Rich Going on ‘Poverty Safari’ in Poor Areas of UK to Watch Poor People ‘Live Like Animals’

A001Boris Johnson’s sister Rachel, privately schooled, Oxford educated, and former editor of the world’s poshest magazine The Lady  – has gone on a ‘poverty safari’ to Deptford in South East London, where she reports seeing people ‘live like animals’ and families living on food budgets of just £1 a day.  It is difficult to know what is more offensive here; that such poverty exists, or that our country’s ‘finest’ are entertaining themselves with guided tours of Britain’s modern slums.

Rachel Johnson’s ‘Poverty Safari’

As part of yet another BBC poverty porn documentary, Rachel Johnson entered the depths of Deptford to sniff some poor people and their grubby lodgings.  She tells the Independent:

“There’s this terrible sense of human waste. They’re existing, rather than living, like battery hens. Apart from the telly and the cigarettes, they are living like animals.

“I realised, with a terrible thud, how much money I’ve wasted. I can’t pay £3 for a flat white coffee without thinking: ‘That’s a day’s food for a poor family’,” she said.

You might be tempted to think – ‘oh come on Scriptonite, you’re being a bit tough on Rachel. She’s at least trying to make a difference’.  Sadly, she followed up that sentence by reflecting on how jealous her friends would be when they found out she’d been hanging with the plebs.

“Bizarrely, I think there’s a lot of envy. ‘Lucky old Rachel, she went on poverty safari!’ An experience they can never have, even with all the money they’ve got,” she said.

That’s right.  Those scenes that she witnessed, the daily grind suffered through by whole swathes of the working class, reduced to some light entertainment for those who will never know such hardships.  It’s all just shits and giggles for the 1%.

The Poverty in Modern Britain

Good news for Ms Johnson and her friends is there’s plenty more poverty where that came from.  Thanks to a budget crippling £850bn bank bailout and four years of devastating cuts to frontline services and welfare, combined with mass privatisations – hell, there’s safari enough for everyone!

The cost of living is rising at four times the rate of wages.  In fact UK wages are falling faster than any other ‘developed’ country.

Thirty four disabled people have killed themselves, and 32 have died every week while undergoing stressful ATOS ‘work capability assessments’ over the last three years.  Hate crimes against disabled people shot up 25% in 2012.

The number of people reliant on Food Banks tripled in the last year, with nearly a million people unable to feed themselves without charity support.  Last winter, the Red Cross launched its first emergency food aid programme on UK soil since World War II.

Statutory Homelessness [1] rose by 21% in England and 17% in Wales in 2012[2]. While Rough Sleeping has risen even faster, at 31% in England.  Outreach workers from Homeless Charity Crisis performed a count in London which found a 62% rise in rough sleepers in the capital in just the last two years [3].

The average cost of a single room in a care home has risen to over £27,000 a year.  This is higher than the average UK annual wage (£26,000) and more than double the average annual pension income of £13,208.  In fact since 2011, care home costs have risen at twice the rate of inflation. Yet last year, the regulatory body for the UKs care homes The Care Quality Commission (CQC) published a damning report that showed that more than half of all elderly and people with disabilities in care homes were being denied basic care.

1 in 6 British pensioners now live in poverty, and 24,000 will die this winter because they cannot afford to heat their homes.

Indeed, the wealthy can choose between working poor, jobless poor, and poverty stricken people of any age, in almost any part of the country – outside the wealthy ghettos and estates ofcourse.

I Call Bullshit

You may have garnered from this unusually expletive laden post, that this is one occasion where I am not only involved…but I am angry too. I call bullshit.

I call bullshit on ideological austerity which adds up to little more than the mass theft of wealth from the many by the few.

I call bullshit on the media’s consistent failure to hold the government to account and its demonisation of the victims of austerity.

I call bullshit on the Nick and Margarets, the Michael Portillos and the Rachel Johnson’s of the 1% who go on all expenses paid jollies into the Heart of Darkness on ‘Poverty Safari’, only to come back and trample the impoverished yet further into the ground.

I call bullshit on the whole system of grave and favour that has the 85 richest people in the world have the same amount of wealth as the poorest 3.5 billion.

Don’t (just) get angry, get involved!

Join the People’s Assembly Against Austerity and fight

Join Occupy London and work towards a better, more just, world.

Foodcycle – join the Food Cycle network and help people eat.  These folks match food about to be wasted (eg. from Supermarkets etc), with fokls with the time to cook it, and spare kitchen spaces.  If you are struggling to make ends meet, this is a great place to be part of a community, learns some great skills, and eat well.

39 thoughts on “Rich Going on ‘Poverty Safari’ in Poor Areas of UK to Watch Poor People ‘Live Like Animals’

  1. Pingback: Fine Gael's Neglect of the Homeless Continues, FG Councillor blocks Homeless Shelter - Page 17

  2. Yes folks, we are slap bang in the middle of the trickle down economy, as we are whenever there’s a Tory Government in power. They certainly know to who they should throw the biggest scraps from their table so they can get them to do the dirty work and keep their fellow citizens, or should that be subjects?, under control. Please stand up Danny Alexander, Nick Glegg and the rest of you spineless LibDems, plus all you toe rags in the media, especially the BBC, who see what’s going on and keep quiet about it.

  3. Public school kids like Boris and his sister don’t really experience normal life because they’re carefully taught how to act and what to think in order to perpetuate the wealth of the powers that be. They fall in and out of favour with our mad rulers and so try to be ‘super interesting’ to keep the crumbs falling from the table. They love it if one of their own gets scapegoated; it’s just like school. Maladjusted people like that reflect the lack of compassion they experienced at boarding school onto us.

    They look down their noses at the plebs who were brought up with a sense of right and wrong, truth and justice, love and community. That’s why we’re poles apart. No wonder they’re drawn to looking at poor people, like the weirdos who slow down at road accidents hoping to see someone injured. It makes them feel better.

    But back in reality, we’re the only layer of this rotten pyramid sane and able enough to provide the wealth for all these misfits and a lot of people are thinking it’s about time they had a lesson in austerity.

  4. While you all try to set up your republics constitution in such a way as to facilitate a speedy and inexorable (but very, very fair) race to the bottom of the global market, those of us without time to write a longer post than this will just keep working to create jobs and take responsibility for our own lives.

    • That’s the point you do not create jobs and take responsibility for your own lives-Through the current financial system all companies are controlled through it.You who are privately schooled have job handouts and a credit line from that system. In a real competative market I doubt if you have any initiative or creativity as you have been trained to follow central policy.
      Normal people are discredited regardless of talent but you and the likes of Rachel are in a system which quite frankly is nothing short of ‘mafia’ control of business and people across the globe have suffered to line your pockets.

  5. used to hate the trust fund kids coming down to the estate to find boyfriends/girlfriends ….. hang out on streets then go back to their mansions. … then later the trust fund kids gegging in on squats and becoming travellers for a few years untill the investments mature in order to piss off mummy and daddy ….. could never understand why they would choose ato live a life for a whilelife we had no choice but to live and couldnt choose to leave.

    • Sounds like something to be encouraged, Andy, if the TF-ers could then be persuaded to take what thjey’d learned into political candidacies. That way, we might just end up with people in government who know what life’s like down where the saltpetre develops under the Great Social Midden Heap.

  6. It does not surprise me that The Independent have stooped to giving this dreadful woman the oxygen of publicity. I remember when it used to be similar to dear old grauniad, but recently I read it online and it is more like the Express now!

    She is just unbelievably, jaw droppingly offensive.

    I am one of those £1 a day people, and I love animals, but I certainly do not live like one! She might as well have said savages, but I guess that even she realised that THAT might cause offence, esp in an area where a high % of the population are black!

  7. hey all

    if you are interested check what her bro is up to re taking the planning out of local Deptfordian hands / LB Lewisham.

    He’s called the masterplan on behalf of Hutchinson Whampoa (HW) the 2nd largest investor in Britan oh an one other piece of info – the head of the family of Whampoa biz s the 7th richest man in the world.

    Basically he has taken the project out of the local authorities hands after being approached by HW – there are 25 statutory bodies who have also said HWs plans are not good for the local infrastucture as well as a stack of local community and neighbourhood groups and a unanimous LBL council rejection of the plan.

    But I guess – high dollar accommodation on the river for off shore residents trumps local needs every time.

    On the bigger picture – just like the mount pleasant development in London these set precedents for London Mayor to over ride any local authority’s planning department.

    The decision date is 31st March and locals are calling for a review – if you want to help them you can get in touch –

  8. So what is the purpose for royal? What do they do for the people of England? Yes that includes the poor English people!

  9. The rich have the money and the power. We on the other hand know what it feels like to have family and friends that we didn’t buy. All we need to do is rob from the rich, ( Be modern day Robin Hoods) and share the wealth out evenly, not all to one and none to the other. People will continue to get pleasure out of watching the poor until the we do something to stop. We just need to stand up for ourselves.

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  11. I think a ‘yes’vote for Scottish independence will force a change of economic policy.. .I think it might finish ‘the city’ because its a big vote of no confidence in the government of Britain.

  12. I shouldn’t have read this! I am so p*ssed-off !!

    Perhaps we’ll all get lucky with Putin starting a world war. Once the radioactive smoke clears, Britain can start over again and get it right on the second try! :-/

  13. Those families who are existing rather than living who are living from food banks have gone without to pay for those eton bills and ‘handout’ businesses from the city of london. This isn’t a recession but a robbery through interest rates. This control from the ‘city’ of london of all business across the globe has manufactured mass poverty,not just in Britain but worldwide and it’s just a culling of people to give vast wealth and control for the few.Fossil fuel has underpinned this economic policy and will end with renewable energy underpinning the next economic model which will put the money back in the pockets of the ordinary man in the street and a proper vote in the ballot box and sovereignty for nations across the globe.

  14. Pingback: A ‘Poverty Safari’ Only Works for the Enlightened 1%* | Hwaairfan's Blog

  15. Pingback: The plight of the gormless. | Social Action

  16. Pingback: Rich Going on ‘Poverty Safari’ in Poor Areas of UK to Watch Poor People ‘Live Like Animals’ | Scriptonite Daily « this 'n that

  17. Please stay angry. This is an exceptionally good post in which you’ve exceeded even your own high standards. the Biscuit Fund, whom you’ve kindly mentioned ( has, in its own small way, now managed to provide emergency funding to just under 100 cases that were deemed eligible for help. For every one they help, though, they know there are thousands who drift past unreported and unassisted.

    My own period in the Support Group comes up for review on 16 August this year, and I simply don’t have the energy any more to fight Atos (or whoever has taken over from them by then) over the home visit thing again, which means my income will be stopped. From that point on I will be on an enforced hunger strike, which I will – of course – document fully via emails copied to Facebook and Dorset Eye.

    Electricity will have to be conserved for keeping freezer foods fresh, meaning no using it for cooking; gas will have to go off, so no hot water; water will have to be turned off at the mains anyway as the DD to pay for it will necessarily have been stopped. So, I will have loads of food in the cupboards and won’t be able to prepare any of it for cooking. This kind of situation is already being suffered by thousands of people across the UK, so I won’t be in any kind of unique position.

    It looks as if the new GP isn’t going to be anywhere near as supportive as the previous one, so I’ll be copying her into the emails to the DWP et al as well, just so she can learn of the situation that she will be helping to cause.

    I think the limit for the average human to go without water before death is five days.

    There are places to turn to for help, but my view is that in 21st century Britain we should not NEED such facilities. I don’t want charity and will not take any; I want only the assistance for which I paid taxes under a social contract for thirty-one and a half years.

    • Fortunately no water in the house doesn’t mean no water in general. In Alaska, myself and most of the people I know live in cabins without pipes – you just fill up a jug somewhere and bring it back. You could also steal bottled water from rich people.

  18. Can any reader say where Britain’s wealth went? when it was a world power? is this wealth transferred to other countries like Switzerland, in hidden accounts, or used in the stock market today? and kept within the Golden Mile? or has it been lost how could Britain be bankrupt? when it plundered the resources of so many countries in its Golden past.

    • ‘Britain’ still has it..its just here we never revolted and kicked out the ‘nobility’ who basically (as they have since feudal times) have all the wealth and the land, while the working people are treated as ‘stock’..paid as little as possible and given as little say as possible and consequently they live in poverty and die in their droves..albeit in poorly funded, overcrowded, filthy NHS beds rather than on the floors of their hovels or workhouses as they did only a couple of generations ago………

  19. I still find it utterly reprehensible that this government (their arrogant denial of the plight of the truly poor people of this country, is a given) is incapable of recognising that there are a good number of people out here, who are not only literate but also numerate too. My recent article ( references the NAO statistics, which, of the £1,162,000,000,000 of taxpayers money used to bail out the merchant @ankers, do not make it clear who has paid back how much, and in fact whether they have paid anything back at all..!?!

    • The government are not in denial of the plight of the poor…they have created the poor to pay for their non earned income.

      • Perhaps I was being too generous with a presumption that any of them might actually have a conscience. That it is a deliberate policy, I suppose, recognises a world that existed 200 or more years ago; that place to which they would like us to return …

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