Azara Blog: Surprise, some poor people and some rich people live in rural areas

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Date published: 2008/03/03

The BBC says:

Almost one million households in rural England live in poverty, a study says. The report, by the government's rural advocate, says many people in the countryside have prosperous lifestyles.

But the picture is "not so rosy" for more than 928,000 households with incomes below the official poverty line of £16,492, Stuart Burgess adds.

It comes as the Rural Services Network calls for action to improve rural life. Ministers say rural areas fare above average on most aspects of deprivation.

However, a spokesman for the Department for Food and Rural Affairs acknowledged that there were disadvantaged individuals living in rural areas.

Wow, the BBC on top of the game. They have managed to force DEFRA to admit that "there were disadvantaged individuals living in rural areas". Shame, shame. All they have to do now is force the government to admit that "there were disadvantaged individuals living in urban areas" and "there were disadvantaged individuals living in suburban areas" and we will have had a journalistic tour de force.

Why the country wastes time and money on this kind of pointless report (by the "government's rural advocate") is unclear. So this report not only "discovered" that there were poor people living in rural areas, but that there were rich people living in rural areas as well. Who would have thought? It sounds like this report is more to justify the existance of the "government's rural advocate" than anything else.

The BBC uses this pointless report to then go on and attack the usual suspects:

One rural worker, Cumbrian slate miner Ben Bland, told the BBC people from outside rural communities buying up properties was a problem.

Wow, the BBC found one whole "rural worker" to give it the desired quote, that must have taken them ten minutes of phone time. And how dare those dreadful non-rural people decide to buy a home in rural areas. Presumably it is ok, on the other hand, for rural people to buy homes in non-rural areas. Or perhaps we will have a story some day where the BBC complains about that as well. Or perhaps the BBC believes that nobody should ever be allowed to own any home outside the town where they were born. Or perhaps the BBC believes that nobody should ever be allowed to own a second home (except top BBC employees, many of whom no doubt own second if not third and fourth homes).

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