A street in Lambeth, 1865 (Photo: Alex Werner and Tony Williams)
Of course some people are in genuine need, but it is nothing compared to previous generations — who would kill to be poor in today’s society.
The word “poverty” is bandied about as never before. Labour politicians, columnists for The Guardian and The Independent, representatives of charities such as Oxfam, use the term repeatedly, suggesting that poverty in Britain is a major and even a growing problem.
Very rarely does anyone on radio or television dare challenge this idea. But what do we mean by the word “poverty” today? And how does our idea of poverty compare with that of the past?…