February 2014


Only Wonder Understands

As most of my Facebook friends know by now, I’m currently in Los Angeles having helped my eldest drive from Nashville to establish a new home. Needing to recover from the drive and needing some time off, I chose to stay over a few extra days to enjoy the sunshine, connect with some old friends, and generally relax. That is how I found myself this morning going through the task that many do each week — trying to find a church to attend, and walking into a new place of worship unannounced.

I do have pastor friends here in the area, and I gave serious thought to visiting their churches. But it as I thought about it, I decided it would be interesting to not lean on my previous relationships but to go somewhere cold — just like most of the visitors to our churches. For most of us in…

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JACK MONROE

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I didn’t manage to say very much on Channel 5’s The Big Benefits Row, beyond an opening remark about people not being able to just rock up to a food bank with a carrier bag and help themselves. I started to talk about the Trussell Trust when Edwina Currie, also on my panel, cut over me to talk about my grandfather’s circumstances.

I wanted to say that poverty is almost indescribable to Edwina and co with their blinkered, self-righteous attitudes. That turning off the fridge because it’s empty anyway, that sitting across the table from your young son enviously staring down his breakfast, having freezing cold showers and putting your child to bed in god knows how many layers of clothes in the evening – it’s distressing. Depressing. Destabilising.

Imagine living for 11 weeks with no housing benefit, because of “delays”. Imagine those 77 days of being chased for rent…

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