The examples, aren’t they amazing?

The terrible poverty of modern England:

Melissa, a 20-year-old student, has watched her family struggle to pay the bills since she was at primary school. Ten years ago her mum, Elizabeth, slipped a disc, so badly that sometimes she can’t get out of bed. And, just like that, she had to give up her job as a cafe manager.

A few years later, Elizabeth developed a heart problem: her heart would stop for seven seconds, causing her to faint. “She’d often hit her head,” Melissa explains. For long periods, there was no wage at all coming in: Melissa’s stepdad had a heart attack during her GCSEs, and her father had a brain injury.

A family where all the adults are on the sick lives a financially precarious life?

The terrors of modern neoliberalism, eh?

There’s another little joy in this too:

There are now 19 million people in this country living below the minimum income standard (an income required for what the wider public view as “socially acceptable” living standards), according to figures released by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) this month. Around 8 million of them could be classed as Theresa May’s “just about managing” families: those who can, say, afford to put food on the table and clothe their children but are plagued by financial insecurity. The other 11 million live far below the minimum income standard and are, the JRF warns, “at high risk of falling into severe poverty”.

We’ve no back calculation of these numbers. We don’t know how many were, by this standard, so imperilled in 2000, 1980, even 1880. We thus cannot actually tell whether things are getting better or not.

81 comments on “The examples, aren’t they amazing?

  1. I went on that minimum income standard calculator the other day. Apparently I need 750 quid a week including 250ish quid on childcare, even though I stated my wife doesn’t work, and apparently 65 quid on ‘culture’ or something.

    It’s a massive load of bollocks.

  2. This will be the problem with universal basic income. They will keep defining upwards what is needed to support life. It will go from being enough food to live and basic shelter to Xboxes and foreign vacations. Needs are limited, wants are unlimited.

  3. “It’s a massive load of bollocks.”

    The same calculator seems to think we can get by spending £9 / week on alcohol. Not sure if that would qualify as “Just about managing”

  4. It’s pointed out in the comments how she wasted her money on a pointlessly expensive degree, and is now denying reality by surrounding herself with like-minded idiots.

  5. It’s funny what people regard as ‘necessary’. I was without a car for a few months. Living inner city and working nearby, I wasn’t in any huge hurry to replace it. My father kept hassling me as to how the search was going, recommending new cars, all that stuff. I kept explaining it was four stops to work and not a big deal but he kept on. Finally, one day, he blurted out ‘People will think you’re in poverty!’ Here was me thinking he cared about my inconvenience. The image was really what he was worried about. RIP Dad

    What’s the bet a newish car becomes one of the demands for basic subsistence?

  6. Agreed, JuliaM.

    Discretionary spending has all so been pointed out in the comments, e.g. the TV licence.

    Always raises a smile to read an article bemoaning benefit cuts in the tax-efficient Graun. (while once working on the setting up a tax-efficient group, we were advised the Graun’s was one of the best)

    I liked this bit of a comment: “Companies don’t pay enough in wages and benefits, or taxes to the government.” Kind of a sign that companies don’t have that much spare cash, innit? If they were turning monster profits, they’d be handing tax on it to the gov. Benefits are taxed. Wages are taxed. Magic money tree stuff.

  7. The lefty comments under that article are quite staggering – regurgitated emotional Marxoid beaulocks for the most part.

    But it does seem that the JRF and Grauniad think that a family with 2 parents on the sick should be entitled to a lower-middle-class existence.

  8. @cynic. Sorry, I’m afraid that’s bollocks. The guardian has millions of tax losses, it needs no fancy structuring to pay no tax, it simply doesn’t make a profit

  9. @Perry, true enough, it doesn’t now with all those losses!

    It was a few years back, 10-ish so not that many, but yes, The Graun’s was advised as a good model.

    Probably off the back of this kinda stuff:

    http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2016/04/will-the-guardian-now-investigate-its-own-tax-arrangements/

    Now, I can think of three possible explanations. First, they either didn’t know or had forgotten about the Guardian Media Group’s use of a tax-exempt shell company in the Cayman Islands to avoid paying corporation tax when it sold its 50 per cent holding in Auto Trader to Apax Partners in 2008 (hat tip to Guido Fawkes). Further, they were similarly ignorant about the hundreds of millions GMG has invested in offshore hedge funds over the years. But that seems unlikely. After all, right-wing hacks like me lose no opportunity to draw attention to the paper’s creative tax affairs, particularly when confronted with self-righteous columnists like Owen Jones and Polly Toynbee wagging their fingers at Vodafone and Starbucks for avoiding paying their ‘fair share’.

    A second possibility — and, admittedly, this is farfetched — is that the paper’s hacks have actually read and been convinced by the former editor Alan Rusbridger’s long, rambling explanation of why the directors of GMG aren’t tax-dodgers after all. In his 2,000-word essay on the subject, published three years after the allegations were first put to him (so much for transparency!), he claims it was perfectly right and proper that GMG didn’t pay a single penny in corporation tax on its £302 million profit from that sale. Insofar as I understand it (and I’ve read it three times) the gist of Rusbridger’s argument is that GMG’s tax affairs are all fine and dandy because they’re perfectly legal. Hmm. Couldn’t exactly the same defence be made of the Tory bigwigs?

    It’s not so much “bollocks, they’re losing money so why do they need that structure?” as “how the bollocks are they losing money with that structure?”

    But then you can structure all you like, if no-one’s buying it ain’t gonna fix it.

    Guido gives them a poke every now and then:

    https://order-order.com/2012/11/26/the-guardians-offshore-secrets-guardian-media-group-still-operates-caymans-company/

  10. Excellent! Timmy’s had a go too:

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/timworstall/2013/06/28/the-insufferable-hypocrisy-of-the-guardian-on-corporation-tax/#466db51e5969

    But that SSE exemption is where the hypocrisy is from The Guardian. Pillorying a company that has done exactly the same thing that The Guardian itself has done. This is actually worse than the usual hypocrisy we all show about taxation (“tax for thee but not for me”). But then again, this is The Guardian we’re talking about. Who is really surprised?

    Sorry for derailing the thread. It’s just… Graun bashing… so much fun!

  11. Around 8 million of them could be classed as Theresa May’s “just about managing” families: those who can, say, afford to put food on the table and clothe their children but are plagued by financial insecurity. The other 11 million live far below the minimum income standard and are, the JRF warns, “at high risk of falling into severe poverty”.

    Which is pretty much everyone if we include those who have no option other than to stay in a job where mean-spirited, petty “managers” treat the employees like shit and go out of their way to give them belittling, demeaning tasks and lecture them for not being “on message” and issue veiled threats as to their career prospects or continued employment should they not be sufficiently docile.

    Probably my primary motivation throughout my professional career was to escape this trap as early as I could. Most other people are not so lucky.

  12. “what the wider public view as “socially acceptable” living standards”: have a care. Once you make that a criterion for political action, are you to be governed by what the wider public view as “socially acceptable” fellow citizens? Sounds like Populism to me: “Literally Hitler” Populism perhaps.

  13. https://www.entitledto.co.uk/

    surprisingly, you can work out how much you are entitled to.

    What you get more or less covers a reasonable standard of living as long as you are careful, shop at Lidl etc. It won’t fund a foreign holiday but you get a roof over your head and your kids will have shoes on their feet and food on the table.

    The benefits system itself is shit though.

    If you get even a temporary bit of work it disrupts your claim and you spend ages filling in 14 page forms and producing evidence (as well as spending 3 hours per time ringing the tax office).
    If the work you can get is intermittent then you can spend more time form filling than working.
    It also interrupts any payments you have coming in, yes you will eventually get all you are entitled to but in the meantime you are likely to accrue late payment charges because payments that you were expecting don’t turn up on time (you also get inundated with letters demanding repayments for overpayments that are rescinded days later).

    If you do find a proper job then all your benefits cease immediately (even though you may be entitled to something), this means that for the first few weeks/months of working your existence is precarious, you will eventually get it all sorted but you will generally find you slide into immediate debt that takes a long time to get out of.

    IDS tried to fix it with Universal Benefit but as with most Government IT systems that turned out to be a complete (and expensive) fuckup.

  14. BobRocket

    “Benefits / work, and delays etc.”

    Isn’t the first bit of discretionary spend (or anything that remotely looks like it) supposed to be squirrelled away – the concept of rainy day? And continue to repeat until one is confident that there is a sensible buffer?

  15. > A family where all the adults are on the sick lives a financially precarious life?

    That does actually surprise me. If they’re long-term sick, they go on disability benefits, where they remain pretty much for the rest of their lives. Job done.

    It’s harder for those who are in & out of short-term work, or whose health is highly variable. Neither our structure of work nor our benefits system covers this latter situation well.

  16. PF,

    if you are on £77pw jobseekers, you will get most of your rent and council tax paid (you still have to pay water/sewage/maintenance charges), by the time you have paid a few bus fares and printed out your CVs for job applications you wouldn’t be able to put aside more than two or three quid a week, it takes a long time to build up any kind of cushion.

    The social don’t pay when you first sign on until your week/month in hand is used up (+waiting days), they used to keep paying you until you got your first wage packet, not any more, on your first day of work your payments stop (although you can apply for a loan that will take at least three weeks to be approved)

    It’s a crap system and has got steadily worse (administratively) over the years, most benefit spending is not on the recipients but on the staff tasked to withholding payments due.
    The sooner they are replaced with robots the better

  17. BobRocket

    All fair points, and if “job seekers” is all that one has ever done, then sure – I agree – it looks like a shit process.

    I was talking more from the first opportunities (when young) onwards, to try and save something, rather than simply go down the pub after pay day or whatever. It’s a mindset thing as much as anything?

  18. I believe that there are folks in financial difficulty: I just don’t believe it is 19 million in the UK. That’s about 1 in 3 of the population.

  19. And out of the folks truly in financial difficulty: what proportion could have been saved from that without resorting to authoritarian means? There’s only so much you can reasonably do without taking over the running of their daily lives.

  20. ‘While the wealthiest have the comfort of a bigger safety net than ever, others get payday loans, credit cards and rent arrears.’

    The wealthiest have nothing to do with it. A non sequitur. UNLESS your target is actually the wealthiest. Which is always the Left’s target. They couldn’t care less about the poor.

    ‘On Friday the backbencher Kelly Tolhurst, Conservative MP for Rochester and Strood, is due to propose the Children’s Society’s “breathing space” campaign to parliament: a change in the law that would give families like Melissa’s a 12-month break from mounting interest and visits from bailiffs as they get on top of their debts. The government would do well to listen and to start to think about the bigger picture.’

    What the UK needs (sic) is more government. Fewer rich, more government. The Left’s desire.

  21. > £55 a week on clothes? I’m spending that per year.

    I tried fiddling with the results to work out their logic. If you have two primary-school aged kids, you need £43.44/wk. If you have three primary-school aged kids, you need an extra £9.52/wk, or just shy of £500/yr. They’ve obviously never heard of hand-me-downs; nor of Primark; nor of charity shops.

  22. From doing my tax returns for the last 20 years I know I need £12k a year to be comfortable. The JRF/Loughborough Uni calculator tells me I need £17k.

    While an extra £5k would be nice, it’s not /neccessary/, which surely is the whole point. £5k would be *extra*, *on* *top* *of* a *comfortable* minimum lifestyle. £8k a year would be a *minimum* lifestyle – walking to the library to use the interweb, no car (and thus no work!), no phone (and thus no work!), no jaunts to computer club weekends, plain bread instead of granary seeded, lidl milk instead of keeping my milkman in work providing me with milk two hours from the cow, putting nothing into my pension, etc.

  23. £55 a week on clothes? I’m spending that per year.

    I remember Natalie Solent of Samizdata fame telling a story about a woman who’s kid lost a button of their school shirt and saying “Don’t worry, we’ll buy you another one.” An inability to sew on a button might have something to do with it.

  24. As Mohave said, whilst universal basic income has quite attractive economic properties, which have unfortunately convinced some ‘bleeding heart libertarians’ that it is a good idea, it would take about half a second for it to be viewed as a right and become a political football. Better to make income and ill health insurance mandatory.

  25. From doing my tax returns for the last 20 years I know I need £12k a year to be comfortable.

    jgh – really!? I don’t want to pry (well…) but I am intrigued by that. Is that 12k gross? Do you own your home outright?

  26. Andrew M – you may assume the family goes on disability benefits. If they qualify.
    There are no benefits in Britain for people who are disabled. There are benefits for those who qualify – someone unable to get out of bed sometimes may not qualify for DLA / PiP.
    A number of disabled friends bounce between jobseekers allowance and employment support allowance. Not available for work and too fit to be forever on employment support allowance.
    I’m disabled with 4 disabilities, with increased costs, but do not qualify for disability benefits though do qualify for disability element of working tax credits. If I wasn’t working we would not get that disability element – wife is disabled but she cannot qualify for that as under tax credits rules she is not disabled.

    We can presume a lot about this family in the story, we are missing one heck of a lot of information though.

  27. @MC

    I can second what jgh says. I manage fine on about the same. I have trouble understanding how other folks need so much money – I’d like their permission to pry into their finances to understand where all the money goes!

    Basic living expenses aren’t that much, particularly if you look at things like foreign holidays, eating out at lunchtime and driving a gas-guzzler as luxuries.

    Dad was poop-outside and newspaper-as-bogroll poor as a kid, so maybe that’s where I get it from.

  28. Very approximately:
    Mortgage £65pw
    Council Tax £12pw
    Insurance £5pw
    Gas+Elec+Water £15pw
    Phone £7pw
    TV £3pw
    Internet £8pw
    Food £32pw
    Transport £44pw
    Misc. £13pw
    Reserves £16pw
    Pension £15pw

    I’ll be noticably better off when I pay off my mortgage.

  29. jgh – wow, to me that is mostly low.
    My water is £10 a week. Gas is… higher. Much higher. And your council tax is half ours.
    Still, different areas, different life.

  30. Band A property, single person, and I’d got in credit last year so the payments were less, checking this year it’s £19pw. Invested in a new roof stuffed full of insulation in about 1995, new windows in 2000, and new boiler in 2005. Plus I put on a jumper when it’s cold. I’m almost 50, so it’s probably a generational thing. Collect rainwater for toilet flushing, learned that from Hong Kong.

  31. And if you’re married, make her/him pay for half of everything that’s shared: bills, new sofa, that kind of thing.

    Otherwise keep your finances separate. None of that joint account stuff!

    One mate actually earns all the wonga, then hands it to his missus to manage. I couldn’t be doing that.

  32. @jgh – thanks, v interesting. Our base circumstances are not directly comparable – I live in Hong Kong – but your frugality makes me rather ashamed of my degenerate spendthrift ways.

    I’m not an acquirer of shiny consumer trinkets but there’s a lot of high level frittering. It’s all habit of course. I might argue strongly for the necessity of it all if interviewed by the JRF but it would all be bollocks…

  33. We should expect some Trump-like denial.

    “The voters are fake. Very fake. Nasty. This has been a victory for the 99% because only 1% voted. And they’re probably all dead. Fraud. Very fraud.

    “Paul Nuttall has the support of the people.”

  34. When I lived in Hong Kong I got by very comfortably on a lot less, 2x£6k a year, sending half of it home to the UK. We lived very comfortably in about 150sqft in Lei Yue Mun.

  35. Cynic: 100% on that. When I got married wifey initially expected me to pay to keep us housed and fed, and she’d keep her £20k pocket money. She initially also didn’t see the need to pay the mortgage (but it’s *my* house, why should I have to pay to live in *my* house? It was even harder to persuade her to pay into our pension.) I very quickly disabused her of that. If keeping us housed and fed costs X, we each pay in X/2, and whatever we have left over is our own money to do as we will.

  36. Tim – school shirts for my daughter are £3 for 2 at Asda and she grows out of them over the course of a term. I simply can’t be arsed sewing on buttons and I suspect neither can most when the replacement cost is that low. My Turnbull and Assers are a different matter, of course.

  37. Ltw,

    “It’s funny what people regard as ‘necessary’. I was without a car for a few months. Living inner city and working nearby, I wasn’t in any huge hurry to replace it. My father kept hassling me as to how the search was going, recommending new cars, all that stuff. I kept explaining it was four stops to work and not a big deal but he kept on. Finally, one day, he blurted out ‘People will think you’re in poverty!’ Here was me thinking he cared about my inconvenience. The image was really what he was worried about.”

    Image *can* be a bad thing. In certain jobs, turning up with a bad car can look bad (like sales). But generally, it isn’t.

    I also think public transport has had a resurgence for various reasons. Roads are no longer fun, can’t drink, the novelty of cars has worn off, trains are more fun with families, smartphones make it easy to find the next train time etc.

    For me, I just drive a banger now. Can’t understand this thing about new cars all the time. They run for 10-15 years, no problem.

  38. @jgh – and the sooner that conversation happens, the better. Once its done with, arguments over money hardly happen. Bit of a bugger for the young guys that are already years into paying for everything, though; I wouldn’t want to try to unwind that.

    Not that I did anything clever: my parents always ran their affairs pretty much along those lines, and I don’t remember money arguments as a kid. So for me it’s normal.

  39. jgh – I’m almost 45 so probably is a generational thing. New boiler about 3 years back here and decent insulation both walls and loft.

  40. @Cynic

    “Bit of a bugger for the young guys that are already years into paying for everything, though; I wouldn’t want to try to unwind that.”

    Tell me about it…

  41. Some of the comments on here remind me of Mr Money Moustache. Guerilla frugality, and all the better for it..

  42. In other news, still: UKIP

    Can’t understand why there’s no comment about it…Come on Worstall, where’re your snarks? They must be hidden behind UKIP’s surge to power.

  43. Worked out a way of economising on expenditure years ago. Calculation of how much I earn an hour. Then, confronted by a spending opportunity, a quick bit of mental arithmetic tells me how many hours of hard miserable graft are to be invested.
    Remarkable how rapidly things become less attractive…

    Unfortunately, with so many of the Graun’s “deserving causes”, it’s other people’s hours get wasted.

  44. You may or may not have noticed even though there’s the odd clue floating around here. I’m currently near halfway around the world at a conference….

  45. We collected and ate snails from the garden one summer. OK if you like the flavours of garlic, butter, parsley, and rubber. Just like French snails then.

    The garlic and parsley came from the garden too. The butter probably came from anywhere-but-Ireland.

  46. @JohnSquare – D’oh. Wish I had some advice, but I did it the easy way by being a tight-arse from the beginning. Setting expectations and all that crap. Although there’s always the danger I’m one “Mrs Cynic drops a Jr Cynic” away from being undone…

    @MBE – I had to Google that. Bookmarked for later. Ta. I found some of the stuff I already do was covered in RoK’s “Minimalism” articles, so I guess those guys are as tightfisted and selfish as me. Poor Mrs Cynic: she married a stingy, flatulent scrooge.

    @BiS – yep, I see every £500-£1,000 spent as one more month I have to retire later. Mrs Cynic doesn’t like the idea of me retiring before her.

  47. X-Cock:Back again Arnold?

    Cock is the name suits you best. Excellent choice.

    ZaNu had a massive drop but still won through. Such cause for celebration cos they have done so much for Stoke. As any one who has been there can testify. Now they have an MP who thinks the Brexit supporting majority of his own constituents are scum.

    No problem because it is only–like Brexit–an advisory anyway. The vote needs redoing.

    Also -I wonder what portion of the ZaNu support consisted of our dear imported RoP friends. Without their help I suspect the result would have been a little different.

    Still a massive blow against socialist evil. And Copeland even better. No RoP vote –or fraud–up there.

  48. Is that you Larry, pretending to be Ecks’ knob!

    Anyway, never mind UKIP, did you enjoy the result from Copeland?

    I thought Dan Hodges got it spot on:

    In Copeland, voters were given a choice: “Vote for Jeremy Corbyn or your hospital will close and you will die.” They preferred death.

  49. wtf?
    Who is ZaNu? Arnold? ‘mr ecks is a cock’ has no other meaning apart from mr ecks is a cock.
    And it seems PF has also no grip on the English language.
    Larry? I’ve reading back enough to see you’re a cock, mr ecks.
    Labour are screwed, they couldn’t win Copeland. I don’t disagree, but the leader of UKIP couldn’t win in a ‘leave’ area. At least some sense with the cons stability.

    UKIP needs a purge of the dead wood that couldn’t fart without shittingon each other. Nobody looking for the Trump effect?

  50. Re: Stoke

    My favourite bit is from the Labour bloke’s victory speech:

    “But over the last few weeks, a city dubbed by some as the capital of Brexit, has once again proven to the world that we are so much more than that. We are a city of innovators and educators, artists and entrepreneurs.”

    Chortle. Yep dude, the world was on tenterhooks wondering how things were going to play out in the Stoke-On-Trent Central By-election.

    Bless ‘im. He’s had a tough run so I can’t blame him for being excited.

  51. Cock–So you’re aren’t Arnold but you are trolling here because the Tories aren’t left enough for you? Another BluLabour EU shill?

    “Nobody looking for the Trump effect?”

    To use your own witty rejoinder “WTF?”

  52. “brietbart lite. i’ve been mislead.” ????

    Calling you “Cock” gives you too much credit.

    WTF is a much more apt label.

  53. On the budgetary front, I’ve long found that having a joint account whose job was to pay for the ‘standard expenses’ – mortgage, property tax, utility bills etc – into which each contributed appropriately, while keeping one’s own accounts separately was a Good Way of Doing Things. Plus, automatic payments etc are easy to set up. And it’s perfickly cler what the joint outgoings etc are.

  54. agreed that the ‘trump effect’ is MSM code. But ffs Trump got in as POTUS with nothing but a few sentences repeated over and over. Farage was a much a better orator and he couldnt even win Thanet, and Nuttall Stoke.
    Where is the right opposition. No point going after a dead Labour party.? It’ll take forever for them to do anything. May sounds like she’s choking every time it speaks, and any english national parties do fuck all.
    So what I mean by the corny Trump effect is an across the board policies that we can be proud of.
    I dont pretend to have a solution (which is why i look around) but wtf, UKIP has let it down.
    and i think you’re a cock because your type of language sets it all back. search engine stuff.

  55. If it really isn’t Lawrence, then perhaps it’s that EU Steve / Newmainiac Brussels thingy from earlier? The style would fit; perhaps it’s about to lose its job over there or something (the anger level seems up)?

    It’s clearly someone that Ecks has previously pissed off on here. In that, unless there are psychological problems or whatever, “prior lurkers” (as claimed back on the earlier thread) don’t tend to start off in “let’s attack a particular random person” mode…

  56. Nope, not EU Steve, unless a clever writer.

    “Search engine stuff” – load of cock, do your homework, this site isn’t google referenced / linked..:)

  57. ok i should change my name. I still think your a cock, mr ecks, but it doesn’t really reflect well. Some post you did. RoP i have many muslim friends and theyre not pushing it to me or my life. Unfortunately but funny my email here is mrecksisacock@cock.co.ck ah wekk

  58. I like the Maths fail in the Guardian article.
    Aviva interviewed around 2300 people of whom the bottom 575 reported average savings of £95. So it’s a perception as presumably they weren’t required to give evidence.
    The G reports this as “One in four UK families have less than £95 in savings”.
    No they don’t. It might be one in eight assuming a flat distribution at that level, but it cannot be one in four.

    Also I like the failings of the MIS surveys – say 60% think a new coat a year needs to go in the basket, then in it goes. If say 45% think they need diet meetings, then it does not make the basket. As the majority have a decent life then a lot of items will make the basket of perceived stuff for a decent life. The correct way is to allocate 60% of the cost of the coat to the basket, 45% of the cost of a Slimming World meeting etc.

  59. On the bank account front I’ve usually had the wife on my account since we got married. Usually its me spending money – there have been times when I have earnt more than her, times she has earnt more than me.
    It doesn’t matter, money gets spent one way or another.

  60. “search engine referenced”

    Perhaps type “site:timworstall.com” into google and then look at “all” results, and you might understand. If that’s not clear, then type “site:timworstall.com what” or pretty much any other word. There are just two threads or so currently indexed, and just the header not the content (and which is two more than there were a few months ago when I last tried to find something on here)

    “but it doesn’t really reflect well. Some post you did. RoP i have many muslim friends and theyre not pushing it to me or my life.”

    What? Some “single” post a random stranger has posted (and if it’s Ecks, it’s got to have been pretty innocuous), of all the stuff on all of the internet, has provoked you into setting up a specific e-mail account simply to come on to this site…… Yikes.

    “because your type of language sets it all back”

    Despite the absurdity, part of me still wants to say “Bravo” for a bit of decent trolling…

  61. PF-“Perhaps type “site:timworstall.com” into google and then look at “all” results, and you might understand. If that’s not clear, then type “site:timworstall.com what” or pretty much any other word. There are just two threads or so currently indexed, and just the header not the content (and which is two more than there were a few months ago when I last tried to find something on here)”

    Bollocks. I put “worstall” in google and this site is the first hit, but I don’t give a shit that you can’t use the internet.

    Look, I’ve been lurking for a couple months, i can’t pretend that i read every thread; feminism etc,but there are some decent libertarian threads which is why i was pointed here.
    I got bored reading some of the US so called libertarian content, its distasteful. I know very little about economic sand it’s good to have some reality opposing some MSM fodder.
    I’ve ‘singled out’ mr ecks because practically every thread i’ve looked at he/she/it basically says thesame thing. Purge. It implies totaltarionism,yet it seems there are supporters of this.
    Also UKIP are a useless shower. They couldnt win Stoke despite how imbecilic corbyn is. There is no English libertarian opposion to the two party state.
    mr ecks is hard left or right, libertarianism is apolitical, and the jury’s out on Trump

  62. Hi folks. Greetings from the U.S.A.

    Apparently these threads are dead after one day. That’s a dedicated following. I’ll post anyway.

    I thought that the article was a bit of satire but apparently I’m wrong. It just seemed to me that the story of “Melissa” was a bit over done. Worse than a country song of woe.

    ” Melissa, a 20-year-old student, has watched her family struggle to pay the bills since she was at primary school. Ten years ago her mum, Elizabeth, slipped a disc, so badly that sometimes she can’t get out of bed. And, just like that, she had to give up her job as a cafe manager.

    A few years later, Elizabeth developed a heart problem: her heart would stop for seven seconds, causing her to faint. “She’d often hit her head,” Melissa explains. For long periods, there was no wage at all coming in: Melissa’s stepdad had a heart attack during her GCSEs, and her father had a brain injury.”

    Then the family dog ran into the street and was killed and Melissa’s boyfriend left her after learning she was pregnant.

    And the photo of the journalist, Frances Ryan, is hilarious…. oh so empathic.

    Do people really take this seriously in the UK??

  63. “Do people really take this seriously in the UK??”

    Not if they have half a brain.

    If on the other hand they are a virtue signalling leftist type then yes, this sort of stuff is taken as gospel proof that our (nominally, and I mean extremely nominally) right wing Tory government is intent on murdering all the poor and turning them into meat pies or something.

    Its noticeable that all these stories contain one of two elements (sometimes both), either the people involved are entirely spendthrift and largely responsible for their predicament via their own actions, or the State is responsible for their predicament by its manifest incompetency at administering the welfare system that should be providing the assistance the person is entitled to. From this people of a leftist tinge take that more State control of everything is required.

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