poverty calculation
Poverty and Exclusion

The best way to eradicate child poverty is to measure it justly

 

Back in 2007, David Cameron had a laudable but quite unattainable vision to ‘make British poverty history’. He failed, of course, just as Gordon Brown failed before him, because the way poverty is measured (a calculation created by Gordon Brown) ensures the literal and perpetual fulfilment of Jesus’ words that the poor will always be with us (Mt 26:11; Mk 14:7; Jn 12:8). A child is deemed to be in a state of poverty if he or she lives in a household with an income below 60 per cent of the national median income (£25,636 as at April 2015). So, if your household income is below £295.80 a week, your children are officially poor.

This is plain daft. As long as government continues to measure child poverty in relative terms, Oliver Twist will always be with us. A ‘low-income’ household is actually quite well off on £2136.33 a month. Of course it doesn’t go quite as far in London as it might in, say, Hull, but you can comfortably feed and clothe a family (and pay the heating bill) on £2k a month. You might even have some left over for a packet of fags.

It is statistically impossible to lift households out of poverty without changing the way it is measured. In any normal distribution, the bell-curve will have a ‘poor’ tail, however much the median household income rises. Indeed, during times of economic growth, more will be condemned to live beneath 60% of the median than do so during times of recession. When the median household income reaches £35,000, there will still be children being brought up in households where the income is a meagre £21,000, and this, for the Guardian and teacher unions will be deemed to constitute ‘Dickensian levels’ of poverty.

The proportion of UK households defined as living in poverty has been stuck at around 20% through many decades of both Conservative and Labour administrations. David Cameron is right seek a change in the way ‘poverty’ is defined, not least because it would be more just to those who genuinely cannot afford to eat.

No party has a monopoly on the teachings of Jesus, but when examining what He said about the poor, it is worth considering some nuances of Greek vocabulary. The peasants (eg Lk 6:20) who possessed little material wealth were not called ‘poor’ (πτωχός – ‘ptochos’) if they possessed what was sufficient (ie subsistence) – they were termed ‘penes’ (πένης). Jesus was concerned with the literal, physical needs of men (ie not just the spiritual [cf Acts 10:38]). When Luke was addressing the ‘poor’, he meant those who had no money – the oppressed, miserable, dependent, humiliated – and this is translated by ‘ptochos’, indicating ‘poverty-stricken…to cower down or hide oneself for fear’ – the need to beg. The ‘penes’ has to work, but the ‘ptochos’ has to beg. Those addressed by Jesus are the destitute beggars; not ‘penes’ or the general peasant audience of few possessions. This is (or ought to be) an important distinction for politicians and for the modern audience in a society where the threshold of poverty is defined by the non-possession of a television, a DVD player, and Nike trainers.

Child poverty will only be eradicated when the Conservative Party eradicates the rigged definition of the term, which, it appears, is what David Cameron intends to do. It is the fulfilment of his Manifesto pledge “to eliminate child poverty and introduce better measures to drive real change in children’s lives, by recognising the root causes of poverty: entrenched worklessness, family breakdown, problem debt, and drug and alcohol dependency”.

And before Guardian readers (and teacher unions) screech about the evil Tories of perpetual austerity and injustice, it is worth considering why Labour MP Frank Field believes that the current measure of child poverty is not only ‘dodgy’, but ‘perverse’.

  • The Explorer

    In the company of billionaires, a millionaire is poor.

    With norm-referenced examinations, the bottom 10% (or whatever the pre-determined figure is) will fail. This has nothing to do with what marks they have or have nor achieved, but only with their performance relative to other candidates.

    In some parts of the world, our poor would be deemed rich.

    In the ‘Odyssey’, for a king to have a bath, slaves have to light a fire and heat water, and other slaves have to fill the bath with jugs. A modest modern bathroom with taps, automatic hot water, and no human intervention beyond one’s own: a dream beyond the aspiration of the wealthiest

  • Athanasius

    Relative poverty can be a notoriously difficult concept to deal with, mainly because while it is true that one can live a materially sufficient life on an income vastly lower than the so-called “wealth creators”, far too often those arguing against it are self-serving and looking for justification for their own greed. Just as – to the wealthy – ALL tax is penal, no matter how low, relative poverty is ALWAYS a false argument, no matter how justified. The classic example was apartheid South Africa, which (correctly) argued that blacks in SA had a higher income than those in countries like Nigeria, apartheid or not. That hardly justified apartheid, yet that argument was regularly trotted out by SA’s fellow travellers abroad, including many in the Tory Party.

    ALWAYS look to motive when dealing with people who are dismissive of relative poverty, because unfortunately, all too often their motives are open to question, and it follows that the actions they perform on foot of those motives can end up being catastrophic for the poorest and weakest of society. You know, the ones who, if you do it to them, you do it to Me.

    • carl jacobs

      Yes, the lot of black people in Zimbabwe has certainly improved since independence, hasn’t it.

      If Bob has food and clothing and shelter sufficient for his needs, then Bob is in no rational objective sense described as “poor.” You are deliberately conflating poverty with social leveling by appending the word “relative.” You are aren’t describing poverty but an ability to participate in the marketplace.

  • Enter “social exclusion” as the concept justifying eliminating “relative poverty”. If one cannot afford a 40 inch satellite TV (Smart one, preferably), a mobile phone, a laptop, fridges, freezers, and goodness knows what else, then one is “socially excluded”.

  • Bob O’Hara

    “It is statistically impossible to lift households out of poverty without changing the way it is measured”
    Sorry, that’s just wrong. Statistically it’s very easy to do this: force the poorest 51% of households to have the same income.

    • carl jacobs

      Right. Because the effort itself won’t have a myriad of debilitating effects on demand and price and the incentive to work. I assume you will plant a money tree to pay for this.

      Economics is a notoriously dynamic universe.

      • Bob O’Hara

        There ‘s a reason why I wrote that it would be easy statistically. It was to avoid the non sequitur of a response that it would be difficult economically or politically.

        • carl jacobs

          Your suggestion depends upon the maintenance of static prices. You would lift people out of poverty by simply giving people enough money to live above the poverty line on the assumption that the line will remain static. It won’t. Your effort will move the line. You can devise a thought experiment in which this is “easy.” But that is not really responsive to the point in the post.

          • Bob O’Hara

            Oh gods, you’re just not getting it. lets put is simply: the OP said “X is impossible”. I gave a counter-example. Therefore X is possible. That is all I was trying to say.

            I think pointing out that it is possible to change income distributions is responsive to a post which assumes that this is impossible, and therefore we have to fudge our statistics, is responsive.

            I’m not an economist, so I can’t give informed suggestions about what can or should be done: it may be that changing the statistic is the best way to proceed. But I am a statistician, so I feel qualified to talk about statistics and distributions, and to correct faulty arguments.

          • carl jacobs

            On the contrary. I get what you are doing all too well.

            I am a statistician,

            So then you will understand what I mean when I say “The whole world could be modeled with a Kalman filter if only every error source was Gaussian.”. Except they aren’t. Model the problem correctly, Statistician. Define the relationship between poverty and entitlement. Then you will be able to make valid claims about lifting people out of poverty through income redistribution.

          • avi barzel

            Gulp.

          • carl jacobs

            “Gulp”?

    • William Lewis

      If you read on from that sentence you’ll see that the income distribution is assumed to be normal (or near normal) for which the removal of this definition of poverty would indeed be statistically impossible. Most statistics assume one distribution or another and a normal distribution, or similar, is not unreasonable for a large population such as this. Of course the whole left/right relative/absolute poverty debate is really about whether it’s better to shrink the tails or increase the mean/median.

      • Bob O’Hara

        But income distributions aren’t Gaussian: anyone assuming that is an idiot. They are very right skewed, and this is true regardless of sample size (that’s one reason why using median income rather than mean is sensible).

        • William Lewis

          Nevertheless there is still an assumption that there will always be some kind of asymmetric distribution on both sides of the median and a positively skewed normal distribution is eminently more reasonable to me than your example of collapsing over half the population to a single value.

          • Bob O’Hara

            True, but I was just trying to make the point that it was possible to make the impossible possible. It seems easier to do this using a simple counterexample than by getting into skew-normal distributions (or Gammas or whatever).

          • avi barzel

            Good show boys! Nothing like a couple of statisticians duking it out at at the Thirsty Cranmer’s Tavern. I’ll have to hone up on my Gammas, skew-normal and Gaussian disytibutions on my vacation next week!

  • cypruspete

    Youth poverty: Benefits won’t cover iPhone contract, pub meals, train journeys to anti-austerity marches and still leave enough for 5g of coke for the weekend

  • Martin

    Most of what the politicians say of poverty is nonsense. Those who are really poor in this country are probably so because they are outside the scope of social services, not many people care about the guys sleeping in doorways.

    Those who are on social security benefits are not really poor, if their children go without it is probably because they choose to spend what they get on other things.

  • carl jacobs

    So long as there is a group of gov’t bureaucrats whose continued funding (and therefore employment) depends upon the existence of poverty, there will always be relative poverty.

  • Gerhard

    For the left is has and always will be about ‘equality’ and taxation is the vehicle for achieving it.

    You see, if there are problems like family breakdown, dodgy ways of defining child poverty and climate change then we have a problem we can throw other people’s money at through taxation.

    The left’s interest lies in protecting the status quo of the problem, not resolving it and that’s why they will fight you at every opportunity even if your policy means the bettering of people’s lives…

  • CliveM

    Ok so how will poverty be defined or measured? Especially how will a Conservative Government do this without it appearing in the first place, politically self serving and in the second place without looking like the “Tory Toffs’ are ‘s#*++€!g’ on the poor and helping their ‘fat cat’ friends?

    I suspect the answer will be a definition so devoid of meaning that it can’t even serve as a meaningfull aspiration.

    • There’s a psychologist called Maslow who put together a hierarchy of need many years ago. It is a five stage model, divided into basic needs e.g. physiological, safety, love, and esteem, and growth needs i.e. self-actualization.

      A deficiency in basic needs, in theory, motivates people when they are unmet. The need to fulfil such needs was assumed to become stronger the longer the duration they were not met denied. The basic needs for food, shelter and clothing would spur someone on and serve as a platform for love and self esteem.

      Here’s the model:
      1. Biological and Physiological needs – air, food, drink, shelter, warmth, sex, sleep.
      2. Safety needs – protection from elements, security, order, law, stability, freedom from fear.
      3. Love and belongingness needs – friendship, intimacy, affection and love, – from work group, family, friends, romantic relationships.
      4. Esteem needs – achievement, mastery, independence, status, dominance,
      prestige, self-respect, respect from others.
      5. Self-Actualization needs – realizing personal potential, self-fulfillment, seeking personal growth and peak experiences.

      Now, think about it. If there is no motivation to strive for basic needs, and ‘love’ nowadays means a quick sexual encounter or a series of short-term relationships, where is the growth in self esteem and the incentive to mature into an adult who “self actualises” (whatever this is)?

      Of course, to a Christian, the model is flawed because we know life’s meaning rests in a relationship with Christ. However, there is some merit in considering the motivational factors to improve oneself and how the welfare state can corrupt this.

      • avi barzel

        Maslow’s famous “theory” is actually a speculation, not even a hypothesis, as it can’t be tested empirically, once you go up on his hierarchical pyramid, past the physiological and safety needs strata. That’s because his values are not universal, but very specific to his own culture. If you are arguing that the welfare state contributes to and perpetuates the presumed Culture of Poverty, you may have a point, although rather than Maslow’s model, you would do better to study the relationship between social assistance and economic mobility and to seek correlation with cultural and psychological values from a real world examples. And even then, removing cultural bias from the formulations would a bitch.

        • CliveM

          Good points.

        • Jack agrees, Avi. However, Maslow did have a point about basic needs and motivation to meet these. Mind, you don’t have to be a genius to come up with this idea. Still, he was a humanist and rejected man’s spiritual dimension.

          If you don’t mind,Jack will pass on this suggestion: ” … study the relationship between social assistance and economic mobility and to seek correlation with cultural and psychological values from a real world examples.”

          • avi barzel

            Yes, his first two conditions are no-brainers and the other stuff is a reflection of his and his peers’ values. And you excused from conducting a study on account of the fact that you have a grand daughter whose whims you are rewuired to cater to. I lose yrack of time; she must ne nearly two by now ?

          • A follower of Freud and Adler, seeking to explain human evil in humanist ways and rule out knowing and loving God and our neighbour as the source of our fulfilment.

            Eh? Lucy was born on10th October 2014… making her 8 months. Jack has the privilege of looking after her one day a week now her mother has gone back to work.

            Avi, let Jack tell you, he loves the child but she is hard work and he is even obliged to change nappies, feed her and ‘entertain’ her all day by making ridiculous noises and behaving in odd ways. Thankfully, the child has a sense of humour and we get along fine. She has a wonderful chuckle – but when she cries and screams – she cries and screams.

      • CliveM

        Hi Happy Jack

        Yes I’ve done Maslows hierarchy of needs. And I agree with your identified flaw (an obvious example would be a religious taking a vow of poverty).

        I agree that the welfare state disrupts this model and in a lot of cases acts as a major disincentive. Broadly speaking the Lefts unwillingness to address this is one of their greatest weaknesses.

        However my point was more to do with how difficult it is for the right, specifically the Conservative party, to address this without looking self serving and playing to the ‘heartless’ stereotype.

        See Athaneus.

        It is also very difficult to come up with a definition which will be broadly accepted as fair. However considering their success regards benefits not exceeding the average wage, it should be possible.

      • Busy Mum

        You might be interested to know that whereas I didn’t come across Maslow until I was a working adult, his hierarchy of needs is now taught to 12 year olds in school. I think the message they are trying to get across is that teenagers ‘need’ sex in much the same way as they ‘need’ food and water.

    • James Bolivar DiGriz

      Maybe a place to start would be by showing how much true poverty rose under the last Labour government. Because the criterion is the stupid 60% of median income one, a significantly disproportionate amount effort & attention was paid to people who were near that threshold to try and get them across it.

      The obvious corollary was that the further someone was from that line, i.e. the poorer they actually were, the less help that they got.

      A second step might be to start using a weighted measure. So divide the population into, say, income deciles and set the ‘poverty index’ as the number (%age?) of people in a decile multiplied by how far it is from the line.

      Keeping the 60% line, the ‘distance’ for the bottom four deciles is 35, 25, 15, & 5. So if the %age in each of those four deciles is 3, 4, 6 & 7 respectively, the ‘poverty index’ is 35×3 + 25×4 + 15×6 + 5×7 = 330.

      Only a fool thinks that you can eliminate poverty, so the target then becomes one of reducing this ‘poverty index’.

      I am not saying that this is ideal but it can truthfully be presented as putting more emphasis on people the poorer they are.

  • Phil R

    What is clear that some segments of the population costs more to the state than others

    In the past the state provided opportunities to leave that section of society and lift themselves from poverty by joining the Navy, Army or by working in one of Britain’s overseas territories.

    The state is currently spending around £200K per child to educate and pay medical expenses etc over 20 years. In order to break even therefore the individual would need to pay back £5 in taxes (Income of approx £25k) for most of their working life in order for the state to break even. That assumes that everyone is potentially productive but many are not, either by employment or disability or perhaps the most damaging to the economy, single parent families.

    Married families are far less likely to be in the category “poor” than single parents. If you want a quick fix to poverty, stop the huge incentives to divorce or not marry and provide laws and support that strengthens marriage not weakens it.

    Make no mistake the poor are under the current arrangements a burden on society and current funding is unsustainable.

    Alternatives to supporting families have been tried before in other Godless societies. They were not nice.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Action_T4

    Have the Atheists taken us on the first step of the alternative road to supporting marriage?

    Absolutely they have and we told it is such a humane solution to end suffering.

  • Phil R

    Lets take the definition of being rich.

    I know God, have a beautiful wife that loves me and fantastic children.

    I am a rich man.

    Place that one on the curve on your line graph

  • Anton

    It is said that one Trade Union leader in the 1970s commented that he would not rest until everybody was getting paid more than the average wage…

    • Phil R

      They have got no idea.

      There was an education secretary some years ago that boasted that he was putting in place polices to ensure that every child reached the average attainment at the end of primary school. Furthermore it was unacceptable that currently half of all children were below the average.

  • Jesus dealt with absolute and not relative poverty.

    “For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.”

    • Inspector General

      I say Jack. the Inspector was going to give you a tick for that, but can’t. Remembering back on the forgiveness thread, one had thought you’d been fully forgiven. Apparently, you haven’t!!

      {SNIGGER}

      • Jack forgives you, Inspector, because he knows in your heart of hearts you are sorry for your errors. Pride is such a heavy load, isn’t it?

  • Inspector General

    Well done for bringing this up Cranmer!

    For those who don’t understand how socialist governments work, it’s quite simple. Keep the population dependant on hand outs from the state, paid by robbing people who work and who will never be voting for one size fits all socialism. Then, you tell the gratefully obliged they’ll starve if ‘the other side’ gets in. Damn cynical of course, but there you have it. A dependant population with its hand permanently outstretched.

    The question is, why is a Conservative government still using this cunning formula from which a sizeable chunk of the population will never break free. Now that they have shaken themselves loose from those Lib Dem loons, time to do a bit of long overdue housekeeping, what!

    • CliveM

      It’s da law!

      Well we shall see now how long it takes to change. If ever.

  • David

    Socialism retains and grows power by growing dependency.
    To generate new clients, they need hate figures and victim figures, hence its use of distortions like these false statistics.
    Three cheers for that honest veteran MP Frank Field, one of the rare honest MPs.

    • dannybhoy

      Absolutely.
      It’s bread and circuses all over again..
      And yes, Frank Field a man of integrity.

      • avi barzel

        The conservative answer to this, then, should be studies and charts showing the proliferation of those involved in poverty alleviation and rise in their income. Much easier to formulate, as numbers of public service employees, their earnings, benefits and entitlements are (still) in the public domain.

        • dannybhoy

          Yeah, but that wouldn’t win votes would it? For our faux socialists the public sector is the golden goose. By expanding it you can create more useless non productive jobs. You can create needs (jobs) study needs(more jobs for people wot can write) you can prove the services are inadequately staffed (even more jobs) and so on and so on.
          Oh! and you can also stir up the public sector workers to strike if those nasty Tories try to impose public sector cutbacks. So it’s a win-win situation for Labour and most of these public sector workers will vote Labour.
          Of course the taxpayer is funding all this, but politicians have convinced generations of workers that it’s actually the government’s money..

          • CliveM

            Good points.

            However I would slightly amend one part of it “funded of course by that poor, persecuted minority, the tax payer”.

          • avi barzel

            But that’s the point, a graphic display of the growth of the public sector and how it drains those outside of it and impoverishes the poor would be a stronger argumwnt than the slogans and the pap all parties generate.

  • avi barzel

    Your Grace, a minor pedantic correction: In paragraph 3, “poor tale” should probably mean “poor-tail”.

    • Inspector General

      Greetings Avi! Do you know, one finds he can give you a tick for that. Though he didn’t expect to…. : – >

      • Inspector General

        Addendum. One finds the bird’s tick has held. Panic over chaps. As you were…

      • avi barzel

        Always a joy to be ticked by the office of the inspectorate, IG!

    • dannybhoy

      Unless what he really meant is that using this paradigm there will always be a poor tale.
      In other words the story of poorness will go on and on..
      Or maybe what he was getting at is, “the pedants will always be with us..”

      • avi barzel

        Nice try to ruffle my feathers, dhanny, but in context he was talking about the butt-end of the income bell curve. Imagine the mess the world would be without us unappreciated pedants.

        • dannybhoy

          Nope.
          You’re wrong there Avi ben Pedant. In the context……

          “This is plain daft. As long as government continues to measure child poverty in relative terms, Oliver Twist will always be with us.

          A ‘low-income’ household is actually quite well off on £2136.33 a month. Of course it doesn’t go quite as far in London as it might in, say, Hull, but you can comfortably feed and clothe a family (and pay the heating bill) on £2k a month. You might even have some left over for a
          packet of fags. It is statistically impossible to lift households out of poverty without changing the way it is measured. In any normal distribution, thebell-curve will have a ‘poor’ tale,

          See that, my dear Canadian friend?

          • CliveM

            That horse you’re flogging has been dead for a while !

          • avi barzel

            How about a more obvious context. Like…lemmessee…ah, the actual sentence:

            In any normal distribution, the bell-curve will have a ‘poor’ tale, however much the median household income rises.

            Ya, see, a tail in the Gaussian distribution graph is the vernacular term which pertains to the peripheries of the bell shape, namely the “flatter” deviations on both ends.

          • dannybhoy

            Yes, but I think he was playing on the word ‘tail’ to create a literary connection with Oliver; who of course really knew what pedantry was all about, having nearly staved to death on his journey to London.
            The poor hungry barefooted boy. Stumbling along the road in the gathering gloom.
            Not even the bespectacled truck driver would stop and offer him a lift.
            Oliver would have sobbed as he watched the tale lights disappearing into the distance……

          • avi barzel

            Against such a powerful argument there is…no, there cannot be…a response. And the image of the heartless trucker roaring past poor Oliver verily brought tears to my eyes.

          • dannybhoy

            If only AC had not succumbed to his conscience I think I might have had you there.
            Next time Barzel, next time…

          • avi barzel

            Oh yeah? Well, we’ll just have to see about that, Mister wiseguy!

          • dannybhoy

            I am a wise guy Avi, and I know all about the use of smoke screens.. Had HG said he intended a literary connection, I’d a had you! ;0)
            How are things btw in your part of Canada? Anything exciting going on perchance?

          • avi barzel

            It crossed my mind that HG might have been doing a play on words, especially when he didn’t appear for a while. Started imagining him rolling his eyes, quipping about us slack-jawed Colonials in homespun britches not getting the subtleties of sophisticated dry British humour (think Benny Hill)…with you chortling away in the background, of course.

            Not much new here, comparatively calm; the story of Canadian life. Getting ready for a simple Shabbat and then heading up North for some tame camping with wife and youngest right through Canada Day…our old Dominion Day. If you want a proper Canada Day, you have it up North, at a campsite or in a small town, where the real people vacation and live.q Oh, our Conservatives are doing much better, with the election coming up in October…well, better relatively speaking, the Trudeau boy and his Liberals are screwing up.

          • CliveM

            What are the polls saying?

          • avi barzel

            Last I saw, Conservatives were nearly ten points ahead of the Libs, having lagged by that much for over a year now, and the Libs were even behind the much smaller New Democrats…our socialists…by a couple of points. Hoping this is the trend; PM Harper’s been great for Canada by sailing us through global downturns, tesuscitating our armed forces, ignoring the warmist alarmists and as a bonus surprise, sticking by Israel on principle, even at the cost of losing a Security Council seat and pissing off the Obamamessiah.

          • CliveM

            Sticking with your principles can work. Don’t all have to go down the New Labour route.

        • The Explorer

          Being pedantic, it’s danny not dhanny. The h is in the bhoy.

      • CliveM

        Who’s being a pedant now!

        • dannybhoy

          We’ll see which one of us gets roasted…

          • CliveM

            You I think!

          • dannybhoy

            Well,
            thank YOU for your unqualified support!

          • CliveM

            You know you can always rely on me.

          • dannybhoy

            Ummmmmm……..

    • You are, as ever, quite correct. It’s what comes of hastily writing a blog and multi-tasking sundry other pursuits in the early hours of the morning. Having said that, there may be something in “poor tale”..

      • dannybhoy

        Why couldn’t you have left your confession of literary inexactitude until tomorrow??

        • He gave you a crumb, Danny. Be generous.

          • dannybhoy

            I thought I had a real chance of bamboozling ben Pedant until he intervened..

      • avi barzel

        You are overly generous in your estimation of my abilities and their rather sporadic results, Your Grace. And no justifications are ever needed for the minor oversights you cannot avoid, given the trying conditions of your labours. It pleases me too that you settled a dispute between dhannyboy and I.

        • Inspector General

          Do you know Avi, few of us read all of our man’s epistles, and some can’t even get the authorship right…

          • avi barzel

            You may be right, Inspector. At times the comments section verily bears not even a remote relevance to HG’s posts. I ascribed this curious phenomenon to an acute crisis in reading comprehension skills in the midst of an epidemic of attention deficit disorder episodes, but your Occam’s Razor approach is far more economical and elegant.

          • However, some of us do pay attention – just like we did during catechism lessons. What?

        • You smooth talker, you. However, the praise was well deserved, Avi.

          • avi barzel

            Courtesy costs nothing, but buys everything.

            –Ali ibn Abu-Talib

  • CliveM

    It’s suddenly occurred to me. Gordon Brown deliberately picked a measure that in all practical terms it was impossible to meet. In that dishonest New Labour way, they were determined to pass a law making child poverty “illegal”. But just in case anyone took the seriously and tried to use the courts, they made the measure impossible.

    Sums up so much of Nu Labor. All fur coat and nae knickers.

  • Inspector General

    A bit about Frank Field, from what one read about him in the Sunday supplements many years ago. He’s actually fairly conservative in as much as his father was active in the Conservative party. One remembers that he choose to have his career in the Labour party as it was the party most affable to his own personal mission, people’s welfare. He’s been around for some time, and one can safely be assured it was ‘old Labour’ he meant. Not this current crowd of metropolitan dross.

    • dannybhoy

      Absolutely. I rather think that he’s also a Christian. Anglican I believe..although I wouldn’t hold that against him.

  • Busy Mum

    I have just been helping out in school. One of the ‘poorest’ children has had his Xbox temporarily confiscated by his mother’s boyfriend. He cannot wait to get it back because the next game he is getting is ‘so good’ it costs ‘about sixty quid’…and he definitely ‘needs it’ because he keeps seeing it on ‘all the ads’…..

    He is certainly ‘poor’ in many ways but then maybe I am too; I need to find more than£60 from somewhere for two pairs of school shoes. Overtime beckons for my children’s father, who also happens to be my husband. And there are no Xboxes in this house to confiscate…

  • CHBrighton

    Eradicating child poverty is very easy, as the Conservatives have come to realise. All you do is say that it doesn’t exist. If it persists after it has been eradicated, then it is clearly being done to children by their feckless parents and is no concern of the Conservative government. Job done!

    • avi barzel

      And using children to make a living with is even easier. A single mom, four kids (future dealers) from different dads (to increase the sources of occasional gifts and maybe even child support), generous social assistance and housing (maximum two kids to a room of their own by regs) and a “ghetto queen” can reach middle class standards without working a day. And a growing industry of White unionised and well-paid teachers, community centre staff, social workers, afterschool counsellors, community activists and “leaders”, therapists and whatnots incidentally stands ready to assist and to call for more and more funding as the mendicant populations and their problems with ignorance, drugs and violence grows. A standard scenario in US and Canada, with entire parts of once-great cities, and once socially sound, industrious and commercially growing real…actual…communities turned into the kind of hellholes even a squad of ISIS mujahedins would be afraid to tread in.

      You rapacious, hypocritical socialist parasites will never see or admit that your self-serving policies have impoverished whole classes of people, locked them in ghettos and their crumbling schools and useless teachers, kept them stupid with endless “social justice” bullshit and “grievances,” and all this theatre just to keep taxpayer-supported bureacracies purring and the pensions, benefits and consultation contracts flowing. So, with all due respect and in the politest of terms, go and stuff your fecking holier-than-thou pseudo-moralising up your own backside, Mister. Please.

      • dannybhoy

        Well said Avi BVarzel.
        That’s exactly what happens once you start making people “victims of society.”
        Which of course begs the question, how come that great army of social workers, counsellors, activists and advocates managed to avoid becoming victims?
        If it was because they had a better start in life, actually went to school, actually went to college or uni, and applied themselves; WHY don’t they want to do the came for these “victims”? Why not fight to find them work they can do rather than put them on methadone programmes or put their kids into the care system and then allow them to make more kids, “because it’s their human right to be a parent,” even if they’re incapable of ever being any bloody good at it?
        The whole thing is a cynical con.

        • avi barzel

          In North America the explosion of social work activism coincided with the emergence of Black successes in the workplace and commerce in the industrial North. Black communities were poor, yet lower divorce and out if wedlock rates than whites and were one of the fastest improving communities in the States. This threatened unionised labour, especially in the meat and construction industries and Rosie the Riveter who got her pink slip after the War and was hoping for an entry in the growing office administrative, education and service sectors. In a multipronged assault on the growing Black “threat,” the mob-led unions closed tge doors to Blacks and the new liberalism embraced eugenics and abortion and scurried to create jobs in the social service sector for white women, while setting up assistance programs which would disrupt the family by cutting out the father and rewarding stay-at-home single moms. This racist and fascistic program to secure a place in the economy for lower middle class Whites was masked with propaganda campaigns to make the Left look like the defender of Blacks and the poor. The charade still works; note how Blacks in the US voted for Obama for the second time, even while Democrat policies further impoverished and fevastated their communities. This phenomenon wasn’t noticed until the 80s, when some sociologists and anthropologists collated data and analysed it objectively, rather than taking the claims of the Left at face value. This pattern appears to have been adopted in the UK as well.

          You don’t need to give social services more powers by further controlling reproduction. What you need to do is to remove the rewards for idleness and single motherhood and smooth the entry of the poor into the workforce by rolling back the expensive regulations interfering with hiring and small business growth. But this won’t happen because the leeches and their defenders, like the slogan-head Brighton, here, are burried too deep.

          • dannybhoy

            Bang on.

          • avi barzel

            Always ;-P

          • dannybhoy

            Ain’t you the (annoyingly) clever one!