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Destitution porn curses the lives of individuals guaranteeing benefits

Zoe Williams asks – to some degree logically – what may be the effect of the unending development of “neediness porn” on the individuals who depend on advantages for all or a large portion of their pay (TV’s obsession with individuals on advantages breeds doubt, 9 February). What my examination without-of-work advantage petitioners indicates – see policypress.co.uk/for-whose-advantage – is the routes in which the cliché, belittling and one-dimensional characterisations that such shows so frequently highlight add to an atmosphere in which inquirers feel that their practices and activities are as a rule perpetually evaluated and discovered needing.

The people I addressed had frequently disguised antagonistic descriptors – self-depicting as a “scrounger” or “a bum” – even where they were working diligently administering to kids, searching for business or adjusting to autonomous life after an adolescence in care.

Living with neediness and advantages shame had negative outcomes for people’s self-regard, emotional wellness and citizenship status. “Destitution porn” and shows like The Moorside might be effectively recasting neediness as light stimulation, yet their effect on those attempting to get by on advantages is definitely not.

Dr Ruth Patrick

Postdoctoral scientist, School of Law and Social Justice, University of Liverpool

• Zoe Williams states: “It is this [anti-welfare benefits] culture that has created the disdain of migration that is most extreme in denied groups.” Is that valid? Is there any examination/concentrate that demonstrates the area of this extraordinary disdain? She tries to clarify this power of scorn by guaranteeing it is the consequence of being “left behind”.

In any case, it is broadly announced that the greater part of Conservative gathering individuals – and in addition a large number of the gathering’s MPs – harbor a scorn of movement. Enoch Powell’s “waterways of blood” discourse was not the embrace of somebody from a “benefits childhood”. Nigel Farage and the regularly changing initiative of Ukip don’t originate from a “benefits childhood”.


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