Here in the UK, we are fortunate that our government is very supportive of poverty, they have even put together a package of generous policies that incentivise ordinary tax payers: it’s a scheme where you pay in installments with a built-in guarantee of getting absolutely nothing back. A welcome move that ensures almost anyone can now become poor with hardly any effort at all. There’s never been a better time to be poor.
Iain Duncan Smith has put together a generous and useful additional package of support that will successfully remove that stubborn remaining income in the form of ghastly lifeline benefits, so you needn’t put up with being unfortunately able to make those ends meet a moment longer, thanks to the genius of Mr Duncan Smith’s fair and much needed cuts and sanctions. Politics with principles. Good old-fashioned Tory principles.
And what better way to guarantee your highly privileged status of vagabondage and not having a job than to make sure you are so busy being engaged in a fight for basic survival that you can’t be bothered with being incentivised to look for work. We all know that deep joy which utter exhaustion, sinking despair, deprivation and absolute demotivation brings. Yes, it’s a nice rest, for an increasing elite of paupers and vagabonds. That earns you another sanction – it’s the perfect poverty cycle of choice for those of us with such high aspirations to have low aspirations.
Some have criticised this indulgent nothing for something culture, but a government spokesperson, Mr Dickensian, said that poor people deserve the chance to further themselves into a dead end. Mr Cameron said this week that Labour were to blame for cutting poverty, but under the Conservatives, thanks to their special austerity measures for the poor, the economy is working like it should and poverty is now higher than it’s been since records began.
The good news is that being poor costs absolutely nothing. All it takes is a little know-how.
Once people see the benefits of malnutrition, rickets and scurvy, and many other low budget, value Victorian age diseases, I’m sure they will be inspired by their simple chic appeal. The growing popularity of being very hungry has enticed many these past four years. The ease by which malnutrition can be acquired under this generous government, who are making poverty a truly thrilling once in a lifetime opportunity, a must-have, has been welcomed and hailed as the new poor law come-back, the return of a Golden Age for the Conservatives. It’s a very welcomed return of nostalgic, ever so quaint Social Darwinist Tory principles.
However, critics have said that being poor is not the cause of poverty, and claim that poverty specialists have manufactured the statistical evidence. Genuinely poor people have to have significant character flaws, really rubbish lives, personal weaknesses, ineptitudes – no skills at all – to qualify for being in poverty.
A report from ThanAtos, the private company hired by the government to assess people to see if they are genuinely on the point of death from starvation in order to be eligible for poverty, says that many are just feigning starvation and despair and some are even faking thinness. ThanAtos’s research shows that many expect to be provided with food bank vouchers so they can continue to be parked on luxury standards of suffering indefinitely. The report said:
Far too many of those who claim they are poor don’t even have a plasma screen and a sky dish, and we know for a fact that they don’t eat takeaways, take drugs, smoke or drink cheap cider, they lack personal ineptitudes, and many don’t even have loads of unkempt children, so they are just frauds. The problem is that once people see the privilege and benefits of gnawing hunger and destitution, they all want some. It’s all supply-led, people just want poorness as a freebie.
It’s certainly set a trend.
Being poor is so popular that the marginalised wealthy have launched a backlash because languishing in poverty is such a self-indulgent lifestyle choice, especially when the economy is growing. We all know that poor people cost the economy lots of money, as Mr Cameron says. Somehow. And we know that the struggling millionaires are very low-maintenance, economically, requiring only a few meagre tax breaks, like the one of £107,000 each per annum, just to keep them going. A millionaire spokesperson, Samuel Smiles, said:
“These poor people have taken the easy, stress-free option of not sending their children up chimneys and into t’mills any more and won’t even try their hand at pick-pocketing and prostitution. Those were once respected pauper activities, but now these poor people are jumping on the band-waggon and tarnishing the good name of thrift, self-help and state-inflicted misery.”
Another spokeperson for wealthy people, Thomas Malthus, said that being rich is fraught with potentially embarrassing socialising difficulties as other people’s exclusive and privileged poverty inspires much outrage, envy, sanctimonious and unfortunate, pretentious one -downmanship from wealthy people, especially at dinner parties. Many have resorted to hiding their posh Le Creuset sets and Agas in the garage, and using a camping stove for all three courses. Growing numbers of the traumatised wealthy have tragically ended up in retail therapy.
Yes, we know we have to help the disadvantaged and hard-done-by wealthy, they need our support and of course, every penny counts. If only they could see that they need us and as much as we need them. We paupers wouldn’t be where we are today if it wasn’t for the wealthy. But we do deserve our special social status.
The fact remains that they bring it all on themselves. I’m not without sympathy but these wealthy people don’t try hard enough to make do, go without and downsize. I do agree that the government needs to support them with some educational classes to help them achieve the skills required to become poorer. Since poor people need to learn both self-denial and total selfishness, it requires a special talent, and is admittedly difficult to emulate. But many think the wealthy deserve all they get, because they are lazy and just give up, parked on their wealth for life. Poverty is not luck, it’s something you really have to work at. And the new nothing for something culture helps almost everyone into poverty, so there are no excuses for the feckless rich, it’s never been easier to be poor.
But having been denied access to poverty all of their lives, many of the wealthy have decided to become experts on it instead. It’s fueled by the politics of envy, but at least it allows rich people to feel a little included on the periphery of covetable poverty experiences. Many have suggested we don’t have any cookery skills, so it’s not a lack of money but the inability to cook imaginary rice puddings from scratch that creates the privilege of poverty. But that’s untrue, as many paupers endeavor to create all of their fabulous meals every day from nothing at all.
The choice between relative deprivation and downsizing to absolute poverty presents us with a particularly tricky dilemma. It is only the very truly brave and liberated that opt to take the plunge. Unless of course you are one of those lucky people that have inherited your poverty from your parents. Some people are blessed with good genes and don’t have to work at it. But they are the lucky few.
Then there’s the culture of entitlement, it’s the same thing as Margaret Thatcher’s culture of deprivation, only it’s been amended so that we don’t make wealthy folk feel inadequate and alone in their tragic lives of undeserved, much-needed handouts and empty lifestyles – getting something for nothing. It must be so unfulfiling to have all of your needs met and still have a big surplus of money. What a nightmare. No wonder the rich are so envious of our nothing for something culture. So much so that denial is their defence mechanism of choice. And who can blame them.
Poor people everywhere welcome the government’s move to cut the numbers of the moderately wealthy and lift them into poverty, and many have praised David Cameron for ensuring that ordinary people now have equal opportunities when it comes to accessing poverty.
Record numbers of poor people are achieving being very poor, according to Mr Osborne, though he said we’ve a way to go before we hit the targets set by the Office for Victorian Era Fiscal Parsimony, but by the end of this parliament, we should be on track. The Institute of Misery confirmed these findings. However, the Institute of Economic Farce have said that their predicted targets were far exceeded.
It’s so fashionable, being poor. I watched a fashion programme on the TV, in-between all the soaps and Oprah, called “On the catwalk this week.” We saw a new range of designs called “Pauper”, emulating the fabulously poor Gutterati, which is similar to the grunge of the early Tory 90’s, but with more on-trend rags, holes and longer-term wearability. Accessories included funky cardboard boxes, park benches with stylish newspaper edging and a shop doorway with punky spikes. It’s in vogue to wear your suffering on your tattered sleeves, with minimalist foot wear.
One model was heard screaming obscenities at a journalist, after being accused, insultingly, of having anorexia. She said proudly that she was authentically poor and starving because she chose to do workfare at a Gentlemen’s club, when the Department of Work and Pensions offered her a fashionable, must-have benefit sanction. She was then sent on workfare to the modelling agency, and is very grateful for the opportunity to have nothing at all.
But columnist Hate E Bopkins said: “That’s a big fat lie, she’s a fraud, we all know that poor people get fat because they eat nothing but takeaways, black puddings, pie and chips and they can skillfully mismanage their meagre money to good effect, they’re pros, damn the cunning blighters.
We all know it’s only the scrounging and disadvantaged wealthy that have that tiresome, excessive energy and unfortunate and unfashionable money to eat that dreadful fresh fruit and veg, healthy rubbish and be seen slim at the gym. The culturally shameful and depraved creatures. How I wish I could be really poor. I’d love to have nothing at all, ideally.”
Ms Bopkins recommends we buy takeaways and eat really great unwholesome foods like pie and chips, whilst watching soaps and Jeremy Kyle on the telly. Oh, and avoid porridge like the plague. (Although plague, pneumonia, bad teeth and TB may well be set to become the new luxe accessories for poor people this season, according to top fashionistas such as Oxfam and the Joseph Rountree Foundation).
Jamie Oliver, amongst others, says that poor people always have a very large plasma TV. Thanks for that great tip, Jamie. If you bought one whilst in work, you should get rid of it immediately and buy an even larger one from your benefit. You must also subscribe to Sky and get a big dish put on your house. Trade in your furniture and household items the very moment you stop working, and buy them all again so you don’t have to live with the guilt and shame of having anything you may have (inadvertently, I’m sure) bought from what you once disgracefully earned.
Another top tip is have lots of children that you can’t afford. Poor people need to get pregnant only once they are absolutely broke. Never plan your children when you are in work, or down and out in prosperity, that’s a big no-no. Make sure you lose the job, house and everything else first. Wealthy people will feel included in this lifestyle choice and you can provide opportunity for a suffering wealthy person to share their outrage. It’s therapeutic for them, helping to alleviate their sense of shame and inadequacy.
One of the greatest joys of being poor is that everyone else has got generous and seemingly endless advice for you. There are lots of sound tips around on how to get on with being poor quietly. And the media are interested in sharing all the details of your private life with the public, so they can tut, have some outrage, grumble, seethe and foam a lot, and then give you their advice. It’s because they are so envious of your lucky life experiences that many are thinking of becoming disabled, just so they can share our exclusive pauper status for themselves. They want to own your poverty and I suspect they’d like to commercialise it. But we know that the poor invented poverty, and it’s ours.
Another poverty tip is take expensive holidays abroad, walk your dog if you have one and go to the pub. You must make sure you get someone to take photos of you looking busy and happy and post on facebook, or better still, send them to the Department of Work and Pensions.
Many Sun and Daily Mail readers erroneously think that disabled poor people aren’t allowed to do anything at all that looks normal, they get very distressed and outraged that you aren’t suffering enough, so they will kindly report you. Strictly in your best interests of course, because to these kind, unprejudiced, well-meaning souls, there’s nothing more important than ensuring your complete sacrifice and suffering, and it’s the surest way of getting your benefit stopped, then you can get on with wallowing in your hard-won destitution, suffering and absolute poverty. Because as this thrifty government of self-helping, help themselves specialists has demonstrated, you’re absolutely worth it.
Thanks to Robert @LivingstonePics