David Cameron’s violet artichokes and fillet beef…..while IF campaign to end world hunger.

Ironically, just after I posted the photo of the END HUNGER sign on the bank of Lough Erne to greet the G8 leaders as they arrived for the summit today, one of those leaders tweeted a photo of what he would be having for dinner this evening…

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Ironic, and sadly out of touch. There’s no money in the budget for nutrition interventions, living wages and free school meals – but Bushmills whiskey and fillet beef are apparently all part of the day job…

In the ten seconds it will take to decide between mint, rose or violet creams, another child in the world will have died from malnutrition.

Can our politicians listen to us, and work with us, to end hunger, starvation and malnutrition across the world?

Jack Monroe. Twitter: @MsJackMonroe

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26 Comments »

  1. Oh, I so hope this hits the national papers tomorrow, if only to give more publicity to the IF Campaign.
    I’m totally speechless that David Cameron and his media team thought this was appropriate! How do these sort of people get so far in their careers and what’s more how to they manage to keep their jobs?

  2. Says it all. Just as I’m about to tuck into a plain bowl of pasta our ‘elected’ leaders have to suffer with a menu straight out of fortnum and masons special delivery. These twats need to live in the real world sometime very soon. Career politicians represent nobody other than the rich pricks who keep them there (excuse my bad language but these idiots really get my goat)

  3. It’s not just nutrition !… Contraception needs to also be a big word around the world these days and sorted out as quickly, because most poverty stricken people seem to breed like flies without any thoughts to where the food for the table is coming from !!!!

  4. The tweet is https://twitter.com/David_Cameron/status/346708150495358976 if you’d like to add your voice to the torrent of abuse on twitter. Seems all knee-jerk reaction to me.

    I actually read the menu as prawn cocktail, nice bit of beef, humble crumble and a cheeseboard.
    The content of the menu says to me that ‘enough is as good as a feast’: I don’t see this food as flaunting excess. And whiskey in custard is surely on the same level as a brandy sauce.
    When someone makes a gesture that goes in the direction you want, I think it is important to acknowledge that beginning.

    Disclaimer: I ate dinner last night, & I’m down to 2 crumpets this morning.

  5. It’s an I’m alright Sod you mentality of it all, not guilt on his behalf, real issues don’t touch the like of the government as they have always lead a priviliged lifestyle from birth, It just make you sick to be honest the total juxtopostion of it all, It’s like giving yet another two finger salute to the poor.

  6. It`s all down to education – about contraception, but as demonstrated above, the stupid `shower in power` should be first in line. Please, Jack, make sure your little voice is heard – you speak for the majority of us! x

  7. Looks like a fairly typical British ‘special occasion’ meal to me, dressed up in the usual food flowery language.

    This is where all discussions on poverty seem to go awry- the idea that one person having something when someone else is having a bad time attaches blame and guilt…we’re not communists or socialists. And even if we were everybody being poor isn’t much of a solution…

    Yes people should help each other in a civilised society and no temporary unemployment shouldn’t mean life completely derails in the way is happening now, but I think to be taken seriously on providing practical solutions to world hunger steer clear from aggressive stereotypes- about rich or poor. That quickly devolves into the usual polarised rhetoric.

    I care about world hunger and I’ll happily help feed my neighbours and carefully budget so I can avoid financial hardship if possible, but I’ll bloody well eat fillet steak on special occasions too if I want to!

  8. ‘In the ten seconds it will take to decide between mint, rose or violet creams, another child in the world will have died from malnutrition.’

    I’m doing a degree in Environment, Statistics and International Development. That sentence sums up why. Thank you, Jack.

    • In the ten seconds it will take for me to decide not to eat a mint, rose or violet cream, another child in the world will have died from malnutrition.

      It matters little what the rich eat or don’t eat. What matters is what they do to end poverty. If such a thing is possible.

  9. For those saying that he can eat fillet steak if he wants, I think you’re missing the point. I doubt most reasonably intelligent people would be naive enough to think meals like this are not eaten regularly for special occasions by people in power, or even by many ordinary people across the country. No one is saying everyone should live on supermarket basics if they are fortunate enough to be able to afford to spend a bit more on nicer food, in fact I’m pretty sure Jack touted a similar message throughout her LBL challenges.

    The issue here is that this tweet perfectly highlights how out of touch the leaders are with poverty issues. When world hunger is on the agenda, why on earth would anyone think it was appropriate to make a post like this? The inclusion of that menu adds nothing but a big “sod you, I am too wealthy to actually care about these issues.”

  10. ‘ When world hunger is on the agenda, why on earth would anyone think it was appropriate to make a post like this? ‘

    Because it’s not the same topic. Taken to its conclusion ‘In the ten seconds it will take to decide between mint, rose or violet creams, another child in the world will have died from malnutrition’ means every single one of us who uses any resource we don’t strictly need is taking it from someone else or is blithely ignoring the plight of others. And that’s not true.

    This is exactly the kind of emotional rhetoric which makes people- many of whom have given money to charities their whole lives to try to help solve poverty- think I can’t be bothered to think about this any more- it’s insoluble. Which I don’t believe is true.

    • But the point, surely, is that ‘need’ and ‘want’ have become confused in our culture, especially by those in power. They no longer have a concept of ‘need’ which is why they continue to ignore the plight of people in extreme poverty.

      A menu like this while discussing ending extreme poverty is like providing arms to Syrians and then saying you want to promote peace. Oh, wait…

      I’m cynical about politicians, but I’m not cynical about ending poverty. It is possible, although any attempts at ending extreme poverty really should also be addressing climate change, because unless we stop climate change, we’re all up the proverbial creek. Poor people first :-/

  11. Poverty in a lot of 3rd world countries could be helped a lot more by their own governments if the money & food distributed to them by the various agencies around the world wasn’t taken or sold by the corrupt/ greedy government ministries in the various poor countries of the world.

    One other thing that needs to be sorted is how to stop corruption, when it is endemic in most 3rd world countries and then maybe the populace would be able to live with the freebies/handouts that were destined for them in the first place.

  12. “‘need’ and ‘want’ have become confused in our culture, especially by those in power.”

    need and want have become confused with everyone.

    Everyone wants to get ahead, to have the things they see as ‘essential’ to their culture.

    Some kind of cultural balance has been lost as a norm.

  13. Is David Cameron’s dinner, in of itself, is neither here nor there? If Cameron did tweet the details was he careless, or tactless, or thoughtless? I wish it really was that simple; the mistake of an unthinking politician.

    Yet I think there is some significance to all of this. British and world food prices are on the rise and there is no apparent end in sight. There is more than enough food available to feed everyone, Even when we have climate or other natural disasters and wars there is still food available that can be moved to places of need. One of the great things about our modern globalized world is that we know when people are in trouble and we can help, our governments can act and the UN can organise relief. It is not a problem of lack of food or of too many people.

    Someone earlier in the thread mentioned Third World corruption. That is a major contributor to inequality. However, there is another factor more important in worldwide food inequalities than: poor governance, climate or population size, it is the world’s stock exchanges and corporate investors and hedge funds which speculate and gain profits for their shareholders by gambling on rising food and commodities prices. A couple of years ago there was a huge hike in the price of basic foods like rice. There were food riots in S.E.Asia, but there was rice, there was food, it was just becoming too expensive for ordinary people to buy..

    Research has shown links between rising food prices, rising unemployment and the Arab Spring. Yes people wanted rid of bad governments, yes they wanted human rights, but they were suffering from hunger and low incomes too. Yet at the time the mainstream media covered the crises in North Africa as revolutions seeking western style democracy. Western ‘help’ in Libya destroyed infrastructures and made it harder for parents to feed and water their children, all in the name of overthrowing a tyrant. Economic problems have entered the northern shores of the Mediterranean: Greece, Italy and Spain and people there are going hungry. The hunger has also crept into the poorer neighbourhoods of northern Europe too.

    Which is all a very long winded way of saying that David Cameron’s dinner does matter.

    Cameron has not made a tactless faux pas, he’s told the truth about ‘his’ world’s real priorities, the priority of stuffing itself with luxury, money, power and privilege. Our PM is quite a truthful man, if you can read the signs.

  14. ‘ British and world food prices are on the rise and there is no apparent end in sight. ‘

    this is a blog about how people can eat well on ten pounds a week which thousands of people now follow and use the recipes and thrift tips from! That’s a darn good start…

    ‘the priority of stuffing itself with luxury, money, power and privilege.’

    well if the PM is doing that then so is everyone else- no one ‘needs’ a smartphone- let alone a new one each 12 months/ x-box/ designer clothes/ SUV etc etc etc And poverty in Britain for all its trials is hardly the same as having no healthcare or welfare at all.

    It’s easy to find the negativity in the world’s problems- where are some positive & practical solutions?

    Here’s some projects I’ve read about in recent months and years:

    http://plan-international.org/ ( especially their project for every child worldwide to have a birth certificate )

    http://www.povertycure.org/

    http://azimpremjifoundation.org/ ( one of India’s richest men offering educational scholarships and opportunities )

    http://paneracares.org/what-we-do/ ( trial of ‘pay what you can’ scheme for soup and bread in restaurants )

    http://www.glide.org/page.aspx?pid=395 ( one of the most innovative churches in the US for social and healthcare projects )

    http://givingpledge.org/ ( world’s richest people pledging their wealth to philanthropy )

    There are thousands of people making a difference or trying to, from the neighbor who takes a meal next door to billionaires. Everyone can do something…

  15. Therein lies what the poor are up against in the UK and elsewhere in Europe (and the world).

    Pampered Govt MInisters’ with full bellies pontificating on hunger, whilst children are going to bed (& going to school the next day) not having had a nutritious meal. Sickening sanctimonious BS. But hey, they had a 3 day freebie with great nosh so win-win for them.

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