Oh dear, see what happens when politicians say something that my mother might? Unfortunately, this is one of those times when I agree with what was said, and usually when I start getting bricks thrown at my head for being an unrelenting Tory etc.
It ties in with something I’ve been wanting to write since the weekend (though unpacking put paid to more than a perfunctory checking of email). This notion of a wider responsibility, which in liberal terms seems to have no end. We have to feed the starving in other countries, which is noble, but wouldn’t it be more helpful to remove the causes of famine and deprivation, i.e. corrupt governments? Throwing money at a problem rarely solves it (try telling that to the overspending Labour governments of old) and there has to be some imposition of restraint and building a workable infrastructure.
Anyway, gripes about Make Poverty History aside, social housing (what happened to it being called council housing?) is a fantastic concept, one that we should be proud of, and one that should be as widely available as necessary.
However, why exactly should this facility be extended to economic migrants? I know this country is appealing in many ways, but a large part of that is how easy it is to get everything for free when you first arrive. And this has nothing to do with genuine asylum seekers, carry on with helping out there please, but it’s not unreasonable to actually check the veracity of claims.
It is sad that the working class in this country will miss out. It’s not so bad in places like Lanarkshire where there is still some housing available, albeit it only in rougher areas. But in London Boroughs like Barking they can’t offer you housing even if you’re pregnant, even if you have problems with addiction, but that’s only the case if you’re born and raised here. If you were to pitch up at Gatwick or Heathrow, new to the country with no money, and never having contributed tax or National Insurance, you would stroll directly to the head of the queue. I’m not talking about withholding all services, I’m just saying isn’t there an element of looking after our own first?
Not that I’m a rampant xenophobe, I have the same objection to English expats overstretching public services in the south of Spain etc while only paying taxes at home in Blighty. Hmph.