Poverty Safari: Understanding the anger of Britain’s underclass by Darren McGarvey
Poverty Safari: Understanding the anger of Britain’s underclass
How strange that a book detailing the “inhibiting, impairing and deforming” effects of poverty leaves me hopeful. Darren McGarvey’s message from inside one of destitution’s 21st century gulags, Glasgow’s “lower class” high rises where mortality rates are the highest in Europe, is that interrogation of anger and “false beliefs” – key components of poverty’s inheritance – is essential to progress, personally and politically. Poverty leaves you “excluded, apathetic and chronically ill”. Swimming in the “soup of stress” of chronic deprivation – an alcoholic Mum, whose teenage pregnancy had “activated her defects” – his own anger and that of everyone else around him, interventions from outside usually making things worse, by some miracle he learns to turn the spotlight he’d trained so brutally on others, on to himself. Powerlessness was what made him rage. Taking back control over his own life, his alcoholism, drug use, binge eating, the prejudices he’d adopted to survive, transformed him from the inside out. Poverty Safari challenges the left as much as the right. Rightfully, it’s selling out everywhere. Bravo!