Living on the grim Edge

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The UK is the most unequal country in the developed world according to the latest report from Oxfam.

In response to the Weekly WordPress Photo Challenge Edge

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53 thoughts on “Living on the grim Edge

  1. Pingback: Edge: High (2) | What's (in) the picture?

  2. I’m glad you posted a link to the BBC report and i hope more will read it. It is indeed sad that one of the richest nations on earth has such a gap between its citizens, and what’s more, doesn’t seem to be making any efforts to close it.
    On a different note, I admire your vision that you can make the leap from the physical ‘edge’ to the one you’ve made of the homeless person under the cardboard. I’m still pondering it but my imagination gets blocked by the literal meaning every time.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. That is sad to hear about the UK, sad that inequality still exists today. Then again, inequality is often a two way street. Sad to see that being homeless and unemployment is something that is ongoing over there. It is the same here to in Melbourne, Australia where I am based.

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  4. I love all three of your approaches to the prompt, sol. Visually, the first is wonderful and narratively, the second two are perfect for the prompt as well. A whole story could be spun from the second and you connect an entire story to the third. Excellent work.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. These are edgy responses, indeed. The second and third photos pack a story and I think that the second one also opens itself to many interpretations. It’s composition is fabulous. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • I remember an outrage in the newspaper about Oxfam spending £4 each roll on their office wallpaper – and that was in the mid-seventies. I presumed that they had got their act together since then – now that you have made that comment I shall do some homework. However it is true that in the UK and indeed many countries in Europe (like Spain) the rich have become extremely rich while the poor have become poorer. I think this is definitely due to the unfair tax system. HMRC are ordered to jump on those at the bottom, forcing many out of their homes, while the multi-national companies (think Starbucks) pay less tax a year than a local butcher. I have hope that, now that the Notting Hill set, with their misguided ideals of a trickle-down system, have been sacked from the Cabinet, we can revert to some sense of normality.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Good comments, Sol. My comment was about the fact that Oxfam, who rely on donations for what they sell in their shops, mark the items up as if they were an antique business, forgetting that poor people once liked to shop there for what they could not otherwise afford.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Ah! I see. That was the original idea of charity shops which set up after WW2 rationing. But when Oxfam set up shop in the 70s their main focus was to make as much money as possible for their charity which gives aid to help third world poor. All other charities saw this as a great fundraiser for their causes and followed suit. There is a really big turnover, usually if an item of clothing is not sold it gets transferred to another branch for slightly less mark up. I know that Fordingbridge where you are has some of the best donations. My husband still travels to the charity shops there if he needs to buy a suit. I have volunteered for Help the Aged (now Age UK) and currently for Cancer Research UK and know that the government does not treat charities any differently to any other high street shops. They still have to pay rent and rates and come down heavily with audits etc. The only concession is with gift aid donations, which can add 27% on any item sold. Therefore the charity shops have no choice but to operate and compete like other retailers, with budgets, American-style targets and advertising their Brand. I think charity shops do a fantastic service for recycling too . As well as the income they get from rags and books etc. volunteers work hard at recycling the items that go towards improving life for those in poverty (many clothes end up in Eastern Europe these days), preventing landfill, which keeps our council taxes down. My motto has always been reduce, re-use, recycle. You are right though that the poorest in our society need help to be clothed. I don’t know how many sleeping bags and my husband’s overcoats I have handed over to people sleeping rough, but I think it is better to get to some of the route causes of poverty in our society too.

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  6. Interesting discussion following an interesting post. The Oxfam report does not surprise me. I see it on the streets of Bristol every day. A growing underclass. Not a statistic I am very proud of.

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  7. American thrift shops have gone the same route, and items there seem more pricey than we’d expect them to be. On another note, I want to thank you for accepting the painting award made with you in mind; you, beyond more than your blog. Your charitable work is noted, with honor. I hope you’ll let our friend know of this tribute to her, thirdly; it would be awkward for me to do so, having come to your blog via the original repartee, and all! I made all the necessary changes to label the painting on my own site, as well. Still deserved! Happy you like it!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Not sure if my other comment made it through. I’ll try to be more brief with this one. There are both organization-attached facilities and private, second-hand stores. The former could include mission-run bedding facilities, feeding services, soup kitchens, even shelters. Others might have thrift stores with a few employment opportunities. Individual faith-based denominations also offer their own stores (they’re struggling). There are private second-hand stores, as well. Some work via associations/foundations: for instance, there are some on-site stores at some larger hospitals which provide wigs, clothing, prostheses, or make-up to women undergoing cancer treatments, etc. But not all are always together or always offered. It’s only by how well the organization is run, via its support, and through the generosity of many of the good people of the United States.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks randy – I didn’t receive the other message. It seems to be a bit different here in that they are like ordinary 2nd hand shops with bits of new stuff – for anyone with the main aim of making profit to enhance their charity. There are small stalls in hospitals that provide scarves and wigs at cheap rates for Cancer patients, and there are religious-run soup kitchens etc for the homeless too.

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  9. I often think it must be harder to be homeless in a city like this in the western world than somewhere where poverty is the norm. All that watching people walk past with food and fancy goods must be hard.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Myself and my daughter went to Winchester Cathedral Christmas service last year, which instead of feeling energetically powerful, felt instead empty of any real spiritual feeling. We both felt it. The officiating priest/minister seemed bored, like it was just another ‘church chore’ he had to carry out.
    Afterwards, we walked around town, only to find every shop door filled with a homeless person! Why couldn’t the cathedral open its doors to homeless people, so that they could at least have a roof over their heads and a shower and toilet! Although there is a homeless shelter in Winchester, it is always full!!!!!
    That entire situation to me is scandalous! I am fully aware of why they are homeless, and more often than not,it was something that spiralled out of control for them. That could, and does, happen to anyone. There, but for the grace of God…
    Great blog!!!!

    Liked by 2 people

    • All the images are from Britain – it is NOT close to the edge -however the division of rich and poor have put many people close to the edge. You are correct in thinking that Spain is in a worse position (though not at bad and Greece and Portugal) – I lived in Andalucia for 12 years and gradually saw more and more people living on the streets and out of bins. I personally think this has been the biggest problem with the EU. In theory the money made was supposed to ‘trickle down’ and create more jobs and employment – but it just increased corruption and immigrant slavery.

      Liked by 1 person

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