I spent a lot of time looking for poor people in Britain. I was told that they are there. Of course, what the British call poor is very middle class in South Africa. I was looking for really poor people. Poor people in South Africa live in a two room shack built of corrugated iron without insulation (very hot in the hot summers..freezing cold in the colder areas that reach below freezing..definitely NO central heating..a communal toilet, shared by 4 households if you are lucky and a tap with clean running cold water shared by 40. The shack is shared by two families..one in each room, if you’re lucky.)
There are those who are completely homeless too, and sleep in the streets carrying their homes in a supermarket trolley. In South Africa there are no payouts for the really poor unless you are disabled or old or have young children. Even these payouts amount to: R1,500 per month (75 pounds) PER MONTH not per week, as in England, and ONLY if you do not earn more than R64,680 ( 3200 pounds) per YEAR.The same amount is given for a disabled person. The child support grant is R350 (17.50 pounds) per MONTH to the main caregiver of a child 18 or younger. The applicant must earn less than R39,600 (4000 pounds) per YEAR.
So you can see, that there are different levels of poverty in he world.
So I did find some poverty in a manner of speaking. Very occasional beggars usually with a dog, usually, are white, young and often drug addicts or alcoholics. I saw only about 5 in the year I was in Britain. (South African beggars usually are black, trying to sell or make something or looking for work, very rarely just sitting with a hat. here are many in one day. We have a few white beggars too, but they are always alcoholics or drug addicts) I also found one bag lady in the year I was there. But I wasnt certain, as she looked quite posh.
It was likely because I was living in the Cotswolds, which is a fairly wealthy place, apparently, so I went to Bristol to look for signs of relative poverty.
This area had piles of rubbish like this.
You would never find piles of rubbish like this in South Africa, mainly because the poor people would have piled it in a trolley and sold it to the re-cyclers. Truly, every bin day in SA you find bin pickers looking for things to recycle or sell. Never would you have found a duvet with pillows as here. These would have been taken home to be used. Even paper is scratched from the pile..this called white gold, as the highest prices are paid at the re-cyclers.
Graffiti is often a sign of disaffected youth, and this area in Bristol was graffiti area de-luxe. At last I found some colourful signs of protest.
There was this satirical piece with Trump and Boris Johnson kissing..a comment on the brexit voting that was taking place at the time. on a damaged building full of graffiti. Lots of other graffiti:
Banksy is probably the worlds most renown graffiti artist, and one could call him the Banksy of the poor. You can be glad if he trashes your wall, because it will be very valuable. His recent installation at Western super mare, a town outside Bristol and comparatively poor, where he took over a derelict holiday resort, and despite (maybe because) charging a low entrance fare by British standards, brought 20 million into the Western super mare economy. So, these are two Banksy’s that I found by chance..I didnt even go and look for them.
These look like Banksy’s, but I cant say for sure. One was in Camden, London, the second in a subway in Bristol and the third, just something quirky in Portobello road, London.
My son, Byron, is a Banksy fan, and later on I found a shop selling Banksy T-shirts, I had to get one to take home. Unfortunately it was too small..British sizes are slightly different, and I cant change it! sob!