30 June, 2005

Big issue founder slams charities

John Bird founder of the big issue accused homeless charities of mollycoddling homeless people. My answer to that is what a load of nonsense. How can these charities molly coddle homeless people when funds are desperately needed to teach people the basics on how to live a normal healthy life?
I spent over thirty years living on and off the streets because I was a drug addict. When I first went into the hostel system if you where a drug addict you could not get the treatment needed to come off drugs. If you were found using you were just thrown back on the streets. In today's system of homelessness a small percent are addicts of some kind. There is a bit more tolerance of addicts today but not enough places. When I came off drugs I was still homeless. Could I get a hostel? Could I get into education? No. Hostel places were scarce then and still are now and I was always refused entry into college because I was homeless. Even when I went back into the hostel system, I was still refused a place at college simply because I could not afford it. I changed hostels and everything began to fall into place.
John Bird, the self confessed spokesman for the homeless, says the problem is how to get rid of homeless people once they are with you - how do we move them on?
It takes a few years to get someone used to being a part of society. Not because its a hard task. It's just that homeless people get so used to life on the streets and not being accepted as part of society that they become lost in a world you cannot really understand unless you have been there. Believe me when I tell you, some people eventually die alone on the streets with it being the only way of life they have known.
Mr Bird accuses homeless people of being hangers on in a way, even after they have got their flats. But getting a flat is not the end of the problem homeless people face. Things like paying rent or for electricity, water, even for food. Which, by the way, many have never had to do. Also the simple things like cooking they need to learn. Which is why there are sustainment teams like Thames Reach who go out and see people in there new accommodation. All this takes time and money. There are always people that cannot make the transition into normal like. The hostel system is the safest place for these people. Not back on the streets.
Mr Bird also says his big beef is that he thinks that people are kept homeless by the generosity of the public. What a load of codswallop. Without the generosity of the public, homeless people would be in a very precarious position. We'd see a larger number of people sleeping rough. The idea that giving charities money only gives hope is quite a senseless statement to make. If it had not been for a charity funding me so I could go to college then I wouldn't be able to write this blog.
He also says we should shift from oxygenating failure, to preventing the problem but don't you think that's a bit late in the day? We can only prevent a certain amount of people falling into the trap of homelessness. We can spend millions on prevention but in the end we would still have the abused runaways, the drug addict moving to try and change his life, the alcoholic. We would also still have the mentally disadvantaged.
My own personal view is we do have a great emphasis on actual homelessness because we can identify homeless people. But how can you prevent something that you cannot control as most homeless people become homeless on spur of the moment decisions. They believe they have no other choice but to leave wherever they are, whether it be in a flat or their parents. When I ran away from home it wasn't a thought out thing it was a spur of the moment decision.
We have a vast amount of people that are now in the hostel system and once one vacancy arises it is automatically filled. It is not the hostels' fault that there is a lack of affordable housing. Even hostels have their own move on accommodation which is always full. It does in fact all come down to money. If you haven't got the money, you cannot perform miracles and if you have (and only a very small per cent actually do make it in to normal life) then it does prove that miracles do happen! Which would you have - a society that cares or a society that is disintrested?
Would you like to tell Mr bird to shut up? Then comment.

DVD of the month

I have to just mention my film of the month Million Dollar Baby. A film which Clint Eastwood directed and starred in. A must see movie. I don't rave about films that often but this is one movie I can recommend whole heartedly. By the way before you ask I am not being paid to promote this DVD.

Ken Livingston

I was watching the ITV debate show last night with Ken Livingston answering the publics questions. One comment that was made by ken was that there are more police officers on the beat now than there had ever been. When one woman said she had not see any increase in police presence in her area of harringay. I have to agree with her.
Ken began to explain how things where in other areas of London and then added if you have not seen an increase of police in your area it will becoming soon. Now that comment made me so angry. I just thought as we pay councils around £1500 a year on average.Why we don't see any improvement in the police force in fact if you go to a police station today you have to sit and wait in reception area to report a crime which takes forever. If you are robbed or burgled it can take two hours or more for them to respond and that's speaking from experince as i have had three break ins at my home. To replace our police on the beat we have street wardens. Governments can not say this is not a major catastrophe because this affects all people. If we haven't got a police force that can do its job properly, then we can't really have a rule of law can we? If we had a perfect society we wouldn't need to have laws but since the dawn of man there has always been thieves, murders, conmen, rapists and greedy people and there will always be. But don't worry as Ken says coming to your area soon is a visible deterrent. Just like in the movies. Sorry Ken, but it just doesn't work for me. Not when we should have it in the first place. Isn't this what a large part of what we pay in council tax goes towards paying?

Blogger arrested

Well it had to happen to me. Yesterday I was arrested on a warrant for non payment of a fine for court costs. It seems selling poetry, which I used to sell every Saturday and Sunday is against the law and the day I decide to raise money for a good cause I'm arrested. How unlucky can you get? Anyway yesterday I sat in court told the magistrate that I didn't know as I had been told that the charge of selling without a license was dropped and I didn't realise I still had to pay twenty five pounds in court costs. Everything is fine now. I payed it. Now I'm a blogger that's broke but free. Wouldn't it have been interesting to have run the blog from prison for a couple of weeks. Now It has given me an idea on people in prison so watch this space.

28 June, 2005

Why does someone become homeless?

Speaking from my own experience all I can say is that choosing to live on the streets is a last resort. I had a serious drug problem and no hostel would take me and if they did drugs came before rent. In the sixties no one saw drugs or homelessness as a problem until the late William Shearman and a few friends who founded Crisis the charity for the homeless saw it as a problem. So he and a few friends started to show people just how great a problem this country had. It's quite funny because even they thought it a problem that could be fixed in a couple of years. Had they known how big a problem it was then maybe things would have been done differently but thirty years later the problem has gotten worse and crisis has gotten much bigger.
Politics does play a part in the cycle of homelessness and poverty? Governments need to understand people more. It need to take into account that not everyone is the perfect member of society. Some are lets say slightly flawed. It needs think about policies much more before introducing them, like ID cards how are people on the breadline are going to be able to afford one? When they are already struggling to make ends meet as it is. To me it's just another way a person can become homeless. If you look at things sensibly and just take one of things you can actually be taken to court for today, no TV license £1000 fine or go to jail and who wants to go to jail?

27 June, 2005

Homelessness Poverty And Politics

Homelessness and poverty was mostly caused by successive governments not taking any notice and the appropriate action that needed to be taken at the time the problem was diagnosed.
Successive governments seem to have seen people sleeping on the streets at night as if it was of their own choosing and the way some people wanted to live. It was only when became an everyday sight that they saw it as a problem to be cured as if it were some strange affliction, like going to the doctors and popping a pill and saying hey your better. What they don't seem to be thinking about is the reason why people are homeless, sleeping on the street begging in the first place.
Could it be that some governments policies have something to do with it? Could it be the fact that successive governments have kept people on the breadline with no real hope of getting out of the poverty trap.
Could it be that some of these people have mental health problems and are distrustful of our mental health policies that put them back into society with no real help or is it that one simple mistake has left them with nothing but to live life the best they can?
Also People see homeless people as the problem to all society's ailments. Which to me is quite wrong as homelessness is the outcome of a symptom. Which may or may not be a direct cause of some government policy. Take for instance Graham big voice tour panel member who became homeless due to the fact he had to sell his mother and fathers house to pay for the their care in a home after they had both died. He was actually taken to court by a council because they wanted their money. The councils sound vampires don't they?
Poverty can also be a large contributing factor to homelessness as the poorer you become the more despondent you become. Trying to make ends meet when you are living on benefits is near enough impossible at the best of times especially if you are gainfully seeking work as well.
There is no extra money included in any benefit payment for fares to give people that incentive to actually go and find work. So when people go out and look for work it affects the way they have to live. They have to reduce their daily needs.
All governments no matter which party say that everyone should eat fresh fish and vegetables or to put it in their words a balance meal everyday. Yet they penny pinch when it comes to giving money for our children's school meals.
If the government gave people the money to do the things we are supposed to do there wouldn't be any argument, there wouldn't be any need for me to be writing this blog, but when you have to shop for the cheapest ingredients and have to buy food that has preservatives in and then have successive governments Blatantly tell you. you should be able to make ends meet on benefit. All the problems start, ill health, heart attacks, stress ect are caused by people worrying where their next meal is coming from. Where are they going to live. It's no wonder our housing and health service is in a mess. When will governments realise half measures are no good. What is needed is a full blown effort to combat homelessness and poverty. So what if it's going to cost us a fortune today because to be honest tomorrow it will cost twice as much and there will be twice as many.

26 June, 2005

Our Health Service

I was listening to the news. When I heard that ambulance crews might be expected to do just more than treat road side accidents and minor injuries. My first thought was God what are we coming to? We have already cut down on the fire service and are still struggling to get a full police force. Then when I heard that there had already been trials up in the north. I thought why hadn't they had these trials in one of the busy cities like London or Birmingham?
How many people have to suffer while the government tries to save money? We already have a stretched health service which seems to be going under. We seem to be trying things now that are last resorts.
While the government try this and that, people are suffering tremendously. People are still having to wait in A and E and when beds are needed you might as well pray for a miracle. I know the government are pouring money into the health service, but it's going downhill fast.
What can be done? I haven't got a bloody clue. All I know is something has to done soon with our health service. We need more doctors and nurses and as nurses are poorly paid how can we expect them to work in the NHS? Would you? I also think we need to stop treating the NHS as if it's a business because it's not. It's why people pay national insurance. I believe that every single penny we pay should be spent on the NHS and not anything else. If it is not enough, I'm sure that people would pay more if they knew they where going to get a good service. It's the one thing that any government should fight to keep a free national health service. It should be there when needed or is it just me that's being idealistic?

24 June, 2005


This is the scene everyone sees as they walk beside the Thames river, but when you are walking along every so often you will see either a homeless person begging for change or one trying to sleep under one of the bridges at night. I know its nice to go for that moonlit stroll hand in hand with the love of your life and it's nice that sometimes you stop and put your hand in your pocket and give a little change now and again. But wouldn't it be better not to have to. Wouldn't it be nice to know the houses that are being built by the river are affordable and available to all people whether homeless or not.Posted by Hello

Co-founder dies at 67

William Shearman co-founder of the charity crisis. A charity for the homeless. Died at the age of 67. I have spent the last twelve hours thinking of something to say about a man I had never met, but that has helped me and an awful lot of people like me over the years because he and a few friends got together to try and solve one of our countries saddest problems, homelessness. If it wasn't for this man I wouldn't be where I am today. The thing that this man did was to raise awareness and raise money for homeless People. He also started a sponored walk. So homeless people could have a Christmas dinner. The walk still goes on every year. Since those early days when just a handful of people got together crisis has grown into a charity that believes the best way to help is to give people the power to change.
I am sure if he is looking down on some of us now and again he will smile along with us as he sees the flame of hope that had almost died, once again burn bright. Some former homeless people who have gone on to better things in life and some that are still trying to make the change in thier lives and are trying to live life to it's fullest. I am sure just wish to say thank you.

22 June, 2005

I was just thinking to myself about the power of TV and radio and the effect it really has on today's society. If you look at it logically without it prime ministers wouldn't get elected by the majorities they do. Charities wouldn't be able to appeal to the mass of people it does. You wouldn't know about a washing powder that removes all stains, unless you tried everything in the shops. By advertising it. It makes people aware.
What I was thinking was, we see these adverts of a youth begging with a blanket, we see the old man in his not so clean shirt and tattered suit. Yes these pictures do make people become aware that we have problems concerning homelessness. To be honest some of the pictures I have seen are so sad that it makes you want to put your hand in your pocket but that is what I would call a knee jerk reaction. I was wondering what people would do if they saw both sides of the coin so to speak. If you give them the picture of the man in the tatty clothes would they like to know he was a once business man or reporter. Wouldn't they like to see that here is a man who just needs a chance to become normal again. Wouldn't they like to see the end result of their donations. We see it when we are asked to donate for most famine appeals. On my walk about in the westend yesterday. one member of the public said I would really like to see what these homeless charities do.

21 June, 2005

Council Property Tax

Local councils around the country are always thinking up ways of getting higher taxes. What gets me is why isn't there a fairer tax system? Where everyone pays the bloody same. For instance, you buy a house for lets say for £250,000. After paying all the taxes due when buying the bloody thing. You are expected to pay more taxes on a yearly basis just for the right to live in it basically. I don't know much about buying a house as I know I have no chance acquiring the money to buy one, unless I win the lottery and considering I don't do it that's bloody unlikely. If I brought a house, I know I'd have to pay tax but I would expect it to be a far one and the same as everyone else. .We are supposed to be a society that believes in fairness. So I don't see what the problem is? The question is why should someone who lives just across the road in the same size house pay less than any other or someone who has got money and the house to go with it? Why should they pay more for a house that's already costing them a fortune in its up keep? We never had these problems years ago. Since councils have been able to get their hands on peoples money there has been increase in housing tax every bloody year. If these councils learned to spend wisely like people do.Then we wouldn't have to charge so bloody much. I think we should make housing tax fairer. The complaint we have now is that labour are trying to give people in labour held areas cheaper rates and it does seem that the middle class will be paying for it and that's not fair. I believe there are at least sixty million people in this country and if everyone payed the same. Okay some people would have to pay more but at least they'd know they are not being over charged and we wouldn't have the complaints we have now. I think it's that simple. We need to find out what people can afford not the size of the property. A standard rate for everyone is I believe the only way forward. We are already being taxed up to the hilt by the government who make no pretence about it. So why are we being taxed by local councils as well but more slyly. I have said so many times instead of expensive contractors who in the early days where cheaper than employing people, but now it's getting more and more expensive. Plus these private contrators are making a fortune off councils, use the hidden work force we have signing on. It could be a solution.

20 June, 2005

Just Another Normal Week In Britain

Last week was an okay week or should I say a normal week? You had the prime minister dealing with our euro rebate, by the way I think we'll lose it. It has always been a mystery to me why we pay all this money to get hardly anything back. It's just like paying for membership of an exclusive gentleman's club. What a price to pay though. Then you had my problem with the crack house in the flat upstairs. The problem has been cured now thank God. Now you've got Kenneth Clarke wanting to be prime minister and me of course. Who wouldn't want to go down in history for being a prime minister? Once again we have the running saga of cannabis smoking and it's effects. Does it cause mental health problems or not? It's called dope by some people. Because that's what happens to you when you smoke it. You become dopey, lethargic, not wanting to move or do anything. Plus you get what's called the munchies. That's when you eat anything that's put in front of you, non stop eating I might add. The argument that it make you think more clearly is still being strongly debated. I strongly believe that all drugs are harmful taken over a prolonged period this includes drugs that are prescribed by doctors. As we are now finding out about ibuprofin. Personally if I want to eat until I'm full I will. If I want to do nothing but sleep I can and will without the help of any drug. But mostly if I want to expand my thinking, I don't need any harmful drug to do it for me. I will read, sit and listen to people and form my own opinions, after all this isn't this how we are supposed to learn and think for ourselves. Not by smoking some drug and going I've got it. The meaning of life it's to smoke more.
Still no mention of doing anything positive for the homeless or anything on affordable rents. I just keep on wondering why? Aren't people that are on the breadline important enough? These are important issues and believe it or over fifty percent of people who are homeless or about to became homeless are on the edge of poverty. Does the government want to leave it until the situation has become critical just like all previous governments?
I wonder what next week will bring. Will it be just another normal week, where the population just grows another week older or will it be the week that defined a government? A week that will definitely be remembered?

17 June, 2005

Who Wants To Be The Conservative Leader

Things are now back to normal and now I have been able to read my newspapers and watch some TV in peace.
Well, it seems like the Conservatives are in a right old pickle. I've been wondering what being a Tory means.
Does it mean that being Conservative the welfare of the poor takes second place to the well off? Does it mean that to get new systems running in this country vital services have to be reduce? Because that's what the penny pinching Conservative government did. They cut spending in the private sector and the mess we are in now is because of them.
Does being conservative mean forgetting about homelessness? Am I angry? Of course I am if the right funding had been in place. Many people would have kicked drugs a long time ago. If the right funding had been given then the homeless figures would not have been so bad. If spending the money on the right things had been done then. We wouldn't have the problems we have now. What makes me so angry is that when the Conservatives were in power benefits where in fact kept at below inflation for one simple reason to force people in to low paid work. The Thatcher era was an era of the rich getting richer. Maggie Thatcher once said we will have nation full of working people. What she didn't say was how.
How can you make this country feel good about it self again? How can you put the pride back in Britain? After it has had its heart ripped out?
Here's a thought Mr Blair, give more to those that really need it like the pensioners. How dare we charge old people who are in the last stage of their lives to live in old peoples homes. That should be free. Some of these old people have worked all their life and saved for their retirement and they are entitled spend the remainder of their days in a little comfort and instead of coming up with new deals do something more positive. Get the councils to stop employing outside over priced contractors. Use the work force we have signing on at unemployment offices. There has to be something better than receiving a giro every fortnight. Which by the way does even last a fortnight. I'm not talking about those people who use it all in one day. I'm talking about those families that really do find it hard to manage I am talking about those single people who every day catch the bus to look for work. I'm talking about those homeless people who would love to go to work. I was thinking should I put my own name in the Conservative hat. I want become their leader. I can't be any worse than the people they have entering the leadership race. I believe I can make promises I can't keep as well, maybe even better than them.

16 June, 2005

Two bits of good news

The first piece of good news is the crack house that opened above my flat has now gone for good. It wasn't a very nice experience, but after several tries by my housing association they finally manage to evict the dealers for good and now are making efforts to repair the damage made to my flat and others. It was funny watching them trying to get back in last night but for the next few days we have police making sure they don't return and they arrested four people for trespass and breaking and entering.
Second piece of good news is I have had the best nights sleep for ages. Finally.

15 June, 2005

The Way We Are

I was just thinking after reading about red meat and how it can be connected to cancer. How sanitised, we as a society are becoming. We look for germs in our food,home. Nearly everything. I know we live longer but, it seems to me the way we are going we will try to rid ourselves of any kind of germs at any cost. In the old days not so long ago. We ate red meat as if it was going out of fashion . We didn't worry about if it was on the bone or not. We now test our foods for everything. It's a bit like having a food taster that doesn't actually taste the food if you know what I mean. It was thought by some scientists that if you kill all the germs that breed in the human body or around you. Your immune system becomes less effective. I do try to be serious on some subjects, but I actually find it sad that we live in a world where people are starving and food that could save a life we throw away daily because either our laws say we can't eat it or some European law says we cannot give it away. I always thought that life was sacred. To prolong any life for how ever long cannot be a bad thing. The fact that red meat can be linked to cancer does not stop people eating red meat. Just like smoking. I'd also like to point out that being former homeless person I have had sandwiches sometimes two or three days old and it's never affected me.( some people would say different.) Another thing that does not make much sense to me is, we have this health thing but, lets just say your posh, a nose in the air kind of person. You'll eat pheasant that has to be hung up for a couple of weeks. God, how revolting is that? Yet if your posh you'll pay good money to eat it. Sorry but today I'm picking on posh people, but as I said it is just the way we are. If anyone disagrees? Let me know especially if your a vegetarian. Maybe we can chat over a carrot juice?

13 June, 2005

Homelessness A Way Of Life

Last night I went for a walk and ended up just a couple of miles away from where I live. I was sipping a cup of coffee and noticed a couple of homeless people. One sitting by the tube station entrance and one sitting right by the cash machine a few hundred feet away. So I went across and said having a good day. I was assuming the one by the cash machine had made the most money. That always seem to be the case even I assume from their look that they where both addicts. In fact one was an addict and the other just an ordinary man. Who had a bit of bad luck. When I told them I was a blogger who was trying to give homeless people a voice, they both said they had read my blog at the day centre. They thought I was doing a good thing by showing people that even though homeless people are sleeping on the streets, they are not dumb. They are just unlucky as one of them put it.
Asked how they became homeless? One said it was because of his addiction. The other said it was his way of life moving from one town to another. When I asked why? He said that it was what he was used to. Even as a child his family moved from place to place.
I was thinking that the saying we follow in our parents footsteps might be true after all. I know several people who have turned out like their parents some not so good and some just like them. Me I followed after my mum.
How can this cycle of lost hope be broken?
How can you empower these people to think differently?
I think it's a bit like smoking. It's a real bad habit that's maybe taken you most of the life you've lived so far to acquire. Now it's become the hardest to kick. It takes time and effort, not to mention will power. The smoker also needs that bit of extra help to change the habit of a life time.
This is what some homeless people need that extra bit of help to give them hope for the future. One bright chance is all someone needs to change the whole course of their life.
If this government can't see that. Then they should visit some of the centers that see the change in people day after day. I know I shouldn't be doing this but I'm going to anyway. I dare any MPs to come to see the skylight centre at crisis.They could see for themselves what the right fundng can acheive.
They should also see what the lack of funding is doing to whole communities that have problems with drugs and homelessness.
I think what this government don't properly see is the lack of hope in the people. This government needs to do something positive in this term of office. I do believe that most of the parliamentary candidates we met on our big voice tour signed our pledge to end homelessness.
Some are now in fact MPs. Will they honor their pledge? Only time will tell. I shall certainly be here to remind them.

12 June, 2005

A Political Thought

I was thinking about politics this afternoon and was trying to work out why people felt it important to have politicians? As they never seem to listen or learn anything. So I looked up the word politics in the dictionary. Which gave several meaning. One was the science of governing especially the governing of an entity, namely us the people or as it is put in the dictionary, a nation. I've never thought of myself as an entity before, but there's a first time for everything. It still didn't answer the question on why do we need politicians? Every five years we seem to have an election and we elect a load of people. Who gave the right kind of speech to get themselves elected, but do they know enough about there own country to do it justice? Or are they out to make a name for themselves? For example I can sit here and write the greatest speech you have ever read but it doesn't mean that I am in touch with what I was writing about. It could just mean I know a little and being a former homeless person and addict many people think I wouldn't know that much but believe me when I say I don't. I am just trying to make sense of the way things work in government. I just want the my own simplified version. You know the one that doesn't use big words. Everyone has the right to an opinion and Personally I think the most important thing about politics, is the people because they are the ones for whom all the laws and legislation are made. It's only by the people electing someone to office that we give them the permission to study the science of government and believe me that's what they do. Government has to be one of those subjects, as with life you never stop learning. So when some politician sticks his nose in the air at me. I came smile and say it's because of people like me that you are where you are. That can be remedied in the next election. That's politics

11 June, 2005

Jamies Weekly Happy Rant

I thought as I hadn't had real rant this week. I thought I would have a happy rant today as this week has just flown by and has had something in it that has made me stop to think, what the hell is going on in this country? Come to think of it, the bloody world has gone stark raving mad hasn't it? For once we have had people standing up to there own governments and saying this is what we want. We don't want bureaucrats making decisions they know nothing about. By voting no they made a clear statement. That was one of the things that for me made a refreshing change. Then there was the thing about pay as you go motoring. It seems they want to raise more money. So if people want to use their cars, they are going to have to pay for the privalige. Hey, haven't the government heard? We buy this liquid its called petrol and it runs all cars and it is two thirds taxed. It is why petrol is so bloody dear. What more is there to say? Oh I've got it. Its a stealth tax. nothing new there then. Then there was Blair doing a slow three point turn by saying Labour wont be giving the people a vote on the referendum, not just yet anyway. Blair is quite fond of doing u turns isn't he? Then there was the crisis fun run a great success. Which I was lucky enough to attend. It was a night of people smiling broadly. The party afterwards saw a jazz band play the night away. People danced and enjoyed the night.
Sponsor me next year and I will run.
Today, was a day when I just couldn't do a thing right. First i missed my bus and was late for a meeting. Then in the meeting. I spilled my coffee all over a brand new suit someone was wearing at the time. Then when I finally got home things just got worse. I think God was looking down on me and said to his mates lets have a laugh and just to top my day off my bed collapsed. leaving me sleeping on a matress on the floor. So the now the day is finally over I'm wondering what's in store for me tomorrow. I'd like to hear from anyone who has had a day like mine.

10 June, 2005



Last night in the city of London the annual crisis fun run took place. Now if you gave me an interview last night I must apologise. I mislaid my note pad and well I am now working from memory. Which to tell the truth is woefully not in the best of condition. But besides that last night was a night where for once there was fun had by all. Over eighteen hundred runner so I've been told. A record number for the run. Most runner said after the race. I'm knackered. But besides that they all said it was a worth while cause to run for.
It does seems strange that when we read and hear about so much violence and hatred in this country. You'd think that running for charity would be the last thing on anyone's mind.
Then ordinary people in their thousands turn out for an event like the crisis fun run. Just to prove that its only the senseless few that seem to make the news. All I can say to all those that ran last night and volunteered. It is because of what you do I was given the chance to go to college and that I am here writing about you. Thank you. I hope to see all of you again next year.



WHAT A WAY TO GO Posted by Hello






09 June, 2005

Law and Order 2

We make laws to protect our possessions, homes and one another. When you are living on the streets you don't have a home and the only possessions you own are what you can carry and you only have to worry about yourself but when the weekend hoodies go out on a drinking binge and feel that it might be fun to abuse and assault a homeless person. This to me is just not right. Most homeless people do not report this sort of crime because they feel they will not be treated fairly besides who is going to believe them. When you get someone who has a good job and his friends alibi him. What is the real chance of a homeless person actually getting justice? The new powers for a designated drinking disorder zone. Which is being pursued in the law and order bill doesn't go anywhere near enough to curb the social problems we have. A homeless man said if that's all we are going to get then I will have to sleep with both eyes open. "What about us?" he said, we are the people more likely to be assaulted than members of the general public.
As you can gather once again the protection of the homeless doesn't rate very high. No wonder the homeless don't trust government. It's content making laws for the majority but when it comes to protecting the minority it fails as usual. The governments usual answer to this problem is we make and pass laws for everyone and they should apply to all. But do they? From my own experiences they do not.
I would like to know why asbo's are being used to clear rough sleepers off the streets? When an asbo is issued it is supposed to be for anti social behavior. Since when has having no home been anti social behavior. More and more homeless people seem to fall foul of this law than anything else. A man who is an alcoholic said I was arrested for being drunk. Yet a man who was far worse than me, who came out of a pub with a glass of beer staggering about was only talked to and let go. Where was the equality in that.
If you go down to the Old Bailey you will see the statue of a lady with the scales of justice. She also is wearing a blind fold to signify that justice has no barriers. It's not supposed to matter whether you are rich or poor, homeless or housed, black or white. Justice applies to all. It should do, but as we all know sometimes it doesn't

Law and order

When it comes to making laws this government are dab hands at it. They either change a law to suit whatever problem arises or make one. Controversial legislation for the racial and religious
bill. Which Charles Clarke intends to introduce will carry a seven year jail sentence. It only extends current legislation which is already in place. Does this really block anyone speaking freely on religion. Mr Clarke is adamant that criticism, jokes and satire will be allowed. he says there is no other way of stopping incitement of religious hatred. Many people fear that religious freedom will suffer.
Has Mr Clarke forgotten that there are many homeless people who are victimized because they believe in a religion. What measures has he taken to protect their rights. Being homeless you are more likely to be abused, spat upon or physically assaulted and if you are religious then it is even more likely. Intimidation has always been a weapon of the anti social bully and I feel that if you are homeless it is always better to keep religion out of ear shot. But the funny thing about the abuse one receives on the street for being religious is the abusers are nearly always religious them selves they just don't have faith.

08 June, 2005

It Could Be You

Last night I needed to go out for a walk. Just to get away from my newly formed crack house. So I decided to go into the west end of London. I took my camera of course. Some of the sights I saw reminded me to think about my own future as I could easily be like the people in the photos below again. Just seeing some of the people making up their beds for the night reminded me that was my life once.
It could be you is the lottery saying but there is more chance of you becoming homeless than winning the bloody lottery, it's just a simple fact of life.
Governments may say we are trying to cure this problem like they would normally, but it is not a disease that you can find a quick cure for. It's a social problem. It's something that needs to be thought about carefully and then any plan to eradicate homelessness should be put into action. Huge amounts of money spent on quick fixes can longer be a viable answer to homelessness. We need a sustained effort on behalf of government to help in the fight to eradicate this problem because taking people off the streets and bunging them into hotels and hostels is not the answer, especially when it cost the tax payer three times as much to do this. It may seem expensive to teach someone life skills so that they can live independently but the strain on tax payers would be far less in the long run. At the moment it cost local councils around three hundred and fifty pounds a week to keep someone in a hostel around two hundred and fifty in a hotel. Just think most people don't even earn that a week, but enough about that it's only money. The government have plenty to help the NHS, schools, build houses for buyers, modernize roads, Oh and pay themselves mustn't forget that, but not enough to cure homelessness or poverty come to think of it, once and for all. I'll shut up now being flippant doesn't suit me does it?
There's one thing I am personally am concerned about and that is the right for any one person to choose his way of life because there are! People who have become so used to living on the streets that they do not want to change their life style and I personally don't see why anyone should be forced too. Asbo's are being issued because some councils who have decided. It is anti social for some one to sleep rough. Although these people are few and far between they still should have the freedom to live the way they want to live. Any Government initiative should have a provision in it for these people. Well be lucky because it could be you.

Come on evict me if you dare Posted by Hello

Early to bed early to rise Posted by Hello

Waiting for destiny Posted by Hello

Freindship on the streets Posted by Hello

Age is no barrier to homelessness  Posted by Hello

Trying to earn a pretty penny Posted by Hello

07 June, 2005

Is Big Brother Already Here?

Just scanning through the papers and what do I come across? A new innovation. A computerized device to improve work efficiency in delivery of goods and foods to British supermarkets. Pull the other leg its definitely got bells on it. Workers in Britain were being asked to wear these devices so bosses could cut cost and improve efficiency. Are the bosses of these firms actually ensuring they get more work for the same pay? Is this the start of big brother. I know new technology has to come sooner or later and it should be used to improve our life style. From what I've read in the last couple of months. It seems to me we are closing in on what I call the 1984 syndrome. Is technology really improving that fast? Can you imagine going to work strapping on this device and hey presto it does it for you. Can you imagine being so tired that you come home from work your wife wants attention so you had put on a device. Sex wouldn't be that much fun would it? but it does have its upside to it. Women couldn't use I've got a headache anymore could they?
I don't believe human beings evolved just to sit around all day. Do you? The more innovative we get. The closer we get to machines ruling our lives. God forbid if we let them think for us fully because we are half way there already. Computers are becoming apart of everyday life. I can just see it now we have a machine that's our prime minister. We would be at war in ten minutes. Machines have no room for talk. It is a scenario to think about isn't it?

06 June, 2005

Former council property sold for staggering sum

A former council house in Primrose hill was sold for just under seven hundred thousand pounds. I can understand someone selling for that amount of money. I certainly would not refuse it, but it's no wonder that there is a shortage of council housing. They have been sold off and not replaced. When the right to buy came into effect I thought the councils where supposed to invest in more housing? Not waste it as most councils have done. Where has all the money gone? We certainly know we have a housing shortage now. I don't suppose we can cry over spilled milk but why not? Don't we have the right to ask any council or government how our money is being spent. All they send us is a letter on what the immediate expenses are. They give us an estimated budget for the next year, but they never say well this year we spent two and half million on whatever and we got it wrong. My question is why? I would trust someone more if I was told the truth wouldn't you?

A Pub Conversation Stealth Taxes

I do not drive a car, but I sympathise with the one million plus car owners that feel they are being targeted by a government that needs to think up ways of taxing them.
We now have a plan that will I think bring all car owners out of their shells to say enough is enough.
How can this government expect the motoring minority to pay for the majority?
We have tax on petrol We already have a road tax. Plus anything they have repaired or extras added to the cars we pay VAT. What more do the government want? Blood maybe? Is this just another way of getting more money out of the motorist? Lets look at things in a sensible way. We do not have a reliable rail network that meets our needs. I mean the railways charge a fortune for what? So that they can make all these reports and have a census on how many passengers they might be able to carry and to fix the railways long term by the way, but never do anything substantial about it. Only charge us a arm and a leg. They tell us it will be a least ten years to get the railway up and running to a somewhat average performance.
We had one of the best roads systems in this country. Then we elected a Conservative government who decided cut backs where a more prudent way of saving this country millions. Our NHS has suffered severely. Our railway system has all but crashed and our road infrastructure is in a state of disrepair. Now we have a government that wants to charge us more money to do the repairs that should have already been done. So the excuses they now use are, there are more cars using the roads. We need to find a ways of making less congestion. Not that last government did a piss poor job.
This present government have had eight years to sort things out. The NHS is having money poured into it but it is still badly off. Housing ie; affordable rents and a cure for homelessness is not being tackle just yet. Now it seems the more important things are roads and first time house buyers. Are we are going to get pilot scheme's on this pay as you go road trips? Is it an unfair stealth tax? I think so and I don't even own a bloody car. When will these stealth taxes stop? Someone said what do the f--king hell do you know about it? I said not a lot mate, I'm only a poor voter. Isn't it Funny what you talk about in a pub. I just thought this glass of orange has been taxed as well. Is nothing sacred?

03 June, 2005


Will Tony Blair give us the vote on the EU constitution anyway. Will it be worth it as the Dutch have overwhelming voted against it. As I understand it ratifying the EU constitution is now dead in the water as all 25 members have to agree. What I think is that people want their own countries to have their own government. They want to be able to govern themselves on law and order. They want to be free from trade constraints. The biggest question to ask I think is did the people of these countries vote against their own governments and their policies or was it that they believe that a large united European community is not a healthy prospect for their countries? Now it is the turn of Luxemburg currently holding the presidency of the EU to say that the ratifying the EU constitution will go ahead. I personally don't see the point as all countries have to agree and to make changes to the constitution now is like sticking a small plaster on a large open wound. We shall see what transpires over the next few weeks.



The day to day routines of living a hostel can be a lonely life. You might think this strange,when some hostels have forty to fifty people living there. If you go back to the late sixties and to the end of the seventies when most hostels used to be dormitories and you had no choice but to get on with people. This then became the playground of the bullies. Who victimized the weakest. Although there where rules.You still had bullies.Like the bullies of the school playground they snuck about in their little gangs, beat up and robbed the weakest people they could find. On their pay-days or whenever they had something they wanted. Plus theft from the dormitories was an everyday occurrence. Hostel bosses decided to have double and single rooms. After awhile doubles where few and far between. Although some hostels still have them today. Hostels today are nearly all single rooms. Living in a single room can become a very lonely life especially when you're trying to rebuild your life. You may think it very stupid of someone to shut themselves off from the world for weeks at a time, but this is what people with problems do. They lock themselves away rather than face their problems head on and they become so used to being reclusive it becomes a part of their lives.
Hostels today do try to change this, but it is so hard to break people out of something they have become comfortable with. I've heard stories from residents about how their hostel does nothing and I've also heard about hostels that do a great deal to help. I hope that in the next couple of months to publish some of the stories from all over the country. If you have any stories to tell me. Please send them to me at www.poetmccoy@hotmail.com. Who knows by telling me and me writing about it. Things might start to change for the better.
This what I say.

You can give people all the support they need in certain fields, but if you don't give them the right tools which empowers them to act for themselves. You can only unlock half their potentional. To help re-educate and train someone who has been homeless or lost in our society through drugs,going into prison, mental health problems or alcohol. Can only benefit themselves, their families and society itself. By doing this now. It can save society in the long run millions of pounds in benefits. It can also be used as a template for these people to use the skills they have learned to help other people in the same position. This is the way I see our society benefiting from any funding given now, because I do not see any decrease in the number of people needing help. I believe we will see a rise in single homeless people that need help. The thought that it won't be you would be an absurd assumption, because it could be you in a few years. I hope not, but it is a fact that not all single homeless people come from deprived areas of Britain. That all homeless people have never had a real job.Some have been bankers,newspaper reporters, bussiness men with their own companies. Some have been in top jobs. We have a large number of talented people who through no fault of their own are ending up homeless with problems no one foresore. Homeless people come from all walks and they are all some bodies sons and daughters. Should we help them? The answer is simply yes. This is what I say and think.