Who Speaks For The Poor?


If you’re poor and speak against rampant capitalism and greed, it’s the politics of envy.

If you’re rich and speak against rampant capitalism and greed, you’re a spoiled Hollywood actor who doesn’t understand the real world.

If you’re a charity and speak against rampant capitalism and greed, you should stick to addressing real problems, like something about Africa or sick animals.

If you’re a union and speak against rampant capitalism and greed, you’re an old-fashioned socialist wielding too much power.

If you’re a church and speak against rampant capitalism and greed, you’re out of touch, should stay out of politics, and stick to preaching tea and biscuits to empty pews.

If you’re a business and speak against rampant capitalism and greed, you don’t understand the markets and are unrepresentative.

If you’re a minority and speak against rampant capitalism and greed, you have divided loyalties and are probably a secret terrorist.

If you’re a nurse or teacher and speak against rampant capitalism and greed, you’re too reliant on the state to have any independent thought, and should focus on healing the starving and teaching homeless kids.

All the above I have stolen (as promised) from the blog The Naked Mole Rat, written by Russ Jones. I came across this completely at random as he’d written it as a Tweetstorm and I asked permission to use it. What I’d like to do here is ask the obvious question who does speak for the poor then if not any of the above? I think the questions above deserve following through because inequality is increasing on all measures, the UK has been prosecuted by the Court of Human Rights and bene sanctions, for tiny misdemeanors, have become commonplace. State benefits and public sector wages have been frozen, insecure, poorly paid work thrives as does self employment.

Given the above I’d say whoever is speaking for the poor really needs to speak a bit more firmly, I don’t mean bloggers, many of whom speak up superbly or the oppostion, I mean those in power. Somebody must be speaking for them, whom? They seem to have it for the disable in particular with more and more people forced to turn to crowd funding for wheelchairs.  Why do people turn to crowdfunding? Because these appeals are read by other relatively poor people who might give without return, rich people simply don’t do that. The rich have a very different idea as to what the poor need and deserve as we all do, in the main.

The rich are very good at getting their story across and the billionaire class that own the media promote them with glee. Unemployed? Living the Life of Riley that lot. They’ve all got sidelines, working on the black and selling drugs, it’s all right for that lot, never having to get up in the morning. Oh really? Well the DWP will be delighted to welcome you in, the system is open to all, you can get a flat screen TV in every room with free Sky TV. One thing you do have to bear in mind is the sanctions regime with can be quite harsh.

You get a job interview. It’s at the same time as your job centre appointment, so you reschedule the job centre. You attend your rearranged appointment and then get a letter saying your benefits will be stopped because going to a job interview isn’t a good enough reason to miss an appointment.

Source: Daily Mail

Note the source there, you know something has gone too far when even the Daily Mail starts crying foul on behalf of the great unwashed.Then there is our wonderful prison estate and what holiday camps they are. Mollycoddled inmates with mobile phones, TV (always TV’s) and free wi-fi. Once again these splendid institutions are open to all unless you’re a wealthy banker of course, suddenly prison isn’t so appealing. On the bright side we aren’t quite America yet but private prisons are increasing and private concerns demand customers and they know how to turn a profit from inmates. The unemployed can be equally profitable, one lucky job placement boss got an £11 million bonus for missing every target set. Good work if you can get it.

And to our shame we’re always quick to judge the poor, look at that he’s got a smart phone, always an i-Phone of course in the myths. never mind that this is by far the cheapest way to be online if you’re poor and job hunting. There seems to be something in the national psyche that if the poor have more than two bowls of gruel a day they’re spendthrifts. They never seem to be allowed treats, or to attend football or have a social life. Perhaps the greatest national fear of all is that poor people can be happier than us when they have so little. It is this that drives the singularly disgusting poverty porn programmes and hysterical headlines in the tabloids.

I’ll tell you exactly who is qualified to speak for the poor, those who know how to profit from keeping the poor, poor.

I don’t write about this stuff nearly as well as many others so let me introduce Kitty S Jones and her blog. here she writes about the horrible treatment of the disabled and the rather hapless Theresa May attempting to interact with a voter. I hope you’ll read it and pop in to her blog regularly.

As I started with some stolen material I’ll end with some. I’ve posted this before but I’m posting it again. I have no idea if Jeremy Corbyn can change things much, I hope so if he gets the chance, but I’m old enough to be wary of political Messiahs. I haven’t heard him mention any of my favoured policies once. We shall see, but to all those who feel energised by the last election result I’ll leave you with the words of Simon J Duffy once again.


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4 thoughts on “Who Speaks For The Poor?

  1. It appears that to a certain extent that they spoke for themselves through Brexit – add it to the list of unintended consequences, which having spent the most part of the week listening to old Adam Curtis docus, is just the latest of a whole pile of screw ups by the so called experts, which has led us to the present, which in many ways & aspects is also an expert led fiasco. It seems to me that a lot of the problem is the idea that has been pushed over the last few decades that people & economies are rational actors. As it turns out the only people who are totally rational are psychopaths. One of the major composers of this idea was a paranoid schizophrenic named John Nash, who developed the idea through Game Theory. This was then of course seized upon by TPTB as the way produce a rational society – Nash himself after being diagnosed & receiving treatment changed his mind.

    Still it has all worked out for the few & those in charge, so a postmortem of the near dead patient is unlikely & it looks as though certain interests believe that they will be able to profit from Brexit – so that is OK then.

    Somebody does need to speak for those who have been trampled & left behind in the stampede for yield, as these two articles from Bill Mitchel shows, the poor tend to sink into a pit of hopelessness ( not very rational ) as can be seen especially in the Flyover states of the US, where a largely ignored opioid epidemic almost the size of the previous AIDS one, is killing around 50,000 a year through despair. They thought Trump might help, but they need someone who actually will. This is also a call for guaranteed employment rather than UBI & i think his reasoning is correct & that the former especially tied with demonetisation could be very dangerous, whereas the former with infrastructure investment around communities could create something akin to what was once there but then destroyed by globalisation :

    http://bilbo.economicoutlook.net/blog/?p=36298 ” When Austrians ate dogs ”

    http://bilbo.economicoutlook.net/blog/?p=36334 ” Employment as a human right “.


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