Monday, January 18, 2010
The War On The Poor
You may have heard that the Government have been slyly targeting that old bastion of poverty, Buy One Get One Free. Hilary Benn, the government minister in charge of the environment in Britain has called for a “radical rethink” of promotions in order to reduce unnecessary wastage. Simply eliminating food waste would cut the UK’s emissions as much as taking a fifth of cars off the roads, he claims.
Which is fine. He can afford to choose a diet which does not rely on the limit of your bank (im)balance. In principle, a war against the BOGOF is, for the idealistic targeting food waste, somewhat principled.
But it is part of the immense, and vicious, war on the poor. For those of us who have a diet or an income that does not stretch as far as we would like, economy – that is, the reduction of unnecessary expenditure wherever possible – is a necessity of the minimum wage, short-term contract, war on the workforce society that is the ultimate result of capitalism and corporatism
Quite a few million other people, choose parts of their diet on what is available in the Buy-One-Get-One-Free : many people on the average, median wage of this country.
Should the Government choose to replace this with the cunning “Half Price Deal”, all people will do is buy the same amount of food in slightly different amounts. When you’re poor, and you make decisions of what to eat on the grounds of what is cheap, you don’t eat more than you need, you eat as little as you can, and stretch the money as far as it can possibly can.
Instead of targeting the ‘Buy One Get One Free’, maybe the government should target the economy that creates such a society where for millions of us that is the only way you can reasonably afford to eat. For it’s simply not a civilised way of life.
Have I written this before? Probably. The story is old, I know, but it goes on.