Monday 20 January 2014

Because, Michael, It’s Not Their Property, But The State’s…

Michael Rosen doesn’t understand the difference between private property and social housing:
I've kept nearly everything he (his son, Eddie) left behind after he died. For a while, these sat in his room which, for a while, I left almost as it was. … Sometimes I went in. Sometimes other people did. I would sit on the bed, and look at Eddie's things, usually without handling them: hockey sticks, broken bags and holdalls, medals, books, his school work, his sax, his didgeridoo, his notebooks.
Yes, and as it’s your house, you can do as you please.
Lucky me, I had the luxury of being able to preserve the room for as long as I wanted.
It’s not ‘a luxury’ – it’s simply the ability to enjoy your own property. Why else did you buy it, if not for the ability to do as you want with it?
Under government plans, a bereaved family will become eligible for the bedroom tax after three months – an incentive to clear out the room, to get rid of the kinds of things I was able to keep. It's more of the same: with poverty there often comes a disruption of place.
Sorry, but this is not going to hit every bereaved family, but only a subset of them – it’s going to hit only those on housing benefit.

And why? Because they don’t own their housing. They are dependent on the State for it. It’s as simple and as bald as that. He who pays the piper sets the tune.
With the proposal about the bedrooms of those who've died, they are cutting quality of life. Rich people are using the power they have to force poor people to do things that they, the rich, never would or could force on themselves.
Well, yes. That’s why we should be encouraging people to strive not to be poor. Because if you are, you have fewer choices. In everything.


Anonymous said...

State benefits should be a safety net in the first instance, then a platform from which to get back up into self sufficiency. There should not be a benefits ceiling which makes it attractive to remain there and not be able to achieve self sufficiency. Of course, there are lots of 'ishoos around' all of this and not one government has yet to tackle them properly and logically. Michael Rosen can be an engaging and interesting chap but he is also a well off, dyed in the wool lefty twat - another one using emotion if not a personal tragedy to support their unsupportable argument

Anonymous said...

Stonyground said
So, anyone not eligable for housing benefit is rich now? We own our own house but Mrs. S. and myself worked for twenty years to pay for it.

archytas said...

The whole business of working hard is more complex than the dated ideology evident in AP's tone (something I find easy to agree with in anti-scrounger mode myself, but pales against further thinking).

For a start, jobs are good for anti-poverty when there are plenty of them and they pay well. This has not been true for at least 20 years. Wages have been eroded by global pay arbitrage and financial trickery.

I don't even aspire to be a well-off lefty twat, though such fate would be better than becoming a fascist goon or personnel manager. Crappy medieval ideologies on poverty hold us back, have left us over-populated, polluting and generally at war.

Take a look at the median wage for the working poor Julia, against what they'd have to shell out for a mortgage insured against job loss (very common in this group). The find out how much house price inflation is down to international money-laundering and silly government policy supporting it all. All this prevents productive investment that brings decent jobs and job market conditions. Think maybe of Chinese 'Ant People' - whose families scraped to get them through degrees, though they end up living in crap conditions doing crap jobs.

You sound ignorant on this one, though you generally hit my spot. Poverty is not a motivator. We'd be better off with a job guarantee through international service, led by armed forces - compulsion to work and compulsion on decent conditions and pay. You are almost 'let them eat cake' on this one.

Incidentally, I'd want a machine gun as supervisor on my job guarantee scheme and would expect to solve some of the housing crisis in a slacker cull as well as a building and restoration programme. I don't see any softly, softly lefty pampering in any of this.

Bill said...

To me it is as simple as thinking or believing a currency is money. The value of the 'pound' is fiddled with every second of every day so is in reality in constant motion.
Sadly over my lifetime that constant motion has always been downwards and here's the reason why.

To be rich, be on benefit or working hard to stay afloat the devaluation of currency reduces the perception of wealth currency creates.

Twenty_Rothmans said...

I wish people would leave off saying that there is no such thing as a bedroom tax. There is.

My tax. Their spare bedroom.

Go out and earn some money, Rosen, if you want to have your shrine.

Christ, I come home from a hard day at work to a 45 m2 place we cannot afford to buy, Mrs 20 is getting ready for her 12 hour shift at an NHS hospital and I have to read this caterwauling from this mewling, "Oh, life's so hard" worm.

Get outside the Tube station in Hackney, Rosen, put out a hat and a placard saying "Guardian writer needs money needed for shrine to Eddie", or "I have a spare bedroom - please help".

Bobo said...

Rosen has written 40 kids' books, screenplays, columns in lefty rags hither and yon, had money from the BBC flung at him for years. Hasn't he been Childrens' Laureate or some such flummery? I bet that came with a nice little bung. How much is he worth? How much is his house worth? Hands up who thinks Rosen lives in a two-up two down in Scunthorpe? Hands up who thinks it's a nice detatched prop, generous mature gardens, sought-after area somewhere S. of Watford? Face it, he's worth a cool mil at least. Michael, if you're reading this, prove me wrong. And Michael, how much dosh CAN a lefty sit on and still refer to 'The Rich' as if they were other people?

Umbongo said...

Michael Rosen lives just round the corner from me in leafy Muswell Hill. If he owns his house - which I presume he does - he's worth at least £1 million right there. He's not the only member/supporter of the SWP living locally either - most of whom, I assume, own the houses they live in.
Mind you there are other local houses - worth upwards of £1.5/2.0 million - rented by the council for large families of Somali "asylum" seekers paid for - as Twenty_Rothmans writes - by our taxes. Rosen might be a hypocrite but he's not actually living directly at my expense.

JuliaM said...

"...a well off, dyed in the wool lefty twat ..."

Accurately summed up.

" Wages have been eroded by global pay arbitrage and financial trickery."

I think by a lot more than just that. The world is changing, and so is the WORLD of work.

Shifting employment burdens from private industry to government is not going to solve our problems.

"Go out and earn some money, Rosen, if you want to have your shrine."

He does, He just thinks we should all pay for everyone else to do so.

JuliaM said...

"He's not the only member/supporter of the SWP living locally either - most of whom, I assume, own the houses they live in."


Furor Teutonicus said...

XX for a while, I left almost as it was. … XX


Aye, she hid his stash incase the cops wanted a looksee.

Other than that 2% of the room remained untouched.

Greencoat said...

Ah, Michael Rosen, the Guardian's lying gnome-in-residence.