“‘A political choice’: UN envoy says UK can help all who hit hard times”

“What tells you most about a society is how it treats its poor and vulnerable, the UN special rapporteur on poverty and human rights, Philip Alston, told a packed public meeting held in the UK’s poorest neighbourhood on Sunday.

He said a wealthy country could decide to help all those who hit hard times, ensure that they don’t slip through the net and are able to live a life of dignity: “It’s a political choice.”

Alston was in Jaywick, a tiny village by the sea in the south-east corner of Essex. It has found itself at the top of official indices of deprivation since 2010, and in countless articles and TV documentaries has come to symbolise the kind of bleak and gaudy poverty fuelled by chronic economic neglect and social breakdown. …”