|The News Line: Editorial
Saturday, 6 January 2018
War on homeless must be answered with a revolution against the ruling class!
A WAR on homeless people has begun, with moves to make begging illegal, effectively criminalising poverty, while using the police to drive homeless people out of ‘royal’ Windsor, and then presumably out of all towns and cities.
Tory Councillor Simon Dudley, of the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead has vowed to drive every single homeless person out of the borough in time for the royal wedding in May, so that the sight of homeless people does not lower the tone of the royal wedding.
Dudley has now demanded that the police take ‘immediate action’ to drive homeless people and desperately poor people begging for money out of the borough. In a letter written to the Berkshire Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), he wrote: ‘The whole situation … presents a beautiful town in a sadly unfavourable light. The level of tourist interest is set to multiply with the royal wedding in May 2018, and there are increased concerns from our residents about their safety.’
His attitude stinks of the arrogance and class hatred of the ruling class. How dare the homeless bring a touch of the real world to the state-subsidised splendour of the royal wedding, with its royal scroungers, secure and cossetted from the cradle to the grave parading through the town, in front of a swooning middle class, celebrating the fact that a US citizen has been persuaded to bring some new blood into the jaded and ageing House of Windsor.
This is clearly no place for the poor, who may divert some of the cash that the shopkeepers hope to scoop off the expected tens of thousands of US tourists that are expected – bringing with them the chance of the killing of a lifetime for the petty bourgeois shopkeepers of Windsor. Defending their right to loot the tourists, there is no place in Windsor for the poor. After all, their presence may well move tourists to volunteer some modest donations, diverting part of the loot from the coffers of the shopkeepers.
Councillor Dudley’s spleen is of a type that has not been seen since the ‘enclosures of the land’ by the new bourgeoisie in the period from Elizabeth I to James and Charles I. Then, the common lands were enclosed, the poor driven out onto the highways where they were beaten, branded, birched and burnt until they were crushed and driven into the towns where they became the beginning of the working class, that class that only has its labour power to sell and nothing else.
This was at the beginning of capitalism. Today we are at the end of it, when the bourgeoisie in a morning earns more than their workers do in a year, and where bodies like the IFS can state that if people do not accept lower wages they will be replaced by automation and robots and be turned out onto the streets, to become millions of the new poor.
Councillor Dudley’s class hatred for the poor is but a preparation of the outlook that will guide the ruling class to beat, beat and beat again the new poor as they emerge in their millions out of the capitalist crisis, into a state of submission and fear.
Dudley’s declaration of war on the homeless was naturally met with outrage from the general public and in particular from homeless charities. Such was the outcry, that Tory PM Theresa May attempted to distance herself from Dudley’s comments. However, it is May and the Tory Party that have deliberately created the conditions for mass evictions and mass homelessness across the UK.
It is the Tory Party’s policies of systematically destroying council housing, privatising entire council estates, freezing the majority of benefits, while private rents spiral out of control that are driving people onto the streets. Meanwhile, homeless families are left languishing for years in temporary emergency accommodation like B&Bs and hostels, where they live, eat and sleep in a single room, living out of suitcases while being forced to share a toilet and bathroom with many others.
This has been the way that the government has treated the survivors of the Grenfell Tower fire. The bereaved and psychologically traumatised families were dumped in B&Bs and hotels and been left there ever since – a period of over six months. Meanwhile, Newport council is considering plans to impose a blanket ban on all begging in the city, making it illegal to do so and in effect criminalising poverty. Currently, a public space protection order (PSPO) bans street drinking and ‘aggressive begging’.
A new report is to be considered by Newport council and will be scrutinised when it meets on Monday. The report states that officers are finding it difficult to determine what constitutes ‘aggressive begging’ and suggesting there should be a blanket ‘no begging’ ban. However, the working class will not be driven back to the 19th century.
It will answer all of the attacks of the ruling class with a massive revolutionary explosion that will remove the British ruling class and replace it and their outmoded capitalist system with a workers government, in a workers state where production is planned and organised to satisfy the needs of the people, who will contribute to society as they can and take from it what they need.
Workers, as a recreation, will then be able to visit the museums with their children to examine the social type of Councillor Dudley at their leisure, who thought that he could restore the attitudes of the Middle Ages towards the poor and the most oppressed and instead played their part in stoking up a workers’ revolution.
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