“I had been attending a support group for single mums on a Wednesday, and to be honest I only went for the free lunch. One of the women who ran the group noticed that my son and I always had seconds, and thirds, and quietly asked me if everything was okay. I lied, and I said that I was fine. Because that’s the trouble, when you have holes in your socks and holes in your jeans, and your collar bones are jutting out of the two jumpers you wear to keep warm – you tell everyone that everything is okay. Because you think if you admit to skipping meals, to feeding your child the same cold pasta with tomatoes for four nights in a row, you worry that you might lose him, that he might be taken into care. And in the cold, in the despair and desolation, your son is the only thing that stops you stepping off the flyover you walk over every day. So you say you’re fine. But she filled out a form for me despite my protestations, and one Tuesday morning, I joined a queue 60 deep, of mothers in push chairs, outside a community centre, and I waited almost an hour for five tins of food and a packet of nappies. … But food banks, while meeting a need, are not the solution. To paraphrase Desmond Tutu, there comes a point where you need to not just pull people out of the river. You need to go upstream and find out who is pushing them in.”
Jack Monroe, author of the excellent blog ‘A Girl Called Jack’, gives evidence to MPs 

At the movies

“The Purge” is a blood spattered critique of inequality, with axes and other sharp implements…
…but if that seems a little much, you can now pre-order “The Spirit Level – The Film“!
Documentary film “97% Owned”
Wed 19 Jun 2013, 7.30pm, Quaker Meeting House, 10 St James St. S1 2EW
Where does money come from? Who creates it? Who decides how it gets used? And what does that mean for the millions of ordinary people who suffer when money and finance breaks down? “97% Owned” is a documentary that exposes the privatised, debt-based monetary system that gives banks the power to create money, shape the economy, cause crises and push house prices out of reach. Followed by discussion.
Hosted by Positive Money Sheffield. http://alt-sheff.org/events/2806/
If you can’t make the film, you can watch online.

Out and About

Discussion: Can politicians create a fair society?
Saturday 22nd June, 2.30pm-4pm, The Beacon Methodist Church, 285 Fulwood Rd, Broomhill
Join Paul Blomfield, MP for Sheffield Central, to explore ‘What is a fair society?’ Can politicians create a suitable framework? Given the right framework, how can a fair society be delivered and what are the roles of government, individuals and the third sector in doing this?Admission: Donations please.
Sheffield Equality Group monthly meeting
Rebuilding the welfare state – Old myths and new ideas
Wednesday 3rd July, 7pm at Sheffield Quaker Meeting House, St James St, S1 2EW
In conversation with Dr Simon Duffy, speaker at our meeting on cuts to social support, about how we can act locally to support a transparently fair system of social support, and how to challenge myths about welfare. The group is an autonomous group affiliated to the national Equality Trust and meets on the first Wednesday of every month. Free, donations for biscuits, all welcome.
See the ‘Unsupported’ page for more on our campaign about social support.

Rockonomics and other news

Rockonomics – The White house concentrates on rebuilding the middle class, with a neat comparison to Rock n’ Roll
…whilst the Coalition Government presides over an expanding working poor and an insulated rich…
…and some of the alternatives presented don’t look much better