Slash, bang, whallop

Here we have it, Boris Johnson, shows how tough he is on crime and wants to build 10.000 more prison places and increase stop and search.

We are going towards a classical double-sided society. The underlings, living in prison cells and the good people living in houses/flats.

In the old days we could see the two-way society by the way pubs were built with two entrances for the poor and the rich. The public and saloon bars.

Boris Johnson now wants to create a new society whereby everybody just gets locked up, out of the way and that creates the internment society.

Gone has the community cohesion model, the trying to build civil societies who live together in peace and harmony.

I am not against stop and search and I am not against re-introducing the 20.000 police officers that were cut from the budget but recruiting masses of police officers quickly, doesn’t exactly increase the quality control of officer that is coming to our beats.

Yet stop and search done on an aggressively large scale, can seriously push mentally instable people over the edge and we may be walking towards a new age of riots.

Whilst the new government bemoans a break-down in civil society here in Tower Hamlets all Neighbourhood Watch signs were taken down from lamp posts. Those signs were always

  • an expression of anti-crime sentiment,
  • deterrents for criminals and
  • assurance for residents.

Why remove those signs, when they are simply a positive influence on the community? And whilst removing Neighbourhood Watch signs, which always introduced a better feeling of community spirit and increased attempts of community cohesion and simply replace all by a quick lock up and shut up policy?

It seems we are trending towards the Chinese model of building internmnet centres for re-education, and assisted living.

It is totally amazing that the government suddenly can find the funds to build 10.000 new prison places but is unable to build council housing in the same scale.

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Keeping the poor in poverty

This government’s employment, education and housing strategy is mainly aimed at keeping the poor in a position of legal servitude. We have entered the age of modern slavery.

“The government had an opportunity to help support the most disadvantaged people in the UK but has instead wasted over half a million pounds,” said Lord Jay, chairman of the EU Home Affairs Sub-Committee.

The government even refuses to spend £3.5 Million of Eurpoean Union Funding for the alleviation of child poverty and already had to hand back £580.000 of unspent cash, given by the EU as funding to the UK.

So all those Brexit arguments saying we could spend money we give to the EU on ourselves, is simply a lying trick to hype up the Brexit agenda. They have no intention of making things better for our poor families.  See source article. 

shifting responsibility

Look at it at very basic principles. The Conservative government wants to get rid of any government led service provision and shift the responsibilities for everything onto the private individual.

That principle is what led to a recent tribunal decision whereby leaseholders of a block of flats lost and have to foot the bill for £3.000.000 worth of cladding removal, fire patrols and developers legal fees.

photo of green leaf potted plants on window and stand

Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Pexels.com

It is simply this principle of transferring everything from government to individuals, the principle of personal freedom and less taxes for all, that makes the indivduals pay.

Previously and post-war we had council estates, provided by local authorities, maintained and paid for and rented out.

I remember on our estate, the first flats for sale went for £5.000 for a 2 bedroom flat. Crazy prices. After that prices went gradually up to £5.000 for a 3-bedroom flat and now the prices are at £300.000 and rising for small flats.

But the difference is that every leaseholder is still responsible or all the costs of the block.

When I go to a residents meeting, most attendees are leaseholders and proud to be so but all are complaining about their costs. Apparently most of our Labour councillors are also all leaseholders of flats. So there is little difference in the Labour and Conservative activities.

It used to be Labour pro council housing and pro renting out. Now it’s all a mish-mash of ill-thought out policies and practises.

It simply is not working and people are deeply unhappy about the whole situation.

Nobody seems to practise what they preach anymore. There are no clear lines.

Obviously the sale of council flats has made living more expensive for everyone and raised the stress-levels. So why do it?

Housing

minimalist photography of white and gray condominium

Photo by Luis Quintero on Pexels.com

In Germany for housing, the percentage cost of income is 27% and in Britain its 40%. Additionally there is a corrolation in that the higher the percentage of home-ownership, the higher is the amount of unemployment.

The combination of home ownership with a lack of homes for rent pushes up the housing cost and increases immobility. It increases the cost of living and reduces the quality of life through a need to have long commutes to work through public transport because home owners are stuck in their homes and have to commute to work. Especially the sale of many council flats increased social immobility and increased the cost of housing and reduced the availability of homes for rent.

In Britain renters stay in their homes for about 4 years and in Germany for around 11 years.

Britain is obsessed with home ownership.

Additionally real wages have fallen by 6%.

Yet the government created this red herring Brexit that is supposed to solve all the problems. One of the new Conservative candidates, Dominic Raab, threatens to shut down parliament to circumvent the democratic process and create a no-deal Brexit. Brace yourselves.

Britain is getting poorer under this government.

Source Politics Live, 6/6/19

BBC ‘High rents make young people less mobile’

BBC Through the wealth gap, the proportion of second home-ownership amongst the wealthiest has risen, whilst the average person is kept out of homeownership.

 

More young men remain residing at home

It is being blamed on the economic downturn but may also have to do with the direct selling of properties to foreign investors. See link to report.

It affects me, both my adult sons still live with me, whilst my daughters have all flown the nest. Of course they are entitled to housing because of babies and also if they find a partner with a home, they are off.

A lot may have to do with men these days earning the minimum wage.

Out of balance

My previous blog ended with a remark on the Bedroom Tax, which is just a very simplified version of making those who did not purchase their homes pay for the very fact, that they did not buy their homes in time and for punishment. Because if you are a leaseholder, then you can severely under-occupy just because you bought a place and almost 50% of council flats are now privately owned.

If it really was as easy as the government pretends, those who move into smaller accommodation make room available for those who are in need of accommodation then the whole problem would simply be solved by allowing people to swap homes.

Create homes exchange lists, as they usually already exist on council bidding sites and then the people with too much room could swap with those in need of room.

Obviously this just doesn’t work out. So if the objective is to allocate homes to those who need it, there is no system in place to actually do so.

Those who are stuck in too large homes because they cannot find any smaller ones are unfairly discriminated against.  People may not only be stuck because there is no smaller accommodation available locally but also because they cannot move further away because of work commitments or medical reasons.

If the overall objective is to just ensure that all have enough space to live in then more pressure should be put on home owners to let out spare rooms too, give up second homes and occupy less space for themselves just because they can pay for it.

This whole bedroom tax system if merely an instrument to punish those who did not purchase their council flats.

 

Is it social cleansing or a fashion trend?

On one hand the trend to house poor families out of London is called an attempt to socially cleanse rich boroughs like Kensington and Chelsea, a borough short of social housing and on the other hand I read stories that white people are very keen to move out of London to the country-side. There is a nice graph on the link.

What is it then a desire to escape the large city or is it social cleansing. There seems to be a consensus wanting to move.

Perhaps the first solution, wanting to move people out of London by Kensington and Chelsea is not restricted to white people who seem to voluntarily leave London to escape the increasingly ethnic immigration influx. I cannot quite belief why K & C wants to move ambitious young people out of the borough because they are ambitious here in London but what are they supposed to do with their ambitions in an area that is not economically so active as inner London?

Bedroom hardship

I am very certain, that as soon as people get hit with their new rent demands, many will want to move to smaller accommodation. Yet they’ll find that the market is saturated and nothing is available. Even those who try their hardest to find a smaller flat will have to pay the bedroom tax without it being a fault of their own that they now cannot get a smaller place to live in.

In the privately rented sector, people will need to pay a deposit. I have not seen it advertised anywhere that people actually will get help with this. Therefore I do agree, that this Bedroom Tax, as Labour calls it is unfair to people. It will be unfair to landlords, who will find themselves facing large arrears and negative bank balances.

The government simply argues that they cannot afford to pay housing benefit for spare bedrooms and need to get the housing market moving and people into work.

It’s the ‘sink or swim’ approach and many will sink rather than swim. Tenants will see their housing benefit or universal benefit paid directly to them and if they have such hardship that they can hardly cope with the £500 cap per week, they will rather spend the money on food than on rent.

Many people will get eviction notices and register as homeless with councils and even then councils will find it difficult to secure enough small bedroom accommodation to give all homeless the size of flat they deserve under the new regulations.

That bedroom tax is going to cause a lot of problems but unfortunately people will have to put up with it unless a court decides it is unreasonable and perhaps it could breach Human Rights.  Else people have to wait until after the next elections and most likely that will see a Labour government who will need some time to change housing rules. But by then, and the government knows this most people will already have been evicted from their current flats.

So all rules governing tenancy security will be thrown overboard by the Bedroom Tax. It doesn’t matter how secure your tenancy is, if you can’t pay the rent, you still are going to get evicted.

This seems a contractual oddity because there is no clause in the secure tenancy agreements that the rules on size of property could be changed during the course of the contract.

But I also vividly remember how Labour Party members, when Labour was still in government, who screamed about under-occupation and it were Labour members who called for urgent changes to current housing laws, so who are they to complain now?

No beginning, no end

There is no end to the liberal thinking these days. In certain aspects we have strict laws.

When it comes to class A, B, C drugs; they have an obvious and immediate addictive detrimental health effect and so they are banned.

Alcohol has a slowly deteriorating effect and it is allowed to be sold widely, though certain by-laws now restrict the anti-social effects of it.

Eating is widely discussed and how over-eating causes a slow deterioration of a person’s health in that obesity sets in.

The overall tendency is to be tolerant and legalize as much as possible as it is thought that tolerance and freedom to choose is the sign of a free society.

It is interesting to see whether we are healthier in a tolerant society or in a restricted one. the answer is easy, as there is no comparison to older societies, which did not have the vast amount of vaccines that we have today. And even in current, more primitive societies with stricter moral codes, use of modern medicines seems to be restricted.

These days we try to solve all problems by vaccinating away the diseases that our modern lifestyles cause.

All negative transgressions of nature that cause us to have any type of noticeable illness; doctors want to find a vaccine against it. Prolonging life is the most important cause society has whilst at the same time lifestyles help people to shorten their lifespans prematurely, just for many to cry out for new solutions to their problems.

I just wonder whether there is any point in having an opinion because politicians are running away with the agenda and make law after law that dictate what we can and cannot do. In the end we just have to ensure that individuals have the right to make a free choice and are not forced into lifestyles because economic circumstances force them to.

 

 

Intolerable rise in homelessness

The rise of homeless people  in London has risen to enormous proportions, I read today.  The percentage of families with children living in B&B has risen by 385% in 2012.  The number of rough sleepers has risen by 40%.

This is the totally irresponsible housing and housing benefit policy this government has introduced that is responsible for this trend.

It doesn’t really matter that the DWP constantly wants to push people into jobs, when they have nowhere to stay permanently; how can they plan for employment, their children’s education, any health care they may need long term.

It seems cynical that the government now offers a £500 set up grant to allow setting up child care to enable mothers back into work, when those mothers have not even got permanent accommodation. Parents’ worries are needlessly increased by various risk factors, such as no permanent housing, being cut off from benefits for weeks on end when parents are accused of not doing enough to find work and mothers and children are left without any money and they have nowhere permanent to call a home.

Government these days is obsessed with pushing mothers into work and stopping women from having children or making them beg for food in soup kitchens as soon as their children reach age 7 or less. The age goes down all the time, that mothers can no longer receive Income Support and are forced to change to Job Seekers Allowance or get nothing at all for themselves to live on.

Birmingham Council has practically been bankrupted by a recent ruling that forces the council now, in a time of national austerity to pay out compensation for women’s under-payment through equal pay.  Yet that is fine for the women who have the jobs and are established in their lives but for those women who are now told that work is better than benefits but who have nothing to call even a home, the hope of an equally well paid job is just a far away illusion, that has not even realised yet.

It is always easy for those on the top to look down on those who have not achieved the same level of luxury in their lives and edge them on to achieve, but when you are at the bottom of the ladder, it is quite clear that the steps on that ladder are cracked and that those at the top have not even an idea what it is like to struggle day after day with simple things.

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