Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Making homelessness a crime - welcome to Labour run Newham


Newham Council - unless something has changed recently every one of its councillors and its elected mayor are Labour - has some of the most reactionary housing policies anywhere in England. It's Newham that has pioneered landlord registration described by Ben Reeve-Lewis as the "hair-trigger blunderbuss that blasts anyone unfortunate enough to walk through the door scheme."

However they've topped this brutal (an damaging) approach to managing the private rental sector with a full frontal assault on people who end up sleeping rough:

Newham Council has served anti-social behaviour warnings on 28 people who were found sleeping rough in and around the shopping mall in Stratford.

That's right - if you've nowhere to sleep in Newham they'll give you an ASBO, treat you like a criminal. Even this evil Tory thinks this is the worst sort of stigmatising of the poor and unfortunate. Yet the Labour councillor in charge had this to say:

“Residents do not regard sleeping, drinking, urinating or taking drugs on the streets and using threatening or violent behaviour as an acceptable way of life. We will not tolerate it and will take action wherever we are able to reduce anti-social behaviour and crime linked to rough sleeping."

I shudder to think of what the left-wing hordes would have to say had this been a Tory councillor! In truth the whole exercise is part of that potemkin village strategy loved by councils (and councillors) - move all society's flotsam and jetsam away from all the nice shiny bits of the borough where they make it untidy. It's all as one with stopping people enjoying a quiet drink on a park bench, of clearing the streets after 9pm and of hounding buskers, peddlers and others of the unwashed away from anywhere they might be seen.


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