Monday 3 March 2014 2.22pm
It is very evident that the campaign against local rough sleepers is intended as a 'two-birds-with-one-stone' offensive, mounted by the local police and 'Borders & Security' agency, or however the Home Office is currently designated.
How convenient that a disproportionate [relative to national populations ratios] percentage of rough sleepers are apparently non-UK nationals. This allows for more opportunities to bump up deportation figures in relation to vulnerable people, who are least likely to access the legal services that would enable them to challenge initial refusals of asylum, often overturned on appeal and generally of appalling quality.
Clearly, some street homeless people can be and sometimes are threatening, violent, or abusive, but probably far less often than the 'respectable' City boys who routinely beat up, urinate on, and otherwise target this specific cohort after a hard day in the pub.
The answer is not social cleansing pogroms of parts of the city that are designated as prime investment sites by property developers, but an informed understanding of, and support in relation to, a range of acutely socially-excluding factors, from the need to escape various forms of domestic abuse, through substance misuse, to serious mental health problems.
At the same time as this group are stigmatised as violent, drunken, 'spongers', serving military personnel are lionised for defending the interests of the global rich. Ironic, then, that so many street homeless men are ex-military, traumatised by their participation in bloody campaigns against those states and factions deemed to be injurious to the Western powers, such as the UK.
One salient fact that was also missing from the campaign launched by Louise Casey, New Labour homelessness 'tsar' was that many street homeless people were not simply exercising a lifestyle choice in being on the streets, but often [despite the above threats] found that they were less dangerous than overnight hostels.