It's always a little depressing when you read something from a university - an elite university to boot - that is really dumb. And even more depressing when you discover that the author of the dumbness isn't some over-idealistic second year student but the "Director for UK Poverty" at international development charity, Oxfam.
Yes I know, I know. You all though Oxfam was all about feeding starving folk in war-torn Africa. Well think again. Oxfam's connection to its original mission of relieving famine is tenuous at best. This 'charity' (and I place it in scare quotes deliberately) has ceased to be one dedicated to such a purpose but has become instead a lobby organisation using its income to create jobs such as "Director for UK Poverty" that have precisely zero connection to the idea of relieving poverty and everything to do with promoting an odious - and discredited - political position.
Here's a taster:
So, even if it is difficult to see how people can escape from poverty without working, it is also increasingly difficult to claim with any degree of understanding that work is the route out of poverty. Lots of jobs which are essential to our society and economy – and indeed to bigger business – need wider support.
By wider support, Oxfam mean higher taxes and more welfare benefits. And the idea that there is any - even the tiniest - comparison between children growing up in the soft embrace of the UK's welfare system and children growing up in, say, Congo or Laos is utterly, criminally wrong. The life chances of UK children with access to free healthcare, free education, generous welfare payments and extensive social services is better than those for most of the world's children. Yet this man from Oxfam wants us to believe that, in global terms, what he calls poverty in Britain is comparable to actual elsewhere in the world.
The article continues for some time in this vein, presenting selected facts and gratuitously exploitative graphical comparisons all wrapped about with references to 'social justice' - as if that actually means anything. And the solution? The pathetic, risible, thoughtless, ill-informed and crass solution? The 'social justice'?
Take more money off someone else, live up to the adage, "there's always someone, somewhere not paying enough tax and it isn't me". It sickens me that the only response to inequality these people can dream up is higher taxes on an undefined group of "tax avoiders". And, in this case it reminds me why we should not give a single penny of our hard-earned, post-tax cash to Oxfam.