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By Mr Grumpy - Fri 21st Sep 2012

After having spent a miserable week in some sterile and generic hotel in a quaint olde Englishe fishing village called Leicester (UK), on some painful training course, I have been reminded of a number of things that I had forgotten about life in the UK.

1.) That the cost of "Beer" (note the inverted commas) in such Hotel bars is priced beyond all bounds of rational humour.

2.) That "Health and Safety" has a lot to answer for: I was forcibly ejected from the Hotel Gymnasium for having the temerity to wear crocs - on the grounds of "Health and Safety". Upon asking why specifically, the jobsworth was unable to answer my question other than repeating the phrase "Health and Safety" ad nauseam, but failing to give a rational reason as to why. My argument that Arnold Schwarzenegger himself used to train barefoot fell on deaf ears and instead I retreated to my room to be consoled by my Corby Trouser press. I asked for the Hotel manager to come and explain the reasons behind his policy to me - and why this nonsensical rule was neither explained or their website, or mentioned when I checked in.

If that wasn't bad enough, the manager didn't have the good grace to explain himself to me.

Those two personal niggles aside, I felt a much larger gripe when watching the regional news on TV.

Poverty in many regions of the UK, it seems, has now reached such depths that almost 1 in 4 of all children of school age are now living in "conditions of poverty".

I was left slightly dumfounded at the fact that so many children could be living in "Poverty" in one of the richest and most developed Countries in the world in the year 2012.

However, on looking closer as to what exactly determined "Poverty" in these generic reports, I was left all the more confused. One of the factors used to determine "Poverty", it seems - at least in the UK - is described as "a condition of not having access to a computer", or having "Just" one TV at home.

Odd that by comparison in Spain - where the rate of unemployment stands at almost 25% compared to the UK's 8.1%, and where the welfare system is far less generous - "Poverty" is defined as a state of being unable to pay essential bills and being forced to forego regular meals.

The word "Poverty" must have undergone a significant change of meaning in English language dictionaries since I was last at school.

Comment on this Blog

So true, Yolanda. What Pisses me off all the more is that in Spain there are far more people without Homes; Jobs; Access to Healthcare; Pensions; University funding; Sickness or Unemployment Benefits; Food; Winter Fuel Allowance etc... etc... etc... yet deprive a 5 year in the UK of his Wii and all hell breaks loose. My Grandparent's generation would probably have a few words to say on the matter.
Mr Grumpy - Fri, 21st Sep 2012
Love it! I agree that the definition of poverty is outrageous. The belief that we have a right to all these gadgets is what got so many info financial trouble in the first place. Food in your belly, roof over your head and clothes on your back is not absolute poverty.
Yolanda - Fri, 21st Sep 2012

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