Are you a ‘real person’?

Are you a ‘real person’?

Are you a 'real person'?

Are you a 'real person'?

I’m often told it’s important that I help ‘real people’. I’m sure many reading that will nod their head in agreement. Yet stop for a second, what exactly counts as a real person? 

This is a genuine conundrum, as it’s often a phrase used against me covering a particular subject. The comments on the MSE forum and on Twitter and Facebook include things like the following (this is from memory, so not word-accurate, but the sentiment is right):

"You did that money makeover, but while she may’ve had £16,000 of debt, she was a teacher with a good job, why don’t you help real people?

And in the last few weeks:

"When are you going to stop the stuff about ISA rates or reclaiming PPI and start dealing with the issues real people face?"

And to cap it off:

"Why are you focusing on all those people scrounging on benefits? When are you going to help hard-working, real people?"

So who are the real people out there? I think it’s slightly sad that people don’t think those who aren’t in the same boat as them are deserving of information or help – even in these tough times, we need be tolerant of others.   

I started by asking "are you a real person?" But perhaps a better question would be to ask "who isn’t real?"

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