On Thursday I spend the day in Glasgow producing videos and audio as a social reporter at the Scottish Assembly for Tackling Poverty. I talked to an older woman at the end of the conference whose words were passionate, honest and eye-opening. Editing them made me cry: (Listen on Soundcloud)
She praised Owen Jones because he spoke out against the demonization of the poor on the panel. I sprung the video camera on him as he arrived, he usually has a lot more to say for himself. He’s signing his new book ‘Chavs': (Watch on youtube)
But since the assembly I’ve noticed it’s true. I read a blog yesterday about JK Rowling’s new novel and the langauge used to describe ‘the poor’ is exactly what they speak out against.
A friend of mine has spent her whole life working. A few months ago she was made redundant and she has been claiming job seekers allowance ever since. She’s in her forties, she’s competent, she’s approachable and she works hard. She’s been trying to get a job, she’s had interviews. Four months after her redundancy she’s used all of her savings and the £67.50 a week is not even enough to cover her rent. What does she do?
Thankfully the poverty assembly wasn’t just about problems, it was about solutions. More here.