The degree to which the moral sentiments of the fortunate have been corrupted was illustrated all too well by Westminster Council last week. The Tory led Council, one of the richest in Britain, has decided to ban sleeping on the streets – and feeding anybody who does. From now on you could feel the firm hand of PC Plod on your shoulder if you’re caught giving your lunchtime M&S sandwich to a starving homeless person. Feeding them, according to the wise, well fed councillors of Westminster, only encourages them to be homeless! Even the soup vans that dish out much needed sustenance to the homeless under the arches at Charing Cross are set to be criminalized. So good to see compassionate Conservatism at work.
Did you know that over the last 10 years the number of people sleeping rough has been reduced by 75%? This is a remarkable achievement. Done by creating more hostels and staffing them with people who could offer the homeless the help and support they need to get their lives back on track. Unfortunately Demolition Dave’s cuts are going to put paid to all this. Already Southwark council is slashing the amount they spend on the homeless by 50%, others will follow. All the good work that’s been done is about to be wasted, hostels closed, experienced staff let go. This at a time when some 90,000 single tenants and 89,000 families face eviction when Iain Duncan Smith’s Housing Benefit cuts kick in. The number of homeless people on the streets of Britain is about to rise dramatically.
The actions of Westminster council are beneath contempt. It’s sad reflection of our time that they appear to be insensible to the human costs of their actions. The ‘blame the victim’ culture is obviously alive and well in City Hall.
And what of the fortunate of Westminster, will they be demanding their council scrap this despicable policy? I very much doubt it.
It says quite a lot about our dear beloved coalition that they didn’t bother to insist that councils maintain their spending on the homeless. It demonstrates how disconnected the political class has become from the people they represent. Ooops! I forgot, homeless people don’t have the vote. Silly me! They’re off the political radar, so they don’t matter.