I know that fantasy football is quite popular but there was a remarkable demonstration of fantasy politics on the BBC this morning. Yvette Cooper, she who is is as close as a female politician can get to McDoom, was allowed to waffle for five minutes about something which does not exist in the UK – I refer to “child poverty.” She got a free ride as she blustered about Labour’s latest initiative to impose legal obligations on government, local authorities and other organisations to help to end “child poverty” across the UK. At no point did the interviewer challenge the fundamental premise on which all this nonsense is based – namely the leftist political construct of relative poverty. Cooper kept referring to “fairness” – a Labour euphemism for stealing from the industrious and giving to the workshy. When there is so much genuine poverty affecting children in other parts of the world – like Zimbabwe for instance – it’s sickening to hear Labour using the BBC to advocate their own left wing fantasy politics. When we will get to hear someone challenge the poverty industry advocates on the BBC?

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20 Responses to FANTASY POLITICS

  1. Anonymous says:

    Actually I like the left-wing construct of "relative poverty" – simply because having created this self-serving artificial construct to give them a target to reach, the Labour Party have actually managed to make it worse!

    Now that really is incompetent.


  2. Umbongo says:

    Yvonne and the whole Labour "project" (including, for these purposes, the BBC) have taken us into the worlds of Alice in Wonderland and Alice through the Looking Glass. In this paper on "meaning" in Lewis Caroll's Alice books I quote the following

    "Most importantly, look at the discussion between Alice and Humpty Dumpty in Chapter 6, particularly Humpty's remarks about games and mastering language ('The question is,' said Humpty Dumpty, 'which is to be master – that's all.'). One of the principles which is explored in the novel as a whole is whether or not language is simply a tool which we "use", or is it rather a system (arbitrarily defined, in which things mean what they mean because they don't mean something else). These might sound like academic issues, but they have profound implications for the way in which we think about identity (who we are, who we say we are, and what or who others say we are), meaning (can things "mean" anything? what does it mean to "mean"?), and the "world" outside of language." [my italics]

    In other words, words like "poverty" – even "child" – have lost their ordinary, commonly understood meaning and now mean whatever the government chooses them to mean. As with the government, so with the BBC. For instance, the use of words like "militant", "activist", "terrorist" is deliberately confused and confusing. This is not the result of "impartiality". It is the deliberate pollution of civilised debate.


  3. Tom says:

    It would be relatively simple (no pun intended) to reduce or even abolish relative child poverty. And at NO COST.

    Relative poverty is defined as living in a household with a net disposable household income of less than 60% of the median.

    A jobless single parent on benefit would be likely to fall into this category if she lived with her child in her own flat. But if she lived in a household where two or more single mums shared a house – none of them or their children would be living in poverty because 2 or 3 sets of benefits would lift the 'household income' above the line. MAKING SINGLE MUMS SHARE would radically reduce child poverty.

    Also, a married couple can be in a household above 60% of median if they stay together, but will be 'living in poverty' if they split and set up two households. Whichever parent the kids live with would entail 'living in poverty'. MAKING DIVORCE MORE DIFFICULT would stem the growth in child poverty.

    There we are – 2 completely FREE ways to reduce child poverty.

    Will the BBC ever ask ministers why they don't do this?


  4. d says:

    Having more children than the parents can afford is what causes child poverty. labour as usual think that they are chosen by the almighty to create heaven on earth. Their policies only increase the number of breeding dissadvantaged people who then need help from the ever expanding social services.


  5. johnse18 says:

    Imagine a country where the richest 10% live in fabulous wealth – multi-millionaire lifestyles, private jets, swimming pools, luxury cars etc etc.

    They maintain this position by keeping the remaining 90% on the breadline, forced to work for the rich for a pittance. Household income in such a household around one dollar a day – lets say ranging fron 0.9 dollars to 1.1 dollars..

    What would be the rate of child poverty in such a society?

    Answer – ZERO!

    The median household income (i.e. such that half earn more and half earn less) is a dollar a day. No one earns less than 60% of that.

    Hence zero child poverty and hence the irrelevance of the currently fashionable definition.


  6. Tom says:

    d said…

    Having more children than the parents can afford is what causes child poverty.

    … actually, no.

    The Government definition doesn't take family size into account at all.

    So, a family with ten kids whose Dad earns 50p per week more than 60% of median income would be classified as NOT living in poverty, while a family with only one child earning 60p per week less would be officially living in poverty. Daft but true.

    In a wider sense though you may be wrong too. I dunno about the UK figures, but in the US families on welfare don't typically have more kids than families not on welfare.


  7. Cockney says:

    Child poverty certainly exists in the UK by any reasonable interpretaion of what constitutes acceptable living standards in a developed first world country.

    But relative child poverty is absolute bollocks. Any legal obligation which penalises people when the economy improves (thereby moving the "poverty" goalposts) is manifestly arse about face.


  8. Martin says:

    Haven't Liebour been banging on about this non existent poverty for the last 12 years?

    Perhaps if Cooper and her fat boy hubby (A Hitler look a like) didn't steal so much money from the public in their expenses there might be more money left for the rest of us.

    did she get asked about her expenses by the way? Oh hang on I know the answer. No. She's not a Tory.


  9. Idiotboy says:

    Is it just me, or did anyone else find that their attempt to listen to the rubbish Ms Cooper was spouting was confounded by the distraction offered by her absolute refusal to pronounce any word containing the letter "T" correctly. (correc'ly ?)

    I have noticed this annoying habit among Labour 'wimmin' before, especially the Blair babes contingent, of which she is undoubtedly a member.

    It seems to be worn as a badge of folksy solidarity with the working classes, and is often used alongside meaningless references to schools'n'ospitals (I think she managed to include midwives in this morning drivel).

    I hate it. And all it represents.


  10. d says:

    Tom – If there is child poverty in the U.K. (it does depend on how it is measured), then either the parents are spending their income unwisely or they do not have enough income. I think you are getting yourself tangled up in meaningless statistics. We don't see kids on the streets in rags. Maybe the wrong brand of designer trainers now constitiutes child poverty.


  11. Grant says:

    Idiotboy 4:38
    The reverse occurred with Blair's pronounciation of his wife's name. Before Labour's first election win, he always referred to her as "Sherry". I remember watching live when he gave his winner's speech and referred to her as "Cherie" pronounced in the French way. I wondered who he was talking about !


  12. Craig says:

    David's description of the 'Today' interview is spot on. Yvette Cooper did indeed get a free ride.

    Naughtie didn't so much interview her as act as the straight man in a blatant party political broadcast for the Labour Party (complete with repeated, unchallenged attacks on the Tories).

    The 'interview' lasted well over 5 minutes & contained only 5 questions from Naughtie – and no interruptions. (This gives by far the lowest Bias Coefficient I've yet come across – 0.9).


  13. Craig says:

    Showing the BBC's closeness to what David calls "the poverty industry advocates", fully two of Naughtie's five questions were merely quotations from Kate Green, chief executive of the Child Poverty Action Group.


  14. Anonymous says:


    Good stuff !


  15. David Mosque says:

    David – rarely has English been constructed more beautifully:

    ""fairness" – a Labour euphemism for stealing from the industrious and giving to the workshy"


  16. Anonymous says:

    This is both presumptuous – it tries to tie future government' hands (we may be out of power but you are legally obliged to carry out our failed policies), and futile – the existing government has already used a similar supposedly legally binding clause to meet "fuel poverty" targets. When taken to court by aggrieved charities for having failed to actually end "fuel poverty", the government simply said it couldn't afford to meet its obligations. The BBC didn't make a fuss about that, but they probably will be shrieking when a Tory government is in power making "cuts" and tearing up Labour's clause.


  17. John Horne Tooke says:

    "…to impose legal obligations on government, local authorities and other organisations"

    And one of the other organisations which was mentioned by some BBC person on radio 4 PM was "the Police".

    Now I may be slow on the uptake – but how can the police reduce child poverty?


  18. John Horne Tooke says:

    "When we will get to hear someone challenge the poverty industry advocates on the BBC?"

    Simple answer is we won't. Every policy this government puts out is taken straight from unelected pressure groups who make a fortune peddling nonsense.


  19. AndrewSouthLondon says:

    The so-called "Third Sector" (charitable/philanthropic/non-governmenta) is a fraud – its mainly a creation of Government Department hand-outs to fund people to lobby Government to spend more on socialist causes.

    "Child poverty" is not about hungry children, however many of them actually there may be, it is an idealogical weapon in the endless war war between the right and the left, collectivism and the individual.

    (And the "right" is called that – simple, because it's right! Unless of course it's "far right", on which case its wrong.)


  20. flexdream says:

    Anonymous is right, and I think this point was picked up in the BBC interview. Government goals should not be put into legislation, simply to impose them on a successor, who has to change the law as well as change policy. It is also a cheap way of getting brownie points for 'achieving' a goal by making it a legal requirement. No doubt next we will see a law that banks should not lend money foolishly, people should not borrow money foolishly, and house prices should only go up.