29 April, 2005


Mrs Thatcher former Conservative prime minister has booked her holidays to coincide with the general election. Lady Thatcher premier between 1979 and 1990 has flown for a short break with friends. a quote from friends says "she is so frustrated that her party is not winning the election" The friend added the comment she is frustrated that she is not going to see a Conservative government again despite Labours serious shortcomings and all Tony Blairs lies. Well, Lady Thatcher I have now been blogging solidly non stop for a month and I still haven't run out of things to say and yes, I think you're right we wont see a Conservative Government this time. Am I glad.? Sorry can't say, but the one thing I can say is that I do need a holiday too. I would love to be able to afford one, but that's life. Maybe I will have one this year or maybe some people that know me feel that my life so far has been one long holiday. All I know is this blogger does need a holiday. Any suggestions on where to go would be nice.

THE SHAKS GHOSH INTERVIEW (Chief Executive of the homelessness charity Crisis)

Posted by Hello
Shaks, you are the chief executive of Crisis - is that correct?
Crisis has a new initiative called Skylight, am I correct?
What is the purpose of the Skylight, as it is not the normal type of day-centre?
Skylight is an activity centre rather than a day-centre, because we are trying to turn away from the day centre mentality. At Skylight there are no hand-outs, no doctors and nurses or washing facilities. What we are trying to do is move people away from dependency to independence. Skylight's focus is on helping rebuilding lives, giving people purpose. Courses include everything from IT to Tai-Chi, Art to Bike Repair. Skylight is a working model, I have seen people turn their lives around, and gain self-respect. We also have a cafe, which is an important sister project, providing training, ie making coffees, sandwiches, cooking and customer service, which is proving to be a great success.
Was it your final decision that the Big Voice Tour should go around Britain getting prospective parliamentary candidates (PPCs) views? And is it your fault I am up and half-past one in the morning writing my blog?!
The answer to the second part of your question is no, the blog was your idea! And the answer to the other part of the question is that Crisis has a vibrant group who have many good ideas, including the Big Voice Tour. We couldn't have done it without the band Travis, who gave us the big red bus.
Do you agree with the Big Voice Panel's manifesto?
I agree absolutely, for me it has been wonderful to hear the voice of homeless people. I take the views of the manifesto, written by the panel, on board. I hope that all political parties will do the same.
What would you say or do to make homelessness become a major political issue?
If I had all the money in the world, I would make a new film as powerful as Cathy Come Home. In 1966 Cathy Come Home did change the world.
And finally, if homelessness suddenly found a cure, would you mind being out a job?
Nah! I'd love to tend my garden, and learn more about gardening.


Seven million people in this country use the now thriving pawn shop business. Once a form of business that was on the decline is now booming again because people on low incomes are struggling to meet their weekly needs, like myself. I usually get my income support on a Friday( which never seems to come on the right day) but you can almost guarantee after paying the bills there's not much left for shopping and going job hunting. Well, if you got two good walking feet and you're a fitness fanatic prepared to walk miles then you just might have a chance at that elusive job. Me, I've got a pin in my leg so walking long distance is a major problem. Back to being skint. People are becoming more and more despondent with the way government are tackling poverty. Everywhere you go, people are saying the rich do get richer and the poor as usual just get poorer. The depth of poverty in this country really does astound me. The fact that government benefits went up by so little is the reason why these businesses will continue to thrive. It's about time any government in power understood that they are in power because of the people, and if one day in the future if the people rose up and said enough is enough, who on earth would blame them?
One way or another the government taxes it's people. Whether it is on food, work, clothing flights abroad, you might not be taxed at the other end but there's always Vat to add to your costs before you leave. Petrol now that is what I called being taxed, but it also spends our money. Yes, I do say our money on what I call waste. Stop spending millions on surveys and polls of what the people want and stop spending millions on ideas that really do not work in this country - just because the Americans have it, it doesn't mean we have to follow suit.
Open those lug holes that are called ears and bloody well listen. We voted for you because we thought you were listening. Were we wrong?
I have said so many times. We are the fourth richest country in the world and yet we suffer from poverty. There is no need for it and we certainly should not see it in this day and age. It's not only affecting those that are unemployed or sick. It affects those that are working, old age pensioners, families on benefits, in fact poverty. When any government is in power are they saving our money for a rainy day? Hey fellas I hate to tell you, it's raining

27 April, 2005


The caring side of society is very much appreciated by people that are homeless or in hostel accommodation.
The question I ask is, why does it take a charity to raise the funds so the homeless can learn things like reading and writing, computers? When there are courses especially tailored for adults to learn. That fact that they live on the streets should not make any difference, but I'm afraid it does. It's another barrier we need to break down.
We've all heard the cries of get a job, get off your arse and do something worth while. Have you no pride? From certain members of the public when they shout at big issue vendors or someone begging for a bit of change for food. It's perceived by some of the public that everyone that is homeless or selling the big issue is either a drug addict or an alcoholic; this is not true. It's hard to understand how you can become homeless but it's simply a fact of someone's life. Things happen beyond someone's control and the next thing you know you've no home, no job, nothing to look forward to. This is the main problem homeless people face - that feeling of hopelessness no matter what they try to do.
When people do things like the square mile run it shows that people really do care and that they really do want to help. So I hope maybe I can help too, maybe run the square mile if some people will sponsor me.

Jim Cousins a newcastle prospective Labour candidate who spoke to the big voice tour panel and agreed that more needs to be done on the issues raised  Posted by Hello

I too can look shifty Posted by Hello

Panelist says you're too young to be a tory
How could you know what it's like to be on the streetsPosted by Hello

Councilor Dave Anderson signs pledge Posted by Hello


In this country we do have a habit of sending out credit card applications to children too young to even sign their name. Well, we've done it again this time they sent out a voting card a baby 18yrs before she is entitled to vote. 8 month old Kiera Spear of Haverhill Suffolk has chewed over the decision whether she should vote at all and has decided to wait for better candiates to come along.

Radio 5 Live

It was very nice to be invited for an interview on Radio 5 Live on Monday, who wanted to know more about homeless concerns at election time and also why I started this blog.

You too can hear the interview by clicking here

(NB - the interview doesn’t start until 38 minutes into the programme, but you can skip through to the right part)


In Leeds on a cold and wet morning. A man and his son gave five pounds to the big voice tour with the words "get yourselves a cup of tea. Keep on doing good work"
Posted by Hello

26 April, 2005


Check out our new manifesto for change


Well what can you say when a labour candidate flees to another party as Brian Sedgemore did. He accuses Blair of stomach turning lies in plain English he's telling people not to trust Blair. Brian Sedgemore a staunch labour MP says he wanted to give Blair a bloody nose. i was just wondering whether this was another ploy to become famous for five minutes.


Yesterday Tony Blair and Gordon Brown followed the crisis big voice tour bus to Bristol. It's the red bus most people have seen in Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds, Newcastle and last but not least Bristol. You may have seen it as you walked through your town centre on your way to lunch. It was the big red bus with several lost looking people sitting talking to people with coloured rosettes pinned to themselves they were called prospective parliamentary candidates. If you thought they were the lost looking ones I'd love to hear from you just click on comments at the bottom.
Well, all I have to say is Tony, you could have asked us where we were going to be. We would have told you. It would appear that Tony has probably had the secret service find out about our schedule before he called the election and decided to campaign on other issues on the other side of where we are at any given time. Tony, I have to tell you this is not the done thing. Now if you were to have a discussion with us at our headquarters at 64 Commercial Street, Aldgate, we probably wouldn't need to be out on the road highlighting the issues of hidden homelessness. So if at any time you feel you have the time. Please feel free to pop in for a chat and coffee. Which by the way will be made in our cafe by homeless people. Who are being trained in catering with the hope of future employment in that field. So come see what can be achieved with the right funding. You could also have a look round at our Skylight activity centre you'd be suprised at the untapped talent on the streets of this country.

25 April, 2005

Coming soon people we met along the way


The big voice tour panel and members of the big issue panel met with a record number of PPCs in Bristol today but because of the size of the PPCs attending the panel made an agenda of the issues that single homeless people face. Firstly we gave them a carefully worded manifesto of our own, written in plain simple English. It was only two pages long and for a manifesto was an achievement in it's self as we could have gone on for days bringing light to issues not on any political agenda. Not only for the homeless people but on issues that affect us all. We decided just keep our manifesto simple. So even the PPCs could understand it. No big words were included.
These where some of the issues discussed that where in our manifesto.
1. Education: why was it left to charities to pay for college tuition. Why the 16hr maximum of learning cannot be more and cover the loss of benefits because by someone one learning say to read and write this could lead to better jobs with adequate skills.
2. Pensions and nursing: one of our panel had parents who had to go into a nursing home and after they died the costs of the care was gotten by selling the house they lived in. This had made our panel member homeless and in this day and age we think that this is unacceptable and shouldn't happen to anyone.
3. Benefits: the way benefits are handled the problems of getting benefits ie: bank accounts
we asked the PPCs why it was getting so tough as we were not terrorists and the laws on banking fraud was designed for them not everyday working people. We asked what could be done to improve this?
4. We discussed housing but not in great detail because all future MPs know what is required to end homelessness but we did emphasis that it was not only housing but a support network was needed for people with problems.
The answers from some were what you would expect from a PPC. Some where a bit vague as we tried to avoid local issues. The panel see homelessness and hidden homelessness as a national issue. We hoped by touring some key cities we could highlight some of the problems faced nationally and get some of the issues on to some of the PPCs election agenda.

24 April, 2005

THE BIG TOUR BUS the saga continues

The big voice tour bus arrived in Bristol without hitch. The panel arrived at the hotel without getting lost (which was quite a feat for the intrepid seven) but I have to add six of the seven did get lost in the hotel. So like the white van men we have come up with an NVQ to suit all . It's called how to get lost anywhere. This course will include all aspects of getting lost including map reading at it's lowest level. This is a one day course taught by professionals providing you don't get lost when attending.


This should be interesting as I have only had a few jobs and one of those was working for myself selling fruit and veg, but that was along time ago when my life was a mixture of trying to hide my drug life and keep afloat.
I have always been good with figures so when I hear the government say there are so many unemployed my mind just quickly estimates the job loses we have all heard about and the numbers I think we don't hear too much about. Then I estimate the number of people that are estimated to have gotten jobs. The truth is the figures do not add up no matter how you look at things. If thirty thousand people in the north lose their jobs and only one third find jobs, but through some government new deal they are put on courses or work training they are not counted.
I estimate in the last year at least 59.000 people have been made redundant across the card and only fifthteen per cent of those are actually in work. If my mind does not deceive me you can add another 10.000 at least to that figure now MG rover has closed. Me, I would just like to know who makes to the numbers up.
One thing I do know getting a job is near impossible if you are unskilled and even if you are getting a job with enough money to live on is even harder.
I find my problem is that because of my previous work history and addresses and now my age. All these factors work against me. All the time. It's like using a computer. I know I am good at it. But would an employer take my word for it? No.
No matter what people say, there should not be any predjudices but there are.
I know I do rabbit on a bit but a homeless person is more likely to be on benefits of some kind than be working even though he or she may want to work.
You often here the words but if I got a job I'd be worse off. It's this situation that the government has to look at because whether you are a single person or a married person sometimes you are better off claiming. It is exactly this situation I believe that causes the stresses on families. The break up of marriages and I think this is the main cause as to why our society today struggles to conform to what we expect. I believe the tensions of unemployed in this country are being inbred into our young.

23 April, 2005


It's half past one in the morning can't sleep because every time I close my eyes I see Tony Blair, Michael Howard screaming at each other. Every political issue is noisily debated, if you can call it that.
Politics, I used to think was such a swear word that I didn't want it in the dictionary. Now I think it's the worst word in the world and I want to kill the person or persons who invented it.
God, how I wish sleep would come then I could get this awful nightmare over with. Just an hour or two without dreaming of politicians or seeing some important issue disappear into the evening sun is it too much to ask for? It's seeing Tony Blair with bright red skin and bloody horns and the whole of Britain singing, better the devil you know that's driving me crazy.
My only hope for my future suvival is a perfect dream. Davina, Kate, it would be nice if you could enter my dreams sometime tonight.

22 April, 2005


I am a great believer in the punishment should fit the crime. I think people in today's society are scared to report every crime because of the ridicules sentences doled out by Judges. A rapist will usually get five years when released will invertibly do it again. In fact, The likelihood of them doing it again are much greater than a first time offender committing another offence. With good behavior a rapist will be out in two and a half years to rape again. Is this really justice? A man who murders a child will get life but could be out ten or fifteen years. Is this justice?
Drug pushers who earn millions and deal in misery and death they will get ten years to fifteen years but will free to start again in six years because we have a parole system that seems to favor them.
We have half sentences these are supposed to be for good behavior even I can be a model citizen if the reward is great.
Homeless people in the strand. They want to know why they have to go to prison for a week or in some cases a month for begging or get fines they cannot possibly afford. What crime have they committed?
We now have the public screaming out for more severe sentencing because they think the same as I do the punishment should fit the crime.
If you murder some one then life should mean life. To take a life is to end a life.
Whether it be someone in their sixties or someone very young. But the important thing is that a life was taken. In the bible it says an eye for an eye, but we as a civilized nation don't have the death penalty so we lock them away. Is it reasonable to assume people can change?
I believe murder to be a crime against humanity. I know what you are going to say but what about war. In war we defend our rights to live as free people to live the way we want as a free and democratic society. We also defend other peoples right to do the same.
This world that I inhabit has never known absolute peace. Because in truth it has never existed. We try the best we can to live side by side. But it is human nature that decides our path. Society should not live by standards it does not keep but by standards it sets.

Another night out in the cold.
Does he know that a new government is being elected that might bring change?
Does the future government realise that there are so many more like him? Posted by Hello



Q. What was the main reason you became a panel member?
A. Well really, because I can… for the simple reason that I can say whatever I want to about "my" government, and it’s actually quite unlikely that I’ll be arrested or that my family will be arrested just for knowing me.
There are places on Earth where you can’t voice your opinion without, frankly, endangering your life – and all my life I’ve campaigned saying these people should be heard only to find that an entire group of people in my own country are being ignored and dismissed every day.
When the likes of Mr Prescott don’t even believe we exist, something big needs to
Be done. The Big Voice Tour deserves all the support it can get.
Q. Are you homeless at present and could you tell me about how you became homeless?
A. Having left a violent relationship, with nowhere to live, the local council swept me into a Women’s Aid refuge. I didn’t want to stay and keep a room from someone who needed it more, so I moved first into a YMCA hostel, and I’m now in a women’s hostel run by Providence Row.
Q. Is there anything missing on the political agenda you feel very passionate about?
A. Plenty! For one thing, I’ve never felt the government does enough to safeguard human rights; and a basic human need is of course safe shelter.
I remember that it was a Conservative government that began the decline in social housing with their policy on the sale of council properties. I am appalled to find that it is now a Labour government; a Labour government mark you, that have proposed the ‘right to buy’ be extended to housing associations!
Q As a homeless woman, do you think women are equally treated on homeless issues?
A. I’m gonna have to be careful how I phrase this..! But in my experience, I've found that women are seen as being ‘more vulnerable’ on the streets, and – where possible – swept into shelters/hostels sooner.
Whilst I obviously agree that women shouldn’t be sleeping rough, neither should men, the worst that can happen to a woman sleeping out can – and does – happen to men too. I knew a man who was gang-raped, and in his struggle to overcome the pain, eventually took his own life.
That said, once indoors, I’ve known many women who, being emotionally vulnerable, are seen as easy prey for disgraceful ‘members of staff’ - I know a lady who left her "supported" housing, claiming to feel "safer out there"…
Q. What do you expect a new government to do for you?
A. Crisis have asked that the government conduct a census – not just a count, but a full census – of the ‘Hidden Homeless’. Until you know what someone needs, how can you help them?
Homelessness is about far more than a roof; it’s about a human being’s basic right to feel safe in their own space, and to feel that they actually belong in the world.
This will not happen until the government (whoever that may be) not only acknowledges we exist, but treats us – and everyone else – as human beings; not as numbers, statistics, or an ‘irritating little issue’ that they want to sweep out of sight – but as people.
Real people, with real voices.

21 April, 2005

Shaun Wilson's story
Shaun is a young man from Newcastle who became disenchanted with the way things were going in his life so decided to make a change.
Shaun had gotten himself involved with drugs and drink. (Which has become the usual story of our kids today)
He knew his life was going nowhere. When he ended up living on the streets. He lived by begging everyday. He was one of the lucky ones who never got arrested and he had never gotten into trouble previously with the police so he has never had to taste the life that most rough sleepers taste when they are arrested and go to prison.( the question I ask - should begging be an inprisonable offence?) after being on the streets awhile he was found a hostel in which he felt safe and secure. The workers at the hostel listened to him and he feels that was what was needed they where able to help Shaun. He now has a full time job with the Newcastle cyrenains.
He doesn’t touch drugs and only drinks sociably. He has his own flat and has a girlfriend who is expecting. He says I am grateful for the chance I was given it’s what most homeless people want just a chance..
Posted by Hello

20 April, 2005


I know the government allocate a certain amount of money to councils around the country and that councils have to make up the difference. I was just wondering if our old system of paying our council tax would be better? As I hear that councils are owed so many millions from people who don't pay. Surely a system where the tax is added on to the rent on a weekly basis is a better solution than the one we have at present. I know this seems a backwards step but to me it is a solution to investigate. After all we all want to see our taxes reduced. I think it's a viable solution. I know that water rates used to be linked in with rents so why can't council's do the same with taxes. it would save on the costs of repeated court appearances for non payers and would also free up valuable court time to dael with criminal ofences Plus in the long run it would help reduce council tax bills. but it's only my own opinion


Voting for me is a bit of a nightmare because when I think my parliamentary candidate is listening to what I have to say I just wonder if he is just pretending to. After all we went to war and a great majority of the voting public told Blair no, find some other way. On May 5th I want to be sure I have elected the right government that will do a job for the people of this country. I do not want a government that presumes to know what the public wants. I want the government to do the things we elected them to do and I want them to keep the promises they made. So when they do not get a new term they can tell me we did the best we could and we did kept our word.


Well what can I say getting to Newcastle was easy we had to go through Gateshead to get there of course but would you believe we got lost only fifty yards from the hotel took a left into a car park. Then went the wrong way and ended up in Gateshead again when all we had to do was go up a flipping hill right outside the hotel but as usual oneway systems are involved need I say more and it was not the don of all coordinators fault he wasn't actually with us off doing a radio progam, ( who would like a picture of the don?) We did make it to our destination on time and meet some PPCs.

19 April, 2005

ANSWER TO MR OR MRS ANONYMOUS what do homeless people want

Homeless people are just people, like you and me. Not aliens from another planet although some members of the public think they are. Homeless people just want to be treated like human being in today's society. They want the same rights as you to medical treatment, getting a dentist, getting education. What if it were your sons or daughters? In fact, they are someone's sons and daughters.
To say we should not care goes against everything I was taught (which wasn't that much) when I was growing up. So, what if it were someone you knew, a close friend maybe? What if it were you in a couple of years? The thing is none of us know what's going to happen tomorrow. Something might happen beyond our control. I pray to God it doesn't happen to anyone, but what if? I don't think you'd be asking the same question. You would want someone to listen.
Take me for instance, I would not be where I am today if people had just turned their backs and not cared.
Yes, people do make mistakes. Some even pay the highest price - that's why they are no longer with us but that is life and sometimes it can be hard and demanding. Some people cannot cope and turn to other things like drugs and drink. But should we forget they exist?
I hate giving people for instances, but I will.
In this country we have a lot of ex-service men living on the street and in hostels. What you are basically saying is why should I care about them?
There are also people in the same situation who have worked all their lives, got made redundant, their marriage has fallen apart and have had to leave the home. So once again, you're saying we shouldn't care.
Then there's the young man or woman who has not really had a life because they where picked on for most of it and now they are suffering. The only way they can forget their daily pain was to use drugs or drink. Should we also forget about them too? You see everyone has their own set of problems. Some can cope and some just let them grow and grow until something happens. A breakdown, attempted suicide, turning to other things to hide their pain and some just don't know anything else.
The funny thing is, homeless people are not asking the government for anything they are not entitled to. What they are saying is, we are not invisible. Some of us are not drug users or alcoholics as some of the public seem to think. Yes, we do have problems yet we are categorised as all being the same. The stigma attached to being homeless affects us when trying to get a job, open bank accounts or even get doctors. We have not done anything wrong except sleep on the street; not through choice but through necessity. We are in fact treated as second class citizens. But if we were drug addicts or alcoholics should we still be ignored?
My question is should we treat anyone any different just because they live on the streets? Shouldn't they have the same rights as me and you?
We can hear what our prospective parliamentary candidates have to say and we do have the right to say what we think. Not just because we have the right to vote but because we do have opinions just like other people.

18 April, 2005


Today the big voice tour rolled in to Leeds. Where several PPCs came and spoke to the panel. But first I feel I must up date you on the saga of the intrepid journey so far, first the good news. The bus arrived before we did and I'm pleased to tell you no reported problems. Now for the bad news the nightmare of the journey for the panel and the three coordinators including the don of all coordinators, well lets just say the panel got to know every plant on one certain roundabout in west Leeds. Then one of the panel wanted to do a Paula Radcliff, so we pulled over then didn't want to go. It was then decided to admit defeat and phone the hotel for the directions, but believe it or not we had to admit we were still lost. So phone again this time with success. This morning wasn't much different to any other morning, we found it hard to park. Like in many other cities. But I am so glad we came because one passer by and his family gave five pounds for us to get cups of tea because it was raining and told us to keep up the good work. Which disproves the theory that people do not care . To me Leeds seems to be a much more caring city as the PPCs seemed to know much than in some of the cities we have been but there was still that question of what do homeless or hidden people expect government to do?
It was said in a couple by Graham a panel member
Homeless people do not want any new deals they just want a fair deal.
They want to be treated as normal members of society not second class citizens.

17 April, 2005


The leader of the conservatives apologized for not adding the letter S to the word regions in a letter sent out to constituent's. Mr Howard apologized for the error and its misleading content. I think he also forgot to apologize for the misleading figures he gave concerning MRSA. It was said there where 240 cases, when in fact there where only 6 and his use of the immigrant who was jailed I think is appalling as it he gives the impression all immigrants are the same but besides that I don't know if I got everything right after all its Sunday morning. but I did the spell check

16 April, 2005


I wonder if Mr Howard realize just how racist he sounds. He picks up on something in the news it happens to be about the attempt to poison Londoners. The man who was an al Qaida operative is only one of a small but deadly cell. We should not be putting all immigrants in the catorgry as this one offender I believe in the right for another human being to better his life in what ever country he decides to make his home. How do we tackle the problem of people who wish to cause harm. We do have to have a more stringent way of checking before admitting people into the country. To deny someone entry just because we have a quota could lead to racial discrimination especially if we start to say your from Israel sorry can't except you, list from that country full up. I say this because the mentality of our immigration service seems to be unfair for instance: A child born in this country and a mother who has stayed here for a number of years and is employed. Has to be sent back but the child can stay or the people from other countries who have British passports can't come here to live here, ridiculous. I do get angry when I read or hear stories but I am only one man and my opinions are only that. Mine

15 April, 2005

Answer to Robert the homeless guy sleeping in the theatre doorway door

Q. Do you think the government are trying massage the unemployment figures by making school leavers stay at school?
A. I never thought of looking at it from that point of view. If you ask a former MP. He would probably tell you that young people need to learn that education can lead to better job prospects. If you ask a student that has studied hard for five years, got their degree, but has had to take a job as a waiter or waitress, was it worth it they'd hesitated before answering and probably say no. Do I think we should make youngsters stay on, I have to say education is important but to have youngsters stay on at school and pay them for it is a good idea and yes I do think this is another ingenious way the government can massage the unemployment figures.

MY OWN POLITICAL PARTY well, sometimes you have to join them

If I were running my own party I would call it the honest to goodness no lies party.
I'd leave running the foreign office to Jasper Carrot because anyone that comes from the west midlands and tells jokes that even I can understand might be good for a laugh.
For my chancellor I would have to go with Jack Dee with his dead pan face and stories you wouldn't know whether he was telling the truth or not. I"d need someone in office that knows how to hide truthful lies and the fact that Jack would be a laugh a minute wouldn't hurt.
Education would go to the pub landlord Al Murray. I can see him now telling the rest of the cabinet (empty of course) how great we British are. How once we had a British empire not in our own country but round the rest of the world but we were great and the problem with our country is the beer.
And I'd be prime minister.
I'd be the one who played it straight. I"d be saying something like, I promise to tell you the truth scouts honor, cross my heart and hope to die and I'd promise you, you will not have to pay a penny more in tax than you have to. Even if this means you lose your jobs and housing.
We in the honest to goodness no lies party will keep our promises of no tax rises come what may.
We promise to keep our economy afloat by opening Swiss bank accounts (in different names of course). We promise you. We will not let ourselves or this country go under. We'll keep interest down to minimum as we wouldn't want you to know too much. It wouldn't be good for our balance of payments would it.
Hospitals will be germ free. No sick people need to worry anymore about the MSA bug. Beds will be available. No more waiting for appointments as I will close all Hospitals that do not have good private care. the NHS will be renamed Not Here Sickos to save money. Doctors will be free to work privately for a small charge of course.
TV licenses will be abolished, if you watch eight hours of BBC repeats everyday and radio one and four listeners will no have to buy a radio license same price as the old tv license. We shall call it a new deal for the people.
My pledge to you, the voter, will be to run this country and make us all rich. If you let me. I'm not a man that does things by Halfs. Myself and my party will go all the way. We will rid ourselves of poverty. If you just give us the chance. We will not let you down. Vote for The honest to goodness no lies party.

It would be so refreshing wouldn't it. Just to hear someone in government say sorry but I don't know what the hell I'm doing. Wouldn't it be great if they told us, taxes, we're robbing you blind. It'll never happen so why bother voting? Is it all a con?

13 April, 2005

by Jaime McCoy
Q. Erna is it true you were a nurse once?
A. Yes I was for a long time.
Q. Why did you become a panel member?
A. I want to tell people my story and to tell them being homeless is not about sitting on street corners begging, it's about real people who are in real trouble.
Q. Can you tell me about yourself and how you became homeless?
A. I was married and had two children. Throughout whole nineteen years of marrige my husband was abusive abusive. So I had to leave the home. I went into a home for battered women at first but I wanted more out of life I did not want to rely on state benefits. I went back to the Caribbean in search of a better life. After five years I had to come back I could not get work. I missed my children so much. I lived in a hotel at first but that was too expensive I soon ran out of money. I cry when I think of how many years I spent working and saving just to see it go on hotel bills. I needed to find work, any kind work but I couldn't I tried to get help from the social security. I didn't get a penny for eighteen months. I had to beg on the streets to survive. Now thankfully I am in a night shelter in the east end.
Q. So it can safetly be said you are not a alcoholic or drug user. Erna do you think you have been put into that catorgary by people that saw you begging?
A. Of course! I have had the disdainful looks especially from other black people.
Q. What is it you want the newly elected government to do when it gets into power?
A. I want them to admit we do have a problem with homelessness in this country this includes people in tempary accommodation. I want them to act and make long term plans to rid this country of homelessness and I don't want them to call it a new deal. I think it's appalling in this day and age to think we are one of the wealthiest countries on this planet and yet we cannot cure problems on our own door steps.
Posted by Hello


7 15 in the morning and we had just woken to see the last drops of rain fall. Breakfast called. The thought of our hectic schedule and our temperamental bus having another break down was visible on everyone's faces but we were determined soldiered on. Now we had become the magnificent seven as Mark the don of all coordinators joined us on our tour. We arrived in Manchester, only getting lost once. Well, that was myself, Stuart and Erna. Graham and Mark drove in their own transport. We all arrived on time to meet PPCs from all the parties and members of Manchester's homeless panel. All asked their own questions - and all got answers. Although some were a bit hit and miss, the recurring theme was that it didn't matter what government was in power, the homeless and hidden homeless were forgotten. Questions on housing revealed that the PPCs from all parties had concerns. The panel asked why homelessness was not on the political agenda. The answer was that it was not known just how many poeple were homeless or in temporary accommodation. We hoped we gave the PPCs an insight into our problems


 Posted by Hello


The three big voice panelists met panelists from Birmingham. They sat and discussed local issues and on the issues of the general elections agenda, by the way none of which were about helping or trying to end homelessness.
I was invited to see a new hostel iniative for women, (the first male to be allowed entry.) When I saw the scheme I knew I was looking at something unique. All residents either had a self contained bedsit with bathroom. Not a room like you would see normally in a hostel plus there were four one bedroom flats on the top floor. It was something I think that should be viewed by other agencies and MPs in the hope that they can see what could be done if enough money was forth coming from government. The idea of the hostel is to take in women with or without problems. They all have to sign a license that has a help contract attached. A brilliant idea. It replaces the old contract that only said you where entitled to stay. Their contract also says you will receive help if requested.
It has always surprised me that woman seem to have fewer hostels yet twenty percent of homeless people are in fact women. Here I was talking to the its residents and staff. The first person I met was Caroline who was part hidden homeless the reason the big voice tour was conceived.
I also met one Lib Dem candiate who I asked several questions after I thanked him for attending. I also met Alistair Dow a Lib Dem councilor.
Q. Why doesn't any government that are in power realize they we do have a problem with homelessness in which I included hidden homeless.
A. Most governments do realize that we have a problem but find it hard to find a solution we at the Lib dem intend to find a solution not a sticking plaster solution. We know we have to find solutions that are long term.
Q. Does this mean you will research the subject for four years and then if you get into power again research it some more?
A. Because it takes time to contact homeless agencies and other agencies concerned to compile plans and strategies on how we can fix the problems. It does take time and as I have said we do need to find a long term solution and I would hope it could be done within a specified time.
Q. The normal answer most MPs give as a solution to homelessness is to fund councils so they can open up their shuttered properties do you feel this is a solution?
A. I think it could be in the right circumstances.
Q Do you think that previous governments saw the drug problem this country now has and did nothing.
A. I think previous governments saw the problem but reacted to late and now that we do have this problem we have to find better ways of dealing with it.
Q. Don't you think it ridiculous that someone wanting to come of drugs should have to wait six months or more for a place in a rehab.
A. We have a drug problem that should be dealt with as a Piority because I feel the investment now in drug rehabs and other facilities would benefit all because we know drugs and crime and homelessness are related. We need to sort this problem now. It would benefit all not only home owners, car owners and businesses but it would also benifit families.
I thanked him and Alistair Dow for allowing me to ask my questions they were then ask to sign the pledge to end homelessness.


The master plan was to arrive the night before the event and everything was running smoothly on Sunday 10th. Six intrepid people headed toward their first destination, Three panelist and two (shall we call them, coordinators, just to be polite) and one bus driver whom we had not met yet. We arrived at our destination to hear the bus was making good time. Then at about eight o’clock panic, our big red bus had broken down and it was stuck on the motorway. Stuart a coordinator paced up and down in reception Then headed for the bar needing to quell the impending feeling of doom, while James our second coordinator made frantic telephone calls. After sitting with crossed legs, arms and eyes for a few hours., we received a phone call saying mechanics had arrived and everything was all right and that we had only run out of diesel. So things were put right except for the intrepid five.
The following morning was D day. We drove ahead to Birmingham, thinking there would be no more hiccups how wrong could we be? The bus had broken down again but this time we had a major panic. It had now broken down on a roundabout on Birmingham’s notorious one way system. Not needing to cross everything again for luck as everything was still crossed from the night before.. We hoped that it would not cause the worst traffic jam Birmingham had seen for awhile. I know we needed the media exposure but I think stopping the whole of the city center traffic would have been just a bit too much. After a few hours the bus eventually arrived. But we had decided not to give our bus driver whose name was Gibson an A to Z but a bible because we all now realized this big voice tour was going to need a lot of prayer.

10 April, 2005

Big Voice Tour has Lift Off

The big voice tour starts tomorrow. First port of call will be Birmingham. I hope to meet some of homeless from that part of the country to get their views. I will be making a diary of the tour. So I look forward to telling you how it's going and some of the stories of homeless people young and old.

09 April, 2005

All you perspective parliamentary candidates. How about you having your say or have you nothing to say? I want to ask you.
Where do you get your figures on homelessness .
Why is it that charities such as St mungo's, English churches in London, St basils in the midlands are not funded adequately.
Why are there not enough hostels?
Why is there not enough funding of drug rehab centres?
Why can't a homeless person be treated as part of today's society?
Why can't they get in to decent full time education?
Why do some struggle to get benefits they are entitled to?
How about answering some of our questions?
Homelessness and the hidden homeless are not high enough on your electoral agenda, but I would like all the homeless and people around the country to know why and what your stand is on these matters are, if any?
If you don't think we have a problem, then I would naturaly say are you blind, but I'd like you to tell us your veiws

INTERVIEW by Jamie McCoy

Graham a panel member on the big voice tour

Q. Graham why have you become a panel member of the big voice tour.?

A. Having lived on the streets. I am now in a hostel. I find not a lot has changed apart from the fact that I have now have a roof over my head, a lockable door and four walls. I felt it was right to make people aware that the homeless still suffer the prejdices and stigma associated with being homeless.

Q. Could you tell me how you became homeless?

A. I made a decsion in 97 or 98 to put my parents in a home. They later died and the costs of the nursing care were astronomical. They took me to court and basically they evicted me. So the home got sold to pay the costs. I ended up on the streets.

Q. Are you angry that this could happened you?

A. What do you think? I'd lived there nearly all my life. My parents where pensioners. They paid their taxes and had pensions, for the council and the nursing home to charge two frail old people charges they couldn't possibly afford was madness. What makes me so mad is that it has happened not only to me but other people and is still happening today. I blame the government.

Q. So you became homeless. What was that like?

A. Bloody awful, people were always looking at me strangely it used to annoy me

Q. Do you think the idea that the homeless people should have a voice is a good idea? After all when you're homeless politics doesn't really affect you does it? Wouldn't it be better for agencies that deal with the homelessness to speak for you?

A. Of course it affects us. If it wasn't for the fact, that a few people one Christmas saw how homeless people were forgotten, that crisis at Christmas began. Look at them now they understand the needs and the feelings of the homeless. They lobby MPs on our behalf, but even that doesn't take away the fact that we want our own voice. It seems we lose that along with part of our life when we live on the streets. It's something you can't really understand till you have been homeless. I mean, not every homeless person is a drug addict or alcoholic. This seems to be the label all homeless people are stuck with. Why shouldn't we stand up and ask MPs the questions no one really wants to ask? We are members of today's society, even if some members of it don't want to admit we do exist. I also think it important that we should vote. I didn't know I could until someone told me.

Q. Do you think things have improved slightly under this labour government?

A. Are you joking. Nothings really changed

Q. What would you like to see when a new government is elected, do?

A. Give the homeless fairer treatment for people who are homeless and a signed pledge from every member of the government who ever it is that they will end homelessness

Posted by Hello

08 April, 2005


The crisis at mg rover could not have come at worse time for the midland region. As 6000 jobs disappear. It is feared that approximately another twenty five thousand jobs could be in jeopardy as firms that ware dependent on rover now fight to stay afloat. The effect it will have on the region will be devastating as once again unemployment in the region goes up again.
This is one crisis that Mr Blair could have done without, coming just weeks before the election. The people of Birmingham I think have had enough. The question on most peoples lips will be was there really a loan to save the ailing plant on the table? Could this be the straw that breaks the camels back? Has the country had enough of broken promises?
Could this lose labour 12 seats in the forth coming election?
I know what you're thinking, how could this homeless blogger know so much? Well, the truth is no matter what government is in power ( by the way whose runs the country now there is no government in power) its policies affect the homeless as well. So its good to be up on things.


A truce was called today as a mark of respect for the pope. So there will be no bickering, no childish remarks and no back biting from either parties.
Many members of the public are sighing with relief as they in their own way pay their last respects as the popes funeral takes place. A sad day for all.

07 April, 2005


The issue of Crime will be play a major part in the general election for all three major parties.
In today's society the chances of you being mugged or just being beaten up are high in certain areas of our cities (although government figures show a decline) Should we tolerate the ghetto culture that seems to have arisen in certain areas? The facts collected show that homeless people are 13 times more likely to be attacked and robbed, than members of the general public. These figures were reached in interviews taken with men and women on the street and in temporary accommodation across the UK. It does show that homeless people are among the most vunerable section of our society. It brings to light the stark realities that homeless people face everyday whilst on the streets. Whilst the crime figure seem to be falling across the UK. The figures remain amazingly high amongst the homeless. The figures could be even higher as most crimes are not reported by the homeless because of the fear they will not be taken seriously and the stigma that being homeless brings.
Vandals roam the streets of Britain causing mayhem where ever they go. The conservatives believe by imprisoning parents of unruly children this would reduce acts of vandalism. They are also looking at evicting whole families for persistent trouble offenders. Surely this does not make any sense as making more people homeless only adds to the misery we already see?
Would you like to see punishments fitting their crime's. Do asbo's really work? Do you live in an area where people commit senseless acts of vandalism?
John a former homeless man says, "I have a neighbor that plays loud music till three or four o'clock in the morning nearly everyday. The noise pollution squad from health environment visit but seem powerless to do anything."
Is this a situation for an asbo or is it because these flats are known to be occupied by former homeless people?


Living in the heart of the city is bad enough but I chose to do that, but I am supposed to be able to get health care. The doctor across the road says he's full and has a waiting list and it has been like that for two years. There is another surgery two minutes from him I have tried to register with him but to no avail he says I don't come in to his area cachement. Sometimes I just wonder, is it because I look at bit rough and he thinks I'm a rough sleeper that he keeps saying he's full.
The local dentist is the same always jam packed and I can't get to see him because he's full. So are a few more within a mile of each other.
Like most I am worried about going into hospital and gettng some super bug and not coming out again, I guess I am the same as most people in this country worried about the state of the health service.


Just another rough sleeper, among the thousands in this country that lay in shop doorways. I went out late at night and vitually as soon as I came out of charing cross underground station. There where six rough sleepers in the row. Asleep. Some of them you probably see most nights with cardbord under their arms walking down the street.
They use cardboerd to lay on because they have learned that it helps keep out the cold from the stone pavements and if they have several layers it doesn't feel so hard. So a goodnights sleep ( if you can call it that ) can be had.
Maybe you're a shop manager and some morning you feel sorry you have to tell them to move because you have a to open the shop. Is this what you want to see? This goverment say they have helped the homeless in many ways. If that is so why are their still so many homeless? I would love to hear what you have to say. Posted by Hello

06 April, 2005


For the first time we will have all three party leaders in the same room on TV. Is this the beginning of us Americanizing our elections. I do believe in the next twenty years we will have a president, all the indications show. We do follow in America's footsteps in nearly everything. We even take things that do not work there and try them over here. Would you like to vote for just one man? I like to hear from any perspective party canidates for their views

An everyday scene on your way to work or going home. We all pass by and think to ourselves. THANK GOD IT IS NOT ME. Did you know this man could vote? Posted by Hello

05 April, 2005


Will he do it? Will he be prime minister again? Maybe, but I think this election could spring a surprise, after all how many people are going to vote for a prime minister that took the country to war on a little white lie that turned out to be a huge whopper. Then had to defend his actions. Was it wrong? Should we have deposed this one dictator? Should we now leave the Iraqi people to make their country their own again? Should we force them to have western democracy? Whatever anyone believes, I think its the one thing that could cost the labour party the election.
Personally? I think it will be close.
The surprise package could be the liberal democrats they have what it takes to form a government and I thank most people want change from the usual two main rivals. I would love to read their manifesto. Just to see if they have anything on their agenda to deal with homelessness and the causes of it be it drugs, drink, mental health issues and just plain old fashioned people looking for work.
Now the conservative party for me are to disjointed. How can you expel an elected candiate from the party for telling the truth. I know you have to have trust in your membership but if you stray from the truth and one person in your party believes it's wrong. Then he should be applauded for his courage in standing up for the people that voted for him. Not sold down the river. The question is, have they got their figures wrong? Are they infact telling fibs of their own? Who knows but I don't trust them now, but that's only my opinion

04 April, 2005


Am I living in cloud cookcoo land? Because I would love to buy my own house. Is this the pipe dream that most people have? I suppose I can dream can't I? I hear that there are going to be one million new houses built for first time buyers. Hey! I'm a first time buyer, I don't have a penny to my name only £55 a week unemployment benefit, which never comes on time and it only last me two days at most and I still owe my friends a lot of money. But still at least I am a first time buyer. I wonder can I buy it with monopoly money? That would be great wouldn't it? Jesus Christ! What am I saying? I have no chance in hell of buying a house. Line up ten no, make that thirty thousand people and if I steal forty pound off every one I might be able to afford a house, only just though. I know what I'll do I'll buy a garden shed should only cost me £90. No wait a minute, that's no good the council will only charge me £1200 a year and that would be the lowest council tax. So it would actually cost me to live in a shed. Better off the way I am now. No wonder people get so angry with things. First time buyer no thanks I'll stick to my pipe dream.


Problems problems. As if I haven't had enough to worry about in my life. Now I have to vote for some parliamentary candidate who most likely wont listen to me anyway.
So which one do I choose?
Do I go for the one that dresses ok and appears to listen or do I go for the one who says he'll reduce my taxes, even if I think he is going to take more money off me one way or another? Should I keep with the one I voted for last time after all he did win.
To hell with it I wont vote for anyone. Just like half the country, after all what's going to change. I think this is the feeling of a vast majority of the country

03 April, 2005


Throughout the ages homelessness in this country has always been a grave problem. In the seventeenth and eighteenth century work houses and orphanages housed some of the poor and destitute, as do some of the charities today. (At least conditions are much better.) It was on the streets of our major cities that held the vast majority of its homeless. Yet still in this the twentieth century we still have the same problem.
The present government has tried in its own naive way to solve this problem, but have only succeeded in making homelessness invisible ( by which I mean that some of the homeless are now in hostels, hotels and in the winter night shelters run by charities. Some have taken to sleeping in the back streets of our cities. Keeping out of sight so they wont be moved on.)
Emergency accommodation is now rare. Most hostels are full all year round. If you are on the streets tonight, it may take weeks or even a few months to get a bed in a hostel.
The myth that people prefer to be on the streets is quite wrong. Only a handful in the thousands prefer it. Most want the chance to have a base so their lives can change.
Has the problem of homelessness been caused because of previous governments inapt performances to combat the issues of mental health, drugs, drink and homelessness?
Because now all four of our major problems have become linked to one another
Is this why we still have people sleeping on the streets?
Are we now so used to seeing it in our daily lives we have become immune to the suffering we see daily on our journeys to and from work?
The people of Britain are a very charitable nation. Who will reach into its pockets to help the homeless and needy of other countries in their hours of need and the government gives millions. Yes, their plight is much worse than ours, but if we are not careful our own homeless crisis along with its mental health, drink and drug problems could become more than major problem. We live in a society where drugs and drink are ruining the lives of the young and vunerable.
What can be done?
Could we actually relive the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries again? (in a modern day sense.) Is it possible that we could live the Oliver Twist years again?
I think we as a whole nation must instruct our government to act on our behalf. We should not be dependent on charitable organizations. Who recognize the problems. It should not left to them to point out that in today's society homelessness should have been eradicated a long time ago and that we are in fact taking backward steps.

ART A STATE OF MIND Posted by Hello


Jamie was born in London His family moved to the midlands at a very young age. When he started to experiment with drugs at the tender age of 11. It was not unexpected. His mother being a registered drug addict. His stepfather was a weekend binge drinker. Who when drunk would make his family clean the house from top to bottom at three or four o'clock in the morning most weekends. If they refused they would be beaten with a belt or made to stand in a corner for the rest of the night. It was a natural progression(As he puts it) After all his mother was an addict and most her friends and the fact that no one told him not to. It was either drugs or drink around him seven days a week. Luckily drink was never a problem.
Jamie went to a secondary modern school when he was not stoned or asleep. When he did attend, he was always sat at the back of the class as it was thought he had learning difficulties and was disruptive. He left school not being able to read and write. A regular user of amphetamines and cannabis which progressed over the years to heroin. By the time he was twenty one he was a full time addict and homeless. He begged and he stole to feed his habit. by the time he was thirty six he'd been to prison even when released he struggled to keep any accommodation he was found because of his drug addiction. He was forty eight years old when one Christmas he had an epiphany. No plan just a crazy idea and decided enough was enough. He threw the bag of heroin he had just brought into the Thames and has been clean ever since. He has also learned to read and write and has written and produced his own books of poetry. He has also written a children book called The Extraordinary Mouse and is now writing a play even though he has not actually seen one. He says the day his life changed was the day the Thames got stoned instead of him.

02 April, 2005

A master at work at
This is what could be acheived A homeless man at a centre called skylight learning. Posted by Hello

Talent on the streets Posted by Hello