The one thing in my own life, of which I am really proud, has to be my association, and the continuation of a fighting concern, for the many thousands who are homeless in modern Britain today.
So committed to the London street people and community of homeless people, who have become like a family to me over the last twenty or so years, that I will take any and every opportunity to help out in the fight for housing justice, and indeed, recently, I have been blogging and writing quite a lot about homelessness; just trying to raise issues and make others aware to the fact, that this country, the fifth richest capitalist country in the world, has a massive, and growing bigger by the day (no exaggeration), housing crisis.
I have taken part in many a battle for what I am calling housing justice, but the truth is simply put like this - there will never be any sort of housing justice for millions, whilst the system of capitalism’ reigns over us supreme.
There are some things that I see in life, that sends shivers down my back. Such as the sight of a human being, and in broad daylight, sleeping on a street corner in Bethnal Green the other day, this sent, such shivers down my back, it was like the reminder that I did not request - capitalism is nothing more than butchery at its worse as a system!”
At first glance, I thought, it was just a discarded old pile of clothes that someone had dispensed with, and dumped albeit on the street, but then I saw a trainer, a foot was sticking out, and then looking closer, I could then see, this was a person sleeping. That image, that one person whoever he or she was, has been banging around in my own head and in thoughts quite a bit and just like a wallop I did not ask for.
Over the years, and for a time I and have been, a rough sleeper. I have many friends who have been and are still rough sleeping on the streets of London. I try to do what I can for rough sleepers, they exist and try to survive in what really is a very dangerous environment, they are attacked and some have been killed, they suffer all manner of abuse, it’s that dangerous, I do not exaggerate this; and when I came across that fellow bundle of humanity in Bethnal Green, curled-up and trying to take in rest for ‘God only knows what this persons life is like, and as I passed by this person I knew, that bundle of humanity would not be with us for much longer -That shiver went down my back!”
Shelter, and talking about ‘image’, has put out a really powerful image of modern homelessness, in the form of a little, homeless child, which has sent more shivers down my back. I read reports, that things are getting better, the economy is on the mend, the green shoots of recovery have been spotted, the building and construction industry is picking up, house prices on the up along with mortgage lending, always a belligerent, toxic debt that many struggle to afford.
As Christmas gets a wee bit nearer, I think of the impending future for this child, and for thousands of children experiencing the horrors of homelessness - what next for them the streets?”