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Why do posh people ignore poverty on their own doorstep?

BMJ 2007; 335 doi: (Published 25 October 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;335:888
  1. Deborah Cohen, features editor, BMJ
  1. dcohen{at}

    Chavs, scallies, townies, neds, hoodies, bindippers, peasants—call them what you want. It looks as if Britain's underclass is here to stay—if the upper echelons of society have their way, that is. Despite Tory leader David Cameron pledging to “make British poverty history” last week, the UK's rich/poor divide is growing and will continue to do so unless there's a seismic shift in attitude. Developing world poverty appeals so much more to the philanthropic and, dare I say it, paternalistic traits of posh people. Helping the poor in Africa makes for jolly decent charity parties, whereas poverty at home is just a bit too …

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