There are a few blogs discussing this today following the revelations that 47% of children in Glasgow live in poverty. One of the best blogs to check out is http://munguinsrepublic.blogspot.co.uk/ .
Poverty is wrong, especially in a world as wealthy and abundant as this one and especially in the UK, the 8th richest country in the world according to some stats. I suppose the definition of poverty is there to be argued about, is it a percentage of the average income? Is it absolute poverty which can be defined as a condition characterised by severe deprivation of basic human needs, including food, safe drinking water, sanitation facilities, health, shelter, education and information. It depends not only on income but also on access to services. You can also define poverty in a relative sense which is defined as poverty related to the standard that is defined in terms of the society in which an individual lives and therefore differs between countries and over time. The concept of relative poverty is that in a well to do country such as the UK, there are higher minimum standards below which no one anywhere in the world should ever fall and that these standards should rise if and as the country becomes richer.
I don’t want to argue the merits of the various definitions, although I would tend to want to measure poverty in a relative sense as people will tend to define themselves, in some ways, to their surroundings and the people around them and how they live. No, what this moan is about is how other people look at poverty and those living in it. The BBC have opened comments on this subject and I have just been saddened by the response of some people in our country to those in need, it has me asking the question, what have we allowed ourselves to become? Here are some of the comments:
The first question I would put to anyone trying to access a foodbank would be; do you smoke, drink or take drugs?
If the answer is the affirmative, what right do they have to be given food?
Why don’t people take some personal responsibility and get themselves out of poverty. Not us we would rather blame everyone else.
Totally agree, I have family members on benefits. They think anyone in a job is “lucky”. They have every excuse possible for their inability to get a job, e.g. too far, not enough money, wrong hours. The truth is they’re lazy and the state indulges them.
Why does the state need to eradicate poverty. Why don’t people take some personal responsibility and get themselves out of poverty. Not us we would rather blame everyone else. We complain about Poles and Romanians. migrants come here to better themselves. We sit in idol, laziness expecting the state to keep us in comfort. If you don’t like poverty in Scotland how about seeking a new life elsewhere.
Poverty for some is a business.
There is poverty of ambition. Poverty of family values. Poverty of education. Poverty of social cohesion. Poverty of critical thought of Nationalism amongst it’s supporters.
Food poverty? That stems from not having the above which is free and does not require money. Just values, ethics and morality.
Those that really struggle move and do something about it.
“It claimed more than 870,000 people in Scotland were living in poverty, with a fifth of children in Scotland living below the breadline”.
This is based on the spurious measure of relative poverty. Many of the people claimed to be living in “poverty” seem to manage to smoke, drink and go to the bookies and their children have every expensive electronic gadget imaginable!
These are just a few of the comments, some unreal and most ignorant but what this tells me, and I have mentioned it before, the three Tory parties have really pulled it off, they have in many cases persuaded the poor to hate and attack the very poor. What kind of country are we living in when we hate the poorest so much and would appear, in some cases maybe many cases, to be happy to accept the neo-conservative model of greed that consigns children to poverty as being the only system we can have.
I am judgemental at times, I am dismissive at times, but a friend once said of an alcoholic whom people were talking about in the office “ they are people too “. Maybe we need to all remember that, “ they are people too “. Poverty is a crime anywhere in the world and especially in a country as wealthy as ours, maybe when we understand that , we will understand it doesn’t have to be this way. We can do things differently if we want to, we can have a fairer and more socially just nation, we don’t have to bend and scrape, we can stand tall. We can take back the agenda, September 18th 2014 is the day we can start.