No, not turkey kebab, turkey taro nor millet and turkey, despite our new national vibrancy:
One Christmas my mother gave me Helen Forrester’s memoir Twopence to Cross the Mersey. What timing! I was warm, overfed on mince peas…..
Hmm, maybe the subs have been at one of those booze advent calendars?
Looking at the actual complaint though:
Forrester was born in 1919 to socialites who built a glittering life on the tick. Then her father went bankrupt in the Great Depression, leaving his family of seven children with only the clothes they stood up in. They decamped to Liverpool, across the Mersey from Forrester’s grandmother, but could never summon up twopence for the ferry. The book is a calm, sad account of a childhood of bitter cold and near-starvation. Her mother numbed her misery with aspirin; her father sought out parish handouts. They lived in a single room. Forrester left school to care for the children, waking at dawn to creep along the street skimming half an inch from the milk bottles on the doorsteps, so that her baby brother would survive.
I never forgot it. It comes to mind when I see the remains of Grenfell Tower, or read about food banks, or people dying with empty cupboards and half-completed government paperwork on the table. It made me realise that poverty isn’t a natural law, nor is it symptomatic of lack of moral fibre. It is a monstrous and an avoidable evil and, so long as society harbours vast inequality, it will always be lying in wait.
There’s something that the dim bint is missing. Missing very badly.
Leave aside the level of whatever welfare state there was at the time (it wasn’t that bad actually, not by the standards of the time etc). Think instead of average incomes. £165 a year for the nation as a whole. Upgrade that to current day incomes and its some £44,000. Upgrade it by goods and services inflation instead, to give us actual living standards and it’s more like £19,000. That’s the average income for the nation.
Two adults and 7 children on £19,000 a year? Yup, that’s poverty by modern standards, isn’t it? It’s also not an evil, it’s not something to do with inequality even. It’s just that the past was poor, poorer than any of us ever realise. The point being that it’s this very capitalism and free markets which have risen us up out of that shit.
No, really. Note that by using the average we’re not addressing distribution of incomes at all. That structural inequality and all that shit are being entirely ignored. The difference between 19 and 44 has been provided by economic growth, nowt else.