Homeless deaths: The scandal isn’t just the figures – it’s they way they had to be collected

Homeless deaths: We should not be surprissed that the Tories aren’t interested in ending the deaths of homeless people. Remember when Gyula Remef died in the street a few yards away from Parliament? The response was to remove homeless people from the precincts so Tories didn’t have to watch them die. In this image, Jamie Leigh, a homeless friend of the man who died, sits next to a makeshift memorial to him.

It is scandalous that, in the world’s fifth-largest economy, it has been discovered that at least 449 people have died in the last year – one every 19 hours over the last six months.

This is on top of figures showing that between 2017 and 2018, the same number of homeless people died.

After that statistic was published, the Office for National Statistics said it would produce its own numbers. Where are they?

You see, it is also scandalous that these figures have been derived from coroners’ enquiries, media coverage, family testimony and freedom of information requests by the Museum for Homelessness.

It is triply scandalous that many of the deaths – of people ranging in age from 16 to 104 – happened while people were living in temporary accommodation that was unfit for that purpose.

And a fourth scandal is that homeless people have been denied access to basic healthcare, with “perceived stigma and discrimination” in health settings causing “unnecessary deaths”, according to the University of Birmingham.

Of course campaigners have called for Boris Johnson to take action, with demands ranging from an increase in Housing Benefit to cover the full cost of renting a home, to building more affordable homes.

And there have been demands for the government to investigate the causes of these deaths.

But BoJob is too busy pretending to throw money into crime prevention. All his government has provided are platitudes:

“It is simply unacceptable that any life should be cut short due to homelessness.

“This government is committed to ensuring everyone has a safe place to live. Councils are responsible for helping people at risk of being homeless so they can get the safety and support they need.”

Did you spot the weaselly “get-out” line in there? “Councils are responsible…

So we’re supposed to blame councils for failing the homeless, rather than the Tory government, even though the Tory government has been brutally underfunding councils since 2010?

I don’t think so.

This reflects on successive Conservative governments, and on their policies.

Labour has a plan, and it will work. It has been proved elsewhere (most notably Utah) that the best – and cheapest – way to solve homelessness is to put people in housing.

It keeps them out of hospital and it also keeps them out of jail.

But BoJob won’t accept that – and anyway, he has passed the responsibility on to the local councils he underfunds.

Way back in 2015, when I was writing about the Utah experiment, This Writer stated that it seemed the government was more interested in hurting the homeless than helping them.

I was right then, and those words are still true today.

Source: Homeless person dying every 19 hours in UK, figures show | The Independent

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5 thoughts on “Homeless deaths: The scandal isn’t just the figures – it’s they way they had to be collected

  1. Mark Bevis

    You can imagine the memos going into DWP from Tory HQ.
    “Only 1 per 19 hours, we need to up the rate. Issue more sanctions.”

    When all the poor are in defacto concentration camps, will we welcome a Franco-German led NATO invasion to overthrow our fascist government? Or will the not-quite-so-poor be happy to remain concentration guards in return for a pittance survival wage?

    1. John D. Ingleson

      ” … Issue more sanctions … ” – but don’t forget to increase targets and bonuses!

  2. Jeffrey Davies

    Aktion t4 rolling along without much of a ado while in the house of I’ll repute they talk about it in the side rooms yet nothing is done culling the stock through benefits denial is the Tory way yet you can ask but get no justice even this taken away.

  3. Gary Bowman

    If Assad had killed 20 of his own people the Tomahawk misiles would be flying. Brutality is brutality whoever is committing it. When foreign people are more well defended from “evil” than your own citizens, the ones you are pad to protect, it shows what an absolutely shower you are. Don’t get me wrong foreign people do need defending but, for the right reasons. How many homeless could be accommodated for the cost of one cruise misile? Once again they clearly demonstrate where their priorities lie. I am totally, absolutely, without a shadow of a doubt, pissed off with all of our MPs treating human beings as disposable. Collateral damage in the pursuit of increased wealth. Don’t people realise that most of us are only one zero hour contract away from potentially being the next victim? Does everyone need to lose a family member, friend or neighbour before this sinks in? Be as wealthy as you like, I don’t give a toss but there are other ways to increase it that don’t involve death, deprivation and poverty. I would get down on my knees and implore them to stop but it would fall on deaf ears. If “we’re all in it together” why are there no wealthy people among these numbers?

Comments are closed.