All posts tagged: austerity

You Don’t Batch Cook When You’re Suicidal

Whenever food poverty, obesity, or food in general comes into the media spotlight, I adopt a mental brace position, awaiting the onslaught of tweets that come, a plague of clockwork cockroaches, wound up and scurrying every which way into the light. Some are clumsily well-intentioned, most are not, yet here they come with their hastily-Googled prices of spring greens and potatoes, crowing about how! cheap! vegetables! are! The latest was Annunziata Rees-Mogg, MEP and sister of that sentient haunted Victorian coat rack, Jacob Rees-Mogg, pointing out that raw potatoes were cheaper to buy than oven chips. A 21st Century Marie Antoinette moment, ‘Let Them Eat Spuds!’ but sputtered into the vacuous echo chamber of Twitter, rather than a foundling moment of a revolution. I know the price of a bag of potatoes, Annunziata. Having lived in grinding poverty and with its aching and unshiftable groggy hangover ever since, I know the price of potatoes at three different supermarkets through eight consecutive years. I know the price of potatoes that are fresh, frozen, loose, baking, bulk, …

The difference between poverty and poverty tourism? You’ll never live like common people.

Every now and again, a minor celebrity or institution will announce that they are ‘challenging themselves’ to ‘be poor for a day’ in order to raise awareness of the plight of people living in poverty in the UK. Sometimes this is done through charitable initiatives such as Live Below The Line, which I have done myself for several years running, fundraising for Oxfam and Street Child United. I use my own experiences of living in real food and fuel poverty, as a single mum on benefits, to cook and eat for £1 a day, and write about it extensively. It usually causes some degree of mental anguish, flashbacks, reliving of some of the worst periods of my life, and is not something that I enter into lightly. I have not done it for the last two years, to protect and preserve my own mental health. I am not sure if I will do it again. Compare this, then, to YouTube star Alfie Deyes, deciding to live on just one measly pound for a day, as …

My Ready Meal Is None Of Your Business.

Tonight, scrolling through Twitter, I came across a frankly audacious message sent from the ‘Bath Conservatives’ account, that had tagged me in. Unfortunately this is not an account dedicated to the frugal recycling of your dirty wash water, more’s the pity, but the haphazard and misfiring musings from the anonymous social media person for the Bath branch of the Conservative Party. You might have heard of them. They’re the ones in Government right now, and have been for around eight years now. These Conservatives decided, in their wisdom, to uphold me as an example of someone who could cook well on a meagre budget. Put like that, you may wonder why I exploded in cold fury. They said: “Indolent or disfunctional parents… simply don’t know how to feed their children well. If…Jack Monroe could feed herself and her child for £10 a week…most people can.” I exploded. I have lived, waiting in fear for this moment, for almost six years. Waiting, to be upheld as some kind of justification for the deepest incisions of Conservative …

We need to talk about Diane Abbott. Now. (EXPLICIT CONTENT)

This is not a recipe. I wrote this as a series of tweets today and readers asked for it as a blog post, so here it is. Our politics may differ, so feel free to skip straight back to the recipes if that’s what you’re here for. WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT DIANE ABBOTT. Right one of us political writer people needs to do this and it looks like it’s me. Grab a seat. I wanna talk about Diane. Diane was first elected as an MP in 1987, the year before I was born. She has been dedicated to serving the British public for longer than I have even been alive. Hold that thought. Understand it. Diane was the first black woman to have a seat in the House of Commons. She MADE HISTORY. Her father was welder, her mother a nurse. How many working class kids do we have in politics these days? None, really. Diane went to Cambridge University to study history. IN THE SEVENTIES. In 2017 only 15 black kids went to …