And who is Farhia? Is she a property owner who faces compulsory purchase to build a vanity project like HS2, perhaps?
Well, no. Of course not! When would someone like that ever draw the attention, not to mention the sympathy, of a ‘Guardian’ columnist?
Farhia settled in north Fulham in 1999 after fleeing Somalia's civil war. Seeking asylum, she was granted indefinite leave to stay in Britain.Just the sort of person a ‘Guardian’ columnist would fawn over!
Farhia's part of the estate is earmarked for Phase Two of the demolition schedule, which could be several years off if it occurs at all. But her need for stability and security is a recurring theme. With the help of an interpreter, a fellow estate resident, Farhia explained to me that she likes the area, values the friends she has nearby, and is happy with the local schools her four sons attend.She’s been here eleven years and she can’t speak English? Goodness, she really values her roots in Fulham, doesn’t she?
What about the council's insistence that the redevelopment will generate thousands of new jobs, opening up avenues of prosperity for all residents, including the up and coming young? Such improvements would be welcome, Farhia thinks. But why do they require knocking down her home?It’s not, though, is it? Her home is in Somalia…
Meanwhile, in South Norwood, completely unobserved by ‘Guardian’ columnists:
Elderly tenants of Tonbridge House, a sheltered housing block in Penge Road, South Norwood, learned last week their homes had been targeted to help tackle the borough's housing crisis and reduce the number of families in bed-and-breakfast accommodation.Yes, you read that right – the council wants to decant pensioners to house the ‘homeless’. Probably more people like Farhia…
William Ramsey, 80, who has lived there 14 years, said: "To try to remove these people from their own homes, I strongly feel it is an infringement of our human rights. Surely you are allowed to take the last few years of your life with a bit of peace?"
Donald Donaldson, 82, said: "I don't want to move. I have lived here for 18 years and I love living here. I feel we are being bullied."But no-one’s listening, William & Donald. There’ll be no searing ‘Guardian’ exposes of your plight.
You’re just too….well, unsympathetic, I suppose.