The meaning of the word "deprived"

Thoughts on the welfare state and the British underclass

The meaning of the word "deprived"

Postby Gavin » 04 Aug 2011, 18:49

Dalrymple often writes of the British underclass, but I don't think I've ever seen him use the word "deprived", which is a word routinely used by the MSM (mainstream media).

I've been thinking, what exactly does "deprived" mean? Are these people deprived of electricity? Of running water? Are they deprived of public libraries? Is there no free schooling in that area? Does the National Health Service not extend to there? Is there no benefits system there? No security net for bad behaviour? Are there no banks that will lend to people who come up with good business ideas? Are there no prisons that will put criminals up for free (Dalrymple has written of people committing crimes in order to get into prison)?

It strikes me that such people are not really deprived as the word is intend to be understood. This is a weasel word. They often choose to live in the way they do, selecting which examples they will follow.

Perhaps I am too harsh. What do others think?
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Re: The meaning of the word "deprived"

Postby Elliott » 04 Aug 2011, 21:51

I'm trying to imagine what a standard leftie would say in response to that. Probably:

"These people are deprived of opportunity. Their parents deprive them of learning, their community deprives them of jobs, their country deprives them of sympathy."
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Re: The meaning of the word "deprived"

Postby Michael » 04 Aug 2011, 22:32

Gavin,

I agree with you about 'deprived' being a weasel word. The Heritage Institute has a nice write up about the shifting definition of poverty on their website. The focus is understandably on the United States but I believe similar statistics would be found anywhere in the Western world. I've read criticisms of the article talking about the use of the statistics (never challenging them!) but I find their argument persuasive. If someone is complaining about being poor but a review of their finances shows that their 'poverty' consists of the inability to both pay rent AND keep cable television then I will no longer listen to your complaints.

There are true wretches in every civilization and we do them a disservice when we class a person with an XBox and cable television but without a high paying job among their number. A lack of jobs is its own problem worthy of its own attention and shouldn't be cheapened by being bundled with our concern for the wretched.
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Re: The meaning of the word "deprived"

Postby Gavin » 05 Aug 2011, 00:29

I had a chat with a plumber not long ago who had come to fix the drains on a housing association building near where I live.

A nice guy. He said to me "You should see what it's like in some of 'em, mate" and went on to describe a general hovel then added "But then up the corner, I'll tell you what, they always have a whoppin' great 40 inch plasma screen TV".

Probably the Xbox too. It also amazes me how many of Britain's most deprived have that vital accessory, a mobile phone. And don't even start me on the mystery of how it is that people who seem unlikely to have been diligent hard workers often cruise past crouching in enormous new cars with bass speakers which shake my house. That one mystifies me.
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Re: The meaning of the word "deprived"

Postby Andrea » 05 Aug 2011, 00:33

Gavin wrote:And don't even start me on the mystery of how it is that people who seem unlikely to have been diligent hard workers often cruise past crouching in enormous new cars with bass speakers which shake my house. That one mystifies me.


That is just what I have been thinking myself. These "diligent hard workers" usually drive past in Mercedes Benz, Audi and BMW's, right?

If anyone knows how they can afford such luxury cars, and I can't afford a car having worked hard for two good degrees, I'd be much obliged if they'd share the secret with us. :P
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Re: The meaning of the word "deprived"

Postby Elliott » 05 Aug 2011, 02:33

What is amazing is how Guardian readers try to deny this even happens.

I was recently banned from a popular sci-fi forum. I had been participating heavily in a 7-page thread about "chavs". (I don't know if this is why I got banned; they claimed other reasons.)

Anyway, in the thread I described a family I know:

  • neither the man nor the woman works
  • 4 kids (by 3 different fathers)
  • 2 dogs
  • 4 cats
  • nice house given to them by the state
  • 2 computers, each with broadband
  • X-Box
  • PS3
  • 40-inch plasma screen
  • woman constantly smokes dope
  • children in and out of rehab
  • woman gets tattoos frequently
  • woman pressures man to get tattooed

The other posters were disgusted that I was suggesting this family were getting all this courtesy of the taxpayer. They cited other financial sources (carefully neglecting "crime") such as grandparents, personal savings, and selling stuff to Cash Converters etc.

They have nothing to sell to Cash Converters, so that's out. Neither gets money from their parents, so that's out. I'm sure neither is committing crime (apart from buying dope), so that's out.

The only plausible way they could be getting these things is:

the services of Cash Generator for example, where you pay a couple of quid a week, and when you have payed the required amount, you take the (second hand) item home.


... but since neither of the people concerned has ever mentioned anything like this to me, I'm inclined to believe they're getting it all on benefits. The speed at which they acquired a PS3 after its release also suggests that they were able to buy it instantly.

What was very interesting was when I said the family lived in squalor and misery. With child-like naivety, someone replied: "they can either live in squalor and misery OR have an X-Box. Can't do both." So I replied: "Yes they can. Their house is a tip and their lives are chaotic. Somehow the presence of an X-Box has not magically solved this."

Incidentally, I have the thread saved to file if anyone wants to read it. It's truly astonishing how far people are prepared to go to avoid drawing the obvious conclusions.

It also contains a description of my time on the New Deal, during which I met many young men who couldn't have given a toss about working, and talked only about football and entitlements. Everything was a joke to them; they had never had to care about anything.

In the thread, somebody said that these lads probably want what most British people want: to run their own business. I mentioned that one of them had lost his bus ticket and tried to blame the bus company, and asked if such a person could possibly have aspirations to run his own business. It fell on deaf ears.

In a way it is touching that people want to think the best of strangers. But as I said in the thread, by doing so you are condemning them and their children to lives of misery. Then they asked me to define "misery".
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Re: The meaning of the word "deprived"

Postby Michael » 05 Aug 2011, 14:46

Elliott,

You're right about people going very far to defend a worldview. Just raise to an environmentalist even the slightest doubt, not about the existence of global climate change or man's contribution to it, but about our ability to accurately model future climate states. I've observed people I thought were quite level headed go nearly into a rage at this sensible questioning.
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Re: The meaning of the word "deprived"

Postby Gavin » 05 Aug 2011, 15:11

A person who does this very often and attracts flak for it is James Delingpole. I'm glad he continues though - it's a disgrace that counter-arguments should not even be allowed to be heard.
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Re: The meaning of the word "deprived"

Postby Jonathan » 07 Aug 2011, 07:24

Which is worse - "deprived" or "underprivileged" ?
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Re: The meaning of the word "deprived"

Postby Elliott » 07 Aug 2011, 10:02

If you mean the phrases themselves, probably "underprivileged". It is an oxymoron. A privilege is a gratuity, not a necessity. If someone is "underprivileged", that is not something for the rest of us to worry about.
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Re: The meaning of the word "deprived"

Postby Gavin » 11 Aug 2011, 13:14

Listening to Mr Cameron live in the MPs' debate about the rioting and he just used this word. I'd like to have heard him explain what he meant.

Mr Cameron really is a liberal at heart - he's in the wrong party. I suppose we should be grateful that at least he gave Caroline Lucas short shrift when she predictably started talking about "understanding" these thieving vandals.
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