John McCullagh December 16, 2004
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Dear Agnes,
 
You are doubtless aware of the so-called Poverty Report published today that alleges some 8% of children in Northern Ireland live in poverty.
 
Have you ever heard such rubbish?  Everybody knows there is no poverty any more!  My goodness, it’s all some want to talk about at our Coffee Mornings and Candlelit Dinners! 
 
It goes on that a quarter of them live in houses without gas or electricity!  Well, that really lets the cat out of the bag, doesn’t it?  Are we supposed to believe they’ve all got AGAs, for heaven’s sake?!
 
And it says one in seven don’t eat three square meals a day!! Well, I ask you, who does??  I never could get our only boy Cyril to eat his greens before he went up to Cambridge!  Since I took up aerobics, poor Tristan, my husband cannot even remember when last he got a five-course meal!
 
I read on teletext (what would we do without it?) that this so-called Save The Children outfit estimate 32,000 children here live in ‘severe charity’.  Well, I’d like to ask them, who do you think collects all that charity money at our Coffee Mornings? 
 
Of course there’s a few people who don’t have a second car or a little pad in the country.  But that’s life, isn’t it, Agnes?  We’re quite comfortable, thanks to Tristan’s hard work, and many are much better off than us, but do you hear me complain?
 
Even Jesus said, ‘the poor are always with us’. 
 
Tell the truth, Agnes, don’t all these ‘bleeding hearts’ just get on your goat?
 
Yours truly,
Charity Bigginsere
 


 
Dear Charity,
 
I’ve tried hard, God knows, to think of one redeeming feature of you, but the best I can say is that your mother clearly had a sense of humour that you unfortunately did not inherit!
 
I don’t own a goat.. nor much else besides.  I’m concerned for poor Tristan who must be wasting away deprived of his 5 Course Candlelit Dinners!
 
I am prepared to accept an invitation to your next Coffee Morning. 
 
I am certain that your social circle would benefit enormously from a radical dose of harsh reality!
 
Agnes Dayee
 
 

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