‘Poor Must Learn to go Without’, Says err…Rupert Ponsonby, 7th Baron de Mauley

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Conservative Environment Minister Lord De Mauley has today called on the poor to reconsider their buying habits and resist the temptation to spend more money on the latest electronic gadgets, clothes and food that they will not eat” in efforts to recapture the spirit of “make, do and mend”.  In a week that has echoed with unchecked privilege, this takes the biscuit.

Make, Do and Mend?

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The current Environment Minister, Rupert Ponsonby, 7th Baron De Mauley was educated at Eton, the fees for which are currently more than £30,000 a year (more than the average UK wage). He went on to marry the daughter of Lord Fanshawe of Richmond (former Tory MP and peer), Lucinda.  He is a hereditary peer and succeeded his uncle, the 6th Baron De Mauley.  He is the proud owner of myriad farmland and property in Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire. It is safe to say that the 7th Baron De Mauley has never had cause to make, do and mend…or feel priced out of the latest technological developments.

My grandparents grew up with the spirit of make, do and mend.  Their children, my parents, were actively encouraged to ditch that approach by Mrs Thatcher, Ponsonby’s political predecessor.  The 80’s saw the rise of the disposable, the replaceable, and the consumer as King.  This was actively encouraged by the Tory ideals of conspicuous consumerism.  Making, doing and mending was for, to coin a phrase of the age, ‘scabs’.  It was Ponsonby’s own party that fostered the culture that abandoned cooperation, sharing, make, do and mend – in exchange for competition, ‘self-reliance’, buy, watch and replace.

Furthermore, Ponsonby has never experienced being a ‘have not’.  He does not understand what it is like having to look at the indulgence of the capitalist shop window, whilst unable to afford access to the goods on offer.

It is not that Ponsonby’s sentiments are entirely without merit, no.  But they are extraordinarily ignorant, both of Ponsonby’s own privilege and of the reality of life for the growing ranks of impoverished people in the UK today.

Poverty UK

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The Coalition Government’s assault on jobs, social housing policy and the social security system has eviscerated the real UK economy.

The high unemployment rate and rising cost of living have created the conditions for exploitative behaviour by both the state and private employers.  As the market favours the employer, there has been an unprecedented month on month fall in wages through the entire 36 months of the Coalition government, and wages were already falling before they arrived.

On top of unemployment, the UK also has an ever growing problem with underemployment; the case of people unable to find jobs with sufficient hours/pay to meet their needs.

A recent paper by researchers at the University of Stirling revealed that underemployment rose from 6.2% in 2008 to 9.9% in 2012. The rate hit 30% among 16 to 24 year olds.

We have also seen the rise of ‘zero hour’ contracts. Almost unheard of a few years ago, more than a million UK workers are now under these contracts.  These contracts have no specified working hours – meaning that an employee is placed on permanent stand by until or unless the employer needs them.  While classed as employed, the person has no wage security as they cannot guarantee their pay from one week to the next.  They also receive no sick pay, leave or other basic terms and conditions.

In October 2012, the National Housing Federation issued the Home Truths 2012: The Housing Market in England report[1].  This report demonstrated that Housing Benefit had doubled in the in just the three years since 2009, and as a direct result of an astronomical increase in housing costs.

The findings speak to the dangers of successive governments abandoning social housing policy to the whims of ‘market forces’, charting the following results:

  • An 86% rise in housing benefit claims by working families, with 10,000 new claims coming in per month.
  • Rents across the UK have risen by an average of 37% in the UK in just three years preceding 2012[2].
  • Between 2001 and 2011, house prices increased by 94%, while wages increased by only 29%[3].

Instead of tackling the issues with rent controls or a decent social housing policy, the Coalition have simply withdrawn social security support and blamed the victims.  The results have been devastating.

Statutory Homelessness (people without a home who are eligible for local authority support) rose 21% in the last year, while Rough Sleepers (those not eligible for support) rose 31% in England and 62% in London.  .The Bedroom Tax, where people receiving Housing Benefit have had their payments cut for having ‘spare rooms’ (while in most of the country, no appropriately sized housing exists) is also seeing many more lose their homes.

The cumulative effects of a range of social security cuts which have hit the working poor, the jobless, the elderly and disabled people has been a sky rocketing rise in reliance on food banks.  The number of people relying on food aid in order to rose by 300% between in the year between April 2012 and 2013.  This was disgrace enough.  Yet, after a string of social security cuts since then, the numbers relying on food aid have shot up 200% in just three months.  150,000 people have joined the queues at food banks, on top of the half million people already there since 2010.

To all these people, the words of this member of the landed gentry must come like the most colossal slap in the face.  Learn to go without? They’re the experts.

The Twitter Silence

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It’s not just Ponsonby who has been at in the last week.  There was also the astonishing unchecked privilege of Caitlin Moran’s #TwitterSilence.  Moran and the self-professed commentariat of largely white, middle class ‘speak in a funny voice, it’s all just shits and giggles’ feminists rallied in support when twitter trolls threatened some of their number with rape, murder and various other unpleasantries.

Their answer was a passive aggressive flounce: give twitter the silent treatment for 24hours.  There were high penalties for anyone breaking the silence too, when Mary Beard broke the silence to tweet about a death threat she’d received, Giles Coren waded in the slap her down.

It is not that those rejecting the #twittersilence do not appreciate the best intentions of the vast majority of those who supported it.  This is not a conversation about intentions.  What they resent is the absence of any recognition of the impacts, and the blatant hypocrisy amongst the ‘anti abuse commentariat’.

The first impact of the campaign is to further diminish free speech on the internet.  The ‘anti abuse’ camp have demanded twitter add a ‘report abuse’ button to help rid them of trolls – but why not simply block people? If a user is blocked, they can no longer contact you.

Already, the censorship has begun.  The twitter account @transphobes roamed twitter since 2011, highlighting accounts which used offensive or threatening language to or about Trans people.  While Twitter has taken little or no action on this, they have suspended the @transphobes account.

Ringleader, Caitlin Moran was responsible for these tweets containing frequent transphobic and ableist language – yet @transphobes will no longer be able to hold her to account for it.

In short, the trolls will keep trolling, but the state, powerful individuals and corporations will have yet more means of silencing their opponents.

The second impact is the offense of demanding such a silence.  Moran and co could not seem to grasp that for disenfranchised groups more experienced in receiving frequent abuse, the silent treatment was no more than a gagging order.  Disabled people, ethnic minorities, elderly people, LGBT groups and so on, balked at being told to shut up by people who a) had made no such requests when it wasn’t one of their own being threatened and b) have vast platforms from which to speak.

For some of the groups, social media is the best way of keeping in touch with others while their physical or mental health keeps them isolated.  For all of these groups, both finding a voice and being heard are ongoing struggles, so being asked by a group of wealthy journalists and celebrities to abandon the one platform they have, smacked of unchecked privilege.

We Need to Talk About Privilege…

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There has long been a trend for the white, wealthy, red wine drinking liberal to feel they share the struggles of the oppressed and disenfranchised.  The reality is, they never can.  This happens to us all.  As a queer, brown, working class woman with a Jewish wife and trans and disabled friends – I sometimes make the mistake of thinking I’m above all this – then I find myself thoroughly humbled after making a comment which whiffs of my own privilege.  In those moments I realise nobody is above this.  None of us can own the issues of someone else.  We can support, we can embrace, we can acknowledge, but we can never own.  We all need to check our privilege.

The key thing missing is the listening.  It pays to just listen sometimes when you’ve kicked a hornet’s nest.  It is a human response to seek solutions and also to be defensive when those solutions are attacked, particularly if you really believe you are doing the right thing.  The problem is, if the very groups you are trying to help, tell you in no uncertain terms that you are not helping, it is time to stop and rethink.

There is a real need to grasp intersectionality and understand that one cannot be a feminist without advocating on behalf of all women, cis and Trans, Caucasian and of colour, straight, gay, queer or bi.  One cannot be an anti-poverty campaigner, while having a dialogue of deserving and undeserving poor.  One cannot rail against the economic system which destroys people, without opposing the destruction of other life and planet. One cannot campaign on an ‘anti abuse’ platform while abusing others, or creating a hierarchy of suffering with that of one’s own colour, race, sexuality at the top.  We need to own our privilege, and check it each and every time we want to wade in on an issue, or we risk alienating the people with whom we are seeking to connect.

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86 thoughts on “‘Poor Must Learn to go Without’, Says err…Rupert Ponsonby, 7th Baron de Mauley

  1. Pingback: The damned ungrateful poor. | Social Action

  2. FAO. Scriptonite; There is a regular commenter on this blog going by the name ‘Anonymous’, who consistently expresses opposing viewpoints on the same topic, within the same post. They even reply to themselves! (See example below) This has been going on some considerable time. Surely I can’t be the only one to notice? The spelling of the two user names is identical. Is this the ‘Norman Bates’ version of Blogland?? It’s not only confusing, it make a nonsense of the entire thread; possibly the motive behind such bizarre behaviour. Whether it be one & the same person or two idiots knowingly using the same name to comment, it’s an abuse of the comment facility and needs to be stopped. Thank you.

    Example; (Replying to themselves);
    Anonymous; August 9, 2013 at 12:41 pm
    “Weirdly he has a point, how come people on benefits always have massive tellies and sky”?

    Reply
    Anonymous; August 9, 2013 at 2:18 pm
    “Maybe because thats the only form of entertainment they can afford. Nights out at the opera tend to add up by the end of the month”.

    Two more examples of ‘Anonymous’ expressing opposing views;
    Anonymous; October 6th 13 at 7.28 pm; “Guillotine the Aristos”!!!

    Anonymous; October 6th 03.09 pm; (seven comments down)- huge comment DEFENDING Aristos.

    You tell me; One flew over the Cuckoos nest- & landed here!

  3. A bit late I know, and maybe someone else has mentioned this but the phrase is make-do and mend, not make, do and mend. Make, do and mend suggests action, the capacity to act and transform and sounds positive. I’m pretty sure Lord Thing means for the poor to make-do and mend. The idea of making-do says to me just be happy with your lot, unless you can afford more, if not just shut up and make-do. It’s a subtle difference but I think it puts across the point you are making even more aptly.

  4. Pingback: The poor Must Make do???? | angrybastard1

  5. Pingback: The Poor Must do without??? | Thetorybasher's Blog

  6. I am not a religious person at all, but I would like to revive a couple of ideas that were current before the left was elected (and effectively poisoned young people’s minds, by telling them they deserved everything that others had, but were not required to work for it).

    The first is the Protestant Work Ethic – a brilliant bit of philosophy.

    From Wiki: The Protestant work ethic (or the Puritan work ethic) is a concept in theology, sociology, economics and history which emphasizes hard work, frugality and diligence as a constant display of a person’s salvation in the Christian faith, in contrast to the focus upon religious attendance, confession, and ceremonial sacrament in the Catholic tradition.

    The second is simple: “Thank God for what he has given us”.

    Ignoring the God bit, this puts one’s life in perspective – let’s be thankful for what we have, and not resentful that others have more than us. For every Zillionaire out there behaving badly who is richer than us, there are millions in real poverty (not statistical poverty) whose lives involve struggling to feed themselves every single day.

    If we followed those two ideas alone, we would be more content with our existence.

    The fact one has a roof over one’s head, 3 meals a day, heating and running water, toilets, electricity, puts one in a position that far too many really poor haven’t achieved.

    Anything more than that is a luxury – so, iPods, Sky Sports, Mobile phones, and all sorts of other gadgets are luxuries, that one can have if one works for them.

    • This is lovely but sort of misses the point. Poverty is not an accident. Economic inequality is not based solely on the amount of effort one puts in. Quite the opposite. Most of the people working the hardest – the nurses, the social workers, the teachers, the Carers, and factory workers, and so on – these people work their whole lives for poverty wages. Far graeter numbers inside and outside of this country are frozen out of progress in nutrition, health, medicine, technology and so on by such inequality
      To say to those people – “Be grateful for your servitude! Be happy you will work your arse off for someone else to get rich! You and your children deserve no better fate if you can’t get rich yourself!” – this is utter claptrap. And the fact that religion has been used to con poor people across the world into accepting their “place” by those who benefit from their oppression is a stain on religiosity leaders.
      Jesus threw the money lenders out of the temple, said that wealth was not to be saved and hoarded but used to benefit all, that we are all equal.
      This sort of language in your comment suggests that poverty is accidental or inevitable. It is neither. I suggest you take a moment out to read the Ragged Trousered Philanthropists, or Steve Keen’s Debunking Economics, or Naomi Klein’s Shock Doctrine to get a grip on what and why poverty is. The ability to find joy in all circumstances is a useful and admirable personal attitude. I have it myself. But to conflate that with passive acceptance and continuation of an unjust system which robs people of the opportunity to eat, sleep, live full lives, recieve care and attention when they need it and so on – whilst others live in abundance? No. A thousand times – no.

    • In a world where uou can only apply for jobs online and need a telephine or pc up be contacted I think make-do and mend is not relevant in the 21st century unfortunately we live in a money grabbing competitive globalised society where one has to be competitive available and uncaring

    • Three things. Firstly:

      “I would like to revive a couple of ideas that were current before the left was elected (and effectively poisoned young people’s minds[…]) […] The Protestant work ethic (or the Puritan work ethic) is a concept in theology, sociology, economics and history which emphasizes hard work, frugality and diligence as a constant display of a person’s salvation”

      You blame the left for the (supposed) loss of this ideal? Do you not think that “greed is good” might have come into it somewhere?

      Secondly:

      “the left was elected (and effectively poisoned young people’s minds, by telling them they deserved everything that others had, but were not required to work for it).”

      How does this concept apply to the trust fund kids who are born into great piles of money, and never /have/ to work, and never face the threat of losing the roof from over their heads or the food from their table? Like all our current UK party leaders, who all reached their positions as a result of unpaid internships, which is only possible if one has another source of money from somewhere? I would not have been in a position to do that. I had to protestant work ethic in crappy dead end jobs, so I was not able to take the juicy opportunities. I have worked harder than any of those guys and I have come out with less. And there are plenty of others, cleaners, care workers, shop workers, who work two or three jobs to keep the roof over their heads but will never earn enough to buy the house.

      If I had to lay money, I would be very confident that the top bankers both work less hours than, and spend a lower proportion of those hours working than, the cleaners who clean their offices. And the same will be true for the lawyers, and the businessfolk. There is simply no correlation, in reality, between how hard one works, and the rewards one receives.

      Which brings me onto, thirdly:

      “The fact one has a roof over one’s head, 3 meals a day, heating and running water, toilets, electricity, puts one in a position that far too many really poor haven’t achieved.”

      You are aware that there are many, many people in the UK who cannot afford all of those things? And many of those people work full-time? I guess you probably tune out when they start talking about fuel poverty or food banks on the TV or the radio, but these things are real, and they affect many many people, and this is accelerating.

      There is a sense of entitlement at play here: we have fulfilled our part of the deal, the work, and now we feel that we are entitled to the reward, the money. If you won’t give us the money, if you won’t allow us to be paid for the work we have done, then the deal is off.

  7. The Tories can’t make their mind up though. Half the time they’re on about the paradox of thrift and encouraging over spending and more personal debt for the low-paid to stop wage labour-based consumer capitalism collapsing, then they’ll suddenly change their mind and call for a return to thrift and saving.

    I’m all for more make-do-and-mend and a better use of resources, but at present we have an insane system where it can often be cheaper to get a new non-renewable plastic widget shipped here from China, than to get your old wooden or metal widget fixed.

  8. Why does the writer repeatedly reference the 7th Baron de Mauley’s childhood background (which is fair enough) but then accuse Moran of being middle class when her childhood was anything but? I agree that he sounds a right pillock at best, and deservedly gets taken down but it just seems inconsistent to make a big deal of his and then quietly sidestep hers because it doesn’t fit the narrative. If you don’t like her then fair enough, but doesn’t it sort of expose the phoniness of the privilege check argument?

  9. The expression is ‘make-do’ ie, to get by, rather than two separate instructions to make and do, as in ‘make, do’.

    Anyway, Ponsonby can go fuck himself.

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  12. Another idiot from the Toffocracy …………. producing yet ANOTHER …… verbal fart ….

    a). LOUD!

    b). Unpleasant to be in the vicinity of! ………

    c). But ultimately lacking in any REAL substance in spite of a). above!

    I humbly ……… suggest!

  13. Re:- ‘Rupert Ponsonby, 7th Baron de Mauley ‘

    Call me innocent …… but …………,

    Is this plonker not yet MORE evidence that ‘pilloch’ …. and ……’Tory’ ….. should be considered as synonyms and found in the same entry in any good thesaurus?

    I humbly ….. ask!

    Re:- ‘hereditary peer’

    Sooooo ……. the only reason that this plonker has any place at one of the two political ‘troughs’ (Plus, of course – The Royals’!) in our banana republic …. in this, the 21st Century, ……. is some outdated notion of ‘tribal blood ties’?

    Only in the Cloud Cuckoo Land that is Westmidden-Upon-The Fiddle!

    I …. humbly ….. gasp!!!!!!!!!!

  14. Er! Ponsy Ponsonby the real thing is snobby little farts like you should learn what it is like to go without, but then that would not suit your pseudo upper crust name would it.

  15. “Learn to go with out.” eh? already doing that, have been doing that for a LONG time. but there’s nothing left I can do with out, the internet is a lifeline as I had to give up trying to learn to drive, and thus have no car and am stuck in the middle of a rural area of Devon with no bus unless you walk 3 miles to the main road. jobs don’t like you being reliant on unreliable public transport. I can’ afford rent thanks to their “bed room tax” and I am already loosing the never ending up hill battle to get food in most days due to bills I have to pay. I don’t get to spend what little money I get on things like the latest electronic gadgets, clothes and food that I will not eat. even when I did have money for a little bit I didn’t bother with most of those things.
    I’m fed up of going without…going without food, heating, decent coats and shoes that protect me from the elements; going without bus fare so being unable to leave my home going without friendship and freedom as I cannot afford a social life or even a few hours out of my own private hell; going without using a food bank as I cannot afford to get there via public transport as I don’t get enough in benefits to even afford to use a food bank. Going with out medical care, because I can’t afford to travel to my local medical practice 5 miles away via public transport. I, like millions of others, are already well used to ‘going without”. So Mr conservative of hell on earth how about YOU try going with out? stop your tax dodging and pay your dues instead of making the poor pay for you? how about you try living on the average wage on min wage rates, and how about you try living on the pittance already given to those on benefits. We pay into that Pot Mr conservative, its called National insurance, its meant to give us a safety net when we fall out of employment, become ill and all kinds of other things it is meant to provide, then there’s the NSH it also pays for. So my Con-artiest. how about YOU learn to go with out?!

  16. All these politicians need to be put on a boat and sent to Africa for a few months to get a sense of reality and humanity.They were born with a silver spoon in their arses, they do not care about you me or the future of the country, all they care is about themselves.

  17. It’s ridiculous you’re even complaining about this. If you are poor and don’t have the good sense not to spend money that you do not have, and then complain about the debts, surely that is your own fault. You moan and complain about him being rich and born into a life of privilege, had you been born into a life of privilege you would consider yourselves exactly the same, I highly doubt you’d have the “compassion” or “empathy” to forgo what your family has built up ? My family was and are poor, we don’t own the best TV, the best laptop, the best mobile. You work your way up through hard work and determination, not writing and whinging about how it’s the rich people’s fault. If you can’t afford to shop at Waitrose, you don’t shop at Waitrose, you shop at ASDA and Tesco, and purchase their more affordable products. The struggle of life is working within your limits, not trying to push yourself past what you can and will afford. We are not a third world country, the citizens of third world countries would be bloody outraged at the cheek of you complaining and whinging about not being able to own the latest gadgets, or the best and designer clothes, or even having to purchase Tesco everyday value products. It’s ludicrous for you all to complain about it when there are people who are so much worse off than you. There are people out there who haven’t eaten all week, that would kill for what you guys throw away. It’s nice to have aspirations and goals, but you have to set yourself an achievable goal, if you are living this poverty stricken life that you pretend you are, yet you want to own an iPod, or a HDTV, or a Playstation, you really need to think about how you are all a Ponsonby to someone else in the world.

    • Presumably you’re not poor, then? Only a wealthy person would write such condescending drivel. Not everyone has big TVs and Sky TV. In fact, and I’ve said this often, those on benefits living beyond their means are probably involved in some form of criminal enterprise within the black economy to boost their revenue streams. That makes them criminals, pure and simple. Not everyone on benefits is a criminal. Did you miss the news about the government axing over half a million public sector workers? They’re mostly on the dole queue now, thanks to the decisions of the wealthiest in our society. It’s not that I have a problem with being wealthy, what I object to is the way rich people treat and exploit poor people. That’s my issue. Have all the money in the world for all I care, but don’t impose your tyranny upon me because you want even bigger profits to line your pockets with. There’s something to be said for the phrase: ‘There’s two types of people in this world – those that work hard and those that exploit those who work hard.’ Tell me, how did Ponsonby ‘earn’ his wealth, exactly? I doubt he’s actually done any hard work himself, has he? Hmmmm…?

    • sometimes i think this country is a joke. everyone has problems whether with the current government (As I do) or with people in general. I am on benefits, but struggle to feed my family, two of my children work, one as an apprentice 118.00 per week. I have to pay all of my rent because I cant get help as my children work, I have to pay most of my council tax, over 70% because two of my children work, I have a child still at school and I have to pay for her travel to and from school, and I don’t get any help with that because she goes to an all girls school of her choice and is not the closest to where we live.
      My eldest daughter can not leave home,(she is 30), because she has to pay to help cover the rent and council tax, she does not earn enough to save for a deposit on an over charged shitty house that is owned by someone who only wants to make money and not re invest in the property he/she has ( I accept that the comment “Shitty house is not in all cases) but she cant afford to pay for a decent property and she does not enough to get on the property ladder. my son is 20 and out of his 118 pounds per week he has to pay for all of his bus fare which is over 25 pounds per week, and lunch being packed made at home or in a local café type place.
      my fuel bills are on the cheapest tariff I can find, I have a sky system that my children pay for only because I need the phone and internet for my youngest child to help with homework, i have to pay for all of my youngest child’s school uniform which can cost over 150 per year. I don’t smoke or drink,i cant buy clothes for myself or husband I don’t go out infact I cant do anything other than walk because that it the only fucking thing that is free. I cant wait for this current government to fuck off out of power and get someone in who is not as narrow minded and self centered and these robbing bastards

      • Hey Carol…..well said. Our beloved England has fallen prey to the ruling classes who have a clear mandate of ruining those beneath them. I sympathise with your story. It sounds like life is tough for all of you and there’s no need for it. The good news, for what its worth is that the structure of neo liberal economics has began to crack…and like a dam of pent up power behind it – it will eventually implode. The only question is when. With all of us talking about the things that disgust us on wonderful sites like this one – the more the word will spread and the discontent will increase. Meanwhile – don’t pay your TV License – there are plenty of ways around it. That will save you some money. Google a website called TV licensing blog – they offer loads of free advice on there. Next, go to your local council and demand to see a senior manager – tell him that the amount you pay is crippling your family and make a deal. Construct a strong argument that is hard to defend. Bring food and heating into the equation and force them to listen. If you need help, come back to me here – I go by the name of “Daddy Rat”. Meanwhile – I wish you all the best of luck.

  18. All hell breaks lose if you suggrest the rich should do without their luxuries which they regard as necessities.

  19. All hell breaks lose if you suggest the rich should learn to do without their luxuries which they regard as necessities.

  20. I am glad that you are now recovering. Things are really tough at the moment, but I will try and give a bit just as soon as i can. Anyway keep up the good work, and I hope you get some funding soon, love and peace xxx

  21. Pingback: Why this work matters… | Better Life Initiative

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  23. I have never understood England, its monarchy, the Crown Jewels, the huge Westminster Abbey they have acquired and all those silly Titles they take such pride in having. Such nonsense they live with. They really need a good healthy revolution from within. The upperclass needs to learn how to share.

  24. I think the UK has lost its mojo, do you think out grandfathers and great grandfathers would have put up with this, no they would have marched and protested right across the UK, so until people unite and the whole country stands together then Camdaffi and cronies will do exactly what they want. Also anything they do and the people don’t like , they just create a legislation and change the law so we all abide by it.

    I think at the minute the UK is like a time bomb and people are running out of patience, money, food and the will to live and it will only take one group of people to flip and the whole country will explode, they all know this in the house of parliament and that’s why they already have the water cannons on stand by.

    • i find it incredible that the people of this country are putting up with this torture because that is what it is. And some mp had the nerve to say that he could not believe how smoothly the cuts had all gone This country has lost it,s nerve

        • 50,000 marched last weekend, and because of media (almost) blackout, no-one else really got much information about it!!! 50,000 is a pretty big bloody march, and if that can’t get the nation’s attention, I’m damned if I know what will. Well, apart from horrible riots again. I hope it doesn’t come to that, but I have a feeling it will.

    • I can’t wait for the revolution, no doubt it will be typically British and bloodless, but its time to redistribute the ealth, power and privilege those at the top of society have.

    • Maybe because thats the only form of entertainment they can afford. Nights out at the opera tend to add up by the end of the month…

    • I am on benefits and have a massive tele, but i did work but due to government cuts I have lost my job not once but twice, so what should I do sell my home that I worked hard for just because we have a government that doesn’t care about anyone except themselves, and due to them I am known as a benefit scrounger !! David Cameron was an MP and claimed for his big massive tele on his expenses but thats ok isn’t it.

    • So I presume you have been in every benefit claimants house in the land to make that assumption? £71.80 Jobseekers Allowance is barely enough for essentials, leave alone luxuries. Has it ever occurred to you that the *people on benefits with massive tellies* may have bought them before losing their jobs through redundancy or illness? And has in also occurred to you that these claimants may be bound by contract with Sky, which means paying for it for 12 months whether you cancel or not.

      • [email protected] says:

        Exactly!

    • Poor choice of words. People on benefits do not ‘always’ have large televisions. Put your head back up your arse you cretin!

      • Many people who are poor have a ‘poverty of priorities’ and having worked years and years in an area were poverty was great I saw the push by teens to own a leather jacket–this was 40 years ago btw. However, the statement that ‘the poor must learn to go without’ is a statement from hell. Why can’t the rich learn to share? Why can’t the rich pay a living wage? The rich must learn justice. Right now, the rich are too stupid to grasp that concept. gh

    • Perhaps you should not believe everything you read in the gutter press Anonymous. And why are you Anonymous? Haven’t you got the courage of your convictions?

    • They don’t. I’m disabled and not currently working, and I have no telly at all, let alone sky and all that rubbish. I do however have quite a few luxury trappings, all of which were bought when I was fit and working extremely hard in a very good job. I earned my house, my vehicle, and my little luxuries. Now I feel like I have to justify everything to people. I feel like neighbours and friends look at me and label me a scrounger because it’s obvious I have things above my current income level. I’m fairly sick of people who think that all non-workers are lifetime scroungers who get everything from handouts. It’s simply not true at all for the vast majority.

    • I am 60 and on benefits. I won’t have a TV in the house, don’t like the mind control. I also have no carpets and everything I have is either second hand or was rescued from a skip. I can’t afford as much heating as I need and regularly wear a coat and furry boots indoors to keep warm. I have two “indulgences” My Motability car which costs me £200 every 4 weeks of my DLA + whatever petrol I can afford and my Internet which I consider my lifeline as I live alone. I don’t however resent anyone in my position if they have a big TV or think there is anything wrong with that. In fact you can pick up a big screen TV at the local dump these days….rich people throw away the most amazing stuff….because they can.

  25. “To recommend thrift to the poor is both grotesque and insulting. It is like advising a man who is starving to eat less.”

    (Oscar Wilde, The Soul of a Man Under Socialism)

  26. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with trying to encourage people to make do and mend – however, this should be solidly backed with legislation that requires manufacturers to stop building products with built in obsolescence. We used to be able to mend electrical items – however, it’s often cheaper these days to buy new rather than to have something mended. The government needs to address the greed of manufacturers (big business) here and ensure that people can buy products that will last longer than a couple of years. This used to be the case, so there’s no point saying that this can’t be done.

    • It can be done. But back in the 50’s, economists realised that the only way to create a consumer-driven economy was to keep people consuming. This meant building things designed to break down and keep the consumers consuming. That’s why advertisers (particularly in the US) kept linking consumerism with patriotism. It’s still going on – just think of the term ‘retail therapy’. Truth is, if we did as Ponsonby said and we all stopped spending, his rich mates would see a massive drop in their profits. A poor person will always pay more for things – we have to buy on credit and pay interest rates. The rich can pay in full and often get a discount because of it. Everything favours the rich in this world. Everything.

  27. please can someone explain to me why even though I am poor I cannot get my son a computer to do his homework on, when most of the schools insist on it being emailed through these days, oh use the libraries , oh due to cuts most are cutting the hours down, or shutting , oh and they can give a million or is it a billion pounds to some third world country for there space rockets , but I guess they have shares in it , sorry guys wake up Britain is a third world country , they will bring back the workhouses and with it kids back on the streets , Cameron and all his cronies need to open there eyes no wonder the poor are feeling suicidal and depressed, it does not even touch them or there bank accounts , carry on going to your posh restaurants , and your nice holidays , we will keep paying cause most English people have given up

  28. ponsonby ( oh no not that name again ) i cant ,i really cant …… praise the LORD and pass the ammunition ….

  29. i really cant believe this guy is serious , its almost laughable ……. but its way to sad for that ,. . . the paralysis of privilege …….

  30. the poor have to learn to live without , well what a stupid fucker , they do thats cos there poor you dumbass , unless you mean learn to live without breath , …. you couldnt make that up , charles dickens maybe , adolf hitler would be pushed , that posh school didnt teach you much , did it posonby , ( what a fucking name ) like empathy , compassion ….. etc etc etc …. spend some time in the gutter , you never know you might get to notice a few stars , but you,d only want the moon , wouldnt you …. i thought loathsome pricks like you , was a thing long, long gone . it isnt possible to give the human race a bad name , but with people like you , theres always a chance …. Hurrah hurrah ……..

  31. I usually think you are spot on with most of what you say but I worry that your final paragraph may have an undesired effect. It is demanding all or nothing. I think that the majority of people are not enlightened enough to give all and if they are given the option of all or nothing they may well choose the latter. If someone wishes to offer something then I am grateful for that and hope they may progress further in future. Turning down something because it is not everything may balk people who are making the first steps towards developing into evolved forms. It is always frustrating when people act as though they have not considered their actions fully but we are all at different stages of development and on different paths. They may be alienating those whom they wish to help but alienating them in turn is no solution.

    • Thanks Harry. The point that is missed in your comment though is that people are already being excluded. The point is to include them. If we are really saying ‘some people don’t want to include other disenfranchised groups in our quest for equality, but we shouldn’t criticize them for it as we’ll exclude them’…what we are doing is placating privilege at the price of the inclusion of disenfranchised groups. If the whole point is equality and enfranchisement….then we’ve become the very thing we purport to stand against, or the opposite of what we say we stand for. It is privilege which needs to open up and listen, not groups without.

  32. It’s called an innate sense of entitlement. Like Hitler’s cronies and similar, they are so fucked in the head that they actually believe they were born superior to the rest (or most of) the population.
    They believe their gene pool is best suited to rule and manage all the complexities of leadership and their inherent superiority is naturally suited to all the trappings of authority. They are in reality extremely primitive beings – who, like most sociopaths have vital bits of their emotional makeup missing.
    They go to schools that actually reinforce this sense of self importance and entitlement, and they in turn ensure that their own children get their heads filled with the same vile toxic shit. What staggers me is that working people vote for these sad emotional fuck-ups.

  33. Mister Poncy’s comments may be coming from privilege, but that is true of anything most politicians have to say. What he doesn’t get is what his own job is. He is supposed to be developing a strategy for a more resource efficient economy, but if he was capable of plugging in his brain, he might realise that thanks to globalisation and easy credit we are awash with stuff and if when it breaks, if you can’t fix it yourself, it is usually cheaper to get a new one than get someone else to fix it unless you have insurance. A combination of 100% reserve banking and banning imports of products associated with slave wages and environmental damage would do more to reduce waste than anything this twit is talking about.

  34. Pingback: ‘Poor Must Learn to go Without’, Says err…Rupert Ponsonby, 7th Baron de Mauley | L8in

    • Food we will not eat, what on earth is this stupid man talking about. How can you buy food you will not eat on £20 to spend per week on food. Buying clothes we will not use, what new clothes. Is this joker for real or does he live on another planet. Poor must learn to go without, we already do. Next they will be putting scraps out for us.

      • too right, ive got most my furniture off the street,& freecycle most my money goes on ever increasing bills, I have bad health , which is getting worse, but there still after me to work, (which I had to give up due to injury) my boots need heeled, which will cost about £7 which is a third of what I have left to live on, I have clothes swap parties with friends , so we get ‘new’ clothes. my TV is a huge old one given to me by a friend. I don’t have debt ….yet but I need a hoover as my old 2nd hand one blew up, to buy one will mean living on toast for 2 wks. the mans a complete moron.

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