Monday, 20 September 2010

Third World Britain on the Way

Now I am not really that sure what all the fuss was about when it was widely reported in the press and the media in general that an aid to the pontiff on his historic papal visit had to pullout of accompanying Benedict XVI.
Just what was the big deal and in what linguistic context did German-born cardinal Walter Kasper who was quoted as saying to that country's Focus magazine that "when you land at Heathrow you think at times you have landed in a Third World country".

There is a soup-kitchen that I have referred to before now, that everyday feeds the homeless and destitute in Canning Town. It’s not quite near Heathrow, but almost on the end of the runway of the city air port which serves the many business types who fly in and out everyday making deals and living it up, the good life in the many cities of the EU.

When I look around I see poverty amongst my neighbours, it may not be as bad as a Third World country, but I’ll tell you this it’s not far off and it’s set to get worse.

But let’s just consider this; in the US poverty is rising, this is supposedly the richest country in the world and poverty is rising; where one in seven people in this great country are living in poverty. Some American Dream is that.

This is still a wealthy country, but the distribution of income has been becoming more and more third-world-like according to a report released last week by the Census Bureau on poverty and health insurance coverage. In 2009, 43.6 million people were in poverty, up from 39.8 million in 2008 — the third consecutive annual increase in the number of people in poverty, and the report draws you to the conclusion that the countries closest to the U.S. are Rwanda and Nepal. Just something to keep in mind as we think of the cuts in benefits on the way, and what happens in the US inevitably happens in the UK

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