Posts Tagged ‘Charles Dickens’

poverty-uk

One of the moments I always remember most from Charles Dickens’ immortal seasonal story,  A Christmas Carol,  is the early passage where Ebeneezer Scrooge is visited by the charity collectors, who naively come to Scrooge for a donation to their ‘fund for the poor’.
True to character, the miserly Scrooge tells them that he doesn’t have time for ‘idle people’. “Are the work-houses still in operation?” he casually asks, implying that the poor, disabled and destitute  should be put to work. When he is confronted with the possibility of many of them dying, Scrooge simply says, “well, they’d best get on with it and decrease the surplus population…”

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