02 April 2006

Poverty is deliberate.

Poverty is a deliberate political decision. It doesn't happen by accident. And poverty is about inequality. It is inequality that increases crime, increases poor health, increases poor education and reduces overall quality of life.

It was the ancient Greek philosophers who discovered that happiness does not necessarily increase once you get past a certain level of wealth. It is not the amount of material possessions that increase quality of life but participating in rewarding activities, the quality of your environment and the co-operation of your community, friends and relatives.

The right wing uses poverty as a warning, they believe it is needed to stimulate everyone else to work harder. Also it is not wealth that satisfies the rich, but inequality itself, having status and looking down on those worse off is what makes a lot of them happy. But it doesn't have to be this way.

When the Tories say they are converts to reducing inequality, we must be very suspicious. Their whole philosophy is built on inequality, it would go against their very principles to do anything other than widen it.

The majority of people believe that the gap between rich and poor is too wide in this country. It takes a great deal of media massaging of the truth and over-complication of the issues, making use of a unrepresentative electoral system, corrupted political parties and distorted economic system to maintain the privileges of the few at the expense of the majority who would like to see a more equitable system.


  1. "Poverty is deliberate" - that'd be a great question for a sociological/psychological approach: the role of free will in the determination/allowance of poverty.

    Just some random points - maybe poverty is a result of: choice of policy by politicians; choice of strategy by employer; choice of agricultural technique by country/culture/society/religion; choice of place of abode, school, career path, and lifestyle by individual. All deliberate choices, though not necessarily deliberately chosen to produce poverty.

    People make bad decisions: the key is to break the link between making a mistake (and perhaps paying the consequences) and a remoreseless slide into poverty - that's where we come in.

    Then of course you have genetic disadvantage and natural disaster, which produce poverty without any conscious decision, and without even inequality. We still have a role though.

  2. We still haven't done enough to allieviate poverty tho. Although I have high hopes for Gordon!

  3. B4L: We haven't got enough houses for people to live in, yet out of a 520bn budget we can only spend 20bn?

    Adele: Gordon don't do it for me I'm afraid!

    Don't know if you read the Observer today? Hillary Benn for 2008?

  4. poverty is deliberate... whereas your protofascism is but an accident? or the outcome of market forces or something?

  5. Anon: Isn't that sort of question in the mould of 'Have you stopped beating your wife?' sort of questions?

    Supporting ID cards is not 'proto-fascist'. Neither is CCTV or ASBOs or 'on the spot' fines for anti-social behaviour.

    It is alright for wishy-washy liberals living in the suburbs or countryside lecturing a Labour government for making real improvements for people blighted by inner city crime and anti-social behavior. What about their rights?

  6. but you do believe in rigging the electoral system so the Tories can't get in ...

    and for your information, I'm the poster above, and I'm not a liberal, and I do live in an inner city area.

  7. Anon: Can you honestly say that your inner city area has not seen dramatic improvements since 1997?

    The electoral system is rigged at the moment (in Labour's favour). I want every party to have an equal chance.

  8. Even if the area where I live had improved under Labour, that does not make your assertion that I don't live here any less a load of crap than it was when you made it. learn to stay on topic, loser

  9. Most of the liberals that do seem to criticise these things do live in the suburbs or countryside. I didn't say YOU lived in the suburbs etc. if you read the comment.

    So you live in the inner city and you admit things have improved. Good!

    What do you think of ASBOs, CCTV etc?

  10. No, you didn't say the anon guy lived in the suburbs you said he lived in an inner city area: "your inner city area"

    He didn't admit things had improved. Can you not read?

    ASBOs are probably where the private law of nuisance might have evolved of its own accord. The statute from which they derive is badly drafted, hyperauthoritarian and premised on a hopelessly inadequate view of the role and capabilities of government in regulating manners, and could have been done much better. We'd be better off without them. It's not as though they've achieved much in practice other than bad press for Labour and loony judges.

    CCTV is a disaster. How many paedophiles are using it to track potential victims? Has the Government any idea? They can't keep the pervs out of the teaching profession, what hope have they of protecting kids from CCTV? We know the footage ends up on the internet. We know it's abused to watch adults too, in the most extreme and offensive ways. Government users of CCTV unlawfully share information derived from it with private sector security guards who then swoop in on the scene, wanting to play the hero, go and assault the victim themselves by being untrained gung ho Hooray Henries, and generally make an arse of themselves. The private sector should not be allowed access to public sector CCTV footage or information deriving from it. Just wait till they can get your ID card number out of the footage by scanning your iris. Will the private sector REALLY tolerate not being allowed to know who walks past its retail stores in town centres? Why should taxpayers pay the full bill for collecting the footage when retailers would be willing to pay for access?

    No, CCTV is a pervert's technology. It redistributes crime geographically away from city centres to other places, and doesn't play a valuable enough role in deterring crime or catching criminals to justify the risks and costs we all have to bear.

    Would you want strangers freeze-framing YOUR daughter on her night out? Get real

  11. Anon: I think your should start the paranoia party. I have never read such rubbish in all my life.