Alan Sugar – Truly, A Man Of The People…

Nowadays, we’re supposed to live in enlightened times, free of the constraints of past conventions and issues of class division, where everyone respects one another’s lifestyles, and aspirations. Yes?

Apparently, this state of bliss doesn’t extend to one of this country’s’ most famous small business owners, the businessman and Apprentice star, who is worth an estimated £1.4bn. He’s been widely criticized, and rightly so, for being ‘out of touch’, after questioning why those in poverty owned mobile phones and microwaves.

“Who are the poor these days? You’ve got some people up north and in places like that who are quite poor, but they all have mobile phones, being poor, and they’ve got microwave ovens, being poor, and they’ve got televisions, being poor. Compare that to 60 years ago. If you really want to know what poor is like go and live where I lived in Hackney, where you didn’t have enough money for the electric, didn’t have a shilling for the meter.”

“Parents sleeping on kitchen floors because they don’t have enough beds. Disabled people driven to suicide as a result of losing their benefits. Immigrant families, like his own once were, working all hours of day and night just to make ends meet,” he said.

Sugar, get real – the reality of poverty today is a million miles from your rosy picture of it. But as someone who’s been a multi-millionaire for the last 40 years, how would you know?

You sold Amstrad, which made mediocre computers, crap telephones and set-top boxes, to Sky for £125m in 2007 with your business interests now being focused on commercial property; an empire spanning warehouses in Essex to upmarket developments in the City and Mayfair in London.

How, can you expound on what your perception of ‘poverty’ is? What the fuck would you know about it? And what exactly is the definition of it anyway?

And this seems to be the problem now. Thanks to successive governments, but most especially applicable to this present one, the view that anyone who is perceived to be ‘poor’, claiming benefits or disabled has been deftly engineered to emerge as the norm in society, with the only righteous and socially virtuous being in work.

Anyone not fitting that description are automatically classified as feckless, work-shy scroungers who deserve to be put into workhouses and their children sent up chimneys to justify their minging existence.

Sugar, you need to get off your fat, lardy arse, look out of the window and walk through the streets. Not glide by in your chauffeur-driven Bentley feeling offended at the sight of all the plebs out there. Out there lies the truth. Not your distanced, indifferent, outrageously offensive fantasies.

Grow up, grow some balls, and try to find a minute grain of common sense and decency for once. I was a high-flyer once, lost my job through no fault of my own (along with a lot of other people), was illegally evicted by a bastard of a landlord, and spent the next two years plus on the streets. Luckily, and unlike so many of the poor sods out there, I had the wherewithal, and intellect to extract myself from that. Many never manage to do so.

So, Alan old boy, a little tip if you ever get peckish – it’s truly amazing how well you can eat from the food skips of Sainsbury’s, Greggs and Tesco’s. And never, ever, forget this:

We’re all a just a few, small steps away from humility.

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