Poverty is at its most deadly when it becomes normal

Homeless man

By Ally Fogg

When is poverty at its most dangerous? It is not, as you might think, when we begin to notice the frequency with which we step over rough sleepers on our way to the shops. It is not when we hear of children going to school hungry. It is not even when people begin to die from hunger, from cold or in desperation, at their own hands.

On the contrary, poverty is at its most deadly when we no longer notice, we no longer care, we no longer even question it. This is the point at which poverty ceases to be a temporary crisis, a challenge to overcome or a tragedy to be mourned, and becomes a permanent state of affairs, embedded into the very systems and structures of our society, not an obscenity, but normality. It is a grim hypothesis, but I would suggest this is a point we have already passed.

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