James Turner Street

James Turner Street

Like going to Bedlam to mock the mad. A spectacle. Poverty porn – and all in the best possible taste”

“It’s not as if we don’t see people here who are poor, see them in their variety, some dead souls, others hustling, others in quiet retreat. Meantime the very rich have done a swell job getting the surviving poor to hate the ones that struggle and fall.”

I had in mind my dialogue with Jan Diedrichsen, continuing….a letter last Spring:

”Dear J. I suspect that as April’s welfare reforms begin to bite, we will encounter, even more than usual, the ugly habit of demonising the poor . . .

“The trouble is that there’s no narrative, no story robust enough, John. There’s the Marxist stuff. Private Eye is better; articulate, wry, researched. The story being told at the moment is the one that says being poor is your own fault. But on top of that is a layer of ironic cruelty.

“Poverty is now an entertainment . . . the punters confess in entertaining ways that their condition is of their own creation. It’s brilliant. We take punters being billboards for granted now. So the obscene gap between the rich and the poor. It makes the story of fault so much more convincing! The fib – a good semi-truth – has such currency among us, yet composed and recomposed in places with spotless floors and high views, disseminated assiduously by the media of the mighty. Poverty is panem. Poverty is the circus.”

Read more at the beautifully illustrated: http://democracystreet.blogspot.co.uk/#sthash.3ogYtABH.dpuf

Ed: I once watched a few minutes of the Jerry Springer show and wonder how Simon would describe that.