“Hardworking migrants vs. the stupid, lazy poor” – Jamie Oliver is on familiar liberal-left territory

This post was written by Reuben on August 28, 2013
Posted Under: Uncategorized

So Jamie Oliver isn’t keen on the British work ethic. Apparently he considers 48 hours to be just half a working week, and is upset that some Brits would consider such hours to be hard work – unlike their “stronger, tougher” British counterparts. This comes the day after he effectively claimed that there was no real poverty in Britain, and that the poor diets of the cash poor and time poor were merely a self-inflicted evil.

While some have been shocked by Oliver’s poor-bashing outbursts, I personally find them all too fitting for a man who gets published by Comment is Free. After all, this trope about hardworking immigrants being superior to the British lower orders is hardly unfamiliar upon the liberal left. Over at the Independent, you can find Yasmin Alibhai-Brown telling us about the “uselessness” of ordinary British workers, when compared migrants, despairing at what the British working classes “have become”, and asserting that “too many” of them “will not get out of bed for love or money. Then there’s liberal luvvie Lucy Mangan, who in the Guardian reviewed a television programme comparing migrants to the British working class, and exclaimed with great humour “the natives are revolting”.

So do express your shock and anger at Jamie. But remember, he’s only displaying the ugly face of middle class liberalism.

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To contact Reuben email reuben@thethirdestate.net

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Reader Comments

Nigel Whitfield

One of the things that strikes me about a lot of these people moaning about the poor is the obsession with TV sets. Jamie Oliver was doing it, complaining about people eating rubbish food in front of a huge TV set. On the “We pay your benefits” programme, it popped up as well, though the person at whom it was targeted did point out he bought it when he still had a job.

It seems to be part of a mindset that says “the poor can’t have any nice things” and that if they do, they it’s somehow evidence of their fecklessness, or inability to budget properly, and therefore suggests they don’t need help.

It’s not new, though; I recall in the 70s hearing people tutting disapproval at the fact that someone “on the social” had a TV set with doors on it.

I wonder if this obsession with the TV sets of the poor is a particularly British thing. Do people secretly yearn for screen sizes to be means tested?

#1 
Written By Nigel Whitfield on August 28th, 2013 @ 2:29 pm

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