Socialist Worker

LETTERS: Why are people homeless on Manchester’s streets?

Issue No. 2556

Homeless peoples protest camp in Manchester in 2015

Homeless people's protest camp in Manchester in 2015 (Pic: Flickr/Smabs Sputzer)


In a poll in Manchester last week tackling homelessness was viewed by half the respondents as an important factor in deciding their vote.

Rough sleeping in Manchester has risen more than ten-fold since 2010.

Added to this there are thousands of homeless people who are hidden from view struggling to survive.

There are now twice as many people in emergency homeless accommodation than in 2010 and more than four times more kids.

There are also six times as many people in Manchester bed and breakfasts.

Austerity has escalated this crisis with cuts in mental health, welfare, justice, youth and families services—along with the high rents demanded by often ruthless private landlords.

Finally, the sheer lack of suitable affordable housing has put people on the streets.

The Tories tell us that we have to rely on the private housing market to solve this problem. But it is the market that has exacerbated this problem.

Housing developers have demanded and won exemptions from responsibility to build any social housing or to provide funding to improve the local infrastructure.

This is why Jeremy Corbyn’s commitment in the Labour manifesto to build council housing, scrap the bedroom tax, reinstate housing benefit for 18 to 21 year olds and to cap rents are so welcome.

My union branch has conducted collections to offer practical solidarity to the homeless as we have also done for refugees.

We must campaign, protest and organise resistance and offer solidarity to the homeless.

Everyone deserves the right to decent affordable housing in this world—this is what we must fight for.

Ameen Hadi, Manchester


Racist landlord lands up in court

Activists take a surprise delivery to racist landlord Fergus Wilson - curry
Activists take a surprise delivery to racist landlord Fergus Wilson - curry
  Read More

Fergus Wilson, the landlord tycoon in Maidstone, Kent who didn’t want to let to “coloured people because of the curry smell” faced a court injunction last week.

His vile racist comments have quite rightly caused an outcry.

Wilson represents the rich, the Tories and the racist elite.

It is important for us to fight against Wilson and his disgusting racism.

And for a different society where the 99 percent have access to adequate housing regardless of race, religion, sexuality, gender identity or disability.

Alex Claxton-Mayer, Colchester


Unions should be as brave as workers

It was fantastic to hear that unofficial action on Crossrail brought several sites to a standstill last week.

Parts of the project run by a consortium involving blacklisters Skanska “cabined up” because the agency On-Site had refused to recognise the union and pay a bonus.

The construction industry is blighted with bogus self-employment and terrible working conditions.

This is exactly the brave action needed to turn things around—and take on the Tories’ anti-union laws.

It’s just a shame the workers’ union Unite didn’t show the same backbone.

Its press release stated, “This is not a union-backed dispute, indeed we have little knowledge as to who is involved in the protest.”

General secretary Len McCluskey has long boasted that under his tenure Unite no longer repudiates—disowns—unofficial action.

But this comes awfully close.

Maybe Theresa May will stand by them instead, after her supposed epiphany on workers’ rights?

Ian Bradley, Unite UCATT sector


We should draw lessons from Madrid experience

The terrible massacre in Manchester brings to mind the bombings in Madrid on 11 March 2004.

Then too we were in the middle of an election campaign and politicians tried to use the tragedy.

The ruling right wing party, the PP, wanted to avoid any connection with the Middle East.

The anti-war movement had warned that the Iraq war would increase the threat of attacks at home.

On 13 March, the day before the election, thousands marched to the PP head office shouting “The bombs of Baghdad fall in Madrid”.

In the elections, the PP was massively defeated.

The dead in Manchester, like those in Madrid, Iraq or Afghanistan, are the fault of our leaders, not Islam.

We should hold them responsible.

David Karvala, Barcelona


A hollow Tory manifesto

I read your article on the Tory manifesto (Socialist Worker online) and I completely agree.

Theresa May’s manifesto is the joke of this year.

Sajid Kamal Khan, On Facebook


The right are out in force

You say that the “Tories screeching U-turn opens the way for resurgent Labour campaign behind Corbyn”. (Socialist Worker online).

Yeah—until the Manchester attack.

Now the anti-immigration lot are out in force telling people to vote for Tories.

Jessica Hyams, On Facebook


So proud that we’ll sell it off

In the wake of the Manchester bombing health secretary Jeremy Hunt told NHS staff in Manchester, “We are so proud of what you have done.”

Hunt declares himself “proud” of an NHS he is busy selling off to the likes of Richard Branson.

The hypocrisy of the Tories is beyond belief.

Sasha Simic, North London


Corbyn’s logic is dangerous

I read your article “Stop Britain’s wars to end terror, says Corbyn”. (Socialist Worker online).

He’s playing a dangerous game, putting forward logical and peaceful but unprofitable solutions.

He’d better watch his back.

@singleindemnity, On Twitter


Stock up on eggs for Tories

Theresa May travelled to Wrexham last week for her campaign.

One pensioner was told that shops were asked not to sell eggs and flour—in case they were used by angry local voters.

I think the lesson we have to take from this event is to get your supplies in early so you can successfully egg your local Tory.

Cassidy Murray, North London


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