Labour MP hits out at TV programmes for ‘creeping normalisation’ of poverty

“Poverty porn” programmes on television are normalising the idea of the “deserving and the undeserving poor”, and MP has said.

Labour MP Emma Hardy (Kingston upon Hull West and Hessle) attacked programmes depicting poverty and said people “look down on” those struggling with poverty “until the moment it happens to somebody we love”.

She said the Government needs to do more to provide help to people in need, and said the Tories have “ripped the heart out of our public sector”.

Speaking in the Commons during a debate on the Queen’s Speech, Ms Hardy (pictured) said: “We have a creeping normalisation of poverty and struggle.

“We retreat and only speak to those who act and speak like us, our social media reinforces the views of those who we already agree with by the algorithms with which they use, and we have become conveniently blind to the reality that so many people face.

“The Channel 5 programmes put out their poverty porn programmes every single week, rebuilding this narrative there is somehow a difference between the deserving and the undeserving poor.

“We look down on the undeserving poor as people lacking aspiration, people having a poor work ethic until the moment it happens to somebody we love. Until thy hit the rocks. Until life happens.”

Ms Hardy called for more to be done to boost public services, and said there should be an increased minimum wage.

She said people need to believe that, “when life happens, when you fall down, the state will be there to pick you back up”.

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