Wednesday, 8 June 2011

'Poor Kids' - Child Poverty in the UK

I don't know if you watched it, but there was a programme on BBC1 last night called 'Poor Kids', in which children from three different families in the UK were filmed talking about their lives. Each family lives in dire poverty, and in one case, in a flat so riddled with damp, mould and mildew, it surely cannot be considered fit for human habitation. Two out of three of the children reported going without food on the days they weren't in school to receive free school dinners. The parents appeared to have no hope for a better way of life, and the children themselves were world-weary and resigned.

There are threads on the Internet today lambasting everyone from the parents, to politicians, and to woolly-minded, middle-class lightweights like myself. I don't care what anyone wants to call me for saying this, but I am appalled to find there are people, families, children living in such squalor in Britain, one of the richest countries in the world, in this day and age. I don't have any answers or suggestions, I am just staggered at the sheer insanity behind the chasm that exists in the standards of living for ordinary people in this country. It is disgusting, and an utter disgrace. I don't understand how we, the people who make up our society, allow it to be so.

BBC1 'Poor Kids: A child's view of growing up in poverty'

3 comments:

  1. I didn't see the programme but it certainly is outrageous that people live in dire poverty while others are hugely rich. There are huge issues around income distribution in out country just as there are in most countries...

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  2. The Americas also see shameful disparities of well-being. One thing every arm-chair politician can do is actually donate to food banks, social works, churches, soup kitchens and shelters, whether it is in the form of money, raw supplies or your time. It will not solve the problem of broken spirits and poor upbringing, but it is a beginning to more decent lives for others. In many cases it allows them to live at all.

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  3. A possible answer - mutual aid ('Mutual Aid: a Factor of Evolution', Peter Kropotkin). Take the feeble notion of 'The Big Society' to its logical conclusion, way past the point where political and economic power cease to have any meaning, beyond the need for money, whipping the rug out from under the feet of the political class and big business. Hold all things in common so that (as William Penn put it) "what one hath the other cannot lack". Remember John Ball - "When Adam delved and Eve span who was then the gentleman?" - remember the Levellers and Diggers. The most subversive thing we can do is work for nothing, because then they can't put a price on our labour and no one can ever be 'poor'.

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