Moan for the Day (03/10/2016) – Attitude to Homelessness in the UK
As many of you will know, I am a regular caller to LBC radio station, discussing various things including politics.
Today (03/10/2016) I rang in to discuss Andrea Leadsom’s comments about hoping young British people would take up low paid jobs done by EU migrants. The host of the hour was Clive Bull, somebody who expresses very pro-EU views, and regularly hosts an hour (normally every other week) asking the people whether there should be another EU Referendum to see if views have changed.
My input on the subject of low-skilled workers was that there were over 100,000 homeless people on the streets of Britain, about three-quarters of which were young people. My view was that with Sajid David’s proposal to build 250,000 new houses and jobs apparently being available in the unskilled labour force. It would be a brilliant opportunity to put together some kind of scheme to help people off the streets of Britain and back into work. Give them some of their dignity back and improve people’s life chances. I myself always make a point of speaking to people sleeping rough. Just to find out what left them in that situation, if they needed anything to eat or drink and whether they have any kind of support where they are. I have spoken to several who “busk” who have said they were looking for cleaning jobs but couldn’t find any. One in particular who always stood in my mind plays/played outside Churchill Square in Brighton and plays the violin. Always nice to people, chatty and grateful to those who recognise her presence in the world.
She has some minor training in X-Ray work, and hadn’t been able to complete her education, and had been looking for cleaning work without success. She had been sofa-surfing for a year. His response to the suggestion was, in my opinion, shocking. He seemed to whip this idea away, suggesting that anybody homeless who had claimed to be looking for work without success had been lying to me and that many of those on the streets wouldn’t be fit for work in any way anyway due to mental illness. Is this really the low level we have stooped to in this country? Not only do we completely ignore people sleeping rough in the UK. Not only do we ignore the very real mental health problems and drug abuse that has enveloped some of their lives. We just condemn them as not being suitable and allow them to continue on in what is left of their lives without any hope or help.
One of the things I have been hoping for in the course of UKIP’s evolution is the potential for them to develop into a more moral political party. UKIP have already developed somewhat of a reputation for being a party that wants to protect the interests and well-being of those who have left the armed forces. Not only those who have been maimed in combat or who have developed mental health problems. But everyday people who have done their duty, and served their country proudly.
This is one of the main reasons I was so proud of UKIP’s manifesto put together by Suzanne Evans and provided the content for by the various spokespeople within UKIP at the time. The reality is the political establishment has been a disgrace when it comes to the interests of former armed forces personnel, the homeless and mentally ill. With mental health funding not being what it should be, the growth of food banks spiralling out of control and the rate of male suicides in the UK skyrocketing to record highs.
So at what point does the media elite and the political establishment stop, take notice and do something about it. At what point do people recognise that there are human beings in their time of need, cold, upset, frightened and covered in goodness knows what forgotten by the world.
When walking down the road, and see a person on the pavement begging. We all do it, we all glance our eyes sideways and pretend we didn’t see what we have just seen. Would it really dent people’s pockets and time-schedules that much to pop into a local off-license or supermarket. Buy a reduced sandwich and a bottle of water. Maybe in the winter pop into a local cafe and buy a homeless person a cup of tea or coffee.
Maybe next time somebody rings up a radio station to put forward a suggestion that might help people, that radio host might consider the idea and expand on it, instead of condemning homeless people to a broad stereotype that only serves to worsen their treatment by members of the public, and continue a trend that brings absolute shame upon our country.