There is a place where kindliness and charity tips into narcissism and self-promotion. For now it’s George Square in Glasgow, where a pop-up foodbank is being fetishized by people who helped Glasgow vote Yes to Scottish independence.

Is this phenomenon a momentary response to a momentous stimulus, part of the recent pepper-potting of control over this important civic space between the two sides in the referendum? Or does it provide us with an insight into the nature of post-referendum Scotland?

The Scottish referendum was a robust old affair which saw working-class Glasgow’s clear Yes outbid by middle-Scotland’s resounding No. Much of that middle-class resides in Glasgow, too, of course – in council houses bought thanks to Margaret Thatcher and in beautiful, leafy suburbs lined with red and blonde sandstone. The dominant public narrative in Glasgow, for now, is disappointment turning to anger coupled with maudlin sentiment masquerading as civic pride and noble expression of collective identity.

Opportunism plays its part, of course. In George Square, a well-intentioned gesture of ‘peace and harmony’ following a turbulent time turned into an impromptu foodbank, but then morphed into a rallying point for still-high Yes campaigners.

This latter transformation was facilitated by the ‘news editor’ who, mistaking reporting for activism, tweeted his pride at what had manifestly become a political statement – carefully misquoting personal criticism as criticism of donors themselves, urging on the mob via social media. It was moved along by the local celebrity who, in his concern for Glasgow’s poor forgot that he is most famous in the city as a landlord once banned by the local authority from letting his sub-standard flats to said poor people; and by another who took the opportunity to tout the hashtag for her latest book; by the trades union figure who, in flight from Labour has run into the arms of a party of corporation tax-cuts and local pay-bargaining. Then the mob fell upon any criticism – easy, angry tweets confused with social activism.

So far, so normal. The truly striking thing about this raising of an impromptu foodbank to the status of a minor religious icon is that is asks people to parade their charity and be applauded – and it tells ‘the deserving poor’ to come forward and be grateful. It’s a nod to the dark side of Victoriana.

Supporting Yes was a perfectly valid and decent choice. Yet the Yes campaigners have, through their elected representatives, had the power to raise extra tax for years but have never fancied it. They’d prefer to cut corporation tax than raise income tax. They cast benefits to their own comfortably off – free tuition fees, free prescriptions and the rest  – as somehow left-of-centre when in truth the fact that they are the opposite is the secret of the SNP’s success in what used to be the Tory shires of Scotland.

Glasgow is a super city filled with friendly, creative, hard-working folk. The George Square jamboree seeks to reduce Glasgow to a city of poverty-porn. The city famously has its problems, of course, but these can only be dealt with properly-funded social programmes over time. Free food, quietly and efficiently delivered, might well have its place. Foodbank fetishism, on the other hand, serves only the purveyors.

143 Responses to Glasgow’s George Square – foodbank fetishists and poverty porn
  1. Eric, where would I find out about the “banning of letting substandard flats” issue. Is this on public record anywhere ?

  2. Having been on and of JSA for 4 yrs and having had my payments suspended for 6 weeks, I know poverty. Food banks are a sticking plaster but when you have been cut, a plaster is needed none the less. I am glad to be back at work but I have been on the bones of my arse, thanks to the DWP and its psychopathic perseverant drive to terrorise the poorest people in this country. I donated to the foodbank also and along with other people am disgusted that this is needed in Glasgow 2014. In my case it most certainly was. As for tax raising powers, this is not going to do very much, when DWP policy is controlled by the maniacs at Caxon House and their complicit servants.

  3. “There is a place where kindliness and charity tips into narcissism and self-promotion”:

    http://www.labour.org.uk/

  4. Poverty is a sad reality and while food banks are not the solution, surely you cannot ignore the fact that all those donations will help children and families have some extra food and relieve the burden of having to make ends meet, if only for a day or two.
    It would have made an interesting article to hear what your solution to the poverty problem is, rather than you have your own political rant on the matter. The people I know who are involved with food banks are not looking for glory or grateful thanks from anyone who needs such a service, but they do need publicity and this surely has raised awareness until folks like yourself END POVERTY NOW!!

  5. Dear Mr Joyce,

    It is the right in any democracy to offer an opinion, but it is equally the right for dissenters to respond. Indeed, as former military men, it was our duty to fight if necessary to defend that blessed right.

    An almost unanimous level of disagreement to an opinion might make the commenter re-examine, and perhaps moderate, his thoughts. Obviously not in your case!

    Clearly you seem happy to court negative responses to acts of unprompted generosity with the same repeated trite responses. Good luck in your new career after May 2015.

  6. You sir are an imbecile.
    Your solution to this problem is to raise income tax.
    Call yourself a Labour rep??
    So you would have scotland pay more income tax than England, which in turn would reduce the amount provided by the barnett formula?
    You and your like are the reason that I hope and pray that Scotlands sons and daughters will unite and kick you out for good.
    You are nothing but an aggressive violent man, who should have resigned donkeys ago but have kept your nose in the trough.
    You have the audacity to criticise antone?
    How dare your sir, how very dare you!

  7. Cant agree with you. Nationalism is not what the Yes campaign stood for. In your wee world maybe, but the real “Nationalists” were there on Wednesday night doing the Nazi salute under the Union flag then again on Friday night beating the shit out of anyone who stepped in their way. That is Nationalism. Foodbanks are a reality in Scotland because of YOU and those who you stand alongside. I dont care WHO publicizes it as long as the word is put out. Its only then will people realize we are being fed nothing but lies. Resign Mr Joyce and see who gets your seat instead. Oh wait, you’d miss out on your big expenses and your wage for doing NOTHING! Have YOU donated anything to a local foodbank? – other than nasty twitter comments. You sir are a despicable human being.

  8. While I am completely disgusted by this post, attacking an initiative to help those in need simply down to the politics of the vast majority that help food banks, I have another point to pick up on.
    The foodbank in question – ‘Glasgow’s Needy,’ is ran by the Carnegie father and son team, who have regularly been in attendance at Yes demonstrations in Glasgow. The reason they were in attendance was because of the fact that the Westminster parties have done nothing to help those in need, especially in Glasgow’s deprived areas. By attacking a food bank simply because of the politics of those who organised it, Mr Joyce and the Labour party have finally proved that they no longer care for the plight of the working class and have sided with the Tories. DIsgusted.

  9. Mr Joyce please why tell me why a man with such right wing views joined the Labour Party, christ man you a are an abhorrent speciman to the the people of Scotland. Yes Scotland voted No but for an elected MP of Scotland to talk about the the people who elected him (app 45%) who voted for you why do you treat us with such disdain

  10. I’d never heard of you before you got pished and smacked those Tories in the face. You’ve gone downhill since then. You should’ve resigned when you were asked to. I feel sorry for the people of Falkirk having an idiot like you representing them. But do you actually do that? Or do you just pick up your salary and expenses and spout shit?
    Roll on next May. You’re gonnae be oot o a job mate! Do ye ken how tae work a lavvy brush?

  11. Mr. Joyce we only have control of the policies of the NHS. The budget is set in Westminster. Therefore we do not have full control. X

  12. Don’t you have a job you should be doing instead of coming down into the comments, insulting people like a 12 year old Young Conservative shoved onto the Guardian website for the first time? You absolute prick.

  13. Dear Eric you are a disgrace to yourself and the people of Falkirk, the sooner your gone the better hopefully you’ll end up on jobseekers allowance and you’ll see what it’s like for genuine people living on the breadline….No-one takes a word you say seriously so do the world a favour and climb back into the bottle you obviously prefer to live in and leave the politics of Scotland to the people who know what they’re talking about

  14. I’d like to see all these arguments backed with numbers and sources, please. Especially (but not only) those about people who vote no and live in council flats bought in the Thatcher years. Thank you.

    • Go ask a bunch of people who bought the council flats and ask them what they think of the SNP’s ban on such purchase.

      • Heavens after the councils were NOT allowed to use the receipts to build new social housing. I thought you were meant to be a socialist. All you have done with that is to prove you are a tory. I wonder what Aneurin Bevan would have called YOU?

  15. The piece is obviously about how individuals with self-interest and political interest at heart turned a well-intentioned thing into quite a different, polarising, thing. Any well intentioned act has an element of self intrest to it. Be that political gain or the warm feeling in the belly. The Ego must be fed after all. There is no such thing as a selfless act, when there is reward even if that reward is just a feeling of pride. Its part of what makes us human and has driven us to build civilisations. In denouncing an act of good becuase there are gains to be made from it, it’s to denounce all acts of good.

  16. Mr. Joyce We didnt alert the press as we dont trust a large percentage of the U.K.media. The press were following on from the disgusting scenes brought to our city by thugs representing the Better together Campaign. No if you are willing to present such representation of the city of Glasgw’s ever giving Citizens as organised by the Yes campaign then you and your parties must tske full responsibility for organising BNP EDI and loyalists to bring utter shame to our streets. If we have to choose between passer bys placing foid parcels and abusive behaviour and language in our midst then I will continue to support the rights of my fellow countrymen to help the people who are poor because of you and your party’s policies.

    • The politically-motivated organisers of the George Square food bank had and still have an extensive campaign of self-promotion.

  17. I think u should get off your high horse Mr Joyce. ..There may come a day when you need a food bank the way your career is going. Just saying!!!!!never mock the afflicted. …hope karma gets you soon.

  18. My problem with this article is, and I don’t necessarily disagree with all the criticisms of the post-referendum Yes campaigners is, in all honesty, you’re really just pumbing the debts of “no such thing as a selfless act” which is really a bit of a limp criticism.

    I also think there are other problems here and that is the speed which people are expecting things to happen. Will the George Square foodbank work as a longterm realistic project? not really. Does it serve as a symbolic juxtaposition of what happened on Friday when loyallists rioted to celebrate the union and serve to strike a blow back for Glasgow’s damaged image? yes I think it does.

    This was an exciting campaign, fueled by passion, and while, like I said, the yes campaign haven’t been gracious winners, it seems apparent the no campaign are equally as unable to be gracious losers. lets be clear, for a lot of people you have stolen the hopes and dreams they had of an independent country. This is a powerful feeling, and one to which I personally feel no shame in ascribing to. An inclusive, open, society self-determined by it’s people is not something you can dismiss as “facism” if you ever fancy a punch in the mouth why don’t you take a flight to any country in the world and tell someone they should be ashamed of being whatever particular nationality they are. Indeed, lets not forget it was your campaign that used slogans to directly appeal to patriotism.

    So lets be clear, there are emotions at stake and pissing on them in immediate aftermath of the event makes you look as equally bad as the worst of the overzealous yes campaigners.

    There was food donated to the poor, it possibly served to make yes campaigners look good, especially compared to a group of unionist rioters that bragged about stabbing people. I think it’s possible you have lost sight of the forest for the trees.

    • You do know that No won the referendum, right?

      • Not in Glasgow which given your article was Glasgow specific it’s evident the reply was too!

      • The only winner in the referendum was the rich brats at Westminster who will continue to lie, deceive, rape and pillage this once proud country.

        I hope when you are unemployed after the next election that you do not have to depend on the Welfare State and foodbanks for your existence

        • Jack, I think you’ll find that No beat Yes by 10 points. Have some respect for democracy?

      • I assume this is meant to be crowing after your party representative, Gordon Brown, swung the vote with their suggestions of devolved powers. He now comes to the Scottish people to ask us to sign a petition over what was supposed to be a ‘done deal.’ Well where are they? Or is this just to be a replay of 1979?

  19. Eric
    I need to agree with you,what you have is individuals that are doing a good deed .. Who doesn’t want to help the needy, but there is no need to self promote there selfs , with this comes a form of emotional blackmail if you don’t help us ,you are exposed as a selfish person that dosent want to help…but in return they ofer there help to u so what are they ?? Saviours ?? Gods ?? Or just humans a true human wouldn’t want anything in return .i pity the people that are helping these saviours because they will get used
    Ps I’m not a fan of u Eric , but what u spoke was the truth

    • Bad grammar makes your comment unreadable! For example “no need to self promote there selfs ,” it should read “no need to promote themselves,” incidentally when referring to people it’s their not there. After this point your comment is unreadable!

      • Hmmm. Are you referring to a comment I’ve replied to? There are a lot, so I guess if there are typos that’s just the way it is. People would rather get a reply than not, I guess, and there’s only so much time.

  20. “through their elected representatives, had the power to raise extra tax for years but have never fancied it. They’d prefer to cut corporation tax than raise income tax.”

    Getting sick of hearing this nonsense spouted, you cannot have different income tax rates in two parts of a unitary state like the UK – because people and businesses will just flood over the border to whichever is cheapest, causing chaos, job losses and public fury – tax rates will have to stay the same. This very reason is why the Scottish Parliament’s existing tax altering powers have never used by the previous Labour/Lib Dem Holyrood Governments.

    • So with independence you’d need a policed border. Jesus.

      • No Eric because we would have no need to raise taxes etc because we wouldn’t be subsidising the south of England anymore! Even so it would be different

        • Let’s see – you’re saying that Scotalnd subsidises the poorer parts of the UK so should cut them loose? That seems pretty right wing to me.

        • Glasgow is the poorest city in the UK – tell me how subsidising a high speed rail link or new sewers for London will help those people. Your comment is completely stupid as well you know! Goodness it’s like talking to a Jehovah’s witness!

        • I don’t support HS2. And nor do I talk Glasgow down – it has its problems but it’s terrible to define the city by them.

      • We would need the same borders as implemented in the EU. The original post from Ian is not the scenario across Europe, but you decided to run with it ?

      • Jesus.

        So not only a renegade ‘socialist’ but a blasphemer as well – just when I thought you couldn’t sink any lower!

  21. Thank you so much for this very revealing article, Eric. I knw it’s merely the rant of a politician who knows he is doomed and is bitterly resentful toward the people and the democratic process. It will, however, be circulated widely among the Yes campaigners, most of whom are like me non-nationalist and will surely incentivise many to rid this country of ALL the Tories,within whose ranks you surely dwell.

    • Jock, Yes is by definition nationalism. I know a lot of Yes people are embarrassed by that because they know what nationalism means.

      • We would be, if we took it to mean what you think it means, but we dont, as ye ken fine weel.

      • Eric, nationalism has several meanings so if you are referring to the definition of nationalist that is a “love of ones country and a willingness to sacrifice for it”, or “the aspiration for national independence felt by people under foreign domination” then yes the YES campaign was and is defined by this however unionists like yourself ascribed the meaning that yes supporters nationalism followed the definition that “your national culture and interests are superior to any other” and this is completely untrue! In fact did not some no supporters claim that they were voting no because they love Scotland therefore also nationalist by doctrine? I suggest that those who claim not to be nationalist are in fact claiming that they do not follow the unionist definition of nationalism. I would in turn infer from unionist projections that they do not understand what nationalism means or have chosen deliberately to mislead – take your pick!

  22. Saddened that a “labour” MP felt the need to make such a length attack on people who are trying to do what labour was founded to do. There is a genuine outpouring of the need to do something to make a change amongst yes voters. As a teacher in a state secondary school I have been asked by members of my Justice and Peace group how they can help support food banks and what they can do to protest against nuclear weapons. This is not poverty porn. We already donate food parcels every Christmas, support a partner school in Ecuador, raise thousands for Mary’s meals, SCIAF, CHAS, Yorkhill hospital …and more. The fact that some peoples act of charity is suddenly visible to you in no way make it poverty porn. People have been awakened in recent month to the lies and corruption, to career politicians who are funded and driven by big business. The state won’t take care of the needy unless forced, so the normal people have to. As A Catholic it is my responsibility to help other, doing so is not porn. Perhaps you should spend more of you time, funded by US, helping others and not criticsing decent hardworking people who don’t claim thousands in expenses for just doing their job…….outrageous expense claims that deserves an ugly description, charity does not. You are not in any place to critise how people choose to help others. Shame on you. I am glad you are not my MP, but with a large part of my family in Fallirk, I do worry, perhaps not for long.

    • I can’t get beyond your juvenile condemnation of a group of people because of their job. “The state won’t take care of the needy unless forced”. I’ve no idea what it is you teach, but I thank God you don’t teach my children.

      • I was clearly replying to Jj’s post but if you would like your grammar or spelling checked I will gladly oblige – for a fee and unlimited expenses over and above my fee of course – if it’s good enough for you…

      • Eric your comment shows a complete lack of understanding about how the system actually works! We all know that Westminster MP’s received a £30k wage rise last year and that it set for another 10% this year not to mention expenses yet trying to get DLA or PIP as it is now for someone unable to walk (and housebound without their car) means a wait form Nov 2013 to September 2014 just for a medical! Not to mention that atos and DWP are so crooked that the person will most likely need to appeal! Yes A Duffy is spot on! If you would like to see a juvenile stamping child then I suggest you read your own blog – while your no unionist lot is rioting in George square, attacking yes voters the others ide set their energies on something productive – trying to discredit them really s just you throwing your toys out your pram! Thank God we have teachers like A Duffy!

        • A £30k pay rise? You made that bit up, yes? And which ‘expenses’ are you referring to? My staff’s salaries? My office rent? Flights to London? Yeah, those pesky flights – if you knew MPs would spend all their time in London you’d never have voted for them, right?

  23. Eric
    now I know how J.K.Rowling felt when the dogs of war set upon her.

  24. I think in reality Mr Joyce you will find that the majority who contribute to these initiatives do it out of care for others, not to patronise or score points.
    They happen to be receiving more publicity right now due to the realisation that there are so many out there with a man mind thyself mentality.

    • The organisers of the George Square food bank contacted me through their professional public affairs representatives – a media company based in Glasgow.

  25. In reading your replies, you’ve twice mentioned SNP having the ability to raise taxes to pay for things. Firstly, raising taxes is never a popular choice, going after your opposition because they have chosen not to tax more seems like something easy to say from someone who can afford to pay that tax – many can’t. But secondly, the problem isn’t lack of money, it’s what we, as a country spend it on. It’s worth remembering , we can only spend what Westminster deign to give us as they siphon off oil profits to keep London ticking over and to stem the bleeding of money that sends the the whole UK further into debt.
    Again, let’s mention Trident, what a few billion on weapons we never want to use eh? And there must be better ways to ‘house’ MP’s than giving them multiple houses. throughout the UK.

    • The Scottish Parliament is free to raise additional revenue to spend on it’s own areas of competence. Sorry the truth’s inconvenient.

      • First of all, you are being totally selective with your comments, which is lame.

        Secondly, you know very well that yes, the SNP can raise taxes, but it’s a trap. Do you honestly believe they would propose such a thing? Stop harping on about it – if the SNP raised taxes, they would be deeply unpopular and risk losing seats.

        Thirdly, I urge you to seek some sort of help. I realise you’re stepping down in 2015 but seriously dude, you seem unhinged.

        • You’re right, Jennifer. Yes campaigners mainly don’t don’t want higher taxes (to pay higher welfare rates, for example) and the SNP administration knows this. You could’ve have done without the abusive bits, though.

        • Dear Eric,

          I would be more than happy to pay a little more taxes in effort towards public services. Don’t they say that those with the least, tend to give the most?

          That said, most people hate having their taxes raised and it makes any party unpopular. Surely you know this?

          Also, I am not being abusive! I am genuinely concerned for your well-being and post-political career! You seem kinda hellbent on burning bridges – which is kinda awesome and admirable – but not when it’s directed downwards. Maybe refocus your disgust upwards towards those more worthy and corrupt?

  26. Before i begin please forgive spelling and grammer mistakes i suffer from a server form of dyselxica and spell checkers dont help much

    I find it funny how you take digs at the snp and of the people of Glasgow coming together to show there support and help others. This wasnt an organised event it was something put together on the spur of the moment to show our support to our fellow brothers and sisters in this city that are struggling. You say it fault with the snp where as i say it is fault with westminster.

    The scottish goverment has no control over welfare. The people suffering and needing these food banks are the people suffering becuase of the welfare cuts. So how would scotland raise it taxes help in this matter when we have no control over this.

    Also with regards to tax. We are tax more heverly than any other part of the UK the figure speak for there self. You can try to denie it but it is true. So your argument is that we the people of scotland who pay the most tax should be taxed further to fix welfare reform that under the current arrangement we have no control over. Really make sence ( sarcasam if you cant tell)

    I am prob one of one of the middle class or better off people that others talk about. I am not a natiolist. I never voted SNP but rather labor. Now all i see are red torries. Though this process i relised that politicaly i am a socilist and labor used to stand for the same idals but no more. And with people like you who condem the act of public charity. Charity is a good thing no mtter what be it public of private. All that matters is that we are helping other that need help. I currently earn quiet a bit more than the national average. And if paying more tax helps other then im all for it. But only when it is fair taxes. And the current system is not fair.

    Scotland will be inderpendant one day and you have shown your self to be an idiot with your comments. I will be shocked if you retain your seat. Same goes for the rest of the labor party.

    Change is coming no matter what and it is us THE PEOPLE that are fighting for it. I feel like there is the same energy and power with the people just now as when women fought for the vote. When we started to break down the social injustices with giving all people the vote no matter gender or colour.

    Come join us at our rally and have a open discussion with the people of Scotland on sat or Sunday at the Scottish parliament. Show your self to have some social justice and talk to those there and hear the true feeling of the people. Maybe the sight of it will pull your head out of your own arse

    Sorry if i ranted and been a bit disjointed with my reply. But you post really pissed me off.

  27. This is a completely tragic piece from a politician who in the final death throes of a political careerer is now reduced to that of “shock jock” contrarianism that would be better suited to some right wing American TV panel show. A political career whose legacy is a demonstration ranging from moral decay to that of complete moral bankruptcy. I would say that for Eric to judge anyone and their involvement is galling in extremis.

    What is happening in Glasgow is the natural manifestation of a socially motivated post referendum activism. Such activities will no doubt be driven by the microscope under which the people of Scotland and their economic conditions had been placed prior to the referendum. The spotlight on Foodbanks and child poverty being one such area where many, be that Yes or No voters, are now no doubt looking to address. The term “poverty-porn” in its truest sense may in some respects reflect the media, politicians and charities who choose to make a bit of a “big deal” about the situation of many of the poorest in Scotland. A failure of successive governments to address social mobility, leading to increasingly ghettoised communities means that for many of us, it is very easy to assume ones own affluence is the norm. This delusion is for many no longer an option. To portray that as anything other than a good thing is shameful.

    • The Yes camp organised the GS food bank in order acquire political capital. The collective, and sometimes illegal and unlawful, abuse delivered by the same group is an affront to Scotland. If you wish to suggest Scotland is a debased society, then that’s your affair.

      • No they didn’t.
        Glasgows needy was up and running well before.
        The guys went there because they were mortified by the pro unionist hooligans that caused the riots.
        They wanted to show how Glasgow REALLY is.
        You are, by far, one of thee worst human beings I have ever known to exist.

  28. How can helping people in need be seen as narcissistic? These people are giving what they can to help the less fortunate. When was the last time you donated anything to your constituents in need? This article is just a blatant excuse to attack the Yes camp. I suppose if it was the Better Together campaigners setting up this it would be seen as a gracious effort to feed the hungry? Maybe if certain MP’s hadn’t tried to leave the taxpayer with a £71,000 expenses bill we wouldn’t need to have food banks set up. Get off your high horse idiot. Focus on helping the people instead of slandering them. And for the record, I don’t see any of the better together campaigners setting up anything remotely close to this, care to comment?

    • To answer your first sentence – when you have professional publicists contact MPs and the media to say how super you are for ‘feeding the poor’.

  29. The point of your article may have been to highlight that there are some public figures who are hijacking an altruistic act by an entire city and turning it into a self-promotion vehicle; however, your tone is rather condescending and horribly cynical. It may be hard for you to accept, but this world is full of people participating in random acts of kindness. People caring about the people and places around them. You are entirely free to indulge yourself in bitterness and cynicism – we all have our moments, after all. But publicly decrying, criticising and pouring scorn on the combined, noble acts and intentions of entire city? Frankly, Sir, It makes you look like an utter Kant. And like someone who has made a calculated effort at promoting himself; it is better to be hated than ignored for some, is it not?

  30. I don’t understand why you are against Andy and Darren’s Foodbank in George Square. These guys are putting all there work into helping the poor people of Glasgow. By promoting Glasgows Needy they’ll get more people aware that there is people hungry in this country and shockingly alot of children are starving. You need a wake up call sir, should be ashamed of yourself.

  31. How dare you belittle people helping the less fortunate it is a side of Scotland that should be shown after the disgraceful scenes at the weekend and for you to degrade acts of kindness show you for what you are a self obsessed egomaniac are you not ment to represent the people not stick the boot in hang your head in shame and prepare for the end labour is about to implode

  32. Mr Joyce, May I suggest that you have misjudged this wildly?
    By attempting to point the finger at minor celebrities and union officials in a vain bid to extract some party political point scoring you come across as bitter and resentful, not to mention cynical.

    You fail, or even refuse, to acknowledge that it is not the political element that is driving this phenomenon, but instead the hard working public who feel the need to channel the energy and effort which was generated by the referendum campaigning into something which can be seen as positive and productive for the city as a whole.

    Your attempt to create a divide along the lines of class structure is simply wrong when you consider that every single constituency in Glasgow posted a resounding majority for Yes, and by attempting to somehow align them with Thatcherism shows a complete lack of regard for the fact that people from all walks of life are disenfranchised by the current state of political operations and feel the need to address issues directly.

    Of course, there are discussions to be had regarding Foodbanks, ranging from the simple fact of their existence to those who are benefiting from their organisation while sitting on the boards of big business and banks, however you do not want to address that here, instead you would rather take the easy option attacking the people involved at George Square.

    It seems to me that, like many within your party, you are afraid of the changes which are rapidly encroaching on your territory and wish to stamp it out as quickly as possible.

  33. Thanks for your comments. Please ensure your compare and contrast the event you speak of in George Sq with those of the previous night.

    Actions speak much louder than words. Or would you choose not agree with that?

  34. Please explain to me how Glasgow’s problems can be overcome in time with ‘properly funded social programmes’. If these existed there would be no need for food banks. You accuse people of using this well intentioned act for their own publicity, well join the line up you vile little man because you have just done the exact same!

  35. Dear Eric,

    Celebrating Thatcher? I love the 360 degree turnaround from assaulting Tories in bars to sitting behind a laptop and praising them.

    Don’t worry, if you are forced to apologise over this article you can always feign genuine feelings of shame, blame it on the drink and get away with it.

    • Craig, if I’d done a 360 degree turn I’d be in the same place.

      • Mr Joyce

        I have just read your article and comments that you have left for various replies. Your manner is rude and arrogant and for an elected MP to be answering his constituents in such a manner is quite frankly abusive. I wonder if you will be using the same tact in May 2015 when you are begging for votes, making promises and delivering nothing.

        Your article is an insult to people who are trying to help a bad situation made better. Your statement regarding “properly-funded social programmes over time” – when is that time? I left Glasgow in 1983 and there are more poor people now than then.

        Remember what happened when Ratner said his jewellery was “shit”…………..I sincerely hope that you have committed political suicide because surely Falkirk needs a caring, reasonable and companionate MP as opposed to you

        • Thanks for this, Catherine. I’m afraid I committed political suicide some years ago. Bummer, but there it is.

  36. Mr Joyce, I voted for you once upon a time. I respected you once upon a time. I wholly accept that politically you may not have aligned yourself with the Yes campaign, and that of course is your right, but this article is wrong on so many levels. One can only presume that one day you will look back at this and wonder what on earth you were thinking. I’m embarrassed for you.

  37. Well I guess that is where we differ Mr Joyce! Glaswegians are known for their generosity and people really do make Glasgow. It’s just a very sad indictment of society today in the 21st century that this even has to happen, and believe me there are many more instances of this. Schools, hospital, charities actually do depend on donations to exist and you’ll find that the less well off do tend to give that bit more as they recognise the need and appreciate that they might be the needy or dependent at any given time! Shame on you

    • Joan, Glaswegians are no more or less generous than anyone else. That level of debate seems pointless to me. Schools and hospitals don’t depend on charity to exist, by the way. Thank God.

  38. Mr Joyce you are wrong on all counts.As a former Falkirk resident I will take no lecture on morals from you who brought shame on the whole area.I look forward to your iminent unemployment.

    • I’ve no idea why an area would feel shame, bud. Why would they feel responsible? It’s an over-used media bollocks, if you ask me.

  39. Comment *Shame on you for your comments in this blog and on twitter. Thankfully you and your party will be finished in this country. What the he’ll happened to the Labour Party? Snydey digs at a foodbank collection for the needy. Shame on you ya red tory scumbag.

  40. I highly doubt that only yes campaigners donate food. To see violent disgusting behaviour in the centre of the city I live in followed by a generous display of solidarity for the poorest filled me full of hope.

    People make Glasgow is not just a slogan. It’s what makes this city great. There will always be folk piggy backing on the selfless deeds of others but what I saw wasn’t a politicised act, I saw folk who could afford to help people in need at a time when I’m sure many felt left behind.

  41. Coming from the man who claimed nearly 24k in travel expenses last year for a grand sum of less than 20 appearances in Westminster? What good do you do to benefit the poor, homeless and needy? While the press continue to ignore those in need and romanticise the state of the UK, these people are forcing the world to look at the social problems that our supposedly advanced, educated and rich nation (albeit there’s more wealth in London than the rest of the UK). Remind us of your party’s values again and what it is you stand for? You’re ethical, moral and humanitarian code is somewhat lacking for a, supposedly, human being. We’re here to look after one another – not for self interest. You may just have signed your own career’s death warrant! We can live in hope anyway

  42. Eric Joyce come down blackhill and sprout your shite you will get leathered ya prick
    😉

  43. So Ric, are you saying people should hide this issue and keep it discreet? Sweep sweep? It’s a major issue and people are helping others. Maybe you will find it in yourself to help those in need one day. I won’t hold my breath.

  44. I am disgusted at your remarks. How dare you sit on your high horse and see these people are doing this for their own gain. They have been doing this for many years from their own home. It just so happens they were campaigning in George Square and handed out leaflets for their Glasgow’s Needy project. Then the wonderful public started taking bags of food to the Square to be distributed to the poor families who need it.

    Also have a meeting with the two men who run the foodbank and politically they would wipe the floor with you.

    Shame on you !!!!

    Shame on you

    • Hey, Liz, just how long have you lived in a democratic society where people can air their views and others might present alternatives?

      • A hell of a lot longer than you. I just find your remarks offensive especially as an MP who should know better……but wait a minute…I forgot …..you do not know any better and that’s why you will be dumped in May.

  45. Angus MacDonald 24/09/2014 at 7:37 am Reply

    Mr Joyce, you’re trying your hardest to turn this into a polarising thing but sadly the people of Glasgow don’t see it that way. We don’t see a line of the ‘deserving poor’ ready to massage our ego. We see people who need help and a simple way to make that happen. Over time this will become a less public display of goodwill as it becomes more organised, but for now George Square will have to do.

    A lot of people became politically energised by the referendum – people who’d never really been involved in politics before were suddenly debating left, right and center. As a result, people took more interest in the problems around them and saw a way to help make things better. However, after the vote went the wrong way and we suddenly saw the truth behind the so-called vows with David Cameron’s proposals to scrap the Barnett Formula and Ed Milliband looking to cut child benefits (cause he’s tough on children, tough on the causes of children), we needed something to help us heal. For me it shows the strength of the people of Glasgow that we took all of our positive energy which suddenly had nowhere to go and poured it into helping those who really need it.

    I personally find your attempt to score political points over this, to turn this amazingly positive thing into some form of ‘masturbation’ to be beyond low. It is exactly this type of political thinking that has led us forward to coming 90% of the way to independence, and the continuation of that thinking will take us over the last 10% sooner than you might think.

    • “point scoring?”. Your whole post is an exercise in point scoring. One-sides nonsense. The other side of the argument is larger, but perhaps you missed that last week.

      • Perhaps you missed lessons in grammar, dobber. It’s problems? I think not. If you’re going to try and clamber up on that high horse at least don’t embarrass yourself with your pick and mix command of English.

        • Ah, the final one – apologies for the typo and thanks; I don’t have a sub, you see. And try not to to become a hater over a misplaced possessive apostrophe.

    • So, you’re mad about David Cameron wanting to get rid of the Barnett Formula? The same formula that gives Scotland more per capita funding than England or Wales receives? Scotland will be getting more powers and control over tax revenue, but it seems that you want to be able to keep a chunk of the tax whilst receiving the amount of funding from Westminster that you would have got if you had handed over all the revenues.. Fair treatment for Scotland is what you want, just as long as it is fairer than the treatment England and Wales get. Equality is a 2 way street.

  46. You are disgrace to society maybe one day you will need to visit a food bank…when you have no job !!

  47. I am wondering if you are perhaps Ian Duncan-Smith’s brother from another mother?

    Did you actually know it was a request from a father and son to the KIND people in George Square, a knee jerk reaction to counteract, no, kill the ugliness of the night before from the hate fuelled unionists.

    Sadly, your article gives so much for your constituents to think about and act on at the upcoming general election; Why is this dreadful man our MP?
    Food banks, I am sure are delighted to have donations from any source.
    It is Westminster policies that are causing the need for food banks. You seriously didn’t know that? And, also George Square had been until the haters arrived a place with a carnival atmosphere, which you seem to despise. You really are bitterly narrow-minded and I seriously hope that you Mr. Joyce, lose your seat come the next election. Scotland really does not need you or your bitterness, then again, I am sure you’re just angry as you know that Labour are just about finished in Scotland.

    • No, i am not IDS’s brother. Scotland has had an SNP government for 7 years and at any point you could have levied additional tax.Instead you prefer the imagery of your own charity – food banks. Foodbanks have become the Yes camp’s juju and that’s a shame for those who organised them in earnest until now.

  48. eric your just a fanny no wonder u got fined a few times utter pish and lies u tell

    well done food bank people
    all good people get rewarded
    your just a clown in a big mansion after all

  49. Eric are you aware that you are best known in Glasgow for being a shamed thug who, fuelled by alcohol, starts fights with anyone misfortunate enough to be in your presence and who, once having been exposed to the public for the very contemptible common violent fool that you are, refuses to do the honourable thing and resign as an MP and let the good people of Falkirk find someone who would more honourably represent them?

    • That’s quite a long sentence. But if you’re saying I’m popular amongst regular folk in Glasgow, that’s very nice of you.

  50. Can’t wait till you are voted out of office.

  51. I cannot believe what I’m reading.

    Eric Joyce, you should be ashamed of yourself.

  52. Well this really does go to show how disconnected the politicians are from the people.
    When we have to step in where you have failed is not a bad reflection of the people you are paid to represent it is a very poor reflection of YOU and your like.

  53. im sure you will advise that these comments were misquoted ERIC……not fromt you’re mouth but your arse

  54. Sorry Eric. Hard to take any article seriously when the words and phrases like “Glasgow” and “Thanks to Margaret Thatcher” are used.

  55. What a disgusting article. People give to charity and you are saying its a bad thing? You’re obviously one of those people who thinks charity runners, cyclists, climbers etc do it to stroke their own ego. Shameful article

    • If you ask for cheers and demand the poor roll up and pay their great respect, then it isn’t really charity is it, bud? It’s masturbation.

  56. It must stick in your throat that the only publicity associated with the the no voters are the disgusting images in George Square when loyalist yobs were ‘celebrating’ the outcome of the referendum whilst yes voters have this stark contrast. Most people who voted yes voted for hope and change we didn’t get it so we the people feel a strong need to fill in and help the less fortunate let down by Westminster and particularly the red tories. Labour are dead up here and I for one was proud to see such scenes, people looking after people how dare you diminish this with you’re own personal bitterness. Fool

    • When Yes folk demand higher taxes and actually follow through with it, and fire those taxes at people who need it instead of the better off, then you might have an argument. For now, your celebration of free food for the deserving poor makes me sick.

      • When yes voters demand higher taxes ???? How about when Westminster dont let bankers off with a 19 million tax bill after their bail out simply because they lined the pockets of mr Camerons party or when he stops selling off our nhs to others associated with funding his campaign then maybe you would have an argument. Thats who you and your party are in bed with hope yous all rot there.

        • Your NHS is an entirely devolved matter for the SNP administration, isn’t it?

    • Well said Lorna. I was disgusted at the behavior from no voting loyalist thugs on Friday. The generosity of the wonderful people in Glasgow has restored my faith in humanity

  57. You’re a despicable cunt.

    Hopefully an unemployed despicable cunt cone May.

  58. Eric, I am one the unfortuante souls who have to call you my councillor. Please take this as notice that your time as MP for Falkirk is up. Some say that any news is good news. For you, I’m afraid this is the nail in your particular political coffin. If only you’d seen your way to accepting the honourable decision to quit when you had the chance. I’m ashamed that I voted for you and your party at the last election. That won’t be happening this time around. You’ve got until May to enjoy it. Please feel free to do everyone else a favour an quit earlier. It’d make me and so many other poor, ashamed Falkirk residents ever so happy.

  59. Eric, you will soon be out of a job. RIP Labour.

  60. […] 1. MP for Falkirk, Eric Joyce, has posted a blog saying that the pop-up food bank in George Square is poverty porn […]

  61. It is gratifying to see that the world’s closest city to a nuclear arsenal voted against the establishment that made it so.
    At least Westminster didn’t send the tanks this time – as they did after WW1

  62. The piece is obviously about how individuals with self-interest and political interest at heart turned a well-intentioned thing into quite a different, polarising, thing.

    • You, Eric Joyce, are a disgrace. A clear and simple disgrace.

    • Politicians will take any and every opportunity to make themselves relevant and meaningful. So tell me again why did you write this piece? Polarizing? Such shame!

    • “The piece is obviously about how individuals with self-interest and political interest at heart turned a well-intentioned thing into quite a different, polarising, thing.”

      Isn’t that what you just did?

      I see a father and son who unexpectedly drew media attention from a good deed. I see a father and son who recognise that social media is powerful and can therefore increase the help they can give. I see a father and son who have inspired towns and cities across Scotland to organise their own events as people – yes and no voters alike – have their eyes opened to the great scale of the need for food banks in our wealthy country. I see a father and son giving back and not making a profit – unless you have some breaking news to share on that point.

      And I see a man – an individual – using this act of charity to try to further his own individual and political self interests by getting his own wee 5 minutes in the headlines by attempting to polarise the nation into those that chose to give and those that don’t. I see that same man setting off a political time bomb in his own hands, powerless to throw it away. Enjoy your 5 minutes, Eric. I get the feeling they will be amongst your last.

      • It was hardly ‘unexpected’ Lisa. I had an immediate call from a media/PR professional ‘acting on their behalf’.

        • It was definitely unexpected – even if they had planned the entire thing to simply get their faces in the paper, they could have no way to guarantee that it would. Planned or not, it in no way stopped them helping the many hundreds of people and families that they have. I guess you’re not planning to help the Falkirk collection either then.

  63. Brilliant Eric just you keep this coming – the more people you drive to hate labour the better – thank you. Social media is full of negativity about you and your party, High 5!!!

  64. Your comments are a disgrace. People are trying to help the less well off in society and you infer that it is a publicity stunt? I and many like me were only vaguely aware of food banks before the referendum. Now we know the truth and are genuinely trying to help. Its not for political gain its a little thing called human decency.

  65. the people of glasgow didnt have to be a yes voter to give to the foodbank.maybe its their belief that it was needed and if you had spent more time asking about this than your party joining with the tories(is there a difference these days).you would know this

    • The piece isn’t about the donors – that’s clear. It’s about people who make personal advantage from it and who morph it into a political campaign.

  66. Remind me again how you voted when Gordon Brown cut corporation tax?

    Please explain why when SNP suggest it it is bad yet labour did it it was good.

    • I agreed with Gordon Brown’s corporation tax cut and i didn’t say in the piece that I disagreed with the SNP’s proposals. What I said was that it is not a measure consistent with sitting to the left of Labour.


[top]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *