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Friday, 4 March 2011

The homeless solution. Westminster style.

Westminster council in all their wisdom have decided that soon it will no longer be acceptable for people to sleep on the streets.
I agree.
It is completely unacceptable that anyone in this day and age in the UK should find themselves sleeping on the streets, but it is only on the surface that we agree because we are looking at the problem from different angles and would promote different solutions it seems.
They think sleeping on the streets is wrong because they don't want to see people cluttering up the doorways under cardboard. It's unsightly. It lowers the tone of the area and lets be honest it's a bit depressing and can ruin your whole day when someone asks for some change to buy themselves a cup of tea.
As for me I don't want to see anyone sleeping on the streets because I strongly believe that everyone should have some form of shelter available to them.
Their solution to resolving the issue is to criminalize the feeding of the homeless.
Yeah. Offering a sandwich and a cup of soup to a homeless person will be a crime.
I'll say it again just so that it sinks in and there is no room for misinterpretation.
Can you imagine disclosing that at a job interview.
“Do you have a criminal records”
“Well actually I do. I was convicted of giving a homeless man a double latte outside Starbucks in Westminster in the winter of 2012”
I always thoughts acts of charity were a good thing. Obviously that's quickly becoming an outdated and unpopular stance to take.
What's next from them?
Taking those who drop litter out to a field and shooting them in the back of the head? Don't say that too loudly just in case they think it's a suggestion you are making.
Wasn't the Big Society about everyone ramping up a sense of community spirit and asking not what our government could do for others, but what we could do for them?
Well excuse my language, but how the fuck can we help people if they make the act of helping a criminal offence?
My solution would be to adequately fund shelters, and oh the horror, employ people who can provide practical help in getting someone off the streets and on the path to a safe and secure future.
Now how bloody liberal of me eh?
Is this really what we want in this country? I don't think it is.
While some people may fall for some of the propaganda styled headlines about people shirking work, like the disabled (sic), and the rise of the benefits scroungers who unsurprisingly are going to be the same people who have just lost their job due to government cuts. I still don't think that you will find many who consider that not feeding someone who is homeless, those who are barley hanging onto the bottom rung of society, is actually right.
I mean c'mon! Right and wrong. Remember that thing that all our parents tried to instil in us.
The basic stuff. The very, very, very, basic stuff.
Next they will legalize euthanasia and at first I'll applaud the move to allow people to die with dignity, and then I'll weep when it transpires that the mean it's compulsory for anyone over 50 without a job, those who are learning disabled, people with a limp and anyone who dresses funny.
Is that silly comment. Just as silly as criminalizing an act of charity maybe?
I've got an idea.
When they do bring this in why don't we all make up boxes of sandwiches, fill some flasks with tea and coffee and head to Westminster in the thousands and feed the homeless every night and dare them to arrest us.
If compassion is a crime then I'm guilty anyway.
I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall when they had a meeting when this was touted.
Did all the people who raised their hands and said aye mishear what was proposed?
What was next on the agenda? It's worrying to even contemplate what sort of solution that they could dream up for dog fouling.
Although it wouldn't surprise me if they took a leaf out of Vlad the Impaler's book of social control measures and started putting up signs saying dogs caught fouling will be hung, drawn and quartered and placed on spikes outside public parks.
Was there one person at any of these meetings who took an opposing position and then found themselves trying to explain how making it an offence to feed homeless people is sort of inhumane?
I would love to know.
I read somewhere that the inability to empathize is a sign of a mental health problem.
If so then I want all of Westminster council sectioned under the mental health act as they are full on bonkers, and I'll argue that they are in fact a danger to the public, and even themselves, because if I get my hands on one of them then at the very least their feelings are going to be hurt.
Wait, scratch that. They don't have feelings.
Every week now I am seeing yet more proposed legislation from the coalition that frankly boggles the mind.
We are stepping back in time to the Victorian era where the affluent will be the only ones who will enjoy quality health care, high calibre education and employment opportunities.
Everyone else will be marginalized to the point that we are no longer living our lives, but instead scratching an existence.
When are the majority going to wake up to this?
Isn't this step from Westminster council that one step too far, and if not then what will be?
Can we really keep turning away to ignore things like this while crossing our fingers and hoping that we aren't next.
Is it really a case of first they came for the homeless and I did not speak because I wasn't homeless?


  1. I really can't believe that!...well I do, but I don't want to. I would be right there with you handing out a meal and waiting to be arrested...for what? FFS!
    Why don't you send either a copy of this or a letter of something similar to Westminster Council and lets see what kind of reply, if any you get.

  2. I am going to write to my mp to state that this sort of thinking cannot be tolerated.
    Without joking about it if Westminster were successful in implementing this then other areas could follow suit. The homeless will be pushed furher and further out until we see the beginning of shanty town styled dwellings on the periphery of cities. Then along wiht their arrival a breakdown in sanitation, a degree of lawlessness etc.
    If anyone considers that farfetched then they are deluding themselves.
    Steps like this even being broached ten years ago would have been howled down. That they can be uttered now with nary a comment is shocking in itself.
    The homeless, whether they be mentally ill, suffering from addiction problems or the victims of abusive backgrounds with nowhere else to go need helped. Not marginalized by uncaring cunts who consider charity, empathy and sympathy as dirty words.

  3. I just can't see how this will help folks who are already down and out. Where is the compassion and the logic. What unjust times we are living in.

  4. It's all very sad that so many people in societies all over the world can turn their backs on those who most need their help.
    Worse still that we allow governments to legislate against these people.
    I want a revolution. It doesn't have to be a bloody coup, but a revolution of thought. Something that will act as a catalyst and nudge people towards being more compassionate. To embrace a future that bevenefits us all and not just asamall percentage.
    Dylan needs to write another verse to The Times They Are A Changing and say but not fast enough for those who need it to most.

  5. having spent several idle hours walking around Vestmister, I can honestly state that there are numerous alternatives to homelessness in this area, namely the plethora of empty mansions in the area, but more specifically the tax payers funded residence popularly known to millions as The Royal Palace, all enquiries should be made to the German Embassy....