Dawn Foster still doesn’t get it

Poverty is a trap: it should be eradicated. It’s no real answer just lifting a few children from families stuck on low wages into a different social milieu.

We have eradicated poverty. It simply does not exist in Britain. Barbara Castle pointed this out back in 1959.

We have inequality, sure we do. A great deal less than many suppose – consumption is the only form that matters, not income or wealth – but sure, we’ve got it.

But inequality and poverty are not the same thing.

15 thoughts on “Dawn Foster still doesn’t get it”

  1. Tim,

    What about this graph. It claims to show 40% of UK households being in absolute poverty in 1995? Which is complete bollocks, surely?

    As is the 20% figure for 2015/16?

    Something is wrong here and I’ve not got the figures to detect and correct for it.

  2. It’s the definition of “absolute poverty.”

    The real one is the World Bank one, less than $1.90 a day, in consumption, adjusted for local purchasing power.

    The British one is less than 50% of median household income in 1999 (that year changes sometimes) updated for inflation. Entirely different.

  3. Right. So even when we manage to force the bastards to talk about absolute rather than relative poverty, they are still not talking about actual absolute poverty, just some random fixing of a “relative poverty” metric.

    What do we actually expect from politicians and lobbyists? It’s all lies.

  4. “consumption is the only form that matters, not income or wealth”: matters to whom? The whole point is that there are people – sad, intellectually deformed people – to whom inequality of income matters enormously. Why doesn’t a Guardian journalist earn as much as a City trader? It’s so not fair.

  5. @ decnine
    Because the work done by a Guardian journalist is of less value than that done by a care home assistant.

  6. As long as gifts remain legal, any individual can lift one or a few other individuals out of “poverty” (and I agree that what you are really lifting them out of is “relative want”). (Agree with Dennis the Peasant that you can take the man out of the ghetto but you can sometimes not take the ghetto, or other “milieu,” out of the man.) There is no way to lift EVERYONE up by rulebook or by the tax code. All you do is convince the low achievers not to start hustling, and the high achievers not to keep hustling.

    The work done by a Guardian journalist is of exactly the same value as the work we do here: Spouting off.

  7. Unable to send ALL children off to specialty weekend classes means the poverty exists with . . . the British government.

  8. So, as per current UK definition, it is possible to reduce “absolute poverty” by making everyone poorer, provided the loss falls most heavily on those higher up the scale. That proviso is admittedly tricky to fulfil, and I’m not sure whether Venezuela has managed it.

  9. @ Dennis
    Since the left-wing gained control of language. My wife keeps correcting me becauseI fail to keep up with PC changes in definitions. Sixty years ago, the polite term was “negro” (or, in Africa, Bantu); then it became “Coloured” in the USA, “Black” in Africa (I think “Cape Coloured” pointed out than they were different to pure Xhosa or Zulu the lefties completely ignored the “Bushmen” who were the true aborigines in South Africa); then “Brown”; then “Black” in the USA; now “people of colour” (aren’t pink and yellow colours) or “Black” depending on which I didn’t say; it’s all a plot to put us “in the wrong”. Incidentally Tamils, who are darker brown, so nearer to black, than any Africans don’t count as “Black”!

  10. ‘Helping gifted children is all very well – but what about the rest?’

    They’re fvcked. See, they don’t have the capabilities of the gifted. Giving them specialized training would be wasted.

    Nor do many of them even want your stupid training. People taking the training must, to some extent, want the training. Assuming everyone wants it is stupid. And assuming kids want to grow up like you creepy.

    ‘Poverty is a rectangle.’

    My metaphor is as good as hers.

    ‘It’s no real answer just lifting a few children from families stuck on low wages into a different social milieu.’

    Who said it was?

  11. How ’bout the ungifted get special training in brain surgery.

    All children must go to university.

    I’m skeptical of her being ‘gifted.’ I suspect she repeated the CM mantra well, or her father was a party official.

  12. With respect to John77’s comment …

    In the late 90’s I tried to argue that our Middle Eastern students/immigrants qualified as minorities in New Orleans.

    It was a no-go because they were not “recognized” as a minority.

    Even people who were from minority groups in the Middle East (we had a Circassian student) were not regarded as a minority in Louisiana.

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