I was reading this BBC report which is little more than a PR item for those in the ever expanding poverty industry. Basically it just presents the little fantasy dreamed up by Unicef, Barnardo’s and co that there are “millions” of children here in the UK suffering from “poverty.” In a wonderful example of creative maths, they estimate that this could be almost 10% of the total UK population and..wait for it..up to 98% in some areas. Well, before we contact Band Aid to seek them to reform to re-record “Feed the World” (UK remix) maybe the BBC could try and find the space for those who dispute the phony statistics behind all this nonsense from these fatcat charities. They are retailing a liberal invention- “relative poverty” – and trying to pass it off as if it were real poverty. It is nothing of the kind. But why does the BBC only allow one side of this debate to be heard? The suggestion I make is that the liberals in the BBC are actually propagandising on behalf of the poverty hustlers and refuse to countenance another point of view.

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  1. Cassandra says:

    According to these peddlers of ‘relative poverty’ any child without the latest mobile, playstation,nike trainers, 50’plasma tv and pocket money for skunk/vodka etc needs the ‘help’ of the parasite class? Perhaps, and this may be a tad cynical, perhaps the parasite class need to invent child poverty in the UK to increase their revenue stream and influence!
    People(punters)are not so keen on giving away cash when they see kids today living in relative luxury(compared to Burma/Africa etc!
    Its why we have seen the rise of the ‘chugger’ highly paid street hawkers adept at the hard sell tactic.
    There are many who do fantastic work for charity and then there are those who exploit it for their own political ends and financial gain, I wish those ‘people’ ill!


  2. Newmark says:

    I agree. Only a tiny percentage of the population in this country are living in what I consider to be real poverty.

    It is about time someone came up with a definition of ‘real poverty’.

    The definition of ‘poverty’ used by the government, the BBC and the charities is ‘household income below 60 per cent of median income’.

    In reality, many people, particularly the elderly, are living quite comfortably at well below that level.


  3. Pat says:

    I too heard this item on 4 this morning and tried to remember when I last saw a ‘ragged’ child. The poorest estates in this area are the ones festooned with satellite dishes. The BBC tend to rely on people soaking up the ‘message’ without giving it further thought. Hope they have a HYS on this one.


  4. ipreferred says:

    From the article, “The campaigners say this is not a direct measure of exactly how many children are in poverty, but is a good indicator of which areas have the highest child poverty levels.”

    I agree that the ‘millions of children’ is misleading, but the map is useful for looking at the areas with poorer children.

    Incidentally, there is such a thing as relative poverty. It occurs when affluent people live in proximity to poor people and there is a shortfall in the supply of goods (or greedy producers) – this drives up the price of goods and leaves the poorer people actually unable to buy essentials. The cost of living in London for instance, is influenced by this effect. However, as pointed out (with delightful hyperbole) by Cassandra, many of the poorer people in the areas highlighted by the map are relatively wealthy when compared globally.

    The problem really comes down to how they have chosen to define poverty in this report. They are using the amount of free capital that a family has as an indicator of wealth. It does not take into account the services that they receive for free from the state that would otherwise cost them some of that free capital. The government’s strategy to tackling child poverty has been twofold: improving and increasing those services available and ‘throwing money’ at those with children. Whilst the first item will have a direct effect on the quality of life of the poor children, the second, sadly, does not, as the wealth is not spent on the children in a responsible manner. The charities that produced this report are in fact making the situation worse by using the metric they have to produce these figures – the government will look it over and throw more money at the problem, which, unchecked, can in fact make bad parents worse.


  5. Fred says:

    I grew up in a family with no TV, no car and no telephone. So I grew up in relative poverty! I think I shall sell my sob story to the papers and turn up on X-Factor to do a spot of singing. I’ll tell them all about how I got a university education against impossible odds.

    Still not voting Labour though.


  6. Fred says:

    By the way, does anyone have any concerns about charities like Barnardos and the NSPCC which still get huge donations from the public, aided by the government to spend on… what exactly? Neither Barnardos nor the NBSPCC run children’s homes anymore. Child welfare is the responsibility of social services. As far as I can see these charities only exist to write puff pieces for the government.


  7. Fred says:

    … and one more thing. The head of Unicef travels first class on British Airways, long haul. That’s charitable of him.


  8. Cassandra says:


    Many charities gave up the tiring and expensive part ie actually providing a service, they found that they could ‘save’ all the money that would have run homes and looked after people and they could use it for a selfish purpose and that is to provide a political platform/lobby group with lots of nonjobs for their own kind! They advertise in the Grauniad and the parasite gets bigger and fatter losing sight of just why they were created in the first place!
    They spread the lie that they would be better places to be ‘advocates’ for these groups rather than doing the real job of looking after people. In reality the vast majority of gravytrain nonjobs in a certain disabled charity are staffed by able bodied socialists with very close links to each other ie family,friends,party members etc.The very people the charity was set up to help have been discarded as annoying irritants!


  9. Scott says:

    From the current top post on B-BBC: David Vance says ” I also speak as someone who believes in fairness.”

    And yet, here he witters on about relative poverty, while neglecting to mention that neither the BBC article he links to, nor the press release from the organisation who compiled the data referred to in the report, mention such a term.

    Yet again, Vance shows that when it comes to misattribution, misrepresentation and propaganda, he truly has the better of the BBC. Nice one, David!


  10. Newmark says:

    Fred, I used to donate to the NSPCC until I found out that they spend only a small proportion of their income on helping children directly. They are just a lobby group and most of their efforts are directed at raising funds and publicising themselves.

    On the other hand, Barnardos, although they no longer run orphanages, do a lot of good work in adoption and fostering. A very high proportion of their income is spent directly on helping needy and disabled children.


  11. nrg says:

    Scott, the point is that BBC and the parasites refuse to admit that they are talking about relative poverty and allow the public to erroneously assume that they are referring to absolute poverty.

    Now you have been informed, I assume you will retract your slander. (Or are you employed in the BBC, the fat cat poverty industry or some other parasitic organisation)


  12. nrg says:

    Is it just me who has noticed BBC HYS feedback has become more heavily censored to give the impression that the majority of posts agree with BBC propaganda position?


  13. Gaz says:

    Since you mention Bernardos, its worth looking a bit further at what they do.

    Mention the name to people, and they think of charitable childrens homes and inspection powers.

    That, however seems to be the old fashioned idea of charitable activity. Bernardos doesnt do any of that anymore now, now it is just an ‘agenda awareness’ organisation. Changing peoples perceptions and opinions is their job, not looking after children


  14. Gaz says:

    oops, sorry Fred, just see you made my point…


  15. Neil Craig says:

    The only way to refuce poeverty, as convetionally defined, as being a lack of wealth is by increasing the amount owealth, ie GNP of the nation.

    I object to the way the media describe people as “anti-poverty campaigners” when they are opposed to the free market policies which have a record, across countires worldwide from Ireland to China, of achieveing such growth.


  16. Scott says:

    nrg: “the point is that BBC and the parasites refuse to admit that they are talking about relative poverty.”

    Actually, the point is surely that the press release the BBC report is based on actually contains quite a lot of details that the news report leaves out or elides. What happens here, is that someone like David then steps in and tells everybody that what the BBC is doing is replacing that details with something else. Despite, as in this case, we having nothing but David Vance’s word for it.

    You may trust David Vance to make that judgement call: I do not.


  17. David Vance says:


    I do not ask you to trust me, then again I don’t ask for £3.2bn a year. Get the point?


  18. Dave Clemo says:

    Fred wrote
    “By the way, does anyone have any concerns about charities like Barnardos and the NSPCC which still get huge donations from the public, aided by the government to spend on… what exactly?”

    The donations are spent making TV adverts asking us to give them more money so they can make some more adverts.
    These people need the poor. No clients = no job


  19. jimbob says:

    “Adults who lived in poverty as a child are 50 times more likely to develop a restrictive illness such diabetes or bronchitis.”

    on the bright side – at least they’ve got enough money for fags and diet coke.


  20. Jason says:

    What’s incredible is that in times like now, with the world’s economy teetering on the brink, you still have groups of left wing ignoramuses like this demanding billions more in handouts.

    I didn’t realize how much of a prophet Ayn Rand was. Anyone who has read “Atlas Shrugged” is feeling a shiver or two run down their spines on a daily basis right now, I’d wager.


  21. David Vance says:

    Dave Clemo,

    That’s quite right – they have ended up as parasites, feeding off those less fortunate.


  22. Original Robin says:

    The BBC could point out that single mums get tax credits, even if they are not working and paying taxes. Also they could highlight that this relative poverty was relieved around Christmas time, when these single mothers were given a “loan” to buy their kids toys.


  23. Redders says:

    There is no child poverty in the uk , i have not yet seen one child feeding directly from the landfill site ! real poverty is no home no warmth ,and no food , and i am sure the BBC would love to show that if it existed here , this morning the family pleading poverty had a nice big plasma telly and various gadgets in the background !!. There are low income families who struggle to balance the books for sure , we all struggle that is a given , but in my mind not having the latest SKY bundle or Wii game does not quantify as poverty. If you cant afford kids dont have them full stop . Rant over


  24. whitewineliberal says:

    Jason – not sure poor people are the most prominent group baying for hand outs at the moment are they!?

    And David et al – so the NSPCC and Barnado’s are parasitical organisations who do little good, eh? Why don’t take the trouble to read-up on what they do before you speak your brain.


  25. David Preiser (USA) says:

    Scott | Homepage | 30.09.08 – 1:34 pm |

    Actually, the point is surely that the press release the BBC report is based on actually contains quite a lot of details that the news report leaves out or elides. What happens here, is that someone like David then steps in and tells everybody that what the BBC is doing is replacing that details with something else. Despite, as in this case, we having nothing but David Vance’s word for it.

    You may trust David Vance to make that judgement call: I do not.

    Or, you could look it up for yourself, and discover that the BBC is actually misleading you.

    They’re reporting the figures from End Child Poverty, using “poverty” as an absolute term. In fact, End Child Poverty’s own definition of poverty is, as Newmark pointed out above, actually a relative term.

    The BBC doesn’t mention that at all. Instead, it continues the practice of redefining poverty as what can accurately be called “relative poverty”. This is very misleading, to say the least. David Vance was being accurate, and the BBC is giving End Child Poverty a platform for its misrepresentations, abetting the redefinition of a relative term into an absolute one.

    The thing is, this is something we’ve seen before, and DV has had posts on it. This is just another instance of the “relative poverty” dodge.


  26. whitewineliberal says:

    david – you may not know this, but all policy makers in this country, and across the political parties, use this measure. so when the tories talk of ending child poverty, they’re talking about the relative measure of poverty. a legitmate argument whether this is right or wrong. but not evidence of bbc bias.


  27. Jon says:

    How to eradicate relative poverty – if we tax the rich so much that they leave the country then a lot of people will be lifted out of relative poverty without them becoming any richer. No hang on , some people will still be realtivly better off than others, so we now raise all benifits to the mean average salary – lots of people will then be lifted out of relative poverty and whats mmore they would not even have to work for a living.


  28. Cameron says:

    Just watched another jamie oliver making us less fat programe on CH4.

    every one who couldnt to eat well was eating take aways 7 nights a week – flat screen tv’s, ciggys – yes and on benefits.


    Soz – but i grew up in care homes in the 70’s and early 80’s – i know what it is like to go with out. I dont bang on about it – im not a victim anymore- ive made something of my life through working.
    Poverty does not exist in the UK and i just wish the BBC would interview….ME? lol!

    The benefits system rewards people for staying at home.


  29. David Preiser (USA) says:

    whitewineliberal | 30.09.08 – 9:26 pm |

    I know they do that. This has been discussed on this blog before for exactly that reason. I’m saying that regardless of who else uses it, it’s a relative term, and is biased in and of itself. The BBC ought to make it clear that this is a relative term and doesn’t mean that people are starving or homeless or wear potato sacks.

    It’s part of a cultural movement which defines the terms to their own advantage. This is misleading, regardless of how many politicians are foolish enough to play along. The BBC is responsible for informing the audience, and they are failing to mention that this is “relative poverty” and not a practical definition. This usage of political language aids what is at heart a political movement.

    I don’t care if The Telegraph, The Sun, or any other broadcasters mislead people in the same way. They aren’t the official State anything, and don’t have a Charter and Agreement requiring them to inform the public and refrain from helping political movements. If politicians really mean “relative poverty” when they say “poverty”, they’re guilty of the same thing. That’s because one side has been able to define the terms of the argument. Not because the BBC is unbiased.


  30. moonbat nibbler says:

    Tim Harford, the FT’s resident economist, had a good piece on the poverty sham a couple of months ago:

    Eurostat, the European Union’s statistics agency, takes a different approach: it defines the poverty line as 60 per cent of each nation’s median income. (The median income is the income of the person in the middle of the income distribution.)

    This has an unfortunate consequence: poverty is permanent. If everyone in Europe woke up tomorrow to find themselves twice as rich, European poverty rates would not budge. That is indefensible. Such “poverty” lines measure inequality, not poverty, and they do so clumsily.

    Relative poverty is a political measure, it measures inequality, that is why it is so popular with leftists. That the BBC feeds this nonsense to the public without pointing out this Machiavellian political maneuvering is more evidence that it is a megaphone for socialism.


  31. archduke says:

    Fred | 30.09.08 – 10:51 am

    this might be of interest to you

    the NSPCC are linked to Common Purpose

    and here’s an anti-NSPCC makes for some interesting reading


  32. archduke says:

    moonbat nibbler | 01.10.08 – 12:19 am


    as denis prager likes to say:

    you can have equality , or you can have freedom. but you can’t have both.

    a more equal society (or more “fair” as the one eyed snot gobbler likes to call it) , will be by definition less free.


  33. Jason says:

    If the left is so obsessed with the concept of “relative poverty”, why don’t they just measure poverty in Britain relative to the average standard of living in Africa? Surely they’d be far less miserable as a result.


  34. Jason says:

    I sometimes get the feeling that the left’s preoccupation with “equality” is actually a form of neurosis. They’re the kind of people who would get out of bed in the middle of the night and go downstairs because it bothered them that two piles of pennies on the kitchen table weren’t quite the same height.

    But then again, who am I kidding. Look at the lifestyles of those most vocal about “equality”. They’re playing croquet with Faberge Eggs in the back garden of their four story houses in Islington, Jeeves standing nearby with a tray of champers at all times.

    Then you have your Sean Penns and your Danny Glovers jetting off to Venezuela first class to meet with Hugo Chavez to tell him how thoroughly exciting they think his socialist revolution is. Well if they’re so adamant that all property is theft then perhaps they’d like to disconnect the electric fences surrounding their Beverly Hills mansions and hold a little “bring something, take something” day. I have some old eggcups I never use and I’m looking for a set of solid-gold, diamond encrusted bath taps. Mr Penn?


  35. David Preiser (USA) says:


    The drive for “equality” is a bit of a smokescreen. Everyone likes to pretend that it’s about creating equal opportunity for all. That’s false. These people really tend to want not equality of opportunity, but equality of outcome.

    Anyone who doubts that this is the true mentality behind all this need only look at national exams. Not enough kids getting high marks? Lower the bar. 28% for a passing grade, less material covered, etc. The result is no longer quality, but it’s more acceptable because more kids are getting better grades.

    If one were to take this current “relative poverty equals actual poverty” attitude to its logical conclusion, then the only solution to ending poverty is to get rid of rich people. No more people skewing the curve equals less poverty by that definition.