Their names are Claire, Billy, Amira, Sydnee, Trey. Regular east London kids, some of the many who came along to the Poplar Boys and Girls Youth Club in Tower Hamlets during two days in August to have their pictures taken, and to say what they thought child poverty in the UK was and how they felt about it.
Yes, it’s the good old ‘Guardian’ carrying water for the fakecharities yet again…
Their portraits, by the award-winning photographer Spencer Murphy – whose shot of a soulful Mark Rylance was last week nominated for the National Portrait Gallery’s Taylor Wessing prize – are frank, guileless and affecting.
Their words, presented in diptych, are equally forceful.
And, as they are just children, utterly worthless…
Poverty, reckons Adam, means “not having the basic things to live, like food, clothes, education”.
For Sydnee, you realise someone “may not have as much money as others by the toys that they have, or they might not even have toys. Also by the clothes that they wear, or if their clothes and shoes etc may not fit them.”
So, there you have it – if your kid has put on a growth spurt and outgrown his jeans, failure to pop down to Primark right now puts you into ‘poverty’.
And if you fail to match the toys of his classmates, why, you might as well send the poor little mite to scavenge on the nearest landfill site for food!
According to Save the Children, which commissioned the series to mark the publication of its first ever domestic appeal and survey of child poverty in the UK, Britain’s poorest children are bearing the brunt of the recession and spending cuts, while families on modest incomes are increasingly struggling.
Well, yes. So? That’s the inevitable result of having a family while you’re on a ‘modest income’ in a recession.
It still isn’t ‘poverty’ as most people would understand it.
The charity aims to raise £500,000 to help its work in the UK, and is calling on government to encourage more employers to pay the living wage, strengthen the new Universal Credit welfare system and help parents afford to work by providing extra child care support.
Poverty, says Justin Forsyth, Save the Children’s chief executive, “is tearing families apart“.
It hits all the trigger points, doesn’t it?
The minimum wage is so passé, now it’s the ‘living wage’ (and if they ever get that, it’ll be something else), by ‘strengthen’ the new Universal Credit system they undoubtedly mean ‘raise it’, and we are once again expected to dip into our pockets (either voluntarily or via the tax system) to supplement the breeders….
Well, no more. Not from me. These people better not come to my door, or accost me in the street with their begging bowl!