Demonisation Of The Poor

On Monday evening Channel 4 aired a problematic documentary “Benefits Street
The documentary depicts a group of people living off benefits. It dehumanises the people and it’s predicated on gross caricatures and misrepresentations to instigate an outrage.
Suffice to say it’s achieved its objective as testified by the vitriol spewed by some on Twitter
It’s not first of its kind and it won’t be last; unfortunately exploitation of the poor is a very lucrative business as evidenced by the notorious “Jeremy Kyle” show

Inevitably this documentary has stirred up furore from people of all political divides.
The right are infuriated by the purported parasites, and the left are incensed by the portrayal of the poor, alarmed it may exacerbate problematic notions about the poor which already pervade society.
Of course the latter are right; society already has some fallacious beliefs on welfare claimants and shows like this serve to bolster and reinforce these pernicious beliefs.

The British Government run by conservatives like obfuscating the facts and they brazenly perpetuate harmful misconceptions about the poor, and amenable voters obediently accept the propaganda. Some would like you to believe welfare fraud is at epidemic levels but on the contrary, as evidenced by the statistics below.
The discrepancy between the actual figures and public belief strain credulity and it’s shows like the aforementioned ones and the shameful propaganda that precipitate this kind of insidious thinking.


People also make the assertion tax avoidance is completely extraneous from welfare fraud, but they’re inextricably linked.
The public and government tend to be more apathetic towards tax avoidance opposed to welfare fraud despite the fact welfare fraud is strikingly disproportionate to tax avoidance and therefore less harmful. Google, Starbucks, Amazon, companies who have engaged in tax avoidance schemes despite being monstrously profitable companies yet the outrage directed at these corporations is markedly less than that at people who engage in welfare fraud.

It’s time people lay off the poor, and direct their anger at someone more worthy of it: The corporations

Owen Jones succinctly conveys the anger of many at this deplorable show