DEAR EDWINA…

Dear Edwina;

It’s 9 o clock on Tuesday, the morning after the night before, where we were both on a panel on The Big Benefits Row on Channel 5. I haven’t watched it back, I was there, and know what I look like when I’m angry.

I need to get this out – because it’s everything I wanted to say last night but couldn’t, as I kept being rudely shouted over by you. Honestly, my three year old behaves better than that. At least he knows that when Mummy does her ‘will you just be QUIET and LISTEN to me’ then the best thing to do is to stop running your mouth and let Mummy say her piece.

But you didn’t. Because you were terrified of what I had to say.

I wanted to say, when asked by Matthew Wright, that poverty is almost indescribable to someone as blinkered as you. 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.

Sure – you could probably live on benefits for a week to ‘prove it could be done’. But imagine living for 11 weeks with no housing benefit, because of ‘delays’. Imagine those 77 days of being chased for rent that you can’t pay, ignoring the phone, ignoring the door, drawing the curtains so the bailiffs can’t see that you’re home, cradling your son to your chest and sobbing that this is where it’s all ended up. It feels endless. Hopeless. Cold. Wet. Day after day of ‘no’. No we aren’t looking for staff. No there isn’t anything else to eat. No I can’t put the heating on. No I haven’t got any money to pay my rent arrears. No, no, no,

Sitting on the bathroom floor vomiting up the paracetamol and sleeping pills I took to try to end my own life – that wasn’t, as you hissed in an aside, “a rich girl pretending to be poor.” I was alone, with nobody to ‘pretend’ to. I didn’t write about my suicide attempts, because I was scared that if anyone knew how bad things were, I would lose my son. There was a lot I didn’t write about. You become adept at keeping up appearances, at smiling and saying you’re fine. It was almost a year before I was referred to a food bank for help, almost a year of searching for work, holding my home and my son together at the seams with an iron will. And all those ‘no’s.

When you descend into personal attacks against your opponent, it is because you have no political argument left.

When you tweet your opponents grandfathers obituary all over the internet in a foul attempt at smearing their reputation, it is because you are scum.

Did you stop to think for one moment how you might have made my family feel? My nan, my mum, my dad, all people who dearly love the man whose life and death you used in a live television debate last night to try to unsettle your opponent? Of course you didn’t.

I was asked to sell my life rights to a movie director last week. I refused on two counts.

1. I’m not that interesting. As proved by you, when the biggest scandal you can dig up is that I used to drink Aldi lemonade with my grandad at his guest house.

2. I’m not an island. My life is interwoven with complex relationships, as are all of ours. Having been subjected to professional trolling for over a year now, I would never put my family through those levels of abuse. I get death threats. Rape threats. Personal attacks on my weight, appearance, sexuality, education, lack thereof. So I try to retain a degree of privacy, for the ordinary people on the periphery of the right wing media monstering of Jack Monroe. If you love someone, you don’t throw them into a bear pit.

If you’d have been willing to listen, you’d have realised how spectacularly you missed the point.

Poverty can happen to anyone. That’s why I unsettle you and your cronies. Because the Tory party rhetoric of ‘work hard and get on’ can fall apart in the blink of an eyelid. I worked hard. I got on. And I still spent a year and a half scrabbling around in a festering pit of depression, joblessness, benefit delays and suspensions, hunger, and the entrenching, gut wrenching fear that I was failing as a parent.

I’ve never claimed anywhere that my family were “poor”. They weren’t “rich” either. I’m not really sure what they were, which I guess makes them quite ordinary. As a child, I had dinner on the table and always had clean clothes. We had a holiday a year in a caravan in Devon or Yorkshire, and the occasional foray to Ireland.

I went to a grammar school, not with any coaching or private tuition, I just sat the entrance exam aged 10 and was offered a place. It was hardly Eton. I struggled at that school, grades gradually getting worse each year, until I dropped out with not enough GCSEs to take A Levels. I went to work, in a shop, at the age of 16. No degree, no Oxbridge education, no feet on ladders, no family business to inherit – just me and about £5.85 an hour.

But Thankyou, for giving me the opportunity to set the record straight about my upbringing live on air.

Thankyou for showing your party to be the nasty, out of touch, gutter scraping worms that they are.

Thankyou for the extra 5,000 supporters I’ve had on Twitter, my blog, personal emails since your revolting attack.

And I ultimately feel very sad for you. Sad that you can say on television, without an ounce of remorse, that people should be starving in Britain. Sad that you cannot see beyond party battle lines to the real human pain and suffering up and down the country. Because it’s easier to talk in statistics and sound bites than it is to hear one persons story. It’s easier to shout down than to have to hear what poverty is like in Britain.

As for your little hissed aside when the cameras stopped rolling: “Still working for Sainsburys are you?” Yes, I am. The ad campaign runs for another couple of days. I guess I ‘worked hard and got on.’

My mum wants you to apologise, by the way. Are you woman enough?

Jack.

@msjackmonroe

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856 thoughts on “DEAR EDWINA…

  1. Oh Jack. I didn’t see the programme last night, but this says it all for me. You are amazing, your story breaks my heart. And of course the saddest thing of all is that it’s a story that’s being repeated, again and again, across the country.

  2. i watched the benefits debate last night and it disgusted me just how removed from the truth that edwina is. i earn a GOOD wage but i still struggle to make ends meet as basic human needs – water heating bills etc are sky high. i commend you @agirlcalledjack as you stood up for yourself, spoke articulately and informed and left edwina with not a leg to stand on. people partied when margaret thatcher died and the next parties will be when edwina goes.

  3. Unbelievable. That’s all I can muster together right now. Her smug smug face was just, ugh.

    I’d have written pages of a reply to her too. Just ugh.

    I can’t even form a real sentence. I was up til 4am trying to save my relationship, I’m not sure it worked. But the reality of the real problems in the world (as documented above) might help me put that in perspective.

    Or I’ll just crawl up in a ball here.,,

    Well done Jack, they hardly gave anyone an actual debate….

  4. Hi Jack: (I could make some dreadful pun here about the programme being “Hijacked” by EC ….Your response is a painful and measured read describing with simple grace the realities you have had to face. You argue from a strong ethical place-it’s something many of your opponents can’t risk attempting to understand.You frighten them Jack and I’m glad you’re around to do so.

  5. What a sad, ugly & heartless woman Edwina Currie came over as. Not being articular or intelligent enough ( just like the Katie Troll) both had to use the lowest form of arguing by throwing totally irrelevant snipes about their ” opponents”. X
    ” if wealth was the inevitable result of hard work and enterprise every woman in Africa would be a millionaire” ( George Monbiot) The Self- Attribution Fallacy

  6. I have a mental list of ‘possible psychopaths in British politics’ , can you guess who is on that list? Yep, Edwina Currie. (I didn’t watch the debate as I am having problems with my blood pressure.)

    I don’t get what Currie meant by ‘still working for sainsburys?’ is she against people working?

  7. Hi Jack, I watched the programe last night and thought it was a complete shambles. No one was able to put their point across without being shouted over and personal insults banded about. I would have liked to see a proper debate but sadly this didn`t happen. I really would love to know where Edwina Curry gets the idea that people can just turn up to a food bank and fill their bags up.

    • I totally agree….the programme wasn’t worth tuning in to. People with real points to make weren’t given the air time to make them and trolls dominated the evening. I only tuned in to see Jack…wish I hadn’t….why bother getting an articulate, well informed panel member then allow her to be treated like that??

  8. Well said Jack – you are incredible and SO brave – a voice for my exact feelings… And undoubtedly for many others…
    And Edwina, you obviously have no idea!!!!!!

  9. I am sat here Mentally applauding you. No only that she is a fine one to talk sleeping with another woman’s husband there is in my book nothing lower than that because of the lies lies and damned lies that are involved . I wish for you Ms Monroe nothing but happiness and warmth and your Mother is right an apology would be the right thing to do but then look at the person whom she Is asking it of. Stay as you are an evolving butterfly delicate beautiful and strong.

  10. I am about to watch this debate on I player. The politicians don’t know about being in poverty, I was like that once struggling to bring up four children with no money but the wage I earned, you know the rest, ( no heating etc) I am in a better place now I have retired, but still have to decide want to spend my money on rant over sorry, keep going you really are doing more good than harm

  11. The thing is Jack she doesn’t care about other people’s suffering.She is a self serving narcissist,she only cares about herself,I don’t really understand it myself,I think it’s a kind of illness – trying to communicate with someone like her is like throwing pearls to swine.She is incapable of responding with honestly or compassion,she is completely outclassed by your integrity.That’s how I see it.Jackie xx

    Sent from my Windows Phone ________________________________

  12. I watched the thing last night and like most sane people was rooting for you – all you do is support ordinary people and try and give them a voice – yet the rich and privileged seem to be too protective of their own position to ever concede you are talking the truth. You are so brave and you really rattled them, well done. Always on your side Jack and the Likes of Currie showed herself up for what she really is, and all her kin. I am proud to link my blog sobernoodles with yours.

  13. They will never get it. There is always something that we can do to help ourselves. Always. But when we do it in the face of being ever more trodden-down it rankles not just a little bit.

    And they will never, ever, ever get it. I’m glad you scared her somewhat and sad that you had to suffer her attitude.

    In response to her aside I might have been tempted to fire back with “at least I didn’t prostitute myself to the top” but it seems a little unfair to prostitutes.

    Hang in there.

  14. Pingback: A Splendid Example of UK ‘Politics’ | Musical Gibbon

  15. Good for you! What a bunch of nasty, bigoted, self interested arses they all are. Keep going and carry on speaking out as long as you feel able. Lots of people support you, me included!

  16. Are the Conservatives deliberately shooting themselves in the foot? I have always been what’s called a ‘floating voter’ and my political inclinations I keep private. I wrote to my (Conservative) MP about a month ago over another issue. What I received in reply was a wishy-washy response in which the underlying message seemed to be ‘money matters more than people’. Now, after seeing the foodbank debate and reading this (as well as other things that Currie et al have said), I have to say that some of the ‘floating’ has gone. I don’t know who I will vote for at the next election, but it will definitely not be the Conservatives.

    • Foot shooting is a very apt term. I don’t like voting as I don’t think there has been a lot to choose between the parasites on offer but next time I will vote for anything that keeps the toads out.

    • sandyfaithking – I agree. As a floating voter I’ve had the view that all the mainstream parties care about roughly the same things I do – essentially, a chance for us all to get on and prosper whilst caring for those who need help. As a result, I’ve voted for all of them over the years.

      I don’t want to vote labour this time and I’m not too impressed by the lib dems but the staggering lack of respect and decency shown by Edwina Curry has really made me face up to the fact that actually the current bunch of tories are pretty unpleasant. The egg’s not just on Edwina’s face this time. For me and probably many others she’s smeared the whole party.

      One of the most telling comments by the awful blonde woman (can’t remember her name) was that 1% of the population pay 30% of the taxes. Doesn’t this make you think that the gap between the rich and poor is wider than ever. Why can’t we live in a country where wages are higher and housing costs aren’t distorted by the unfair tax reliefs given to private landlords.

      I’m sick of a political system that simply favours it’s mates, whether blue, red or yellow.

      It’s time for a change. I just wish I knew where it could come from.

      PS. The program was a total shambles but it has opened up the debate.

  17. Well said Jack. I’ve seen plenty of times when loud mouths like Edwina and Katy Hopkins shout over someone and put them down personally because they’ve got no political argument left.

    It shows them up for the shallow, ignororant, sheltered buffoons that they are. If you can’t debate in an adult, dignified and well informed way, you shouldn’t be given air time.

    • Well said… although it is a shame you were not given the opportunity to say it last night.. I was looking forward to hearing what you had to say.. and the tv time was taken up with two very VERY stupid women… which is also very sad as the only two people on stage last night who had dignity.. were you and ‘white Dee’… says it all really doesn’t it!

  18. Well said Jack.
    Just begun watching recording of Wright Show and Terry Christian summed up Katie Hopkins/Edwina Currie to a tee……”competition between KH & EC who could be most hatchet faced horrible Haridan on there”
    Both Terry and Matthew Wright agreed it was like a Bear Pit (accidentally on purpose?)
    So well done for doing your best to get your points over, despite being spoken over by Rent a Tory and only letting one f word slip out!

  19. Good for you Jack. I was so shocked at the way you were treated by currie and annoyed that you didn’t even get to say what you wanted to. I can’t even begin to understand how someone can not be ashamed of the poverty in this country.
    I hope EC does apologise to your family because below the belt she was indeed. Keep up the good work jack x

  20. Well done. Brilliant. Good for you. You are an inspiration. You did yourself proud…. all words lacking from Edwina’s day today.

  21. Well said Jack, Edwina Currie came across as a spoilt petulant rich brat with absolutely no compassion for those less fortunate than herself,by her action of tweeting your grandfathers obituary she has proven herself to be nothing but callous & heartless.
    If Edwina Currie does not apologise she will be once again left with egg on her face and an even bigger stain on her character – shame on her !

  22. I watched you last night…bravo! It was immensely satisfying to see an honest, gutsy and hardworking member of the public take on a blinkered and archaic politician who cares for nothing more than popularity. Well sorry Edwina but you have no idea about the today’s people and your run in with a girl called Jack, as well as the manner in which you handled the discussion suggests that there is not much left out there for you except mybe to drape a blanket over your legs and wait for your ocado delivery.

  23. I didn’t watch that debate but your post is, well, self explanatory. I am disgusted by the behaviour and treatment you received. Seems pretty obvious that your petty ignorant opponent was put in her place, even if she didn’t let you have your full say.
    And I am shocked and saddened to hear that you get such vile threats made against you and that you have horrible comments directed at you. I can’t understand it, but I certainly hope you have found a way to keep it at arms length and not let it shake your confidence – perhaps it has the opposite effect?! I hope so.

    Ever since I heard about your blog, how it arose and started reading it, I have nothing but respect and admiration for you – for your strength of character, resilience and resourcefulness in overcoming difficulties I can only imagine, for what you have achieved for your family and in your work and for being an inspiration to others, me included.
    Keep up the good work x and thank you

  24. Didn’t watch last night, but have been following your posts for a couple of weeks and this one was a little different to the others.

    No one like Edwina Curry (not even John Major anymore) so do your best to forget this. You are in the right and the world is a better place for your efforts. Keep it up.

    As a species we need to learn to be nicer to each other and help each other more. I despair sometimes that so many influential people refuse to get that.

  25. Well said Jack. I’ve been there too, it was no fun. My kids and I survived, but I often wonder how much it damaged them. All that struggle, but they have made it, maybe it makes us stronger. Edwina is a strange person, she is intelligent but has little empathy I suspect. All she knows is Edwina’s world, don’t let her get under your skin, you are doing fine. x

  26. You won, full stop. They were telling lies and got shown up so they got personal. Edwina behaved like a playground bully, twisted her own words and told lies.

    Jack congratulations on Sainsbury’s, to speak for the poor why should you stay poor? I hope you and your boy never have to suffer like that again and you can look him in the eye and know you did it by using your obvious talents, what a great example, you will inspire lots of single mums to do the same.

    There are very few role models who don’t sing but you are a great one.

  27. Wonderful reply – sadly Edwina is beyond any rational and unbigotted thought. Remember many people are with you in spirit. It may sometimes seem a cold comfort to be in the right in adversity to such callousness but ultimately you have integrity and that is truly the most we can aspire to. You are a great role model to your child and many many people.

  28. You rock! People need measured, intelligent, honest and articulate representatives like you to stand strong in the disgustingly corrupt media. There are so many who depend on people like you to ask the difficult questions and point out the inconvenient grand social injustices to the sickeningly out of touch institution. Never stop fighting, the fact that your personal life and not your message was the only avenue of attack by your opposition should be taken as the worlds biggest compliment. Thousands stand behind you that much is obvious, if it makes them scared enough to mud sling then you are doing everything right. And in conclusion congratu-fucking-lations!!

  29. Go Jack. Edwina Currie is a nightmare of a woman who slept with John Major. Can’t think what is worse, sleeping with another womans husband or that man being John Major. She was bloody rude. So when you get your ballot paper remember what the Tories really think of hardworking people. Work for minimum wage and think you are lucky. While the bankers get the bonuses people queue at foodbanks.

  30. Thanks for showing Edwina Curry up for what she is, her and Katie Hopkins needed putting in their place. Her tirade to an unemployed mother to “Get a job” would have got me up and smacking her in the mouth, this person who receives half her ministerial salary as a pension and a state pension and winter fuel allowance as well.

    The less said about Katie Hopkins the better apart from she put all the capitals in COMPLETE BITCH! Well done jack

  31. I’ve never been a fan of Currie but I watched the programme last night and was shocked at how rude and vicious she was. She didn’t do herself any favours, did she?

  32. Well written – you have put your view across clearly, succintly and intelligently. Shame you werent given the chance to do so on air.

  33. I meant to catch up on the C5 debate last night. I’m not sure I can bring myself to watch it if its not really a debate but just Tories yelling. Currie sounds venomous on camera and off.

    I did catch the R4 one the previous day where there debate seemed to centre on tatoos and what you looked like. I’d kind of expected better of the Today show, but I guess thats what journalism has decended to.

    I do think you’re right about them being scared and baring their teeth when they’ve no recourse to reason any more. Your whole thing about everyday cooking being for anyone I think is a liberating thing. A bit dangerous. Like education. Don’t want all those poor folk thinking for themselves.

    Lastly, you’re being a really powerful, cogent, eleoquent voice (when you’re allowed to speak) for lots and lots of people who don’t have one. It’s a job and a responsibilty that you’ve shouldered without question. The flipside of that is that its ok for you to get paid for that. I know you know that, I guess I’m just saying that we all know that too.

  34. just shows how scared of you and your opinions curry was, all that digging she had done into your lifestyle and background, what a sad example of a human being that woman is, I was hoping that someone would put her in her place with a nice back handed comment about climbing the tory ladder on the back of the affair she had with john major for 4 years

  35. I don’t have a TV – I binned mine last time Edwina was on it regularly – but I don’t need one to know what went down last night – well done for trying to speak the truth – don’t be discouraged

  36. very nicely written, i was discusted with hopkins and edwina last night. These people really don’t understand, with there high educations and silver spoon up bringings. I was also out of work for a couple of years through no fault of my own, the job centre don’t make it easy to get your benefits as a lot of people think. Im working now thank god but the best i can do is a 20 hour contract on minimum wage. i really wish they could live a year out of work with cv like mine and lets see how easy they find a job. stuck up cows the pair of them.

  37. I witnessed the disgraceful remarks of Mrs Currie yesterday evening, and am so sorry. You handled the matter very well considering the level of provocation. Sadly, people like Mrs Currie, once given a public platform, quickly descend into ridicule and cheap remarks. I remember her when she was a Councillor in Birmingham and she has not changed since.

    I was rather disappointed by last night’s programme. It could have been a genuinely serious and mature discussion, but instead was hijacked by two over-grown children – Hopkins and Currie.

    I admire your spirited self-reliance. You have a great deal to teach all of us. Even an old lady like me. I wish you every success with your life and am sure we will be seeing a great deal more of you in the years to come.

  38. I’m sorry, I switched off after 10 minutes because I just couldn’t stand watching the Katie Hopkins roadshow anymore. It was akin to having one of those really annoying, attention grabbing puppets on a kids show! I’m sorry (but also glad to be honest) that I missed your encounter with another disgusting display of being out of touch by a Tory. x

  39. Is this some form of irony – didn’t some old Tory say:

    “In my work, you get used to criticisms. Of course you do, because there are a lot of people trying to get you down, but I always cheer up immensely if one is particularly wounding because I think well, if they attack one personally, it means they have not a single political argument left. That is why my father always taught me: never worry about anyone who attacks you personally; it means their arguments carry no weight and they know it.”

    - Margaret Thatcher, From an interview for Italian television (RAI), conducted by Enzo Biagi (March 10, 1986)

    Found at: http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Margaret_Thatcher

  40. To be treated like that by an attention-seeking 70 year old child must have been most unpleasant . Thank you for remaining so measured , you are all the more effective for it , and that must be gall and wormwood to those who dare not look over their walls of enritlement and self-interest .

  41. What was intended to be a serious debate on the Benefits row did indeed turn into a circus the moment the two clowns that is; Katie Hopkins and Edwina Curry appeared, all that was needed was a clapping seal balancing a ball on his nose to complete the show, however well said Jack and some of the audience members who through trial and error did eventually get a word in past these two very arrogant and self obsorded women.

    • Jack
      After readings your post, this wee verse came to mind. I used to have this sitting on my desk at work….it connected with me and seem relevant today.

      OM
      Become loyal to your innermost truth.
      Follow the way when all others abandon it.
      Walk the path of your own heart.

      Jack
      Stay true to whom you are
      Thank you for sharing your post.
      Some people are so disconnected from the truth that it verges on delusional.
      GB x

  42. Well done Jack, I was cheering you on last night and as for Edwina we can only pity her ignorance and wonder if she is deliberatly trying to sabotage her own party, by showing their true colours. Her family must be so ‘proud’…if I were her daughter I’d be getting my name changed by deed poll.

  43. She blasted her private life – including her affair with John Major – all over the public sphere in a book. She doesn’t understand the concept of protecting family and friends by not loudmouthing her intimate secrets to the world. Dignity is an alien concept to her.

  44. despite the continous claims by the right wing media that most people are behind welfare reforms – the story on the ground is quite different, none of us believe a word that is said, we listen to a governance that has only derision, scorn and a diet of lies for the electorate, they play us for fools as . this comming year 2014- 2015 will possibly be the ugliest, foulest display of ill mannered snake oil sales associates ever know, the great circus of the millenia -desperately grasping has-beens revealing each owns true colours..Jack Monroe – you stand head and shoulders above this vile lot.

  45. The debate was a total farce but at least for a change some real voices of opposition were heard. Such important issues being given a blink of an eye to be discussed. Let’s hope the next one is longer and they introduce some basic rules like the host chooses who speaks and then no one else can speak until they have finished. If they break those rules they have to leave. Time out for Edwina. Well done Jack! I’m glad you were able to write this piece and gain so much more support too.

  46. I have no idea why a woman who is only known for messing up the egg industry and sleeping with John Major was on that program. She had no facts to offer, simply sniping at others that she knew better than them. Perhaps her main qualification is that she’s a condescending bitch?
    You presented facts, which she didn’t want. So she shouted and used personal information to try to shut you down. Always the way of the bully and tyrant.
    You still showed her up but I hate that it was of personal cost to you,.

  47. I was unaware of your story and your work before last night, but I’m glad to say that’s no longer the case. You handled a difficult, emotional situation incredibly well and, inevitably, the ghastly Currie (and, of course, Hopkins too) were shown up for the vile, ignorant morons they truly are. Well done!

  48. Brilliantly written, Jack. While me and my family have to watch the pennies and there is a distinct possibility that things might get worse before they get better, if they ever do get better, I could never be described as poor. We have a very nice house, I have a reasonably well-paid job (teacher – I won’t go into the related grumbles about that as they are not related to this issue and are well-rehearsed elsewhere), we eat well and still turn on the heating when we are cold. I have never experienced the sort of poverty you so brilliantly describe in this blog entry.

    However, it doesn’t stop me having great sympathy for anyone who has to live in this way. It doesn’t stop me wanting a radical change in the politics of this country to try to make this sort of thing much rarer. People in a rich country like ours should never have to worry about whether they can afford to eat or to stay warm.

    I think you are spot on about the Tories (in fact my big worry is that Labour won’t dare to change things properly if they get in government). I didn’t watch the programme last night as I knew it would make me even angrier. However, I totally respect you and anyone else who is working to try to change our politics and society.

    I think you are an inspiration. It is ridiculous that opponents try to use your recent success as a slight against you. It is brilliant that you have, through resilience and hard work and inspiration (as far as I can see, although I don’t really know very much about you). Just because you are not any longer starving (I hope), does not mean you are not entitled to comment and campaign for those who are still living in poverty. In fact, it is an amazing testament to your commitment to a better society that you still campaign for others.

    Thank you. Don’t let the bastards grind you down. You are right, they are wrong.

  49. The ‘still working for Sainsbury’s’ remark translates as….
    I am going to demean this threat to me and attempt to make her feel like shit AKA go into BULLY mode.
    I will put Jack Munroe in her place.
    I will not acknowledge that she is a much better politician than I am and that she showed me to be the vile person that I really am with not a political clue what I am doing.
    So instead I will attempt to belittle her rather than acknowledge all of the good work she has done and acknowledge that she is fronting the advertising campaign for a massive, successful UK company for a bloody good reason!

    Ridiculous woman has embarrassed and brought shame to herself. I have been looking forward to your ‘ Dear Edwina’ all morning. Knock them down one by one Jack not one of them has answered you back yet. Voiceless little parasites.

  50. I didn’t watch it. couldn’t bear it. I’m glad you were there. You are AWESOME. thank you for being brave and facing all that sh!t.

  51. Well said, Jack. Thank goodness you are strong enough to answer back to hideously monstrous people like Edwina C, part of the really, really nasty party! I’ve been poor, not as poor as some perhaps, but pretty bad for a time as a young mum about to be evicted from my home. These people have no empathy and no understanding of how poverty grinds you down. Keep up your good work!!

  52. the programme just showed what sort of person she really is , she knew she couldn’t win so resorted to underhand childish means but just showed herself up to be the mean minded self absorbed person she really is .

  53. Ever heard of compassion Edwina and Katy ? Ever thought that people may be on benefits for other reasons than a lack of drive or laziness or that part time work doesn’t pay enough to cover bills? No probably not. If you’re on benefits it’s because of your own fecklessness. What a nasty and blinkered outlook to have.

  54. Watched that programme last night and it just proves that Edwina, that other stuck up TORY idiot (whatever her name was) and the rest of that despicable Conservative party have NO IDEA, NO CLUE and just don’t give a FLYING F**K about anyone but the rich. The Tories were formed to keep the “rich, rich and the poor, poor!!”
    Those two arrogant, ignorant B’Stards just verified that point.
    I lost my job in August 2013 and my income has gone down 85%, All I get for 30 years of work is a poxy £71 JSA a week. I’m in imminent danger of losing my house. I’ve had to resort to food banks. I have and still do apply for every type of job possible (even those that don’t offer a living wage) with no response. I’ve been on every course suggested by the Job Centre. There aren’t the jobs out there that Ms Currie thinks there are. The ones that are have countless applicants for so employers have an
    overabundance of choice.

  55. I hold my hands up and admit that I had to turn the channel over as it all got far too infuriating. You did an amazing job, and it goes to show with the increase in Twitter followers and positive feedback. Edwina on the other hand, well lets just hope she realises how much of a cretin she really is. I don’t like to say karma will come around for her, but a little bit of me just hopes she experiences the shit that comes along with depression, poverty and humiliation. Here’s to wishing.

  56. I couldnt agree more. I watched the show last night an my first few mins of viewing was through clenched teeth..ranting about how somebody needs to push their (EC&KH) faces through the nearest job centre window. Im not a violent person n had a bit of fright when this anger welled up inside. Ive been in poverty more times than I want to recall. Worked 20+ jobs in last 27 yrs.. Currently juggling bad health with £6.90 per hour. Just to prove a point to my husband after listening to his rants about “If you want to get on then get off ur ass n get a job” Yes im married to a cons supporter n ive often thought of the Divorce word.. but he hasnt had to endure the indignity of it all. I already had 2 children when we met so he did miss all the poverty days. Trying to calculate how I would manage if he died tomorow.. I was left with £5 to last a month for food/travel to work an household cleaning/clothing etc. After paying essentials I would be destitute. All for the “Work hard to get on” Not only are unemployed living in poverty but so are some of us who have worked since leaving school. Bills have quadrupled but wages stay stagnant. This is the reality. This is life as we know it. Im lucky hubby has a pension to look forward too.. myself.. im goin to sell a kidney or a lung or maybe my eyes.. without it.. His pension wont keep us. But its ok were currently looking on ebay for a caravan. Thankyou for speaking up for All of us poor mortals.

  57. How can Edwina Currie be against Food Banks, surely they’re an example of Big Society in action? Perhaps they’re abandoning that as well as the Welfare State now, and resorting to Every Man for Himself?

  58. I cannot thank you enough for your strength of character and your calm and logical argument in the face of such ignorance and willful blindness as perfectly demonstrated by Edwina. I cannot compare what I have been through to your experience but I have felt similar feelings of depression and unhappiness. Thanks to your example and your determination many of us can feel that we can also make a difference and help to improve the life of those around us in need of help. I’m just beginning my voluntary work for the Foodbank in Leeds in large part thanks to your inspiration. Thank you.

  59. I didn’t see the programme, will catch up on iplayer, but everything you have said in your follow up needs to be heard by everyone in this country.

  60. Stay strong, don’t let the Tory trolls grind you down. They will never, never understand poverty. You’re better than them – though I’ve only watched part of the program and will watch the rest tonight I actually thought it was rather good, and the Tory trolls showed themselves up for the heartless, inhuman pond-slime they are.

  61. Jack you have already done more for the people in the UK than Edwina Curry has ever done. Feel proud! We are very proud of you.

  62. I was homeless and jobless living in a welfare hotel in Richmond it can happen to anyone. Edwina is a narcissistic exhibitionist all that matters to her is publicity actually she shows the Nast side of the Conservative party

  63. I’m not a “commenter” on news sites or blogs usually but I just wanted to say bravo to you for the above post. Brave, honest and human…aptly the opposite of everything that wretched Edwina Curry represents

  64. For anybody considering voting Conservative, remember that the opinion and attitude towards the poor passionately expressed by Currie and Katie Hopkins last night, are deeply routed and shared within the party.
    Should the evident, obscene dismissal of peoples desperate plight to survive witnessed lastnight, still not cement your opinion, quote EC: “Go and clean a toilet” (like the piece of shit you are)… then I would also like to remind ‘floating voters’ it was the Queen of Selfish herself, Margret Thatcher, that crippled the working classes by crushing the Unions and selling off all their jobs to the international private sector, during her monstrous reign in the 80s. Her legacy lives on our skilled labour has vanished and the media backed it to the hilt.
    The rich get richer, the poorer get poorer. That’s what the Tories do best and they will stop at nothing to protect their privileged interests.

    • Bang on the money there Giggsy.

      All done in the 80s with the ‘not economically viable’ tag as a justification, all the while propping up ‘inward’ investment with obscene handouts (presumably because they too would not be economically viable).

      A shower of uncaring, selfish bastards.

  65. Oh, please! No-one taking part in that programme or watching it can possibly have expected anything other than a right-wing circus. All you did was allow Channel 5 to have a temporary ratings boost by allowing benefits claimants to be trashed on TV yet again.

    Edwina Currie? She recently described herself on Radio5Live as someone who is paid to argue. She may not even believe half of what she says but that’s how she makes her living: being a nasty piece of work. She was recently peeled like a grape by a QC on a Radio5Live phone in programme where the cutbacks in legal aid was the topic.

    Katie Hopkins? A total loser. Couldn’t even win that piece of trash TV ‘The Apprentice’.

    Matthew Wright? No skills to manage a debate so just sets up a bear pit of people screaming at one another.

    Jack Monroe – I thoroughly admire your writing and your struggle to change your life and I hope you are now on an upward trajectory but please stop being so naive. If you are going on TV with the likes of Currie and Hopkins, be prepared to shout louder than them and dominate the discussion and be prepared for your personal life to be used against you. That’s how they work. They want to win and they don’t care if they have to lie and shout to do it. It generates more work for them

    • Have you ever heard the phrased “give someone enough rope”?

      An avowed benefits opposer on my Fbook wall today was saying how vile Currie and Hopkins were.

    • Why should she sink to their depths, her stance and attitude has more integrity and honesty and THAT’s what ordinary people want from OUR politicians. House of commons has been filled with buffoons like these 2 and a decent debate can no longer be had there. Political elite my arse!

    • It actually wasn’t a right-wing circus. There was a lot of reasonable comment, the host pointed out several tmes that the most benefits are paid to pensioners, and KH/EC made fools of themselves with no help from anyone. I think it’s time the debate moved on from Left v Right. Like everything in life, things are so much more complicated and nuanced than media soundbits would have us believe.

      • I think that what happened to Edwina Currie and Katie Hopkins is that they turned up expecting a right wing circus and found they were in front of an audience more intelligent and informed than they were able to cope with. They both dealt with it by trying to make reasoned discussion impossible.

    • I agree with much of this but strongly disagree that the way to win is to shout over the idiots. Don’t lower yourself to their level. I suspect the only way to remove them from our TVs is for people to refuse to appear with/opposite them.

  66. I love that ‘sheltered buffons,’ its so true! I am horrified by the Tories, always have been though they’re worse than ever now. I’m sure the TV company picked EC cos of her extreme views and eagerness to voice them.
    You do such an excellent job of fighting back though Jack, I’d just be crushed into a heap & cry but you remain eloquent, polite and clear at all times,
    You should get an apology but I doubt it’ll arrive.
    Thank you so much Jack for all that you do on our behalf.

  67. i’m never interested in anything she has to say. I imagine I will disagree as soon as she opens her mouth. You, however, have taught me something (along with your recipe for thai curry and chowder!). I’ve never been in the situation you describe and I am ashamed to say that I have never really appreciated the horror experienced by people in it. I would also never be so ignorant, cruel, inhumane or arrogant enough to presume anything about the experiences that have put people in such a heartbreaking situation.
    Anyway, I think you are fabulous and I have sought out the local foodbank and will be making a contribution because of what you have highlighted to me.

    I also agree with your Mum. Edwina should apologise. Bad form.

  68. Fascinating to watch that show and then the footage of IDS in front of the Parliamentary Welfare and Pensions Committee yesterday. Katie Hopkins, Edwina Currie, and IDS all behaved exactly like small children who know they are in the wrong but don’t want to admit it.

    There seems to be a very childish and self centred demand for conformity at all costs somewhere at the heart of their attitudes, along with a complete inability to understand that the world doesn’t consist of an eternal present stretching back into the past and forward into the future.

    Keep fighting the good fight.

  69. I live in Italy – a recent move but have followed the benefits debate in general. I missed the exact programme last night. They really do not like it when their work hard and you get your just deserts claim is challenged. I have my own tale to recant about losing everything despite working hard. I can well imagine what they were like. Keep on hun.

  70. What a nasty spiteful old women Edwina curry is, I had to leave the room after what i heard her say Maybe you should have reminded her of her betrayal to John Majors WIFE !! She has no idea what its like for the thousands of people that go without food and heating, no jobs or jobs that don’t even cover the cost of living!!

  71. Pingback: The Big Benefits Rabble… | Sweet Reasoning

  72. I couldn’t watch the debate last night and, reading this, I’m glad I didn’t! Not through ignorance, but because I’m also someone who won’t put on the heating (no gas at the moment anyway!!), has an empty fridge, hasn’t left the house for the past 5 days, can’t find work and wishes every morning that I wouldn’t wake up! I’m just grateful my kids are grown up (22 & 20) and have not had to suffer the poverty faced by thousands of kids today, yes, it was tough, but god knows how I’d cope now!! Shame on you Edwina, you just don’t have a fekkin clue, then again, you never have!!

  73. I tuned in expecting to get a balanced debate and it was spoiled by having Katie Hopkins and Edwina Curry on, two very out of touch people. You and the lady off of Benefits Row came out the best and should be proud.

  74. The programme started well and quickly dissolved into back biting and obnoxious behaviour when the mouths of Katie and Edwina opened and bitter, twisted personal opinions came out. They simply showed themselves for what they are.

    She couldn’t allow you to speak because your story had you had the chance to tell it would have undermined everything she said. She also couldn’t let you speak because she is a bitter twisted old woman without of date ideas and understanding of the system as it is today,and she showed herself up completely last night.

    It could have been such a good debate and could have produced answers and interesting discussion, but these two stopped all that …. I wonder were they paid to do just that?

  75. I haven’t mustered enough courage to watch the program yet, I only recorded it because you were on it Jack, knowing you would air the truth is the only reason I pressed the record button.
    I hope with so many others that the truth about this Governments nasty agenda will become general knowledge and so many of us won’t be afraid to go out anymore, keep going Jack :) xx

  76. Caught the Ch5 ‘debate’ good on you, Dee and Rachel Johnson – well most of the commentators actually. Dee showed more class and intelligence than either the spawn of Matthew Hopkins or the failed MP Currie.

  77. it became a farce due to having people like that hideous EC and KH on and an audience that also were not able to debate it was awful – you and hayley needed more airspace and the headteacher

  78. I totally agree with the comments about this letter and while watching the Benefits debate I was appalled by the disgusting behaviour of Edwina Currie and Katie Hopkins. Both women didn’t care about or want to hear other people’s side of the argument because they were too busy spitting venom at everybody. Even ‘White Dee’ put her views across in a mature and adult way. You put your views across well and were brave to stand up to her. Edwina showed her true colours and showed the country what a vile woman she really is and what the tories really stand for. I thank God for people like you who are real human beings. You stood up to a party who clearly have no grip on reality and the lives of people in this country.

  79. she once also said northerners were unemployed because we drank 10 pints a night – we need a recap in the media on the nasty things she has said because she is still around and still a platform for tory nastiness proving its still there – she proved that last night ..

  80. This piece is far more powerful than the televised arguments and soundbites that people like Edwina are trained to deliver. It’s rather like putting a trained gladiator into a ring with a novice – you can guess the outcome. Honestly, the programme makers also bear a lot of the responsibility for not allowing you your say and for not moderating Currie’s attack. Deeply impressed Jack – thank you.

  81. Jack – I thought the woman was a disgrace, and sent a clear message of what the Tory party thinks of the benfits row. As a former MP one would have hoped she would have been able to come up with a sensible input to the show, but no her hateful, and personal remarks simply showed the woman up.

    I find it funny that she was insistent that people should do anything if it meant finding work. Let’s remember, this is a woman who went to work and slept with John Major to get ahead – let’s be honest I’d rather be on the dole than sink to that level.

    Keep doing what you’re doing Jack, we all think you’re great !!

  82. I’ve been following you on Twitter for a while because I think you’re an amazing, articulate, strong person and I love hearing what you have to say. (My husband had never heard of you before – now he thinks you’re fab.) Please keep up the good work. You’re right – they shout you down because they’re scared of what you have to say. Keep fighting the good fight.

  83. Hi Jack, this made me cry. Thank you so much for being the amazing, brave person you are. I am well educated and have a good job, yet spent over a year living on an overdraft and trying to stick to an impossible weekly budget. I dread to think how I would have coped with a child. There is something deeply wrong with our society.

    • Please let’s be honest – politicians from across the spectrum use personal attacks. It’s a ploy which was given a name by the Romans – ‘ad hominem’ – and has been around for as long as debate itself. Better if everyone stuck to the actual argument. But of course name-calling can be so much more (self) satisfying.

  84. I think edwina and Katie were very rude and their arguments made no sense whatsoever, it made me laugh when you swore, you were only saying what 98% of the population wants to say! they have no concept of poverty at all! the thing that annoyed me the most when someone suggested putting the minimum wage up to a level that people can afford to live and the cheeky cow said they can’t afford to do it! why? Because they claim for second homes, food and goodness knows what else costing the taxpayer thousands and they have the cheek to call benefit claimants scroungers, they are both disgusting and vile human beings

  85. Oh what I would give to see you elected as an MP, someone who understands what it is like in the real world. Just need another 649 odd then and perhaps we might get real results and not politics.

  86. If you wanted to get personal back you could’ve pointed out the public loathe Currie so much that she was the first to be voted out of Strictly Come Dancing and her book detailing her affair with John Major sold about six copies. Also it lead to one of her daughters not speaking to her – not sure if they’ve since made up.

    Currie’s need for attention is really rather sad because she was once a woman of substance and someone to be reckoned with. She had power and she could’ve had more. She was of course thrown out of the Commons by the voters and has since chosen to become a well-paid media troll. She’s not stupid so she must know deep in her heart how hollow that is compared with what she achieved in the Commons – namely sponsoring an amendment to equalise the age of consent for gay people.

    You have a bright future in front of you Jack and many people – myself included – greatly admire the huge contribution you are making. Currie has nothing in front of her save for bitterness, regret and a very sad old age.

  87. I remember seeing Mrs Currie in Derby city centre during the 1980s. Her two children were running around on a traffic island on next to the Council House and she could not control them. They completely ignored her and so should we!

  88. Jack

    Surely the coldest, hungriest, most hopeless day you ever spent could not be as bad as one spent inside the shell of that soulless, wilfully ignorant, screeching, hateful, cheating vapid, harridan?

    To look in the mirror and see that chilling void, lacking all humanity and decency gaping back? The thought makes me shudder.

    • Hi Jack. What a wonderful piece you have written I watched the programme expecting it to be the usual benefit bashing and was surprised. Especially with those two awful women on. You were brilliant as was the first lady guest on. I think Katy Hopkins especially was shown up in her true colours last night as a very bitterly woman with an axe to grind. She and currie were shot down in flames by panel And audience alike. Thank you for speaking up I am disabled and in Britain today I have a lot to fear ans no voice to express it

  89. It was just like the day time Jeremy Kyle Show. Allow the person with the vilest opinion and/or loudest voice their say, allow everyone else only the tiniest say, so they get angry, then step back and watch the fireworks. Step in as Mr Reasonable, and repeat.
    KH was predictably vile, EC was more vile than I remember and sounded like she had new false teeth to boot.
    A debate wasn’t allowed, and I was, literally, shouting at the telly. Which, sadly, is just what they wanted.
    I was so frustrated for you, not being allowed to get your point across

    Was also trying to engage with Arabella Wier after the Food & Drink show, where they were making ‘cheap meals’ for £2 a portion. AW insisted that you needed to buy in bulk, and she didn’t have room, and plan obsessively, which she couldn’t do. She just wouldn’t hear the message. Almost wanted to stay in a place where she couldn’t afford to eat healthily if she was poor
    Still, managed to get both our blogs mentioned on their site, so that’s a result
    I do find these programmes where they are supposedly making cheap food, misleading, unrealistic and extremely unhelpful

    • Agree! I found Arabella Weir almost offensive in the way she was saying what she was saying last night! And I read the statement where she said Jack could only eat healthily on a budget because she bought in bulk. Think I must have missed the bulk buying bit on Jacks blog. I think it does take time and planning, and, obviously, its easier the bigger your budget is, but you can eat healthily on a budget as you and Jack and indeed lots of others prove day after day. Plenty of people eat badly on a large budget too. And £2 per person for a pudding, budget food, give me strength. I don’t think my blackberry pudding costs that for all of us!! Budget food. Not really.

  90. You are so very brave. A great role model in a country which desperately needs them. I am a mum and work from home and to hear what you and your small boy went through is terrifying. I preordered your book as soon as I could. I love your recipes and your political stance. I wouldn’t have thick enough skin to ignore the vile trolls but you do. Stay strong. X

  91. Well said and well done for trying so hard against all odds!!!! In the past and in not so public places, I’ve squirmed with humiliation and unexploded anger whilst wondering how people who are supposedly so “clever” can be so stupid or adversely wondering how they can deny the truth and squash it with “clever” practiced, repost! I’ve come to the conclusion that they cannot face the idea of being “wrong” and that even when proven “wrong”, they still manage to be “right” and blame others for making mistakes. They fear that the truth doesn’t bring with it, the answers they need, so they manufacture a make believe world of illogical but politically “correct” drivel. By politically “correct”, I mean something that promotes their political views in a way that can seem to some to be logical.

  92. What can I say. All respect to you for your strength, for your tireless campaigning on the issues of hunger and poverty. Her attacks on you just go to show how morally bankrupt they have all become. As they say, Don’t let the bastards grind you down!

  93. Edwina Curry lives near me, and I often see her walking the dog by the river. Sometimes she has her daughter and granddaughter with her. I thought she’d retired from politics.

    I didn’t see the programme you refer to here, but gather from what you’ve written that she behaved very badly. I’ll ask her whether she’s apologised, next time I see her.

    If not, would you like me to hurl her in the river? :)

  94. 👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏
    Dearest jack
    Beautiful written!
    I felt physically sick watching the show last night at the way you where shamefully treated. Tory scum currie could Never survive in the real world of poverty for a week without assistance. The haves like that b**ch Hopkins need to step into the shoes of 1000s of people suffering in poverty in this country. That is why giving money to help suffering animals and people abroad should stop and people should look closer to home.
    Well done for keeping you hands of the toffee nosed cow currie 👏👏👏👏👏

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    • I would like to say respectfully that I don’t believe compassion should be governed by geography, therefore I disagree with your suggestion that “giving money to help suffering animals and people abroad should stop”. For one thing I am 99.999% sure that the government doesn’t give any money at all to suffering animals abroad. As for people – the level of deprivation suffered by too many in other countries is so extreme, and the amount of money needed to feel one starving child so miniscule, that I believe it would be the gravest inhumanity for us as a country to stop giving that aid. Thank you.

    • ‘giving money to help suffering animals and people abroad should stop’? Whoa! Animals are suffering as a result of this governments draconian cuts too. The shelters are fit to bursting with innocent, once loved pets that people can no longer afford to feed. We should continue to give money to foreign aid because for centuries Britain raped and pillaged the world in the name of the British Empire. We owe much and we form part of the world.

      • If we were helping people in this country, they would be able to keep their pets. Won’t we be in a better position to support other countries if we focus on the UK’s economic recovery?

    • This is a rich country. We can, in fact, do it all. There is no need for ANYONE to be hungry in the 6th richest country. The hunger in the UK is a political decision, and turning into a class war. Look at Michael Meachers blog (http://www.michaelmeacher.info/weblog/2014/02/osborne-sprays-corporate-welfare-around-while-kicking-personal-welfare-to-destruction/ ) he tells you where the money is going, £12 billion cuts to those already living in poverty, and £38 billion subsidies to the banks, halving of corporation tax take over 3 years. While Jack & her son went hungry? (It is heart-breaking for people to have to give up their pets because of poverty, and they do so because they care, and because they know that they cannot give their pet what they need. They are very brave to put the pets’ needs above their own.)

      We need to review aid, because some does go to countries that now have their own space programmes, but the government aid is usually just loans to buy guns from us, or used army equipment Charities that specialise, such as equine welfare, are specialised and not the stuff of governments

      But we should not allow the neo-cons to make us squabble among ourselves about the “good” and the “bad”, the “underserving” poor. That is their policy to divert us so we don’t notice how well the toffs are doing with this elitist, thieving government.

      Just 1% of the annual worlds arms budget could solve the worlds water-shortage in one year. We need to act together to solve these abominations. Not to squabble. We are all human, we are all equal, and we all deserve the security of a full stomach and a roof over our heads.

  95. The bit where, in response to “pay working mothers a living wage”, Edwina’s response of “we can’t afford to” was a damning indictment of capitalism by a former Tory MP.

  96. Did the gruesome two some sneak out early before the show ended cos i did not see them at the end of the show pmsl (scaredy cats)

  97. I didn’t watch this programme – because I could foresee the kinds of odious and ill-informed garbage which Currie and Hopkins would spit all over it – but thank you for continuing to write rationally, clearly and with astonishing generosity.

  98. Well done for speaking out on behalf of those who are suffering. Personal attacks are the last resort of the thwarted idiot, they run out of arguments and decide to have a nasty dig. You might be working for Sainsburys now (well done on getting one of those rare jobs out there) but that doesn’t negate your experiences in the past, neither does the history of your family. Currie and Hopkins are out of touch, bigoted, nasty fools who need a good shake.

  99. I didn’t watch the debate , too painful for someone newly confined to a wheelchair, well done for saying your truth, don’t let the bigots get you down. Next week they’ll be howling about some other issue and we will still getting on with our lives, step by step.
    Respect xx

  100. What the Nasty Party forget is how many of us are reliant on benefits because of their policies. I’m a single parent civil servant on year 4 of a pay freeze. Doesn’t matter how hard I work that’s a pay cut and I’m extremely grateful for the 14 quid a week child tax credit. It costs me thirty quid a week for my daughter’s travel to college but there is no ema any more. I’m luckier than some because I live in social housing so rent is not asrronomical.
    We’re all in it together. Yeah right. So long as the working claas are turning against each other we’re not.
    Thank you for being our voice and for the recipes which have fed us well on our tiny budget

  101. I didn’t see the programme, but your response looks dignified and, to me anyway, devastating. I didn’t see Edwina Currie’s performance – and make no mistake she has always had a strong sense of the theatrical, I cite as example her waving in the air a pair of handcuffs at party conference – but I have read about it and am shocked. Not surprised, but shocked. Your response showed far more civility than I could have mustered had I been treated in the way you appear to have been.
    Keep up your good work.

  102. I Watched with bated breath…terrified once again…of the backlash of people blaming those on Welfare…for the state of our country.
    i was more than amazed…at your courage…and those that put facts before the debate….unlike those…that tried to keep up the lies…and propoganda…Edwina Cury..is famous for Erm..oh yes Eggs…The other woman..the one with the very large mouth…no…cant think of her name…probably because she is a “Nobody”….they couldnt hold their own argument…so they got personal…rude and downright ignorant.
    shame on them….and well done to you Jack….you were AMAZING…and i for one…am sorry for how rudely you were personally attacked…but thats bigots for you…take care…and thank you ..love and hugs xxx

  103. These people have no compassion, they live in their bubble. They need to live on benefits, Then they need benefits stopped for example because the DWP/ATOS Say they failed to complete the assessment because they had a heart attack during it. They need to be treated like a criminal on JSA and become suicidal because they cannot get one interview. How can you be better on benefits, if you don’t have enough money to by food? Why are zero hour contracts allowed to happen? Why are landlords allowed to charge as much as possible… How long before no one can afford to pay rent? Please find out the facts before you judge. Please think. Please care. Please visit the real world. It is hell here. Why criticise what you don’t understand? You say get a job… Why don’t you try and help that to happen.

  104. An ex student of mine put me onto this debate. They were all discussing it this morning amongst themselves. Some really impressive debate from them and respect for each other and their differing opinions. Shame that the same can’t be said of Edwina. Thank you for being an excellent role model for thousands of young people.

  105. I tend to agree with Allison Franklin (though I might be a tad less blunt about it). Jack, don’t get defensive after putting up with that kind of abusive trash. It’s utter crap. That woman is just not worth it. I understand your frustration, but you should not feel you need to share your most private details due to an episode with a cold-hearted callous woman like that. Maintaining a dignified silence is infinitely stronger. Dust yourself off and move on. Small boy can be rightfully proud of having a fantastic, dedicated, committed hard-working mum such as you. You have a great future ahead.

  106. I didn’t see it but I believe what you say. Keep going, Jack. You speak for so many people. And I am appalled and so sorry that you have received such nasty, awful threats. I hope you can stay strong. There are many, many people rooting for you. I’m sending love with this post, I hope you can feel it and that the love you get from your supporters displaces the hatred Edwina and her ilk aim at you. xxxx

  107. Well said, Jack. My heart goes out to you for what you have been through. I saw last night’s show and – aside from the obvious disgust at them having two rentagobs on there, being paid to be offensive, I was really annoyed that Matthew Wright did not allow you to answer his question! I had been looking forward to hearing what you had to say and the way you were treated by him was incredibly unfair.

    Words fail me about Edwina’s behaviour and of course she owes you an apology – but try not to let her get to you, she has not been taken seriously since the egg scandal… She is trying to use you to get attention/revive her ‘career’.

    You have done, and are doing, a truly wonderful thing. Your story is incredibly powerful because it is true and you clearly have great integrity. You also have a rare talent, you produce amazing recipes and I personally believe very strongly that you deserve to be rewarded for that. Next time you have an opportunity to gain financially from it, take the money! Don’t let idiots like Edwina make you feel bad for doing a Sainsburys ad – enjoy your success and the helping hand for you and your son. I know you will always continue helping people and I wholeheartedly applaud you for that. In other words: I and many, many others think you are wonderful – don’t let the bastards grind you down. :)

  108. Well done you! I didn’t watch the programme, but I so admire your courage in speaking out for all the people who are in the same situation as you were – and your iron will and determination shine through in this blog. Well done you for being there, for putting Edwina Currie in her place, and for showing what a nasty party the Tories are.I hope that this gets into the papers and shuts her up – she and the Tories makes me ashamed of this Government, they are carving up the country at the expense of us “little people” in order to massage their own bank accounts. Shame on them !Sending huge hugs, and my sincere condolences to your family – what was said on air was disgraceful and you should get a full apology …. but don’t hold your breath sweetheart – these scum have no conscience xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  109. I think the programme and your response should be shown to any one who ever even considers voting conservative. What utter, utter shameless and nasty people they were last night. You go girl, the nation is behind you not them!!

  110. You could off also said that opening your legs for your boss gets you a step up the ladder, Thank the lord we are not all trying to do that even though we are Desperate

  111. Well said Jack, such brilliant, sincere, human and inspiring writing. I admire your strength. Those two women Currie and Hopkins are so disgraceful they shouldn’t be given airtime.

  112. Decided to watch the great benefits debate on channel 5 last night, but instead of an adult debate about what needs to change, it was hijacked by Edwina Currie and Katie Hopkins, it was turned into a pantomime, with these two harpies portraying the ugly sisters to perfection, they are a perfect example of why this country is in the mess it is in. I mean everybody understands the benefits system needs to change, but instead of trying to help people get back to work by retraining, or helping people start up there own business, or by protecting those too vulnerable to look after themselves all they want to do is demonise, be negative and putting people down when they should be picking them up. This should not be happening in the 21st century we are supposed to be a civilised society, instead these hateful people sound more like hounds baying for blood. Disgusting. I thought everyone else that participated did very well in telling it like it is, especially under such difficult conditions.

  113. I’ve been following your blog for some time, with admiration and interest. You are so brave, and your are giving a voice to people who are struggling and suffering in a way which this country shouldn’t tolerate. I haven’t seen the broadcast yet, but hope it hasn’t hurt your family. When can we buy your cookbook?

  114. I watched the programme and couldn’t believe how ignorant and rude Edwina Currie actually was she struck a very low blow and that totally disgusted me, along with the other very rude and out of touch person Katie Hopkins who tried to do similar to Annabel Giles.Those two specimens should be ashamed to call themselves women, they certainly do not have a compassionate bone in their bodies. I believe in Karma and they are creating so much for themselves, I think we have to rise above it sit back and watch the outpour of bad energy tht they are collecting for themselves, as is said every dog has its day ! Well done you and am sure most of the UK will be behind you……..

  115. Edwina and Katie what a Pair of Hard faced women!!! They Haven’t got anything going for them..No Personality,No Manners,No Looks,very cold women..Pity Them as they are not Living in the real world..But they will Fall and they wont Know how to Handle ”SURVIVAL”

  116. What a magnificent, potent and POWERFUL passage Jack – thank you – I stopped everything I was doing to read it when my son posted it on his timeline. It realigned me at that moment from what I was doing – gratefully so – and at the same time I heard a voice in me asking and I wonder whether Jack could also articulate the benefits of it all that have come out of it for her and for others – one immediate being that she has power and clarity in her voice and will be changing lives globally as a result….
    Thank you for your raw and beautiful commitment.

  117. I have known poverty. Having to sell my things are have my children go hungry. Nearly having my home reposed. Benefits aren’t there for those who need them. Fortunately we’re back on our feet. I actually starting my new job on Monday.
    Last night proved what I’ve always thought politicians are vicious nasty people who will say and so anything to have their opinions listened too even attack a single parent who has done her best for her son.
    As for Katie Hopkins I’ll just say this. What a bitch.

  118. Didn’t dare to watch the programme for fear that it would make my blood pressure explode.
    Anyone can ‘manage’ on benefits for a week with a full cupboard, a roof over their heads, the utitlties paid up to date, clothes in the wardobe, a warm winter coat etc.
    Life on benefits isn’t a life it’s barely an existence. It is hell. Fighting your way through the benefits system in order to actually receive any money in the first place is a total nightmare.
    I despair of this country, of the old adage of ‘work hard…blah, blah, blah’ yep, done that, done all the ‘right’ things and still you can get stuck in a situation through no fault of your own, illness, disability, redundancy you name it, it can happen to anyone.
    Please keep fighting Jack, you offer so much strength and are such an inspiration to so many.
    You really are a woman with more guts, integrity, humour and honesty than anyone of the ‘rent-a-quotes’ that are wheeled out to try and belittle you and your achievements.
    Thank you for everything you do for those without a voice.

  119. Hi Jack,
    Just came across this, and to me it sums up what you do perfectly.
    The only people mad at you for speaking the truth, are those that are living a lie, so keep speaking it.
    Keep fighting the fight Jack we are all with you.

  120. Jack, I’m so sorry to hear that trolling extends to someone as hardworking and inspiring as you. I’m very naive and not on twitter, so that world is beyond me. But please know that you are an inspiration and I hope that all those who love and support your work and what you do goes some way towards making it worthwhile.

  121. Reblogged this on sealingwaxandstring and commented:
    I can’t tell you how angry the current Tory government makes me – even my usual stream of inventive invective dries up. So, for those of you in any doubt of the crippling effects of poverty (which I have experienced) and with any notion that new foodbanks are to be hailed as a success and an indication of good community spirit, please read this.

  122. For goodness sake, you are busy posting all over the internet about how badly you were treated. It seemed to me you gave as good as you got, even to the point of swearing on camera when you lost your cool. Maybe don’t appear on televised debates if you can’t take it? Life is hard when you have a young child, every parent struggles in the beginning, I know I did, trying to make ends meet on a low wage. You are not unique in your experiences It sounds like life is much better for you now, so well done for that. I watched the show out of curiosity as it has attracted much media attention. I thought it was a terrible piece of television, no discussion, just a bunch of people shouting at each other. No-one came out of it well.

  123. Dear Jack,
    The show last night showed you in a very good light and Edwina Curry showed up the Tory values in an equally poor light. I have to confess I had not heard of you or your blog previously but I did feel that I wanted to get into the TV and tell the others on the show to ‘grow up’ as I found their behaviour, Curry in particular, to be that of the playground bully who calls names when they come up against an opponent who actually has what is needed to come back at them.
    I too have worked all my life but now am unable to following strokes, although I have paid in to the system for many years that same system will not give me any support now that I need it.
    I hope you do continue to rise and to get the word out about the reality of poverty. I must admit I really dont like having to go cold but have no choice at times now so I can understand how difficult it must have been for you, with a child and alone.
    I wish you all the very best for future health and happiness.

  124. Jack, you have to rise above this crap as i have said so before. Did not see the show , sounds appalling. Do not take part in such things and then have to feel you need to justify afterwards. Do not read comments, do not respond to criticism from nitwits, just do your own thing beautifully and forge ahead. Otherwise, as i have said before it will do you in and you will be viewed as a lessor person than you are. There will always be the haters, just do not give them the time of your day. Engaging in defence of yourself via media is not a winner…you have a loyal support base, just ignore the rest. Their loss…..but if you continue defending etc it will lesson, just come up with next weeks super “never thought of making that” recipe and column. Do not read crap comments!

  125. I was outraged that you were not allowed to say your piece and that Matthew Wright did not come back to you. Anyway, it has given you the opportunity to present your position so eloquently above and has only served to strengthen you in the eyes of the public. I also wanted to hear more from Annabelle Giles who seems to know what she is talking about because she has lived it. There it is, you have to live it or witness it from close quarters to really understand the suffering and desperation of living life on benefits. As for the likes of Katie and Edwina, come the day of the revolution….

  126. I’ve seen it now on 5 On Demand. Edwina Currie behaved disgracefully, but exactly as you would expect for a Tory. Your mistake was to let her get under your skin. The little time you had was wasted responding to her jibe. Next time, ignore the old-timers. They have had years of training but perhaps that’s one trick that won’t work again. XXX

  127. I can’t understand that so many people (Tories et al) think you can just walk into a food bank and walk out with goods. If that was the case all the rich people would be shopping there too. But they are not about free food as first of all someone has to donate the food in the first place. Yes its often about to go out of date, but food banks are meant to be a last resort when you have absolutely nothing in and give food for the next few days, not a months shop as Edwina Curry and Lord Freud seem to believe. And they are means tested, you need at least one referral from somewhere like Citizens Advice or a social worker to get into the system. Its still seen as shameful by many people on benefits are very proud and don’t want to feel they have sunk that low, so many who potentially qualify for help don’t ask for it, especially those who don’t have kids at home or are older – the things you will do for your kids are not the same as the things you will do for yourself, you may let yourself go hungry but never your kids.

  128. I watched last night in abject horror at both Katie Hopkins and Edwina Currie, I’m glad that you now can say what you should have been allowed to say last night. My husband was made redundant from a well paid job at xmas and is finding it hard to get back into work, so I know all to well how the descent into hard times can happen as quick as lightening, but that currie woman in her grace and favour mansion would have no idea about that would she? Well done Jack you are a million times the person she will ever be, and most importantly you are real.

    Di

  129. i totally agree with all the comments above. i watched the program and was so disappointed at your treatment by EC. wouldnt we all just love to see her lose everything and try to exist. exist yes as it certainly isn’t living. well done jack.

  130. Currie is the lowest form of pond life and her behaviour last night is truly indicative of what this debacle of an unelected, travesty of a government are about. Edwina Currie and for that matter Katie Hopkins have never done a decent hard days work in their lives. You did well last night, girl and I would like to see you lead a campaign to stop demonising the least fortunate in our society before it truly gets out of hand and we have pitch forkers targeting innocent people.

  131. If this was the attitude and behaviour of Edwina Currie it was completely wrong and ought to have been curtailed immediately. Was no one chairing this? You were indeed speaking for many and if Edwina Currie was using such behaviour instead of a coherent argument then she deserves never to be heard from again on this issue. I hope you will agree with me that a universal basic income for everyone would help to lift people at their wits end due to lack of resources to keep their heads above water. Many of us are working toward a future where all the basic costs of life can be fully provided for. Good luck and well done on creating this text telling us all what went on and how it affected you.

  132. Reblogged this on home of real food and commented:
    I have to say I’m not politically driven, I am people driven and get truly concerned by narrow minded views it damages individuals. We are not our family we are individuals no- one has the right to attack personally another, respect is a common courtesy, respect others and do your damnedest to help not attack. If you have nothing positive to say don’t say it.

  133. I watched the programme last night and applaud you for not getting up and hitting that evil Woman. I admire you for being truthful more than that woman will ever be. Well done x

  134. …to be honest, who’d want an apology from a person who’s only claim to fame is fucking (surruptitiously) John Major (a Conservative with Conservative values) and ‘managing’ what turned into an utter egg fiasco?

  135. As for Edwina having a go at your success – success gained by your own work ethic – isn’t that the epitome of what the Tories want? They preach about putting yourself out there and becoming self employed etc instead of lefties sat at home living the good life (on £71 a week) yet when you have success you are automatically one of the ‘hard-working middle class’ Katie keeps spouting off about and meant to change your views accordingly. Edwina calling you out on your association with a supermarket who have had campaigns in the past like ‘Feed your family for less’ and always produced recipe cards to encourage people to eat a better variety, and trying to knock you down and belittle what you have achieved – well that speaks volumes about her ill manners and hypocrisy.

  136. I used to only read your recipes and skim over the political commentary. I realise this is wrong and have gone back and started reading every post, in order.
    Every single post I read makes me love you more. You are truly an admirable and special human being. You have the luckiest son ever with such an honourable and inspiring mother. I am so happy to point to you as a role model for my daughters and my son too. Much much love to you.

  137. Hi Jack.

    Ordinarily I ignore the media and don’t watch TV at all, but last night I switched on to see what I thought might be the culmination of recent years of government/media anti-human rhetoric and the counterfire it has necessitated in trying to redress the balance. I think it is beyond doubt that the vitriol aimed at poor and vulnerable is designed to distract attention from the ubiquitous wrongdoings of the rich and powerful and the likes of Curry and Hopkins epitomised that hypocritical posturing.
    Unfortunately, and despite the amount of decent people I admire appearing on there, the progamme as a spectacle seemed little more than a real life enactment of a social media ‘debate’, with the usual ‘rightie’ contributers resorting to ad-hominem attacks and abuse to distract from the real issues because they didn’t have an actual point to make.
    Aside from your written rebuke to John Littlerichard’s (have I got his name right?) public admonishment of you I wasn’t familiar with you or your situation, but having witnessed you defend your family from a so-called educated woman of the undeserving privileged class, and now having read this blog, you can count me as another supporter.
    All the best to you and your family from me and mine- in solidarity x

  138. If you go to E. Currie’s Facebook information page you can click the edit button and suggest a link to be added. If enough people vote/nominate the the link, they will add it to the page, so they say. I just nominated a link to this page here. If enough of us do it…….

  139. Intelligent, thought-provoking and emotional. What a fantastic response.

    Somehow, I doubt that Edwina will agree with me but what more can you expect from such a morally corrupt, Tory dinosaur who will most likely only be remembered for an ill-advised affair with the (then) PM. And eggs.

  140. I got so cross last night when you weren’t allowed to get a word in. I thought Dee was good hope you made friends. Please Jack stand for Parliament we need proper socialists like you and if you get asked to go on Question Time do it because I’m going to suggest it.I am sorry that you were driven to use a swear word as it lowers the argument

  141. The show solved nothing, it just stirred up more ‘them & us’ tension if anything. It shouldn’t be like that though, a society of haves & have not. I don’t begrudge anyone with money, the kind that have worked to achieve anyway. KH would die, if she actually had to get her hands dirty. When her tv trolling work dries up, she’ll be good for naff all! (I was going to swear then)& I will be glad. Same goes for EC, there’s another one who doesn’t know the meaning of real work. If this does carry on though, we’ll be back to a Victorian way of life. The rich eat til they’re sick, while the poor starve to death on the crumbs.

  142. Superb! I salute you my dear! I wish i could meet someone like you, I think you’re brilliant (and lovely). I support your words 100%. I will add you on twitter asap.

    David. (not Cameron!)

  143. A comment for Edwina, because she is sad and insecure enough to be trawling through this, if you have something to say about my father and my daughter, say it to me. And then see how the story ends!

  144. I watched her disgusting display last night and she came across exactly as she is ….a nasty, bitter, evil old lady who has had her 15 mins of fame (for the wrong reason) and is scared to admit she is a nobody. You have every right to hold your head high you are something she will never be…a human being.

  145. I haven’t watched the programme yet, felt I needed to prepare myself first and sounds like I was right. Jack my dear girl, you have been through as much if not more than many ‘ordinary people’ Fighting for rights, strength and your boy. How many thousand people admire you ,follow you and use your recipes? Good for you getting the Sainsburys gig and fighting your way out of the hole you were pushed into. Long may you reign as a Queen of survival xx

  146. Every day I wake up and think just how lucky I’ve been to enjoy a level of financial security of which much of the world can only dream. I was also lucky enough to have been brought up by wonderful parents to have a conscience and use my imagination to put myself in the position of those less fortunate. Obviously, Edwina Currie wasn’t as lucky as me and lacks basic compassion and decency. What a sad little person she must be just hating and judging all those less fortunate than she. Thank you Jack for sticking your head over the parapet and taking the flak – that takes courage, a courage which Edwina Currie simply doesn’t understand. Keep going and a plague on all the internet trolls and little englanders!

  147. i was disappointed with the programme as it wasn`t a good debate but girl well done for you ,when you was allowed to speak that is you said things that needed saying give people the real problems not what the media thinks we want to see and our government want us to believe!!!!

  148. you are me and I am you I was the same courtesy of Thatcher in the eighties .. I had 4 children on my own and I worked… I worked so hard that I got on, I thought I’d done it I was comfortable with a new hubby and 6 children then the banks stole everything I worked for…..

  149. Well said. Edwina Currie is as sour and rancid as her shrivlled, dessicated old ovaries. A genetic curiosity masquerading as a something vaguely humanesque.

    Bollocks to her and K*** H****** (no more exposure for that attention slag), you’re worth a million of them. At least.

  150. Well done Jack, You truly are a person I respect. I am one of thousands who have experienced similar things and have at one point or another lost the will to live. You may not have a ”very exiting life” as I only know you through your blog I wouldn’t be the best judge, but your blogs, recipes and support you offer others through advice, relate ability and life experience make you a better person than someone like that will ever be. All the best x

  151. hi Jack, I am on ESA and have numerous chronic as well as acute illnesses. I was afraid to watch the programme as I knew it would affect my health and I would toss and turn even more than usual at my fears for the future as a target for this government to blame and stigmatize. I always read your blog and I admire your constant campaigning and relating to reality, as with all campaigners who do their utmost to fight this government and its campaign to indoctrinate the gullible masses as well as attempt to ‘divide and rule’ I despise the tabloid type reactionary ignorance of people like Hopkins and Currie, and know that the popular media is orchestrating a campaign of hate against the weak, sick, vulnerable and less fortunate, and using such as them as their cheerleaders. I don’t think the government and its ‘mob’ care how many people like me are both so sick physically, struggling from day to day against pain and extreme fatigue and complications, and that the policies and propaganda is driving people to the verge of suicide and despair. I have lost faith in all political parties to help the needy and sick, they are attempting to out-do each other in appearing populist and blame welfare rather than the banks and tax haven culture of the privileged. Keep up your efforts, I hope you understand how important it means to see people like you, Owen Jones and others standing firm against the strong tide of hate aimed at welfare recipients. It is a struggle mentally and physically to keep life together for me, but I will always try maintain optimism and resilience with the knowledge that we have people like you to fight our corner and for what is fair and right.

  152. Give them your heart Jack and they will melt. I remember well that Princess Diana like you had compassion for people and that both of you represent the Best of Britain. The others will fade away.

  153. Dear Jack, I am a Conservative and a proud one at that. I have just watched last night’s television program and read your blog today for the first time in my life. I think you are impressive and you are an important voice in this debate. That being said it does you no credit to take comments from a former Conservative Cabinet Minister and extrapolate those views in one debate to the whole of the party and its membership. Rachel Johnson (also a Tory) was more than happy to take Edwina on as she sat next to you as was Margot James (Tory MP) who was in the audience. The benefits system, culture, myth, fact or fiction is multi-layered and incredibly complex. I disagreed with much of what Edwina Currie said and I would liked to have heard more ‘substance’ from you – this was not your fault – ot was the car-crash of a television show that was to blame and a moderator completely out of his depth without a desk to sit behind, But when calling for apologies – and this does not excuse some of the things she said to you – telling her to shut-up, swearing at her and on occasion being personal as you did too would not have made me want to necessarily be as civil to you as I could be. I think you gave a good account of yourself and would have given a better account had you had the time and space to develop points in a more professional format for the show, The program added nothing to the debate of any seriousness – but please just know this. Not everyone on the centre-right in this country is evil. Not every Tory wants the poor of benefit recipients exterminated and many Conservatives have understanding, compassion and a genuine willingness to help those that genuinely need additional help. I guess my plea to you is that in the same way you don’t want every person on benefits to be tarred with the same brush – please dont tar every conservative with the same brush either. Edwina spoke some truth last night and I agreed with certain points – there were also other points I fundamentally disagreed with. I don’t speak for her and she doesn’t speak to me. Thank you for your contribution to the debate – I shall look forwards to reading more of your blog from this point forwards! In this debate every view should be heard and I personally think your views are more important and inform this debate more than many others. John Paul (A Tory tart with a heart!)

  154. ha ha ha .. Go Girl…. ‘WE’RE NOT THE FEKKIN JOHNSONS !!! …
    just watched the big benefit debate , from last night… and just had to find your blog … loved the way you took edwina down, its a shame they didnt give you more time to explain about the real hardships of being on benefits. … add me too the 5000 new followers ;) .. keep on, keeping on ;)

  155. i agree with every thing you said, i am a single mum and i have to get a job, i apply for loads of jobs, but have no luck, i struggle every week with feeding me and my daughter, i do not have my heating on hardly , as i can not afford to, i think a lot of these politicions have no idea how much we struggle,

  156. Last nights debate was interesting as it showed how ill informed Edwina Currie and Katie Hopkins actually are about poverty and its effects on health and aspiration. They were both extremely rude and unwilling to listen and it was disappointing that either were given so air time. You on the other hand Jack, conducted yourself well and would have added constructively and informatively to the debate if only you had been given more chance to speak. You are an intelligent voice in a mad, mad world.

  157. I never really took much notice of politics, since they are all as bad as each other in their own special ways, but I saw that program last night and was quite horrified by Edwina’s behaviour.
    I’m quite glad though, because it made me look up your blog to find out more.

  158. Hi Jack, I was disgusted by Edwina and her nastiness to you and you family. The problem is you don’t fit the “scrounger” profile and that scares her. I can remember her on any tv show who would pay her discussing her poor Daughter being bullied, that is exactly what she tried to do to you last night. Don’t let her get to you , she is nothing but a Panto villain. I hope you get a tv cookery show it would help so many.You should be proud of yourself for helping yourself and others.

  159. Oh Jack, what a horrible experience. I debated watching the programme but I can’t bear those horrific women. I’m glad I erred on the side of my mental health and blood pressure and missed it. Safe to say it sounds like they came across as raving loons as usual which only serves to raise you up. Those with a legitimate and coherent argument don’t have to rant.
    Sociopaths cannot empathise with other human beings.
    I wish you every joy and success with all you do.

  160. I didn’t watch the show (mainly because I was pretty sure there would be no ‘real’ debate – seems I was right) but I will continue to read your blog. Most honest thing I’ve read in ages x

  161. I watched the programme last night and was disgusted at Edwina Curry, but then it isn’t any different from how she always was! I worked all my life from I was 16, I’m now 61, even when my kids were small. Now through no fault of my own I need benefits, I was paid off work because of ill health. I’ve had to fight tooth and nail to get anything and still haven’t been officially accepted after 18 months! £72 per week certainly doesn’t cover basic never mind essentials!!

  162. Good on you!! You are an inspiration and I am glad you are the bigger person!! I remember being poor an how I felt I couldn’t tell anyone or find help as it was considered shamefull. The shame should have been the fact no one taught me how to budget or live on £5 per week which I now know is achievale. I got so ill both mentally and physically.

    I now have a 11 month old daughter and vow not to let her suffer like I did. The future needs to be about education and support – not withered old women who are living in the past with no excuses for their dreadfull behaviour.

    As part of my new years resolution I decided to do a few things including being secretly nice such as making annonymous donations to friends charities, supporting those in need starting with friends and families and by starting my own blog to help share my ideas. I am sure if there is enough of us doing the right thing then eventually no one will notice the prats out there!!

    Keep standing tall and there will always be someone out there to help catch you when the trolls and scumbags try to pull you dow!!.

  163. You’re amazing. And Currie is scum. That much is sure. I’ve known poverty, too. Not enough food or no food, no heating, no lighting, being cold and hungry. People don’t understand that when you are truly hungry, you’ll eat anything. The likes of Currie and Hopkins are vile people, and you shine like a star in their wake. I hope you stand for election, and one day, if you were to run for Prime Minister, I’d vote for you. You can save this country, Jack. I have that much faith in you.

    Lots of love to you and you little boy.

  164. O well said. Please keep on saying, again and again, what so needs to be said. Voices such as yours are so easy to drown out with rhetoric about ‘hard working families’. Please keep up the fight to be heard . As you say, poverty can happen to anyone.

  165. well said mate. what a horrible out of touch bunch they are. but of course we are all better off under them. im not sure how with rising costs of everything and no pay rise for 4 years but they must be right, they dont lie do they?

  166. I was furious when Edwina went for you below the belt. I wanted to reach out and hug you so that you’d not let her detract you from the message you wanted to bring. Its how these types of politicians work…they are masters at manipulation and she pushed your button and this meant you’d be speaking from anger rather that from the way things are for the poor of this country – she brought up your defenses – very clever old witch that she is – ugly inside and out. Even so, I admire you greatly for your guts and determination and your cause(s). The politicians of today remind me of people who ignore the abuse, torture and horrendous slaughter of animals – if those people ever watch film what really happens in slaughterhouses, they would have to give up eating meat. If politicians ever see how some people in a supposed 1st world country have to survive, they may have to really change things in a very big scale. Its such an unfair life – run by an unfair, greedy breed of neanderthals – we are just numbers and non entities to them. Wish you would run for government with a new party.

  167. Very well said Jack, straight from the heart.. I felt so angry for you last night, I could have wept!!!! Two women on there who desperately need to do some soul searching if only they had one to find…

  168. I am sorry I hadn’t come across you before. I watched the ‘debate’ on Channel 5 and found the Right losing out of sight. Whether you were rich/poor or otherwise indifferent was an academic point. Not in the same light as when Nasty Edwina declared herself a pensioner. That was a lie, perpetrated to deceive. She gets an MPs pension which does not reflect the valueless state pension that she was implying she was a party to. It was funny when you swore at her. Remember this: Fascists are not people to debate with. It’s as pointless as arguing with Flat-Earthers or Biblical Literalists. The fact she was given airtime shows only how lowbrow our television scheduling has become. More of the same please.

  169. Damn, that made me cry. Ignore Edwina, she is dead inside, without conscience, heart and soul. She is to be pitied, whereas you are to be loved and supported for who you are, what you do, and how you do it. Much love to you.xox

  170. Please remind yourself that you were criticised by the woman who without remorse screwed another woman’s husband then blabbed about it for money and notoriety. Who gave Jimmy Saville a job overseeing a hospital for dangerous mentally ill people on the basis that he’d done the entertainment for ages and who decimated the lives of egg farmers without so much as a blink. Her own daughter didn’t used to think too highly of her either.
    You are and will always be a better person than she is.

  171. Pingback: Pam is not your friend. Don’t get lost with her in the pines, or you’ll always be lost. | summoning esther

  172. I was so impressed with your dignity last night watching you on tv, Edwina behaved appallingly and reminded me of the saying “empty vessels make most sound” . Your response on your blog also shows what an amazing person you are I will certainly be following your progress in future and wish you well in everything you do.

  173. From a pensioner. Jack you were fantastic last night. Currie is a vile human being, I have met her personally, and she is as vile in public as she is face to face.

  174. Pingback: Jack Monroe Vs Edwina Currie | WHEN TORIES ATTACK

    • Oh by the way that juvenile delinquent that the likes of Currie and Bottomley insisted I would be rearing … is now a most wonderful, beautiful human being working very hard for our NHS as an obstetrician … :-)

  175. “When you descend into personal attacks against your opponent, it is because you have no political argument left.”

    She never really had a political argument to begin with, she descends to personal attacks because she’s an awful person with an axe to grind and the morals of a black-hearted Tory trollop.

  176. I think Edwina was under the impression that “he who shouts loudest, get’s heard the most”. So glad you finally get your say and that the world is paying attention.

  177. Dear Jack, people like Edwina Currie try to paint you as disingenuous because you don’t fit their sordid little narrative of misinformation. Currie is a deeply unpleasant human being, whereas you are ace. End of.

  178. I don’t see any reason to attempt to explain anything to that ridiculous woman, she is a joke! Well done Jack on what you did manage to say. The programme could have been a useful and educational debate but to have allowed such pathetic creatures as Edwina and who was that very bitter woman with the blonde hair who hadn’t a clue??? to spout such nonsense in the face of all the facts was just farcical. It would be an insult to those people who sadly suffer from dementia to suggest that maybe this is what is wrong with Edwina suffice to say that something isn’t right there. Sorry you had to be subjected to such a personal attack but really, don’t let it get to you. Anyone could see that she hadn’t a clue and was having to resort to the lowest personal insults to cover her embarrassment.

  179. This is truly an amazingly powerful post, thank you. As a single mother myself who’s felt that desperation of bailiffs, bills you can’t pay, scrimping to buy nappies and food- of powerlessness, worthlessness- thank you for voicing this. The cowardice and nastiness of those who show disrespect for the dead and contempt for living human beings just shows up their own ugly lack of compassion and humanity. Your courage and honesty is inspirational. All the best to you and your family.

  180. Reblogged this on EPIC Blog and commented:
    Edwina Currie has always been vile but her performance on this program really showed her truest colours. EC is a evil, vicious witch. All about political wrangling with her and as Jack points out not a thought for real people’s suffering

  181. Edwina go and suck on your eggs, and get to grips with the real world, don’t forget it’s scum like us pay your pension and keep you living in the lap of luxury.

  182. If she thinks poor people are nothing but gutter scum that should be left starving and living on the street, maybe you should have treated her to some street justice? I would have paid good money to see that bitch dropped on live TV.

  183. When something said is so true and factual it becomes so inspiring to those who cant get the chance. Reading your letter I can only describe it as a thing of beauty. Edwina Curry is a nut case as everyone knows, as is the Tory party members. I would even go as far as to say they are dangerous murdering reprobates.

  184. well done you Jack, I live in a Welsh Valley, It was the Tories who killed our Valley, When Maggie Thatcher closed the mines down, she put nothing back in so the 3 generatios after are all un-employed, The Tories MUST NOT get back in to power. says:

    WELL SAID YOU JACK

  185. well done! as a single mother of three I struggled to bring up my children….but was blessed with a political party in government at the time who did not stigmatize and who supported me to work part time and finish a Master’s Degree whilst raising my kids. It was bloody hard work….we did without most things….but at the end of the day I worked, struggled and raised three amazing people. My heart goes out to anyone in the same position today…the coalition government is short sighted and lacks compassion, grace and humility. seems that public school doesn’t equip individuals with the qualities most essential to living collaboratively….and gracefully.

  186. I was so disappointed with how she treated you. You’re right that she obviously had nothing to defend her argument so descended into personal attacks. Unacceptable behaviour in my opinion. Keep doing what you’re doing :)

  187. I had heard of you, but last night I saw a spiteful old bag put in her place by a girl called Jack – worth the whole show and what a way to use the ‘f’-word – swearing is so commonplace to hear it used with effect is a thing of wonder. You said more in those few minutes than Currie or ‘Make me an MP Dave’ Hopkins with her pathetic parroting of the Tory slogan. Well done girl; more power to you.

  188. I missed the prof due to sickness and in many ways I am glad I did, I cannot stand watching low down cheap tricks and I am sorry that you were once again subjected such a vile attack. I know you say that you have a thick skin, but when I am reminded of the attacks made upon you on a regular basis, it sickens me.

    You are one brave fighter and what you are doing is making a difference.

    Big Hugs San x

  189. Edwina Currie is a bitter old has-been. This article in the Mirror is interesting- she’s had her nose in the trough so long she can’t comprehend that some people have a genuine need for food banks… Best to ignore her- DON’T FEED THE TROLL! http://www.mirror.co.uk/…/edwina-currie-happy-demonise…

  190. Disgusting and despicable, but sadly very predictable behaviour from that woman.
    I fear though that people will fall for the crap that they did in the 80s and 90s, when I woke up to the election results and even more despairing when they were voted in yet again, and I knew we would have to suffer for another 4/5 years.
    My Mum said last week ‘ Please God let me live until next year so that I can vote against them’. I’m certain Dave et al would prefer it if she didn’t live until then, not only because of the vote, but because they’d save on paying her pension.

  191. I watched this last night and thought Edwina Currie’s behaviour was spectacularly disgusting. Keep on, Jack – you were bang on x

  192. I didn’t see the debate last night. I read your open letter because my eldest daughter, who’s 27, regularly tells me about your blog. She thinks you’re amazing and since I think she and lots of other 20 somethings struggling with the real world are amazing, that’s good enough for me. I doubt that Ms Currie will ever apologise, so – I just want you to know that I feel ashamed, angry and insulted that you could be treated in that way by another woman, especially one whose age, privilege and experience should have taught her better. I wish you all the best and I’m sure that your courage and integrity will bring you and your family all you deserve. Xxx

  193. You go girl. I can identify with so much of what you are saying. I’ve brought my daughters up alone, with no financial or family support for the last 17 years. I currently work part-time to support my daughters through college & university. It ain’t easy. Most days I cry. At present I have had my housing benefit stopped due to a ‘clerical error’, I have been told it could take 16 weeks to resolve it! Stay strong,sister. Edwina Currie is a stupid ugly woman with crap taste in men!.

  194. Good for you Jack. They want to cut benefits. Firstly they neex to examibe the way they are administered and some of the incompetent idiots that work for the private firns who run the job centres on their behalf (no doubt fellow cronies) my youngest daughter is currently having dealings with ESA.
    She keeps receiving letters informing her that her sick note runs out on a certain date which isnt even accurate. Do they not read the medical certificates she sends to them? It would appear not,how much tax payers money is being wasted sending out letters which need not be sent? (Would love the statistics with this information) .
    I know disabled young people who sign on and in receipt of DLA with learning difficulties but they get no help with job applications information is not provided in a way in which they understand. Yet they have the audacity to state they have an equal opps policy. Not for claimants .
    Private landlords who do not fulfil their legal responsibilities such as gas safety checks evict their tenants if they dare complain. Just keep the downtrodden down thats tory policy look after the rich and the poor will have to sufffer as do injured soldiers who served this country.

  195. Eloquent and polite. Something Curry knows nothing about. I didn’t watch the programme, mainly because I find this sort of media frenzied ‘bear-baiting’ unpleasant to watch but glad to hear that where other’s shouted their thinly veiled, hate filled rhetoric, party line bigotry and heavy handed pandering to the short sighted Tory elitists, there are always others who shame them with their quiet dignity.

  196. Seems to me you’re both as bad as each other for agreeing to go on a show that was clearly set up to be a pantomime by a budget television company desperate for some good ratings. If you wanted some respect you should have waited until you were invited to a proper debate. I have no sympathy for either of you.

  197. I never watched last night as I can’t abide Hopkin or Currie. The feedback on FB etc, is very positive. The two named above done themselves no favours. As you say ‘personal attacks = no political argument’. Thank you for telling it how it is.

  198. The rich fatcat elite, bankers etc have NO idea in what goes on in the REAL WORLD.

    As for the ‘get a job’ mob

    1 – Where are these jobs, they speak of?
    2 – Why would an employer take people on when they can just explot they though workfare?

  199. The whole programme was a shambles and I’m sorry anyone with any integrity was duped into being involved – car crash telly of lowest order – good old channel 5! great letter though, hope she reads it, but doubt she will, and even if she did I can’t imagine her understanding a word – too dense and self satisfied to consider being wrong.

  200. I didn’t watch this, I’m now very glad I didn’t; I’m annoyed enough just reading your response let alone having to watch you attacked. Your story should be drummed into every elected politician – those with humanity will accept it for the fact that it is and strive to ensure that no other family are made to endure the situation you found yourself in. Those who don’t embrace it should be stripped of their seat.

  201. you are sooooo right, i hate the tory scum, cant wait till 2015 to kick the rich twats out. (that’s if they don’t form another unelected government) God bless ya and your an inspiration, and a fantastic person. Keep going! :)

  202. Jack, I missed the programme but can imagine all too vividly how spiteful, inaccurate & generally nasty Currie was – I’ve heard her on the radio spouting her Rent-a-Gob shite. Your response is magnificent.

  203. Hang on, not everyone in the Tory party is a gutter scraping worm! Edwina Currie was very horrible on C5 last night and she certainly does not speak for me.

    • On the contrary! She DOES speak for you! If an elected politician has one role, it is to speak for the people that elected them. That’s why they exist! If they’re not doing that one thing, then’s what’s the use of them? If you’re a party member, or vote conservative, then the things that those politicians say are meant to be representative of the people that elected them. If not, vote for somebody else.

    • That’s the whole thing about a ‘party’ thought – it’s a group of people. If you don’t want to be judged on the demerits of others, you have to either outshine them, absolve them, or leave them. If you’re identifying as ‘part’ of the ‘party’, you’re affiliated with them, and if you don’t want to be, you have to find a better party.

    • Alex, if you can bear to support and remain a member of the party whose policy is the deliberate creation of the poverty that Jack has laid before us… If you can then go online to boast that membership and defend that support… I have no words for your blinkered self serving narcissism.

    • Edwina was just saying what the tory party the lib dems and labour are doing which is demonising the sick needy and disabled as being the problem which is holding the nation back, just as the Nazi’s did in the early 30′s before they started on the Jews. I wouldn’t claim to be a member of any of them because you are tarred by the same uncaring brush as the rest of your party.

    • I think it’d be good if more conservatives who find this sort of behaviour unpalatable made that plain to the party, either by writing to them directly, or publicly declaiming the behaviour.

      If it IS your party, get it under control guys!

      As it is, barely a day goes by without one of the party or their allied newspapers demonising the poor, the disabled and other vulnerable members of our society.

      These attacks on Jack Monroe are not uncharacteristic of a certain, vocal section of the conservatives, who seem to feel attack is the best form of policy making.

  204. Shared on Facebook, as one who worked, did what was asked of me, kept to the organisations rules and did what I could for our customers and then still got told that ‘we’ve decided to restructure and there’s just not a place for you in the new structure’. What you say needs saying, more power to you.

  205. The show was very poorly facilitated/chaired. It was Mathew Wright’s job to allow people to speak without constant interruptions and to ensure that that people could be heard. The frequent change of panellists was not helpful, and he seemed out of his depth at times. He should also have stopped the personal attacks at the outset. I think that you came out of it with dignity and authority. EC has no media currency, and it’s interesting that she and the other woman (I don’t know who she is) were the only people the producers could muster to defend welfare reform and austerity. Where were the DWP spokespeople or IDS himself?

    • I agree…those personal attacks were disgraceful and really, why the hell should you, or Annabel and Dee have to defend themselves against personal attacks? To me it looked like the intelligent people are the majority and human, recognise everyone has personal circumstances and respects that… the two women who showed themselves up both have personally disrespected the sanctity of marriage and family values by sleeping with married men… the issues were about benefits…the whole thing smacked off those idiots who ‘know the cost of everything and the value of nothing’… thank goodness there are people like yourself Jack who are raising children with values, our society is thankful for that….I became a fan of yours last night, especially for your attempt to call back Matthew to let you answer the issues….very well done

  206. You were great Jack, articulate and dignified under much provocation from that stupid woman who doesn’t have a clue what she’s talking about. I enjoyed reading your response so much. Well done girl, very well done. If I were your mum I would be very proud of you!

  207. Dear Jack – I’ve just watched that disgraceful ‘debate’. Were you tempted to walk out? Anything intelligent was shouted down or ignored or turned into a glib and usually false soundbite. Edwina Currie just isn’t very bright and every few months likes to remind the world of this. You did well to show such restraint. Hope you get to properly say your piece on an adult news forum: have you ever done Question Time or guested on C4 News?

  208. What a beautifully written piece – once again, yes – every blog needs to be read all the way through. We are posting your blog from today on Facebook pages, a friend not on the internet has just asked me to print it out for her to read. Keep up the good work – for the many without a voice.

  209. Well done for standing up for yourself. If it’s any consolation, you have the possibility of a brilliant future rather than the less than starry past of a certain lady,

    • Oh that just says it all in a nutshell! Brilliant. And Jack – your integrity will see you through; thank you for being out there :))

  210. You didn’t get much of an opportunity Jack, but I thought you came out on the high ground. Currie came across as a patronising, thoughtless back stabber. She certainly didn’t gain supporters. You did.
    Currie is a right wing Tory with no concern for the family – she is after all, an adulteress – she has no idea about poverty, she opens her mouth before she engages her brain (?) (remember the eggs?) and in order to cut this short, she is plainly an unpleasant person. I believe she will get her comeuppance. There are no reasons to take her seriously at all. She is merely a second -hand, second- rate Tory looking for a stage. As for food banks undermining shops and supermarkets – where does she think the food came from in the first place? Santa Claus’s sack?

  211. They both are nasty people those two woman EC and KH, they had to resort to personal insults against you and Annabel Giles, heard KH saying that Annabel was a failed model! Considering she was famous in the eighties and married to Midge Ure! Remember in the eighties when EC was going on on about eggs causing salmonella, I worked in the Coop as a seventeen year old, we couldn’t sell any eggs because of her stupid comments! Surprised KH is allowed back on TV after her comments about Scottish people, would like to know what exactly she is an expert on anyway.

    • Katie Hopkins is an expert on Katie Hopkins, she is a self-publicist, with an ambition to be on TV, but no talent. Therefore, she has decided that she gets notice by being controversial and rude. Yes,she can argue and talk people down but what she cannot do is present an articulate , evidence based argument. Stop giving this woman air time, she has nothing of note to say,let her crawl back underneath the rock from which she emerged. You have the moral high ground Jack, which is not hard to achieve around this woman as she has no morals/

  212. You did good, girl. I came from a quite well to do family, my Grandad had his own mill. My mum and her sisters and brother had public weddings, reported in the local paper. That did not stop my family descending into abject poverty!
    It is reported by the world health organisation that cancer has become epidemic. Seeing as cancer suffers are the most likely to be plunged into debt and despair plus make up the highest number of those evicted, there are going to be many more people plunged into the poverty trap.
    Cancer is not choosy. It doesn’t care if you are rich or poor! (broadly speaking) And thank you for putting Ms Curry in her place – she threw a low punch!

  213. Well said you! The promise of “no more nasty party” was a transparent lie. People like you who fight back are worth twenty of Edwina Currie. She also misses the point, She has drawn benefits (for her children) she gets benefits now as a pensioner, even Cameron used to get benefits for his children until he and his mates taxed them. They are hypocrites one and all

  214. You don’t write like someone with no qualifications. You write better than many graduates I know. And I think you’ve proved that you’re intelligent and hardworking and that you want to work and provide for your son. You found yourself in circumstances beyond the comprehension or imagination of people like Edwina Currie or Katie Hopkins. You and your son were failed by the system. And yet you’ve found a way of making a success of yourself and making your voice heard. You are far more qualified to speak about these kinds of issues than Edwina Currie. And despite the fact that you were the one to say “fuck” on television (oops, but also, who cares?) you came across far better than she did. Before last night I didn’t think anyone was more of a troll than Katie Hopkins, but last night Edwina proved herself to be at least equal to Katie in that respect. And speaking of Katie, what does she actually do with her life? As far as I can tell she makes a living by being paid to go on TV and make judgemental and unfounded criticisms of people she knows nothing about. It’s a shame people are prepared to pay her to be rude and gobby, as that appears to be her only talent, and if people stopped paying her for it then she too might experience what it’s like to live on benefits.

  215. i have to turn that bloody woman off every time she is on the Nolan show on radio five or any other programme. Arrogant, dismissive, sneering, hypocrite (along with Major, both championing the party of family values when they were having an affair). I can see why you wanted a more measured reply because it must have been so frustrating. Well done.

  216. You know what they say.. The best defence is offence! Edwina proved in one fell swoop that she has no clue what it is like to live in the real world.

  217. You are an amazing woman, and this is an amazing piece of writing. I am ashamed that Curry treated you so madly. She should apologise immediately. Forget the sex scandals — how dare she? You are, perhaps without intending to be, an incredible spokeswoman.

  218. Edwina Curry seems to have a short memory. Back in the 90s i think her and John major were all pulling the single parents down and slagging them off, when all along these two were having an affair. She is a vile vile woman. Jack you was brill last night and you held it together, dont let the likes of this vile woman get to you. I suggest you run for Parliament you would get my vote. Well done to you.

  219. Jack, I have to commend you for your maturity in not giving Ms Currie a whack across the chops for so rudely interrupting when you were trying, as is your right, to make succinct points in the debate. Long may you continue, in your campaign against poverty, and the evil scapegoating of the impoverished by the right wing in this country, and elsewhere.

  220. Firstly, I would like to comment that I don’t agree with Edwina Curries opinion and sway more towards Jacks point of view born out of her personal experiences. However I believe Jack let herself down on The Big Benefits Row on Channel 5 and allowed Edwina Currie to win the argument and get the better of her. Jack clearly lost her temper; shouting, swearing and almost bursting into tears from the personal remark Edwina made about her grandfather. Edwina clearly struck a raw nerve and Jacks reaction confirmed this to the audience at home. Jack should not have stooped to Edwina’s level and provided a measured response. This way Edwina would of looked stupid for making personal remarks during a political debate. Maybe a lesson for you to learn in here Jack and it’s certainly worth reviewing the footage of the show.

    With best intentions,
    Y-O-D-A

  221. Jack, I was impressed and inspired by you on the programms, almost as mich as I was appalled and disgusted by the revolting display of bile that Eggwina spouted as she tried to claim the moral highground.

    There is only one little apparent mistake, or perhaps it’s misplaced wishful thinking and that’s asking eggwina if she gave a thought to your family. (maybe two if the bile-spitting with of Westminster actually does what your mum wants) although, if eggwina does, I’d take it with a lorry load of salt.

    I think there would be merit in allowing others to see your ‘ugly’ side, although I must have missed that bit; what I didn’t miss was a fiercely determined, wise, kind-hearted, hard-working mum, daughter, battle-scarred campaigner who is willing to stand up for her self, her family, and for others who have been and are being vilified by an old, rich, heartless, callous, insensitive, blinkered and bigotted woman who, obviously, does not have a fraction of the humanity and generosity of spirit that you have.

    I think it would shock some people, and alert them or remind them of what Toryism is really about – and if someone can be that vicious in front of the cameras and the viewers, what she’ll be ready to say when she’s currying Kudos with others of her ilk, the Devil only knows.

  222. I wanted to watch the program last night but seeing the rest of the bill I knew I could not as it was never going to be a fair debate. Between Edwina and Katie Hopkins. I wish I were as strong as you are to stand up too these opinion rich, experience and empathy poor excuses for women.

    You really do make me proud to be form Southend, keep at it Jack

  223. Oh my God, and I thought in Italy things were bad and that the government was turning us in to a bad copy of the really bad US welfare situation (none)!

  224. You should be mighty proud of yourself. Edwina Currie disgraced herself last night as did Katie Hopkins. You demonstrated compassion and understanding, qualities that I hope stand for something in early 21st century Britain. Thank you

  225. Edwina Currie and Katie Hopkins were as vile and opinionated as always. They have no place on a serious debate. Both have a need to be controversial. Nothing more. Last nights performance did them no favours, they looked and sounded ridiculous.
    So sad that anyone with something important to say was shouted down by those big mouthed bitches. White Dee so dignified, Rachel Johnson a huge, pleasant surprise, Jack Monroe always talks a lot of sense, and knows what she’s talking about.

  226. Ha Ha … i just saw your awesome appearance on ‘The Big Benefits Debate’, and would like to say a big THANK YOU, on behalf of most of the working class people like me who were cheering at your ‘we’re NOT THE FEKKIN JOHNSONS’ rebuke to Edwina Curry … lmao … its a shame you werent given the time to explain the reality of the hardships of being on benefits … anyway, Im not much of a cook, but maybe your blog can help me with that, and you can definitely add me to the 5,000 new followers … lol … keep up the great work !

  227. As always such an insightful blog. What politicians hate is common sense, off message, none dogma, real peoples actual life experience as it’s just so far detached from their own bubble. For Edwina Curry she is just there for the money, to ensure she stays arms length from normal society. You just keep doin’ what you’re doin’ because it’s honest and right.

  228. who are these people anyway? they lie and cheat the system themselves, have they all forgot that although they earn good money, they have used our money to pay their MPs falsified expenses,If they had the same rule as the benefit system has then their wages would have been suspended and had a taste of poor street for themselves for a while while they fight for it back.

  229. Actually, in the past, at least 1 (or is it 2?) Tory MP tried to live on benefits for a week and FAILED – even though they started from a point of being well fed & nourished before they started. SO, if these paragons of Tory ideals/policies etc CAN’T manage it HOW do they expect anyone else to do it!!

    Edwina – you are obviously as right about this issue as you were about Eggs & Salmonella – remember that?!

    Next you’ll be saying that foodbanks are not a sign of Tory policies not working – well that’s obvious – people don’t go there because they are starving,They go because everyone enjoys a fun day out at the foodbank!! Get real Edwina – shouting over people to peddle dogma DOESN’T make you RIGHT.

  230. I was so angry on your behalf last night, Jack. And now I’m really glad you wrote this, with such dignity and integrity. Currie’s disgusting attack on you made me wonder where she got all that hate from. She must be such a frightened, sad individual to behave like that.
    My very best wishes to you, jack, in all you do. I look forward to reading more of your blogs.

  231. You are a hero and great role model, particularly for young British woman and I admire your courage. Unfortunately there is nothing in Edwinas moral code or treatment of other humans to admire as she clearly showed last night. Personal attack by a supposedly experienced politician rather than real debate – poor performance by her.

  232. I could not bear to watch the show as KH is the most vile creature to ever appear on our TV screens and EC is not far behind her, i knew watching it would send me into a rage and i had a poorly little boy to look after so i choose to watch the programme about sink holes instead (although i will watch it on catchup soon)

    But hear hear to everything you just said from a fellow single parent (with a job i may add, although im sure KH would have me labelled a benefit scrounger just for bringing up a child alone!)

  233. BLOODY WELL SAID, SHE WAS TRYING TO TURN IT INTO AN EDWINA CURRY PROGRAMME AND SHOWED BOTH HER AND HER PARTY UP BIG TIME, THE STUPID COW/

  234. I had utmost respect for you last night and even more so now.

    Thank you for standing up for so many out there who are genuinly struggling and don’t need to be. Thank you for being enough to stand in the face of it and deliver the points so precisely and honestly.

    Thank you. We need many more people like you in this country!

  235. I only watched a little of the debate but I will watch all of it later. The little I sore of Edwina Curry did not shock me. If you had stooped to her level you could have quite easily have said that you also admired someone ‘Norma Major’ who handled the affair Edwina had with her husband John, with dignity which is more than Edwina, herself was capable when she so blatenenty wrote about it just to up the sales of her book… Well done Jack, you did a fair representation in this reply of what POVERTY means for many both those out of work and those in minimum paid work…Keep it up girl and maybe you will be in parliament with a new party to fight the corner of the working class… A great big well done and now a supporter of yours.. Sheena

  236. I thought the debate wasn’t managed professionally….Back in the real world who wants the opinion of Edwina Curry and Katie Hopkins. You keep going……

  237. when are the media going to do a program about the real people on benifits, the sick, disabled and hard working people, who’s wages are so low, thay rely on benifits to survive. no i hear there starting on the pensioner’s. the biggest scroungers in this country are this goverment and the tax dodger’s, who donate to the tory party.

  238. I take my hat off to you for your searing honesty, and for your disgust for the obnoxious piece of ordure that is Edwina Currie and her ilk. You are worth ten thousand of her

  239. Pingback: Dear Edwina, Thankyou for last night. I hope it was as good for you as it was for me. #bigbenefitsrow | Mitherings from Morningside

  240. Im a single parent, struggling on benefits, i was outraged the way edwina currie was personally attacking you, i found her unbearable to watch and she wouldnt listen to what you had to say on the matter, i found her rude, unprofessional and biast, she tried to belittle you as a person, she clearly doesnt understand what its like to be in poverty and to be struggling day in and day out, she said its easy to go to food banks, its hard to get food from a food bank where i live theres a process you have to go through. She and the tory biggots havnt a real clue to what goes on in britian they are clearly out of touch with reality, and well done for sticking up for yourself u should be an M.P at least you would be a compassionate one not like that horrible woman, and dnt get me started on Katie Hopkins she is a vile human being.

  241. I couldn’t believe that Matthew Wright didnt tell her to let you speak..she shouted over everyone….rude woman..and hardly a paragon of virtue given that she slept with Mrs major’s husband. She is actually very little different to the vile Katie Hopkins..loves attention at any cost..and actually I thought that given that you are new to TV you did remarkably well and she should have given you the extra courtesy of allowing for that…..well done and carry on and next time don’t let anything she says of a personal nature affect you….let it fly over your head and bring her down on issues!!

  242. I’d never heard of you before now, you made some good points. I too am from an ‘ordinary’ family and understand how it can feel like you have no power over your own life at points. It’s good to see that you have created your own. On a less serious note (not that cooking isn’t serious) I love the recipes too and will be trying a few out.

  243. The time of the rich powerful elite and there ideas are over we the people will syenergize in to a non monetary world full to the brim with love and compassion for every one all working for the good of every living thing and our planet well done jack you tried programmes like that are like dinosaur exstinct

  244. You are truely awesome and i was disappointed that you didn’t get the chance speak and tell her and the audience about the struggles that brought your success about. Enjoyed the swear aswell ;-)

  245. Jack. If the best people they can find to argue against your point are Edwina Currie and Katie Hopkins, you have already won the debate, IMO. Well done for not losing your rag (I wouldn’t have done so well!), and also for this dignified yet defiant response.

  246. Edwina curry don’t she part own a football club ?? What the hell does she know about poverty .. I heard today the uk sent 600 million pounds too Syria ??? WHAT THE HELL we owe billions if not trillions in deficit and we have homeless and starving people in our own country why not put the 600 million of out tax money back into our country for our people !!!!!

    She dropped herself in it when she openly admitted that our government are SHIPPING in foreign nationals to work because they work the jobs we don’t want to do for less money ????

    I don’t have any problems with foreigners coming over to work good luck to them BUT DONT BRING THEM OVER AND PRETEND TOO THE BRITISH PEOPLE THEY ARE ILLIGALS AND THAT THEY ARE CLAIMING OUR BENEFITS ??

    what are you trying to do make the British hate and attack foreign nationals for something your making them do …

    Jack well done

  247. well done for staying as calm as you did last night jack not sure I could have done the same, I was looking forward to hearing your opinion, shame you were not able to give it!!! Edwina curry made her self look a fool and please don’t even get me started on Katie Hopkins not sure why C5 thought she would be able to hold an intelligent conversation anyway! Loving the response and hope your family get an apology.

  248. Edwina currie should be Ashamed of her self! To do a low blow and bring jacks family into things, she’s a Vile wome!. And she dosent have a clue what she is talking about when she said you can roll up to a food bank with a carrier bag! Ha is she for real!!? Maybe send her to one so the silly small minded women can see for her self! Grrrrrrrrrrr

  249. Shame on Edwina, (almost) spoiled a good pertinent debate.

    Re Katie Hopkins, I think that she did a pretty good job of self-assassination and was trite. She paled into insignificance in the professionally polished shadow of Edwina’s bile,

  250. It was disgusting the way she went on and on never allowing you to say what you wanted …..shame on you Edwina it made you look like a pathetic child !!!

  251. I don’t think that Matthew Right will be getting a call from Question Time any time in the future. The “debate” was so bad that at one stage I had to turn it off. I have been watching Benefit Street and been appalled by the conditions in which people live and what is expected of people and kids. I tried to show my kids how difficult it was for other people by volunteering at a Food Bank and no one ever got back to me. I have tried to volunteer now several times and again never had a response.

  252. As those of us who have suffered from poverty know, it is isolating, depressing, embarrasing, soul destroying. Thank you Jack Monroe for speaking up and being, just simply, you. The debate of last night showed one thing to me, how unbelievably ignorant the likes of Edwina Curry and Kate Hopkins are and how far removed and in denial they are of real peoples lives in the UK today and all they could do to disguise that fact was resort to shouting and cheap character assasinatons. How sad and shameful for them. Stay strong, as there is no real argument against the truth!

  253. Well said… beautifully written. You were treated with disdain and something verging on what seemed to actually be hatred by Curry. I thought you remained composed and dignified despite her best attempts to rile you. The good thing is that her comments looked like cheap and petty shots to the viewer, she came over as shrill and ill-informed. More power to your elbow.

  254. I follow you on Facebook because I find you interesting. I watched channel 5 out of curiousity, and because the issues raised do affect us all. It is an unfortunate thing that those people we vote into power to run this country truly have no concept of what its like to hav to turn the heating off or wash in cold war because you can’t afford to buy gas. I Would like to put them on the minimum wage for a year. See how they react, how they cope and then maybe they would be worthy to make those hard decisions that affect us all.
    On a more personal note, you have won my admiration and absolute respect for whatt you have written in this blog. You have fought through tough times that where many would have fallen and survived. I find your honesty refreshing and needed. We need more like you , willing to speak out, help others and hold morals that aren’t based on selfish wants. Best wishes and good luck.

  255. I wouldn’t even bothered to explain your situation to her. She’s got absolutely no empathy or compassion for the poor. She said “How does a tin of soup help a mentally ill person”. Absolutely shocking statement.If you have no lunch then a tin of soup is a lifeline. If you don’t eat with a mental health problem it really makes you go downhill. I think she has been invited to a food bank.She won’t go as it will mean she will be too informed to spout the crap she comes out with. If you have seen her Tudor panelled house then you can see why she is so ignorant. The Sainsbury remark shows her nasty streak. I cant see how owning a guesthouse makes you gentry.Many struggle to survive.Tbh the lisping from her dentures just made her comedic.

  256. Edwina Curry needed a little shaving from her new veneers, whistled like a Mother all the way through. Or am I mistaken and it was a constant hiss? Keep going Jack… we appreciate you.x

  257. Well done Jack, that woman wouldn’t know the meaning of dignity and Ms Hopkins has already proven her non-worth many, many times. The demonisation of poor/unwaged/disabled/homeless people has taken place under this government, not any other.

    Whilst I acknowledge that not all Tory Party supporters agree with these policies, they should perhaps look elsewhere if they do have such a major difference in opinion with their Party.
    Tory views will be hardening, not softening, Osborne has made that clear. We need to get them out next year, and out for a very, very long time.

  258. Massive kudos and respect for you Jack, a few of my friends and colleagues where in the audience – - they thought the same! Garish and disgusting was the personalised attack on you.

    Glad to see your chin is still up.

  259. Well what can I say jack apart from Thankyou!!!! The way EC acted and portrayed herself last night was nothing more than shameful! I can relate to everything you stated and I’m just sorry that this statement wasn’t heard last night as part of the debate!! Thankyou for knowing, Thankyou for understanding and most of all Thankyou for having the balls to say it how it is!!

  260. Didn’t see the programme, but the letter was right on the money! We are living under a government determined to rip away all the things that made this country a decent place to live – public housing, an accessible NHS and a social security system, which whilst not as generous as many European countries, did treat people with some respect. We are now heading back to levels of destitution not seen for almost a century!

  261. just shows that they don’t give a crap about people to attack someone because of their grandfather is a disgrace to put it politely if the governments hand not destroyed the jobs out priced the firms sending them abroad for their own greed we would have job are kids would have a future

  262. I didn’t have a good opinion of Edwina before last night’s programme – it’s even worse now! I agree with your comments 100%, she was trying to shout you down because the truth is so unpalatable to her. Keep going!

  263. Saw jack for the first time last night.jack I had all but given up on this modern world . Thank you for restoring my faith keep being heard jack, keep giving the plastic politicians that seem to live in Barbie land a kick in the backside. Let jack be the voice of common sense. Jack let’s see you make more noise. I wish you well . Go Jack Go x EJ.

  264. Pingback: Dear Edwina, Thankyou for last night. I hope it was as good for you as it was for me. #bigbenefitsrow | Hope - Rise & Shine

  265. Good evening Miss Monroe, I have to say our opinions seldom differ, however on this occasion I have to say that we do. In your letter to Ms Currie you state, “Did you stop to think for one moment how you might have made my family feel? My nan, my mum, my dad, all people who dearly love the man whose life and death you used in a live television debate last night to try to unsettle your opponent? Of course you didn’t.” Now it my belief that Ms Currie as an experienced politician did think; considered all of the above factors and chose to do what she did anyway. The reason for this is that she is an evil desensitised parasite. She shagged her way into a position of power and riches and really ought to look around at the glass walls before she casts the first stone. Great letter by the way. Chin up. x x x

  266. Pingback: Are cuts to social security moral? | alittleecon

  267. Edwina you need to wake up…it’s a big struggling wide world out there, maybe it should happen to you, then you may just realise how hard life can really be!!! Jack you do an amazing job and if all she can talk about is your deceased grandfather and your apparent rich family, then clearly she has nothing actually important to say. What a low dig!! Clearly she Has lost her brains when she was shoving her silver spoon where the sun doesn’t shine!! Im 24 and I work Full time with two children to look after and was told by the job centre if I left my job and my children’s father I’d be £5000 better off, ok kids you can’t have a dad so that you can have a meal on the table…I don’t think so!!!
    I worked along way from home (I don’t drive) so travelled by the coach everyday sometimes I had to be at the bus station at 4.30am and wouldn’t get home until 7pm.. Sometimes later. I couldn’t of maintained that as I was missing my girls growing up, having two under 5′s need there mummy. Luckily my company opened up a store in my home town so I sat the interview (despite already working for the company) and I got the job.
    I struggle on a daily basis with different bills coming threw and no extra money to pay them, you start to wonder when it will change…I hope something changes soon for me. Jack you should be proud of your work don’t be dragged down by her she’s not worth the time or day with her fake posh voice. Keep up the good work xx

  268. Shame on the people who invited Katie Hopkins and Edwina Currie last night. All chances of a intelligent and decent debate was lost when those two women opened their mouths. The only good thing about that debate is at least we got to see some statistics

  269. I agree with what you have said Jack, although I was a bit disappointed with the show itself. Me & my wife are full time carers for my our children who are disabled & both in then 20′s, I gave up work as they get older, yes we carer’s benefit, which people think makes us well off when it fact it is taken out of our income support, which some people don’t realise. I would love to go back to work, and maybe if we put our children in care and let the government pay for that, which trust me costs more that what it does for us to look after them. We are not only saving the government money, but with us giving 24 hours a day care, with no days off, we are indeed working for our benefit !!!!

  270. Good for you!! You did very well against Eggwina …what a moronic fool the woman is!! As for Katie Hopkins…who is she???? Both very foolish women…are they really women one can ask. You were a joy Jack ..continue in the same vein …my support forever.

  271. You are an absolute oracle of the truth. I have felt so angry at work today, unable to vent my spleen. I have just read your peace sent to me by a friend and I’m that happy I may just celebrate with a glass of the red stuff!!! You have made my day. Thank you and keep up the good work. The real people will listen and follow you. Stay true to yourself . Lesley .

  272. I understand the need to set the record straight and i think your open letter is superb. Edwina Currie’s attack on on you was ugly and I say shame on her.
    Respect to you x

  273. Great piece. I’m genuinely interested to hear your experience. too often the debate is heavily focused on extremes on boths sides and the reality is more like this, somewhere in between; people who want and try to get ahead and who end up in a difficult position. It happened to me too and it was amazing that people thought life on benefits was or would be ‘easy’.

    Keep going, I’ve always enjoyed and related to your blog posts. The world would keep turning without the likes of Katie Hopkins and Edwina Currie, but not without people like you.

  274. “When you descend into personal attacks against your opponent, it is because you have no political argument left” well said!

  275. Agree with all the thoughts noticeably Matthew Wrights inability to control KH and Currie supposedly educated women all they could do was shout down anyone who diagreed with them never liked Currie anyway but now she’s a nonentity in my opinion

  276. Well done, well said, well survived jack, this has been going on for years jack. 14 years ago I was in the same position with four children under 6. Alone, desperate and definitely skint. I fed my children on bread potatoes and made broth from the bones I asked the butcher for , this was for the pretend “dog” I lied about every week.
    I lived in the country and scrimped apples. And stole carrots and cabbages from surround fields. I trapped rabbits and told he kids it was chicken. This is not some pre war 1930′s problem. It is here, now, today, tomorrow, next year last year. It will never be any different whilst the rich close their eyes and scorn, decent hard working people who try their best to survive.

  277. Jack, I watched the so called debate last night and was fuming. That shambles was badly managed, and every time anyone raised a valid point, it was skimmed over and essentially ignored. I have been where you have been, and it isnt fun. We were fed for weeks by a food bank when we had zero income between changes in benefits. It’s the absolute pits. I did go on to have a successful career until disability struck me, and now I am back on benefits. And at risk while food and energy costs go through the roof, and my benefits are frozen, while the MP’s get 11% pay rise Grrrrrrr. The tories systematically dismantled core elements of the UK economy in the 80′s and now they are back to try and finish the job. They are monsters. But you my dear, you hold your head up high – you lived through the worst of times, you came out the other side with your son by your side. You have every reason to be proud. You know you are better than ‘them’. And I can only echo what another commenter said, you are articulate and intelligent, and you have what none of them do – a very rare and precious thing – integrity.

  278. Well done Jack. As always, you tried to put forward a reasoned account of what life for those of us on benefits is really like. Sadly, the likes of Edwina Currie don’t want it aired. Just brush it under the carpet and it’ll go away. Typical politician! As for the likes of the Hopkins woman…no-one wants to hear her opinion. She speaks for no-one other than herself..an then only to self-publicize!! I believe that the audience reaction to your introduction spoke volumes…no-one else got such a reaction. We know who you are and what you stand for. The likes of Edwina Currie speak only for those privileged enough to never know what our life can become in the blink of an eye. May they hope and pray that they never have to find out! You continue to be an inspiration to many Jack..don’t let the likes of the scum you had to face on the “panel” get to you.

  279. Jack, you are such an inspiration to us all. Let those horrible people continue to show themselves up as the uncaring, out of touch people that they are. E C made a fool of herself when she was in the government and she continues to make a fool of herself at every appearance on TV as she tries in vain to carve a career for herself. I think she should and better herself and try to get into pantomime as she would make a perfect wicked step mother. We could all have a great time booing and braying at her.
    You carry on doing what you are doing. You are working hard to make a good life for yourself and SB. What on earth is wrong with working for Sainsbury’s?
    But the best part of your efforts are that you do this with intelligence, dignity and with compassion for others. . . . . . . . . . . . Well done Jack and don’t let the bastards get you down.

  280. well done ms monroe. i was actually delighted watching edwina currie last night. i hope she reminded swaying voters why you should never vote tory. horrible, nasty people with not an ounce of social conscience. theres no in between in my mind. thats the way it is. my favorite bit was when someone asked why women were not paid a living wage and she retorted, “because we cant afford to”. absolute proof of the way these disgusting people view the ordinary man and woman in this country. that one statement said it all really.

  281. Just watched the shocking and disgusting attack from Curry. The woman clearly had no argument and had to resort to petty personal attacks! Made me angry just to watch….keep up the fight!!!!

  282. i dont watch televised ‘ debates ‘ as i ve only watched Benefits Street once,that was enough..can see the conclusion..bad uns will come good get a job abd be model cittizens etc meanwhile nowt changes and the panelists last night will have their 15 minutes of fame etc..and voting Parties out takes 5 years,sighs..i myself think lazy indolent poeple sitting around moaning about how much a victim they are ,plus enjoying the luxuries of smart phones tv bling than tattooes etc only insults the genuine working people more than any TV company or politcal party can do……just saying

  283. I honestly think they have personality disorders. They certainly don’t inhabit any moral or emotional universe I recognise – it’s sad, really. However rich they are, what wasted and miserable lives.

  284. Best piece of journalism – and most appropriate use of the word ‘scum’ as an epithet for a human being – that I have seen for ages. Thanks.

  285. 5001! I couldnt be behind you more. Watching it now on repeat. Edwina currie just proved herself to be the pious sanctimonious *#*# we all know her to be. I regret that i hadnt heard of you before but have rectified that!

  286. Dear Jack, I found this very moving so went back to watch the programme, which was a disgrace in the way it was handled. Edwina has done herself no good by showing that her only contribution was to repeat untruths again and again in the hope that if you repeat something enough it becomes true. I like what you were saying and it has made me think about my own beliefs, I will follow your blog. Thank you.

  287. Given her own attitude to moral ethics such as banging a married man, I hardly think that Edwina is in any position to take the moral high ground. Your arguments are sound, it’s just a shame they are wasted on over privileged individuals that believe the way to solve things is to shout others down, rather than listen, take an objective view point and look for workable solutions, something that they are clearly capable. As for Hopkins, is that the has been from the apprentice, every time I see her on tv I wan’t a refund from my licence fees. Your doing sterling work highlighting issues at a time when it’s most needed. Well done!

  288. It is my belief that people like Edwina, who react so angrily in the face of poverty and people less fortunate than them, are really to be pitied. They are exhibiting an almost hysterical fear of poverty. It is the “there but for the grace of God go I” thought on hyper steroids. Those who have struggled through poverty or who are still struggling through poverty are stronger for it.

    In today’s economy, many “middle class” and even higher families are just a couple paychecks away from a line at the food bank. That realization has generated this fear of the poor. People don’t want to look at (or have put in front of them) that of which they are so afraid.

    They don’t want to acknowledge that poverty is a life-changing, soul-sucking event. Being poor impacts every decision you make, whether it is good or bad, is not the entire point; the point is that poverty causes such an impact that the actual judgment of good or bad becomes moot. It is easier for them to demonize the poor, blaming them because then in their own mind, they can say poor people = bad people = stupid people = lazy people and I’m not bad, stupid or lazy so I’ll never be poor.

  289. I didn’t catch the debate but what an excellent blog post… Thank you for standing up for everyone who has ever needed to wonder whether to spend the last few pence on bread or milk… Thank you.

  290. Pingback: Benefits for Who, Exactly? | THE SILENT JUDGE

  291. Jack, I had only ever saw the Sainsburys advert and wondered why you were on the panel. Edwina Currie was a disgrace in trying to provoke you into a personal argument. I have no knowledge of your background, only printed off recipes from a friend. If you can make these meals for that price i would happily be a follower, since then chatting with a friend about how you were a “real person”I have the utmost respect for you and your campaigns against poverty.

  292. I couldn’t bear to watch this programme because I knew it would continue to demonise the unemployed. I couldn’t bear to hear ‘hard-working families’ one more time. So, how soon after you’re made redundant, through no fault of your own, do you become a scrounger? It needs articulate people to state the opposite case and keep stating it. So well done, Jack, and keep trying to get the point across.

  293. Dear Jack – I couldn’t of put it better , also a single parent struggling after always working then loosing my job and struggling again with two children. The pain, the hurt, the deep rooted worry that only remotely resides for a moment when the depression takes it swoop – all behind closed doors, with no one to hear, no one to care are amongst the hardest things to bear – I agree totally. What’s even harder is that deep, deep, sinking fear of total despair and guilt when you have to look into your childrens eyes and lie about how you really feel, when they ask is everything alright. These feelings Edwina and her ‘cronies’ will never feel – such shame!

  294. I just saw this programme or some of it tonight……… I admired you and it was so obvious that Edwina was scared of the fact you are intelligent and eloquent…… When Edwina ‘sideswiped’ Matthew’s comments about bankers saying 2 wrongs don’t make a right, I was gobsmacked… By the way I am newly retired, I have owned my own businesses and I have watched the last 7 years my now 28 yr old son struggling to gain an apprenticeship and work….. It destroyed his self esteem and caused depression. .It has opened my eyes…. These debates about Benefits are a DISTRACTION away from the BENEFITS we pay in Billions to corrupt Bankers and corporate companies who do not pay Taxes…… When oh when is there ever going to be an honest debate about these matters? ……..Our News is no longer FREE ……….. We need change and very quickly…

  295. I too watched yesterday. I was disappointed that there was very little intelligent debate. But please dont be angry. You stood up well and the only thing Edwina Curry and the odious Katie Hopkins achieved was to show the viewers how vile,uninformed and out of touch they really are. I

    • you are absolutely right – it was an appalling travesty of a programme – no debate at all – just ill-informed abuse of those who are most vulnerable in our society.

  296. An intelligent & well written piece by a young woman who couldn’t do A levels. What is the use of qualifications if they produce rude & ignorant people like Edwina Curry who thinks it’s fine to shout people down without allowing them to speak. The use of personal insults shows she knows she was on a loser. Both she & the vile Hopkins woman are given far too much airtime. In fact last night’s interview just confirmed what a self-serving bunch of bigots represent the Conservative party & for that I should think the Labour party are very grateful. (That & the antics of Gove, but that’s another rant).
    I’m a retired teacher supporting my 38yr old son who lost his job without notice when his company lost a big contract. he’s back at home, in a village with no transport & trying to find work to support his daughter who lives with her mother. He receives £70 a week & is supposed to live & apply for endless jobs. Good job my teacher’s pension is enough to keep a home for him (at the moment). He’s one of the lucky ones but sinks deeper into depression the longer this situation continues.
    Jack, you’re brilliant on TV & I wish you all the very best, plus lots more jobs!

  297. One of the best pieces I’ve ever read. Well done Jack, if only everyone had the dignity you have. Love your adverts too! x

  298. Jack, you are utterly wasted at Sainsbury’s. I sincerely hope you find your way into politics, You are a beautiful example of what should be and a stark contrast from what is. Your family must be falling over with pride, I’m proud of you and I don’t even know you!
    Well done, I look forward to reading your book.

  299. You can certainly hold your head up high….whereas Edwina should hang hers in shame. You have given an honest and well articulated argument….something that’s so lacking in out politicians.

  300. no one mentioned on the show the many that have died in going through the welfare reform process over the past 4 years?

    that’s the most shameful part having a debate or meeting and not even discussing the main issue ?

    sounds to me that all those involved in the fixing of who to be on the programme panel have a north Korea type of mentality as to not even address the main goal of keeping people alive in the future and preventing their death was not even up for debate so their deaths in the future will just go on as normal

    sounds to me the programme was just a Tory piece of propaganda and a farce of the very worst type to witness

    as for Hopkins and Edwina Curry the very worst types of people that you could ever meet what the hell were they doing on the programme as i said above it sounds like the programs was just one big farce

  301. You had your say last night . To be honest i dont think anyone actually cares what you have to say . Now go away back to being unknown.

  302. I didn’t see the actual programme you described but I can imagine how horrific it was for you! I’m not surprised how stuck up Edwina acted at all – you gave her what for. I agree with the comment -”Jack for P.M” . The best way, I think, to retaliate, is just to carry on doing what you’ve been doing so well to get where you are today!! Very best wishes and GO JACK!!!
    Kate Greenhalgh

  303. Watching the show the very title said it all ‘The Big Benefits Row’. It was staged to be row and that is what it was. That aside Edwina was well out of order. You cannot and should not use someones unfortunate family circumstances to back up any point. You were a disgrace Edwina and yes you should apologise.

  304. I am sorry to say I did not watch long enough to see you Jack. I was so upset and angered by that other worm Katie someone and the general management of the program that I had to turn off. I applaud you for all your hard work. I am grateful to you for standing up to be counted. I no longer feel able to, but you do inspire me to help people I know on a personal level.

  305. as i said above i bet no one mentioned on the show the many that have died in going through the welfare reform process over the past 4 years?

    that’s the most shameful part having a debate or meeting and not even discussing the main issue ?

    sounds to me that all those involved in the fixing of who to be on the programme panel have a north Korea type of mentality as to not even address the main goal of keeping people alive in the future and preventing their death was not even up for debate so their deaths in the future will just go on as normal

    sounds to me the programme was just a Tory piece of propaganda and a farce of the very worst type to witness

    and as for Hopkins and Edwina Curry a couple of the very worst type of people you could ever meet and to be on that program as i have already said sound just like a farce

  306. You stood your ground amazingly Jack, proving what a strong and inspirational woman you are. Edwina is a disgusting disappointing excuse for a human so hold your head high and laugh at your victory :-)

  307. You always impress me and this time is no different. I’m proud of you as a person, a mother, a blogger, an activist. All the parts that are part of your makeup. EC on the otherhand has nothing to offer/show that I’m proud of. Well done Jack.

  308. I didn’t watch it last night, mostly because I suspected how this would turn out. Unfortunately, I wasn’t wrong.

    The only hope now is that so many of them are now starting to look utterly unhinged that, in spite of the PR blitz, it will soon be too obvious to miss: that this is a government founded on the very worst aspects of human nature, propped up by mendacious, supine partners who have sold their souls for a seat at the high table.

    In around 16 moths or so we will know the answer. Let’s just hope that the earth is not too scorched afterwards.

  309. Don’t let them grind you down Jack (not that there seems to be any chance of that). A lot of us haver a lot of respect for the way you dealt with your hardship. A lot of us have also been there – mine under Thatcher – and know how hard it is to ask for help. It took me three weeks to pluck up the courage to ask for unemployment benefit. Keep telling the truth.

  310. The debate was a joke last night and Edwina and Katie Hopkins are both silver spoons idiots who live in there own upper class world there so far from the normal society it’s a joke but you held your own and made your family proud so well done Jack well done

  311. Good points and well made. Good for you. I loathe that woman Curry, nothing more than a slut – she did sleep with John Major knowing he was married and then wrote a book about it. One thing sleeping with someone else’s husband, another telling the world about it. How common and what a low life. Hopkins’s ego is huge and getting bigger. She actually must believe her own publicity. Would not even bother to comment on her.

  312. I didn’t see it but I’m livid anyway on your behalf. keep going, keep going, for every twat there are hundreds, thousands of supporters.