From Facebook Memories 9 years ago this morning, but disturbingly relevant today:
Irritated by assorted readers of “Which?”, I posted the comment below on the Which? discussion boards a few days ago. I’ve just noticed that it’s now “comment of the week” !
I’m sure plenty of posters have a lot to feel smug about, but the reality for many people is that there just isn’t enough cash for energy and food. If you’re on benefits, Some kind of phone and internet connection are essential, especially if you’re looking for work. Many of those unexpectedly out of work will have long-term contracts (for example, Sky or gymn subscriptions) that can take a year to cancel, so these aren’t always luxuries that can be controlled! I know – it took me eight months to work through such items when I lost my last job.
Before posting smug condemnations of the feckless poor, please stop and think. If you lost your job or became too disabled to work tomorrow (or if both of you did, if you’re in a two-income household), how .long would it take you to set yourself up to live on the dole? What would you do if the fridge or boiler broke? How long would it take before you were able to grow even basic salads to cut down on food costs – what’s the waiting time for an allotment if you don’t have a garden?
The lecturing and patronising approach that some people take to the very real problems of poverty is a real contributor to the marginalisation that many of us feel.