The news is all about Brexit at the moment. Is it to stop you thinking about the people who are dying every day – some on the streets – because of Conservative government policies that are going unchallenged because of the big EU distraction?
I mean, do you know about Aimee?
Michelle knows. She’s a member of the Paper Clip Project, which runs Labre House – a building providing respite from living rough, but that can’t change users’ long-term circumstances.
She told The Guide Liverpool: “A thirty year old woman was found dead in a tent in our city. How did this become normal? How did seeing homeless people on the streets every single day become a normal occurrence? It should never be normal.
“The young woman had a name – her name was Aimee. She could have been any of us. In 2019 it’s so easy to end up on the streets. Our volunteer group, The Papercup Project, see so many people from so many different backgrounds in tents and doorways across Liverpool.
“We knew Aimee, we saw her on Monday night. We laughed and chatted with her. She hugged me and I told her to take care of herself. If I had known it was the last time I would ever have seen her, I would have done more. Hugged her a bit longer. Spoken to her a bit longer. Given her more food, more clothes. Told her she was loved by people. (She was.)
“Let’s say no more – no more people dying on our streets. Her name was Aimee. remember her.”
Will you remember Aimee when the result of next week’s “meaningful vote” in Theresa May’s Brexit deal comes in?
Will you remember Mark Scholfield, who died aged 62 after being diagnosed with advanced mouth cancer – penniless? He had been advised to claim fast-track Employment Support Allowance but due to the administrative creativity (and I use that word in the most derogatory sense imaginable) we have come to expect of the Department for Work and Pensions, the money arrived the day after he died, after six months on the bread line.
His partner described the Tory benefit system as “barbaric and inhumane”. That is a kind description.
Will you remember Debbie Ballard, who lost her baby after the Department for Work and Pensions (again) missed an automiatic rent payment after putting her on Universal Credit? She was thrown out of her home and spent 15 nights sleeping rough in a car park and had a miscarriage because of the stress – to which she should not have been subjected, and would not – if the UK government were civilised.
Will you remember people in your home town, who have suffered and died in similar ways?
Or will you just join in with the mass hysteria over Brexit?
The UK’s problems run far deeper than a bad decision made in 2016. And they won’t go away while we have Conservatives running the country.
Brexit or no, the first priority for the UK has to be the removal of the Tories from power at the first possible opportunity.
It’s a matter of life and death.
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