The vast majority of the world defines poor as “lacking the means to secure the necessities of life”. The necessities of life I would consider as being food, shelter, access to clean water, sanitation, medical assistance and education. Unable to find an alternative word, politicians and the media describe people in the UK who are less well off as, “poor”; showing a lack of respect for, and no understanding of, the circumstances of the world’s real poor. (By the way, poor can also mean despicable and inadequate, so perhaps the really poor people in the UK are the politicians and media, now that would make more sense!)
I have been less well off, have had to struggle,
With the weekly family budget I’ve had to juggle;
Going without, when those around me had more,
But I would never have though of myself as “poor”.
“Real poverty” in the UK has been eradicated,
The poverty line, a term that’s politically dictated;
An emotional description for those who have less,
To drive wealth redistribution, create a financial mess.
If you follow the argument that the left likes to pursue,
When compared to Bill Gates then we must all be “poor” too!
A ridiculous argument you’ll say, that is for sure,
“Poverty” created by the arbitary line that we draw.
To understand real poverty, go to Africa instead;
Being poor there means no roof over your head.
No food on the shelf, hungry mouths to feed;
No toilet to use when you have the need.
Sleeping on the cold ground, out in the open,
You might have a shack, but that’s only a token;
Made of cardboard and plastic, no wooden garden shed,
And when shacks catch fire, dozens can be left dead.
A diet of maize porridge is what the poor eat,
To have anything else would be considered a treat.
Disease and dirty water, with no doctor at hand,
It’s just one day at a time, with no future planned.
Condemned to live a life in a squatter camp,
Heat and light provided by a paraffin lamp.
All the family in one space, just crammed together,
Hoping that their shelter will keep out the weather.
Going to school does not mean the same thing;
No books, no desks, no school bell to ring.
The way to improvement is through education,
But how do you educate in that situation?
No trips in cars to vast shopping centres,
No PlayStations to play on, no watching Eastenders,
No beds to sleep in, no taps to turn on,
No electricity supply for when the daylight is gone.
Africa’s millions of poor would swap their situations
With the “poor” in the UK, suffer their deprivations.
For them it would be a life of pure luxury,
They would rejoice to live in UK “poverty”.
Some will still argue that poverty’s a relative term,
But it’s only by those who don’t want to learn
About life’s real necessities, what they truly are,
The UK has moved past that, it has moved very far.
Clean Water or Dirty Science – It’s Our Choice.
“Ten tiny fingers, ten tiny toes,
The baby just lies there, in its final death throes.
There is no clean water, so this child has few chances,
And the world has no interest in this baby’s circumstances….”
“I may not be an accountant,
But there’s a number I want to share;
It’s the number of children living today,
Who tomorrow won’t be here…..”