After a recent conference on poverty, experts have swiftly moved to redefine ‘the poverty line’ as the point that Exeter High Street becomes Sidwell Street, just outside of John Lewis. A spokesperson had the following to say about the change:
“The phrase ‘poverty line’ has been thrown around a lot, and we think it can be a little confusing, so we sought to redefine it with something that would leave no doubt in anyone’s minds,” clarified Caroline Barker of Oxfam.
“We unanimously decided that, of all places in the UK, the place where we can see the most immediate and striking change in affluence is the border of the High Street and Sidwell Street. The upmarket cafes become greasy kebab shops, Jack Wills becomes Poundland; once people see the rapid change here, no-one will be confused about exactly what poverty is.”
Our reporter took to the area to ask locals about why they thought such a striking change occurred over such a short geographical distance, but most people approached on Sidwell Street responded with gruff noises and spitting.
James Tanner, an Exeter resident of 20 years, works on the High Street but takes the long way round to return to his home on Old Tiverton Road: “I get the train from Exeter Central to St. James Park just to avoid it.”
“It’s like that bit in Lion King, you know? Everywhere the light touches is fine, but Sidwell Street is that shadowy place. You shouldn’t ever go there, even for a kebab or a trim from a Turkish bloke.”