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The problem isn’t a lack of money, food, water or land. The problem is that you’ve given control of these things to a group of greedy psychopaths who care more about maintaining their own power than helping mankind. Bill Hicks
I mean we hear an awful lot of lefty whinging about the NHS waiting lists. Well the answer’s simple. Shut down the Health Service. Result? No more waiting lists. You see, in the good old days you were poor, you got ill, and you died. And yet these days people seem to think they have some God-give right to be cured! And what is the result of this sloppy Socialist thinking, hmm? More poor people! In contrast my policies would eradicate poor people! Thereby eliminating poverty! And they say we Conservatives have no heart! Thank you very much! The New Statesman s1e5: Friends of St James, ITV 1987
London: Where the number of children living in poverty is the highest of anywhere in the UK. Some of my earliest memories are struggles with money. Professor Green, Living in Poverty, BBC 2017
The number of kids in poverty is predicted to rise by a million in the next five years. ibid.
One of the biggest problems facing families living in poverty is affordable housing. ibid.
It’s about shame and embarrassment these kids are made to feel. ibid.
One of the problems that comes with child poverty is stress. ibid.
The number of poor kids in Britain has been rising not falling in recent years. ibid.
130,000 kids having to spend Christmas in temporary accommodation. ibid.
That hunch, that there were many scroungers, has never gone away. It motivated some extraordinary individuals over the next hundred years to try and crack the problem of the poor. Workers or Shirkers? Ian Hislop’s Victorian Benefits, BBC 2018
Can history tell us whether poverty is an inevitable fact of life, a moral fault of individuals or a failure of our whole society? ibid.
Jeremy Bentham – the godfather of Victorian rationalism. ibid.
1834 Poor Law … This is the forbidden world of the workhouse. ibid.
Bosanquet’s big idea that to tackle poverty you need to do more than just dole out money – you have to intervene early with chaotic families. ibid.
‘I’m undeserving, and I mean to go on being undeserving.’ ibid. My Fair Lady, Alfred Doolittle
Are the wealthy just born in the right place at the right time? Or are the poor victims of the system designed to keep them down? Perhaps physics and biology determine who is rich and who is poor? Many hoped to have erased the divide between the haves and the have nots, but what if Nature demands winners and losers in life? Could poverty be genetic? Morgan Freeman’s Through the Wormhole s5e9: Is Poverty Genetic? Science 2014
Good morning, Mr Blake, my name’s Amanda. I’ve got a couple of questions here for you today to establish your eligibility for employment support allowance. It won’t take up much of your time. I, Daniel Blake ***** 2016 starring Davd Johns & Hayley Squires & Dylan McKiernan & Briana Shann & Kate Rutter & Kema Sikazwe & Steven Richens & Gavin Webster et al, director Ken Loach, opening commentary
We’re digital by default. ibid. benefits bloke
What’s wrong with you people? ibid. Daniel
I spoke to the landlord about it. Because I complained he kicked me out. ibid. Katie
Dan, they will fuck you around. I’m warning you. Make you as miserable. No accident. That’s the plan. I know dozens who have given up. ibid. friend
When you lose your self respect you’re done for. ibid. Daniel
The State drove him to an early grave. ibid. Katie
Dispatches reveals the startling emergence of baby banks … More than 100 baby banks have now appeared across the UK. Dispatches: Born on the Breadline, Channel 4 2018
Splitting up, losing a job or paying for a funeral – just some of the things that mean families can struggle to afford life’s essentials: food, warmth and a place to call home. Dispatches: Growing Up Poor: Britain’s Breadline Kids, Channel 4 2019
These children speak for more than four million kids growing up in poverty. ibid.
2,000 food banks that have been set up in the UK in the last decade. ibid.
Over the summer term Dispatches has followed three boys from the same class struggling with poverty, homelessness and overcrowding. The £20 cuts in Universal Credit means as many as 300,000 more children are being pushed below the poverty line. But with fuel prices at an all-time high, and landlords once again being able to evict tenants, homelessness is also threatening Britain’s most vulnerable children. Dispatches: Growing Up Poor: Britain’s Hidden Homeless Kids, Channel 4 2023
The UK is in the grip of a cost of living crisis. In the last six months one in four people have borrowed money to pay for food and energy bills. With costs continuing to rise, many are finding themselves in debt for the first time. Dispatches: Broke: Britain’s Debt Emergency, Channel 4 2022
As families struggle to cope with the cost of living crisis, it’s believed that one million people are now borrowing money from illegal loan sharks. ibid.
2.1 million UK pensioners are living in poverty. Dispatches: Britain’s Forgotten Pensioners, Channel 4 2023
‘You either eat or put your heating on.’ ibid.
3 in 5 over-65s says they have had their heating on for less time than usual … 15% of over-65s say they have turned off their heating completely: this equates to more than 1.8 million older people. ibid. captions
45 people died every day last winter in England and Wales as a result of living in cold homes. National Emergency Action fears this winter the number will be higher. ibid.
The government’s controversial new benefits system is in crisis. Families left penniless have been driven to despair. Tenants under pressure aren’t paying their rent and some face eviction. Panorama: The Universal Credit Crisis, BBC 2018
Vulnerable people struggling to cope now face an uncertain future. ibid.
For generations governments have sought to simplify the benefits system. The latest attempt, universal credit – merging six benefits into one – was supposed make life better for claimants, many of them vulnerable, the least able to manage. Panorama: Universal Credit: One Year On, BBC 2019
Some seven million households are expected to be claiming. ibid.
The UK has a postcode inequality problem. Where you live can determine your chances in life. Health, wealth, transport … The government is on a mission to what it calls Level Up the UK. Panorama: Fixing Unfair Britain: Can Levelling Up Deliver? BBC 2022
The disintegration of these social bonds plunges individuals into deep psychological distress. Chris Hedges, lecture New York Sanctuary for Independent Media, ‘American Anomie’, Youtube 2.01.07, 2018
Our corporate coup d’etat and failed democracy has freed the oligarchic elite from all legal and moral constraints. ibid.
Mass-based interest groups and average citizens have little or no independent influence ... The electoral process is a facade. ibid.
A third of the American workforce earn less than $12 an hour and most of them do not have access to employer-sponsored health insurance. ibid.
Empires in decay embrace an almost wilful suicide. Blinded by their hubris and unable to face the reality of their diminishing power, they retreat into a fantasy world where hard and unpleasant facts no longer intrude. They replace diplomacy, multilateralism and politics with unilateralism, bombastic threats and the blunt instrument of war. ibid.
An aggressive criminalisation of the poor … The poor are thrown into prison and must forfeit all their property for being caught with small amounts of the same drugs. ibid.
The self-destructive pathologies that plague the United States: opioid addiction, morbid obesity, gambling, suicide, sexual sadism … hate groups and mass shootings, rise out of this anomie. ibid.
Capitalism: you don’t want this greed to dominate society. ibid.
Employment in the UK is at a record high. Yet a third of people in work have less than £500 savings. Broke s1e1, BBC 2019
Last year local radio stations up and down the country played adverts asking people to phone in if they were struggling to make ends meet despite having a job. Calls came in from all over the UK. ibid.
We followed nine families for a year as their financial futures hung in the balance. Being broke is not the same as being broken. ibid.
They’ve [father and son] been living in a couple of flimsy tents and recently moved into the woods at the back of a friend’s house. But winter is coming. ibid.
Britain is one of the richest countries in the world yet millions of people still struggle to pay the bills. ibid.