Culture

Professor Green: Generational poverty has led to anger

Only the young possess the imagination and energy to bring about meaningful change, writes rapper and mental health activist Professor Green.

A screaming and shouting minority that exist on the outer points of left and right drown out any opinions of a majority who exist somewhere more in-between.

There a fairer outlook on life resides, where people understand that issues such as poverty, homelessness, violence, racism, prejudice, addiction, disparity and deprivation don’t belong to those suffering them, but are societal issues that require the understanding and efforts of us all.

Generational poverty has led to a lack of education, apathy and a lack of real social engagement, anger and a seething hatred which has been looking for a home.

Hate is undoubtedly on the rise. Sadly that hatred is often aimed at their neighbours who may not be seen as being as British as them; there’s this weird faux-patriotic, antiforeign vitriol spouted seemingly everywhere (far from discouraged by our government when given the chance) without any accountability.

Article continues below

Current vacancies...

Search jobs

I refer to it as faux-patriotism as surely it’s impossible to be proud of being British in the situations these people find themselves in, desperate and destitute with little to no opportunity, and aspiration a thing of the past.

The sad thing here is the obvious commonality between the two neighbours that exists with far more parallels to be traced between their lives than between their white upperclass counterparts; it’s beyond me how anger has been leveraged to gain support of people now rallying behind politicians and parties who have never supported and will never support their needs.

Moving on from what is and on to what could be, we’re seeing a rise in political art, a new generation who are motivated, energetic and engaged and want more than conversation.

This new generation is equipped and willing to talk and challenge all too common misconceptions and reach outside of their own echo chambers. They want things actioned. They want change. Inclusion over exclusion.

They demand answers over rhetoric and see through the thinly veiled doing of ‘just enough’ to be seen to be doing something which will ultimately result in no change at all, and want more, demand more. After all, they do more.

They don’t want to be left with the results of the selfishness we’ve been spectators of, left with empty oceans, ruined soil, failed crops and nutrient free fruit and veg, wildfires, floods, disease, disaster and undoubtedly climate war as opposed to a war on climate change.

If we’re to look to anyone for how to enter into what could be – it’s the kids all too often given a bad rap and dismissed for the noise they make.

They have the imagination, the bright minds and the energy some of us have lost.

Gone is what was. We are what is, and they are what could be.

What The Connor Brothers say

We met Stephen [Manderson, his real name] shortly after seeing his documentary Suicide and Me, which is an incredibly raw and brave piece of filming, around a topic that’s very personal to us. It can’t have been more than a week after watching it that he popped up in our DMs.

We’re not big on fate and destiny and all that, but it was a spooky coincidence. We’ve collaborated a bunch of times since on different charity projects, and he introduced us to the mental health charity CALM, who we’ve been ambassadors of for the last three years.

We’re huge fans of the way Stephen selflessly uses his platform to campaign on behalf of others, and seeing him constantly do that reminds us that eating Deliveroo in our pants and watching Netflix is probably not the best use of our time.

@professorgreen

This article is from the exclusive Connor Brothers takeover of The Big Issue, which is out now. Get the special edition, full of custom artwork and sure to be a collector’s item, from your local vendor or from The Big Issue Shop

Support the Big Issue

For over 30 years, the Big Issue has been committed to ending poverty in the UK. In 2024, our work is needed more than ever. Find out how you can support the Big Issue today.
Vendor martin Hawes

Recommended for you

View all
Parasol Against the Axe by Helen Oyeyemi review – electrifying, experimental writing
Books

Parasol Against the Axe by Helen Oyeyemi review – electrifying, experimental writing

Bob Vylan: 'Is it OK for me to cry? As a man you can feel there's not space to be vulnerable'
Bob Vylan
Music

Bob Vylan: 'Is it OK for me to cry? As a man you can feel there's not space to be vulnerable'

The Hearing Test by Eliza Barry Callahan review – a droll insight into a year of loss
Books

The Hearing Test by Eliza Barry Callahan review – a droll insight into a year of loss

The Garfield Movie review – we're not feline the tubby orange tabby's full CGI makeover
Garfield in The Garfield Movie
Film

The Garfield Movie review – we're not feline the tubby orange tabby's full CGI makeover

Most Popular

Read All
Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits
Renters: A mortgage lender's window advertising buy-to-let products
1.

Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal
Pound coins on a piece of paper with disability living allowancve
2.

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal

Cost of living payment 2024: Where to get help now the scheme is over
next dwp cost of living payment 2023
3.

Cost of living payment 2024: Where to get help now the scheme is over

Strike dates 2023: From train drivers to NHS doctors, here are the dates to know
4.

Strike dates 2023: From train drivers to NHS doctors, here are the dates to know