miss_s_b: (Mood: Vyvyan Twos Up)
I wasn't going to blog about this, because "man wants to generate publicity for his TV programme" is not news, but honestly, the naked bigotry on display by Jamie Oliver today takes some beating. So I'm going to go through a few of his "points" and try to explain why he needs to pull his head out of his arse.

Why can poor people afford big TVs but not good food?

A TV is something you purchase once. Food is something you purchase every day. Perhaps the people with the big telly had a reasonable income until recently, maybe someone lost their job IN THE BLOODY RECESSION, or has had to take an hours and/or pay cut? But even if the people with the big telly have ALWAYS been poor, it's still explicable: when you're poor, you do tend to get the odd occasional windfall - maybe someone close to you dies, or you get a bulk payment after a benefit cock-up, or something similar - and when you get an occasional windfall, you NEVER save it. Money is a transient thing, and if you don't spend it, someone will take it away. It'll slip down the endless chute of debts and gas bills and council tax. So when you get a big windfall you buy something big, so you have something to show for it. Otherwise the money just disappears and it's like you never had it.

So you'll scrimp and save every penny every day to make the food budget go further, but if you get a big windfall you'll spend it on a nice telly because a nice telly will last, and keep you entertained for years. Whereas splitting the money so you have an extra tenner a week to spend on food for the next year doesn't feel like a big difference to your life.

Why do poor people spend money on ready meals at the supermarket, and not fresh food at the farmer's market?
  1. Fresh food goes off quickly. If you can only go shopping once a week, or once a fortnight, and you're buying all the special offers and reduced stuff to stretch that budget further, something that might go off before you can use it is a luxury

  2. Some of us don't have cars and have to use the shop nearest to us. Being able to drive out to the farm shop is a luxury.

  3. Certain TV chefs have taken millions of pounds from certain supermarkets for FUCKING YEARS to persuade people to shop at said supermarket. When that TV chef then turns round and says "I know I've been saying in public for years (and for money) that you should shop at the supermarket, but honestly, if you believe that, you're stupid" that's just a big slap in the face.

  4. Cooking is a skill that takes time and energy to learn. Cooking STILL takes time and energy to do once you have learned the skill. If you're working all the hours god sends just to keep a roof over your head (and these days, even being unemployed means working full-time just to not lose your benefit) you often don't have the emotional or physical energy to cook, and that's before you even take into account that many people have never learned to cook either from their parents or from school.

  5. Maths is a skill. Working out that ready meals often work out more expensive than home-cooked takes maths
Those are just a few reasons off the top of my head.

Why does it matter if Jamie Oliver buys in to Daily Fail-style poor bashing?

Sadly, it matters because people listen to the mockney git. If he was pressing for cookery lessons in schools, like he pressed for better school dinners, this might be forgivable. But he's not. He's after viewers for his new TV show, about how to cook on a budget. If you want to ACTUALLY know how to cook on a budget, when you don't have a car to get to the Farm Shop and you only have a Sainsbury's (oh the irony) within walking distance, and you feel guilty and bad because of the shame of poverty perpetuated by tedious wankstains like Jamie Oliver, look to Jack Monroe, who has actually LIVED IT, not some mockney celebrity chef who is trying to further shame and exploit you.

ETA: Jack has now blogged on this herself, well worth reading: http://agirlcalledjack.com/2013/08/27/save-with-jamie-get-rid-of-the-massive-fing-tv-and-shop-at-markets-instead/
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Hello! I'm Jennie (known to many as SB, due to my handle, or The Yorksher Gob because of my old blog's name). This blog is my public face; click here for a list of all the other places you can find me on t'interwebs.

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