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Let’s make sure Free School Meals is the start of something much, much bigger 13:10 - Jan 14 with 363 viewsDarth_Koont

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation report into UK poverty is pretty awful. The pandemic clearly won’t help either but, as the report shows, this is just adding to an already unhealthy baseline. And there’s a real risk that these are the people who are going to be least prioritised during any post-Covid recovery when we’re also absorbing the cost of Brexit.

Read the thread for the “highlights”. One that particularly stood out was that in 2019, 2.4 million people including 500K children were destitute at some point in the year i.e. they couldn’t afford to eat, stay warm and dry, or keep clean.

So be very wary of any politician who wants to talk about perceived issues instead like identity, “woke culture” or bangs the drum of British exceptionalism. It’s all a political diversion from the important and real stuff.

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Let’s make sure Free School Meals is the start of something much, much bigger on 14:17 - Jan 14 with 288 viewsRadlett_blue

whoever decided to re-define "poverty" by making it a relative definition was foolish as potentially everyone could have a mansion and a car but if enough others had bigger mansions and more cars, by that definition they were still in poverty.
The fact that 2.4m people are in real poverty is disturbing. Inequality - which is the new poverty - is a major issue & is partly the reason for the increase in more extreme politics in the UK (and even more so in the US).
the really hard question is how to reduce inequality. The answer is to create more productive, sustainable jobs and use government resources more effectively, but again there aren't any simple answers to that.
the COVID crisis is going to make all of this harder as it has swallowed up a huge amount of goverment revenue. I would start by scrapping senseless vanity projects such as HS2.
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Let’s make sure Free School Meals is the start of something much, much bigger on 15:04 - Jan 14 with 246 viewsDarth_Koont

Let’s make sure Free School Meals is the start of something much, much bigger on 14:17 - Jan 14 by Radlett_blue

whoever decided to re-define "poverty" by making it a relative definition was foolish as potentially everyone could have a mansion and a car but if enough others had bigger mansions and more cars, by that definition they were still in poverty.
The fact that 2.4m people are in real poverty is disturbing. Inequality - which is the new poverty - is a major issue & is partly the reason for the increase in more extreme politics in the UK (and even more so in the US).
the really hard question is how to reduce inequality. The answer is to create more productive, sustainable jobs and use government resources more effectively, but again there aren't any simple answers to that.
the COVID crisis is going to make all of this harder as it has swallowed up a huge amount of goverment revenue. I would start by scrapping senseless vanity projects such as HS2.


Definitely needs a re-assessment of our priorities as a nation. That seemed possible during the pandemic (especially early on) but we seem to care less and less about it now perhaps as an attempt to get back to business as normal. Emotionally and psychologically as much as socially and economically.

But it would be a real shame if certain home truths hadn’t sunk in about the need for a stronger, safer and fairer society.

Also this report is really a snapshot pre-Covid. We seem to have stuck our heads in the sand about the “system” and its failings — economic, social and political. This is decades in the making and dominant issues like wealth inequality, regional inequality, electoral disenfranchisement, low productivity, Brexit, Scottish independence etc. are symptoms of the underlying problem. It’s not as simple as saying we’ve put all our eggs in an outdated neoliberal approach because we also have an outdated and non-representative political system, a harmful media establishment and an unhealthy dose of British exceptionalism. These all combine to create a resigned inevitability about the future and an everyone for themselves mentality.

But it’s all about taking those small steps in the right direction. We know we have the money to do better, it’s really just the acceptance of the need to change and the will to do it.

Yes, and things like HS2 as an improvement to the North and its infrastructure (!!) are good places to start. That things like this and the pathetic Northern Powerhouse just show the limitations in our understanding of the problems and our ambitions to do anything about it.

I think initiatives like a Green New Deal and a massive injection of funds to regenerate, rebalance and recalibrate the UK as a proper, forward-thinking 21st Century nation are desperately needed. I’d also push for electoral reform and tax reform so that we establish some proper accountability.

And not get suckered into Austerity 2.0 and passing the buck onto an increasing underclass in society or regions that have been starved of opportunity. Or getting dragged into the right-wing “reform” of Farage that looks to protect privilege and inequality by othering minorities and the most vulnerable.
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Post of the Year on 17:33 - Jan 14 with 215 viewscbower

Your last paragraph is spot on. A good distraction issue like Brexit and the elite can continue to perpetuate a morally bankrupt economic model that allows such massive inequalities to exist almost as part of a 'that's just the way it is' shrug of the nation's shoulders. Great post DK!

bluescouser

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Let’s make sure Free School Meals is the start of something much, much bigger on 18:19 - Jan 14 with 188 viewsDurovigutum

Let’s make sure Free School Meals is the start of something much, much bigger on 15:04 - Jan 14 by Darth_Koont

Definitely needs a re-assessment of our priorities as a nation. That seemed possible during the pandemic (especially early on) but we seem to care less and less about it now perhaps as an attempt to get back to business as normal. Emotionally and psychologically as much as socially and economically.

But it would be a real shame if certain home truths hadn’t sunk in about the need for a stronger, safer and fairer society.

Also this report is really a snapshot pre-Covid. We seem to have stuck our heads in the sand about the “system” and its failings — economic, social and political. This is decades in the making and dominant issues like wealth inequality, regional inequality, electoral disenfranchisement, low productivity, Brexit, Scottish independence etc. are symptoms of the underlying problem. It’s not as simple as saying we’ve put all our eggs in an outdated neoliberal approach because we also have an outdated and non-representative political system, a harmful media establishment and an unhealthy dose of British exceptionalism. These all combine to create a resigned inevitability about the future and an everyone for themselves mentality.

But it’s all about taking those small steps in the right direction. We know we have the money to do better, it’s really just the acceptance of the need to change and the will to do it.

Yes, and things like HS2 as an improvement to the North and its infrastructure (!!) are good places to start. That things like this and the pathetic Northern Powerhouse just show the limitations in our understanding of the problems and our ambitions to do anything about it.

I think initiatives like a Green New Deal and a massive injection of funds to regenerate, rebalance and recalibrate the UK as a proper, forward-thinking 21st Century nation are desperately needed. I’d also push for electoral reform and tax reform so that we establish some proper accountability.

And not get suckered into Austerity 2.0 and passing the buck onto an increasing underclass in society or regions that have been starved of opportunity. Or getting dragged into the right-wing “reform” of Farage that looks to protect privilege and inequality by othering minorities and the most vulnerable.


The current definition of poverty in the UK means someone will always be in poverty - it's poorly thought through metric.

However, my experience is that the cost of housing in the UK is the root cause with a secondary reason being the complexity of modern life and the lack of helpful advice.

A return to council housing of some description, with rents and tenancies that give security and fair costs has been obvious since the early 90s.

Complicated finance deals, bank accounts, internet and online everything I love - but it's a minefield and the increasing success of scammers is proving that it's too much for a percentage of people. There are stories of the banks not helping and actually authorising the transfers for some of these scams, while CAB have seen funds cut.

Part of the Brexit vote was undoubtedly a desire to return to "simpler times", and I can understand the logic - even if it is flawed.
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Let’s make sure Free School Meals is the start of something much, much bigger on 18:33 - Jan 14 with 180 viewscbower

Let’s make sure Free School Meals is the start of something much, much bigger on 18:19 - Jan 14 by Durovigutum

The current definition of poverty in the UK means someone will always be in poverty - it's poorly thought through metric.

However, my experience is that the cost of housing in the UK is the root cause with a secondary reason being the complexity of modern life and the lack of helpful advice.

A return to council housing of some description, with rents and tenancies that give security and fair costs has been obvious since the early 90s.

Complicated finance deals, bank accounts, internet and online everything I love - but it's a minefield and the increasing success of scammers is proving that it's too much for a percentage of people. There are stories of the banks not helping and actually authorising the transfers for some of these scams, while CAB have seen funds cut.

Part of the Brexit vote was undoubtedly a desire to return to "simpler times", and I can understand the logic - even if it is flawed.


Paragraph 3. Thank you Mrs Thatcher. A flagship policy which ultimately has seen already rich, property owning landlords hoover up affordable properties across the country provoking the housing crisis we now have for the poorest in our society. Who would have thought a portion of the working class could be so easily bought off as she publicly sold off the family silver (back to a public who already owned it anyway)?

bluescouser

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Let’s make sure Free School Meals is the start of something much, much bigger on 18:40 - Jan 14 with 176 viewsDarth_Koont

Let’s make sure Free School Meals is the start of something much, much bigger on 18:19 - Jan 14 by Durovigutum

The current definition of poverty in the UK means someone will always be in poverty - it's poorly thought through metric.

However, my experience is that the cost of housing in the UK is the root cause with a secondary reason being the complexity of modern life and the lack of helpful advice.

A return to council housing of some description, with rents and tenancies that give security and fair costs has been obvious since the early 90s.

Complicated finance deals, bank accounts, internet and online everything I love - but it's a minefield and the increasing success of scammers is proving that it's too much for a percentage of people. There are stories of the banks not helping and actually authorising the transfers for some of these scams, while CAB have seen funds cut.

Part of the Brexit vote was undoubtedly a desire to return to "simpler times", and I can understand the logic - even if it is flawed.


I agree with most of that. And housing has been awfully ignored by successive governments ever since Thatcher sold off the housing stock without helping to replace it.

Relative poverty is actually the most relevant measure. Otherwise we’re going to say that nobody is poor if you compare it to the “real poverty” of the 1930s or in India etc. Also feeds into this idea that people can’t be poor if they have a mobile phone or TV etc when we’re often talking about people’s most important connections to the rest of the world in 2021.

Also it’s about understanding that being on the margins of society even if that society is overall better off still creates human suffering as well as huge social damage and costs.

This isn’t about levelling everyone up or down but ensuring that we maintain a minimum standard as that standard rises across society. Massive wealth inequality and a punitive “acceptable” poverty don’t lead to happy, secure societies or even productive economies.
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Let’s make sure Free School Meals is the start of something much, much bigger on 19:16 - Jan 14 with 138 viewsNthsuffolkblue

Hancock was interviewed over the appalling parcels sent out and he refused to accept he was wrong to vote against free school meals continuing outside term time.

Then I see an article stating that they are likely to be stopped over half term.

It is almost like they think that if they react to Rashford once the problem will go away and they can return to their extermination of the poorest without complaint.

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Let’s make sure Free School Meals is the start of something much, much bigger on 19:36 - Jan 14 with 121 viewsDarth_Koont

Let’s make sure Free School Meals is the start of something much, much bigger on 19:16 - Jan 14 by Nthsuffolkblue

Hancock was interviewed over the appalling parcels sent out and he refused to accept he was wrong to vote against free school meals continuing outside term time.

Then I see an article stating that they are likely to be stopped over half term.

It is almost like they think that if they react to Rashford once the problem will go away and they can return to their extermination of the poorest without complaint.


I’m sure this plays into some focus group beliefs in the “deserving poor”, “doing it for their own good or we create a dependency” and even some psychosexual fascist fantasy about “strong leadership vs human weakness”.

Or the Tory politicians actually believe all that themselves, which is also a distinct possibility.

It’s insane how these games (and lying about it/trying to get away with it) drive them.
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