Ending rough sleeping

The government has announced its wish to make big inroads into rough sleeping with a view in due course to eliminating it. I am sure all agree that would be a welcome development, as no-one likes to see people out in the cold and wet  trying to shelter in a doorway or under an arch as the rest of the world scurries by. We ought to be able to help more of them to a better life.

The latest proposal from the government is an initiative called  “Somewhere safe to stay”. Anyone seen out at night will be offered a place in a refuge, where there would also be assessment made of their needs and how they might be helped into a more normal life with a job and a tenancy for a roof over their heads. Where people need medical attention or help with getting off drink or drugs, that too could  be sorted out.

This is a development of the rapid assessment hubs currently used for the “No second night out” approach.  It is important that there is a place where the homeless can be directed where they can receive immediate assistance and the longer term help they may require.  The government runs a system of supported lettings and works with local agencies to try to find accommodation for an individual and the means to pay for it.In the high stress parts of the country overnight accommodation is available and people go out and tell the homeless of what is available.

There is in place a network of hostels and assistance from benefits offices and Housing departments. People out on the streets should be offered these facilities, as good Councils seek to do. People sleeping out cannot be compelled to take up offers made.

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    Posted December 24, 2018 at 6:09 am | Permalink

    Cynical doesn’t begin to describe the timing of this initiative. Pathetic

    I’ve a golden idea. Why doesn’t a Tory government grow a pair and reform Labour’s client state and with some of the massive savings divert funding to those who really need our assistance

    I would rather my taxes be used to fund programs to help those in real poverty than they be spent on financing the excessive pensions and early retirements of public sector employees

    • Caterpillar
      Posted December 24, 2018 at 7:45 am | Permalink


      This is only partially correct. Osborne already destroyed the pensions of some who had previously worked in the public sector on low pay. His indexing changes applied to all, even those who had taken low pay in exchange for future good pension, this was essentially a change in the terms under which people had made their life choices – it was and remains nasty. Yes there are many who now have high pay in the public sector, this though was not always the case (nor still is in some instances), yes capping pensions at the top end might be reasonable, but giving the Govt an excuse for a general attack following the indexing attack is misplaced.

      • Hope
        Posted December 24, 2018 at 9:37 am | Permalink

        JR, this has been caused by the Tory govt. it was under control. Under nasty May she put big business first continued with mass immigration while lying as HS and PM to claim to reduce to tens of thousands. Statistics shows she has resoundingly failed. Where do the hundreds of thousands illegal immigrants lost to her system live? Where have the asylum seekers and refugees disappeared? Rud was put back in govt despite her appalling record highlighted earlier this year and in stark contrast to both of their Windrush scandal.

        Houses cannot and will not be built to match demand. Javids latest scam of an immigration paper allows and promotes further mass immigration of low paid workers, incorporates UN migration pact disaster. Perhaps he thought we would not notice or he is now firmly following underhand away and her dishonest practices to hide the true facts while making false speeches to the contrary.

        May banging on about coming together with her servitude plan! May has betrayed the nation and expects us to change me together rather than revolt! May has failed to implement Brexit to date and people will never come together while they know she is trying to lie and cheat them of what they voted for. Further evidence to demonstrate her nasty poisonous behaviour. She is allowing Hammond’s divisive extremists comments to leavers? What about his stupid woman comment of Jenkyns on 20/07/2018? Nothing.

        Under May you are doomed on every policy front. Like most people I loathe to see and hear her.

        • BOF
          Posted December 24, 2018 at 11:27 am | Permalink


          I absolutely agree with you, especially about the ongoing mass migration scandal.

          I wonder what underhand tactics will be revealed in the New Year to condemn the UK to EU control?

          • Hope
            Posted December 25, 2018 at 11:26 am | Permalink

            I took May and Brandon Lewis’ team six months to investigate a non hate crime against Boris Johnson, six months. Because he was a leaver and very popular with the public. They could not smear him, if they could they would have.

            Hammond not even investigated despite clear view evidence on both counts!

    • oldwulf
      Posted December 24, 2018 at 8:53 am | Permalink

      @DUNCAN. Sadly I do not think that the root and branch reform of public sector finances and the elimination of waste will occur in our lifetimes.

      • Ruth Ben-Or
        Posted December 24, 2018 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

        I agree with @oldwulf, there is no incentive for social services or the NHS to use resources effectively as long as there is the expectation of more money being thrown at them and to use the entire budget for fear of not receiving the same next year. This is endemic regardless of which party is in power.

      • acorn
        Posted December 24, 2018 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

        The government is planning to spend circa £800 billion this fiscal year. That will be circa 38% of the UK GDP.

        Say your “root and branch reform of public sector finances and the elimination of waste”, reduces government spending by 50%. UK GDP would reduce by 20%. That would be £400 billion of income the private sector would lose.

        Public sector employees spend their income and the government’s procurement budget, in the private sector. What you call public sector waste, always ends up in private sector wages.

        There are fiscal measures the government can employ, to stimulate a fiat currency economy that lacks a self-supporting, positive feedback private sector. Public Sector deficit spending is by far the most effective.

        • Edward2
          Posted December 24, 2018 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

          First they take it from us.
          They have no money.

        • libertarian
          Posted December 25, 2018 at 10:23 am | Permalink


          You forgot that they already took it from the “private sector” in the first place. If people are left with £400 billion extra what do you think they will do with it?


  2. Cheshire Girl
    Posted December 24, 2018 at 6:23 am | Permalink

    Its desperately sad to see the plight of the homeless, whose numbers are increasing. The charities, especially, Crisis, and the Salvation Army do so much to help,. Councils are expected to do more, but their budgets are stretched to the limit.
    I believe that homelessness could happen to any of us if our circumstances changed. I am so grateful for my comfortable home, and sincely hope for the day when everyone will have the same.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted December 24, 2018 at 8:26 am | Permalink

      Dear John–Your last sentence is very true–Many would unfortunately rather leave their few belongings in a doorway or somesuch because, though pitifully small and few, they, the belongings stand to get rifled in some of the places that provide help and a bed. Ghastly, but that’s the way it is for too many.

      • Hope
        Posted December 24, 2018 at 9:43 am | Permalink

        I do no feel sorry for councils. They are inefficient waste of spaces. Javid gave them 5.6’percent tax hike this year crushing low paid household budgets. Contrary to Tory manifesto. He also failed as business secreatary and there are many around Port Talbot and the steel industry who will not forget or forgive him.

        Where is the reform of the public Sector? Police decimated by twenty thousand by vindictive May. How much serious crime and murder this year as a result of May’s policies? London is not safe. No secure borders, where do these people live? Moreover this is what allowed the Manchester bomber to come and go! Under May, Rudd and Javid.

      • Peter
        Posted December 24, 2018 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

        Exactly. In Victorian times the workhouse was ruled with a rod of iron. Any misbehaviour and you were kicked out.

        Nowadays social services are run by softies. Troublemakers and thieves are indulged and never called to account.

        So it is no surprise many homeless would rather take their chances away from such places and their problem clients.

    • oldwulf
      Posted December 24, 2018 at 9:17 am | Permalink

      @Cheshire Girl. I see homelessness as an issue in my city but I get the impression that most local authorities are poorly run as regards to both the raising of money and the prioritising of expenditure. Whilst the throwing of money at the problem by central government is welcome, the inefficiencies of bureaucracy can be worrying.

      At a local level, I too see charities, largely staffed by unpaid volunteers, make a big difference. They, of course, rely on donations of money and goods (food, clothing and bedding etc) and I see much public support for this. At the coal face, my local independent coffee shop operates a “pay it forward” system where customers provide money for food and drink for the homeless as well as bringing in clothes etc. The amount of the support is amazing. I expect this occurs in many towns and cities but goes largely unreported. I would encourage readers of this blog to seek out and support these initiatives – which can make an immediate difference to the lives of the homeless.

      • Jagman84
        Posted December 24, 2018 at 10:30 am | Permalink

        The local authorities are run by Socialism, regardless of the majority party in power. Elections change the management but not the ethos of the council employees. That’s where the malevolent influence of the likes of Common Purpose have poisoned our (barely) democratic system. To expect such a corrupted system to deliver much of value to the electorate is naive.

    • turboterrier
      Posted December 24, 2018 at 10:23 am | Permalink

      @ Cheshire Girl

      Councils are expected to do more, but their budgets are stretched to the limit.

      It is not the panacea to end all ills but the councils would be better to start looking inwardly at the waste that appears to the norm across every department and sector of their operations. Do they really need such a top heavy expensive management structure? I think not.

  3. Gary C
    Posted December 24, 2018 at 7:12 am | Permalink

    It is disturbing to see what appears to be an ever increasing number of people sleeping on our streets and walking through Guildford yesterday made me realise just how lucky I am to have a home to go to, it is shameful so much money is wasted when so many are in need.

    The homeless along with the elderly are just two of the victims of our own making, hopefully when and if we properly leave the EU some of what we save can be kept to look after our own.

    And no I am not blaming the EU for problems we ourselves have created, it’s just one example of where money can be redirected to benefit those in need, HS2 is another.

    • Andy
      Posted December 24, 2018 at 10:17 am | Permalink

      Great plan – except we will have significantly less money when we leave the EU. All of us will be poorer. Me, you and the homeless.

      You are just making the problem worse.

      • libertarian
        Posted December 24, 2018 at 11:50 am | Permalink


        We will have £422 million per week MORE when we leave the EU.

        • Andy
          Posted December 24, 2018 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

          Yeah – except we won’t. Like most Tories you understand cost but not value.

          Your Brexit is already costing us £500m per week. And you’ll be the ones complaining most about the effects of that.

          • Richard1
            Posted December 24, 2018 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

            You are pulling numbers from thin air. The economy is now £100bn larger than Project Fear 1.0 forecasts projected it would be following a vote to leave.

          • Newmania
            Posted December 24, 2018 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

            Yes there are different projections about how much we will lose to the exchequer but there are absolutely no reputable sources suggesting it will not be a large loss. If we crash out on WTO it will be a disaster for services
            Lets not forget we are over 80% of GDP in debt .There is no slack and costs increase each year. Failing to grow is not the comfortable position leavers pretend it will be a calamity for services that are already stretched, if we cannot grow we cannot finance borrowing

            The ignorance of basic information on the Nation`s finances continues to amaze me especially after we all went through 2008 and watched them fall to pieces in real time

          • libertarian
            Posted December 24, 2018 at 7:06 pm | Permalink


            1) I’m not a Tory

            2) Provide some evidence for the £500 million losses

        • acorn
          Posted December 24, 2018 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

          I have yet to see a financial number quoted on this site that gets anywhere near the truth. Hence, I would like a breakdown of how you made up that number of £422 million per week; circa £22 billion a year?

          • Edward2
            Posted December 24, 2018 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

            And I would like some proper academic information where Andy gets that claim “that your Brexit is already costing us £500m per week”
            Sounds like another remainer myth to me.

          • libertarian
            Posted December 24, 2018 at 7:12 pm | Permalink


            You ought to pay more attention then

            Its the Treasury revised gross figure if we remain in up until 2022

            Go and look it up yourself for a breakdown

            Its amazing that you voted to stay in an organisation that you have no idea of the costs of and they can’t tell you either

        • hans christian ivers
          Posted December 24, 2018 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

          we will have nothing more we will just have less as we are growing less or not at all

          • Edward2
            Posted December 24, 2018 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

            You confuse reality with projections .

        • libertarian
          Posted December 25, 2018 at 10:29 am | Permalink


          Er there is no single market in services , so please explain why carrying on the same will be a disaster and crashing out ?

          Revenues to the exchequer you say, but then ignore the savings in payments to the EU , ignore the fact we can keep VAT, ignore the fact that if the EU refuses a deal we will impose some tariffs .

          Er we ARE growing

          Then you call other people financially illiterate .

          • Newmania
            Posted December 26, 2018 at 7:35 am | Permalink

            Libertarian, why do you think thousands of people have been working on complying with Solvency 2 ? Why a Lloyds European Base,what do you think passporting is ? Joe Johnson resigned , he said , in part because there was nothing for services in the May Deal ! What do you think we, in financial services have all been shouting about ? No doubt the single market is incomplete ( not for Insurance I must say) but not to have noticed its existence takes some doing .
            I am not (of course) ignoring the £8bn net the Uk hands over ( what’s that about o.6% GDP ?) . The IFS have a good comparative summary, the treasury have forecast a 9.3% loss of growth over 15 years with no deal. Do you seriously suggest the cabinet refer instead to a few eccentric blogs ?

            Reply This blogger was right on the ERM and Euro when the Treasury was wrong. If you have such a low regard for everything I write and disagree with it all why not spend your time more pleasantly reading blogs you do like?

  4. Caterpillar
    Posted December 24, 2018 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    Yes rough sleeping, amongst many other things, needs to be tackled. when the choice is tough sleeping vs non-safe alternatives then no bed is better than a bad bed.

    Perhaps once PM May stops wasting time trying to get the public around to her/Brussels’s WA then the executive can turn to other policy. If (which continues to seem likely) MPs are pressurised into accepting the WA and a long drawn out (infinite) transition then these other policy initiatives will be irrelevant. Priority number 1, save democracy via a managed no deal, do this immediately, the PM needs to get over her misplaced stubborn childishness. Save democracy first, then saving the country and people in it becomes more viable.

  5. Newmania
    Posted December 24, 2018 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    There was an interesting series on R4 in which a writer sent a year or two getting to know a few rough sleepers; their stories came out in fragments and their lives were like strange shadows of ordinary lives. Undoing what had happened to them was far far beyond any government initiative, even communicating was a terribly difficult process.

    • libertarian
      Posted December 24, 2018 at 11:55 am | Permalink


      Thats is very true. I’m a Trustee of a homeless and addiction charity , we house and rehabilitate people back into the community . The stories, journeys and reasons are manyfold , diverse and sometimes heart rending. They aren’t solvable by a top down government edict

      To help try to cope with these issues we need far greater local responsibility and control of the budgets and programmes . We need to return control to local communities

      • acorn
        Posted December 24, 2018 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

        So why do you vote for a government that runs the most centralised taxation system in the EU28?

        This fiscal year, local government will raise circa £64 billion from Council Tax and Business Rates, thankfully, the majority of that it now gets to keep. That will be circa 8% of Westminster’s planned £775 billion current receipts.

        Local government will spend 23% of that £775 bn; circa £178 billion, mostly by statutory diktat from Westminster, financed by numerous “penny packet” formula handouts.

        • Richard1
          Posted December 24, 2018 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

          True but we’ve always had a very centralised system in the UK, at least since WW2. It’s very unlikely any other party would make a difference. Certainly not the Marxists who would bankrupt the Country in any event.

        • Edward2
          Posted December 24, 2018 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

          I think that is too devolved financially.
          We are not a huge country.
          Why do we need so many levels of government through which our tax receipts pass?

        • libertarian
          Posted December 24, 2018 at 7:14 pm | Permalink


          I dont

          Next question

          • acorn
            Posted December 25, 2018 at 8:14 am | Permalink

            I can’t find a reference in Treasury’s database to your 422 million a week figure. I would appreciate a link to it.

          • libertarian
            Posted December 25, 2018 at 10:30 am | Permalink


            Do your own work. i’m fed up researching for you. Missed your apology for calling me a Tory

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted December 24, 2018 at 7:22 pm | Permalink


        Great idea ad contribution

        • libertarian
          Posted December 25, 2018 at 10:32 am | Permalink


          Thank you. Merry Christmas

  6. Dave Andrews
    Posted December 24, 2018 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    Certainly help those in need, but every homeless person has a story. How about we also tackle the factors that lead to homelessness? How many have ended up on the street as a result of an abusive home?
    We need to foster a respect for marriage and home responsibility and remove the vacuum caused by absent or abusive parents and step-parents.

    • Newmania
      Posted December 24, 2018 at 9:46 am | Permalink

      Agree with you. My wife works with some difficult cases and the family background is sometimes so appalling you cannot believe the lack of care .The plight of some children is heart breaking especially ,at the risk of sounding mawkish , at this time of year.
      Resources would help but it is not about money and the terrible thing is that by the age of eight it can be too late .

  7. Mark B
    Posted December 24, 2018 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    This is welcoming news.

    I also like the sensible approach to this. These people are victims and not pests and should be seen as that. The police, who are the most likely point of contact for these people on the street, are the ones that be most useful. Rather than move them along, they can direct them to the nearest shelter.

    I have long raged at the theft of monies from Stamp Duty / Buying a House Tax. Perhaps the government would be better advised to make a proportion of the monies raised available to developers so that they can build shelters for local authorities or housing associations to run ?

    I have also noticed that not only the numbers have increased but, the ages, gender and race has also broadened. It seems every part of society is now being touched.

  8. Adam
    Posted December 24, 2018 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    Rough sleepers do need sensitive, helpful treatment. However, people should be compelled not to sleep in the doorways of others, beg, endanger themselves & degrade the surroundings.

    Raw suggestion:

    1. Local Authorities should license all their rough sleepers & issue them with permits to display. Obtaining a permit involves a medical & welfare assessment with access to assistance.

    2. Commercial sponsors fund prefab insulated shelters with solar-powered roofs & wash & toilet facilities, allocated to each licensed person for 3 months, sited in supermarket car parks & green spaces. Well-maintained sites receive public donations to assist the occupants toward reaching better.

    There are many ways of solving most the rough sleeping problem, inexpensively, promptly & in mutual harmony of all citizens. Govt is too lacking in creative ideas & efficient plans to achieve effective outcomes.

    • turboterrier
      Posted December 24, 2018 at 10:17 am | Permalink

      @ Adam

      I think you will find that under EU legislation councils have to provide accommodation for travellers for which they get funding. When our local site got flooded out they relocated to higher ground and the cost was met by EU and Scottish parliament funding. It provided access and individual washing, drying and storage areas.

    • Monty
      Posted December 25, 2018 at 12:38 am | Permalink

      Adam I agree with your proposed scheme, for what I would term accomodation units. The requirement is to keep the tenants safe, reasonably warm, fed and watered. And to afford them some privacy. I think they would need the following characteristics:
      1. Self contained small units with a bed base and mattress, somewhere to sit and eat, integral storage space, toilet and shower with H&C water supplied. Embedded ventilation panel.
      2. Flame retardant construction.
      3. Easy to wash down between tenants, so no mains sockets. Maybe an embedded light, and embedded underfloor space heating element.
      4. Vandal proof.
      5. Secure. Homeless tenants should be able to lock their doors to keep eachother out, to keep strangers out. Secure, supervised perimeter, because you don’t want the local drug dealer moving in to set up business in one of the pods. Only the genuine homeless, referred by the housing officers, get in. Tenants can come and go, but they can’t bring guests in. Supervisors have access to master keys. It’s starting to indicate that our accomodation units should be set up inside an existing, stripped out building- perhaps a disused warehouse?
      6. Catered, with basic but wholesome and nourishing food. Maybe modelled on hospital meal service.
      7. Equipped with a seperate consulting unit for tenants who need to see a visiting GP, district nurse, clergyman, lawyer in privacy.
      Finally, and this is vital….
      8. Accepting of their lifestyle. Tenants should be banned from bringing in offensive weapons, but banning them from bringing in booze or drugs will only mean they leave the shelter. Another aspect- some of them have a dog or a cat in tow, and if the animal can’t come in, they won’t come in. Detox help should be made available, but mustn’t be conditional for admission. The task is to get them off the streets, and into safe accomodation so they don’t die of exposure or malnutrition.

      I know there will be resistance to that last one. But if you want to help folk you have to start from where they are now.

  9. Javelin
    Posted December 24, 2018 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    The news always talks about housing from the supply side but never the demand side.

    Why is that?

  10. Javelin
    Posted December 24, 2018 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    Christmas is a time for recalibration.

    By trying to create a “perfect” situation you are able to realise what is wrong and hopefully make changes to improve things for next year.

    The true gift of Christmas is the opportunity to clearly recalibrate.

  11. Steve
    Posted December 24, 2018 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    Cheshire Girl

    “Councils are expected to do more, but their budgets are stretched to the limit”

    That is is not an excuse, not while councils have Chief Executives on typically £150,000 who’s task is nothing more than to appear in the local rag a couple of times a year, photographed next to shining mayoral finery at some posh cake event.

    And then there’s the big fat pension that goes with it. Sorry but no, Councils have no moral case to blame anything, especially homelessness, on budget cuts while they waste other people’s money on funding what must be the cushiest parasite’s pension club number in the civil service.

  12. Bryan Harris
    Posted December 24, 2018 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    This isn’t just about money, is it?
    It’s about the will to be doing the right thing, but effectively.

    It is though, a sad reflection on the state of our society that so much inequity exists – The roots of homelessness are buried under layers of ill founded purposes… which are also evident in the way we treat our old and ill and insane.

    IMVHO the thing that destroys us from within, and is bringing death and ruin to us all, can be likened to a disease that eats away at our heart and soul. It’s called socialism.

    • turboterrier
      Posted December 24, 2018 at 10:09 am | Permalink

      @ Bryan Harris

      a disease that eats away at our heart and soul. It’s called socialism.

      Totally correct

    • jerry
      Posted December 24, 2018 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

      @Bryan Harris; “a disease that eats away at our heart and soul. It’s called socialism.”

      Nice sound-bite but utter twaddle.

      It was not a socialist govt who disposed of far to much of the nations council housing stock inventory, who took the idea of care in the community to mean removing easy (read simple) access to mental health services, who closed far to many mental health out/in-patients hospitals that allowed a safe haven for those with short term but difficult/complex needs [1]. Nor was it a socialist govt who on the one hand cut funding to Local Authorities but then on the other hand expected them to do ever more, it was not a socialist govt who -by way of their internal markets and such like, turned GP surgeries and Hospitals into places akin to Fort Knox – or so it seems to those needing an appointment, battling with automated phone lines and ‘business managers’ on reception.

      [1] who now seem to fill out jails, because the courts have little or no where else to turn, causing even more problems for society and patient

      • Bryan Harris
        Posted December 24, 2018 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

        You are very selective – jerry – and did I mention government?

        Yes, we have a left leaning Tory government, but an even more far left rest of the House…. As for damage – The labour party have screwed us so many times, and destroyed us a little at a time – they are certainly a major factor in our decline.

        I was talking about society as a whole – and it is pathetically riddled with pc dogma, which is the worst kind of disease you can get.

        • jerry
          Posted December 24, 2018 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

          @Bryan Harris; “I was talking about society as a whole”

          The above comment tells us far more about your own politics than it does anything else.

          The last (and only) time the UK had a broadly ‘socialist’ society, even though we did not always have a Socialist govt. was between 1945 and the early 1970s, politics of the day even had a name for it, “The post war consensus”.

          • Bryan Harris
            Posted December 25, 2018 at 8:08 am | Permalink

            By all means jerry – close your eyes to what is happening….

            The post war consensus certainly didn’t last until the 1970’s – it quickly became something else as memory of war faded….

            But just look at the garbage coming out of recently ‘educated’ people as well as the BBC, etc etc, and you should recognize real socialist BS infiltrating and destroying us, but only if your eyes are truly open.

          • jerry
            Posted December 25, 2018 at 9:06 am | Permalink

            @Bryan Harris; Again you tell us far more about your own politics than anything about “Society”.

            Society elects the politicians, thus politicos reflect society (they don’t get elected otherwise), open your own eyes Bryan!

            The post war consensus did last into the 1970s, you only need to read the three main parties manifestos from 1970 and the 1974 elections, it ended with the 1976 financial crisis.

          • Bryan Harris
            Posted December 26, 2018 at 8:38 am | Permalink

            People vote for the politicians that can promise the most, no matter how much they might lie – The labour party are great with spreading propaganda, which appeals to some.
            It is in fact the government of the day that leads the rest of society – just look at things like political correctness and the ban on fox hunting (Fox hunting was a major propaganda win for blair)
            So the people go where leaders lead.

            In what way did the parties collaborate up to 1976? There is no evidence to suggest they were pursuing the same policies.

            Any form of socialism is bad – it leads towards badly run societies, but get worse after that. You can only measure politics by what good it brings, and I’ve yet to see anything good happen under a socialist government.

          • jerry
            Posted December 26, 2018 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

            @Bryan Harris; “People vote for the politicians that can promise the most, no matter how much they might lie”

            Yes and that includes Govts and politicos who push Capitalist theory too, not just Socialists!

            “Any form of socialism is bad – it leads towards badly run societies, but get worse after that.”

            Whist many will opinionate the same about Capitalism!

            “In what way did the parties collaborate up to 1976?”

            I never suggested that there was any! What I said was that there were shared values, the NHS being the most obvious, whilst both parties tended to obsess about how many Council Houses they could or had built each year, or that some infrastructure benefited from state ownership in the national interest (the National grid & BEA/CEA/CEGB for example), these shared values crossed party lines, even as late as Oct ’74. Oh and let’s not forget which Secretary of State for Education converted the most schools to the Comprehensive education method…

            That is why, when the post war consensus no longer existed, the 1979 the Conservative Manifesto appeared so radical and -to some many- fresh.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 24, 2018 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

      Clearly we should do what we can to help people with mental heath issues, drug & drink problems but it often just not possible to get a good outcome whatever is done. Even parents who are desperate to help their own children can often do nothing for people with these conditions.

      Many indeed most people on the streets are not homeless at all but are professional (and often organised beggars supplementing benefits and often with free house too). They appear at busy spots at peak times in certain areas then go again. Brighton seemed particularly full of them last time I was there. It is not that hard to spot the difference.

      Socialism is indeed a cancer as is the essentially socialist and anti-democratic EU. Yet in the UK the two main parties are “the highest taxes for 40 years” soft socialist remainers the fake Conservatives May and Hammond or the even worse “trip to basket case of Venezuela” option from Corbyn/McDonnall/SNP.

      • jerry
        Posted December 24, 2018 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

        @LL; Socialism might well be a cancer, when carried to extremes, but then so is Capitalism.

        • Bryan Harris
          Posted December 25, 2018 at 9:49 am | Permalink

          There is no such thing as mild socialism – it is either brain decaying socialism or it is sensible and aims for greater survival …

          • jerry
            Posted December 25, 2018 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

            Of course there can be mild socialism, heck there is even mild socialism in the USA, what do you think Medicare (now ‘Obamacare’) is, heck the USA even has (part-)nationalised industries, for example AMTRAK.

      • Bryan Harris
        Posted December 24, 2018 at 8:05 pm | Permalink


        Yes indeed – We used to have a balanced parliament… now it hangs too far away from freedom of choice and small government – We badly need new blood, in the shape of right of centre parties that can regenerate our tired political system

      • Bryan Harris
        Posted December 26, 2018 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

        Socialism is socialism – of course there can be degrees with which it is implemented, but the fact remains socialism always leads in one direction, unless that direction is modified – More power to the state, and more control over people – More taxes – less innovation, and a society dying on it’s feet.

        The UK has hovered between socialism and freedom of thought over the last 60 years or so, so we have a mixture, but with the Tory party moving across to the dark side, we are now seeing a failed society.

        Socialism can be likened to a mind-set, IE how people work things out, how they think… the brighter they are the more ability they have to differentiate… While socialists gradiantly see everything as equal to everything else… It’s survival or death… The more that mindset fails to make survival decisions, the more painful existence becomes… Socialism encourages a mindset where everything is the same, which means life becomes progressively harder…. Which is why we need socialism like we need the moon to fall to Earth.

        • jerry
          Posted December 27, 2018 at 10:07 am | Permalink

          Bryan, you entire post could be reposted back at you, simply replacing the word Socialism with Capitalism…

          Care to explain how West Germany, France and Sweden, who in the last 60+ years have traditionally been far more ‘socialist’ than the UK has ever been, also have had traditionally stronger economies and societies than the UK has had.

          Our best post war years were when much of our exports went to, and much of our imports came from, the Empire/Commonwealth. That became untenable, hence why all three main parties looked towards the EEC.

          “The more [the socialist] mindset fails to make survival decisions, the more painful existence becomes…”

          The 1980s anyone, 3m plus unemployed! People outside of the UK, looking on from afar, might believe from your diatribe that the UK had elected a Labour Govt in 1979, lead by the hard left. Or that in late 1920s the USA had such a hard-left socialist President (plus Senate and Representatives) and that is what caused the Wall Street crash.

          “Socialism encourages a mindset where everything is the same”

          Society in the UK progressed further and faster between 1964 and 1970 (“Socialist years”) than it had the previous 14 years, and indeed it was changes made to the age of Majority by that Socialist govt that were later credited for the election of Heath in 1970 – by your rational they should not have bothered, been content with the ‘same’…

          …and what of our technology advances in those “Socialist Years”, by your logic Hawker Siddeley would never have bothered to develop the Jump Jet, because Govt. and RAF would have been content with long runways. Or, as Minster of Technology between 1966-70, Tony Benn must have had his devout Capitalist cap on when he backed the idea of civil supersonic flight, the GPO developing the first Video Phone or BR starting development of both the HST and APT, never mind experiments with “MagLev” transit systems.

          Socialism does have many faults, but then so does Capitalism, and both ideologies share quite a few common failings. There is no one-stop-shop, one ideology, that will fit all our needs – that is why the post war consensus was important here in the UK, because there were those shared values between the different ideologies, politics has become far to polarised in the last 40 or so years.

          • Bryan Harris
            Posted December 28, 2018 at 9:31 am | Permalink

            Where have I mentioned Capitalism? – The complete opposite of socialism is total sanity, enjoying life and everyone doing well… You’ve missed a few other points…
            For example, I did say it depends on the degree to which socialism is implemented, and how much they make use of the money markets etc… So yes, while these countries edge politically more towards socialism, there are still enough innovative individuals and groups to help them prosper….

          • jerry
            Posted December 28, 2018 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

            Bryan Harris; “Where have I mentioned Capitalism?”

            So if you do not mean Capitalism what other free market, capital owning, property owning, economic system are you eluding to?! 😕

            “The complete opposite of socialism is total sanity,”

            That is merely your OPINION Bryan.

            I’m getting the impression you are somewhat confused between “Socialism” and “Communism”, many of those on the hard right are, the two are totally different ideologies though, all of your criticisms fit the latter rather well…

          • Bryan Harris
            Posted December 29, 2018 at 9:51 am | Permalink

            @Jerry – You need to observe what is happening in the real world, for there is a lot you do not see… Socialists tend to see what they want to see…but yes, communism is different from socialism in that: COMMUNISM IS AN EXTREME FORM OF SOCIALISM. I don’t get that viewpoint by being lectured by left wing academics or reading the ‘Armchair guide to the destruction of the West’ – Socialism is dangerous, and it should be clear to anyone that looks out on what is happening in the world – Venezuela is just the latest example.
            Socialists also seem to be transfixed by the nature of capitalism – Why – Ahh yes, it gives a point to argue against, in favour of socialism – and while few rational economists would recommend socialism to run a nation, I’ve never heard of any coming up with a better solution than capitalism – So to be clear, capitalism is far from perfect, but it allows freedom and responsibility – which socialism takes away.

          • jerry
            Posted December 31, 2018 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

            @Bryan Harris; “You need to observe what is happening in the real world”

            That’s rich coming from you, unlike you I have my eyes wide open, unlike you Bryan (and so many) I am not partisan when it comes to politics.

            ‘communism is an extreme form of socialism’ (no need to SHOUT either)

            Wrong again Bryan. The only similarity is on which side of the centre line each stand, as a capitalist would you be happy to be described a fascist simply for occupying the same wing of politics, I suspect not.

            It is also strange how you can only name one ‘basket-case’ of a South American country, that fits your argument, could it be that poorly managed capitalism also brings economic problems, even ‘basket-cases’ – of which the region has many?

            “Socialists also seem to be transfixed by the nature of capitalism – Why – Ahh yes, it gives a point to argue against, in favour of socialism”

            Oh you mean like how some Capitalists also seem to be transfixed by the nature of socialism – Why – Ahh yes, it gives a point to argue against, in favour of capitalism. Ho-hum!

            “I’ve never heard of any coming up with a better solution than capitalism”

            Bryan, have truthfully never heard of Bournvile (and the Cadbury family who built it), the Co-operative movement and their shops, or workers partnerships, have you never shopped in John Lewis?!

            Open your eyes Bryan, there’s non so blind as he who chooses not to see, nor is the world black or white…

  13. Alan Jutson
    Posted December 24, 2018 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    In an ideal World no one should be sleeping on the streets, but this is a very complex problem to resolve which needs joined up thinking.

    Firstly why are people sleeping on the streets ?
    Is there a major common cause?
    Mental health, abuse (Self ,Partner, Family), financial, addiction to drink, drugs, gambling, joblessness, homelessness, crime, etc etc.

    Given successive Governments have closed down mental health establishments for so called “care in the community”, have not invested anywhere near enough money in mental health treatment/premises, have steadily reduced Local Authority Funding, have reduced Police numbers/patrols, have allowed unfettered immigration, tightened up on benefit entitlement, introduced waiting times for benefits, reduced the availability of state housing with the right to buy at a discount, is it any wonder we have a problem.

    The fact that virtually all government departments now want a fixed address, and take so long to communicate does not help, neither does the fact that local offices are closing (walk in centres are few), are not open after working hours, and contact is now being pushed via internet only, adds to the problems.

    The solution is many and varied, but they nearly all require money to be spent to resolve them, but in turn that money needs to be properly targeted and overseen, something governments are quite useless at.
    Just look at Foreign Aid !

    Thus more and more people are relying on National and local Charities to help them out.

    Happy to suggest some alternatives having been a volunteer for nearly 30 years in a local charitable organisation, but time today, and space on here is limited so perhaps another time.

    At the moment we have hundreds of thousands of people living in garden sheds/garages/outbuildings, house which are deliberately massively overcrowded but which are not on any register.
    Such people are living outside of the normal system, they are not on the streets, on any records and are not so visible, but that also is a major problem which appears to be getting worse.
    Society as we used to know it is breaking down I am afraid.

    Local Authorities and Governments are failing, and on occasions they introduce new rules/regulations which make matters worse through unintended consequences.

  14. Steve
    Posted December 24, 2018 at 9:28 am | Permalink


    More people could take in someone who is homeless. The person I took in has been here over two years now and has completely turned her life around. I have not had any cause for regret.

  15. bigneil
    Posted December 24, 2018 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    End rough sleeping? We have English people/families who are living rough because they “don’t qualify” – for housing – while at the same time thousands have arrived here, year after year, contributed nothing and probably never will – get totally free lives. Multi-wived families get multiple houses on our taxes. Housed, benefits ( while pocketing cash-in-hand car wash jobs ), kids schooled, translators paid for, all the NHS ( multi-appointment consuming ) they can wish for. They sit back and laugh their heads off, because they know they’ll be treated better than us.
    And now, with the UN migration pact signed – get ready for the tsunami of hands out freeloaders, criminals and drug dealers. Even Stevie Wonder could see the end result of this sick farce.

    • turboterrier
      Posted December 24, 2018 at 10:05 am | Permalink

      @ bigneil

      Spot on the money, nothing to add except whatever happened to charity begins at home?

      • roger
        Posted December 24, 2018 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

        That’s an easy one to answer. Politicians take £13Bn of our taxes for overseas aid, say roughly £500 pa from each man woman and child and shovel it out in overseas aid.
        Further huge sums from our taxes they dispense in welfare benefits to their client state and immigrants and, not content with that, the band of jumped up jackanapes in City Hall siphon from those who actually pay rates further sums for the ever growing band of feckless wasters.
        To be even handed we must not forget the landowners and their associates who benefit from the 15% added to every household electric bill to pay for the green scam Turbines, Solar Panels, and energy improvement schemes which they also use to update their stock of letting properties.
        Not a lot left for us to dispense in a meaningful way to charities which we choose.

        • fedupsoutherner
          Posted December 24, 2018 at 11:22 pm | Permalink

          Roger. No need to talk to me about landowners and money for wind turbines. We are surrounded by them here in Scotland. Don’t forget Alex Salmond says the wind is free. Who is he trying to kid? We have seen farmers all around us get rich overnight while their neighbours have had to listen to the noise of the turbines and watch the value of their properties go down. One big scam and as you say, we are all paying for them when they are going and when they are switched off doing nothing.

    • Timaction
      Posted December 24, 2018 at 10:25 am | Permalink

      Government policy puts mentally ill English people on the street whilst prioritising immigrant housing and benefits.

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted December 24, 2018 at 11:26 am | Permalink

      Agree Big Neil. Where do all these illegal immigrants that are coming over in boats from France get housed? Why are British people with children stuffed into bedsits for years while so called asylum seekers get housing? Its’ all wrong. There are many reasons why British people are homeless, Ex service men, men who cannot afford to pay child maintenance and put a decent roof over their own heads, young people either thrown out of their homes or have to leave because of physical and mental abuse from parents or step parents. The list is endless. These people should take priority yet it seems foreigners come first. Why are we still sending out so much foreign aid when we don’t seem to be able to afford to look after our own people first? Council waste still goes on with jobs found for the boys and jobs created when people are no longer needed in their present capacity.

      • fedupsoutherner
        Posted December 24, 2018 at 11:29 am | Permalink

        Our local council recently said they were going to stop employing lollipop ladies. On a road that is not very busy they put in a pedestrian crossing with traffic lights. Then they decided they were going to keep the lollipop ladies on after all. What a waste of money. We now have a crossing and a lollipop lady in the same place. This type of thing goes on all the time. Councils really need to get serious about saving money.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted December 24, 2018 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

          Not their money that they are so very often just pissing straight down the drain so what do they care about spending wisely or value delivered So long as their wages and fat pensions are funded.

          Same is clearly true in central government or we would not have HS2, greencrap subsidies, propaganda, counter productive war or about half of what T May’s government so expensively, pointlessly and harmfully does.

    • BOF
      Posted December 24, 2018 at 12:05 pm | Permalink


      Correct. But Government & charities never ever start with the causes.

  16. agricola
    Posted December 24, 2018 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    All credit to those working to end this blight on our streets, especially where it is combined with steps to get the homeless back to a positive life. It is not just for Christmas.

  17. Everhopeful
    Posted December 24, 2018 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    In the 18th century people flocked to London because of what the elite had done to their homes and livelihoods. Many of them slept rough.
    “All night in the litter they dossed and got up in the morning to louse.”
    So who has done what to whom now to cause homelessness? Unemployment does not help.
    Piling more and more people into the country will not help.
    Given how angry I am regarding what politicians have done to every aspect of our lives how much angrier must a rough sleeper be?
    Don’t expect gratitude for charity.
    Charity is awful cold!

    • agricola
      Posted December 24, 2018 at 8:03 pm | Permalink


  18. turboterrier
    Posted December 24, 2018 at 10:02 am | Permalink


    Wishing you and your family a happy Christmas and a peaceful prosperous New Year.

    Thank you so very much for all the sterling work that you do for us running this blog and your efforts to support us in our democratic vote to leave the EU from within the House of Westminster.

  19. Denis Cooper
    Posted December 24, 2018 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    Off-topic, the Queen is going to call for unity and mutual respect, but Theresa May still insists that must mean submitting to her will and adopting her plan for our continued subjection to large swathes of EU law in perpetuity, while SCAB, the long-running Sky Campaign Against Brexit, makes its own seasonal contribution with:


    “Is the crisp industry heading for a Brexit crunch?”

    It was said that 6 billion packets of crisps are consumed in the UK each year, but because one of the producers exports some small volume – 15% of their output, which might be 40 million bags – and those crisps which are going to the EU could be hit by a EU Common External Tariff of 10%, the managing director is threatening to shift production to the Netherlands unless we agree with Theresa May that the whole of the UK economy must remain under most of the same EU rules as now.

    Nowhere in the article does it explore the other possible effects such as crisps and other snacks imported from the rest of the EU being hit by a reciprocal import duty and so losing some of their share of the UK market, to the advantage of the UK based producers, or the prices of that any other imported goods being reduced because the UK government decides to eliminate those import duties, to the advantage of consumers, and nor is there any explanation why this small tail of the UK economy – 6% of UK businesses, exporting 12% of GDP to the EU – should be allowed to wag the whole dog.

    Meanwhile, I will certainly not be buying any crisps from this producer.

    • BOF
      Posted December 24, 2018 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

      I hope that they take the BBC employed ex footballer with them to the Netherlands!

    • Al
      Posted December 24, 2018 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

      When we are at a point where a park bench has to be given a postcode to enable rough sleepers to get jobs, the path out of homelessness for many is blocked by red tape.

      The same article Denis Cooper quotes reads: “This year the numbers dropped sharply and it proved hard to find [short-term migrant] workers.”

      Research showed that very few farmers recruit temporary workers from the UK, due to issues with benefits and bureaucracy. Many of the links for agricultural seasonal work have been dead for some years, and only a couple hiring students could be found. If revision to the employment rules and regulations could make it easier to take seasonal or short-term work, there would be a lower labour shortage, and more jobs that those of no fixed address could take.

    • Mitchel
      Posted December 24, 2018 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

      David Miliband has popped up again with an article in the Guardian today:”Corbyn has given up on Europe.For the good of Britain,we cannot.”

      (subtitle:”Overpaid charity executive demands gravy train be kept on the rails.”)

      Merry Christmas everbody! – and thanks to our host for his extraordinary efforts for the cause and in maintaining this forum.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted December 24, 2018 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

      “a British sector which exports all around the world.” Like the guy in Newbury, re-exporting sports products “all around the world”, regardless of tariffs.

      So why won’t they be able to export to the EU?

  20. Baz Lloyd
    Posted December 24, 2018 at 10:06 am | Permalink

    About time too. Given the vast Welfare System we have, it’s scandalous that this hasn’t been tackled decades ago.

    ”Poverty” and ”Austerity” are NOT the cause of homelessness. In fact it’s usually the exact opposite. Not having an address makes it impossible to claim Housing Benefits to which everyone is entitled and makes it near impossible to get a job.

    When you’re living on the street the Employment and Support Allowance doesn’t go very far either.

    There are as many reasons for homelessness as there are homeless, ranging from family breakdown, mental breakdown, alcohol and drug abuse, fecklessness, ‘mere’ misfortune, to a small number of people who are content being homeless at least for part of the year.

    But the problem however isn’t as straightforward as it looks. Housing everyone who turns up homeless is likely to attract people to places where they want to live, notably the seaside or city centres, on the assumption that they will he given accommodation there quickly.

    If you’re young and fit for example it’s no great ordeal to turn up in Brighton in the summer, sleep rough for couple of nights, and then be rewarded with place in Hostel and go to the top of the Social Housing Waiting List.

    This is largely why local authorities are so reluctant to do anything. The more they do the more people will come to their locality.

    It’s a UK wide problem which needs a UK wide solution. The solution must include a law which requires anyone found sleeping on the street to submit to being housed wherever the authorities have accommodation for them. And if that’s a distance away so be it.

  21. libertarian
    Posted December 24, 2018 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    The reasons behind homelessness and rough sleeping are various, in depth and often just misfortune and circumstance. Many rough sleepers turn to drink and drugs to self medicate

    The cost and supply of housing is atrocious in the UK, this is entirely due to government planning restrictions

    Our tax system is broken, public money is wasted by the billion on things the government should not be involved in whilst not paying enough attention to genuine society support needs such as homelessness and mental health issues

    Maybe if we stopped trying to do Top Down Design & Control and actually had a more human form of local control where the local authority got the budget to handle the issues that affect that area the most we would make some inroads. Trying to make everything one size fits all is the root cause of problems

    • jerry
      Posted December 24, 2018 at 2:45 pm | Permalink


  22. BOF
    Posted December 24, 2018 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    How much homelessness, I wonder, has been caused by the failure of Government to support marriage and the traditional family. Sometimes not just failure to support but outright attack to appease the liberal left. Too many from the armed forces are affected through failure to to support them after they leave.

    Go back to the causes rather than sticking plaster remedies and throwing money at a problem made in Westminster.

    • jerry
      Posted December 24, 2018 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

      @BOF; Indeed, and how many of those living rough on the streets have been kicked out by their own parents, or why such people are/feel unable to return home even if they weren’t.

  23. The Prangwizard
    Posted December 24, 2018 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    How many shouldn’t be here? Can we have some facts about their origin and status?

  24. Bob
    Posted December 24, 2018 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    For all the bleeding hearts, I recommend that you spend some time tending the guests at a Crisis at Christmas venue. Write back int the new year and share your experiences.

    Thanks Mr Redwood for all you hard work and your excellent blog.

    Merry Christmas and a happy (hopefully Brexity) new year!

  25. Everhopeful
    Posted December 24, 2018 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for this lovely blog Mr Redwood!

    “A Merry Christmas to us all; God bless us, every one!”

  26. forthurst
    Posted December 24, 2018 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    There are large numbers of rough sleepers where I live; the majority are from outside the town so the Council is prevented by law from helping them, although now they are offering accommodation to those who have lived successfully for six months in accommodation provided by a local charity. Rough sleepers who are from the locale are often more difficult to help because of the prevalence of drug dependency and the need to beg to obtain supplies. Some rough sleepers are mentally ill and ‘care in the community’ does not work for them.

    My local Council is successfully accommodating large numbers of people who are neither local to the town, county, country nor continent. We have been warned that the Tories are intending to import a never ending supply of aliens, a high proportion of which will be from areas of massive population growth, so the pressure on housing is going to get much worse and at some point will become intolerable.

    Temporary accommodation provided by the council is rented from the private sector either as HMOs or flats bought under the government’s buy-to-let scheme and is extremely poorly maintained. In addition, significant numbers of homeless are ‘sofa surfing’ with friends and relatives; rough sleepers are those without a potential support network from such sources.
    We should not forget the huge numbers who live in their parental homes well into adulthood because they cannot afford to start the independent lives.

  27. Anna K.
    Posted December 24, 2018 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

    There are many causes of homelessness and, like most people, I would like to see it reduced and even eliminated. One group that deserves priority attention, I feel, are the ex-servicemen who end up living on the streets. Many of them were brought up in care, found a home and family with their regiment or corps, served their country well, only to find themselves isolated and rootless on discharge and, in too many cases, suffering from mental trauma as a result of their combat experiences. There are a number of charities like Combat Stress that help mentally troubled ex-service personnel but I know of none focusing specifically on those so afflicted who are living on the streets. The British Legion raises £47m from the annual poppy appeal. Could they spend some of it on tackling this appalling tragedy?

  28. robert lewy
    Posted December 24, 2018 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

    Throw out the Deadwood and bring in the Redwood!

    Many thanks for your excellent blog which serves to keep us sane.

    Best wishes for a Merry Christmas and a Prosperous (logic based) New Year
    for you and your family

  29. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted December 24, 2018 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

    You could look into the irony of Councils issuing liability orders to collect overdue Council Tax, then acting to send the bailiffs in on debtors. What happens when they lose their rented property? Eviction. So the Council has to spend that Council Tax money they recovered via the bailiff to re-house the family, who are likely by then unemployed and destitute, so the vicious spiral continues.

    Stupid that CT debts can act as the trigger for homelessness.

  30. Iain Moore
    Posted December 24, 2018 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

    I am surprised no Conservative MP has pointed out that Mrs Justice Lang, a year ago, ruled that deporting EU rough sleepers was illegal, and contravened the EU free movement rules. This would have pointed out that the rough sleepers we have were not all the Government’s fault, as well as the problems we have with the EU, and why we need Brexit. But then on thinking about it, maybe it’s not so surprising, for the Tories are rubbish at fighting their own corner.

  31. The Prangwizard
    Posted December 24, 2018 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

    Merry Christmas And Peace and Christian Joy for all in the New Year.

  32. MPC
    Posted December 24, 2018 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

    Thank you very much for all of your hard work this year Mr Redwood. We need you more than ever now. I hope you have a nice Christmas.

  33. hans christian ivers
    Posted December 24, 2018 at 7:24 pm | Permalink


    Thank you great contribution which we need to debate and find even more local solutions to solve as is done in Manchester.

  34. M Davis
    Posted December 24, 2018 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for your informative and interesting blog, Dr Redwood and a Happy Christmas to you and all. For the new year, let’s hope and pray for a Brexit that we voted for and not a dogs dinner of one!

  35. ML
    Posted December 25, 2018 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    I live in Central London. All around my home are council-installed corrugated steel street sheds to keep the saddles of resident’s bicycles dry. Each shed costs £000s. Each houses 5 bikes. Meanwhile, within a few hundred yards, there are many rough sleepers and homeless.
    It seems bicycles are environmentally friendly, and so more deserving of dry conditions.

  36. margaret
    Posted December 26, 2018 at 4:41 am | Permalink

    Comments over the last 2 months of people sleeping rough.

    ” I wasn’t always like this, I was well brought up”

    ” They put us into flea bitten dos houses;it is better in a tent with friends”

    ” We are thrown out at 7.0am into the cold and still have to find somewhere”

    ” The middle class think we are dirty and if we play music , think we are having a drugs party”

    ” I have bi polar and because I am on medication am put into band 4 which is well down the line for accommodation ”

    ” My family hate me , they won’t have anything to do with me , Social Services took their side because I was hurt and angry due to my wife’s affair” They believe her not me. I cannot get used to be treated like a tramp ”

    ” Andy Burnham said that he wants all rough sleepers off the street in 5 years. What am I to do in the next 5 year?”

    ” Have you got any money to buy me a room : They are charging us £15 per night ” I ask “You are smoking , where did you get the money for cigs from?” girl answers ” dimps on the floor”.. I feel ashamed ..I did not understand that my priorities for comfort are not theirs.
    These are the ones who can speak . Many have gone past this stage and just slowly die in old rugs and meths.!

  37. margaret
    Posted December 26, 2018 at 4:59 am | Permalink

    I was thrown out of my 5 bedroomed detached middle class life in the 80’s as a newly separated single parent without any support. My money and all financial advantages flew out of the window and I was suddenly thrown into a class of folks who I had served but not mixed with. My life was not theirs ( and that is not a judgement) .It became difficult to live in poverty , It was stressful: it impacted on my children’s life.People on the whole treat you differently ; more like non persons .It is not them and us . We all have our frailties , we have all wanted to experience things which give us comfort or make us feel alive..Some just annot get out of the downward spiral. It is all to easy to say , some cannot be helped , but if a homeless , educated person who had fallen from grace went for a job and said they were homeless , would they get that job?
    I am now comfortable,but throughout all those years, the fear of not having a roof over my head was almost unbearable. My family are around me , my ex husband is in India with his wife, for holidays .I am looking forwards towards my retirement , but cannot help living my life as my school motto laid out :Labore et serivere and the more the nasty lot take the mick , the more I despair at their self righteous piffle.

  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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