Archives for posts with tag: baby boomer

homelessb

We have a problem and it’s one we need to fix urgently. Housing… to briefly put aside all the other myriad disastrous problems which lie securely at the door of the Tories and the neoliberal consensus.

I’ll begin with a proposition – no one should be evicted from their home for financial reasons, as a human right.

In May 2015 The Tenants Voice reported that evictions had risen 53% since 2010, with 170 tenants being evicted every day in 2015.

Money is increasingly weaponized on a daily basis targeting the very poorest people, yet Britain is the 5th richest country in the world but also one of the most unequal in which ‘the richest 10% own over half of the UK’s total wealth’ and the government is knowingly and deliberately pauperising increasing numbers of people with the purpose of increasing that inequality and the flow of wealth out of the hands of ordinary people.

The poor are being used and abused as wealth creators and yet are being denied any part of the wealth they are brutally forced to create. The most targeted group, of course, being disabled people about whom Priti Patel said, ‘cutting some disabled people’s benefits by £30 a week is justified as it will help those with a “limited capability” to work find a job’*. And, just for the record, Patel also thinks ‘the British are among the worst idlers in the world’, in a book she co-wrote with fellow fascists Dominic Raab, Kwasi Kwarteng, Liz Truss and Chris Skidmore,  in which they claim ‘that “lazy” Brits prefer a lie-in to hard work‘ and ‘criticises the “baby boomer” generation for seeking to raise taxes for young workers to pay for their lavish pension pots’*. (*my emphases)

This is the religion of the far right, who treat poor bashing as an article of faith, who would have pensioners working for the pensions they have spent their working lives paying for until death.

In a country in which depriving people of the means of survival and their economic rights is now routine, it is inevitable that, as a consequence, with zero income, people are wilfully prevented from paying their rent to which the answer is, eviction.

It is also inevitable that at the mere suggestion of housing as a human right and that no one should be evicted from their home for financial reasons, the intellectually supine and propaganda rags like the Sun, the Mail and Express, and other right wing, rage fuelling, toss rags, will cry, ‘Why should we pay for scroungers?’, to which I riposte, ‘We pay for the wealth snatchers every day, like media corps, but if people think it is the poor who are the problem, they are bigger fools than even the government takes us all for’.

A study by Crisis on the financial cost of single homelessness in Britain reports that the New Economics Foundation estimated, ‘a single homeless person, if they were homeless for one year, would cost the UK public purse between £24,500 and £26,000 more than other citizens’.

It is economically illiterate to evict people and force people into homelessness. How many times must we have these sad and tired conversations whilst the greedy stuff themselves stupid on the backs of our lives?

Full employment is both pointless and unnecessary, the problem isn’t worklessness, the problem isn’t the poor, the problem isn’t a lack of housing, the problem is wealth distribution and a world predicated on exploitation and the privatisation of resources, including people, and profit.

Millions of jobs have been automated out of existence, but what happens to the people who used to do those jobs, are they taken care of out of the profits from the automation of the work they once did? No, they are thrown on the scrap heap whilst all the profits from automation rise beyond the reach of ordinary people into the hands of the grasping few, often to languish in tax havens thus further avoiding any social responsibility for the distribution of their unearned, other than through exploitation of people, resources and technology, wealth.

However, if anyone is struggling, the DWP offered contracts in 2015 to procure ‘Online Supported Cognitive Behavioural Therapy’ (CBT) worth £21 million to promote work as a health outcome. Bullshit!

We are drowning in bullshit, it is a tidal wave that is still mounting and people are dying in despair. The government wants us to rent out our bodies for less than it costs for us to inhabit our own bodies, for life. Our wages are asset stripped (as taxation) to support extreme wealth and corporations who hide their ill gotten gains in tax havens. And if we fail to juggle the impossible we are thrown on the streets to subsist or die.

We know the answers, we know exactly what is wrong and how it could be put right. We know who our enemy is and what they are capable of, and they are not done yet.

This is economic warfare and we are the target. None of this is happening by accident and nor is any of it unintended. We are certainly victims, but let us never make the mistake of in any way sympathising with our oppressors or making any excuses for them. There are no excuses.

Keep fighting and, above all, keep supporting and caring for those on their last legs who this rotten system has broken and if that someone is you, tell someone, as hard as that may feel, reach out.

KOG. 05 April 2017

Samaritans – free any time, from any phone on 116 123.

http://www.thetenantsvoice.co.uk/your_home/evictions-up-53-in-5-years/

https://www.theguardian.com/money/2016/feb/11/tenant-evictions-highest-level-england-wales-ministry-of-justice

http://www.cityam.com/227917/world-wealth-britain-crowned-fifth-richest-country-in-the-world-behind-us-china-japan-and-germany

http://www.gazette-news.co.uk/news/14296603.MP_Priti_Patel_says_cutting_some_disabled_people_s_benefits_by___30_a_week_is_justified/

‘Lazy’ workers: the ignorance and shamelessness of Tory ‘rising stars’

http://anotherangryvoice.blogspot.co.uk/2012/10/lord-bichard-force-pensioners-work.html

http://www.welfareweekly.com/tens-of-thousands-of-disabled-people-hit-by-cruel-benefit-sanctions-dwp-figures-show/

http://www.crisis.org.uk/data/files/publications/CostsofHomelessness_Finalweb.pdf

https://www.contractsfinder.service.gov.uk/Notice/fcdf22ca-cac8-45da-a614-fbc5754de037

https://johnnyvoid.wordpress.com/2016/08/29/hunger-homelessness-and-despair-the-stark-reality-of-the-benefit-cap/

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/jun/23/charlotte-sees-desperation-first-hand-job-centre-benefits-system

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As a 66 year old bloke, a post war baby boomer, it is incredible to witness that the NHS and the welfare state aren’t even going to make it through the life cycle of one whole generation.

Out of the debt and destruction of war came the greatest revolution in social care that this country has ever seen and I am watching it be destroyed.

Remember houses for heroes, the greatest house building programme this country has ever seen, built by the survivors of war, in which I am part of the first and only succeeding generation to experience that monumental achievement in social housing. House building peaked in the 1960’s at 400,000 homes a year.

The post war consensus was not a harmonious meeting of political minds so much as an uneasy alliance in which the Tories gave grudging agreement and yet, in reality, were bitterly opposed to it. It lasted until Thatcher came to power, 1979 marked the beginning of the end and by the time she was defeated by the treachery of her own party it was dead.

Since 2010 the velvet glove of oppression has been entirely abandoned, every penny spent on the working and jobseeking ‘stock’ is a penny wasted. It was ever thus, but now is exposed in all its brutality and includes children, the elderly and sick and disabled people.

We are in a catastrophic housing crisis, and scarcity, as we know with jobs, is just another means to transfer wealth from the poor to the rich via unrestrained market forces. Councils are now prevented from building houses and it was just over a year ago that the Tories voted down an amendment to the housing bill to force landlords to make rented homes fit for human habitation.

Those who have contributed all their lives to universal health care and the safety net of social security are now being scorned for being too old and a burden on the state by whipper snappers who demand to know why they should pay for us? How dare they? We contributed and helped build a system of care that could and should have lasted generations, indeed we contributed in good faith in the knowledge that generations to come would enjoy the benefits of our labour. And now we are scorned.

The wealth of the nation is being siphoned into the hands of the banks, financial markets and corporations who enjoy tax breaks and financial incentives, though never called welfare. Welfare is only for the scrounging poor who are to a body a drain on the nations resources. COE pay goes through the roof and bankers still enjoy their excessive bonuses, whilst workers are yet to be granted a true living wage as the minimum exchange for their labour.

Blaming baby boomers for getting old and living too long is an outrage for which poverty and the denial of health care are a sure cure. Let’s go back to the days that Harry Lesley Smith remembers only too well, who recently wrote in the Guardian, “Neither the midwife nor my mother would have expected me to live to almost 100 because my ancestors had lived in poverty for as long as there was recorded history in Yorkshire.”

That is the world the Tories long for, that is where they are so avidly driving us, but this old man, like Harry, will not slip silently into my coffin nor spend my last days in Tory driven misery. I have more to offer now in old age than at any time in my life and long years of experience on which to draw. I will not be silent nor be dictated to by ignorant children who have never known want or the terror of poverty and yet see themselves as political movers and shakers with the right to dictate misery for millions.

Every suicide hurts me, every sanction is an affront to human dignity, every cut for the poor and tax break for the rich is an outrage which I take personally and every lie coming from the mouths of thieves must be countered with the truth.

I look back at the revolution of youth in my teens with great love, which inspires me to this day, and today’s young ones deserve no less. The dismal Victorian workhouse ethic of the Tories must die, it is not a matter of if, only when. I may not even see that day, but that doesn’t matter, all that matters is the desire to fight and keep on fighting for a better world than this dismal neoliberal nightmare.

KOG. 26 February 2017

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2014/may/24/history-british-housing-decade

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/adnan-aldaini/housing-crisis_b_6639040.html

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/jan/12/tories-reject-move-to-ensure-rented-homes-fit-for-human-habitation

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/feb/24/dont-dread-old-age-fear-tories-tyranny-austerity

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/may/16/uk-poverty-rates-office-for-national-statistics