Are you really on our side?
'Binaries like ‘shirker and worker’ would be unacceptable if they were used in terms of race, gender or sexuality, but in the context of poverty they are rarely challenged.'
The London based Skills Network draw out useful and important insights from their community-building and solidarity work with women navigating the context of poverty discrimination and anti-welfare rhetoric and policy-making in the UK. This piece challenges those of us in more secure circumstances to examine our own privilege and the ways in which ‘we are all interdependent – but a person’s economic situation determines whether dependency is seen as acceptable or not.’
That question – ‘what were my options?’ comes up repeatedly in our discussions. Members of the network feel that they have few meaningful choices in terms of balancing care responsibilities with paid work, and to survive, they’ve often had to make choices which were less than ideal. “You have to look at the circumstances people are in,” says Hazel, “people make the best choices they can…(but) this talk makes us a scapegoat. It’s a way of blaming the poor and having reasons for their policies.”
We highly recommend reading the Skills Network previous blogs on Five Ways and Three More Ways to build solidarity across our difference.
View in full at Skills Network