Cultural Divide or Essence of Values? The Poor vs Rich Debate

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The level of generosity that has prevailed in the shadow of tragedies like Grenfell is not so much unprecedented as anticipated, given the spirit of the British nation. However, in the shadow of austerity and a desire to simply survive, the gap between the rich and poor remains as much a divide as ever.

Like the action which was taken over the Grenfell Tower, many of the families are still not housed where they need to be, despite promises of better accommodation and consideration. An article written in July 2017, the Guardian newspaper reported that only fourteen families had accepted any offers, which shows a lack of care and attention that has been given to the not so wealthy residents of the Kensington and Chelsea borough. What happened raises the question why people from different backgrounds are treated differently. This is why Jeremy Corbyn did so well in the last general election because he stands for helping the underprivileged.

Corbyn had a plan to penalise the rich with high-end tax reform, something that he seems confident of achieving with the Conservatives heading towards the ropes with a lack of clarity over issues like Brexit.

Earlier this year the London Mayor, Sadiq Khan talked about helping the homeless of England’s capital, who are seen but ignored most days. I have spent some time in soup kitchens in recent months due to lack of money and out of necessity, not choice. The Evening Standard’s Food for London campaign, in which they highlighted the amount of waste from supermarkets, has brought home another element of where resources have to be addressed. Khan also commented on the issue of diversity, claiming in September 2016 via the Evening Standard that a growing problem with segregation is happening as well as the evident yearly increase in London’s population, saying: “And these new communities — coming to work and contribute to our economy — have become increasingly concentrated and in some instances increasingly segregated,” saying that “some communities have been transformed beyond all recognition”.

The heart of the rich and poor divide cannot be addressed until you begin to address the heart of each individual who has fallen by the wayside. All people require a simple and constructive sense that they can belong in a proper supported environment other than a doorway to shelter from bad weather. Perhaps multi-lingual homeless shelters could be an answer for people of various cultures who have found a way out of the gutter or from war-torn countries . This could provide inspiration and energy to the communities affected and especially to refugees which have been coming to the UK in the last few years.

The ‘Calais Jungle’, onslaught of hopeful refugees determined to make it into Britain via the ‘Tunnel’, is something that could be given attention. Rather than be a hindrance to the local community and British Government, perhaps the refugees could be offered an on-site infrastructure that provides a comfort zone, without them risking their lives for a non-existent future in the UK.

I must stress that Brexit is merely one of the excuses at present and not the reason why there is a divide between rich and poor. Good workers are good workers regardless of background. Education is another factor that needs to be re-assessed to give individuals who are disadvantaged, but intellectually sound, a voice. There is also a misinterpretation of financial versus spiritual wealth, where people can be happy with less and gain self-respect for what they are making do with.

Global Seven News

John Higgins

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