There exists, in the public arena, a cabal of right wing thinkers often feted by the likes of the BBC to inject ‘robust’ discussion into various ‘debates’, usually on programmes such as Question Time. Lightweight so called political affairs where an audience of wannabe Tories, students, and self appointed community leaders and business representatives applaud contrived propaganda.
In other words, gossip merchants and shills who, among other things (such as denying anthropogenic climate change), propagate the insidious notion that poverty is impossible in Britain because it isn’t a third world country (at least nominally). The people aren’t brown babies with distended bellies surrounded by a cloud of flies and dust, they have smartphones and tattoos, and ergo they live in fucking paradise. They now point to places such as the Middle East and the reality of life under ISIS (or whatever they call themselves). Look at the poor people being beheaded and crucified, you scrounger, you think you have it tough!
This is deeply offensive and pernicious: poverty is poverty. It is disgusting wherever it is found – and wherever it is found it must be challenged fought and eradicated. A starving human being is no less in need of food whether he lives in Africa, Palestine, or Peckham.
Of course there are differences between our country – what is left of it under the Tories – and places like, for example, Gaza, Somalia, or Syria. We are a wealthy nation and we do cleave to greater values than believing in tribal ignorance and superstition. Or at least we should be. The wealth in Britain is bound up in land owned by the aristocracy having long since stolen it from the people as well as usurious systems of finance invented by clever rich people to protect other clever rich people. The values of democracy tolerance and freedom are continually eroded by a right wing press that abuses those freedoms to shock people into accepting policies invented by their backers and supporters.
But even so, we hold to these values. Consequently it is all the more important that, when poverty rears its ugly head in modern Britain, we speak out against it. When injustice manifests around the world we speak against it (those of us that do not profit from it, that is). This is because we have the privilege of knowing a better system and so we have a duty to speak out.
It is no different when it comes to the injustices created by this government of rich fools who are exploiting the poor and carving up society for personal gain. In fact I would say it is all the more important we do speak out because the cost of losing these precious rights is too great. If what little freedom still exists in this world is snuffed out, it will be gone forever, consumed by a seemingly rising tide of greed, institutionalised corruption and ambition, and superstition.
Whenever the likes of Peter Hitchens claims poverty doesn’t – indeed cannot – exist in Britain, he must be corrected sharply, directly, and accurately.