days of expansionism and theft are now actually  – and somewhat ironically considering past circumstances – here feeding our own locals who have barely nothing to survive on? Anything to say about that?”
    “What’s that? Thuy’re just a bunch ae hing’oot scroungers no’ willin’ tae dae any work anhwyz? Christ, that’s nice, eh! And you bunch ae Unionist are responsible for aw this, are ye no’?
    “Oh, but it’s a necessity in these times of austerity, you know, and when we climb into inevitable skyrocketing prosperity within the coming year it will have been a price worth paying. So stop your whinging and just get along now. Your African friends can always help you out as best they can.”
    Bloody hell. What has become of today’s UK? Almost Dystopian…..

  83. Chic McGregor says:

    “Meanwhile, Labour are Tories pretending to be someting else.”
    Yes,… more right wing.

  84. Tris says:

    But we do have the fourth largest military spend in the world…so we are still important and according to Cameron, countries around the world with respect or fear us.
    Actually in most of the ones I’ve been to people loathe Britain, and are only prepared to be friendly when you tell them you are Scottish. 

  85. Molly says:

    It’s priorities dear boy, we cannot continue to allocate money (yours)  for things such as food but we can allocate money (yours) to support your quest for a mortgage say , of up to £600,000  . With policies such as ” let’s create a new housing bubble ” as opposed to “lets actually look after our citizens” ,everyday is beginning to feel like ‘its a good day to bury bad news day’. 

  86. ianbrotherhood says:

    In post-Yes Scotland we should make a point of celebrating the closure of each and every one of these places.
    In the meantime, let’s be vigilant – if, as previous posters here have suggested, this roll-out of voluntary aid is structured and deliberate, we should expect to see Jobseekers being forced to ‘volunteer’ for food-bank duties, just as they’ve been steadily replacing genuine volunteers in traditional High-St charity shops.
    How long before we see people trying to ‘dance’ for thirty-six hours so they can claim a hamper of basics?
    Yeah, okay, I know, I’m ever-so biased, but please, please, please, there must be some of you who just can’t take it any more and want to DO something. If so, find out where your local SSP branch is located. If you don’t know where to start, just ask me (via here, if it’s allowed) and I’ll put you onto the Regional Organiser for your area.

  87. Ken Johnston says:

    O/T Does Cameron B‘s link explain something I can’t get my head round.
    How can these Better Together shower, all of them, lie in their teeth with their pronouncements about, well, everything. Nae oil, nae pensions, 500 facts, Project Fear, the banks. How do they live with themselves, conscience, any, nane.
    My favorite singer, Jackson Browne, penned a song in the 80’s, Lives in the Balance, really about S.America, but the lyrics go, partially :-
    ‘When a Government lies to it’s people’, some lines, then ‘They pick up a brick or a stone’
    In the event of a No vote, won on a deluge of lies, what will happen here.  Guys ?

  88. CameronB says:

    IMO, one of the reasons neo-conservatism has managed to beguile Labour, is because it is ‘big state conservatism’. Not ‘big state’ in the traditional sense of service provision. Rather ‘big’ in the sense of an all powerful patriarchal moral force. What better way to deliver English Socialism.

  89. Mark Harper says:

    Was it Connelly who said that anyone who expresses the slightest interest in politics should be immediately barred from entering it for life? 
    We must all hang our heads in shame but also thank those who are fighting to put food in the stomachs of the hungry.
    This is not a ‘Togetherness’ or an ‘Independence’ issue, this is a worldwide issue. Replacing one set of politicians with another will not resolve it. To try 
     and gain political mileage from it is abhorrent 

  90. iain taylor (not that one) says:

    Saw a shot in the Fife Free Press the other week with Rt Hon Gordon Brown MP – allegedly the Kirkcaldy “serving” member – posing with those trying to set up a food bank in the town. No irony.
    No comment on the root causes apart from a bland references to the “effects of the recession”. 
    FFP is owned by Johnston Press (a la Hootsmon) so if a local SLab politico stuck his/her a**e out of a taxi window they’d print the picture and write a nice wee story. 

  91. John Dickson says:

    Quite simply, in the 21st century it is disgusting that we even need food banks

  92. Jimbo says:

    That look on Danny Alexander’s face – He looks as if he’s sniggering and saying to himself ‘FFS do the working class actually eat this shit? How uproariously funny’.

  93. gemini says:

    The ladies of Castle Douglas look more like they are grimacing! How can those people even think about asking a politician to open the bank?? Argh!!

  94. helen burns says:
    this is our opening, mayors and mp – not a crumb to spare from the cake either

  95. Ehm Sixteen says:

    Has nobody clicked yet that the foodbanks are actually part of their plan? Next stop the Workhouse!
    Every one of these smirking fuckwits should be given the bullet.

  96. Jamie Arriere says:

    I can understand politicians of any hue wanting to support voluntary and charitable efforts to alleviate the suffering of people in their constituencies, to thank the volunteers in person, and to at least acknowledge the fact that these bloody things exist. As is plain to everyone here, the link between their actions and inactions in Parliament and the appearance of foodbanks everywhere is escaping nobody’s notice, and their smug smiles show that they think they’re getting away with it.
    I would have a lot more respect for any of them if just one of them, I don’t care who, stood up like the Archbishop of Canterbury to Wonga, and said “I want to close you down – remove the need for you existing!!”…..or at least try!!

  97. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:


    There’s nothing inaccurate in the post.

  98. Patrick Roden says:

    So Nigerians/Africans are feeding starving Scots!
    The next time they mention ‘Punching above our weight’ we know what we can say!

  99. stevie says:

    What a disturbing bunch of automatons we have elected…

  100. Albalha says:

    Let’s not get into below the line but the article says DA was at an opening, as I said higher up I don’t think he was, from what I can tell this food bank has been open since 2005. It proudly boasts being the first of the Trussell lot in Scotland. Link below.
    And for anyone interested in the Trussell Trust and its franchising of food banks, their website is headlined …….
    ‘Restoring dignity, and reviving hope ……..Community projects tackling poverty and exclusion in the UK and Bulgaria’
    I appreciate you want to stick it to the Unionist politicians, fair enough, but all politicians have welcomed the Trussell Trust, whether in smiling pics or not isn’t the issue for me.

  101. Albalha says:

    Re the SSP …they had a table at Shawlands Arcade earlier this week getting people to sign the anti bedroom tax petition (which of course I did and donated the requested £1 for the news sheet).
    Anyway, what I wondered was couldn’t they also be giving away YES stuff? I know the news sheet front page is about the referendum but not everyone will take that. I’m assuming the SSP is given the free flags, badges etc as part of the YES campaign?
    Anyway just a personal observation, for what it’s worth.

  102. ali turnbull says:

    grinning morons is right
    that is! the idiots working the food banks and the idiots that invited these parasites along to the opening.
    until the sheeple of this country get educated big business will always shaft us

  103. Barontorc says:

    @Ehm Sixteen
    As I said earlier:-
    ‘What you should know is that this is a fully strategised operation that has been through the due resilience process. When foodbanks were ‘mooted’ almost 12 months ago it was being implemented like an emergency war program in each area of the country with social services at the hub of it. This didn’t just happen, it was planned to happen and all politicians were privy to, or in contact with a network that was privvy to, the cause and effect elements of the upcoming UK benefits-cuts strategy. ‘
    ‘Workhouses’ would, by association within a resilience strategy, be an extension of social provision to cope with the fallout of the benefits cuts program. Anyone ‘political’ who tells you they don’t know what’s coming is lying through their teeth.

  104. anna briggs says:

    At least they’re not smiling in York or Renfrew, where the other Alexander (Douglas) knows how serious it is . We won’t be smiling in the little town of Thurso when we launch the foodbank here in September.

  105. Luigi says:

    Politicians love to be generous —
    —  with other people’s money.

  106. David Gildea says:

    Wow, something to be proud of, isn’t it ?? did it ever occur to these overpaid politicians that the really great acheivement would be a country or a world were foodbanks were not needed.

  107. Foodbanks are a national embarrassment and these poverty mongers are using them as a photo op.


    Thank you WoS for sharing these. Please create an album on your FB page so that people can share them easier.

  108. A Davey says:

    Well Done to those MPs for at least taking part in helping to promote something which gives to a needy group in our society.

  109. big_al says:

    Rev, courtesy of your ‘pal’ phil welsh, another one to add to the foodbank hall of shame. (saw the link on his page)

  110. allen ralston says:

    could you not have a section called “irony brew your other national think”
    photos such as these would fit right in

  111. Dexter St. Clair says:

    Anyone googled “SNP Food Banks” yet?

  112. the bulk of the food is boxed or tinned,nothing fresh like meat a treat from Aberdeen Angus,a would be bargain in such times to have a meal with real pride of Scotland’s beef trade,a bit scary for M P’s to throw some wait behind their in need constituents and by their smiles are happy to gaze in a moment of wonder to be ready to spread
    a few corn flakes around.

  113. john says:

    The owners of ASDA-WALMART have nuclear bomb shelters in the US for when the big one hits, saving themselves solely, ta hell with everyone else who helpd THEM pay & build it. the fuck or get fuckd culture of today. welcome home.

  114. Elizannie says:

    I hope that you don’t mind, I have quoted your website and this article in particular here:

  115. Martin B says:

    DUMP LABOUR. They;ve dumped you. Vote YES 2014.

  116. George Mortimer says:

    Someone above made the comment that maybe the reason why they have such openings is to give the food-banks publicity. As far as I am aware you must be referred by an agency or charity to get your emergency rations.
    That’s why the Tories were crowing about Job Centre staff being enabled by them to refer the deserving poor. They actually think that the next best thing to being offered a job is being handed a chit for some basic provisions.
    Pity the referendum is still a year away.

  117. Stuart Black says:

    Me and my wife took 50 quids worth of stuff down to the Glasgow NW bank the other week, and having seen what was happening there went out and spent another 150 on the things that they identified to us as being in short supply. They were overstocked with the things that most people would think of first: rice, pasta, soup and the like. For those who would like to donate, they will be grateful for anything, but tinned meat, tinned fish, sugar, fruit juice, and toiletries of all descriptions, including toothpaste, shampoo and toilet paper are urgently needed.
    The last thing we would have thought of doing was getting our photograph taken, hard to smile when you’re fucking raging.

  118. frankieboy says:

    And most of these politicians look as though eating less would be good for them as they are certainly packing a few pounds. I would be ashamed to celebrate the opening of a foodbank. Sometimes I am ashamed of being a human being when I see the inhumanity and sheer greed and insensitivity of these mindless self-serving bastards.

  119. Hinnylass says:

    Hang on, isn’t EVERYONE smiling in these pics…?

  120. Iain says:

    CUNTS!!! otherwise speechless 

  121. karen mcghee says:

    The photo of Michael Connarty in West Lothian you missed the the other Labour man Graeme Morris MP a photo op not to be missed. My blood is boiling now that an oil rich country(not to mention all of Scotlands other resources)is reduced to food banks omfg disgusting

  122. shantilly says:

    Look, food banks exist and they exist on donations, we may not like them but that’s how it is right now so people need to be aware of them and MPs should get involved in helping out!

  123. ElaineS says:

    In Gordon Brown’s photo the lass to the left of him is a old pal of mine, I was talking to her about McCrone report a few months back..lets hope he hasn’t sweet talked her into No camp,she was an unsure.

  124. Caadfael says:

    They all seem so smug with their wee drappie shopping, I’m sure they could have a minion or two haul a trolley load for them.
    No skin off their noses, after all they’ll likely claim for it!!

  125. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Anyone googled “SNP Food Banks” yet?”

    Probably. But they’ll have been missing the point, because unlike the others the SNP aren’t campaigning to preserve the state of affairs that created them.

  126. Charlotte says:

    Ever thought that MPs go to officially open food banks because they don’t want people to starve? And that they want to show their support to a good cause. But before you go and complain that it’s those MPs that made it that way in the first place, there is only so much parliament can control before you all go calling them dictators.

  127. Isnt this what we pay the Queen to do? 
    Who do these politicians think they are taking jobs from hard working Royals?

  128. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Ever thought that MPs go to officially open food banks because they don’t want people to starve?”

    It’s not necessary for an MP to go and get their big grinning face in the papers for a foodbank to do its job. The very least they could do is look serious about it, because the very existence of a foodbank is evidence that they have failed disastrously at their job and ought to be deeply, thoroughly ashamed of themselves.

    “there is only so much parliament can control”

    The UK is a rich country. There’s plenty to go round. If it’s all being hogged by the rich to the point where poor people can’t even FEED themselves, Parliament should fuck off and let someone else do the job better.

  129. Howesy says:

    “Zac Goldsmith (Conservative) in Richmond.
    Richmond FFS shurely some mistake????
    That has to be one of the richest constituencies in entire UK”

    Sadly, the richer the constituency, the more exaggerated the poverty gap.
    The challenge is to find anyone who’s ever seen somebody living rough…
    Too busy looking the other way…
    Zac Golsmith has space in his mansion to put a few up….

  130. stuart says:

    We all need to start growing our own food and stop relying on the rubbish 
    that Tesco and the likes control us with  get back to people working in communities together 
    to create a plentiful ongoing supply  there is so much free space available to grow it

  131. Martin says:

    Not enough that they get paid that salary with a generous expense allowance but they then cheat and steal taxpayers money on top.  Then they wonder why they rank below double glazing salesmen and dodgy car dealers

  132. Gordon Jackson says:

    How about posting similar pic of Dundee SNP MSP Joe Fitzpatrick.  He’s sporting the same glaikit look as plenty of your other photos.  Just in the interests of balance you understand.

  133. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “How about posting similar pic of Dundee SNP MSP Joe Fitzpatrick. He’s sporting the same glaikit look as plenty of your other photos. Just in the interests of balance you understand.”

    No thanks. As we’ve already pointed out, the difference is that the SNP aren’t trying to defend and maintain the system that’s caused foodbanks. Labour, the Tories and the Lib Dems all want to keep Scotland in a Union that can’t even achieve the most basic fundamental responsibility of any government – feeding its people. The SNP don’t.

  134. Steven Rodger says:

    These people are sick and only today i opened up our local paper the East Fife  Mail to find the provost of fife Jim leishman standing along side Lyndsay Roy opening another food bank .These politicians should think burning shame on thmselves .

  135. Gemma says:

    A Trussell Trust foodbank was opened in the Western Isles last weekend by SNP MSP Alasdair Allan. With the way it was reported on the official foodbank website ( it looks as though he would have fitted right in with some of the crowd above, but if you read what he said at the opening, as reported in the local press, it tells a different story (

  136. Trish Wilkinson says:

    How gleeful they look, whilst seemingly oblivious to the human suffering they have caused!!!
    Shameless, heartless bastards!!!!

  137. C Seaton says:

    What kind of upside down world are we living in?
    On Television we hear appeals to help third world countries receive food and clean water which is their human rights.
    Are we then heading into this same category?  It is a sad state of affairs.
    Politicians  who think the recession is on the wain need to have a long hard look at their electors state of financial poverty it is a downright disgrace.

  138. Greannach says:

    This is unbelievable and worth re-posting as many people won’t have seen this shocking gallery of smilers. Better Together? My arse!

  139. Finnzz says:

    Was Doogie Alexander standing up in that photo. Or is really only 4 foot 2

  140. Telford Live says:

    Thank you for this. I really do not like people trying to score political points in this way. 

  141. Salt Ire says:

    I like the photo of Douglas Alexander shot through the moral-rectitude filter.

  142. Kevin says:

    Well! I can not believe that you are all being so harsh, I think it’s refreshing to see so many genuine politicians doing something that is so close to their hearts without any hope of gaining political favour it makes me so proud that we have such wonderful people running our country…lol

  143. Kevin says:

    Well! I can not believe that you are all being so harsh, I think it’s refreshing to see so many genuine politicians doing something that is so close to their hearts without any hope of gaining political favour it makes me so proud that we have such wonderful people running our country…lol

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