Poverty can happen to anyone. (Guardian column, Feb 2013).

This is such a good story that touches on one of the topics I mentioned in my blog the other day. I had to share her well put answer to people’s bias against those people having trouble for reasons we don’t know. Many of us have had bizarrely difficult times and there wasn’t much we could have done to prevent it at the time. In hindsight we might see ways we could have changed it sooner, but you cannot regret your decisions and sometimes it is not easy to think logically about some things.

COOKING ON A BOOTSTRAP

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I didn’t manage to say very much on Channel 5’s The Big Benefits Row, beyond an opening remark about people not being able to just rock up to a food bank with a carrier bag and help themselves. I started to talk about the Trussell Trust when Edwina Currie, also on my panel, cut over me to talk about my grandfather’s circumstances.

I wanted to say that poverty is almost indescribable to Edwina and co with their blinkered, self-righteous attitudes. That turning off the fridge because it’s empty anyway, that sitting across the table from your young son enviously staring down his breakfast, having freezing cold showers and putting your child to bed in god knows how many layers of clothes in the evening – it’s distressing. Depressing. Destabilising.

Imagine living for 11 weeks with no housing benefit, because of “delays”. Imagine those 77 days of being chased for rent…

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