The absolute disgrace not to say shame of the number of homeless people who find themselves living on – and during this winter increasingly dying – on the streets of the United Kingdom is down to the decisions that our Government have and are continuing to take.
This Conservative Government whose whole economic and social policy is dependent on dividing people and communities between “those who have and those who have not” have revealed that they simply don’t care what the impact of their callous and failing policies are having on people across the whole of the UK.
Their failing economic policies supported by increasing taxation for the lower and middle earners whilst “rewarding” those who are well off is not only socially divisive but is increasingly leading to the return of social deprivation the like of which we haven’t seen since the rationing days following the second world war.
No greater example of this is in the increased number of food banks that are now being established in our towns and communities which Phillip Hammond MP the Chancellor in his own Constituency referred to at its opening as being a great example of the Big Society in action!!
Do you remember that?
One of the Conservatives flag ship policies “The Big Society”
Food banks – What the Theresa May Conservatives call a sign of the success of the Big Society.
Unbelievable that a millionaire should refer to the return of families having to subject themselves to the indignity of asking for a food hand-out to feed their children as a success!
But what can you expect from the same man who sacked military personnel only days after they returned from active service.
It is those with a social conscience who set up and run, and those who donate to the food banks who should be applauded.
And it will be those and the families and friends of the people they are supporting through tough times who will decide if a Government whose polices have led to such a disgraceful situation are a success not the likes of Phillip Hammond, Boris Johnson, Michael Gove, David Davies or Jacob Rees-Mogg.
Which brings me to the impact of the Conservative policies and the huge increase in homelessness that Local Authorities are faced with handling.
And remember the Local Authorities who have been left having to deal with the homeless crisis have also had their funding cut by over 55% since 2010 with many of them – such as Northamptonshire – facing bankruptcy.
Last year the very well-respected homelessness charity Crisis published data showing an increase of 70% in court orders to evict private tenants over the past three years and at the same time the Halifax showed that it cost £150 a month more to rent than to pay a mortgage.
Which in many ways is irrelevant because the huge increase in employment on zero hours contracts actually means people who are working can’t afford to get on the housing mortgage ladder.
The result is an increase in homelessness and rough sleeping, and if people think ‘ah well’ it’s a national problem and doesn’t affect us they couldn’t be more wrong.
It is costing Local Authorities and therefore the tax payer millions of pounds a year which is effectively taking money away from other essential front line services.
And for those who are reading this blog I should explain that it isn’t everyone who applies for homelessness help in the UK who get help because the definition of ‘homelessness in need’ where the Local Authority has a statutory duty to provide a home is those with young children or where a woman in pregnant.
Is there any wonder the number of rough sleepers has more than quadrupled in the last three years.
And the percentage of those rough sleeping who are dying on the streets of Britain is – or at least to my mind – not simply deplorable but a f****** disgrace.
And yet we still have Theresa May waxing lyrical about how her Conservative Government is one of modern Compassionate Conservatism and that she has moved them on from being the ‘nasty party’ .
The problem is of course is that we now know both nationally and locally that they have chosen to govern not by consent but by division, fear, patronage and power of position.
The Conservatives instead of addressing the issue of homelessness, rough sleeping and young people without a permanent roof over their heads – which will blight them not only now but for the rest of their lives – instead prefer as “their priority, their Conservative priority” to spend taxpayers money on bailing out their friends who are in charge of failing outsourced public services.
How crass and incompetent this Government is, they couldn’t even manage how to give themselves a massive pay rise without looking exactly what they are, self-serving, self-interested, uncaring, callous greedy hypocrites.
If ever there was an example that Conservatives operate on a basis of there being ‘one rule for them, another for us’ this was it.
The saddest thing of all is that there are Conservative Members of Parliament and Councillors throughout the country who privately brief that they aren’t happy with what is happening and how their views are not only ignored but worse that they aren’t allowed to have a view.
The problem is that in keeping quiet and allowing it to happen they are being complicit in the actions of those who will eventually after ensuring their own self-interest is catered for will like David Cameron abandon the country.
Will anyone in the Conservatives speak up?
I doubt it because of their fear of retribution and a nasty retribution at that.
And if there is one political party who know – and enjoy – how to administer vicious retribution on their own it is the Conservative Party.