Alfie Deyes £1 video & The Poverty Line

Let’s have a chat about THAT Alfie Deyes video shall we?

*Edited: yes, the video is down and the earnings will apparently be sent to charity and Alfie owning up to making an error. Fair play to him owning up without trying to make excuses but this really still stands… the fact that anyone should have to point out the error of mocking those below the poverty line to a 24 year old MAN in Brighton is beyond me.

If you’re not aware of what video I’m talking about then it is the “Living Spending £1 in 24hrs” video on Alfie Deyes youtube channel: Pointless blog. Just in case you weren’t aware, Alfie Deyes is a youtube with the apt name “pointless blog” for his channel which is both as pointless and vacuous as it appears he is. I’ve done a little strikethrough on “Living” because the vlog was originally titled that instead of spending but he changed it to seem less of an out of touch fuck muppet. Oh and, in case these first few sentences hadn’t alluded to the fact that there was a bit of a sweary, ranty undercurrent to this post then here is your fair warning.

So, the video: basically a 24 year old multimillionaire youtube sensation decided that he would undertake a challenge to only spend £1 on his food and drink for 24hrs. It sounds like something that could be a REALLY awesome insight into the realities for thousands of people in the UK right now doesn’t it? It sounds like something that should be accompanied with a “let’s change this”. It sounds like something that could be a way to educate the 4.something or other million followers he has who are mostly aged between 13-18 on the horrendous reality of living below the poverty line.

It wasn’t any of those things. It was a shit show of privilege, ignorance and the apathy that shapes society’s elite who refuse to acknowledge their privilege. Let me say this loud and clear for the people in the back, there is nothing wrong with being wealthy or privileged but there is something hugely wrong with refusing to acknowledge your privilege or the luxury that is having that wealth. Sure, you might have worked your arse off for it, you might have grafted and you deserve every penny of your wealth, but when you become so out of touch with the reality of those who maybe haven’t had that lucky break, haven’t been able to land the job that they would have worked hard in if they had been able to, well then you need a wake up.

The reality of life for people living on £1 isn’t moaning about the fact that they have to go without ice in their *shock* tap water – where is their purified water at? Tap water is so… ugh –  because it’s a touch too pricey, or being undecided over which capsule of Nespresso to have in the morning and then remembering that it might be a little bit expensive so they have to go without. Oh and Alfie honey, the capsules are 47p each. You fucking twit.

Life for people with £1 to spend in 24 hrs on food and drink is in a food bank, it’s hoping to god that you can keep the gas and electric on, it’s crying at night because you have eaten anything so that the kids could have the pasta or the beans on toast. It’s not shopping in waitrose or having 4 take aways a week. We’re also not talking about the gas and electric in your £1.7 million house in Brighton by the way, no, in your council flat which would be a fraction of the price to maintain in comparison to that mansion, but since Alfie Deyes seems to be under the illusion that tap water is FREE, I’m guessing it’s not him who pays the bills. Having a video where someone doesn’t just miss the point but flies so fast past the point it’s like he’s in a fucking concord just highlights everything that is wrong with the divide in our country. We, my family and I, are privileged. I’ve never tried to hide this or make any bones about it. There have been points when we have been with only a couple of pounds in the account, when we’ve had to endure that sickening feeling at the checkout when the cashier has to hand your card back and tell you that your card has been rejected and there will be no extra food tonight. That isn’t our reality now – now we live a lifestyle where we don’t want for much, where budgeting is a thing of the past to most degrees and where we can have the things that we not only need but want too. Never, ever, will I forget the days of being poorer. Never. Never will I forget the budgeting and still having the realisation that no matter what I do, what I sell, this month it won’t be enough to pay all of the bills and still fill up the cupboard. We were still privileged then, still to a degree – we could afford our bills, we kept a roof over our heads because we had help from my mum and we were lucky enough that my mum helped me get my blog started.

The fact that Alfie Deyes is a young man who shot to stardom when living with his parents speaks volumes. He has never been, and probably never will be, a poor adult. He had the privilege of his parents buying his camera and computer equipment to help him create those youtube videos, to help him earn the money that he now uses to create content belitting masses of people who live day in, day out, below the poverty line.

Let me say as an instagrammer/blogger myself (not anywhere near the scale of the likes of Alfie Deyes) the parts of the video where he talks about having a Snog card gifted to him where he can get whatever he wants and uses his celeb status to get himself free donuts and the like really, REALLY didn’t sit well with me. Yes, we get “free” stuff – it’s not free, we have to have built up a platform, we have to work for it but it doesn’t cost us money – but that is never something that should be rubbed in someone else’s face, and something that should be received with gratitude and humility. It’s a wonderful part of this weird career of influencer marketing, but its not a given. No one owes it to the Alfie Deyes of the world and if youtube was deleted tomorrow, where would that leave him?

When I posted on Instagram stories about the vlog I had so many messages, ranging from agreeing with my sentiments (which were: what a little fuckmuppet) to the downright unfair “This made me cry today. Is that what I am to these people? A joke?”

No, if you’re living below the poverty line you are not a joke, the way you live isn’t there for people of privilege to mock. Please remember: one day your situation will get better, but people like Alfie Deyes seldom become better people.

 

2 Comments

  1. Emma
    April 16, 2019 / 7:51 pm

    I love your “fuck muppet” comment and tbh i couldnt think of a better description for him ! We have been priviliged ,as in i have been able to be a stay at home mum while my husband worked … yes we could pay our bills but there were also times when we had to “penny pinch”. All this ended when my husband had a major stroke ,the discovery if an extremely large pitituary tumour (not related to the stroke) and then went on to have a second TIA stroke exactly two weeks later to the day. Since then we have majorly struggled ,yes we have our rent paid and council tax reduction ,but we get ZERO help other than tax credit which meant that we had ZERO money for food, fuel and heating oil for our family of 5. It was a massive wake up call and to know that this reality is permanent for so many families is truly heartbreaking … if it wasnt for our parents stepping in to help us put food on the table ,fuel in the car (for our constant hosp visits) and oil in our tank to heat our home ,then we would have been well and truly fucked.
    If i were his parents i would personally take EVERYTHING away from him and make him live in the real world for a good length of time ,maybe then he will learn some compassion ,empathy and understanding of those in this situation !!

  2. June 19, 2018 / 4:43 pm

    I totally agree with everything you’ve said here. As a family who very often live on less than £10 a week, this video really upset my 14 year old daughter. She felt like Alfie was mocking people like us, and she’s stopped watching him and Zoe (as we thought she would have stopped him from doing such a ludicrous ‘challenge’ like this) and has even clicked the good old unsubscribe button on YouTube. I wish he’d done this video better, and tried to educate people on how hard it really is to live below the poverty line. I mean, who gets a box full of free donuts when they’re skint? Probably nobody! He definitely got them because the staff knew who he was.

    Louise x

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