Poverty and inequality

No one who was there will forget, because what came next was so unexpected – not least by Blair\’s own cabinet. "Our historic aim will be for ours to be the first generation to end child poverty. It will take a generation. It is a 20-year mission, but I believe it can be done."

Hmm, and what is meant by this child poverty? Are we talçking of the destitute starving under rags by the motorway?

The experts wondered if he knew what he was doing. He was talking about narrowing inequality, though of course he never used the word.

Ah, no, we\’re not. We\’re talking about the idea that some have more than others. So why are we calling it child poverty?

Simply as propaganda of course. It\’s a great deal easier to convince people that they should be taxed billions upon billions for a pet scheme to reduce inequality if you make people think that it is indeed about starving poppets in rags. Which is why those promoting such pet schemes abuse the language so.

5 thoughts on “Poverty and inequality”

  1. I see that Ms Toynbee is being comprehensively ripped a new arsehole by the vast majority of the commenters.

    It doesn’t seem to have occurred to anyone in power that setting a target based upon a percentage greater than half the median guarantees that the target can never be achieved. I assume that it’s decided by those happy souls who can never understand why half a population of anything is always “below average”.

  2. In another example of a similar type of propaganda- 1.5 million US kids found “homeless” as per a recent study. Following was the expected great alarm in the US, lots of blame on capitalism, Bush, etc. Then-


    Definition of homeless is not the standard one but increased to include “children who are “doubled up,” or children who share housing with other persons due to economic hardship or similar reason.” To be fair, the study used the Dept of Education definition of homelessness rather than the more common HUD definition. It is still a bogus use in the mass media.

    The result- 1.2 million kids called homeless despite the fact they had a roof over their heads. While 300k homeless kids is not a good thing, the deliberate propaganda for the US fast food media is disturbing as well.

  3. Spot on.

    Unfortunately, the Civil Service (and, in particular, the Treasury) is full of people that believe in this nonsense. When (if?) the Tories get into power, they will need to somehow shift the culture in Government that believes in Big Government and endless public spending.

    The Reform report this week on civil service reform might be a good start…

    Otherwise, it all reminds me rather too much of ‘Atlas Shrugged’… 🙁

  4. But which left-wing propagandist was it that said, only a few months ago, “I don’t think there’s anything wrong with the point repeatedly made that poverty is really about being excluded from what society defines as a reasonable standard of living. As Adam Smith pointed out, a linen shirt may not be necessary for the continuation of life but if society defines one who cannot afford a linen shirt as poor then someone who cannot afford a linen shirt is indeed poor”? This crypto-communist should realise that it is really about the destitute starving under rags by the motorway!

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