Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Support Edward Meakins! Build more council homes!

The first injunction "Support Edward Meakins!" is addressed to Barnet residents. You can read the story of how Barnet Homes wants to move Mr Meakins to a flat, so that they can give his house to a family, in the Times series here. Mr Meakins, 83, has lived in his house in Cricklewood, with his family, since he was a boy, and a move would, let's face it, not be good for his health.

It's up to Mr Meakins and his family what they want to do about this situation in the spring, when he is expected to move, but I would urge all Barnet residents to pledge to do what they can and what is necessary to support Mr Meakins should he simply refuse to budge.

The second injunction is to councils and the government, to the political classes as a whole, if you like - because Labour failed dismally when they were in power to do what is needed - build more council homes!

What kind of weird world do we live in when an Orwellianism such as "affordable homes" has become an everyday part of the language? What the hell other type of home should there be? Do we not all need a secure roof over our heads?

As for the report in the Daily Express today, using Mr Meakins' story to put the boot into benefit claimants... The family of 12 they lambast don't even live in Barnet - the Express has just spliced two completely different stories together in order to make an objectionable political point.

If the Express actually gave a shit about old people they would be clamouring for the government to build AFFORDABLE (there, I said it) homes for everyone. It's only in conditions of such scarcity that we end up fighting like starving dogs over the scraps. The disgusting thing about the situation is that the scarcity is entirely artificial and man-made.


Citizen Barnet said...

And the Daily Mail journalist has evidently been following the Daily Express journalist around.


Anonymous said...

Or Support Edward Meakins and reform welfare so we don't have the situation where 'workshy' couples are financially better off the more kids they have and get Council housing for life!

baarnett said...

Fine, but how do you stop the latter?

Does IDS have an answer?

Jaybird said...

Lots of comments on Barnet council's facebook page following a statement by Barnet Homes

Jaybird said...

Mr Meakin has his own Facebook page!


Citizen Barnet said...

Mr Meakin has his own Facebook page but it's been set up by someone that wants to help Mr Meakins by hating someone else:

Again a council makes a rediculous move without using real sense. This time no doubt this mans home where he has lived for 74 years will be handed to layabouts with 20 kids who will just scrounge off the benefit system.

Someone else comments:
You Fuckin What !!!! He is not going anywhere, appologies for swearing but no immigrants are forcing him out of the house and garden that he loves. Brent Council you are Commie scum.

There's a better Facebook page here: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=142998825731168&ref=search

barnet council are going to kick this 83 year old pensioner out of his family home which he has lived since he was 9 years old! all because they think its to big for him and they need it for bigger families! this poor man now has to leave all those memories behind and live in a pokey 1 bedroom flat alone! someone tell me how this is allowed?!

I'm joining that one. Actually, I'm going to join them all and argue that we should stop scapegoating "people on benefits" and start scapegoating rich scroungers like Brian Coleman.

Citizen Barnet said...

Another point: how absurd is the amalgam between Mr Meakins' story and the story about THAT family in Bristol, the Telegraph has copied the Daily Express and Mail, and come up with this for a headline:

Pensioner, 83, faces eviction to make way for family of benefits claimants
An 83-year-old pensioner is to be evicted from the council house he has lived in for 74 years to make way for a family.

Well those statements (especially the second) might be true, but we can't possibly know yet! Bristol, Barnet, they both begin with 'b'....

Everyone is so eager to kick the claimant that they don't even check some basic facts.

It's good to see the support for Mr Meakins, but it would be even better if people could draw some basic general lessons from this story, such as: we need more homes building or making availabe, so that everyone can have a roof over their head (even strange people who for, whatever reason, want to have 12 kids - I mean, would YOU want to have 12 kids? No, me neither...)

Citizen Barnet said...

Here's the link to the Telegraph 'story': http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/7950501/Pensioner-83-faces-eviction-to-make-way-for-family-of-benefits-claimants.html

Mrs Angry said...

It has to be acknowledged that there are significant numbers of people who abuse the benefit system: pretending it doesn't happen is as wrong as the rabble rousing exaggeration of the tabloid press. The point is to see it in perspective. When there is large scale abuse, this has a direct impact on the resources available to those who are in genuine need, so it is important to guard against exploitation of the system. This does NOT mean that all those who are dependent on benefits are 'scroungers'. And scroungers exist in all walks of life, as we know, whether you call it tax fiddling or being paid an inflated income for a cushy job. Frankly, the idea that anyone has 12 children for the sake of benefit allowances is ludicrous: only a man could come up with that daft idea - if you have been through pregnancy and childbirth even once, doing it 11 more times for the sake of more child benefit is not high on your list of priorities, Mr Hope!
Some of the wilder comments on public forums like facebook are indeed slightly disturbing but then it expresses a widely held perception that people from other countries who move to this country have priority of housing allocation above those who have paid taxes in the UK, and supported the welfare state, all their working lives. Whether or not this perception is true, or fair, is another matter. The injustice of Mr Meakins being slung out of his home is indefensible by any standard of decency. The interesting question I would like to be answered is how many other tenants are in the same position, or is this a new tactic? I believe that there are numerous properties which if stricly defined, would seem to have surplus accommodation, but I'll bet noone has told them to move. Even if this is necessary, there should be exemption for someone of this age and with this length of occupation in a property. I nhope that he has legal advice: I'm sure there must be grounds for a legal challenge.

Anonymous said...

Well thought I should add a comment as I set up the Facebook page.

People do seem to make presumptions and read into things far to much, and also like to take things very litteraly.

-I never said someone would deliberately have 12+ kids just to get money. The idea is ludicrous, but it has been seen people do have some kids to claim houses etc. What is less ludicrous is that those people know they can live 'free' at a level they are comfortable with. It is a biological drive to reproduce - so why not if you can live off everone else, having kids isn't a worry for them, as it would be for myself who would want to provide more (whether it's better or not).

This case is only about Mr Meakins and why he shouldn't be moved. He is 83! lived there over 74 years! Great citizen, tidy, and loves his garden, he fought for us, I could list loads.

Anonymous said...


19 kids and counting! There are many others who have lots of children too, the UK and the US are actually in the minority, with many asian families averageing about 8-10 kids. And some women love being pregnant and have no problem with childbirth, just because some people don't like having kids, doesn't mean everyone doesn't