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Dispatches - Growing Up Poor

(283 Posts)
TurquoiseKiss Tue 03-Dec-19 10:59:48

Did anyone see this? I'm half way through on catch up - very tough to watch.

oohnicevase Fri 06-Dec-19 20:49:45

Although I didn't think it was a particularly well put together film.

Frequency Fri 06-Dec-19 20:51:36

I agree to a point about shielding kids but when you're that poor it can be hard. The family who had no food for example. Should that parent have lied about why they had no food? I can't see how that would make things better. Equally, if the food bank is only open when the kids are out of school or you can't afford the bus and need the extra hands to carry things home then how can you shield them from it?

I was also under the impression they were talking to/for the camera and in RL there is probably less of a focus on money, although, still, when you're that poor, the kids know. They just do. They're children, not idiots. It's impossible to shield them from your reality when your reality is so bleak.

I know I always told my kids "I'm sorry, I can't afford it because I have to pay X,Y and Z," because in mind that was less hurtful to them than just, "No, you can't have a new coat even though yours is ripped and no, you can't have a birthday party." They understood that I was saying no because it was impossible for me to give them what they wanted and not because I just didn't want to or was prioritising something they might feel was less important, iyswim?

SlumMumBum Fri 06-Dec-19 20:52:56

I'm sorry you had to go through that cantsleep - being burdened - exactly that. The graph mapping her mother's mental health was just unnecessary.

Frequency Fri 06-Dec-19 21:01:44

I thought the graph was mostly for the cameras and probably suggested by the producers but I thought it was age appropriate and fine. If you live with a parent who has mental health issues and who, for whatever reason tory policy, is unsupported by the mental health and/or care system and is unable to access the care needed, it will have an impact on the children. It makes sense to me that you would explain the illness in an age appropriate and make it clear to the children that your illness is not their fault and the symptoms shown are not because you don't love them.

Gilead Fri 06-Dec-19 21:08:02

It wasn’t directed at anyone really. Just a general frustration at people not really getting it.

Cantsleeppast3am Fri 06-Dec-19 21:08:20

Of course frequency, kids aren't stupid and there's so much they'll suss out for themselves. But that little girls mum was telling her every little detail....

Gran22 Fri 06-Dec-19 23:25:08

When someone's circumstances change suddenly, such as the mum who'd left with her children due to DV, there ought to be easily accessible emergency funds to ensure they can buy food and pay for heating. The most vulnerable often seem to be the people who get the least help.

I was a housing officer, in a fairly deprived area, and I saw households on benefits long term with similar incomes, but very different priorities. Some managed to keep their children clean and reasonably fed, used the local credit union, and ensured that their benefits were sorted. Others were pretty chaotic. More money alone wouldn't solve their problems, and in many cases wouldn't find its way to improving the children's lives which is really what most of us would like to do.

ReanimatedSGB Fri 06-Dec-19 23:50:54

Thing is, poverty is the fault of the WEALTHY. Poverty is the fault of the business owners who hold down wages and demand unpaid overtime. it's the fault of the landlords who, in many cases, inherited property that they rent out at an excessive rate while not maintaining it. It's the fault of those who use their inherited wealth and assets to lobby for removing any restrictions on their ability to exploit their employees.
And, fundamentally, the current poverty is the fault of the people who dodge their taxes and hoard their wealth in untouchable offshore accounts.
If you whine about your taxes supporting some single mum to have her hair done, are you happy about your taxes contributing to the extremely comfortable lifestyle of a man who rapes girls? Just because he was born into a wealthy, powerful family, should the rest of us be paying for him to live in comfort and luxury and rape girls?

HigherFurtherFasterBaby Sat 07-Dec-19 08:40:27

@ReanimatedSGB

Everything you said. Everything.

Billionaires disgust me in every way possible.

TheRightHonerable Sat 07-Dec-19 14:15:27

@raskolnikova

Oh lord! 🙄 Right well let’s be clear, If two healthy adults don’t use any form of protection against pregnancy when having sexual intercourse then it’s not an unplanned pregnancy and you should immediately stop using that term and sponging off the sympathy that mothers who have had genuinely unplanned pregnancies deserve!!

^This is why women who have had genuine non fault pregnancies don’t get the sympathy/support they deserve. Because others won’t acknowledge nature 😂🙈😂🙈

Any thread where a man calls a pregnancy ‘unplanned’ gets Immediately shot down in flames as ‘Irresponsible’ and ‘stupid’! So let’s apply the same logic to women.

No protection = Potential pregnancy.

raskolnikova Sat 07-Dec-19 17:00:35

It's not a planned pregnancy unless you completely distort the meaning of the word 'plan'. No protection = potential pregnancy. No protection =/= certain pregancy, therefore, it's not a 'plan'. And sympathy? I don't want sympathy. I'm trying to make the point that people's situations are complex, I already said I had an education, a job, a flat, a life, it's not like a pregnancy seemed like a distaster, planned or unplanned. I actually don't think whether people plan to get pregnant or not is the main point here.

Jodie77 Sat 07-Dec-19 17:03:31

I don't think it's a planned pregnancy but I do sometimes raise an eyebrow when somebody says it was a "surprise" in those cases

raskolnikova Sat 07-Dec-19 17:06:09

Well I also have fertility issues and thought I wasn't fertile, so to me, it was a surprise. But again, I don't think that's the point.

TheRightHonerable Sat 07-Dec-19 18:27:23

@Rasko

🤔 There is no physical difference between TTC and ‘having unprotected sex’. By your logic anything you do without direct intent isn’t your responsibility no matter how common sense it is!

(If you reasonably believe you can’t conceive for whatever reason then that’s equivalent having contraception in place and any resulting pregnancy would obviously be unplanned.)

If it’s ‘not the point’ then why did you make such a point of sharing it?
I’d say it’s very much the point when ascertaining whether an irresponsible adults actions have inflicted poverty on a child.

- Did you choose (or take no reasonable steps to prevent) pregnancy?
- At the time of conception could you provide a basic standard of living for a child?

Thats ^ the difference between unfortunate and irresponsible!

Yes circumstances change, redundancies happen, illness happens, disability happens and all sorts of other things which can all be put into the ‘this is what the benefit system should be for’ category. It doesn’t change whether you knowingly brought a child into poverty or not.

TheRightHonerable Sat 07-Dec-19 18:30:55

@raskolnikova

I agree that your personal circumstances aren’t the issue - but I don’t agree that adults who are blatantly irresponsible with their reproductive organs aren't the issue - I think they’re very much an issue.

housinghelp101 Sat 07-Dec-19 20:26:28

Felt so sorry for Danielle and felt that she had to bear the weight of her dad's MH problems. Him showing the photos of where he had burned himself with cigarettes really angered me, I cannot imagine the anxiety that poor girl must have. There but for the grace of God go I.

raskolnikova Sat 07-Dec-19 20:33:16

There is no physical difference between TTC and ‘having unprotected sex’. By your logic anything you do without direct intent isn’t your responsibility no matter how common sense it is!

(If you reasonably believe you can’t conceive for whatever reason then that’s equivalent having contraception in place and any resulting pregnancy would obviously be unplanned.)

Well I thought I was barren but obviously I wasn't.

*If it’s ‘not the point’ then why did you make such a point of sharing it?
I’d say it’s very much the point when ascertaining whether an irresponsible adults actions have inflicted poverty on a child.*

I shared it in the wider context of having a job, losing a job when pregnant, having a place to live and then not, etc. It seemed relevant to a discussion on poverty and how it can happen. I didn't consider the circumstances of the conception to be a bigger thing than everything else.

Yes circumstances change, redundancies happen, illness happens, disability happens and all sorts of other things which can all be put into the ‘this is what the benefit system should be for’ category. It doesn’t change whether you knowingly brought a child into poverty or not.

Well I don't know if I would be considered deserving or undeserving poor or not, of course I would say that I didn't knowingly bring a child into poverty, as I said in my original post that circumstances snowballed. But I'm aware that other people would look at my situation and judge me on numerous counts and I believe this kind of thing would be the same for many others.

TheRightHonerable Sat 07-Dec-19 22:00:47

@rasko

To me it’s pretty black and white.
You were supposed to be infertile therefore had no need to use contraception. You got a ‘miracle baby’ similar to people who get pregnant on the implant or long term contraception.

Im not talking about the 1-1000 situation. I’m talking about adults who knowingly make really irresponsible choices and then blame/expect it to be rectified by, the government.

The problem with MN is everyone is so focused on the 1-1000 that nobody holds the 999 accountable 🙄

If a swimming pool put up a sign saying ‘everyone must wear arm bands’ 500 MN’s would jump in with ‘well what if someone doesn’t have arms?’ - it doesn’t mean that for 99.9% of swimmers it’s not a sensible and safe policy.

Gilead Sun 08-Dec-19 06:51:51

The point that is being made to you, * TheRight*, is that it isn’t in fact the 999 that are the numbers to be reckoned with here; it is fact the one. And because there is the odd one that thinks for whatever reason ‘ oh I’ll get pregnant, or doesn’t think, you have assumed without checking any legitimate figures first, that the majority are doing this.

TheRightHonerable Sun 08-Dec-19 07:39:32

@Gilead

There are no ‘legitimate’ figures that outline the ‘deserving poor’ vs the ‘irresponsible’
It would be virtually impossible to design a research method to accurately identify these figures.The only statistics available relate to number of claimants of each benefit type and variables such as age and gender.

But what this means is that when you say ‘people who make irresponsible choices are rare’ you’re basing that on as much actual fact as me believing it’s pretty common.

I certainly see/read an awful lot of it, I’d be happy to link you to a few recent threads where’s its a very prominent issue and appears to be exceptionally common 👍🏻

Gilead Sun 08-Dec-19 07:54:32

I tend to use sources like the Rowntree Foundation and the ONS, thank you TheRightHonourable. I prefer legitimate sources, they tend to take the emotion out of anecdata on Mumsnet threads.

TheRightHonerable Sun 08-Dec-19 08:25:07

@Gilead

If you want to use those sources that’s fine - but I don’t find them credible. The debate over ‘what constitutes an unplanned pregnancy’ demonstrates the vast grey area so any ‘statistics’ which rely on people being honest or categorising their own actions isn’t credible.

I know a lot of UC claimants who are responsible for their own circumstances - choosing to bring children into poverty, choosing to reduce hours to ‘maximise’ their benefits with the excuse ‘FT doesn’t work for us as a family’ - I see situations like this everyday ... so please don’t tell me it’s ‘rare’ 😂🙈

Jodie77 Sun 08-Dec-19 09:00:04

I don't believe that anybody deserves to be so poor they don't have a roof over their head, heating and eating. I don't need statistics to know how many undeserving poor we have because there is no such thing so it would be hunting for unicorns.

TheRightHonerable Sun 08-Dec-19 09:10:46

@Jodie77

I disagree. Adults who cause their own problems Via bad choices and lack of responsibility don’t deserve to be bailed out at tax payer expense. If you were barely getting by and you chose to have 3 kids in that situation you’re selfish and irresponsible.

Lots of people would love 3 kids and don’t have them as can’t afford them.

Jodie77 Sun 08-Dec-19 09:14:05

So you punish who? The kids? How do you define bad choices and not taking personal responsibility?

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