What We Have Become…


When I was young and at school (and before the destructive Thatcherite reforms),  it was common-place to learn about ‘homelessness’ as something that existed during the Victorian era, but which the British Welfare State had eradicated (through the re-distribution of wealth). We were taught about homelessness through Charles Dickens books, and the story of Dr Bernardo. I remember finding it difficult to associate the concept of homelessness with a modern, civilised society. In fact, it was not until the late 1980’s that I personally came across homeless people in the major cities (due to Tory policy), and this was at a time when much more of the Welfare State existed than today, and Local Councils still had a legal duty to house everyone – and yet people were still falling through the gaps in an uncaring system. As generations of selfish people in the UK have continuously voted for rightwing governments since 1979, the British Welfare State (and the principle of Social Housing), has come under continuous attack by the Tories, LibDems and New Labour Parties. Of course, since 2010, and the rise of the neo-liberal David Cameron and Nick Clegg, the already weakened British Welfare State (and NHS) has received its ‘coup de grâce’ in 2012 (through abolition, privatisation and sell-off). It is incredible to think that as temperatures in the UK fall below ‘0’, there are men, women and children being forced to live by an uncaring State, on the streets in freezing and unsanitary conditions. This is at the time when even the rightwing press in the UK is beginning to admit that Tory and LibDems ‘Austerity’ has killed at least 120,000 people between 2010 – 2017. The point of all this is simple: the British electorate has become so selfish that it ‘resents’ the concept that it is right and proper to ‘share’ its collective immense wealth with those less well-off, and do so in a manner that gives dignity to those in need. A shameful situation, indeed.

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