Tag Archives: demonisation of poor

Changing the mood music of politics: Let’s get angry about poverty and refuse to stand by while papers demonise the poor

I remember the feeling of sadness when I saw these figures from a Scottish Lib Dem freedom of information request. In Christmas 2015, 26,320 adults and 11,200 children were homeless. Those figures are up 8% and 16% respectively in two years. As the party’s housing spokesperson, I wanted to highlight this and, as the photo shows, the story was picked up by the Sun. I said:

It is absolutely heart-breaking to learn that more than 11,000 children were homeless last Christmas. It is intolerable that the number of families without a permanent roof over their head continues to rise.

Across the last three Christmases, 100,000 people were homeless, almost a third of them children.

We judge the strength of a society by how it looks out for its most vulnerable. These figures are a stain on the national conscience.

The Scottish Government have failed the children and families who don’t have stable warm home at Christmas. Many will have been in temporary accommodation but that it hardly a suitable or sustainable way of tackling homeless in the long term. The failure of the SNP to deliver on their previous social housing promises has undoubtedly contributed to this situation.

That is why the Scottish Liberal Democrats will continue to press SNP ministers to get a grip of the housing crisis and increase the number of homes for social rent.

11,200 children would almost fill Scotland’s concert venue, the Hydro. It’s about a fifth of the population of the town where I live. For each of these children, homelessness means insecurity, disruption and uncertainty that limits their life chances. They could be placed anywhere in their local authority area and moved to another part of it at a moment’s notice. Imagine what that feels like to a young child. Being taken away from your familiar surroundings, school and support networks is hard enough once, but what if you have to wait months or even years for a permanent home and are constantly moved. Add to that that you may not be actually accommodated in a house, but in a hotel or hostel, sharing facilities with others. Read this family’s account in the Sun last week, of being made homeless after their father lost his job as a forklift truck driver because of a back injury.

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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarPeter Martin 21st Oct - 1:42pm
    @ Arnold Kiel, I'd like some more detailed references for the source of your numbers. I seem to remember we have had this discussion before....
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    Great to see Jo appointing, as Shadow Justice Secretary, an MP who's previously advocated forced hard labour for those convicted of minor crimes (along with,...
  • User AvatarWilliam 21st Oct - 1:31pm
    Wow, that's quite the insult to the members who left over the handling of Lee's defection to the party. https://www.pinknews.co.uk/2019/09/04/lgbt-liberal-democrats-phillip-lee-jennie-rigg/
  • User AvatarArnold Kiel 21st Oct - 1:20pm
    The question for Labour MPs is in my view not what is written in a Johnson-deal, but whether to allow one to pass, irrespective of...
  • User AvatarDavid Raw 21st Oct - 1:07pm
    I hope my old friend William is willing to concede the social liberal tradition in the party would have been stronger (and my other old...
  • User AvatarArnold Kiel 21st Oct - 12:24pm
    Peter Martin, I am very sympathetic to leavers and yellow-vests. Their complaints are valid, and I wish them compassionate Governments that address their grievances. The...