While Tories tried to accuse Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn of saying something he didn’t in Parliament, a drama of a different kind was unfolding just a few metres outside the building – where a homeless man died on the street.
The man, believed to be a 45-year-old Hungarian named Gyula Remef, was said to have taken the street drug Spice, and was also said to have been drinking.
At first sight, this supports the claims of Housing Secretary James Brokenshire, who has said the rise in rough sleeping was due to an increase in the number of non-UK nationals on the streets and the spread of psychoactive drugs like Spice, along with factors including family breakup.
But what put this man on the streets? He clearly didn’t come to the UK intending to die on the ground outside Parliament, so why did it happen? Mr Brokenshire’s comment fails to address the principle contributing factor.
And it is clear that, if he took Spice, he took it after he had become homeless; we have no evidence to show it contributed toward making him a rough sleeper.
But this is a man who had a job – he was working as a kitchen assistant at Charing Cross Station but was still unable to afford a home.
Doesn’t that suggest that he was a victim of the Tory wage squeeze that has been going on since 2010?
Doesn’t it also suggest that support for landlords, who overcharge for dwellings that are unfit for human habitation, is wrong-headed?
So what are the real reasons this man died on the street outside Parliament, so far from his homeland and (allegedly) inebriated on drugs?
What is Mr Brokenshire hiding with his supercilious claims?
The contrast between the drama outside Parliament and the farce within has been hammered home by comments on the social media:
And the only outrage MPs felt today was for someone muttering under his breath, unbelieveable and shameful
— Nicole Solomons (@SusBuildings) December 19, 2018
This is absolutely disgraceful. We’re one of the richest nations on Earth and a homeless man has just died outside of Parliament today. Meanwhile, the news story that dominates British politics is of Corbyn allegedly saying “stupid woman”. Disgraceful. https://t.co/WtUeq9WNW7
— aleesha (@a_leesha1) December 19, 2018
The consensus is that the Conservative government – including Mr Brokenshire, due to the nature of his remarks – is insulated from reality and has no sense of proportion due to the fact that it is full of people who are… well… stupid:
You do not get more cut off from reality than this pathetic display of stupid people. It's as though people aren't actually dying on the streets of Britain because of their policies. Really! https://t.co/4O9SBlOhsA
— Keith Ordinary Guy #NHSLove (@KeithCameron5) December 20, 2018
Worst of all is the fact that the death of this man won’t even make a difference:
Today, a homeless person died metres from Parliament. Just like last year. And we’ll all go along like before. God rest their soul.
— Tory Fibs (@ToryFibs) December 20, 2018
Has Mr Brokenshire bothered to ask any questions about this, at all? Has he considered examining the circumstances that brought this man to an untimely end outside the Mother of all Parliaments? Has he checked whether the death corroborates his claims or disproves them?
He’ll just say, “Immigrant – check. Drugs – check. Proves I’m right.”
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