Today some people I know were were evicted.
The reason why is not important, but they didn’t deserve it. Especially since the building is about to be knocked down – they could have left when the rest of the residents were going to leave. Instead they face the onset of winter, homeless. Their neighbours fought for them to stay but that counted for nothing. We are not in charge of our communities, our neighbourhoods, Someone sitting in a office miles away is. Someone for who all this is a job, not their life.
But these days we don’t have any right to decent housing, we don’t have any right to food, to education. We are free to starve, to huddle, to expire.
We live in nasty times.
We’re encouraged to be horrible to each other. During the Paralympic games, disabled activists were pointing out the way that assaults – verbal and physical – against disabled people had escalated in the last few years. Disabled people are regularly called ‘scroungers’ and fakers by the tabloid press. People acting on that, letting out their own frustration to hurl an insult at a person using the disabled ramp on the bus, being a bit slow in the supermarket. Compassion is for wimps.
Now we are all enjoying a Group Hate against a dead celebrity who – it transpires, well after his death – openly and frequently indulged his predilection for young girls (underage but not children, you know, the kind celebs usually go for). This man, for whom I have no respect, was very famous and utterly in the public eye. Very many people knew or guessed what he was up to but did and said nothing. Apparently they were afraid of him. Afraid of WHAT? They guy was a popular light entertainer. He wasn’t an SAS officer. Not afraid of him then, but afraid that the luscious crumbs of largesse that came associated with him, would no longer fall to them. Ssssshhhh!
Now, having loved him and knighted him, we can all gather together in the fuzzy warmth of a Group Hate and blame him for all our ills. It feels so good. Blame him, and use the time in hating him, instead of looking at our streets and seeing the homeless, the ill-housed, the just plain ill, the struggling, the stressed, the wiped-out citizens of Planet UK.
We live in nasty times.
Today I saw the police divers again, diving in the Regent’s Canal. Last month they found a head. What are they looking for today?
Nasty times indeed.