Being poor like a ‘corpse at funeral’, says minister


by Don Paskini    
11:53 am - November 23rd 2012

      Share on Tumblr

Lord Freud, government welfare reform minister and general buffoon, was recently interviewed by House Magazine. The interview appears to have been conducted in the style of ‘are there any thoughts you would like to share with a grateful nation, minister?’, with Freud setting out his vision as a noble reformer, untroubled by any facts about how his reforms are working in practice.

The interviewer did, however, briefly allow reality to intrude when asking what Freud know of a life where £10 less to spend each week makes a difference.

His answer: “We have a lot of information feedback and listen a lot, so I think we can absorb the information about what it takes and what’s required…I think you don’t have to be the corpse to go to a funeral, which is the implied criticism there.”

It’s a good reminder that the government’s welfare reforms are led by people whose privileged backgrounds mean that they have no idea about what’s really going on.

Update 1
Gingerbread have an excellent blog to enable lone parents to tell Lord Freud what life is really like for parents who receive state support – well worth a read.

Update 2 (by Sunny)
Liam Byrne MP, Labour’s Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, has issued a response to Freud’s comments:

The nasty party is well and truly back.

Lord Freud is a former investment banker and now a minister of the crown. For him of all people to compare people on benefits to corpses and likening their lives to a funeral is quite frankly disgusting.

This government’s so-called welfare revolution is collapsing around its ears. The work programme isn’t working. Universal Credit has become universal chaos. Yet Lord Freud’s response is to kick people when they are down and not even pretend to offer a helping hand. Lord Freud should be ashamed of himself, and his government should too.

Oddly, Liam Byrne doesn’t mention that Lord Freud was previously hired by Labour MP James Purnell to sort out welfare.

This isn’t about a nasty party but a nasty individual who should never have been allowed near welfare.

    Share on Tumblr   submit to reddit  


About the author
Don Paskini is deputy-editor of LC. He also blogs at donpaskini. He is on twitter as @donpaskini
· Other posts by


Story Filed Under: News

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.


Reader comments


Maybe I’m missing something, but what is the issue exactly here? His point appears to be that one does not need to experience something to understand it, which can be to some extent true.

2. Man on Clapham Omnibus

1. Janvier

I think it’s one of those left wing made up things.

It’s another fallacious Sunny headline, or a “Sunny headline” as they’re known.

Mind you, I’ve never composed a headline for a blog, so I shouldn’t really comment.

So there you have it : If you are not an Upper class Tory or one of their associates and you work, you are considered a Pleb. If you are poor, it is like you are a corpse at a funeral.

These Tory Cabinet Office Ministers look down upon what they consider the lower classes as vermin that they can use and abuse whilst trying their utmost to inflict total misery with all their cutbacks to those that can least afford it.

I suppose the Tories are going to reward the richest in society with yet another healthy tax break whilst the rest of society bares the brunt.

Out of touch and out of control, not forgetting full of discriminatory Toffs.

The interesting thing I spotted reading the Guardian story on this today is that his list of scroungers included “‘self-employed’ people who are only making a few hundred or thousand a year”. So much for Dave’s “Can’t get a job? Be entrepreneurial and start your own business” rhetoric.

@4. Mr Grunt: “If you are poor, it is like you are a corpse at a funeral.”

Lord Freud didn’t say that. His analogy is valid. His argument is hopeless.

I have never experienced living on one dollar a day (a common measure of poverty) but I can imagine it.

His comments on the last government are interesting:

And if Brown had given Purnell free reign, would the Freud reforms already be in place? “Probably”, he replies, after a pause, adding: “I’ve not talked to Gordon Brown since, but I speak occasionally to James Purnell.”

So not a Rizzla paper seperating him and Labour..

I think that blatantly misrepresenting his comment, risks trivialising the real point of the article which is that the government are out of touch with the needs of the poor.

Is it worth coming across as a fool just so you can have a more punchy headline?

9. Man on Clapham Omnibus

This isn’t about a nasty party but a nasty individual who should never have been allowed near welfare.

Another one!

He also previously said

people who are poorer should be prepared to take the biggest risks – they’ve got least to lose.

which marks him out as a prime candidate for anyone’s ‘Wall List’ come the glorious day.

I completely agree with the others. His remark itself was completely inoffensive, in context, unlike his actual policies. But guess which one Labour attacks. It’s really quite pathetic.

There is an element of truth in what Freud says. You don’t have to be a soldier or ex soldier to be defence secretary. I do feel he could used a better analogy but I suppose some of his policies might produce corpses.

“people who are poorer should be prepared to take the biggest risks – they’ve got least to lose.”

Does he mean they should become drug dealers or armed robbers ?

14. Chaise Guevara

It’s a bloody analogy. Look it up. His attitude may indeed be awful but there’s nothing wrong with the phrase.

Does he mean they should become drug dealers or armed robbers ?

That is certainly within the scope of his quote, yes.

Chaise I commented he could have used a BETTER analogy, not that the statement was not an analogy.

Tories aren’t supposed to understand what life’s like for normal people, are they? They’re supposed to allow the ruling class to carry on ruling.

There’s a Borat sketch like the title of this piece. Someone is explaining to him that people have diverse sexual preferences and orientations, and that it’s a case of “horses for courses”. Borat of course misunderstands and thinks he is saying he likes to have sex with horses.

Unfortunately there are many vested interests in having families totally reliant on benefits.

It is just immoral and wrong ,verging on nasty ,to pedal reliance on benefits rather than work.

Labour are just worried that a worker is less likely to vote for them.

20. Chaise Guevara

@ P Diddy

“Chaise I commented he could have used a BETTER analogy, not that the statement was not an analogy.”

Sorry, my last post was meant as a criticism of the article, not of you. Sheer coincidence that it appeared below yours.

Another day, another daft headline. Does Sunny think people can’t read?

I doubt if Freud does have much idea of what it’s like to be poor. I doubt if many MPs do or many in public life, including in public sector employment. For a start, being poor generally entails not having a second working pension.

There is a massive divide between the class comprising the rich and the relatively insulated by above average pay and pensions, and the class comprising those workers who can expect little or nothing in the way of assistance from the state.

Being actually poor is like being a corpse at a funeral where some of the people attending claim they are dead too.

I can’t believe we have the implicit pretence here that ANY of our public servants know what it’s like to be poor.

No offense taken Chaise.

24. Just Visiting

Since by the time they become visible public servants at Whitehall people will have been earning decent wages for some time – by definition none of them are now poor.

So at best, some of them may have been poor in the past.

Whether that memory is one they take forward with them is debatable.

Inevitably, they will all have ‘worked themselves out of poverty’ through their studies, hard work etc.

So are self-selected proof that poverty can be escaped: and in contrast they will know friends from the past who have failed to escape poverty.

==
No matter what party – everyone close to the wheels in power will have at best long past memories of poverty.

25. RWingNeanderthal

Ron LiDl is also in Labour

There’s nothing separating both right-wing parties to be honest.


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Jason Brickley

    Being poor like being ‘corpse at funeral’, says govt minister http://t.co/yg1ZwyQS

  2. Nick

    RT @libcon: Being poor like being 'corpse at funeral', says govt minister http://t.co/sZ13Wxxs < @stella_plage

  3. Matt Emulsion

    Being poor like being ‘corpse at funeral’, says govt minister Erse ! http://t.co/Ql4pnwsb via @libcon

  4. leftlinks

    Liberal Conspiracy – Being poor like being ‘corpse at funeral’, says govt minister http://t.co/ZIRlFhkl

  5. Colin-Roy Hunter

    Being poor like being ‘corpse at funeral’, says govt minister | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/812YVIIO via @libcon

  6. A LETTER OF MARQUE

    Going on 5 Live a bit later tonight to slam Dr Freud and his outrageous comment on benefits claimants (here: http://t.co/UF3vNsYc)

  7. Matt Pringle

    Going on 5 Live a bit later tonight to slam Dr Freud and his outrageous comment on benefits claimants (here: http://t.co/UF3vNsYc)

  8. JO BROWN artist

    Going on 5 Live a bit later tonight to slam Dr Freud and his outrageous comment on benefits claimants (here: http://t.co/UF3vNsYc)

  9. Colin Pari

    Going on 5 Live a bit later tonight to slam Dr Freud and his outrageous comment on benefits claimants (here: http://t.co/UF3vNsYc)

  10. Karen

    Going on 5 Live a bit later tonight to slam Dr Freud and his outrageous comment on benefits claimants (here: http://t.co/UF3vNsYc)

  11. Gus

    Going on 5 Live a bit later tonight to slam Dr Freud and his outrageous comment on benefits claimants (here: http://t.co/UF3vNsYc)

  12. Lanie Ingram

    Going on 5 Live a bit later tonight to slam Dr Freud and his outrageous comment on benefits claimants (here: http://t.co/UF3vNsYc)

  13. Mark Carrigan

    Being poor like a ‘corpse at funeral’, says govt minister (updated) http://t.co/VsjzCQph

  14. Diana

    Going on 5 Live a bit later tonight to slam Dr Freud and his outrageous comment on benefits claimants (here: http://t.co/UF3vNsYc)

  15. Stephe Meloy

    Going on 5 Live a bit later tonight to slam Dr Freud and his outrageous comment on benefits claimants (here: http://t.co/UF3vNsYc)

  16. Chris John Ball

    Being poor like a ‘corpse at funeral’, says minister | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/UWfN7k41 via @libcon

  17. John Dyer

    Being poor like a ‘corpse at funeral’, says minister | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/UWfN7k41 via @libcon

  18. Jeni Parsons

    Being poor like a ‘corpse at funeral’, says minister | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/UWfN7k41 via @libcon

  19. Pink Humanist

    Being poor like a ‘corpse at funeral’, says minister | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/UWfN7k41 via @libcon

  20. Christine Hill

    Going on 5 Live a bit later tonight to slam Dr Freud and his outrageous comment on benefits claimants (here: http://t.co/UF3vNsYc)

  21. Andrew Tollett

    Being poor like a ‘corpse at funeral’, says minister | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/UWfN7k41 via @libcon

  22. Mary Palmer

    Going on 5 Live a bit later tonight to slam Dr Freud and his outrageous comment on benefits claimants (here: http://t.co/UF3vNsYc)

  23. Krusty_Pleb_Allslopp

    Going on 5 Live a bit later tonight to slam Dr Freud and his outrageous comment on benefits claimants (here: http://t.co/UF3vNsYc)

  24. MissBennet

    @uterpia tuttut, geen quotes stelen van Lord Freud! http://t.co/tSXRJc81

  25. Socio Imagination

    "Being poor like a ‘corpse at funeral’, says govt minister (updated)" http://t.co/T41QSkKO

  26. Christopher Hindley

    RT @libcon: Being poor like a 'corpse at funeral', says minister http://t.co/ZL9zQSiF – The Tories are still out of touch! #ClassWar





Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.