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The Poverty Ladder

Sometimes an item on the tv news can surprise you. Sometimes there will be a story which will disgust you. Sometimes the reaction may be shock or horror. Combine them all for this one. A World Health Organisation study has concluded that Calton , in the east end of Glasgow, has a male life expectancy of 54. Lenzie, a suburb to the north of the city, and a very pleasant one at that, boasts a life expectancy of 82. Lenzie is less than 15 minutes drive from Calton

Four times as many adults of working age in Calton are unable to work due to illness compared with the national average; nearly three times as many people are admitted to hospital; and 61 per cent of adults have no qualifications, compared with 33 per cent in Scotland overall. Calton has the lowest household income of any area in the UK. What little disposable income there is is often spent on booze, fags and junk food.

Last night on BBC news an Indian man was interviewed. He earns the equivalent of £200 per month. He spoke very well and explained that whilst he was poor he had enough to feed and clothe his family and give them a good diet. His life expectancy is eight years more than it would have been had he lived in Calton.

So while the European Parliament spends millions dreaming up new human rights to shower on us like so much confetti (and probably sending overseas aid to India), the UK government updates Trident and assists America in invading foreign countries, what about areas like Calton?
John Mason, the newly elected SNP MP for the area, said: “These statistics are shocking, but sadly familiar. Poor health has characterised the East End of Glasgow for far too long. It is absolutely inexcusable that life expectancy in Glasgow is lower than that of India, where 80 per cent of the population live in poverty.

“Clearly, the area’s challenges are complex and will not be resolved overnight, but action must be taken on the blights that have held us back for too long. For example: measures to tackle excessive alcohol consumption and a lack of exercise as well as addressing maternal health, drug and alcohol misuse and early-years provision.”

Meanwhile in other news, the seventh Duke of Sutherland has offered the nation two of his paintings for the bargain price of £100 million. The fist Duke had a rather less cilvilised way of making money. He cleared thousands of families from his estate and burned their houses to make way for sheep in the Highland clearances. He was the richest man in Britain.

The great and the good are wringing hands to explain how important it is for Scotland to retain these paintings. Meanwhile life expectancy in Calton is 54.

Pass the sick bag.

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9 Responses

  1. Rab
    its a con to get polish people to go home
    where they can live to the ripe old age of 71
    I am terrible for conspiracy theories as you know

  2. Well done for highlighting this Rab. The more people talk about it then perhaps we’ll get some meaningful debate going rather than the tosh talked by the likes of Tracey Emin on the BBC News last night. “We must save these paintings. If everyone n the country gave just a pound we could buy one of them.”

    I know art and poverty are completely separate issues but somehow we get the balance all wrong. No one bats an eye at £100 million. Think what that could do for projects in the East of Glasgow. Will any less tourists come to Scotland if these paintings are not here? Of course the art crowd will argue that it’s the thin end of the wedge….why?

    The former director of the National Portrait Gallery said.

    “The governments should see the wisdom that there is in investing, as cultural tourism is an enormous earner.”

    Frankly the current Duke has not done anything towards the value of these paintings they are simply a book asset for him. Why does he think he should benefit to the tune of £100 million? Of course in polite circles they don’t ask those kind of questions.

    I’m alright Jack…comes to mind…

    Rant over….

  3. You may need another sick bag for this shocking information.

    Elizabeth Warren, a Harvard law professor talks about her research into the USA’s healthcare dilemma. She says unless you’re a millionaire, you aren’t 100% completely safe when it comes to being covered. This is a very interesting piece from the deleted scenes of Michael Moore’s movie, “Sicko”.

    How to effectively collapse massive numbers of middle/working class people into absolute poverty?

    Sell them the American “private health & welfare” choice myth and employ a ruthless, unethical insurer to delay, diminish and deny genuine claims. Make it practically impossible for a deceived individual to have any form of legal recourse.

    Even worse now, thanks to New “neo-con” Labour, [although David Cameron has also been sold on this American myth] employ and trust in a “outlaw’ branded American insurer and its aligned charities /foundations/ partners to control access to very last resort welfare.

    Pay hundreds of millions of taxpayer pounds to nationally roll out Unum’s invented “Pathways to Work” scheme, implement Unum’s non-medical “bio-psycho-social” tool to “assess” the sick [and also establish "under-performing" doctors] and then pay Unum’s aligned private firms or Charities/Trusts up to 62,000 per head for “helping” a chronically ill, mentally ill or disabled person back into a minimum wage job or worse, force them to do community service for 35 hrs a week in order to justify “benefits.” This works out at less than half the minimum wage!.

    The demise of the NHS at a cost of more than a billion taxpayer pounds, the loss of local GP surgeries in England & Wales [in favor of "polyclinics" perhaps manned with UNUM’s exclusively trained and certified "rehab" assessors instead of medical doctors] and the elimination of last resort welfare support are all wonderful ways to push sales of useless when you need them private “insurance” policies.

    Everybody pays for the NHS and access to fundamental welfare [if ever needed] already, through NI contributions and taxes. Where is all this money actually going?

    The American people want to completely bar “insurers” from Health & Welfare but for some unknown reason New Labour fully embraces all of UNUM’s “inventions” and “initiatives” and goes one step further by trusting UNUM will actually ‘help” the most vulnerable citizens in our society.

    Looks like Gordon Brown has been neo-conned again …

    Trusting in a very troubled organization, awaiting numerous criminal RICO ACT trials in the US, implementing serious changes to national social policies in spite of devolution and very disturbing alterations to the Mental Health Act based upon so-called “special studies” and medically unchallenged academic theories from psycho-babblers with a urgent desire to sell 125 billion pounds worth of private “insurance” policies in the UK marketplace…is insanity.

    If allowed to continue the poverty curse will spread all over Scotland and the rest of the UK, as accidents and illness could happen to anyone.

    Many of Unum’s +/- 300,000 American defrauded policyholders were previously successful professional people forced into bankruptcy and on to welfare in the first place by Unum’s continued bad faith “insurance” practices.

    America now has middle/working class people living in cars and tents with approx. 270,000 people made homeless during the month of July in the state of CA alone…

    When will people realize the grass is not greener on the neo-con side. What part of thou shall not commit murder do these “religious” hypocrites and their British “converts” to the worship of money “faith” not actually understand?

    First, they assessed the disabled in the name of “Pathways to Work” and I didn’t speak up – I was not disabled.

    Then they assessed the chronically and mentally ill in the name of “Pathways to Work” and I didn’t speak up – I was still healthy.

    Then they assessed the elderly in the name of “Pathways to Heaven through Work” and I didn’t speak up – I was still young.

    Then they assessed me but unfortunately, there was no one left to speak up to…

    Another Unknown, somewhere in the UK 2015!

    PUBLIC [OFFICIAL THIS TIME] INQUIRY – WHEN?

  4. Time for the introduction of “vitamin enriched” Buckfast maybe?

  5. I was at the National Gallery in Edinburgh during the summer and I must have walked past the Titian with one glance. It doesn’t speak to me. But I can see the case for having a National Gallery and allowing the public access to “fine” art because there are some paintings which I do like.
    People living in poverty with poor life expectancy is a more serious matter. It should be alleviated but it’s not going to be easy and will take a generation or more.

  6. Tomahawk Kid, someone I was speaking to recently came up with the idea of vitamin fortified methadone!

    Typical Scots humour which we can all laugh at (we’re good at the dark stuff eh?) but… but… jeez! 54!

    Jack’s right it will take more than a generation to tackle problems like this.

  7. How many generations do we wait before we start?

  8. Can I mention that the Duke of Sutherland is 68 years old, and his predecessors generally lived until well into their seventies or eighties – apparently none of them were born in or lived in Calton.

  9. Which is how I should have finished the article of course!

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