One million foodbank visits, but not one story in the Tory press

More coverage for the royal foetus as the disgrace of foodbanks is dropped down the memory hole

Prince George


Bad news this morning. We live in a country where one unborn baby gets more press than hundreds of thousands of hungry children.

As Ruby Stockham reports in these pages, the Trussell Trust charity today says it received a million vouchers for emergency food at foodbanks across the country last year (2014/15).

This is up by nearly a fifth (19 per cent) from the year before, and includes just shy of 400,000 vouchers for children. This doesn’t mean a million different people or 400,000 different children, but this is still an appallingly high number of people. The Trust believes the true figure may be even higher.

But you wouldn’t know any of this if you relied on the right-wing press in this country. Because not one of the national papers of a rightward bent found space to mention such a headline-worthy milestone – not the Daily Mail, the Telegraph, the Sun, the Express, or even the Times. 

Though the data was embargoed until midnight, both the Mirror and the Guardian managed to run prominent stories in their print editions. Why not the others? Could it be they find it embarrassing that the Trust says foodbank use has risen due to government welfare cuts and low wages?

The foodbank story is also missing from the supposedly left-wing Independent, though its Tory stablemate, the free Evening Standard, has run a London-specific story online which might go in tonight’s print edition. These two anomalies aside, the coverage – or lack thereof  – does seem to break down along Right/Left lines.

Meanwhile, the offending papers did find space for massive (and vacuous) coverage of speculation about the royal foetus, who once born will not have to want for anything a day of his/her life. It’s good to know these papers have their priorities sorted out.

The Sun royal baby

Space was also found for a US court decision to grant habeas corpus rights to two chimpanzees. This is an undoubtedly brilliant story, and even garnered an editorial in the Telegraph teasing the decision and its implications in the ‘human-rights-come-first’ mode.

I think we could more easily join them in their chuckles about a US court granting rights to monkeys if these papers showed more interest in the human rights of hungry people in Britain.

Adam Barnett is a staff writer at Left Foot Forward. Follow MediaWatch on Twitter


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16 Responses to “One million foodbank visits, but not one story in the Tory press”

  1. GTE

    And the one million figure is bogus, as even the Trussell Trust have now admitted.

    It goes back to the core problem. The poor have no capital because you took it and redistributed it in the socialist manner. Now they have nothing to fall back on, and the state has run out of money. 9,200 bn owed for pensions before we get to the borrowing.

  2. Newton Unthank

    As the article itself reports:

    This doesn’t mean a million different people or 400,000 different children

  3. Guest

    You don’t understand the concept of capital, I see. You are both whining the poor have too much, as usual, and whining that you didn’t manage to overcharge the poor enough and make a high enough profit.

    And keep making up pension figures rather than read the statistics, LB.
    You of course also deny fiat currency, and don’t understand we’re deflating.

  4. Leon Wolfeson

    Expect LB/Lord Blagger, now “GTE”, to read? right.

  5. Faerieson

    But, of course it is mentioned, just not directly, rather more in coded terms. “The recovering economy, fiscal policies working,” that sort of thing. Collateral damage has evolved to include people these days, but only certain types of people.

    Perhaps the foodbanks will be able to provide food for the planned street parties, to celebrate the royal birth. Happy times and a job for everyone!


    The State has loadsamoney how do you think the banks were bailed out! The food banks are a result of almost economic collapse caused by the banks and corrupt financial institutions.

  7. Guest

    Guido lies about the article, right, as he calls facts biased against his reality again.

  8. SgtVimes

    Since when has building up debt by bailing out the banks and then making life impossible for the poor by cutting the safety net been socialist? Its also important to remember that while the Trussell Trust are the largest food bank chain they do not represent all food banks and so any figures will only represent a proportion of the real scale of the issue.

  9. andrea jackson

    Guido states “so the number of people using food banks is likely to be around half of the 1.1 million figure.” – well that’s reassuring then.

  10. Leon Wolfeson

    They’re only about 95% or so of the system.

  11. Guest

    Keep blaming everything on the banks. A crisis we were recovering nicely from when your Coalition took over.

  12. Leon Wolfeson

    More like two-thirds, and of course the people actually FED is a multiple of that (likely to be about 2.1 or so)

  13. Keith M

    Guido is a right winger – Nuffield said.

  14. Cole

    You couldn’t even be bothered to read the headline, let alone the article, before sounding off.

    Btw, it’s the Tories not Labour who redistribute money from the poor to the rich. That’s the whole point of conservatism. It doesn’t have any other purpose.

  15. Arizona

    So – no condemnation for those on the Left who inflated the figures to make it sound like a million people used food banks? No – thought not.

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