1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded education professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice

is the government, and the country, comfortable with the society that we've become?

Discussion in 'Personal' started by monicabilongame, May 22, 2019.

  1. monicabilongame

    monicabilongame Star commenter


    Poverty in the UK is 'systematic' and 'tragic', says UN special rapporteur

    The UK's social safety net has been "deliberately removed and replaced with a harsh and uncaring ethos", a report commissioned by the UN has said.

    Special rapporteur on extreme poverty Philip Alston said "ideological" cuts to public services since 2010 have led to "tragic consequences".

    The report comes after Prof Alston visited UK towns and cities and made preliminary findings last November.

    Prof Alston is an independent expert in human rights law and was appointed to the unpaid role by the UN Human Rights Council in June 2014. He spent nearly two weeks travelling in Britain and Northern Ireland and received more than 300 written submissions for his report.

    He concluded: "The bottom line is that much of the glue that has held British society together since the Second World War has been deliberately removed and replaced with a harsh and uncaring ethos."

    The Australian professor, who is based at New York University, said government policies had led to the "systematic immiseration [economic impoverishment]" of a significant part of the UK population, meaning they had continually put people further into poverty.

    Some observers might conclude that the DWP had been tasked with "designing a digital and sanitised version of the 19th Century workhouse, made infamous by Charles Dickens", he said.

    The report cites independent experts saying that 14 million people in the UK - a fifth of the population - live in poverty, according to a new measure that takes into account costs such as housing and childcare.

    In 2017, 1.5 million people experienced destitution, meaning they had less than £10 a day after housing costs, or they had to go without at least two essentials such as shelter, food, heat, light, clothing or toiletries during a one-month period.

    Despite official denials, Prof Alston said he had heard accounts of people choosing between heating their homes or eating, children turning up to school with empty stomachs, increased homelessness and food bank use, and "story after story" of people who had considered or attempted suicide.

    Image copyright Bassam Khawaja
    Image caption People in Clacton shared their concerns at a meeting with the UN special rapporteur
    He said the cause was the government's "ideological" decision to dismantle the social safety net and focus on work as the solution to poverty.

    "UK standards of well-being have descended precipitately in a remarkably short period of time, as a result of deliberate policy choices made when many other options were available," said Prof Alston.
  2. sparkleghirl

    sparkleghirl Star commenter

    Honestly? I doubt many of them care. Those that might care will be in denial - heads in the sand stuff.
    jellycowfish, ilovesooty and Jamvic like this.
  3. Mangleworzle

    Mangleworzle Star commenter

    The well off generally seem to think that all people simply reap their own rewards, therefore they themselves are quite rightly getting the benefits of the terribly long hours, hard work and clever decisions they make while the poor are too lazy to work harder, educate themselves better or just too thick to do well in life.

    Politics is now about how much power they have to get away with this ideology. We seem to be getting towards an American system where large parts of the population see themselves as temporarily embarrassed millionaires and so are happy to help the already wealthy in preparation for when they join them.
  4. Duke of York

    Duke of York Star commenter

    This story is being broadcast tonight on Panorama. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-48367071

    "The abuse and mistreatment of vulnerable adults at a specialist hospital has been uncovered by the BBC's Panorama programme.

    Undercover BBC filming shows staff intimidating, mocking and restraining patients with learning disabilities and autism at Whorlton Hall, County Durham.

    Experts said the culture was deviant at the privately-run NHS-funded unit with evidence of "psychological torture"."

    It makes an absolute mockery of what the NHS was set up to do and will have been inconceivable during my NHS days. It's a snapshot of what happens when politicians force care to be done on the cheap to enable tax cuts for the wealthy.

    Any Mickey Mouse company can tender to run a hospital and employ those forced off benefits by aggressive DWP policies. Tick box training is all the company needs to offer to tick the box that claims all their staff have been trained.

    The tendering process is a tick box one too. The main factors that influence which contractor gets the contract is they have claim to have policies that abide with legislation on discrimination, will TUPE existing staff, have insurance cover and are as cheap as chips. Tick all those boxes and you're likely to win the contract.

    Roll that out into everything the government has a responsibility to provide and you end up with the situation described by Philip Alston. The DFS "Why pay more?" culture has invaded evey aspect of society. I doubt that many politicians buy their furniture on credit from DFS and have it delivered in time for Christmas, every year of their life, but it's good enough for the plebs, ain't it?
  5. emerald52

    emerald52 Star commenter

    Unbearable. I lose sleep worrying about hungry children.
  6. Teslasmate

    Teslasmate Occasional commenter

    Of course they don't care. They are entirely in it for themselves. To the Tory micro mind, poor people starving is a good thing, because it means fewer poor people getting in the way.
    sparkleghirl likes this.
  7. needabreak

    needabreak Star commenter

    In terms of the country we should remember that many people are busy attempting to keep a roof over their head and food on the table so are less likely to be in the position to be remunstrating over the state of the country, while it's the state of their own financial affairs that take priority. Keeping a job these days is something of a challenge, mostly due to factors outside the individuals control.
  8. racroesus

    racroesus Star commenter

    Apparently this is true and they fail to recognise the lucky events in their lives that gave them such a big boost.
    ilovesooty likes this.
  9. racroesus

    racroesus Star commenter

    But it is poor people mistreating poorer people.
    bevdex and sparkleghirl like this.
  10. Duke of York

    Duke of York Star commenter

    I'd paraphrase that to say it's the result of people with poor intellects being given the keys to the asylum that government is who are mistreating poorer people.
  11. Jamvic

    Jamvic Star commenter

    The weakest in society have always been treated badly by certain types of people who find themselves in positions of power. It’s an ugly aspect of human nature but has always existed.
  12. racroesus

    racroesus Star commenter

    The actions are personal.
  13. Duke of York

    Duke of York Star commenter

    The actions of a thug might be, but for Chist's sake, how do thugs likely to mistreat people suffering from mental health issues get employed? Where are the checks and balances in place, that successive governments promised would ensure "This must never happen again"?

    They are just meaningless, mealy-mouthed words coming from here today, gone tomorrow politicians. Five minutes after the politician spoke the script they were given to assure us the the govenment gave an evacuation of the bowel about the matter, they are promoted to another job, so the pretence that everything is under control goes on.
    cissy3 likes this.
  14. sparkleghirl

    sparkleghirl Star commenter

    Yes. It seems increasingly like people don't care about being **** on so long as they can sh1t on those below them. So long as someone else is worse off, they're happy.

    So we'll all be worse off under brexit? Ha! So what? Immigrants will be worser off!
    vannie, racroesus and ilovesooty like this.
  15. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    That does not make it an inevitability.
    That does not explain it.
    In fact, seen that way, you could say you are trying to make it acceptable (although I know you're not)
    The point here is the change- there are now far more of the weakest.
    To be in a weak position in our stratified society has suddenly become normalised, and by weak,I mean struggling with the basics as in the OP. By weak, I also mean devoid of any real prospects to scramble out of the tub. It's disgusting. How disabling can you make a society for the every day person?
    How ruinous, sanctimonious and self -diverting of our government to preach equality, respect for mental health, reinforcing resilience, when NOTHING would make as substantial a difference to us as an end to poverty and a public sector designed to serve actual human need.
  16. LondonCanary

    LondonCanary Star commenter

    If anyone knew how to do that, it would happen.
    needabreak likes this.
  17. needabreak

    needabreak Star commenter

    Those actions are brutal and sick, I couldn't watch the end of that programme.

    I will say it is not right to compare people with such severe (learning) difficulties/disabilities /MH issues with poor or disenfranchised people, they are different issues entirely. To claim a similarity is to do both a disservice, one group relies on others for care the other does not in the same way and has a voice should they choose to use it.
  18. Oscillatingass

    Oscillatingass Star commenter

    I wonder if it is actually possible to "end poverty"?There has always been poverty despite the best efforts of governments of all colours to end it.
    border_walker and nomad like this.
  19. Aquamarina1234

    Aquamarina1234 Star commenter

    Hah! Where's the profit in that?
    Are there no prisons? Are there no workhouses? What about decreasing the surplus population?
  20. needabreak

    needabreak Star commenter

    An interesting point, it's without doubt a noble idea but you are right all methods to eradicate poverty (for or on behalf of people) thus far have been theoretical, impractical nay unimplimentable, ineffective where they have been tried or worse still instrumental in unearthing a whole set of new problems associated with unintended consequences... though in theory they are/have been wonderful ideas.

    Of course some would say that comparatively speaking UK poverty is unlike that in other countries or at other periods of time, while the measure seems to range from homelessness and hunger to relatively well off poor people who can manage an annual holiday, albeit in places the places the better off would not want to go or indeed in a caravan static or otherwise depending on who you ask.

    I much prefer the idea of ensuring the means for people to raise themselves out of poverty and removing barriers, thus leaving a sense of pride and achievement, the poor as we refer to them collectively don't need a paternalistic middle classed government to take care of them and that notion itself of being looked after is as disempowering as taking away their opportunity for self help.

    Last edited: May 22, 2019
    T34 and Oscillatingass like this.

Share This Page