When is poverty at its most dangerous? It is not, as you might think, when we begin to notice the frequency with which we step over rough sleepers on our way to the shops. It is not when we hear of children going to school hungry. It is not even when people begin to die from hunger, from cold or in desperation, at their own hands. On the contrary, poverty is at its most deadly when we no longer notice, we no longer care, we no longer even question it.I question it. I question it all the time, mainly because ‘poverty’ conjures up an image of starvling waifs scrabbling though a dump for food in some Third World hellhole.
Clapham High Street scene...
When what we are actually talking about is children not having their own bedroom.
Allow me to summarise a few of the stories that have passed under the radar in the UK over the past week or so. In Nottingham, a food bank has closed its doors – not through lack of demand, but because it alleges that the city council was referring desperate and vulnerable people to its service as a first port of call, thereby allowing the council to deny residents statutory hardship payments and other services.So, that should neatly scotch any ideas that these are genuine charities concerned with the ‘starving’, shouldn’t it, if they can shut up shop just to make a political point?
The news came a few days after a report into food banks was published by a consortium of charities, including Child Poverty Action Group, Trussell Trust and Oxfam, which found that the number of people accessing three days’ worth of emergency provisions had risen from 128,000 in 2011-12 to 913,000 in 2013-14.Shocker! If you offer free stuff, someone will take advantage of it!
Scouring the press releases sent out by the Labour party in the past week, it is all but impossible to find mention of poverty, inequality, homelessness or hunger. Instead, there are countless volleys in the race to the bottom over immigration and benefit claims.That’s hardly surprising, since they want to win an election, and ‘Vote for us so we can give yet more of your hard-earned cash to newly arrived Fatima from the Sudan, her granny & her 7 kids!’ isn’t much of a vote-winning strategy.
Nor is ‘Vote for us so even more feckless wasters can get ‘free’ stuff while you work all the hours god sends!’…
It seems we have drifted to being a nation of coarse indifference – or perhaps defeatism – to the bleak reality of poverty. Like the state of poverty itself, it becomes difficult to envision an alternative, a route of escape. We are not the first generation to face austerity. But we do risk becoming the first generation to declare itself indifferent to its horrors.If we’re indifferent, it’s because they so often aren't horrors at all, but merely consequences…
Crying real tears for a mo. Nearly ruined my glass of bollinger by dilution. Then again, fuck em. Lazy feckless arses who rob and exploit society because they can. Next we will be told that if you can't afford the next generation i phone you will have slipped beneath the poverty line. Most of us are well aware of poverty. I did that gig some time ago and it made such an impression that I did something about it. By dint of hard work, and of course by being favoured by nature and ridiculously handsome and talented, I worked my way up to smug prosperity (sigh).
" Lazy feckless arses who rob and exploit society because they can. Next we will be told that if you can't afford the next generation i phone you will have slipped beneath the poverty line."
Haven't we already been told that? I lose count.. ;)
In recent times, a new feature of the cut-and-paste blog has been your fresh love affair with crudity, JuliaM. Starved of original presentation, the consequences for this tediously prolonged blog were predictable.
Those jealousies of successful female journalists and your unfathomable ambivalence towards pernicious plod, I leave to your dwindling stock of small-minded followers.
But my adieu is not without some sweetness. My fingers are crossed that some tabloid will furnish you with that ultimate gem, when a Black cyclist is beaten/tasered to death by plod who subsequently claim to have been in mortal fear of his plastic bicycle clips. The guy who surely had it coming, insofar as your readership is concerned, is the long awaited prey whose demise vindicates a decade of loyalty to prejudice and plagiarism.
Re: ego sum nonhic vobis
Where would those "successful female journalists" be without The Graniuad, The Indy & The BBC?
Bye then, sweetie :)
Two things that have appeared under this Govt. Payday lenders and food banks. Just saying….
cC newly arrived Fatima from the Sudan, her granny & her 7 kids!’XX
Don't forget the obligatory "Disabled"
Seven bastards and only three legs, twenty arms, and a second hand eyeball between all of them, sort of thing.
"Two things that have appeared under this Govt. Payday lenders and food banks. Just saying…."
Increased their numbers, that I'll give you.
But came into being? No.
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