This week’s lazy Tory Party attack – Oxfam

There has been a bit of noise on social media to day about this poster produced by the anti-poverty charity Oxfam:


The Telegraph wrote up the story as “MPs shocked by ‘disgraceful’ political campaigning”. The poster coincides with the publishing, by Oxfam of this report called “Below the Breadline”. In it, it discusses poverty in the UK and the rise of food banks. The thing that seems to have irked the Tory Party though is Oxfam having the temerity to link food-bank usage with benefit sanctions, low wages and zero-hour contracts among other things. The Telegraph piece quotes three Tory MPs as criticising Oxfam and reprints a letter of complaint to the Charities Commission from one of the MPs. Conservative columnist for the Times Tim Montgomerie branded the recommendations in Oxfam’s report “socialist remedies”.

The report’s recommendations are in fact rather mild. It calls for an imposition of a living wage for all by 2020 (heaven forbid work should actually pay enough to live on), calls on the government to commission independent research into food bank usage (any responsible government should be doing this anyway), and to review the use of sanctions (which as Oxfam point out are a very inefficient way of achieving their stated aim of getting more people into work).

The response from the Tory Party follows a very well-worn path. The recurring strategy is, if someone disagrees with you, don’t try to argue your case, just try to smear the person or organisation making the attack – say they’re ‘socialist’, ‘stalinist’ or just ‘politically motivated’.

How should anti-poverty charity campaign without ever mentioning what they feel are the route causes of that poverty?



10 thoughts on “This week’s lazy Tory Party attack – Oxfam

  1. Reblogged this on Vox Political and commented:
    “The recurring [Tory] strategy is, if someone disagrees with you, don’t try to argue your case, just try to smear the person or organisation making the attack – say they’re ‘socialist’, ‘stalinist’ or just ‘politically motivated’.”
    Let’s all watch Iain Duncan Smith doing that on Question Time on Thursday, as a living example.

  2. The best way for government to deal with charities is to put them out of business – by successfully addressing the problem the charity was setup to deal with.

    Oxfam are no saints – they use chuggers to harass people like the rest of the corporate charities – but in this case they are spot on with their analysis.

  3. Good poster. Spot on – but I hope this is just posters for their windows. How much should they be spending on advertising? Apart from talking about the problem ( like Shelter) are Oxfam doing anything to help? Honest question. I don’t know. Do Oxfam run any food banks or otherwise contribute?

    1. Running food banks and ‘contributing’ just helps to mask the problem and kick the can forward. The problem of persistent unemployment and homelessness can only be solved by direct government action. That is what we empower government to do, and it should get on and do it.

      1. Agreed. But what is disgusting, here and in the US is the deliberate vilification of the poor and bureaucratic persecution of those trying to help them. Laissez-faire govt over issues that affect many of us is one thing, but their zealous activism against people trying to help the problems which they deliberately caused is nauseating. It is like being ruled by gutter-scum with values straight out of the sewer, set on sabotaging everything in the country that works and crushing everyone into the gutter ( while emptying your pockets in the process). We are not being governed. We are being sabotaged by traitors.

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