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THE ALTERNATIVE

e-BOOK: COMPLETE JOURNAL

ISBN: 978-0-9555960-1-8
First Edition: 18th June, 2007

Design, Progress Report, & Compilation Copyright Protected.


ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
No part of this book may be reproduced or distributed for monetary profit.
Clipart ICONS provided by: MICROSOFT Ltd.

TO UNDERSTAND this book: read Project it


TO NAVIGATE: Open BOOKMARKS.

Further Information: www.the-alternative.org.uk

INTRODUCTION:
1973: (Age 18): My husband disappeared when our child was born (mainly) because we had
nowhere to live. The Local Authority labelled me intentionally homeless when my
(wealthy, acrimoniously divorced), parents refused to pay for a room in a Bed & Breakfast
hotel, provided by the Homeless Family Unit.
For the next 15 years, my child and I, were forced to move more than 250 times from
inadequate, temporary, private accommodation in 3 UK cities. I was unable to find and
secure decent housing because subsequent Local Authority investigations into my
circumstances concluded that I was intentionally homeless due to that incorrect label.
1988: I was still homeless. I was walking the streets and almost dead, when a squatter, who
I did not know, kindly offered me a room in a big, semi-derelict house in Stamford Hill, north
London, used as the local squatters HQ. The floor-boards were rotten, there was a large pile
of rubble and soot on the floor where a fireplace had once been. There was no electricity
supply. But this was preferable to being outside and unsheltered in the middle of winter. I
gratefully accepted the very kind offer. There was a (clean!) mattress on the floor. I just
wanted to collapse and die - but not in the gutter.
When I opened my eyes again, 5, maybe 6 days later, it was twilight - the room had a weird
orange glow due to the street light. I was surprised to see a small group of squatters huddled
cross-legged on the floor on the other side of the room, quietly chatting. To be polite (even
though I am shy), I got up and went to sit with them. I smoke roll-ups, so when I looked down,
I wasnt surprised to see I was holding a 'Lucky Strike' match box in my hand. But there
was only one match left inside. Not wanting to waste this match, to help overcome my
embarrassment, I stared at the box for ages, then I started carefully taking it apart, and
putting it back together again, using different configurations.
Pictures formed in my mind. Because I had trained as a fashion designer, specialising in
Trend-forecasting, I realised I was visualising something! So I sat very still and
concentrated - until clear images formed. I studied those images. And then I started
laughing.
The squatters quickly turned their eyes towards me as if I had gone crazy. So I told them
what I had just been thinking about. They listened attentively to my explanation concerning
how life could be one day (see: Project it / Study a Box). When I had finished speaking,
they just looked enquiringly at each other, and then they each indicated their approval, by
nodding their head!
"Do it for people like us, one of them said. "Nobody is going to rescue us"
Our eyes met. Their faces spoke a thousand words They were young (aged approx. 18
20 years), yet they looked worldly-wise and so beautiful. I looked at our dirty jeans - our
holey jumpers, the skin on their arms- smeared with grime.
I did not know any of these kids, but something happened to me in that room Call it love,
or empathy. I dont know exactly what it was, but I was over-whelmed by the deepest
emotion I have ever felt! I made a solemn oath. I told them I would do everything I could, to
help people like them.
A few weeks later, I received news that a chance meeting with a solicitor a few months
previously, had enabled me to overcome my intentionally homeless label.
1989: My child and I were re-housed. We moved into a flat, in London but I did not feel
any joy or contentment. My experience of being Homeless for over 15 years had hurt me
too deeply to allow me to just forget it.
I had made a commitment to those who are still suffering, and I fully intend to honour it.

DESIGN PROJECT

DESIGN PROJECT

DESIGN PROJECT

DESIGN PROJECT

DESIGN PROJECT

DESIGN PROJECT

DESIGN PROJECT

DESIGN PROJECT

DESIGN PROJECT

DESIGN PROJECT

DESIGN PROJECT

DESIGN PROJECT

DESIGN PROJECT

DESIGN PROJECT

DESIGN PROJECT

DESIGN PROJECT

DESIGN PROJECT

DESIGN PROJECT

He looked at it again. Its too complicated to


patent he said decisively.

PROGRESS REPORT:

(What did they say to the inventor of the


submarine? They told Alexander Bell, the inventor
of the telephone, that talking down 2-wires would
never work. They said the flying machine would
never work. Running the 4-minute mile was said to
be an impossible dream but more than 700
athletes have now done this)

1989: THE YEAR OF INVENTION:


Toshiba held a competition
to find the best invention.
I could not enter it because
I was not under-25 years of
age.
(Picture: The LOGO used
advertise the competition).

to

(Human progress is about overturning accepted


ideas. People were content to light their homes with
oil lamps until Edison came along)

August 1989: I took the


idea to LENTA (the London
Enterprise Agency). I explained I had designed a
shelter to help the Homeless. I was advised to get
a Confidentiality Agreement signed before any
disclosure to a possible manufacturer.
(I also tried 3 other enterprise agencies, none of
whom helped me).

Mr. Clifford said: Ill tell you something about


patent. He picked up a heavy bundle of folders
stuffed full of papers. Look, he said This is a
German Patent application. This is an American
application. This is the British. All these applications
are for the re-design of a handy little metal pipe
cutter for the DIY market. Notice how the drawings
are all slightly different? See how this clever British
chap has worked out how to alter the mechanism,
by simply putting in this tiny wheel just here, so the
cutter will operate slightly more efficiently? Now, if
you had invented a way to make an even better
type of metal pipe cutter, I could help you.

August 1989: I went to a Patent Agent (a firm


called Mark & Clarke, in Holborn, London).

Mr. Clifford concluded, by saying: I dont want to


waste your money. Patent applications go on for
years and years. I suppose it is rather a
fashionable item I suggest you Copyright it.
I felt despondent- rejected.
Will The Response Always Be: "We don't waste
pearls on swine" ?

(Picture: The mess of Building works outside the


Patent Agents office).

(You cant invent a design. You can recognise it,


that is, with your blood, and bones, and eyes.)

But afterwards, when I thought about what he had


said, I realised he was saying:
No Such Thing Could Be Patented.

Mr. Alan Clifford looked at my design for the basic


module. He smiled. (Did he recognise it? Had he
seen something like it before? I dont know). He
seemed to like it! He tried to sketch it in his notepad
several times- unsuccessfully. Then he suddenly
snapped, saying: How wide is it? How high is it?
Will it fit on roads? I bet you havent of that!
I said: Its like a tube-train (Thinking: Its as
broad as it is long? It could be a foot or so wider, a
bit shorter; it needs more head-room for comfort;
it would of course have the upstairs deck- as much
space inside as a double-decker bus. Itd be great if
its size does not have to be restricted to road
widths. Its a sort of the middle-of-the-road thing!)
He said: You obviously havent considered road
widths. He sighed heavily.
Sizes could vary I mumbled.

I then realised Patent would be inappropriate. The


whole point of Patenting is to limit production to
only licensed manufacturers. Patent would defeat
my desire that as many people as humanly
possible get involved with the production of
Modules.
I decided to follow Mr. Cliffords kind advice. Hes
the expert.
(Ill pay the price and risk my reputation on a
hunch.)
1/9/1989: Project it was Copyright protected at
Stationers Hall, in London (Registration Number
B9/91834373). (The date of its conception was:
18/6/1989).
1

PROGRESS REPORT

I needed to ask him if he could work out the best


interlocking technique i.e. Could you please use
your knowledge of Joinery - your carpentry skills
in the quest for something better i.e. How
should these be shaped? I know they are molded
July 1989: To affect a meeting, I sent Sir Terence
an intriguing letter.
(Not written by me! But by a friend - a journalist).
The gist of that letter was: Would you spend 2
minutes listening to a caveman who has
invented bricks without straw?

I did this to verify the date of its conception and my


ownership of the design and to prevent it being
Patented by anybody else.
(Some unscrupulous companies actually use
patent to stop good inventions coming onto the
market).
I Hereby Give My Permission: If you like the idea
of Modules, please feel free to produce this kind
of Module, without payment to me.
I took the idea to SHELL UK (see: Modern Building
Materials).

THE HIDDEN MEANING:


Are you the WISE man of the woods?
ready or not, Ill give you this world.
Nothing could disturb its peace,
give you everything you are looking for, and
even more

I wrote to David Gilmour (of Pink Floyd fame)


(their songs impart a genuine desire to help the
needy). I was granted an interview, but when I
arrived David was not there! His manager- Steve
O'Rourke, greeted me. I was dismayed (and
shocked by the ton of gold round his neck). I
explained my mission: Ive designed something
to help the Homeless. I need some help getting it
off the ground.
Mr. ORourke laughed, and asked me: "How much
money do you need? 1 million? Then, without
stopping for breath, he said: How are we going to
tell people about it?"

The timing seems very appropriate


Everybody is saying: Go for it!
(but no-one is specifying what it is!)

to me.

There is no guarantee that any manufacturer


taking up the idea, will use the idea to provide
affordable products- theres always the very real
risk a manufacturer will push the price up to
make excessive profits so the product becomes
something only the wealthy can buy.

My immediate thoughts were: Why TELL people


about it? Just make it ASAP!
But before I could say a single word, 2 seconds
later, I was manoeuvred out of the door and put out
onto the street.
I wrote to David again.
The response: I was given permission to use the
words from one of Pink Floyds songs to help
promote Project it:
" NO MORE TURNING AWAY FROM THE
WEARY AND THE DOWN-TRODDEN, AND THE
WORDS THEY SAY..."

Modules MUST be AFFORDABLE for those who


need a STARTER Home
In a bid to overcome this, I felt it was necessary to
set Sir Terence a simple test. Prior to our meeting,
I asked him to provide me with a blackboard (to
assist me with the presentation of the design), and
give me a bowl of lemon mousse (my favourite
dessert i.e. to reward me for safely delivering it
into safe, capable altruistic, caring hands. That
is my task as I perceive it). If these items were
provided, I would take this as reassurance of his
good faith. And tell him everything I knew.

I took the idea to SIR TERENCE CONRAN


because he is someone I greatly admire. As a
fledgling designer, naturally I sought the opinion of
a design guru.
I wanted Sir Terence, who is widely respected, to
champion it.
People would listen to him. Just think what could be
achieved if he pioneered Modular Living!

September 1989: Sir Terence granted me an


interview.
On arrival at his offices (in Docklands), his secretary
said: Hell see you for 15 minutes.
Uh Oh! The requested items were not provided.

He has what I lack i.e. access to the best design


studios, CAD / CAM, a host of manufacturers,
retail outlets (High Street stores & a Mail Order
catalogue). He offers customers 0% finance. (His
Habitat stores made their name by selling trendy,
well designed household items to young
couples) Sir Terence has so many contacts! A
quick chat on the golf course and it could be done!
A trusted employee could just see to it.

Surprisingly, we enjoyed an instant rapport... Sir


Terence was welcoming, friendly! Sincere? Not at
all austere. I gave him a copy of my (hand-drawn)
design for the basic module. He glanced at it very
quickly, smiling (knowingly?) Then he pushed my
design aside!
He sat back in his chair, and began to talk. He said
he had designed a portable accommodation
shelter several years previously, after hearing that
2

Would they KNOW HOW to Make BASIC


MODULES ?

poor people were living inside his discarded


wooden packing crates in the Middle East. He
said his idea had not worked. Why? He did not
elaborate. (I suspect these had been made using
the recycled wood).

Sir Terence, still lecturing me, then congratulated


me for the work I have done on it, and said I am to
be applauded! DOUBLE HORRORS! Fame is the
food dead men eat. I have been a recluse for
many years because I prefer peace. I am not a
front man!

Then he said: You are not the first! They started


talking about the need for affordable homes in
the 16th Century. (Oh! Only that long ago?)
(Surely this nightmare has been going on for
1,000s of years! Since man lived in caves, man
has wanted to find a better way! We NOW have
the opportunity to achieve the very thing man
has always desired).

We briefly discussed Vulture Culture i.e. about


how the market is controlled
EG. UK shops are stocked with tons of clothes etc.,
all made from Polyester derived from oil. What a
waste of resin!
(The man that invents a way to recycle fibres from
clothes will make a fortune!)

Sir Terence reeled off names of famous authors


who have apparently written books on the subject,
none of whom I had heard of. (Hes full of it, but he
knows his stuff.)
Then, he started talking about Prince Charles!
He referred to His Royal Highness as: the
champion of affordable homes.
Panic gripped me. I felt as though I was drowning!
Prince Charles is a staunch supporter of traditional
architecture- he loathes ugly modern architecture.
(The Architects debate was in full swing when I met
Sir Terence).
(Sir Terence did not know I had already written to
Prince Charles who, charmingly? had not replied).

Sir Terence then said: Youve got to go where


the money is. He suddenly looked tired, sad and
defeated. I knew then the money-men had got to
him. With mounting dismay, I realised I was too
late to persuade Sir Terence to follow his heart
and stay with his love of DESIGN.
(I did not know Sir Terence was heavily involved
with Docklands) (see: Docklands).
Sir Terence talked, and talked! And I am ashamed
to admit- that I fell asleep! (Or did I fall into a coma,
suffering paralysis?) (The sun was glaring in
through all the glass windows. I had not slept the
night before due to a crisis... I had met Steve O
Rourke in the morning, and to pass the time before
this appointment, I had made the error of drinking
a glass of wine, instead of eating at lunch-time - I
cant drink alcohol- alcohol always makes me
sleepy)
The next thing I can recall was his secretary coming
in to complain: You have spent an hour chatting.
Other people are waiting to see you
I felt heavy-headed. I looked anxiously at Sir
Terence. He smiled at me! I inwardly cursed my
extreme stupidity. I had wasted this precious
time! I had not managed to ask a single question!
WE HAD NOT DISCUSSED MODULAR DESIGN!

To quickly change the direction of this conversation,


I made a snipey comment about how the architects
debate is getting us nowhere. Sir Terence laughed!
And then he said I would be a good person to take
on the architects! HORRORS.
WAH! I dont want to take anybody on!
I only want this kind of Module to be made
QUICKLY!
I only want to DESIGN!
I know I am being a baby but WAH! I DONT
WANT TO BE CRUCIFIED!
(Its a thorny old problem. Some are born to it.
Some are chosen.
You make your choices and you have to live with
them.)

Sir Terence walked me to the door. I was way


through the door when he promised he would
seriously consider my project. I sensed I was
saying good-bye to a great man, but one who was
probably just as confused as I was- but we were on
opposite ends of the spectrum. I wanted so much
to help him but all I had managed to do was to
give him some drawings, without complete
specifications, plus a pathetic model I had madeusing unfired clay (which looked more like Fred
Flintstones house). (I also left behind some small
objects I had made to demonstrate the difficulty I

What chance would I have? I had to leave school at


14! I wouldnt get a beep in.
Only one female Architect managed to speak outshe tried to interject some basic sense into the
indifferent debate- by advocating the planting of
trees to save people the 20,000 fees paid to
landscape architects- who invariably use concrete
paving to cover the ground whilst planting
poisonous berry bushes. She was silenced by an
extremely pompous, older male architect.
ATTITUDE: We know it all. Ah! I just wonder.
3

PROGRESS REPORT

I can assure you that many, many people have


dreamed like you of the mass-produced house and
innumerable ideas have been produced from the
likes of Buckmaster Fuller to Charles Emmes.
Nobody could be anything but impressed by your
ingenuity and enthusiasm, but I am afraid your
project has 3 insuperable problems:

was having with the interlocking technique (without


any explanation as to what these were, he must
have thought I was mad? Why didnt he ask me?)
God! How many times have I wanted a proper
model of a Module to instantly demonstrate what
I am trying to describe? All done to scale etc. A
matchbox toy!
Sir Terence then told me he was launching a book
to promote Hard-wood for DIY projects. He
insisted on giving me a complimentary copy (even
though I tried to decline the offer because the book
was too heavy for me to carry without a real
struggle). He told me 10,000 copies of his book
were at the printers awaiting distribution.

1. Planning and zoning permissions and building


regulations;
2. Cost of land; and
3. Cost of infrastructure i.e. roads, drainage,
water, gas, electricity, plus telecom supply.
Also the financial institutions are unwilling to lend on
anything unconventional, however cheap. The
other problem to be faced is the cost of a
conventional brick-built house is probably
cheaper at this time than any other form of
construction.
I remain convinced the answer to the
conundrum that you pose is the mobile home or
common caravan.
This is cheap, mobile and gives people a start in the
place they want to be. Certainly not ideal, but it
could be a lot better with some of your ideas
implanted.
I am not a defeatist but I am experienced realist.
Although I know you will be disappointed and
probably wont agree with the problems that I
identify.
I do hope we might be able to use your talents in
the future in some way. Conran Roche is
considering a future involvement in Social Housing
but probably more from refurbishment and
rehabilitating aspect than by new buildings. I am
sure your passion could be used to see that our
architects and planners think like human
beings. I am returning all your material. I am not
really used to signing legalistic documents when
somebody brings me a project to look at, but let me
assure you I will not exploit any of your ideas for low
cost housing and I will certainly not pass on any
of your ideas to third parties. Let me also tell you
I remain an enthusiast for the idea of low cost
housing. Best of luck, Yours sincerely, Sir Terence
Conran.

That night, despite lacking sleep (and food) I


studied the DIY book. The book had a long list of
contributors. There were so many bad designs, I
wanted to cry. These people had achieved a
career but I am (still) unemployed. Frustration
welled up inside me. Without thinking, I scrawled
comments on his DIY book alongside the
offending illustrations. EG. No! A child could fall
through this banister! No! Ceramic tiles on a
bathroom floor are slippery! This was very
unprofessional of me but then, I am not a
professional. All these experts at the top,
LACKING attention to detail! Attention to detail
is so important!
The popular use of Hard Wood for DIY. How
ironic. I had designed it to provide an
ALTERNATIVE so that RAINFORESTS need no
longer be cut down.
(How many TONS of wood are rubbished from
failed DIY projects?)
Once the DIY book went on sale, I felt Sir Terence
would not be able to credibly champion it. I sat up
all night soul-searching. Sadly, and reluctantly, the
next morning I returned his DIY book, praying Sir
Terence would agree with my comments and
change his mind about releasing the DIY book with
his name on it.
DESIGN REJECTED:
2 days later, Sir Terence Conran sent me a short
letter rejecting Project it.
He returned my model (broken- not surprisingly),
but my design drawings were not returned.
I wrote back to protest.
I then received another letter, dated 13/9/1989 (and
eventually, my drawings).

NEW HOMES? FORGET it. Uh?


Something went wrong in our communication but
that doesnt mean I should give up! This is not
going to be the end of it, this I know. Hes a nice
bloke but
Project it was rejected for invalid reasons.

Amalgamating his letters, this is what Sir Terence


wrote:
Dear Gillian,
Life has been particularly busy and stressful.

YOU KNOW, it DOES DESERVE A SECOND


CHANCE.
(Most people dont get a second chance to start
over.)
4

year profits for the group have fallen from 23


million to 9 million. Habitat is 2.5 million in the
red Storehouse could actually be 500,000 in the
red Last night Sir Terence said: He had planned
to retire- it seems an appropriate time to reduce my
responsibilities) (Sir Terence then concentrated
on restaurants, recommending, I believe, chips
cooked in horses fat. Yuk).

Couldnt we, just for the record, go through it


again?
(I am sorry Sir, if this upsets you. It isnt meant to.
Im just trying to make it work).
Oh, see the light!
Lets get it straight. End the confusion.
Insuperable (means:
overcome) ?

impossible

to

To my complete surprise, on 27/11/1989, the


executive director of The Design Museum (set-up
by Sir Terence Conran), then wrote to me:
Dear Gillian,
Sir Terence Conran asked me to look at your
proposals. Let me say at the very beginning that I
applaud your energy and initiative. I have been very
interested in low cost housing since the beginning
of my career. I also have this messianic thing
about new materials and systems. Personally, I
can think of very little that is more important in
the public domain. One of the projects I am
considering for the next few years is to build a
house of the future, partly in response to the
Prince of Wales challenge to architects. If I succeed
in getting sponsorship, I would certainly like to talk
to you about your ideas. In the meantime, best of
luck!
With best wishes, Stephen Bayley.

1) UK Planning Permission rules do not ban


Modular constructions.
Building Regulations (see Chapter 3).
2) it
does
NOT
require
traditional
infrastructure, or connection to the
National Grid. Hasnt he heard of mobile
phones? it would provide an ALTERNATIVE
to having crumbling infrastructure + do
away with all the problems associated with
conventional power (see Chapter 6).
3) Councils used to offer folks 100%
mortgages
Bricks are cheaper?
Because of the
HIGH cost of BRICK-built houses,
people
need
an
AFFORDABLE
ALTERNATIVE. The materials and labour
would cost
? far less
4) What is the best way forward? Your answer
is: a MOBILE home i.e. the common
caravan. (see Chapter 2). Are you sure? OK.
Try moving 250,000 caravans, then get back
to me, OK? WAH! it is a mobile home!

(Mr Bayley then left the Design Museum and set-up


his own design company called IQ. He then went on
to become The Creative Director of Londons
Millennium Dome.)

Conundrum (means: a riddle, hard or puzzling


question.)
The conundrum begging an answer is: What will
move it?
Did he understand it? Did Sir Terence think it was
a structure made of wood or metal?
Dont we need more variety? Variety is the
spice of life.
SOME WILL TAKE AN ETERNITY
TO BELIEVE
it LENDS ITSELF TO EVERYTHING.
(This bird aint lost its song.)
For a world-class Designer not to be willing to
break with convention there must be
something very wrong going on.
(A few months after Sir Terence wrote to me, the
following news story was released:
CHIEF QUITS: The founder of STOREHOUSE
PLC, millionaire designer, Sir Terence Conran, is to
take a back seat. Although still chairman, he has not
been involved in running the company for 6 months.

(Cartoon: Magazine for Architects, artist & date unknown).

TOO MANY MEN HAVE FAILED BEFORE.


5

PROGRESS REPORT

WAH! it
INTEGRATED BY NOW!

31/12/2000:

SHOULD

Suddenly (possibly because of Steve ORourkes


comment) I had the overwhelming need to find
the answers to some very important questions:
What is the best material to use?
Can it be done?
Just what are the pros, and the cons?
Has it been done before?
If so, why didnt it succeed?
What is impeding its progress?
What is GOING ON in the big, bad world?

BE

They say to despair is a sin. I must be a sinner! I


spent the Millennium trying hard not to cry at the
sight of the giant TENT erected to herald The New
Age! (Yes, I do have a thing about it!)
A monumental reminder of mans ignorance. A
historic event marred by the shallow, spurious
Parties.
I was left to struggle with this on my own.
I couldnt stop wondering if only I had done this, or
that, maybe things would have turned out
differently?
Perhaps. Then again, perhaps not.

I decided to do some research. I hadn't done any!


(This was necessary for my education).
The truth is out there somewhere
If you dont know what to look for, you look at
everything. Thats how Science works. You guess,
you make connections, then if it fits, you prove what
you guessed in the first place

Ive often wondered- has Sir Terence ever even


given it a 2nd thought?
Maybe he sussed it after he wrote to me? Hes no
fool. And he has had plenty of time to work it out

1990 1991: I studied Desk Top Publishing and put


the Design drawings on disc.

Project it was ostracised unjustly. "Hell hath no


fury like a woman scorned?"
NO it has nothing to do with revenge. The sad truth
of this matter is that it should be HELPING
PEOPLE, and SAVING LIVES NOW!

1992 - 2005: I tracked Key debates (as well as I


could. If I have missed anything vital, please let me
know!) For the 1st time ever, I read newspapers. I
didnt buy them- by coincidence I just happened to
come across most of the comments and information
included in this book.
I somehow managed to scribble at the speed of
sound; sorting 1,000s of scraps & notes that filled
many carrier bags. I put the bits (of this puzzle)
together (thanks to Information Technology IT),
somehow sensing this information was going to be
needed.
My fear: it may continue to be a misunderstood /
forgotten / neglected solution. I regard/ed it as
insurance for human-kind.

Why isn't it? That is what really matters.


Most people would have given up after such a
stony response, but there was something inside
me that would not give up. Yes, I was hurt, but not
completely broken. Whilst other people cleverly
avoid the issue, manipulating the GENERAL
situation to make money out of all the misery
and suffering, because of all the troubles I
endured
(caused by people not behaving
honourably), I cant push it to one side and
pretend it doesnt mean anything! I tried to
convince myself that it just isnt meant to be. But I
simply do not believe that. Despite all the putdowns, I still have the utmost confidence and faith in
it.

A BOOK FOR EVERY SUBJECT?


They are only interested in the sex-lives of
butterflies.
1989 2005: I wrote to publishers and literary
agents.
Some of their comments:
I dont think we could make your idea work. Its a
novel not enough people would buy. We wish you
every success placing the work elsewhere.
Regrettably, it is not quite right for our present list.
Its a bit too controversial. We only publish
famous authors who have had books published
before. You either have to be famous, or a criminal
(infamous) these days to get a book published. If
its about saving the world- were not
interested.
(I did not describe my book as having anything to do
with saving the world. Their comment suggests to
me other people, with similar concerns had
approached them).

I had designed it but even I didnt fully


understand it! When I first visualised it- I could see
people at some near future time going in and out of
Modules, leading their lives in an everyday kind of
happier way- but the rest was blank- how to get it
to that moment in time was totally beyond my
comprehension.
(The
difficulties
caused
by
PRIOR
DISCLOSURE: I just could not think of anywhere
else I could go, to enlist help).
Instead of trying to lose myself in bars or movies as
most people do
6

98% of the publishers I contacted did not reply.


I am making such material available in my efforts to
advance understanding of Democracy, Economic,
Environmental, Human Rights, political, Scientific,
and Social Justice issues.
Whenever possible the contributors name has been
accredited.
My Compilation is not plagiarism- it is artistic
licence i.e. by recycling these comments etc., and
linking these together to make a historic record
a CLEAR/er picture emerges to help us find our
way (i.e. the invaluable potential will not remain
lost, confused and disregarded).

I did try Richard Branson, but the Virgin


Publishing Group told me: We dont publish books
about the homeless.
I asked The Big Issue magazine to help with
publication. They said they were interested, but I
would have to pay 10,000 to cover the cost of
production.
(I dont have any money. I am not in receipt of a
wage or welfare). (That I managed to do this book
at all, is thanks to a good friend who supports
me).

I hope the originating authors find it in their hearts to


forgive me for including their crucial and inspiring
work in this journal.

Researching was emotionally gruelling, yet


illuminating. I had no pre-conceived idea where
my search would lead. I kept expecting to find
information that would show it is not feasible, but
the reverse has turned out to be true.
I discovered:

Every effort has been made to ensure accuracy.


If anything is not in its correct context, the error is
entirely mine.
My sincere thanks to the Media. Without their skill
and diligence, this book would not have been
possible. (I hope someone else does the follow-up).

it offers even far greater viability and


versatility than I ever imagined
it is perfectly feasible... "Where there is a
will, there is a way..."
there is more than enough reason to do it
other people have tried to do something
similar- but got the mix wrong...
if we manage to get it right, it has the
capability to pull us out of the doldrums...
it could really help Humanity, advancing
man; quite possibly helping to ensure our
future survival for 1,000's of centuries...
if we don't make it... Catastrophe? That is
how important it is!

2001: My much loved Apple Mac (computer)


expired. I had to get another (2nd-hand). That
computer broke 2 weeks later. The shop, despite
the guarantee, refused to do a repair! I managed to
get another- an IBM but that meant having to retype my research again! I type only with 2 fingers.
SEPT, 2005: I gave my manuscript to a publisher,
and paid to have this book printed to avoid heavy
editing. After waiting for a year, I realised it wasnt
going to be published (even though I had a 3 month
contract). (Delays were caused by competitors
trying to put the publisher out of business). So I
quickly produced a shorter version, hoping that
could be produced quickly. 9 months later, I was still
waiting
(My thanks to www.writersworld.co.uk for not giving
up!)

I hereby offer (a summary) of my Research as


evidence to support the afore-mentioned statement.
"FACTS ARE FACTS": My research journal
provides indisputable proof that it could be done.
Indisputable evidence is required to assist and
hopefully finally establish full feasibility for this vital
concept.

its BEEN A LONG TIME COMING!


it seems like an eternity

This Journal contains crucial (Educational &


Reference) information.

Now you know why.

This is a Historic (TRUE) record for CRITICAL


REVIEW purposes.

Im sorry, so very sorry I could not make it


happen, and things are this way.

The record of my research contains some Copyrighted


material, the use of which has not been specifically
authorised by the Copyright owner. This material is
presented under the provisions of Fair Use.

its getting there slowly but surely.


Better late than never.

" it is necessary for Social, economic and


Environmental reasons."
7

2007: Global warming, droughts, famines, terrorism. Deep inside, all of us know somethings not quite
right Listen to the people they are fed-up globally. show me heaven, please!

WELCOME seekers of TRUTH and WISDOM I can only (try to) guide you

COMPLETE RESEARCH JOURNAL


MAIN INDEX:
CHAPTER 1: UK: EDUCATION (PAGE NUMBER IN BOOK) 10
Preface, Nursery & Primary Education, Playgrounds, School Buildings, Curriculum, Aberrations, Teachers,
Truancy, Excluded (from Education), Funding, Master Plan, Choice, Private Education, Higher Education,
Sex Education (The Battle of the Sexes), The Breakdown of Family Life, Home Life, The Alienation of
Teenagers, Runaways, Children in Care, The Future?, Sin City Victims
CHAPTER 2: UK: THE HOMELESS 53
True Charity, Wait for it?, The Homeless with Children, Squatters, New Age Travellers, (1960s / Hippies),
New Age Travellers (Continued), Camping, History of Caravans, USA Trailers, The Modern Caravan,
Motor Homes, Caravan Holiday Parks, Park Homes, Freedom, Anarchy, Romanies
CHAPTER 3: PUBLIC HOUSING 95
Traditional Building Materials: Stone & Quarries, Bricks, Cement / Mortar, Concrete, Breeze Blocks,
Glass, Steel, Wood, The Destruction of Forests.
Site Safety. Tower Blocks, House Fires, Rotten Housing, Dead End Street, Noise, Maintenance, Roofs,
Plumbing, Do it Yourself (DIY), Self-Build, Extensions, Conservatories, Subsidence, Moving, The Boarding
House, Private Rented Accommodation, Harassment, Future Developments?
Modern Building Materials: UK Building Regulations, Prefabricated Housing.
UK Business Parks (Enterprise Zones), Conservation, UK: Conservation Area Regulations,
UK: Planning Permission, Property Developers / New Towns,
The Architects Debate (A New Vision for Britain: 1989): Summary, Docklands.
Cost of Buying A House, Increase in House Building. Public Buildings
CHAPTER 4: HEALTH 128
UK: National Health Service (NHS), Health Care in America, Heart Disease, Cancer, Aids (HIV),
Mental Illness, Alcohol, Drugs: Marijuana, LSD, Ecstasy, Heroin, Cocaine, Crack.
Senior Citizens, The Future?
CHAPTER 5: UK: CRIME 205
Do We Need More Police?, Why did you Steal?, A Murderous Time were having, Guilt,
Prison, Women in Prison, Court
CHAPTER 6: ENERGY 217
Alternative Energy: Alternative Energy from Sunlight, Experiments, Solar Panels,
Solar Technology, Energy Storage, Solar Farms, Laser, Solar Powered Buildings,
Alternative Energy: Wind Power, Water Power (Dams, Hydro-Electricity), Wave Power.
Desalination, Seawater, Water, Water Shortages, The Future? Human Waste.
Static Electricity, Lightning, Electricity, Nuclear Power
Oil: Drilling, Oil Spills, Safety of Oil Tankers, Super-Sizing, The Oil Business, Oil Shortage?, UK: Oil,
Oil Consumption, Summary.
Hydrogen. The Future? (Bio-Mass & Geo-Thermal), Emerging Technologies, Summary
CHAPTER 7: TRANSPORT 261
Cars, The Massacre on the Roads, Pollution, The Future?, The Next Big Thing?, USA Cars, Buses,
Road Building, Trains, The Future?, Underground Tube Trains, Tunnel Vision, Boats / Ships, Lost At Sea,
Boat Design, New Boat Design, Shipping, Amphibious Vehicles, Air Travel, Security, Helicopters
(Shall We Make it Float in the Sky?), Hover-Craft. Tourism
8

CHAPTER 8: AGRICULTURE 294


Traditional Farms, Pesticides, Cattle, Abattoirs, Fast Food, Vegetarians, Trade, Alternative Crops, Small
Holdings, Allotments, Natural Life, Under the Weather. Fishing, Animal Rights,
How Animals Suffer Around the World, Animal Experiments, Zoos, City Farms, The Future?
CHAPTER 9: WASTE 317
CHAPTER 10: THE WEATHER 327
(Hurricanes), Sea Walls & National Sea Defence, Flood Guards, How the Weather Affects Our Lives,
Storms, Global Warming, Tidal Waves (25/12/2005), Global Warming, The Humbling of America,
Whats the Answer? Artic Conditions, Earthquakes, Volcano. Summary
CHAPTER 11: UK: POLITICS 380
The Conservative Party, What is the Point of Having a Parliament?, Bad Policies, The Inequalities,
The Conspiracy Theory, How Do They Get Away With it?, People Said,
How it could be made to work by Positive Thinking Politicians, The Media, General Election, The Monarchy
CHAPTER 12: FINANCE 419
Cost Is A Determining Factor, The Banks, The Hidden Agenda, Anti-Capitalism,
The Economy, New Discoveries, Industry, Happy Days Are Here Again? Europe
CHAPTER 13: WAR 444
World War 1, World War 11, Civil Defence / Protection, Nuclear Weapons, Nuclear Submarines,
The Military, The Future?, Weapons Dealers, The Campaign Against Militarization,
The Gulf War (1990), Terrorism
CHAPTER 14: INTERNATIONAL STUDY 496
AFRICA: Algeria, Angola, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Somalia,
Somaliland, South Africa, Sudan, Uganda, Zimbabwe
OTHER COUNTRIES): Afghanistan, Albania, America, Australia, Bangkok, Brazil, Belgium, Bulgaria,
Burma, Canada, Cambodia, Chile, China, Chezoslovakia, Colombia, Corfu, Cuba, Cyprus, Denmark, Dubai,
Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hawaii, Holland, Hungary, India, Iran, Iraq, Ireland Italy,
Jamaica, Japan, Korea, Kurdistan, Libya, Madeira, Maldovia, Morocco, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Pakistan,
Peru, Philippines, Poland, Puerto Rico, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Sri-Lanka, Syria, Sweden,
Taiwan, Tenerife, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, Vietnam, Yemen, Yugoslavia (former), Summary
Borders & Immigration, The Environment, Population Levels, Summary, JOIN The HUMAN Race
CHAPTER 15: RELIGION 527
What is the Meaning of Life?, Love, One God, Bible Studies (Moses, Jesus),
Historical Significance: The Second Coming
Evil, The Church Today (Ghosts), (Angels), The Church Today (Continued).
The Holy Land (re: Palestine, Jerusalem, Israel), Lebanon
CHAPTER 16: SPACE 661
The Universe, The Space Race, The Future?, The Space Race (Continued).
Is there Anybody Out There? Un / Identified Flying Objects (UFOs) (Avro).
The Future? Summary
ACTION Check-List 686

COLOUR CODE:
GREEN: Highly Intelligent. God / Allah. True. Perfect. Natural. Environment.
PINK: In the pink! Serenity.
BLUE: True. Gentle. Kind. Humane, Human. Calm. Patient. Sad.
RED: Uh-Oh! Wrong! Warning! Dangerous!
9

CHAPTER 1: EDUCATION

1944: Rab Butler believed in Education for all.


1970: "Education is better in the UK than anywhere
else in the world. Education is free - paid for by
Taxes. The state is (supposed to be) responsible for
your welfare."
1990: A MODERN education for a MODERN
GENERATION? "We'll teach them everything?"
"In England you have to conform to fit in. You
can't be yourself." Uh?

PREFACE:
NOTE: it is the UNDER-CURRENT no-one can
quite put their finger on...
You should take a look at this and ask yourself:
What good would it have done?
What GOOD will it do?
I will be thorough. We dont want any
misunderstandings.
This is for History. To bring it Home.
" it's history - as seen by people...
I dont want to be locked in the past! Weve got to
get on with life
(Ah! Its history and you dont care anymore?)
Are YOU willing to throw away the past so history
will teach us nothing? A fool learns from his
own mistakes. A wise man learns from the
mistakes of others. We cant change the past but
we can remember it. "Life must be lived forwards,
but it needs to understood given the benefit of
hindsight. Hindsight = WISDOM. Hindsight. A
wonderful invention!
Whats wrong with a bit of reflection?

THE NEED FOR AFFORDABLE CHILD-CARE:


Do YOU CARE about children? Do you love to
see their HAPPY little smiling faces? If you
answer YES the rest of it is easy it should all
come perfectly naturally HAPPY CHILDREN =
Other people are HAPPY! Make someone
HAPPY and youll be HAPPY too!
( Some find it in their faces of their
children, in the deepest friendshipsthose you cherish all your life its a
special thing)
When a child is born, that child is like a
blank piece of paper you write on Children are
like lumps of clay. You mold and shape their
future Look into all children as vessels to see
what each contains.
I believe children are the future. Show them how
to live their lives. Show them all the beauty Give
them a sense of pride. And make it easier
"Teach your children well - how to protect their
health"
School should be the best years in your life.

CHAPTER 1: UK: EDUCATION


"The aim of Education is the acquisition of
knowledge, facts and values." We need
education to learn about the finer things in life.
With education we can raise the tone of this place.
Education = You can do something with your life.
it will be the making of you. Education is the
Key to a better life.
"Education is the best way to avert the creation of
an underclass." (Its just a simple world!)
It all comes down to education- or lack of it.
LIFE = its a learning journey. its a whole
learning process. its a learning curve! its
just one of those things you put down to
experience.
"KNOWLEDGE = Being in the LIGHT."
Knowledge is strength. Dont be afraid of
intelligence. Intelligence is a gift and you use it to
benefit for the good of mankind.
"LACK of Knowledge = Being in the Dark.
BOREDOM = Lack of knowledge.
Ignorance is evil.
EVIL means: Wicked. Futile CONFUSION.
Complacency is evil. Discontent and
ignorance bring ruin and misery.
THE OLD SCHOOL said the working class and
blacks are too ignorant to learn" "We'll teach
them to respect imperial law." Dunces & naughty
children stand in the corner "Educated to suit
the master race." "We should educate slaves?
You wouldn't know what to do with FREEDOM."
"To you we are a low breed who will never be
ready."
Sir William Beveridge wanted to get rid of
ignorance.

NURSERY & PRIMARY Education:


"Every government says they will provide childcare whilst CLOSING NURSERIES. They never
actually provide it." ("The 1st thing Mrs Thatcher
did, when she got into power, was scrap free
school milk") (needed to make strong bones and
teeth)
"Only 1 in 4 children, under 5 years of age has a
place in a State nursery school, where they could
learn basic skills. 66% of children are denied a
place at Nursery school..." (Whitehall figures, June
1993).

"The WOODEN PLAY-HUTS are nearing


completion. Work began 4 years ago... (Strong?
Safe? Warm? Dry?)
When something needs to be done QUICKLY
(Play equipment etc., could easily be fitted inside
the Module/s)
We need something like that here, NOW! Why
On Earth cant we get it? (I hope you find a
way)
"...The wooden play-huts were burnt down by
arsonists..." Vandals broke into the play-hut smashed everything ( and THE SOLUTION
is?)
"Wouldn't it give our children a better start in
10

expensive toy and the kids just want to play with


the BOX! (To a child, its a toy)
PARENT: The kids are driving me MAD You
know what kids are like - drinks get spilled
everywhere Kids make a mess - it's so hard to
keep this place clean..." Havent I got something
better to do than clean up after you all day!?
EXPERT: Its not mess. Its creative learning
PARENTS: Thats fine for you to say, but you dont
have to tidy up! Charlotte, dont wipe your hands
on the walls! Theyve just been painted! Get off
the paintwork! Mind the furniture! I said get
off it! I mean it No! Just leave it. Look at the
state of this place!
Mommy, can you help me? I cant do this on my
own (Come on Mum. Join in with me. Use a
gentle hand I need a soft voice Not now
dear! Im too busy TEMPER TANTRUMS
PARENTS: Oh, God! Will you shut up? CUT it
OUT! Grief! Now hes hysterical! Hes going mental!
Will you STOP SCREAMING? STOP it! STOP
it! STOP it! I mean it. Do as youre told, you little
beggar. Dont do it again! Are you listening? Oh!
Hes throwing another wobbly now (Words dont
change anything?)
PARENT: Is it me, or are children screaming a lot
more these days? I dont understand it! Weve
tried everything- smacking, putting him in his
room. I tell him to calm down but he wont! He
screams for hours, making himself sick. Hes very
badly behaved. Nice one minute, nasty the next.
Wed like consistent behaviour.
EXPERT: He hasnt responded. Very wilful. Very
bright child. And articulate. Is a softer regime
required? Talking it through with the child? More
discipline? A change of diet? What is a correct
analysis? (Yeh. COM 'on. Talk me through it)
PARENT: WHAT ARE YOU DOING NOW?
CHILD: Following in your foot-steps
EXPERTS: These are attention seeking tactics
"Children achieve better results when praised.
Praising works better than criticism. STAR
charts work wonders. Kids love thinking about the
stars Give them an incentive EG. a visit to
somewhere they enjoy - the opportunity to earn
stars for jobs well done. Children love earning
(merit) points!
EXPERT: He wont sleep without a light? He
cries all the time? Many children are afraid of the
dark Children need to be relaxed at bedtime.
Hes very active Try telling kids itll be OK
speak quietly to calm Gently negotiate
PARENT: We were never taught anything about
how to handle kids
EXPERT: Youre the adult - youre going to have
to find out the best way
EXPERT: Children need a routine. To FEEL SAFE
things need to be predictable (Maybe hes
feeling INSECURE?)

life?"
"Teacher, teacher. I want to know why the sky is
blue and white. I know I'm only 3. I know my ABC..."
(" it's as easy to learn as your ABC...")
This kid is way ahead of us "These days
children are so smart! They are much more
advanced than we were at their age..." Theyre as
quick as a flash
"That's EVOLUTION for you..." Mankindprogrammed by a million years of evolution
(We might be on the verge of an evolutionary
breakthrough)
CHILD: "I am at a very IMPRESSIONABLE Age..."
EXPERT: At this age, kids copy everything they
hear or see
You see the children playing with the wooden
construction blocks
FAVOURITE THING?
PARENT: Kids love bath toys. Plastic things that
FLOAT If it sparkles, its cool! A Must-Have.
PARENT: They soon out-grow
plastic ) Wendy houses
Can we build a sand castle?

its my little plastic castle


My kid loves: Bob the Builder. Project: Build it!
Bobs Mobile
Home,
in
Sunflower
Valley, hooks
up...
it features
a detachable
roof and a
fold-down
front. Bob's favourite phrases are: "Great work
team!" "Can we fix it?" "Let's Get Moving!" We
can build bigger and better (re: Bob the Builder, BBC,
April 2005) (BIGGER is Better !?)
A MODERN DOLLS HOUSE:
The (plastic) Kaleidoscope
Dollhouse (by artist Laurie
Simmons and architect Peter
Wheelwright) is the house of her
dreams and yours. Reminiscent
of Gerrit Reitveld's Schroeder House
1925, this interactive set is an

architectural gem with sliding, interchangeable


translucent color walls. Playing house with this
guarantees either the next Frank Lloyd Wright, or just a kid

with good taste (ref: www.newyork.urbanbaby.com )

its like so cool!


PARENT: Typical! You spend all that money on an
11

CHAPTER 1: EDUCATION

EXPERT: Children are very good at sensing


things They can always somehow sense when
something is wrong - not quite right
Oh, Ill think about it said a harassed Mumwhose 5 year old junior is still going through the
terrible 2s
Child Psychologists: Ignore it (whatever the
problem is) and itll go away.
PARENT: Fine in theory but in practice that
doesnt work. Do these people have any children of
their own?
PARENTS: It really gets to me sometimes I
miss adult conversation! We miss having some
QUALITY time together. We dont get any time
Oh, what would I give for 5 minutes to myself!
Stuck here with the kid/s all day is enough to drive
anyone up the wall. I am losing the will to live
So CRANKY! The child does nothing but cry. For
my sanity something has to be done. Too bored.
Cooped up. Doing my head in. Shes so active, so
advanced for her age. Shes just got to get a
placement basically
(What a pity so many parents have to put their lives
on hold just because theyve got children)
HYPER-ACTIVE: She just shakes her head
Over-tired, cant relax, cant relate Lots of kids
are (frustrated) head-bangers (Sitting rocking
back & forth, banging their head against the
wall) (Rocking is thought to be a sign of
intelligence)
Are children becoming more aggressive? We
never used to behave like that!
Kids these days! Never a please or a thank you!
The word SORRY would go a long way to help!
(WHO TEACHES them good MANNERS? In
Germany, this is given top priority- young children
are taught to have good manners in Kindergarten
(means: Childrens Garden). In the UK, we only
blame the parents / the school / the government for
getting it wrong)
EXPERT: If you want to help children,
PRIORITISE!
There is NO EQUALITY for Nursery education
Everyone agrees Nursery education should be
available for all who want it. Research shows this
leads to reduced juvenile delinquency (2/6/1994).
PARENTS ARE HAVING A HELL OF A BATTLE.
Be firm, be kind. Its not easy - hes just going to
have to learn that. Its getting worse. We need to
relieve the anxiety, stress, the focus of this problem

on their feet and be able to make decisions i.e.


Free-Thinkers?
re: THE FUTURE: We cant Afford Nursery
Education on the cheap. We need better paid,
fully trained and qualified staff. Nursery education is
the introduction could give children a flying start.
We want well run institutions. Contracted out
support functions? The government will go for
the cheaper alternative (re: Campaign for Change,
Trades Union Congress, BBC2, 8/9/1994).

School annexe and Nursery school destroyed


by FIRE - arson (Hackney, 6/10/1994).
Tots had to dive for cover when the ceiling of a
playgroup hall came crashing down. Plasterboard, metal brackets and lights smashed to the
ground. Incredibly all the heavy debris missed
everyone by inches (Today, October 1994).
Because the provision of State nurseries is
very patchy children as young as 3 are being
made to take academic tests to get a place at
independent nursery schools where fees are
5,000 per annum. Weeding out the less able is
the fairest way. Its impossible to do justice
across the range said a Head mistress. Does this
mean we will fail the rest? (BBC1, 7/3/1995).
Parents promised a Nursery place will be
disappointed- a new building due to be completed
cannot be finished as the money has run out
(Oxford, BBC1, 6/5/1995).

In one borough, all State Nursery schools are


being privatised. Fees will go up 40% (June 1995).
A report said there are only child-care places for 1
in 7 children (3/2/1997).
WAITING LISTS: "We don't have waiting lists any
more. Too many Mums are on our books needing a
place. Parents are really desperate... A lot of
mothers would do paid work if given the chance..."
Some Mums hand over most of their salaries to
keep a child in private nursery school (cost 140 a
week). Child-care experts said there should be
more subsidised places" (5/8/1993)
"The drive for FREE NURSERY EDUCATION FOR
ALL (that want it): Nursery school places could be
provided for every 3 year old, according to a report
called 'Start Right.' Plans drawn up by an influential
think-tank of industrialists, child-care experts and
academics, will give fresh impetus to the drive for
free Nursery education for all. The scheme will
divert cash from universities, colleges and other
government
departments...
Ministers
are
determined to act on evidence from America that
starting school earlier reduces juvenile crime
and saves Tax-payers money. John Major sees it
as a vote winner and has pledged to introduce
Nursery education for all when the country can
Afford it. A team from The National Commission on
Education said if all children start school at 3, this
will cost 860 million" (Evening Standard, 18/2/1994)
(Using what kind of buildings?)

(The Time and Place, ITV, 8/11/1994).

PARENT: Ive told him Im his friend so hell see


me in a less harsh light
EXPERT: You cant be a friend and a parent. He
needs to respect you. He has to learn to do what
he is told, when he is told
CHILD: I cant be friends with my folks, huh?
Im not a robot!
Q: Do you want children who can grow up to stand
12

'Pupils are increasingly at risk from accidents,


crime and child abuse because parents are not at
home after school hours' said The National Out of
School Alliance, which aims to provide work and
play-care for children. There has been no
improvement since a 1978 study found that 1 in 5
children are left alone all day during holidays,
and 1 in 6 left school for an empty home" (1990).
"LACK OF PROVISION: 80,000 latch key children
go home to an empty house... Parents unable to
work... ' it will be good for schools'..." (GMTV,

UK 1996: A VOUCHER SCHEME was introduced


whereby working parents with children in private
nurseries, or placed with registered child-minders
(paying approx. 150 a week for 52 weeks of the
year), can claim 80% of this money back from the
government. What is the cost of that scheme?
CHILD-MINDERS: Can be very difficult. Some are
only in it for the money. Some are crap. Some
are lousy time keepers- you cant rely on them.
Some are brilliant. Ive got to take unpaid leave if
no child-care
Mommy, I have something to tell you
Not now love! Ive got to go to work
1999: TAX CREDITS received by over 6 million
families. Introduced to help poorer communities
by the Labour government. A system so difficult to
understand. 2 million people over-paid 2.2
BILLION. Causing debt, poverty Government
clawing money back (2005).
Children attending Nursery school can the
chances of contracting leukaemia. Exposure to
common infections strengthens the immune
system (report, BBC, 22/4/2005).
NEW DISCIPLINE TECHNIQUE: The Chill-Out
chair, the Work-it-Out chart for when you are
naughty, after you have been asked by your parents
to do something (Super-Nanny, 8/9/2005).

1/3/1993).

"LOCKED OUT KIDS AT RISK MORE than ever


before. Drawn into drugs, shop lifting... Kids
wander off... densely populated places... Stretched
resources..." (London Tonight, 26/7/1993).
PLAYGROUNDS:
A HARD surface = Many Accidents.
Screams (instead of laughter.)
WAH! DOWN AND HURT.
Oh, did you fall over? Never mind.
Mummy will kiss / rub it better.
The STRESS levels experienced by
parents!
PARENTS: For goodness sake! Do be careful.
Dont run so fast! Youll trip! You might BREAK
your neck! IF you were on a LAWN you could
race more safely You always think its not
going to happen to you till it does. Im afraid if
they dont listen they will learn the HARD way.
IF we could get them to WHERE THE GRASS IS
GREENER
(Skip to it ARE YOU HAVING FUN?)
IF only children could blossom
(UK 1995ish: Indoor Soft Play areas introduced =
Foam covered in wipe-clean PVC).
PARENTS: Kids these days seem to think
everywhere is a soft play area! Of course I want
the best for my child (What stopped you dead
in your tracks?)
PARENT: We cant wrap them in cotton wool!
Children have to experience the real world
Parents are in 2 minds about it. They dont know
HOW to protect their kids from the every day
dangers that surround them. (Oh! No. They dont
teach you HOW to protect your child.)
In 1 week, 3 children have fallen in the
playground and broken their arm! There wasnt a
day when the Head teacher wasnt in the casualty
department (Too busy to give it another
thought?)
EXPERT: A parents role is to make sure their
world is SAFE.
EXPERT: YOUR CHILDS FUTURE is what you
make of it. The dreams of children will be
easier to fulfil if their loved ones make the path in
front
of
them
with
kindness,
patience,

PRIMARY SCHOOL:
The UK has 180,000 primary schools.
More and more children are being excluded
from primary schools due to disruptive
behaviour, smashing State property. These
children often come from poor housing, a poor
background (14/12/1995).
"That problem - what to do with kids at weekends?"
( it would be ideal its something for
the kids " it's a kid's thing. Somewhere the
children could play safely and have fun - expend
energy and not do damage - so we can get some
peace...)
The problems with school holidays Kids have
all summer doing nothing whilst their parents tear
their hair out. How do you deal with bored kids for
6 weeks? Schools are locked-up during
holidays!
(In America, they organise Summer
Camps a week doing this, a week doing that)

I wish I could go to school. Im bored


"The lack of help for working parents..." Not
many employers are understanding I can't
keep taking time off every time my child is ill! I'll
lose my job!"
Why not? Thats silly. Havent they got kids? Dont
they know what its like?
"HOME ALONE: Child left at home alone so Mum
could work. Mother put in prison..."
LATCH KEY CHILDREN: "GROWING RISK:
13

CHAPTER 1: EDUCATION

have been lost in 10 years in the Greater London


area out of a total of 1,618 - a 16% loss (23/11/1994).
IF we turned playgrounds into a little bit of the
country-side, that is better than the nitty-gritty. The
idea is now being considered by 10,000 schools in
the UK. Will affect children - how they think about
their Environment Having animals to protect,
promotes an atmosphere of caring which results
in less bullying and more learning. Stops playtime
being boring. This was once a hard playground, a
car park. Now grass, individual gardens, ponds.
Makes so much difference. Children were getting
away from nature. Helps spiritually too

understanding and love. ( its all about


making them HAPPY)
MOTHER: I dont know whether Im coming or
going. Ive got too much to do Just a minute
dear Yes, OK, not now. Hmm. Alright. Maybe
later. WELL SEE (That usually means no). I
havent got time for fun and games! Come to think
of it, I have no time for anything I want. Its a
puzzle! I live for your smiles - hoping for
happiness, but all I seem to get is other peoples
troubles!
"KIDS BATTLE: ... children staged a demo at the
town hall... making banners and gave councillors a
petition. 2 boys urged 'Please keep our
playground open.' Last year the Martin Luther King
playground was given until March 31st to raise a
significant part of the 150,000 needed to replace
a building. The playground has raised 55,000
toward the cost. Young protestors sung a song
ending: 'You've taken most of what we've got.
Remember when you were young? Or have you
FORGOT?' Policy-makers took pity on the
youngsters- they gave them another 6 months to
raise the money" (1990).
Everyone loves parks
PARKS MUST BE MADE SAFER: Playgrounds
should be a safe haven for children but
playgrounds are dangerous, causing broken
limbs and fractured skulls. Worst problemunsafe surfaces, the equipment - nuts & bolts.
Rubber and bark used to absorb impact - not
effective - rubber lifts and bark moves so concrete
underneath exposed (Town Women's Guild report re:

(Country File, BBC1, 8/6/1994).

30,000 children a year injured in playground


accidents. Concrete under play equipment. 1/3rd of
equipment is old, dangerous, badly maintained,
vandalised. Impact absorbing surfaces and daily
checks are needed (BBC1, 7/7/1994).
Hayley has 50 fractures. She is 4 years old and
has brittle bones. She has waited a year for her
next operation. She is playing in a concrete
playground (BBC1, 20/10/1994).
PLAY CUTS PERIL: Children's lives put at risk
by play cuts. The consequences of restructuring
adventure playgrounds to save 117,000 will mean
the closure of 5 playgrounds that help youngsters
off the street. A councillor said: We lead the
country in play provision. Weve got to sack 22
play workers Any savings made would be
nothing compared to the bill we could face from
increased vandalism (re: Islington, London,
20/10/1994).

she died in a tragic playground accident. She


fell from a swing. Islington has closed all
playgrounds in the borough with hard surfaces

Consumer Protection, 22/11/1991).

HOW to TRANSFORM to a place of SAFETY?


BLOOMING IN THE PLAYGROUND: A school in
one of London's toughest areas has found a way to
defeat the playground bully. Flowers and plants.
Like 100's of schools across the country, Winton
primary school in Kings Cross, once had a tarmac
playground. The rough, unwelcoming surface
seemed to be reflected in the childrens
behaviour... Bullying was common and every
tumble resulted in scrapped knees and damaged
egos. Then Headmistress Jane Fulford turned the
playground into a GARDEN and now the 300
children play in safety and are less disruptive
and violent towards each other... Today, very
young children will go from one concrete
Environment straight to another The scheme
received enthusiastic support from the council and
the Environmental charity 'Learning through
Landscapes,' who carried out the 'Greening' of
school playgrounds" (Evening Standard, 6/12/1993).
"100 SCHOOL PLAYING FIELDS WILL BE SOLD
OFF for re-development, (to raise cash for cashstrapped schools)" (14/3/1994) PARENTS SAID: "It's
a crying shame. We have no say..."
The British Sports Council said 263 playing fields

(17/3/1995).

There has been an increase in injuries in


playgrounds. Head injuries, children have lost
teeth etc. 3,000 studies establish that violence
on TV (and violent computer games) leads to
increased violent behaviour (17/3/1995) (What
would you rather watch on TV? Something
decent? TEENAGER: Who needs to watch
horror movies? Hey, this is the Land of the living
dead!)
School playing fields still being sold off (1999).
WHY DONT KIDS PLAY OUTSIDE ANY MORE?
Children admit theyre too scared to leave the
house. They opt to play computer games instead. A
parent said she is terrified for the safety of her
daughter Our next generation could be very
unhealthy. A blow for the Health Secretary John
Reid, who promised a wide range of action to
combat obesity (ref: Report by: The Children's Society,
Daily Mirror, 3/8/2005).

STATE SCHOOL BUILDINGS:


After the war few new schools were built - most
were inherited (from the Victorians)
14

experienced than the national average in most


subjects" (17/5/1990).
"4,000 SMALL COUNTRY SCHOOLS FACE
CLOSURE: Under threat. Funding reforms..."
"They are closing down the best schools!"
(22/6/1990) (WHY? Something funny is going
on I think this joke has gone on for long
enough. NOTE: What is happening to Villages
throughout this journal).
Parents want smaller class sizes (BBC1,

"State schools are in such A STATE!


DISINTEGRATION... DISREPAIR..."
So much maintenance required! EG. Flaking
Paint, slates & guttering falling off, roof moss,
cracked glass- a never-ending list! Portakabinstyle class rooms supported on piles of
crumbling concrete
"Backlog of 3 BILLION repairs needed desperately crumbling old school buildings. Very
depressing." "15 years of neglect." Open drains
inside the school
" it's just a bug going round school..." (1990).
"What an education! School shored (propped) up
with wood..." SKOOL'S FALLING DOWN!"
"ROTTING wooden frames, rotting walls." "What
a dump." "HORRIBLE buildings! It's not good

22/4/1994).

1,000s OF VILLAGE SCHOOLS ALL OVER THE


COUNTRY face the AXE due to government cut
backs. Surplus places. Rural areas have smallest
schools so simplest solution is shut lots of them.
But to many families this logic is simply not
acceptable. A passionate protest. Tearing vital
element out of village life. If we dont keep these
places where will we put Nursery education? For
most children theres no choice but travel to
nearest urban school by bus or taxi. Is this
desirable? Government has failed to answer
questions. So what can parents do to keep school
within their community? Could parents run the
school themselves? In most cases schemes such
as this short lived. But there are a few happy
endings. A few years ago, at Ticknall school, the
parents took over and it now has over 60 pupils
and has become a thriving, independent, nonfee paying, person centred, Co-operative. Theres
a fortunate combination of teachers who
passionately believe in small schools, and
parents who want to do much more than occasional
fund raising. Some help with the teaching. Every
parent can contribute in some way towards the
45,000 needed each year to keep the school
going. Parents even run a craft shop at the local
stately home - all the profits go to the school.
Parents follow a rota working for nothing with the
backing of a large number of educationalists
Along similar lines is another pioneering school
which only has 13 pupils. They want to set-up a
network of schools linked together to share
facilities. When village schools close the heart
of the community dies. Theres no street lightingso what else do they get from taxes? Unforgivable.
A sense of outrage exists (Country File, BBC1,

enough."
EG. "... at Islington's oldest school, a ceiling
collapsed. Plaster and debris showered down. If
this had happened when children were in there they
could have been killed or seriously injured"
(3/2/1992).

EG. "A school in Hackney has 250 pupils, a flat


roof- a so-called 'Modern' building, which had a
life-span of 10 years, when opened - that was 20
years ago. Disgraceful. Classes have to be
cancelled when it rains heavily- the roof leaks and
the floor becomes too slippery." "It is very difficult to
provide a good education when you are continually
re-arranging desks to avoid falling water"
EG. "Pupils at a school in Norwich feel like adopting
'Raindrops keep falling on my head' as their school
song. The roof leaks. Teachers have 40 buckets to
catch the rain water. The Conservative-controlled
council are aware of the problem. The school was
built in the 1930s with a poorly designed roof,
which needs urgent repair. 'It's our priority for next
year' said the council..." "Mr. Baldwin, Head of a
primary school in Lancashire, said many of his
pupils spend their lives tramping between split
sites in the rain"
BIG SCHOOLS: "Frightening!" "Can't find my way
around." "I feel lost in here." "Can't keep up with
the classes." "The thought of going to school makes
her ill. She moans 'I can't go'..."
"... has to travel miles away to nearest school- a
risky journey that takes hours there and back. It's
dark by the time she gets back." "A high number
of young children have to walk long distances to
school, without an adult."
"SMALL IS BEAUTIFUL: Pupils from small village
schools do better, a Warwick university study has
revealed. Children at small village schools are
more likely to do well in exams and end up with
good jobs. The study will be used to argue that
Local Authorities are wrong to close 100's of
small village schools throughout Britain.
Research found that small schools attracted
teachers who were better qualified and more

13/7/1994).

VILLAGE LIFE UNDER THREAT, eroded by the


Church of England, backed by the government.
A school is a vital component for village life. In one
village, the school had been donated to the village.
Parents have fought for 5 years to keep this school
open. We dont want our children to have to be
taken by bus to another school miles away.
200,000 was raised by local people to run their
school and prevent closure, but school gates have
been locked and children kept out by the Church of
England. The former school lies empty. We cant
15

CHAPTER 1: EDUCATION

just demand respect old-style. It's not going to be


handed to you on a plate..." "I want a well spent
life... BUT ... I guess we'll just have to teach them
a lesson?" "I am auto-suggestible you know...
Stop treating us like juvenile delinquents and then
maybe, we'll stop behaving like delinquents?" It
isnt only us who doesnt pay attention. "How can
you teach when you have so much to learn? May
you burn..."
"SCHOOL BLAZE: Fierce blaze caused severe
damage at Nightingale School... 4 fire engines, 20
fire-fighters needed" (29/5/1993).
"ARSON ATTACK ON 8 SCHOOLS... 1 school
50% destroyed. 'The damage is just awful.' The
police do not know the motive" (Manchester,
18/4/1993) ("Obviously, he didn't like school...")
SCHOOL ARSONS: Detectives are investigating
suspicious fires at 2 schools in Berkshire, at a
school in Maidenhead and at a school in
Chippenham (Evening Standard, 17/5/1994).
DESTRUCTION = What are they thinking of? Not
the Lord God Almighty! Maybe what they hate
all the cold
So mean! Have you no consideration for others?
Q: WHY DID YOU DESTROY?
A: Because you shouted at me.
TEACHER: But I only shouted at you after you had
destroyed!
A: Because it made me feel better.
TEACHER: Destroying something made you
happy? (Ah. Youve not got it sorted in your
head. Youve not thought it through properly. Ah!
He needs modification.)
A: Oh, I dont know. Lets just forget anything
happened.
TEACHER: No, its not that easy! You need to
think about it. You destroy - to make you
happy??? Ah! Do we know the difference
between right and wrong?
A: Well, Ive got to have something to do to
fiddle with
TEACHER: Well, why dont you CREATE
something then?
A: I dont know what. Or HOW to.
TEACHER: Do you want me to make something
with you?
A: Oh, yes please. (Ah. You wanted some
attention ACTIVE participation!)
TEACHER: What a pity there arent many more
active community programmes involving school
children.
"ASBESTOS SCARE: Vandals broke into a former
school containing dangerous asbestos... Failure to
carry out urgent works... could pose extremely
serious problems" (6/5/1993).
"The building of new class rooms has taken all
available funds. Teachers have no furniture to put
in them" (May 1993).
DELAYS: "Had to put up with DUST, NOISE and

get in. The decision to close the school due to


government policy. The Church (the Bishop of
Guildford) could have worked with the new Trust
but they decided not to. They thwarted the project
(Watchdog, BBC1, 21/11/1994) (Why?)
OVER-CROWDED: "Class rooms are more
overcrowded now they have ever been. In
primary schools there are more than a million
children in classes of over 30 pupils!" (21/1/1994).
"HOW ON EARTH do you manage to look after
44 (screaming) kids? The responsibility! Im
ashamed to admit I'd shut them in a room and hope
they get on with it!"
It is necessary for the well being of the country
to have small class sizes (1/6/1995).
"THIEVES SMASHED A SCHOOL...
causing
1,000's of damage..." "Aggressive behaviour,
vandalism in every school..."
Rebels without a cause? "I'm having it tough. So
can you. We're having a competition to see
who'll have a nervous breakdown first." "So I
give them a bit of hassle. I am testing you. That's
what people do." "It's a crazy game when nothing
fits."
"FIRE at William Morris school. Most class rooms
destroyed. Burnt to the ground. Will have to be
rebuilt. 1 in 8 schools likely to be a target for
arson" (BBC, 22/3/1993).
"At least 3,000 ARSON FIRES IN SCHOOLS
EACH YEAR. Same problem in America.
Alarming rise in attacks. Taken fire and education
chiefs by surprise. Torching costs at least 45
million in the UK. WANTED: Anti-Arson Measures"
(Radio, 23/3/1993).

"DISCONTENTED PUPILS: ... 4,000 individuals


prosecuted or cautioned each year for fire-raising
offences, almost are aged 10 - 16. Cost of 45
million does not include expense of moving
pupils to alternative locations. Britain has 25,000
schools- 1 in 8 schools will suffer an arson attack,
occurring outside school hours. There are more
than 40 attacks a week. 6 out of 10 fires started
deliberately. The solution? Clear delineation of
boundaries, adequate fencing, security lighting...
Automatic devices installed to warn of fire.
Neighbourhood Watch schemes (Reason for
attacks? How to prevent?)
When lost working time, rebuilding and other
costs are taken into account, the burning of
British schools costs Tax-payers approx. 300
million a year i.e. more than treble the annual
spending on books and equipment. Other
suggestions include: Building better schools,
live-in caretakers, more liaisons with fire prevention
officers" (Evening Standard, 23/3/1993) ("The devil
makes work for idle hands") ("You'd think kids
would have something better to do...")
"MALCONTENTS..." KIDS SAID: "Don't you know
by now that respect has to be deserved. You don't
16

when youths rode bikes on the (flat?) roof, fires


started, trees ripped up windows daubed with
paint and smashed, teachers cars habitually
broken into, then set on fire. At first, the hooligans
saw the fence as a challenge and rammed them
with stolen cars which were then set alight But the
fences were not breached. Similar measures now in
force across Newcastle. But the city council takes
little pleasure in the drastic action to protect pupils
and
property"
(Evening
Standard,
31/3/1994)
Conservative government schemes spread
nationwide That fence cost at least 80,000
to put up. (Does this encourage more
openness?)
"CLASS-ROOM SECURITY: Questions raised
about security. 25 years of problems. Can't turn
schools into fortresses. Can't lock the school
because of fire risk. Intercoms on every door?
There have been many incidents..." (28/4/1994).
19 BILLION TO BE SPENT to repair school
buildings How will this money be raised? Taxpayers should worry (15/7/1998).
PEOPLE SAID: Use fire retardant buildings, who
knows, end result might be less retards? I
thought you are on an economy drive! You need
to go on a 2 million tour before deciding? You are
seeking to promote This is all a tragedy really.
Put the Moody Blues on. Well meet again
RE-BUILD WORK FIT FOR THE 21st CENTURY
= millions have been allocated will be spent to
fund building projects, replace old buildings and
create an Environment suitable for 21st Century
learning The building programme is already
underway it means we will be able to get rid of
temporary class rooms Our sites will have
modern accommodationand provide a quality
Environment in which to learn (December, 2004)
(What style of new buildings have they got
planned? More Bricks & Mortar, Wood, Glass
and Steel?) (A good Labour government initiative
= Another missed opportunity?)
MODERNISING SCHOOLS = Investing in
infrastructure to create many benefits.
COLD SNAP: 100s of schools closed due to
deep snow, blizzards. Artic conditions. The cost
of heating Brrr. Keep warm somehow any
old how (22/2/2005).
BUDGET: 9.4 BILLION to be spent on primary
schools by 2008 (16/3/2005).
BRISTOL: 66 primary schools refurbished thanks
to Gordons Browns budget (April 2005) (Spent on
more carpets and wooden flooring?)
Tony Blair visited a newly built school. He looked
up at the massive atrium - and seemed to be in
shock at the design - the 1st floor balcony with
the open glass banister, and the long drop
down to the ground floor (2005).
PUBLIC MEETING: The Head Master said: The
idea is a better education for our children. 1.1

temporary buildings for 2 years until new (brick)


(prize-winning) school could be built. 'Now we've got
skylights! We use less electricity on lights!" (May
1993) ("Not all buildings are suitable for skylights...")
"THE LAW SAYS HUTS ONLY FIT FOR PIGS
AND TEACHING OUR KIDS: The damp creeps up
the walls from underneath the floorboards and the
roof is caving in. Temporary huts put up 50
years ago to provide a canteen for evacuees during
World War 11 (WW11). The huts need to be
replaced. A report said teachers have to work in
awful conditions... 'Under present health and safety
legislation, no other economic activity - except
perhaps pig farming - could take place in these
buildings.' The pupils were so ashamed of their
school they entered a competition to try and win
some paint to paint over the cracks - to try and
stop the rot - but it will take more than a lick of
paint to smarten it up... There is a danger of setting
a precedent here- things are bad enough already
with having parents and children having to get
repairs done by themselves... Local Education
Authorities estimate it would cost 4 BILLION to
carry out all the necessary repairs to Britains
25,000 State schools" (Daily Mirror, 18/1/1994).
"BRUTAL LESSON IN POVERTY: Britain's
crumbling schools have been dealt a further blow
by the Conservative government. Council chiefs
want to spend 1.5 Billion as part of a 3-year
programme to bring all schools up to scratch... but
the government has allocated 50 million. Several
areas received only 3% of the cash needed.
Deprived inner-city schools fared badly in the cash
hand-out..." (Daily Mirror, 18/1/1994).
A SCHOOL PARTIALLY COLLAPSED ruining the
new parquet wooden flooring. School now closed.
Many schools have problems - leaking roofs,
portakabins too hot New school buildings
needed. Central government does not give enough
money to allow for repairs (BBC1, 16/1/1995) Money
spent on new carpets for class-rooms!
BARRIERS: Government fencing schools in, using
steel barricades, arguing this is to stop vandalism.
"ARMY CAMP ATMOSPHERE. Oppressive. Drab.
Dreary.
Mundane.
Ugly.
FRIGHTENING."
(Positive boundaries?)
"PRISON GATES KEEP A SCHOOL SAFE:
Towering 8' high reinforced steel fences, topped
by lethal spikes! This school has the look of a
maximum security prison! Panic buttons fitted
inside, linked to an intruder alarm system. The only
entrance is locked and protected by video cameras.
An entry system is operated from within. This is a
primary school... Fortified against youths who
make the school a daily target for their vandalism.
'Before the perimeter fences were installed, the
school was being systematically dismantled by
hooligans' said the Headmaster. Lead stripped off
the roof, tiles smashed, internal ceilings damaged
17

CHAPTER 1: EDUCATION

closed. Dust Suppression = Wetting. Wont be done


continuously. Will residents be able to use their
gardens? Liaise with me on a daily basis. Work on
site will be Monday Friday, vehicles arriving
7am, work starting 8am. They might go into
weekend working for dangerous occupations i.e.
when no children around. The answer is to walk to
school, or bring in a traffic warden or possibly close
the road for pedestrians and cars. Yes, there will be
diesel engines running all the time. I do
understand there are domestic properties close by.
This is a public service. Its in your best interests.
Its going to help you
Me: You are not getting rid of the dilapidated
portakabins used by the Junior school (only the
portakabins being used as a Nursery)! Where are
the Nursery-age children going to be situated? The
proposed extension to the Junior school to be
linked to the Primary school via a very long tunnel
have you done a time and motion study - will
everyone
need
roller-skates?
Have
you
considered putting a Modular structure between
the 2 (old) school buildings- where the Junior
school portakabins are, using one end for the
infants, the other end for the Juniors replacement
class-rooms, with an admin section in the middle,
thereby saving the playground?
School Governor: What is most important is
getting the best value for money and the best
foundation-building for the children. The best
possible Environment. The new Nursery will be in
the new building er, um in the Junior school (not
the infant school!) A modular building would be long
and thin and wouldnt last so long. We need the
portakabins! Our budget is not finite!
Me: I also want the best Environment for our
children. A modular structure could be Prefabricated and precision-made to any shape, or
size - its appearance is up to the imagination of
the
architect.
Modular
structures
using
maintenance-free materials - offer less
expenditure + a longer life. Modular = Speedy
construction, reduced heavy traffic, reduced
impact on local residents, pupils, parents and
staff. The costs saved by opting for improved
thermal performance will enable you to invest in
Energy Efficient heating
The (young) Architect said: Modular buildings
are inappropriate. The old 1970s styles! This
scheme has already been decided upon and is the
best option (May 2005) (see chapter 3) UPDATE: The
wooden clad extension, with a sloping asphalt
roof, attached to the crumbling 1960s
(temporary?) metal clad (painted brown) school
hall is still being built (September, 2006). Lovely?
HARD CHOICE: Old, crumbling, or new brick
and metal.
SCHOOLS CLOSED due to snow. 450 schools
closed in Wales. 2,000 pupils stranded in schools

million has been allocated for a building to join


the infant school with the junior school, so we
can get rid of the horrible mobile existing buildings
(mouldy, damp, crumbling 1970s portakabins.)
This is a Pre-Planning Permission application
meeting to discuss the Health & Safety aspects i.e.
the hazards. To allay any fears.
The ARCHITECT (privately contracted to the
local council) said: The new building
(comprising of 3 additional class-rooms + new
admin & dining facilities in the gym / hall, with a
large central foyer), will be built over the existing
playground. All the kids can share the other
(tarmac) playground (mixing 5 year olds with (often
aggressive) 10 year olds does not work!)
Building Materials = Sympathetic brickwork +
different type of brick, painted concrete render &
timber, rather than metal clad. A (long)
polycarbonate covered walkway (corridor) with steel
frame will connect the 2 buildings.
Schedule: Work commences November 2005, due
to be completed July 2006 = 38 weeks of
disruption.
Local Residents said: Weve gone through this
before. All the banging! We nearly went mad! The
mess! They didnt listen to me the last time.
They cracked my garden wall. Couldnt use of
these lorries be minimised? As it is now cars are
having to drive on the pavements These plans
will reduce parking. Where will parents & staff park?
Already a nightmare. A child is going to get
killed We wont be able to use our gardens or
hang out any washing. All the builders
swearing! (Why?) Im concerned what noise
levels the children will be subjected to. Please
dont plant trees! We have to clear the leaves
The Health & Safety Officer said: We do
understand there are issues. Parts of the site are
sloping, access is very tight- limited, so very difficult.
This will have to widened. Removing builders
rubbish also very difficult. Deliveries very difficult.
The construction companies these days want to
protect their image so they will work with you by
using smaller vehicles. Delivery of building
materials to the site: How to make this task as
safe as possible for pupils, staff & local residents?
All the site huts for the builders all the
construction vehicles all the heavy goods coming
in, all the rumbling Anything damaged will be
replaced - that is standard. We wont use any
dangerous building materials. Well put up
hoarding to stop vandals getting into the site.
Vandals will steal anything so we will use massive
steel shipping containers to lock everything away.
THE DIRTY OPERATIONS: There will be a lot of
drainage works for the foundations. Pile
Foundations = Bang, Bang, Bang. The banging,
the hammering & chipping, the dusty operations
will unfortunately disrupt you. Keep your windows
18

in Cornwall- normally schools would close at the 1st


sign of snow. The military- squadrons, are helping
those trapped without food and drink. Devon:
Schools closed. School buses unable to get up the
hills (25/11/2005).
More than 1,100 new schools have been built since
Labour came to power in 1997. 27,000 classrooms
refurbished
or
rebuilt.
31
BILLION
of
investment... (Daily Mirror, 12/5/2007).
Yes, we think this is a NEW NATIONAL MODEL:
Demolish the old school, create a series of small
schools to make the transition from Primary to
Secondary school easier (re: Torquay Community

follow RULES are rewarded


EXPERT: Ignoring children is a way of
withdrawing love
Education = How to lay a brick.
WAH! "I don't want to be a brick-layer!"
JOKE: Do you like wood work? Yes, I would
work
"We should be teaching Navigational skills" said a
teacher. "I'd rather give them Astrology" (June
1990).

GENERAL KNOWLEDGE: "They are filling their


heads with miscellaneous DROSS." "Engaged in
irrelevancy." Imperial gallons of facts poured into
them until they are full to the brim.
MOANS. GROANS: Bad teachers. Know their
subject but cant pass it on You want the best
from me? Well, I want the best from you. If we
cant do what we like to do, well do what you
dont like. And youll find that harder to correct.
Teachers impede our progress. Waste of time,
crass projects. Are teachers only here for the
easy money? Holding students back
intellectually. What a load of bloody clap trap.
Bilge. I know! Same thing seems to be
happening in every education establishment.
Teachers never mention it!
Ah! The youth know the truth.
"A survey has revealed that young people of today
look back on their time at school as LOST
YEARS..."
"Pupils are to carry on swotting. Exam MISERY is
to continue for Britain's children, ruled John
MacGregor, Education minister..." (20/8/1990).
"The trouble with exams is they test your ability to
remember facts temporarily, so that you can recite
parrot-fashion, but do not test your intelligence i.e.
your ability to put knowledge to GOOD use."
INTELLIGENCE = They dont show you HOW to
use it.
INTELLIGENCE = Got it on top?
Exams dont take into account how much you are
distracted by your Environment
I CANT TAKE THE PRESSURE and its
beginning to show "A boy, 16, found hanged
from a kiddies playground slide"
"Lessons made disinteresting." "Most lessons are
so BORING!" KIDS MOST COMMONLY USED
PHRASE: "I'm BORED." "We're BORED. We need
something to do." "OLD SCHOOLS = BORING."
"Get your lecture over with..."
"They said 'its all there in books if you try and find
it.' Well I did try but I never found it."
"Bright but disruptive children distracting others..."
"He who complains the loudest gets all the
attention. But when 50% of the class are being
'difficult'..."
"Crisis hit schools..." EDUCATION SYSTEM IN
STATE OF EMERGENCY" (4/9/1990) "Isn't there
another way?"

College, Radio Gemini, 3/6/2007).

this school has their own wind turbine (tall tower,


open-blade system). they are completely selfsufficient for energy The kids are very happy
with it (re: a school in Cornwall, radio. 10/6/2007).

NATIONAL CURRICULUM:
WHEN WILL THE NEW WORLD DAWN?
"Are all the children being prepared for The New
Age?"
it means nothing to me
When I was at school, I couldnt see the reason for
learning. I wish someone had explained it to me.
it must be made clear in Education
"LESSONS MUST FOLLOW GOVERNMENT
POLICIES: Maths and Science dominate 'core'
subjects for primary school children" (25/6/1990).
Q: What use is maths? I really hate maths. Ugh.
So boring. Whenever am I going to need all this
stuff? A: One day you might need to know how
many grains of sand there are on a beach. (Or
trees to plant)
Parent: His maths is good. I mean, its whether he
wants to do it or not
Shes only 6 years old. She cant even read the
questions properly! "A STORM OF PROTEST
greeted Education minister, when he told Head
teachers he wouldn't drop plans to test 7 year olds.
He was shouted at by delegates at the National
Association of Head Teachers conference. One
teacher said a pilot scheme had reduced many
pupils to tears..." (and parents). Tests not done
primarily to help kids, only position schools in
league tables, introduced by the Conservative
Party."
ILLITERATE: "We should raise the school leaving
age to 18 so than more than 40% of children will
know how to read and write" said a Conservative
minister (28/6/1990).
The Teachers Union said: "Everything may be
superb in politicians heads, but in schools, a
nightmare has arrived" (14/8/1990).
its not advisable
Huh. Well rebel against that!
CLASS-ROOM WARS: only the kids who
19

CHAPTER 1: EDUCATION

"WHY SO MUCH STRESS?"


"Arrested
development..." God! Theyre trying to tie us
down to a life of slow decay! Steps taken are
sleep-walking. We will never reach that dreamed
of
world.
Theres
a
HUNGER
thats
unsatisfied (ref: The Division Bell, by Pink Floyd).
"... it is not on the curriculum!"
This is England - warts and all. The real world.
Real tears (1970 -1990).
1990: CHILDREN SAID: Were not allowed to
study our favourite subjects! Supposing I want to
study Art, the Humanities and Marine Biology?
They wont let me!" Theyre driving me round the
bend "I know what I'm good at. They have only
to ask. I want to study Nature Conservation. But
I'm stuck inside a class room all day doing
compulsory maths." "School hours are so long,
and home work too much strain. BOREDOM inbetween." "I'm BORED. Bored out of my skull."
BORING: I dont want to be stuck inside a class
room for years. WAH! I want to be out there
travelling the Stars
They dont like it when were late
"Botany is not on the curriculum! We've got so far
to go... " "Exercise is my favourite subject. We're
only given one exercise period a week! I wish..."
"For a start, they didn't teach me how to breathe..."
("Breathe deep...") "Self-Defence is not on the
curriculum!" BASIC SURVIVAL SKILLS are not on
the curriculum. First Aid, How to Grow Food etc.
"Teach me to be self-reliant." "We are not taught
how to relate..." "Why can't we learn what we
want to know? Nothing in the adult world makes
any sense!" "I love knowledge. Just make it easy
for me!" Inspire me! "I'm good at it..." "It's the
only thing I want to do." "I'm really into it." "It doesn't
frighten or bother me." "Please don't give me a hard
time over it..." "I'll do what I like anyway with or
without your help or encouragement. But if you
don't want trouble, ENCOURAGE it!" "Teachers!
Social Workers! They haven't a clue! You don't
know what to do about it... Lessons = 2 + 2 = 3!
They're being pig-headed about it. They don't
want to FREE the slaves. Well, I'm not into EVIL
tricks."
"I don't want to be institutionalised. This is a
competitive institution they say. Well, I don't
want to compete. It's not about
competition." SINCE WHEN WAS it A
COMPETITON? Competition = Well kill others.
Every time I hear that word competition I
shudder. Competitions all too often bring out
the worst in people taking it too seriously
pushing too hard.
"Don't I want to work hard and be top of the pile?
I'd rather people weren't fighting each other!
That's MADNESS." No! I dont see why I should
have to fight. Surely, its my Right Were not

into sweating, slaving, fighting, racing, fretting,


confusion, wasting time and minds. Any waste
of effort isnt part of my design Well never
be able to make a go of it? The winner could be
the occasion itself.
"Schools are prisons." "There's a hole in my life.
I'm really missing something."
"They say don't cry out loud- keep it inside- have
some pride. Pull yourself together. Stop
snivelling."
"How much affection can they ignore?" "I know
where I'm going. Do you? I've got my 2 feet on the
ground. I know where I'm coming from. Do you?"
They teach you at school to love money.
"They're driving me mad. All this is so irritating. I'm
in purgatory!" "You'd have to be desperate to
want to go to school these days."
EXPERTS: How much of what you are teaching
will be relevant to them in later life? Sadly, very
little. Everyone needs to learn a TRADE.
(Why don't schools just teach children the trade
they want to learn?)
SEX education is on the curriculum for all 9 year
olds. (When is the best time to educate about sex /
Reproduction?) EXPERT: When the child asks a
question. Dont provide more information than is
asked for. (Continued / Page 23).
WORRIED PARENTS: "So many of the children
are enthusiastic to learn but they wont teach
them what they want to know." I wouldnt mind so
much if they were teaching them something
decent.
it would be educational - it broadens
intellectual horizons its progressive
TEACHER: "CONFORM TO OUR STANDARD.
Don't argue! Don't you dare to talk back!"
(Ah! Teachers with a negative attitude)
CHILD: "I was accused of being a ring-leader. I am
innocent. Please don't take my dreams away!"
("You never know, they might be calling you a
radical' one day." i.e. in their eyes, means a
criminal). (There are radicals on the hard right,
left wing radicals (rebels)
RADICAL (means: Getting to the root cause of
problems.)
CHILD: "IDEALISM drummed out of my head"
"They force you to do what they want. They say
either do this, this way, or you're out!
BLACKMAIL!
"Is there some Universal Law that states the
government can tell us what to do all whole lives?
We should refer the matter to a Higher
Authority."
"They're wrecking my life."
"Life's not fair. Why don't they just let me live?
Yes, my head is full of childish fantasies. Science
fiction stuff. That's my prerogative. It doesn't do
harm. It keeps me focused. I don't need
permission!"
20

traditional school Environment? "Do some


doodles!" "We're not allowed to! Doodling in class
is strictly forbidden. "How about making a
model of something?" "Nah. Don't feel like it.
(Standard JOKE: You don't look like it.)
"Come on. You don't want to be miserable all
your life do you? Maybe one day, you could make
a real life one! Maybe you could live in it? It could
be your home! Why don't you give it a try?
Wouldn't it be great!? Then you could leave this
place. Try. You might find you like doing it!"
Why dont you do a drawing? I cant draw! Yes
you can do it. Everybody can learn how. Let the
pencil do the walking
( its a doddle! Ah! Youve no imagination?
Thats what its for)
"PLAY WORKS: People just a need a bit of help
and support, They don't need to be frightened or
bullied into it!"
it brings boring subjects to life
Is it all going in one ear?
POLITICIAN: Youre growing up too smart and I
dont like to be irritated Anarchic behaviour
must be stamped out at all costs.
(It seems to me that the harder you try, the more
mistakes you make.)
(It is not hard work that gets GOOD results. You
need
to
concentrate,
be
single-minded,
conscientious, and have determination. To ENJOY
what you do is very important.
Its not about hard work. What matters is
DEDICATION. Its all about motivation and
belief. its going to take energy and vision.
And a proper diet it may take courage to
do it.)
Through the eyes of youth, everything is possible!
EXPERT: We must have highly trained, skilled,
qualified researchers and artisans. Thats what we
desperately need to go forward.
EXPERT: Young people need challenging
projects that express their idealism.
A BASIC UNDERLYING TREND? We cant really
go into it. We cant really get it into much. Told to
keep quiet about it. It wasnt ever mentioned.
EXPERT: Talk it through ( its no good
moaning- do something about it!)
Many CRAFT LESSONS have been CUT. Level of
ability has dropped considerably (1991).
(SYNCHRONICITY: Get it right and students will
be appreciative and grateful. It will be very fruitful.
Have a defined strategy and a clear idea of what
you will accomplish. Be educators in a certain way.
That is a responsibility. Feel very strongly. Be
very aware of that - its important. Dont provide
shallow entertainment. Do you want to be victims
or principals? Youd better start taking notes)
( its for multi-opportunities so youll get a lot
more good out of it)
"CASH CUTS DOOM THE FREE SCHOOL: A

"They're very good at stereo-typing. Trying to


make everyone the same as everybody else...
That's insane when EVERYONE IS AN
INDIVIDUAL."
(People have different strengths & weaknesses
thats why teamwork is so good- other people can
fill in the gaps).
("When circumstances conspire against you...")
"I've not got a lot to look forward to." "Where's the
incentive?"
AHEAD of their TIME? No, these are children of
our Times.
HERE'S HOW WE WANT TO DO it: "We need
teachers bursting with talent." We (esp. the older
kids), want to have a say in what kind of building
we study in No compulsory attendance. Well
attend because we love going there! We are still
taught general knowledge, but much less of this it's put to us in a different kind of way... We could
have sound-proofed, see-thru booths to assist
audio learning... There shouldnt be any
HASSLES about joining or leaving classes!
Teachers should provide one-to-one or team
GUIDANCE... Everyone treated with respect,
kindness and courtesy. We learn self-discipline &
self control. The ideal is NO name calling,
hitting, shouting or sarcasm. We learn how to
study - and our ability to understand the information
is tested regularly but informally - through roleplaying / games etc. We are given access to
information and equipment we desire, when we
desire (if requests are reasonable.) Don't make
anybody do what they don't want to do! Our
study centre should be smallish and situated
near our door-step... (so we dont get lost!) We
should be encouraged to be athletic all our lives physical activity should not cease when we leave
school... Isn't this a MORAL proposition?
Wouldnt this teach us how to be more
independent? Learn when we want to. Eat when
we want to. Work when we want to. it would
be more grown up.
"... it is definitely worth getting up in the
morning for..." woke up this morning feeling
fine, with something special on my mind. Something
tells me Im into something good (Let them
become the person theyre trying to be.)
Parents would love it! Its somewhere for them
too. LETS GET it STARTED!
Weve worked it out - the way we want to go!
But they dont know still! Cor blimey! Are they
thick, tricksters or working hand in hand with the
government- this fascist system controlling us all?
Wed better find out. Till we know, Im on my own.
Cant say anything to anyone- they might think Im
mad and put me away!
MAXIMISE POTENTIAL! It broadens the
mind "Are YOU up for it?" (1990).
LEARN BY NATURAL CREATIVITY, in today's
21

CHAPTER 1: EDUCATION

school which allows pupils to select what they want


to learn is threatened with closure... 'it is not in a
position to offer the National Curriculum.' A worker
said 'it will be a great loss. The school was set-up
to help people disillusioned by the state-system
- the children who come here found they couldn't fit
in at state schools. Despite pleas, the vote to cut
the funding went ahead. The vote was tied 7 - 7.
The chairman gave the casting vote. A Labour
councillor who voted to keep the school open said
'we have to accept not all children can be pigeonholed and shoved into mainstream schooling'..."
("Being here kept me out of trouble")
"A CAMPAIGN TO BRING BACK THE CANE to
discipline children in state schools was launched by
Conservative backbench MPs was signed by more
than 55 Tories. The use of corporal punishment
was abolished 3 years ago by a European court
but Conservative MP's believe they have found a
way to get around the court decision" (June 1990)
"They believe in the rod" i.e. "Give them a
bloody good thrashing."
Spare the rod and spoil the child ?
EXPERT: IF YOU PUNISH THEM when they think
they have a VALID REASON = Were
screwed!
The more you try to discipline them, the more
they rebel I tell her not to do something and
shell do it TOO MUCH DISCIPLINE = Rebel
(i.e. REACTIVE BEHAVIOUR).
Well give them some stick
CANING is linked to moral health argues a Head
teacher who canes children from the age of 5.
More and more teachers are calling for the return
of the cane if bad deeds go unpunished then
that is a bad education. Being nice doesnt help
children. But child protection experts believe
there are no circumstances in which it would be
appropriate for a supervising adult to HIT children.
They say it sets a poor example of what is
reasonable behaviour in society (Evening Standard,
27/9/1994) (Any fool can govern with a big stick in
his hand but can you inspire?)
The cane is used against non-conformists
We call it insubordination. (Maybe you should
have a rethink)
PROCEEDURAL BREAKDOWNS: Every day,
kids are losing the battle
Hippy kids are given a hard time at school
At least the rebels believe in something. No-one
else seems to
British schools are falling behind schools in
Europe. Complaint: New exams only test
theoretical skills EG. How do you put an egg box
together? Practical skills are being done away
with - no craft skills will be taught. Steering
Committee: All children must succeed at school.
There must be no drop-outs, no failures. Every child
in Britain is affected (Channel 4, 24/10/1991) Got it up

top?
TECHNOLOGY TO RELATE MORE STRONGLY
TO LIFE. New subject - designing toys for toddlers brain-storming sessions. Complaints: Emphasis
not on craft skills but on problem solving. Should
be concentrating on making things, practical
products- pneumatics, mechanics, electronics made relevant. But there is pressure for more
traditional approach (BBC1, 17/12/1992).
its not allowed. Thats unjust.
WICKED: (Fashionable Trend): Kids now think it is
good to be bad, to be hard So wicked in their
vocabulary now means good (1990).
"Are the government responsible for causing
Juvenile Delinquency? Government says that it's
rubbish (Depends if honest mistakes, or
not.)
The Church says 'system is too competitive too many are youngsters left out.' The Church has
an unclear role in education and helping parenting"
(ITV, 1/3/1993).
"Religion has nothing to do with it. Leave God
out of it" some people say.
"You need a code to live by." GOD, that vital
code "Leaving school without a strong sense of
moral values..." "The Church will fill the Gap?"
(March 1993)

"Just teach the children the difference between


right and wrong. Be firm." First, do no harm.
Dont be easily led. Be tough, not too rough
("Ah! They want model behaviour..." I think it might
prove effective)
"DO UNTO OTHERS AS YOU WOULD BE DONE
BY is the maxim everyone should live by."
You can either spread JOY, or cheek
Ah! Theres a higher level and a base level of
thought
Ah! Why do we spend so little time, & attribute little
importance to the learning of interpersonal
(relationship) skills?
The greatest lesson a parent can teach a child
is ideals. If we have no honour we have
nothing
"The 10 Commandments apply to ALL religions a multi-cultural society. Another Commandment
to teach is to share fairly" (The Moral Maze, BBC
Radio 4, 8/4/1993) I wish someone had taught me the
Golden rules
"John Patten, the new Conservative Education
minister, wants to reduce the syllabus" (8/4/1993).
"We need a radical overhaul of the curriculum."
"Parents joined the boycott on school tests"
(7/5/1993).

"ICI (Imperial Chemical Industries) have kitted out


a caravan to take round schools to persuade 8 +
year olds to go into science when they graduate
from school - to join ICI" (BBC Radio 4, 25/5/1993).
"SCIENCE COURSES SCRAPPED for 1,000's of
pupils because there are not enough qualified
22

teachers." "There are fewer passes in science"

coming here. It gives them a sense of involvement.


They can play football, watch TV, even have a
disco. If they misbehave, they are not allowed here
for a week
"The tragedy is that no-one really achieves their
full potential."
Is genius made or is it something you are born
with?
"LAND OF GENIUSES: Experts could produce
child prodigies to order, a child psychologist, Professor

(1993).

"CHAOS and boredom rules English class-rooms.


The sensible ones bunk off (BBC, Radio 4, 25/5/1993).
"Exam pressure mounts... 'My son killed himself...'
'Grief and tears'... (GMTV, May 1993).
"Mindless (?) bureaucracy... Mountainous
paperwork. National tests are a waste of paper...
Ballot papers are being prepared" (April, 1993).
Government tests are about league tables - which
school is best. Teachers dont want that. Schools
made to compete. "They are imposing excessive
workloads." "Boxes of test papers remain unused,
stored in a cupboard." Example of a test question:
"What does Cut and cover mean?" (7/6/1993).
its for your own good...
"We are all being sorely tested."
("... it could be your test..." "Put it to the test, then
put your mind at rest.")
"Ministers have agreed to slim down the curriculum
and national tests" (3/8/1993).
"A CHANGING EDUCATION SYSTEM =
TEACHER TRAINING CUTS!" "Reforms are
wrong, unworkable, not properly thought out."
"Anger, opposition. "Minister is not worthy of his
high position." "John Patten forced to abandon his
speech at the annual Teacher's conference."
Speeches: "Substantial sums of public money go
into Education budgets every year" "Teachers
expressing a determination to protect children"

Radford, at the University of East London, claimed today.

'Exceptional performance in most fields are as much


made by the correct educational regime as by talent'
he said. That true genius was born, not made, is
a myth. Prodigies arose when children with natural
potential
were
given
opportunities
and
encouragement, high quality early and continuing
instruction, frequent and continual opportunity to
practice, close association with others in the field,
and the experience of being successful...
I know Ill understand if I put my mind to it
its something to do with the brain
"... it'll give them a head start."
GENIUS = "The capacity for productive reaction
against one's training." (Just focus your attention
on something)
"A genius uses talent constructively..."
The Conservative government said: "We don't
want any geniuses..."
( it doesnt take a genius to work it out)
(Talent is a gift from God. What you do with it,
is your gift to God.)
"WORRIED
ABOUT
YOUR
FUTURE?"

(2/6/1993).

( its so simple a child could do it!) "The BBC


have launched a childrens competition called 'It
will never work?' The idea is you send them a
drawing of your invention and they'll make it for
you!" (4/11/1993) PEOPLE SAID: "They are looking
to youth to provide the answer..." "It's not childs
play. There's more to it than that!"
So much is down to parents. If the school doesnt
bring it out in them, then parents have to, by
providing equipment etc.
FAILURE: The provision of suitable amenities
for young people. 50 million promised
(18/10/1990).
"YOUTH TRAINING CUT: The
government plans to cut youth training by 30%. 50
of 176 Information Technology (IT) centres could
close as a result - with a loss of 2,700 jobs."
"Closure of Youth Clubs" (Yeh. There was lots
to do at the youth clubs - like play pool. But there
arent any jobs where you need to be able to play
pool)
So many kids are in trouble because theyve
got nothing to do. Youve got to have
somewhere where the kids can go or theyll use
boredom as an excuse for anti-social behaviour. It
seems to me we need a place where you can put
kids where they cant do any damage. Our local
Sports & Community Centre is a good place. It has
become the heart of the community. The kids love

(Picture: Newspaper advert for a Bank


aimed at youngsters, UK, 1990).

"Learning
to
communicate
effectively
and
accurately,
expanding vocabulary would help. We are held
back by language difficulties..."
"Language support teachers cut" (22/10/1993).
"Some pupils are missing out..." "1,000's of
schools are not giving enough lessons." "Some
teaching is 'downright poor' various reports say."
"It is not acceptable for pupils to be shortchanged of education in schools" said J. Major.
"The amount of government imposed change is a
problem."
Trouble is, you lot want to keep our feet fixed
firmly on the ground
"New disciplinary measures introduced by J.
Patten to help schools deal with GENERALLY
DISOBEDIENT children EG. increased use of
detention" (early 1994) PUNISHMENT = You're
GROUNDED! After I told him he was grounded,
he just flipped! He put all the windows in. He
smashed the windows with a bat
"The system is failing 30% of school-age
children. Exceptionally LOW standards..."
23

CHAPTER 1: EDUCATION

"Not achieving. Each school has until February to


come up with a plan to improve standards, or face
closure" (3/12/1993).
JOKE: "I think we've planned a narrow enough
curriculum to breed a new, overwhelmingly stupid
bunch of Conservative voters."
RETARDED IQs I aint quite as dumb as I
seem I just want to learn something
CAREER GUIDANCE = I want to do
something creative with my life... It doesnt
pay. Join the Army. Look, I accept I need a bit
of discipline, but to suggest packing me off Dont
I get any say in this?
"FROM BAD TO WORSE: Deep cuts in spending
on repairs, equipment, staff... are on the way. 4,000
teachers could go. 75 million less to spend on
London's schools to 'ensure fairness across the
country.' Education in jeopardy. Government is
always keen to sacrifice..." (9/11/1993).
THE YOUNG BELIEVE: "The party's on the dancefloor. If you find out too late, that's too late. Pump it
up..." When you dance, its in your heart and
soul. Lets dance, yeah. Theres a world far away.
We can feel a dream. We can never let go
( guilty feet aint got no rhythm)
"PLASTIC FEVER is a new music group... Songs
on their 1st album = The Black Empire, Waiting,
Maybe, Overload, No Sense..." (1992).
Re: LATEST CRAZES: Some kids believe they
should 'Just lose it'
POPULAR CHILDRENS PHRASES: "Keep it
real!" its all good! Get real! Also: "Let's get
JINKY with it" (see: Jinking page 405)
"National tests re-imposed" (March 1994).
The Education Secretary, John Patten, made a
passionate plea for children to work harder so they
master exams. He believes more can be crammed
into a school day. We live in a hard world. We
shall flourish only if we educate better than our
competitors he said (Evening Standard, 5/5/1994).
Domestic science cut from the curriculum.
The needs of bi-lingual children have been
ignored Media studies have been downgraded Political interference. An advisory group
insist teachers should decide what pupils read

to know about Human Rights and their protection is


all the more important (H. Coynash, Evening Standard,
15/8/1994).

11+ exams re-imposed (7/9/1994).


RAISE THE SCHOOL LEAVING AGE urge Headmasters. Force children to stay on another 2 years.
Change in the law may make it illegal to employ
youngsters under 18. The Advanced certificate for
all pupils may sweep away the mass of
certificates (21/9/1994).
High youth unemployment. The future for kids
is bleak unless something crops up. Debate
this. The future for school leavers would not be
bleak if they had something worthwhile to do...
Technology may be slimmed down for 11 13
year olds to 1.5 hours a week. Thats
meaningless (10/11/1994).
STANDARDS HAVE DROPPED Yeah. Tell
me about it
The government needs to re-introduce Home
Economics into the class room. Children are
leaving school not knowing how to prepare or cook
food (BBC2, 17/1/1995).
Do the General public know enough about
Science and does it matter anyway? They dont
know enough and it does matter. During Science
Week they hope more people will get a better
understanding. Science will exploit it. What is
holding it back is the culture in Britain. In
Germany, it is given a much higher level of regard.
Many 6th form pupils feel science leaves little room
for creativity. There are concepts that are hard to
grasp (BBC1, 17/3/1995).
Theres so much rivalry!
Theres a defeated army camp atmosphere
about the place. If they could relate their work to
something that would make things simpler easier for them to do. We could teach them
better. We are not sure how to motivate them
better. If they had a sense of achievement
I am very upset - the young believe industry is
dead in this country! We need more brilliant people
to make Britain brilliant again. Children need
something safe, creative, educational - in kits
(said Sir Harvey Jones, ex-Managing director of ICI, June 1995)

CLASS-SIZE: There will be 4,500 less teachers,


with 120,000 more pupils. The average primary
class size will be 30 pupils. To save money
experienced teachers laid off, replaced by newly
qualified teachers (13/7/1995).
COMPULSORY GAMES: There will be a minimum
of 2 hours sport a week (decided by J. Major).
Dull children
SCHOOL FAILURES: Children can now leave
school at 14 and get a job if they can find a job. This
will help em relate (July 1995).
CADET SCHEME: Children in State schools will
be given MILITARY training to instil discipline. Will
learn to handle FIREARMS! A Conservative

(Evening Standard, 13/5/1994).

New Curriculum- slimmed down. Teachers still


say they want less compulsory lessons, easier
assessment methods, less paper-work and fewer
competitive games (5/8/1994).
At ALTERNATIVE games, the emphasis is on
participation not perspiration. And each receives
a prize - given by the other side. With it,
everyones a winner!
Proposed changes to the history syllabus. In the
1980s, the origin of the UN and the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights were statutory in the
national curriculum. These have now lost their
statutory status. The entitlement for young people
24

idea which will cost 100s of millions. This is


seen as making constructive use of their abilities!

know its hard work (November, 2005).


Gods Module song.. (2007, found on www.youtube ).

(January 1996).

T-shirt slogan seen on the streets, UK April 2007:

The government is instilling more competition


amongst schools but not encouraging schools to
work together they each have to try to out-do the
other (1997).
To reduce Homelessness: 15 - 16 year olds at
school, are being given a home-pack to teach them
that leaving home should be a last resort. 1 in 20
will become Homeless. You have to understand
what a home is before you can understand what it is
to be Homeless (9/12/1997).
Teachers accused of filling childrens minds with
useless crap (early 1998).
You got to be cool, hip, relaxed (These
days kids are putting so much effort into trying to
be COOL... this is such a strain on them!)
'SAFE' is a word that features a lot in young
peoples conversations. Also the phrases: Later.
Yeah, man. Later its unreal!
The Labour government rejected a fundamental
overhaul of the Education system Will make
exams (based on old, out of date subjects),
harder. Its a bureaucratic cock-up from start to
finish (re: the Tomlinson Report, 22/2/2005).
on average, 3 schools a week are targeted for
arson attacks (29/3/2005).
At the end of the term I was no wiser (April 2005).
When the school had a lot of freedom significant
numbers of pupils never returned. Now we have a
lot more discipline, attendances have improved.
Boys and girls separated for recreation & some
subjects. More supervision. A class-room code. A
Zero-Tolerance approach. (Children / Teenagers)
Made to stand facing the wall to nip it in the bud.
Students detained. Parents called in. Parents very
supportive of new regime.
A TEACHER SAID: I regularly feel unsafe. Im not
in a position to stop it (it means: bad behaviour).
Schools are regarded as the enemy. The lack of
respect for adults! 99% of teachers have
problems nationally. I was warned they are a very
spirited group that need sitting on. Children want
to leave the class-room whenever they like! They
hide under the desks! PARENT: Whenever my
child refuses to go to school, I always know there is
a problem with bullying. I cant abide bullying
(Some teachers speaking rudely, disrespectfully,
shouting at, talking down Children copying
their attitude). PUPIL: Ive got the right to speak up
for myself. Dont talk to me like that either. Im
losing it TEACHER: Im on the horns of a
dilemma (Class room Chaos, Channel 5, 27/4/2005).
Kids offered money to attend school
Ive got too much course work! Im sick of lectures
by geeks who dont care. I cant be bothered
SCHOOL MENTOR: You shouldnt be lazy! You
are not afraid of putting some effort into it, I hope! I

WE ARE THE MISFITS. Thats so sad


ABERRATIONS (Behaviour):
Theyve only got to get in with the wrong
company
she bottles everything up inside. Shell only talk
about it when she wants to
"BOOZE SWILLING PUPILS cannot study properly
because of hang-overs, a shock report reveals. The
sheer quantity of alcohol being consumed should
be a concern to us all" said a Head master.
Give me your dinner money or else
Do you suffer from AGGRO-phobia?
CHILD-LINE reported a dramatic increase in the
number of children being bullied, particularly at
school" (March 1990). "Child-line has counselled
81,000 children since their launch in 1986... the
heartbreak... listening to the tortured stories of
youngsters who ring the child abuse hot-line..."
"DESPERATE KIDS: Child-line is a national UK
service for children in danger / trouble but many
who ring are being told: 'Sorry, please try again
later.' That means 1,000's of frightened children
are turned away without being offered any help or
advice" (8/8/1990).
bullied into feeling unimportant
UK: SUICIDE: "10 children a year commit
suicide due to BULLYING at school. If only
teachers would take this seriously" (That's Life, BBC,
March 1994) (Dont we need to learn HOW to defend
ourselves?)
"Many suffer bullying not only in schools... but by
parents, siblings. Bullies and the bullied have a big
problem. It's all a matter of knowing how to
defend yourself"How do you deal with
bullies? You need strength (Karate: Avoid if
youre not into loads of chops and hurt hands)
(Aikido does not focus on striking of one's
opponent, but on re-directing their negative energy
so you gain control.)
"BULLYING affects 1 in 3 primary school children,
1 in 4 secondary school children. It blights lives of
many
youngsters...
(it
means:
Bullying).
Devastating consequences- they carry the scars
because of it. 75% of children are afraid. 'We want
them to have the confidence to talk about it. Too
many children are living in fear, in silence.
Hopefully this campaign will encourage them to
speak up about it. Schools are determined to
stamp it out" (21/11/2004) (Theyre doing
everything to discourage it)
EXPERT: BULLYING is found IN ALL ASPECTS
of life - in the workplace EVERYWHERE. Our
society is based on BULLYING, but this does not
make it right.
"One million children are addicted to gambling on
25

CHAPTER 1: EDUCATION

Im all behind it said Tony Blair. Government is


backing the campaign for healthy meals. 10s of
millions will be spent updating school kitchens
and training staff to come up with more interesting
meals by 2006 (20/3/2005) Are they just saying this
because a General Election is due? Or will it really
happen?
Calls for extra money to be spent on school
meals. It can only be implemented by spending
more money (Average cost of a school meal =
37p. 1 a meal wanted to Afford the ingredients).
An extra 220 million has been agreed
missing the point. The provision of school
meals has been privatised. Large companies are
making large profits out of providing junk to our
children. They always drive the cost down while
charging as much as they can get away with.
The food may only be worth 37p a portion but
parents are charged 1.50- the rest is profits and
overheads. Predictably these companies are
saying they can improve quality if they get more
money
(Schools could grow fruit and veg using spare
school land the children could grow food as
part of their Education. That would be a good way
of keeping costs down)
Children enjoy eating food they have grown...
(The simple pleasure of growing your own healthy
produce! Nothing beats that. See! When you try
new things, its nice! Freshness. Freshness! Itll
brighten up your face)
School counsellors will sign children off if they are
aggressive (Where is the logic?)
I was only angry with my teachers because of what
was happening to me at home I took it out on
them
EMERGENCY APPEAL made for money to keep
Child-Line going. Example of why Child-line is
needed: I went on holiday with my Dad. He told me
to get out. I dont know where I am (25/7/2005) (Child-

high-tech fruit machines" (8/7/1993).


"You've got a chip on your shoulder..."
"School dinners are being scrapped in one
Conservative controlled borough to keep the PollTax bill down... More than 570,000 children will be
told there is nothing on the menu (1990).
"POOR DIET: Many children are filling up on
snacks and unhealthy fast food. Their diet is
unhealthy. The World Health Organisation
(WHO) wants to improve their diet. The need for
fresh fruit and vegetables... Contractors find this
difficult..." (2/3/1994).
"Locally produced, healthy food could be
provided for school dinners..." Fresh fruit and veg
always tastes better
Cases of severe malnutrition reported amongst
poorer pupils, and cases of old diseases such as
TB. Stopping school milk blamed (14/1/1997).
School kitchens should be used to help feed the
poor who cant Afford fresh fruit and veg
(7/10/1997).

One school is selling fresh fruit to children


instead of crisps etc., as fruit found to improve
behaviour and help performance (BBC1 SE,
June 1999).

10% of children are emotionally disturbed, 20%


of adolescents are mentally ill, 273 in every
100,000 attempt suicide (3/2/1999).
schools under special measures for emotionally
disturbed children with behavioural problems
THE KIDS ARE HAVING NONE of it: School
children have an unacceptably unbalanced diet.
Salty, fatty, processed, loads of additives. In the
school kitchen, they open box after box of
minced, reconstituted food cant really tell whats
inside. Preferred school dinner is chips or mashed
potato smiley faces with beef burgers. This diet
will
not
help
them
concentrate.
Totally
irresponsible. No fresh fruit or vegetables!
Budget only 37p per meal. What can you make with
that which the kids will like? Theres a health crisis
looming. Kids are so constipated * not passing a
stool (doing a poo) for 6 weeks! Cutting out the
(artificial) sugary foods, kids more loving &
calmer. Getting kids to help cook the food & giving
them stickers for trying it works If the
government dont make changes then they dont
care about our kids (Jamie Oliver, Channel 4,
23/2/2005) (*Eat fruit! Ah! Fruit speeds evacuation!)
James Oliver shocked the nation by saying: This
is the 1st generation of children who are
expected to die before their parents POLL:
Approx. 100,000 people backed the campaign for
healthy school meals by voting on Channel 4s website (Charles Clarke, Labours Education
Secretary agreed to improving quality of childrens
school meals, then was immediately reshuffled to
another government job)

line now working with the NSPCC 2006).


BULLYING WRECKS LIVES (2006).

School Kids Strap on Stab-Proof Vests as


KNIFE CRIME Soars: Every week in London 52
teenagers are victims of knife crime, according to
the Metropolitan Police. A child is stabbed to death
in Britain every 2 weeks and knife killings
outnumber gun homicides 3 to 1, said Norman
Brennan, a police officer and director of the Victims of
Crime Trust. Knife crime is out of control and kids

carry them like fashion accessories,' Brennan said.


Statistics indicate that more children are reaching
for blades as gang culture spreads. Some 42
percent of boys aged between 11 and 16 in statefunded schools admit to having carried a knife,
according to the Youth Justice Board, which
oversees punishment of child offenders. Some
students have brought machetes, combat knives,
swords and sharpened screwdrivers to school,
26

childrens bad behaviour, Teachers leaders


warned (Evening Standard, 26/7/1994).
("Are teachers (role models) really aware of the
need for this thing in society? THE DANGEROUS
DOUBLE STANDARD?
Do you have a no-nonsense approach?
Do you think you could please re-evaluate it?
Id much appreciate it.)
"It's all go at this end! "I haven't got time to think
about it, never mind do anything about it."
Thatll be the day when people are allowed to
do what they like i.e. what they are good / best at.
It just dont work out that way. I dont want to give
you false hopes. Oh, darling of mine, I just cant
believe it - oh no.
"Show respect for this school." "Why should I?"
"Our traditions go back a long way." "That
doesn't make them right - only old-fashioned. Out
of date."
A TEACHER: DEAL with it. I said DEAL with it!
Did you hear me? Well say something then! Or am
I talking to myself?
"3 boys tried to blow up their maths teacher
because she was too strict" (8/8/1990).
PART-TIME SCHOOLING: Most children will only
get part-time schooling by the middle of next
decade because of chronic teacher shortages...
shortages far worse than officially predicted...
50,000 fewer secondary teachers, 10,000 fewer
primary school teachers in 1997, than in 1987.
Projections for numbers of pupils- set to increase by
more than 500,000 in primary schools in 1991 2000, in secondary schools by 365,000. There are
shortages in almost every subject. Unless
something is done very soon, there will only be
part-time education for the majority of children in our
schools. The 3-day week or morning / afternoon
education could become a reality (report by National

police say (ref. www.blomberg.com 22/3/2007) (That


would not be happening if Aikido was on the
curriculum)
TEACHERS:
1950S: TEACHERS SAID: "These dirty, disgusting
devil children. These louts, misfits. They don't
seem to make any effort to fit in." "They've only got
themselves to blame." "They're all simple-minded
retards." Little perishers Are they angels or
devils?
1990s: TEACHERS SAID: Youll do what I say
whether you like it or not. Im not cut out for it.
Theres got to be something they like doing. it
might be their forte... Stop it! Stop it right
now. "Do it this way, or else. I mean it. Oh! I'm
so mad, I could scream." No slacking! I told you
he never had it in him "I don't want to hear it you'll do as you are told." "Sit down and be
quiet." "Stop your agitating. It wont do any good."
Your attitude really stinks! You wont get very far
in life "Don't keep going on about it." Oh,
theres no rest for the wicked I dont know.
Shes got a good head on her shoulders but she
wont use it. Shes got a good brain, if only shed
apply it "I'm sure it's just a phase..." "Your son
will probably grow out of it." "If you don't do it,
you'll only regret it for the rest of your life." You
dont expect their growing-up to go without a glitch
but you dont expect all this drama!
LACK LUSTRE: "I don't know what's gone
wrong with the youth of today. I just dont
understand. Theyre alive, but brain-dead! So
aggressive! No respect for anybody, or anything!"
Its as if they are numb in another dimension
(The twi-light zone?)
They're not inspired..." "Kid's have so much
energy! There's nowhere for them to be really
active - safely." "The young just want to have fun."
"It's amazing with kids. Set them a good example
and they follow it." As soon as you mention
HARD work they shy away!"
"These children are so battered!" "Kids are giving
up." If their home life was better
"A professional doesn't cheat." "All I know is they've
got to feel they can trust you." "We are
criminalising children!" "We had it hard. But
these poor kids... They'll really have to go through
it..." "We need something more suitable for our
needs..." "We owe it to every child to provide the
best care we can..." "We can't go on as if nothing
has happened! All this irresponsibility and
inactivity. It's got to stop!"
Parents must go back to school for lessons on
how to bring up their children. Mothers and
fathers are failing their children. Too many
parents cannot be bothered or are unwilling to
admit defeat when attempting to curb their

Assoc. of School Teachers).

"MANY TEACHERS HAVE RESIGNED because of


the lack of discipline in schools - are having to
teach crowd control. The lack of respect for
authority..." (Is it any wonder?) "Teachers spend
most of their time containing children..." "No
wonder teachers take so much SICK leave."
"TEACHER SHORTAGES: 400 teachers every
week leaving the profession."
"Cutting Education Budgets. 70,000 teachers
jobs." "Pay Negotiations = Rights removed."
"A recipe for disillusionment and disaster."
"TEACHERS REFUSED A PLAN to allow parents
to help with teaching of children, arguing theirs is a
skilled job..." (1990).
75,000 school governors resigning this year.
We are unpaid. Burden is too great (1992).
INCREASING VIOLENCE AGAINST TEACHERS:
1,000's of attacks each year. Confrontations.
Every pupil and teacher deserves a safe
Environment" (ITN, 24/3/1993).
27

CHAPTER 1: EDUCATION

truant less?") Do you mind if I bring it up with your


principal?
"10 million promised to cut truancy from schools truancy seen as a major problem contributing to
juvenile crime" (25/2/1993). "Truancy leads to
criminal acts" (22/3/1993).
HASSLES & HEARTBREAK: The difficulties for
transient children... Lack of continuity. 'We want to
start a national debate about levels of truancy' said
J. Patten. 'We are lucky we've got good home lives
but plenty of children can't make it to school...'
'We can't put in any harder effort' say teachers. 'We
should do something about it' said a Head
teacher. Schools now being ranked by the
government according to number of exam passes.
'Parents
never
mention
it.'
'It
isn't
encouraged'..." (17/11/1993) (In my experience, for what

Teacher after teacher spoke of stress The


increasing number of violent pupils (National
Union of Teachers conference, 1995) Children as young
as 6 are attacking teachers (1/6/1995).
2001: TEACHERS SAID: When something clicks,
its amazing - its wonderful! These are the positive
effects of being a teacher. Youve really come
good. They are not being intellectually
challenged. Dull teaching materials. Teachers
now cant pass on their passion. The
government say they want to know how to bring
about a well educated nation. Give the classrooms back to the teachers and the children (2000).
Kids these days want everything in the height of
fashion!
2005: TEACHERS SAID: What sort of bubble are
you living in? Shes in a dream world! Let her
grow up like it. itll save me a lot of earache!
There is such a shortage of teachers, parents
asked to help. Doesnt matter if you dont have any
training (2005).
At the National teachers conference speaker
after speaker complained of pupils constant
questioning of authority. There is a worrying
trend (2005) They are trying to find an answer
to it (it means: All the problems). (SO MANY
PROBLEMS: Theres no simple answer?)
Healthy food- fruit and veg, now has to be on the
school dinner menu. Children will be taught how to
make healthy meals (ITN, 4/9/2006).

its worth, children need something to look forward to everyday


to help them want to go to school).

"Many kids are home sick..."


She ran away from school
Hes refused to go back to school
"It's time local communities mobilised to cut
truancy' said J. Patten. "It could take the form of a
network of schemes in which the whole
community could take part." ("Is this a man who
knows his onions?")
"We've got to get a better partnership between
home and school" said Labour (BBC, 26/11/1993)
For many parents school was not a positive
reinforcement so many children truant with their
parents consent. Police patrolling to catch truants,
to reduce crime. Parent/s FINED for not stopping
truanting (1998) Its such a responsibility to stop
them running off We cant force them
10,000 children are not in schoolare slipping
through the system (10/12/2004).
Truants = Fast-tracked... prosecutions. 1 in 10
pupils truanting. 500,000 pupils a day
1 BILLION spent trying to reduce truancy. More
pupils than ever are truanting The Labour
government said: We must stop it as early as we
can. Parents of truants can now be imprisoned.
Schools now have a zero-tolerance of bad
behaviour. All schools must take a proportion of
expelled / excluded pupils. CRITICS SAID: Could
we think of 1st class places to help them get
back their lives? A Teen-start programme. There
are some very broken children (Ignored)

TRUANCY:
"If that's how you feel about it, you can keep it."
Im out of it.
EXPERT: Bunking off is often a sign the child
needs some help
Do you want to swing on a star? And be better
off than you are? If you dont want to go to
school would you rather be a mule? (famous
song).

"TRUANCY BLIGHTS INNER-CITY SCHOOLS: 1


in 4 schools experiences serious truancy and bad
exam results. A serious truant stays off school for
days at a time, or weeks. Selective truants are
absent for particular days or lessons. 28% of
children obtain no exam passes at all" (BBC
Panorama Survey).

Children are choosing the lessons they


attend Shock - Horrors! How dare these
upstarts dictate to us!
"MISSING OUT: 200,000 children regularly truant.
Called 'Tomorrows Failures' (18/10/1990).
"Special police squads are scouring housing
estates to round-up truants and vandals"

(January, 2005).

POLL: 71% blamed parents for truancy (Sky


News, 4/2/2005).

When something goes wrong at school, parents


told: Its the parents fault (March 2005).
556,644 children absent in 2002. 55,000 every
day. Until we make teaching relevant and
interesting, truancy likely to get worse (4/2/2006).

(3/12/1992).

KIDS ATTITUDE: Sick of it all scratch the


surface
("Maybe if kids were better motivated they would

EXCLUDED FROM EDUCATION:


Oh no! Ill lose my head!
28

disorder
(Attention
Hyperactivity
Deficiency
Disorder)
(symptoms
include
inattention,
impulsiveness, even violent outbursts). Neuroscientist Professor Rose said he is opposed to the
widespread use of drugs to treat children. 'This
isn't a brain problem. It is a problem with society.
You shouldn't alter a person because they don't
fit into society. There are a few cases when the drug
Ritalin may be useful but the condition is being
blown up into hysterical proportions. This is not the
right way to deal with school difficulties. But there
is now a vociferous lobby trying to bring the
widespread use of the drug into the UK. Professor
E. Taylor of the Medical Research Council's Child
Psychiatrists Unit in London believes AHDD is
caused by a shortage of chemical transmitters in the
brain. If not treated with Amphetamines, AHDD can
drive sufferers to criminal behaviour, drug addiction,
or even violence. USA: Over 1 million people are
on Ritalin- the Federal Drug Enforcement
Administration is investigating charges that children
who might need nothing more than counselling are
being given heavy doses of Ritalin instead" (The
Big Issue, 1994). RITALIN: Inappropriate. Widely
used against school children, drunks, the mentally
disturbed. 70 medical Experts questioned safety

IM A REJECT. "You don't know what it feels like


to be DUMPED" shouts an angry teenager.
"Leaving me out of it..." "I'm being denied an
education. You don't know how much that hurts
- to be a nothing!"
"You become labourers when you haven't had an
education." (Ah!)
"My parents were very keen I had an education but I
said nah, can't see the point of it. Wish I had
listened to them now."
TURNED AWAY: Shunted from one school to
another... Child may be too bright, emotionally
disturbed, maybe nothing done for them so they
fall behind... 1,000's of children permanently
excluded - having been expelled kicked out of
school, now losing out. Out of sight, but not out of
our minds... Let down... drift into crime... a lot
drop out of society altogether.
Oh, help them to be wise, every mother says
and knows. Help them find their place so they
will be safe!
Primary school exclusions - doubled to crisis
proportions. Secondary school exclusions rising
dramatically. Over last 2 years 35 - 50% increase.
Current system offers incentive to exclude!
Children much more vulnerable than 10 years
ago... New, deeply-seated emotional problems...
Parents cannot choose school - schools choose
pupils. If over subscribed - easy to exclude - block
admission to pupils who are not appropriate. 'Our
school is distinctive. Our school has values.'
Labelled
anti-establishment.
Happening
nationwide... On the market looking for
somewhere to be educated. Got 9 0rdinary level
exam passes but not allowed to do Advanced
levels! As money gets tighter - more exclusions...
Unlikely to win an Appeal. Exclusions not only the
problem of the schools. Lack of provision for
children with special needs... A system of fines
and rewards might be introduced... Tackle the
causes - a lot of schools are trying Teachers
trained in assertive discipline... the carrot and stick
approach. The climate looks bleak. Despondency
amongst young people. What is the point of
education? To learn responsibility is the
important thing. To feel they belong. The
Education Reform Act has created the problem.
The government does not recognise there are
losers, only winners. Children feeling isolation,
removed from the system - rejected..." (First Sight,

(29/11/2004).

PARENT: just about every kid I know has been


diagnosed as having AHDD but the truth is they
dont know really know what it is so they dont
know what to do with them
"We ignore the growing army of the excluded at
our peril" (Panorama, BBC 15/3/1993).
"MORE VICTIMS: Youngsters who leave home
because of poor exam results are swelling the
number of Homeless on London's streets... 'They
are frightened of their parents' reaction and take
off' said the Metropolitan police's Juvenile
Protection Unit..." (29/4/1993).
"How could we stop children just up and leaving?"
("Why do they want to?")
" it's not a contest- it's an opportunity to show
that we CARE."
"SCANDAL OF FORGOTTEN SCHOOL KIDS:
THE LOST GENERATION... for whom there is no
school place... booted out every year in the UK...
many spend 3 years trying to get back into
education... a sizeable proportion of pupils
disappear from the education system... (re: Dr.
Barnado report, Daily Mirror, 2/3/1994).

"... a high percentage of excluded pupils are black


children..." (2/3/1994).
"SCHOOLS CLOSED TO CUT EMPTY PLACES:

BBC, 3/12/1992).

BBC Mori POLL: "66,000 CHILDREN are


excluded from education
Its been perfectly planned (Have you heard
all their lies?)
One boy was excluded for having his hair tied in a
pony-tail..." (13/8/1993).
PROBLEM
CHILDREN:
The
use
of
Amphetamines to treat a little diagnosed attention

Education chiefs are to close 100 schools because they say


there is room for the pupils in unfilled classes elsewhere. State
schools in England and Wales have room to spare for more
than 1.3 million pupils. Each empty secondary place costs 300
a year and a primary space 180. Education chiefs have been
ordered to save 310 million by shutting under-used
schools. J. Patten ruled out reports that he plans to axe
29

CHAPTER 1: EDUCATION

increased adult education fees, without careers


services, and the demise of courses" (4/4/1990).
"Cash cut schools: Impaired development"
"CUTTING BACK ON EDUCATION IS SILLY. We
need to invest in our children. Islington council
spends 1,700 per child. Westminster council
spends 17,000 per child" said M. Hodge, leader of
Islington council.
"A place in education is being denied to 1,000's
of people due to government cuts. We must find a
way of funding it" (20/8/1993).
One school wants 500 million to build a state-ofthe-art sports hall. Will have to sell part of the
school building (14/7/1994).
There may be 10,000 teachers jobs cut. Protests
about budget cuts growing. Councils cannot raise
the money themselves (6/2/1995).
Education budget cuts to fund a Tax cut for the
next General Election. Couldnt a reduction in Tax
be got from elsewhere? (7/2/1995).

1,000 schools by Christmas... but it is known that


Warwickshire is discussing plans to shut 50 of their
250 schools" (The Sun, 7/3/1994).
Scientists have discovered one gene causes
children to misbehave (June 1994) (Couldnt they
isolate genes the size of oranges responsible for
causing criminality in politicians?)
We need something for children even if they
fail (July 1994).
ADJUSTMENT DISORDER
50 pupils a day are being excluded The
Conservatives, if elected, want a massive
expansion in special schools for difficult children will cost 200 million. School discipline is not an
optional extra said Michael Howard. These Turn
Around schools will do random drug testing
Teachers fear these will be privately run boot
camps. Conservatives also want excluded
without Appeal to be introduced (29/11/2004)
Excluded. There is little help. Very boring with
nothing to do. More community projects are
needed - a back-up service provided by the Local
Education Authority (10/12/2004).
Head teachers must have the right to expel.
Liberal Democrats want positive behaviour plans

MASTER PLAN:
"Schools should be run as businesses and
allowed to turn away pupils for any reason they
choose" Norman Tebbit told a meeting
HIDDEN AGENDA: TUITION FEES: "Government
is making education into a status product. That
is, if you want a decent education, but can't Afford
it, you'll have to save, hoping you can Afford it
later - an established marketing ploy."
"We all know what you're up to. The
Conservative's agenda is BUILDING CASH..."
"WILL EDUCATION BECOME A LUXURY FOR
THE RICH? The Elite? They don't want people to
be Educated / people to know too much. Education
= Power, in the government's view!"
PREDICTED: Information may become very
expensive.

(pre-election 2005).

PARENT: What is the point of putting him on the


streets when I am trying everything to keep him off
the streets?
I dont know why he failed - he lacked
something
(OMEGA 3 = Brain food to help kids concentrate
better).
FUNDING:
"How can this country Afford decent Education
for those that want it?"
"TOTAL EDUCATION BUDGET = 200 BILLION.
Has to be agreed with the Defence industry the
MILITARY" (1990) (see Chapter 13).
"They can't Afford to train you?"
"It's all about 'bums on seats.' Establishments get
paid according to how many people attend..." (so if I
dont go) the plan to chop 4.6 million from
school budgets" (1990).
"Crisis hit schools. Good reform comes from
public debate." "We need a long term change in
British attitudes. Politicians have to realise offering
our children a good education gets votes." "Working
with children is very stressful. It's down to the
government to provide the money we need to train
staff." "We are waiting for a change of government"

CHOICE:
"How do we attract children and teachers back?
What can we do? We're desperate!" (1990).
"One of the government's leading education
advisors announced he is quitting his 60,000 a
year job as a school chief... He said: 'They must set
up a national system of academic, technical and
creative schools to give parents more choice'..."
(3/12/1992).

"Children are not happy, parents are not happy.


Fewer can choose a school despite J. Major's
'Parents Choice' scheme" (24/9/1993).
"TO INCREASE CHOICE the government will
allow parents and independent groups to set-up
their own schools using public money. Grant
maintained schools. Has published guidelines. 15%
comes from private funds. Wants industry to
become more involved with education. Schools can
specialise EG. in technology, Art. 'A gimmick' said
Labour. 'Funds should be put in existing schools.' It

(July 1990).

"Government spending cuts could reverse the


achievements of 120 years... warning of
polarisation of rich and poor. Without more
government investment, all education authorities
can look forward to is a worsening teacher
shortage, bigger classes, disappearing grants,
30

is unlikely that more than a handful will be set-up"

ended. Labour claims the subsidies, which give the


opportunity to 30,000 children to be taught at some of
the best schools in the country, are a waste of money.
The scheme costing 67 million a year, would be phased
out but would not affect children already receiving
financial help" (so they say, but this not what is
happening...) (22/2/1994).

(30/12/1993).

CASH CUTS: Schools are heading for disaster.


Schools opting out of Local Authority control are in
big trouble... Large number of government grant
maintained schools. Not enough money for
maintenance (of traditional buildings).
I think parents would like to see new schools set
up, with a greater diversity of what is taught. Market
forces will prevail said John Patten, (22/6/1977).
"150,000 children have opted out... More and
more children are opting out of the State school
system - are being taught at home... 'We were
unhappy about it, but the school couldn't do
anything about it. The Head master had absolute
control over everything...' 'My child lost the desire
to learn. One problem after the other. My child was
not happy - so decided to opt out...' ..." (10/11/2004).
the report by the London School of Economics
said Mr. Blairs decade has failed to give parents
choice (Daily Mirror, 12/5/2007).

HIGHER EDUCATION:
"Colleges are big landowners."
"COLLEGE BUILDINGS PLIGHT: ... many further
education buildings are in an advanced state of
disrepair... some require rewiring and need to be
tripped of asbestos, as part of a modernisation
programme. Nearly 80% of 185 colleges leaders
consider their existing accommodation is
inadequate... some say there has been little
renovation on former school buildings dating back to
the 19th and early 20th centuries. Students are
working in increasingly cramped conditions,
many in temporary buildings and there is a
shortage for offices, catering and recreation rooms.
Many colleges complained of loose and cracked
roof tiling, leaking roofs and said significant
improvements needed to be made to comply with
health and safety requirements. Most colleges plan
to reorganise their sites to make better use of their
property. Many hoped to sell land to pay for
improvements. The Further Education Funding
Council for England has commissioned a survey...
they plan to spend 17 million on buildings... to
begin improvements on what they describe as
'generally poor stock'..." (The Guardian, 9/10/1992).
"It's not easy being a student..."
"Many students halls are in HIGH-RISE blocks..."
"The noise! Sound systems, people coming and
going..."
"He needs somewhere to study..."
Students do better if they have a dedicated study
area.
Can anyone give this poor struggling medical
student tips on how to save money on digs?
TYPICAL
STUDENT
ACCOMMODATION?
Uninspiring.
The students just want to have some fun
" it's taking too long."
"Oh! Quick! There's a boy on the roof, going to
jump. He thinks he's going to fail his exams..."
"Too many overseas people came to England to
take advantage of our 'free' education system... so
government introduced charges... used to be
100% student grants available - now even if
parents on a low income, unlikely to get a grant...
grants frozen so as cost of living rose... Grants
minimal to cover travel expenses but not rent.
Parents supposed to pay additional costs.
"Universities resemble building sites as students
are squeezed in to drive down unit costs.
Expansion temporarily halted - costs too high.

PRIVATE EDUCATION:
"We encourage a family atmosphere. Small
classes - maximum 15 pupils. Each is an
individual. We see to each others needs. Our own
sports field, pool, stable. Dilapidated building. Set
in nice grounds... Reasonable fees? Fees have to
go up to pay for building works EG. needs repointing, windows falling out, ancient wiring... the
rooms are cold. Years of damage and neglect. The
whole school needs to be modernised..."
"Dominated by the old school tie."
"I don't want to go to school. I don't want to be
so far from home."
"You know how much it means to your mother. You
don't want to depress her, do you?"
"I've always hated what this place stands for privilege... I'd much rather there was equal
education for ALL children."
"Cost of putting a child through private education
on average is 130,000" (2/9/1993).
"CANING (corporal punishment) can continue in
private schools" (25/3/1993).
"LESS protection for children at private schools...
Many children are expelled for drug and alcohol
related problems. Now shortage of pupils. Head of
Westminster Boys school believes counselling
would be better than excluding" (November 1993).
"Labour are pressing ahead with their plans to
stop working class children going to public
schools. In a twin assault, Labour are also
committed to reviewing Tax breaks given to
independent schools under charitable status. The
proposals have stunned independent schools,
which attacked Labour as a step backwards and
warned that children from low-income families
would lose out, if government scholarships were
31

CHAPTER 1: EDUCATION

Technology colleges which will study Science,


maths and Engineering" (28/1/1994).
Nationally, students mid-term are being told there
is a lack of money for Adult education training
courses (21/3/2005).
"COLLEGE BOXES CLEVER to house students.
Mass-produced homes hailed as housing for the
21st century have been bought by the University of
Wales... the self-contained study-bedrooms cost
6,400 each and 64 modules have been stacked
together and encased in brick... to form a hall of
residence. The modules, made from a composite
of steel and fibre-reinforced cement... measure
20' x 10' x 8.' .... idea conceived by John Prewer,
Technical Director at Trinity Modular Technology
(TMT of London). He teamed up with building

Government wants students to pay for courses.


Students already in debt to pay for living
expenses EG. via student (bank) loans.
Something must give" (BBC, 23/9/1993).
"CAN'T GO TO UNIVERSITY UNLESS YOU GET
A MEGA-LOAN"
Students can get a bank loan - have to pay back,
even if something goes wrong...
"Government now plans to Tax income for rest of
life at 2% higher rate to repay cost of higher
education. Government also considering Taxing
former students similarly. Cost approx. 14,000 to
be put through university. Fear - will all students
be heavily taxed? There is a funding crisis. An
alternative is needed" (Talk Back Radio, 20/8/1993).
I wanted to go to college but it didnt work
out
"Further Education increased my confidence." "Nice
if there was something at the end of it"
They keep moving the goal posts! Uneducated cant get a decent job. Educated - they say no job
cos youre not experienced! Well-educated -they
say youre too qualified! What the hell is going
on?
"I'm in so heavily in debt! I'm only 20. Christ! Is
this how the rest of my life is going to be? Never
being free?"
Ah! Cant get started
"I'm on the run from the authorities because I
can't Afford to pay back the cost of studying to be a
social worker. I qualified but I couldn't get a job.
I'm being pursued..."
"More than 600 STUDENTS taken to COURT for
defaulting on their student loans... Real alarm.
Many students feeling the pinch. Government
denies loans deter people from higher
education" (BBC, 13/10/1993).
"BRITISH
UNIVERSITIES
FACING
BANKRUPCY..."
6 million adults need help with literacy. Only
300,000 places available (1998).
"EVENING CLASS FUNDING DRIED UP..."
"1/3rd of students drop out from courses said the
Audit Commission. Mismatch between students and
courses is biggest cause. Colleges accused of not
checking suitability simply to fill buildings" (February,
definition of an educational
1993) (Their
Module)
"More than the students who want to follow ART
courses will be disappointed. Cuts in courses. Will
have to opt for Science subjects instead. Joy
faded. Feel LET DOWN by the system" (BBC,

engineers Ove Arup & Partners, and Styling International,

which fits car interiors, to turn his ideas into reality.


Their 1st design was a 23,000 micro flat,
envisaged as a pied-a-Terre for business people...
but when the university's finance director read
about the module... he decided a scaled down
version would be perfect for his undergraduates.
'The building trade loves to create products that
require lots of maintenance... which is a real
problem when housing students he said. 'So we
looked for a solution... and these fitted the bill.' The
students are delighted. 'I love it. It looks small but
there's lots of room really. I've got my own shower it's everything I want.' Next year the university
intends to buy improved Mk 2 unit that will cost
only 5,500 each. Mr. Prewer believes the
modules could be slotted into redundant office
buildings and used as overflow hotel rooms or bedsits for the Homeless" (The Times, 31/1/1994) (Well, it
just goes to show. I am not the only one who
believes in solving problems with MODULES.
Lets see. Could we train a very large team
"There is going to be a dire shortage of
Chemistry graduates... Many students believe
more money is to be made by studying
Psychology...
Universities
are
closing
laboratories" (August, 2004).
(My father, R.W. Speke, was a Research Chemist. He
took over the Dye-stuffs / Farben division in Germany.
His favourite expression was):

"WITH CHEMISTRY, ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE!"


Unable to spare funding Architecture courses
cut (December 2004).
Very little is changing in higher education.
People from poorer backgrounds are still not going
on into higher education. They think its not for
them. This is a big problem (19/1/2005).
the local community is irate at plans for Barratt,
to build (traditional) housing on the college site
residents want more green space. Councillors do
not support their views (9/5/2005).
Tony Blair promised to introduce postponed
repayment of loans whilst studying or until earning

25/8/1993).

"Conservative MP, J. Patten attacked Student


Unions and had eggs thrown at him. He wanted to
take control of their funds to stop money being
spent on political protests. He backed down after
protests in The House of Lords" (January, 1994).
"Shortage of sponsors for the 12 new
32

She said: Lets take it nice and slow. Its more


than a one night stand
HE SAID: Whats wrong with a bit of bump and
grind? Dont be snobby about it Its a sweet
little mystery Let me come inside you (to hell
with the need for protection! )
"Playing the Field" = "Bonking anything willing,
sewing wild seeds..." (1992).
Whats size got to do with it?
SHE SAID: They try so hard to convince us theyve
got something big for us, then hold this against us,
saying its only a small little thing, and blame you
How was it for you? Did you fake it?
I never thought it could be this good! = Perfect
sex.
How was it for me? How was it for you? Was it
good? Well talk about it in the morning. Ive had
all I can take. I dont want to fight. Im weary to the
bones it cant be helped
Thats it then? Weve had it?
(If only people were less sex-mad. Its just a
thought. Ill leave it with you.)
SHE SAID: I dont know why I love him so. He
started something Its just a feeling, thats all. He
takes me in- Im good enough for him to bonk but
thats as far as it goes- he only wants me for my
body! Do you really want to know how I feel inside?
My aching heart I would go blind to make you
see Ill show him how to touch me in a different
way
Oh no. It mustnt come to anything.
Something clicked when he met her but now hes
cheating He has too many lovers. Hes
offered me $20 to give it to him! Cant men ever get
sex off their minds? They are out of their minds
It doesnt mean anything to him! He hasnt a
care in this world! USA: 11,000 porn videos
released every year Hes probably got 7 other
women on his mind What are you looking for?
The perfect woman? Hes exchanged me for a
younger looking model.
( it could redefine the word: playboy)
FLIRTING: Come and get it, no you cant have
it
DEFENDING A RAPE CHARGE: She was asking
for it! Oh, Ill never understand women
There is no such thing as sexual equality (1994).
its my fantasy. Id like to see men bend over
backwards trying to reward women for their
beauty, their desire for immaculateness.
ANYTHING FOR THE LADIES ?
( make a rainbow all around her)
I know you deserve something Youve been so
good to me. I never feel Im doing enough
(Youve got to do what will make you happy.)
Girls just wanna have fun/ds.
and you thought she had everything she
wanted
Consolation Prize: A bunch of cut flowers. Sighs!

over 15,000 per annum (pre-Election 2005).


SEX EDUCATION: BATTLE OF THE SEXES:
Love me tender, love me true. All my dreams
fulfilled
None of us are perfect. We all muddle along
Whats it to you? Ah! What does it matter to
you?
its the gentle-manly thing to do. its all
you can ask of any man
HE SAID: Im surprised a nice girl like you hasnt
been snapped up. Baby, anything you want, you got
it! Lean on me when youre not strong. Ill help
you carry on She gets really touchy about it!
SHE SAID: Its a little twinkle in the back of the
eyes Its a really touchy subject Its strange!
It gives me the willies! There are men who smile
right at you. But dont be fooled You dont look
as if youve got it in you It gives me the
creeps
(Can you see it in his eyes? See the lies in his
eyes? Has he really got it?) What really is the
apple of their eye? Love em and leave em fast?
How can I know for sure? This will take more than
a blood test. Check out his personality. Take a
long time before deciding. Is this a man you want to
spend the rest of your life with? Most men only
care about themselves
If we cant be friends, how can we be lovers?
(Has he really got it going on? Does he know
where its at? Will he groove it or treat you like a
mat? Will your sweet dreams be realised, or
not?) Give me everything I need. Speak the
language of love like you know what it means...
Is it in his eyes or have you been deceived?
You know what hes thinking: How am I going to
get it?
(A Mans Definition of Paradise? Maybe thats
why its not moving on?)
Now that weve found LOVE, what are we going
to do with it?
Lets Do it = Lets get physical! = Turn the
lights out baby. Just leave it to me darling. Ill take
care of everything Its nothing for you to worry your
pretty little head about sweetheart. Will it feel good
inside? Itll be so good to you. Its nothing to be
afraid of. Leave it up to me, pet Tonight were
going to make it happen well put everything
else aside Lets have it away! Lets get
excited We cant hide it = Lets not think I
know I like it Do you want to have a bit of fun?
= Groovy = It turns me on Lets get it on!
Its a pleasure = Aint nothing going to stop us
now = Its going to be alright I really want it to
last. = 1,000s of manuals describing a wide
variety of coupling techniques (all means:
Lets have sex.)
Most put their body on display = Lust
confused with LOVE.
33

CHAPTER 1: EDUCATION

how to budget and live within her means and how to


establish lasting relationships with other adults. If she
refuses or neglects to attend the classes, then she would
lose her benefit. The Vicars outburst comes 2 weeks

Is this what I really need? Flowers cheer me


up. SIGH. There should be no wasteland. We
should plant flowers
WOMEN are like FLOWERS. They bloom and
wait for a man to cut them - then they die slowly
in agony...
Maybe a baby would bring us closer together?
DOING THE DIRTY: He said: She aint worth it.
Its not enough. Ill still get bored. When I do, Ill
split and be off - ok? Deserting me He walks
away from me- his face like a lump of cold
stone
Alisons pregnant and her Mum wants nothing to
do with it. Silly cow. Alisons doing my head in. I
dont want my wife to know. Alisons on the street,
living rough, shes got nowhere to go. (She only
needs a bit of comfort and support.)
Let me come with you. You cant. Theres
nowhere for you to stay...
She got pregnant. He threw her out.
Shes pregnant! Some things cant wait till the
Banks interest rate falls Became pregnant. Had
complications.
Lost
her
job,
and
her
accommodation, suddenly found she had no
money, her man didnt want to know
shes just got to roll her sleeves up and get on
with it basically...
Having a child was the best thing that ever
happened to me- made me responsible- stopped
me going to clubs, getting drunk, going out with lots
of boys. My only regret is how cruel people regard
us
Being a full-time single-parent is exhausting
Single-parents include those who have lost a
parent through accidents - widows.
VICAR BRANDS SINGLE MOTHERS AS
SPONGERS: A London Vicar who told parishioners
to stop giving money to beggars today attacked
single mothers. The Rev. Ken Hewitt, 63, branded
unmarried
women
who
get
themselves
pregnant (immaculate conception/s?) and
then demand state hand-outs as selfish and
irresponsible. He accused them of claiming
money for rent, food, baby clothes and then
spending the cash on other things. Some women
have 7 children by different fathers, and live on taxpayers money (so many men are abusers of
women and children). The system seems to be
saying have as many children as you like and we
will pay you more money for every child you bring
into this world. We are not helping these women in
their moral laxity. Its like giving money to drug
addicts. They need guidance to help them stand
on their feet. What message is our welfare system
giving? A scheme for women who have children
out of wedlock is suggested along these lines: A

after he branded beggars as liars and


spongers (Evening Standard, 9/8/1995).
( it should be encouraged to help avoid
such unfortunate circumstances)
PROPOSED
CHANGES
FOR
SINGLE
PARENTS: (Copying system in America): Women
are told when your child is a few weeks / months
old, you have to go out to work Welfare / support
cut. No extra benefit money if you have more than 1
child. Stopping the Rights to Housing (18/9/1993)
(Single-parents need more HELP, not less!)
The Arch Bishop of Canterbury said single parents
should be helped, not beaten with big sticks.
We would like to live self-sufficiently but we
cant - we have to depend on Social Security for
support.
HEART-BREAKING:
America
is
seriously
suggesting that to eradicate the single-parent
problem, children of single-parents should be
forcibly removed and put in State-run
workhouses, to save Tax-payers money. The
cost to keep a child in a State-run institution is,
all in all, 1,000 a week. Do you honestly believe
this scheme will save any money? Can you really
imagine for one minute mothers will allow their
children to be taken away from them? Mothers will
lay down their lives to stop this from happening.
(Only one parent, twice the love / bond. its
about mothers who want to protect their cubs
No instinct on Earth is stronger than that.)
If I cant provide a decent home, I cant get
custody
The DHSS rule that women have to live alone
with their child/ren to qualify for financial
assistance doesnt help
Re: CHEATS: We take all FRAUD very
seriously. Even a man working one week whilst
claiming (welfare) benefit will be done for
defrauding the government. But Im only
trying to keep my head above water! Been out of
work for so long now. Got to pay off my debts
CIVIL SERVANT: I understand your situation but
you know its wrong. You will have to pay back
the money. You will get a prison sentence.
In the UK, weve got so many single parents
because theres no financial incentive for men. A
young man, earning little, commits financial suicide
by staying with a woman - he knows she will be
better looked after by the State.
"WANTED: GOOD MEN." Families need
fathers Women need men in so many ways!
Many men have skipped off leaving their wife
with the mortgage debt. Income Support having to
pay mortgage interest Tax relief - the need to
reduce this... (October 1993).

person on welfare, having a 2nd child, then if she


continues on welfare, she would be obliged to attend
classes. She could be taught such elementary matters as

34

socially important / valid. Easy to keep track of so


the State gets Taxes. Religious and political
manipulation to gain control of the population.
Traditionally to marry families to acquire land - to
benefit Fathers - not so much lovers. Daughters are
their Fathers property. Marriages arranged as deals
/ contracts between families. Marriage - theres
supposed to be security in it. Get married to give
a child a name.
MODERN INTERPRETATION: Children would get
a name anyway - whose name does not matter.
Sure, youre looking for a marriage but
The highest form of relationship is friendship.
(True) Friends help each other to get along. Thats
as good as it gets Vow to be friends for life.
Make a wish to do it right. Marriage = Unity. A
socio-economic relationship based on affection.
If you need to symbolise your love for each
other, you could do worse than plant a Tree.
Shall we seal it with a kiss?
Lets Make it Formal = Lets have a wedding.
MARRIAGE means: I feel connected to another
Human Being. People get married cos they
want to LOVE each other more. its not
about what we can get only how we can help
each other. I think marriage is great for those
people who want it. Marriage. Youve just got to
work at it, havent you?
Was it a marriage made in Heaven?
(Something old, something new, something
borrowed)
Try to make it easier on her. Be just as kind
as you can be. Make a rainbow all around her.
Take GOOD care of her.
MANS AVOIDANCE OF THE DOMESTIC
WORLD: All is not quite right on the domestic
front. Especially in modern marriages where both
partners have to go out to work (to make ends
meet)
MEN SAID: Its womens work. She can do it.
At least its keeping you from walking out of the
door. Please dont leave me girl You know what
they say. If you want anything doing properly, do it
yourself! Women are only good for washing and
cooking Domestic work is women's work.
Its just a situation inspired by girls talk. Its a
bitch. Look, stop bloody nagging me woman. It
means bloody nothing to me. Shut up. Get lost.
Shut up, Dames. They never live and learn.
Aw, dont keep going on about it! Ive told you. I
dont want to hear it! My girl keeps telling me Im
not doing my bit! For Gods sake woman, tell me
what is a man supposed to do? when her
mind is set on something, nothing will shift her
WOMEN SAID: Its a mans world. Men are
supposed to be the providers A woman
couldnt do this sort of business alone! Its not a
job women can do! (Traditional building work very
much a male domain. Women are told to but-out.)

The Child Support Agency was accused of going


after fathers who already maintain their wives and
children for increased payments instead of chasing
fathers who have abandoned children. Outcry
from men. Most of money raised by increase of
maintenance payments has gone to the Inland
Revenue, not to the children (2/1/1993).
WHERE HAVE ALL THE GOOD MEN GONE?
Father committed suicide
Training & return to work schemes are a good idea
and we need more of them (to stop the Home
Secretary
attacking
single-parent
families)
(6/10/1993).

MAINTENANCE PAYMENTS: Have to disclose


who the father is to claim financial support. Mothers
whereabouts not kept secret by the Child Support
Agency, even if domestic violence is involved
Social Security Secretary, Peter Lilley, defended
Conservative plans to cut cash Aid to single
parent families. He said the growing number of
single mothers collecting benefits could not
escape public spending cuts. He told
Conservatives that families with children were
claiming 13 BILLION in benefits a year - a rise
of 75% since 1979. Almost all that growth has
come from the rapid increase in single-parent
families he added. There are now almost 1.3
million lone parent families in this country, many of
them dependent on Social Security payments
John Redwood claimed too many single women
were having babies (4/7/1993).
BREAKDOWN of Marriages is causing women to
be trapped in poverty, forced to live on Social
Security. Lack of Affordable child care blamed.
The New Age man, caring & sharing in the home,
is mainly a myth. 85% of single mothers are
divorced women, 55% say they would go back to
work if child-care problems were solved. All
sides say women should be supported to help
them make their own living (BBC1, 31/8/1993).
80% of single parents are divorced women, not
teenagers who are having babies on the State to
get housing. Their plight is not of their making
(11/10/1993).

Child Poverty Action Group called for increased


State benefits to cut the number of children in
poverty (5/11/1993).
The Conservatives ultimate solution to the
single parent problem? Adoption i.e. Children
removed from homes the government disapproves
of (13/10/1993).
THE BREAKDOWN OF FAMILY LIFE:
I want to marry a light house keeper. Oh! Be a
light house keeper do (Strange! Light Houses
are phallic-shaped, HEAVY stone structures)
MARRIAGE = An institution. An arrangement: A
legally binding state. Strongly encouraged (same
as home ownership). Idea is to make you more
35

CHAPTER 1: EDUCATION

here? His mother didnt bring him up right. Ill


have to go through the pain of house training
him Cant we just have a bit of fun once in a
while? You know, break the monotonous routine have a laugh - do something different? Find an
end to all the drudgery? What about me? Im
wrecked. No sleep! One child cries, wakes the
other child. I spend 24 hours a day cleaning up
Its crucial this She sobbed: You mean weve
worked for 14 years and this is all weve got to
show for it? Sense the need in me. Men always
let whats good slip through their fingers ?
FEAR Is The Basis Of Many Relationships:
MEN SAID: I can take you anytime. Ive got
her just where I want her. (The ball and chain my slave). I want to be worshipped. If you dont
treat me better, theres no telling what Ill do.
(Deep inside hes hurting.)
WOMEN SAID: He thinks hes Mr. Smooth. Man,
youre overblown. theres a million ways you
can hurt me
Men are so aggressive!
Some men want to go back in time. His
solution is his fists MEN ARE SO CRUEL.
BEASTLY (Some) Men are hedonistic. Youve
got to do as youre told! Men exaggerate
everything. All this VIOLENCE! He is a complete
CONTROL freak. Weve still got to do what
they say Men treat us as a piece of meat.
Every now and then I get a little bit terrified.
Many men like to take advantage of womens
vulnerability Most men are beer swilling
football crazy heavy handed thugs. He still
believes hes got to bring a dead animal to the table
for the kids to eat! He can be Heaven and Hell.
Hes been right off the wall this morning... My
mans an animal. He beats me up. I never
thought he had it in him! Their true nature comes
out eventually. Women are afraid we dont like
taking chances. Were not impressed by manly
advances I cant charge him with assault. Ill
have nowhere to live! I really hate life when it
all gets on top of me I cant walk away from it sounds awful doesnt it? Should I walk
Leave him? And live on what? Hands up all
those women who are frightened by (their) mans
unpredictability! He promised the world. I didnt
know he meant to destroy it! Hes screwed me
up.
EXPERT: Dont hold it in that will only screw
you up more. Confront it. Say yes, I do have a bee
in my bonnet about it. Front it and see what
happens. (Hopefully it will bring them to their
senses.)
1960s: The Liberation of Women = Burn your
bra. And thats it? Women want EQUAL Rights
& Opportunities, the Right to vote, to be
liberated. Education is the bridge for women
towards independence. We want to make our
point. We dont want to beat them. We just want

Lots of women CANT do it alone He


believes its womens work! Its as simple as that.
It doesnt matter what I do, or say I cant help
it. Its not as simple as it looks. Its easier said
than done! Men are so insensitive about it!
Really cutting! What do we dislike most about
men? Complacency and Arrogance. I cant
keep up with it. I cant do it ALL on my own! It all
needs sorting. Theres a lot of it to get sorted. Its all
playing on my mind. Stupid isnt it? The girl cant
help it? He would do it if it suited him... Men
just seem to think women can just get on with it! It
takes 2 Why dont you realise I cant manage it
on my own? Men! They havent got a clue!
Oh, it never ends Oh! Stay around. Dont go
away. See it through with me. Let us be friends
forever. Stronger, because were in love, were
together Hey, how about it? Im talking
about the real thing for which there is no
substitute. When its done, then well be
happy, satisfied, but until then Perhaps it is
better to face the problem than run away from it?
Face reality? I keep hoping its going to come
together. I hope it does. Weve got to find our
own style. At the moment, its neither here nor
there. I want a proper life. I dont want my kids to
grow up on the dole - and I dont see you doing
anything about it! "A House-Wife is tied into
domestic slavery? I'm supposed to love cleaning
your toilet? If it doesn't get better, WHY
BOTHER?" "And he can't work out why she left..."
Men! Huh. They just dont get it, do they? They
just cant see it. Sometimes men are not astute.
They cant see something thats right under their
noses. Most men are so selfish I wouldnt waste
my breath on them.
MEN SAID: Just respect me when I get home,
OK? Ive had a very HEAVY day. Im out at
work just to pay the bills. When I come in, I dont
want to find a mess! Its your job to keep the home
together If we dont have any money, we
dont eat, we cant pay all these bills. We owe
money to Ill go and get another job - you go
and sit in front of the box as always. Its all on
my shoulders
(The pressure on women to work to help pay the
mortgage)
ANGER = Im close to losing it.
Men frequently come home and take out the
pressure of work on their wife. Men drink
because theyve either got women or money
problems. (BRAVADO is increased with the
number of men, and the amount of alcohol
consumed.)
Every wife worries whether hes had a hard day or
not. We know therell be a storm tonight.
Married, mortgaged, worried Dont hold this
against her
WOMEN SAID: Do you think Im happy cooped up
36

you through the maze it would help? Yes, Im


sure it would (California, Channel 5, 20/1/2005).
Happy families? Huh. Show me one. Every
family has problems You see many grim
adults Who do you know who is HAPPY?
Everyone is so miserable!
Were waiting for a miracle to start.
Is the marriage irreparable? The strain He /
She just needs a bit of space. Weve broken
up and got back together again many times
Yeah, but you dont ever do it, do you? How
many times have I asked you? And taken you back?
Get off me. I aint got time for that now. Open up
and let me in. Sorry mate, youll have to do better
than that. Money is the only thing coming
between us. We cant Afford to stay here.
We split up basically because we couldnt find
anywhere where we could Afford to live. We cant
Afford to split up Dont let it ruin your life...
(Dont wish it away!)
IF you love her, why dont you show it?
Go on. Make it up! You never know It could be
the making of you. Making it up = A kiss. Were
back together again. Yeah. Were working on it.
"We're working it out..."
Cant we go back to how it was in the beginning?
Things arent how they used to be...
It didnt work out, dear. We had something
special All we do is make up and break up.
When love HURTS, it wont work Love and
marriage shouldnt be such HARD work
(MARRIAGE: The lack of bonding coupling
problems Strains, Stresses Break-ups,
Breakdowns,
lives
cracking
FALLING
APART relationships Failing Isnt there a clear
link here? Theres no easy way to understand it ?
WHY DONT WE WAKE UP? Marriages are
breaking up everywhere because it doesnt mean
anything anymore!)
Im sorry I hit you. Can I come crawling back?
Why cant we patch things up? If I dont have
you, I have nothing
Has he still got it in him? People like this say
theyre sorry but they dont mean it
Why are some women BEATEN time and time
again by their husband? (Stand by your man)
In only 1 square mile in Fulham, London, over
800 cases of DOMESTIC VIOLENCE reported attacks against women! On average a woman can
be attacked 35 times before she reports beatings
to police (Evening Standard, 15/10/1994). (Domestic

them to understand
Is it getting better? Are there any new men?
SURVEY: 80% of women have to do sexual
favours to get men to do house work (GMTV,
15/4/1994).

Research shows that men now devote 3.6 seconds


more a week helping to do all the house work.
Mans got the power. Shes got the need. All
youre really looking for is an even break. He lies
right at you. You know you hate this game. You live
and love in pain Millions of women face See
the sadness in her eyes? Cant you see what it is
they despise?
These arguments are like a disease. The in
thing these days seems to be hurting each other.
Competitive relationships(We seem to be
doing a lot of that- just snapping)
Maybe (some) men dont want women to be
FREE from their (tyrannical) control? Women
are taking control of their lives so youd better get
used to it. Women these days believe its much
better to be independent not to be dependent
on a man. The ideal (partner) is a strong,
independent woman with self-esteem who
chooses to be with someone, not a donkey who is
trained
(From caveman into modern man- how?)
Has he finally wised up?
Every man knows its got to be better.
MODERN man is becoming more domesticated
but only wants to take on the easy house-hold
chores. CONSUMER PRESSURE: Women must
take the initiative IF they really want things to
change, warned The British Lifestyles report which
examines our way of life (Mintel, 1990).
DREAM: I want a home with a view. A phone.
Shorter working hours. Some time on my own.
Oh! Make my dream come true.
RENOVATE MY FAMILY: I want to repair our
marriage but I dont know how to do it. Hes put
up a wall. Hes got a bad back following an
accident. Shell never get over it till you do. The
atmosphere we live in is not positive. It aint
working. We have no time for romance. I still
remember the dreams we had. Weve been
through hard times. His wife has become a drill
sergeant. Their marriage is a battle ground. They
are struggling, in a rut.
EXPERT: Come up with new dreams. Its going to
be ok- well knock down your family home, cut
down the Trees your parents planted - they are in
the way (lots of tears). A large team build a new
timber frame house. Bad news - the rains coming
down. We need a big bubble to cover this space.
Cant use power tools in the rain. Our men are
exhausted.
Building
a
roof
is
always
dangerous Are you going into the new house
to repeat the same fights you usually have? If so,
thats unacceptable. Do you think if someone led

Violence: see Chapter 5 / Crime).

EXPERT: Men will misbehave if allowed to. Thats


their nature. If the woman stood up for herself a bit
more he wouldnt dare hit her again. He wants her
to fight back - to show him she can stand up for
herself. If she behaves like a floppy wet MOP, he
will wipe the floor with her.
Poor girls married to a no-hoper...
37

CHAPTER 1: EDUCATION

(Women love to be dominated ? Some women


are bossy, some are submissive)
EXPERT: Women should learn to say: No. I
dont want to be with you. Go on, get away. If you
cant stand the heat, get out. Teach them that way.
Some men only want to tread all over you You
can be much better off doing what you want.
I FEAR FOR THE SAFETY OF WOMEN...
After 6 years of being battered, she fled to a
hostel. (Grotty there). She went back to him.
Neighbours heard an argument raging and a loud
thump. She died after a frenzied attack with hardly
an inch of her body not covered in bruises and
abrasions. He was jailed for 7 years (Islington

dream, really do come true? Shes giving me


HARD times! Shes taken me to the cleaners financially. My ex-wife has robbed me blindtaken the house, the kids I am unable to support
my new wife and kids My marriage broke up.
Only one of us could keep the house. I sleep in the
car. Hes tried going to the council to beg for
shelter but they wont have it. Hes homeless and
jobless. Its his own fault, of course. He died as a
result. We split up. She got the house, I got the
mortgage. She only married me for my
money. She only wants me for my money! A
hotel is no place to raise kids I never get to see
my children! We never really talked about it
Im sorry.
SHE SAID: You only want to go to your little bit on
the side Its too easy for them to leave - to walk,
leaving behind the children. The grass is always
greener on the other side of the fence... What
kind of a life is it when we are chained whilst
dogs roam free? If a man leaves me, I want to
know I can support the children You know
what? He ridiculed me too many times. He went too
far one day with his constant disapprovals and
put-downs I drew a line in the sand and he
crossed it Look who is holding the door open
now You know, all this is making her
miserable You know your father has to work
very long hours dear. He hasnt got the time. If you
dont like living here, go and live with your father.
(Marriage! One way you can secure property
without labour. Some women only get married to
get a pension!)
Money has got hold of him / her. "She's got her
claws out..." I dont like what some women have
become. Almost as bad as men! RUTHLESS.
HARD What a pity (some) women are
becoming what they have been against for
years.
More and more women are paying for sex
(13/3/1995) (Remember the best things in life are
free. it can warm long cold nights)
Women are the poorest citizens (2004).
CHILD: My parents have got this love hate thing.
Talk about being malicious! My parents are
MAD! Always fighting - snapping at each other! I
hate it. Make them stop! Daddy, please stop
Mummy crying Now Dads not working hes
giving Mum such a HARD time Daddy, please
dont leave I want it back the way it was. You
took it away from me I feel sorry for my
parents because they cant do anything about it.
I want to spend more time with my Dad. Where is
he? Why cant I live with you Dad? Daddy
please come home! I just wish people would pull
together instead of apart. I wish we could ALL
feel at home...
Most children want to mend their family- bring it
back together. Did the children understand

Gazette, 27/5/1993).

Police Stations display posters which read:


Domestic Violence. Its a crime (UK, 1994).
(Yes, its very unfortunate
May I be so bold as to mention it? If you are ready
to change the world for the better if you are
willing to change Do it this way
JUSTICE FOR BATTERED WOMEN!)
She admitted there were many occasions she
had to walk the streets with her children because
she had nowhere she could safely go
THE NEED FOR SAFE REFUGE: Theyre trying
to find me a place so he cant find me - hell KILL
us if he does. They dont hold out much hope of
helping me
ARSON ATTACK ON WOMENS REFUGE: 26
women and children taken to hospital after a
suspected arsonist set fire to the refuge in
Laindon, Essex (16/6/1993).
He / She deserved it (usually said as a threat!)
Do you relate deeply?
MARRIAGE COUNSELLOR: its NOT ABOUT
APORTIONING BLAME. Its never one persons
fault. Blaming is a waste of time. Its always a
case of 6 of one and a dozen of the other Its
so frustrating seeing 2 people who really care but
who wont do anything about it!
We went to Relate for marriage counselling.
Waiting lists are so long! Willing to refer us to a
private counsellor - costs about 40 an hour. We
walked out. Weve now split My wife is drinking
heavily. Shes looking after the 2 kids
LIFE is much TOO HARD these days, I hear
every mother say
Marriage can be HELL if you get it wrong. And
then children can be hostages
Sad, MESSY, SEPERATIONS
Youre not moving your tribe in here! I dont go
along with tribes living on top of each other.
HE SAID: Im leaving because its something I
have to do for me. Ill have to start again... Why
does middle-age mean you have to lose
everything? Where will you find me?
Somewhere on the other side of the rainbow,
where troubles melt and dreams you dared to
38

have to win every argument No. No. NO! Im


NOT having it Its not up for discussion. The
subject about it is very definitely CLOSED.
DISFUNCTIONAL KIDS
You crusty, old grumpy
PARENT: She wants her own way or she sulks,
gets stroppy goes off into one, spoils things for
everybody Shes got no real issues. Shes
spoilt Theyre not kids - theyre monsters! Im
seriously vexed! Totally stressed out
KIDS SAID: Oh, crap! I didnt ask to be born!
"Do we come from a land of love and plenty?
Fastidious nurturing? Tender loving care and
attention lavished on us? No, we're in the city
of the rich and powerful." PLEASE STOP
SHOUTING at me! My parents are driving me
CRAZY. I just wish theyd leave me alone Just
give me a bit of space
PARENT: Why are we shouting at you?
Because we are paranoid scared! We want you
to be normal so you fit in! We know what
happens to kids who dont IF YOU DONT
LISTEN, IF YOU DONT CARE its your LIFE on
the line Carry on the way youre going, you
know its only going to end in tears - it always
does. You abuse everything that's given to you!
Dont you value anything? For 12 years Ive had
to give up my life - Ive had to sacrifice the things I
wanted to achieve just to put food on the table, a
roof over their head. For what? So you can turn
around and shout at me?! Treat me like I am the
cause of all your misery? What did I ever do that
was so wrong? What about ME? My needs? I
DONT CARE ANYMORE! Its about time I looked
after ME. (She says she doesnt care. And so do
you. I know both of you do care)
CHILD (FEELING WORTHLESS): Its not my fault
you had to give up everything!
PARENT: Its not my fault either! I didnt make the
world the way it is. I want my children to have a
fantastic childhood, but life gets in the way
CHILD: What have you done to change it, to
make it better then? What have you done with
your life thats worth boasting about?
PARENT (under pressure): I DONT WANT TO
TALK about it! Im up to here with it! Stop
jabbering and get on with your homework. I havent
got time for this. (It feels like a slap in the face
at the moment.) I dont feel at all appreciated!
Uh-oh. Here comes Little-Miss-Know-it-all. LittleMiss-Perfect (Where does she get it from?)
Always got an answer for everything, havent you?
(Is that such a bad thing? )
Little terrors Its frightening! They are going
to be the next generation of adults its an
absurd situation and its getting worse. Kids are
much more selfish than we ever were God
help us when they take over! Wont be much
hope for Humanity then!

why? I never understood anything about it - my


parents never explained anything to me. How
children behave during a separation they can
get torn apart Explain whats happening. Dont
say its finished meaning the relationship is over.
Thats too hard for the children. Dont say its
over. Children need to feel their security will
stay together. Remain friends. Make this effort.
The child should be allowed to decide which parent
they live with and how often they see the other
parent. But keep children away from menace. I
think people should work harder at it and take
more care. Care and attention is totally
missing from my life (Kilroy, BBC1, 18/2/1994).
HOME LIFE:
"TEACH YOUR PARENTS WELL." "The most a
child can do is re-educate..."
("The best you can do is spread a little
happiness until dreams come true.")
PARENT: You expect a lively, friendly, polite smile,
a welcoming greeting, amicable behaviour Put
some effort into it!
Ungrateful BRATS! Spoilt rotten! Look at all
these toys! We never had it so good! We lived 7
people to one room with a toilet across the street. If
I had dared to speak to my father that way, I
wouldnt be here today - he really would have
killed me! When we were young, we were told
to lump it (Like it, or lump it Ah).
I cant make her understand life these days is not
a bed of roses Bloody kids. Morons. Little good
for nothings! Disobedient, rude, disrespectful,
stupid! A waste of time and space! They dont
appear to have a brain cell Age 12 and still
wont flush the loo, or turn a light off! Talk about
being lazy
CHILD: Yeah. If we could do it in our sleep
PARENT: Why dont you do something useful
with your life? Deliver newspapers! Not exciting
enough for you? Tough luck
I cant wait till the kids are off my back
Brought up on video games. They have no
understanding of the real world Kids dont
understand about money
KIDS SAID: We dont understand why there is a
need for SO MUCH HASSLE! Cant we work it
out - so we can be a family?
PESTER-POWER: The kids seem to be
determined to separate Dad from his wallet
PARENT: No. You cant have it. I cant Afford to
buy every little thing your little heart desires
CHILD: If its only a little thing, why cant I have
it?
PARENT: Dont push it! Because we cant
Afford it! Weve got to spend our little bit of money
where it matters most. On buying food, paying all
the bills If we let them get away with it, they
become monsters. You cant give in to them. You
39

CHAPTER 1: EDUCATION

CHILD: Where are we supposed to go? The bike


shed? The graveyard? Theres nowhere for us to
go! No-one wants us around. Its not fair! I cant
even invite a friend into the house. You lot are so
selfish! Everything you say adds up to one big
zero

(You cant put an old head on young shoulders


syndrome Every generation of parents worries
about how their kids will turn out)
KIDS SAID: WERE SO MISUNDERSTOOD
They label us brats but were having a very
hard time
NOT LISTENED TO, feeling over-ruled, upset,
anxious
ON-LOOKERS: What is wrong with you kids?
Its very worrying "I DON'T KNOW WHAT'S
GOING WRONG, BUT CERTAINLY SOMETHING
IS" "At 2am there are lots of children walking
the streets! Even 10, 11 years olds. How come?"
"Their parents have given up on them." If you see
me walking down the street, and I start to cry, walk
on by
Dont worry about it. It will all sort itself out
"In our hardened hearts..." (1990).
CURFEW imposed to keep children off the streets
at night time (UK, 2003).
(Is stronger bonding needed here?)
When love is obscure, WE NEED A CURE!
The curfew is not working (2005).

WAH! I NEED MY OWN SPACE!


(Ah! You dont want to have to face the grumps
every day? Quite right too. No law says you have
to).
EXPERTS: Kids just need to know how to ask for it
calmly. A positive attitude can save your life.
Youre not strong enough
TEENAGER: My parents are always in my face. I
just want them to leave me alone. Theyre always
nagging at me. Im going seriously
nuts I cant take this pain!
Theyre screwing up my head!

NAG, NAG, NAG. This is an


ASSAULT! They're on my back all the

THE ALIENATION OF TEENAGERS:


"Who am I? What am I? How? Where? Who?
When?" What have I got to live for? Does anyone
love me? Or want me? What do I care about? How
will I cope? Who can I talk to? How am I going to
survive? What if I dont?
WHAT DO YOU WANT? (That is such a difficult
question to answer!)
ADVICE: Youve got to do what is right for you
Youve got what youre given. Its all about how
you use it
I have to race to stay ahead my time is running
out and I have to battle baffling
circumstances Oh, God! What Im going
through!
it all suddenly hits you when you are a
teenager Their youth comes crashing to a
halt Into this world we are thrown like a dog
without a bone (What a transition! Such a jolt!
Heavy to ponder on. Takes a lot of working out.)
You know its started when they wont get up in
the mornings
Its probably just her hormones?
As they become teenagers, you know what its like,
they just want to chill out somewhere really
cool ( it will appeal I know a nice place
you could go its a cool, chill-out zone)
("Have you got a groovy kind of love?")
(I cant see it happening Theres a WAR
going on here)
What are you kids doing here?
We just want a bit of peace and quiet
You cant stay here. Clear off! We dont want
you lot hanging around. Off you go or Ill call the
police (Most are ashamed of the kids.)

time. I have to leave for my SANITY.


They don't like my friends, my hair, my clothes, and
my attitude. Huh. I'll see whatever mates I want,
when I want."
(My friends pick me up when Im down My
friends lift me, try to fix me, guide me home
(Ahhh! You need to have something or somebody
you can believe in - a rock to cling to in the storm
- something to help keep their heads above water,
stop them from drowning) friends are with
you through the good and the bad times. Thats
what friends are for A friend makes you feel
better. (PROCESS CALLED: Find out who your
friends are.)
(Ah! You want to do whatever you want? Oh no!
Whatre you going to take away those blues? Yeh,
have fun but)
"FRUITLESS,
DESTRUCTIVE,
FUTILE
SQUABBLES"
Pushed around, kicked around Theyre
giving me a really hard time! This is really
HEAVY man.
Just when you need them
most
EXPERT: He / She is refusing to accept
boundaries
EXPERT: You cant choose your childrens friends.
Just as you cant give them a present and then tell
them what to with it.
TEEN: My parents dont want me to have any
freedom! How can I find myself?
EXPERT: You need to spend some time with
yourself away from everything, with nature
TEEN: Chance would be a fine thing! Ive thought
about it. Im going to stay true to what I
40

mocking Counter accusations Insolent


compliance Oh! Anything for a quiet life ?
"My dad's a bully. He's says he doesn't mean it. But
whenever he gets another bill, he goes
completely mad!" "Mum's too busy worrying
about how Dad's going to pay ALL the bills..." "My
Dad's too traditional - playing the heavy Victorian
patriarch..." "My Dad's a wicked bastard - he beats
me up." "My Dad wields a big stick at home - as
he does at work. We call him a tyrant." Mum, is
something wrong? What is it? I cant talk about
it right now. It all got out of hand
"The Feud could kill us..."
EMOTIONAL STARVATION
TEENAGER: "I'm not sure I can take this much
longer. I can't wait to leave home. I never want to
see this place again..." ANGUISH: "You care
more about property than you care about ME!
Your own flesh and blood!"
PARENT: "Yes, and that's because this place
cost me everything I have, you little shit. We're
hard working people."
TEENAGER: "Yeah, and you're nurturing hatred
about that." Im your child and Im not worth
shit! Huh. I put friendship above money. "My
Mum hates me. They blame me because they have
to work so hard!" "Momma doesn't understand it."
They say it's not the easiest way to start off life
with! You'll be up against it..." "This place is a
flaming mad house. My Dad's making hard work of
it!" in this life there is no meaning
if I even make a sound
Im treading on egg shells
YEARNING: "I want my independencesome freedom now. What's wrong with
having the best of both worlds? Is it too
much to ask for?" I think its a GOOD
thing
"I wish I could run away?"
"Just split man." If you stay, youll only get
screwed up. Lets just make a run for it.
"No. If you leave home without ever settling the rift
neither you nor your parents will be happy."
( its no good running away from it - it will
still be there You think this thing will go away?
Well, it wont. It will follow you )
Theres no point beating yourself up over it.
"Your parents only want what's best for you."
"They've got a very odd way of showing it!"
"If you run away you'll only get into trouble.
How will you live? By begging? "Keep on
running? What a waste of energy!" Who is going
to support you?
I JUST NEED TO GET MY HEAD AROUND it.
EXPERT: Thats what every kid says when theyre
in TROUBLE.
( in a restless world like this is, love has ended
before its begun)
What are we putting these young folk through?

believe I just want to be me


EXPERT: Are you trying to fit your children into the
mold you perceive? Your perception of it - of loving
& caring
PARENT: Im not interested. I dont want to
know. I cant Afford to spend any more time dealing
with the likes of you - Ive got better things to do
Go to your room! And think about it!
MOAN GROAN. When she is here she only treats
this place like a convenience!
(LOW SELF-ESTEEM): Look at the state of your
room! This place looks like a BOMB has hit it! (Oh
NO! We dont like to be reminded of THE BLITZ)
(see Chapter 13). (Maybe our parents
are still traumatised?)
PARENTS: Anyone would think
you dont know any better! Whats
wrong with you? I wont have it!
Tidy up this instant!
Or GET OUT! Im sick of the
sight of you. You make me
sick "Think youre God's gift? You
little bleeder..." Just wait till I get my hands on you.
Ill KILL you, you miserable little runt (For
them to say this to you they must love you forever.)
"You need a bloody good hiding. Mother. What
are we going to do with this weird wolf?" WHAT
TIME DO YOU CALL THIS? (TROUBLED
YEARS)
"You're a whore! Whilst you're living in MY
HOUSE, you'll do as you're told!" Cut your hair!
Stop slouching
"I just want Mum and Dad to be proud of me." I
dont want us to fight anymore...
Theres nothing certain in this world (If only
there wasnt any doubt)
WAH! I need your love. God speed your love to
me! How can we get Mum and Dad to be real
sweet to us? They couldnt care less! "I
wander through the night searching for the words to
make it right. I've got to make you see..."
(He / She needs your approval. He / She will live
up to your expectations. All he / she lacks is the
opportunity)
Mom, Im sorry Ive been such a nightmare.
Thats OK. It doesnt matter Lets be honest
"I'm going down, down, down - getting really
depressed. Can't get up in the mornings. I really
need to be doing something"
"My Dad says the only way to be respectable is to
make loads of money!" "My Dad dictates. Dad
wants to fight. Say's he's always right. He wants
me to work hard. Say's I should be locked up for
wanting a GOOD time!"
PARENT: What are we going to do with Miss it?
She says she just wants a fresh start
"Daddy doesn't understand it. I'm ready for it. Pity
he isn't."
ALL THE BAD VIBES spiteful contempt,
41

CHAPTER 1: EDUCATION

Maybe its too much, all of this?


EXPERT: How is all THIS affecting their mental
Health?
EXPERT: At a time like this, COMPASSION is
needed.
TEENAGER: Where is the LOVE when you need
it most? I find myself on the outside I wont
apologise
PARENT: Are you willing to call a truce? Put it
all behind us? For a bit of peace and quiet,
drop it?
TEENAGER: I feel I dont have any Rights in
your house "Look, I'm ashamed of running
away, OK, but I can't just deal with this heavy load
on me! It's coming for me and I don't know
what it is! Im so scared! Scared. All the time!
Do you know what I really need?" "Oh! it's not
you I've just got to find out what my dream is..."
Someday, Ill wish upon a star
PARENT: Uh-oh! Here comes little Miss
Independent
TEENAGER: Is it wrong to be independent?
Does it hurt you? Would you rather I was wrapped
around your finger, like justice, blowing in the
wind? You decide (If there was any justice in
this world, it would be here now!)
EXPERT: it will help them grow up, give them
a sense of responsibility and make them
appreciate what you do for them. Learning
independence is an important development for
kids. It stops them taking things for granted
EXPERT: Taking some responsibility for his own
life has made him show what hes made of...
its character building
PARENT: Its every Mothers nightmare that shell
just get a boy-friend and go off with him
its for your own protection, believe me
Theyre not going to allow it sugar (means:
They will say we only want it for a love-shack)
TEENAGER: Youre messing up my dreams
Ill never mess things up, not if I can help it
"Click, Click. See you later. Aint that better?"
(Ah yes! Break free but do not do away with them
from my life)
PARENT All I want to do is hold you
(If you love something - set it free. If it comes
back, it is yours. If it doesnt - it never was.)
TEENAGER: Do they think well all fly off?
Theyre bringing us down! WELL MEET
AGAIN Oh, its somewhere only we know
EXPERT: The bottom line is - its all about trust
PARENT: She only abuses it You cant trust
anyone these days
TEENAGER: When I get the opportunity "... it
would be nice to have a place of my own It
would be such a weight off our shoulders if we
could act in a responsible way We're going to
have it out sooner, or later... or we'll be bickering
till hell freezes over!"

(We dont really know each other, do we?)


"Hey! Dad, something's happening here and I'm
trying to tell you about it. I got to be part of it...
Oh, why don't you understand?"
"There's A TRANSFORMATION taking place
among young people"
PARENT: You need a 9 5 job, with a pension
"Jobs don't grow on trees, son. Tough, isn't it?"
TEENAGER: "I'll wait till 'money' does grow on
trees.. "I got it so bad - you don't know how bad
I got it. You got it easy! You live without a CARE!
But you don't know a thing about it. The need is
stifling. The sweat is burning me up from the inside.
I don't want to be here no more!" "I'll go into the
next room and pack my bags. You'll never see me
again... except at meal times and odd moments of
the day and night for a cup of tea and a bun."
WAH! I FEEL SO LONELY!
EXPERT: People are lonely because they build
Walls instead of bridges.
(Where do all the lonely people belong?)
PARENT: "You'll have to face up to
responsibilities when you're grown up - pay a
mortgage..."
TEENAGER: "Gee, Dad. That doesn't sound like
much fun!"
PARENT: "Give it up lad. Where's it going to get
you?" "You have to do lots of things you don't want
to! If you want something in this life you have to
work HARD for it - really put your back into it really slave at it, if you are ever going to get
anywhere... It's no laughing matter. It's not funny!
What is funny about it? You dont know how we
have suffered all these years"
TEENAGER: How patronising! Ive watched you
all these years, slaving away Yes, youre
right, Dad. Its no joke. (Meek compliance, without
counter-accusations = An easier life.)
PARENT: Wipe that silly grin off your face. If you
dont, Ill do it for you. Slagging me off! Well! Im
NOT having it. "I'm just trying to explain... I
dont care what it is. Youre not having it!
Daddy, cant we work it out
"SHUT UP! Or
I'll slaughter you, you little
mongrel."
TEENAGER:
No,
you
dont
understand! Please listen to ME Couldn't
you at least think about it?" "You try and talk to
them about it and they snap your head off!" WAH!
They never listen to ME!
EXPERT: You need to connect with the kids. You
cant avoid it! When theyre older they may need
even more time sorting out their heads ("Who
says they suddenly reach a magic age when they
suddenly stop needing?") "You have to be there at
important moments, like when they're having
nightmares, or feeling sick."
MOTHER: I know its hard for you.
TEENAGER: You dont know anything about it.
MOTHER: I understand youre hurt. Youre my kid
42

such a lonely sound


EXPERT: These kids are thrown out of their safe
Environment into the hub-bub
30,000 children a week are at risk of being
abused in their homes Shall we stop it now?

and Im not having you getting screwed up. But Im


not taking your crap any longer SIGH! Why
dont we just make the best of it? (it means: a bad
situation).
He bursts into tears.
What is it with you?
FRIEND: How did it go? MOTHER: Not very
well.
DISFUNCTIONAL FAMILIES
NOT UNDER MY ROOF: Mother: Its not my
fault! Whatever I do, its not enough! Is it
something Ive done? The argument never seems
to resolve itself! Teen: I know Mums only saying it
for my benefit but I wish shed stop treating me like
Im still a child! I know my parents only want
whats best for me Mother: I want her to be
more responsible Shes hopeless with money
always having to borrow money. Her job doesnt
pay enough Youre just going to have to get
on with it love, I cant help you now. Ive got my
own life to sort out! Your father and I have got a lot
of problems
HOW can we teach them responsibility?
EXPERT: Dont expect it to come together overnight!
EXPERT: You are doing your kids no favours by
not allowing them any sense of responsibility. Its
about give and take. Teach kids this - and they
appreciate what youve done for them, and they
want to help you
TEENAGER: Arent I allowed any say about my
life?
PARENT: "Don't answer me back! I wont have it!
You snivelling little brat. All you want from me is
MONEY!!! Damn and blast you. GET OUT! Go on,
piss off. You're not wanted here. You've got no
rights. It's MY house, not yours! And don't you
ever forget it." "Do yer hear me? It's MA hoose."
"I've had it with you..." "I'll whip the skin off your
back..." "Don't you get smart with me! You'll live to
regret it."
(Will I indeed? Huh. We'll just see about that.)
GET OUT! Never darken my doorstep again!
Mother. Where did we go wrong?"
( Ignore it - it'll go away... it wont!)
How could she treat us so thoughtlessly? We
sacrificed and struggled most of our lives. What did
we do that was wrong? We gave her everything
money could buy. (A decent home is not
something money can buy.)
"Don't you dare to ever come back here again or
you'll be sorry." Ill make you wish you were never
born! Ill knock you into tomorrow. BANG! I wish
I had never had you!
BANG! Im sorry! I DIDNT MEAN it!
PARENT: Youve made your bed - now you can lie
in it. And find out the hard way what Ive been telling
you all these years is right. Go away. GET LOST!
TEENAGER: Youre not human! Farewell is

(ref: Campaign by the National Society for the Prevention of


Cruelty to Children, February 2005).

"PLEASE DON'T LOCK ME OUT! I need a full


life! "Aw. Come on, Mum. Get it together..."
Mother: GO! AND GET A LIFE!
Teenager: I CANT! Im not into clubbing but if
that is all there is Theres panic at the
disco Rebellious HELL RAISERS. Into rock,
heavy, heavy metal. Live for today. Death-wish
mentality. Craziness. Seen too many sick movies
(nothing better to do). Victims of (bad) (hedonistic)
fashion. Hell-bent peer pressure - feel they have
to compete So many kids feeling lost, angry.
No hope. No belief in the system. Theyve got to
go one better
PEER-PRESSURE = I want to connect with
them
Kids are pushing it to the absolute limit
The ways children are winding us up!
Will you please get my parents off my back?
Theyre in my face all the time! All this stupid
shit I admit I need help with calming down
IM A MESS cos Ive got nothing to focus on to
help improve myself. I can spend all my time doing
nothing. Oh please! I need some HELP getting it
together. Dont give up on me
A TESTING TIME: "What do you do
with your daughter when you both
want to go separate ways?
DUMP her?"
"Mom knows best" ?
MOTHER: Our own child needs
something we're not giving her... and we don't
even know what it is!" "We could make it not so
hard for them to go"
(Can't you see the GAP? its staring us in
the face, isnt it?)
MOTHER: I am so sick of being blamed, being hurt
at every opportunity. My existence is negated. I
wish there was some magical thing I could do
TEENAGER: "Mum will do it for me." ("A mother's
love is stronger...")
MUM: "Never. Not in a million years. It takes a
man to know what's what. I've had a very hard
day.
EXPERT: Your mom gave you a start in life but she
doesn't owe you a life."
MOTHER: Im beyond caring quite honestly.
(What is getting in the way of you having a little
bit of happiness? Is happiness wrong?)
TEENAGER: If the only way to get housing is to
have a BABY
You cant have it both ways If you want
independence, how is having a baby going to help?
43

CHAPTER 1: EDUCATION

know what happens to birds that leave the nest too


soon." I love my Mummy and Daddy so much. Im
so scared
Mental,
verbal
and
physical
abuse
"Battered, abandoned, threatened..." "Given the
royal order of the boot." "Dumped. Cast out like
refuse!" "We've been disowned!" "Putting me in
the gutter" "A really BAD, HEAVY situation." I
have no connections ANGUISH: "You're the
meanest old woman I've ever seen." "Now, I've
nowhere to stay. The only thing I wanted was a
place of my own!" "My family can't AFFORD to keep
me any longer. I haven't a clue what to do." "I get
sick, feel lost..." "I'm scared we'll die young,
lonely, without ever knowing love..."
Dry your eyes mate. I bet your mother thinks
she's the Treasury's Queen. Youve got to walk
away Dry your eyes now. Say, its not for me.
Im off
"UNWANTED. Down. Isolated. Hopeless."
"We're just wishing our lives away."
"We are heading for something we don't
understand - we're frightened." "They've got a
heart of stone. They only make you feel bad. Ive
got to walk down the streets feeling all alone."
"The tears flow... governed by... each passing...
heart..."
"He's there now, probably, down among the bed
rolls..." (To justify your lives, come and find
me. Look me in the eyes. No excuses. Take me
by the hand. You dont know what youre guilty
of. Isnt it funny we dont speak the language of
love?)
"LEAVING HOME CAN BE A NIGHTMARE HELL!" Leaving home is not easy. Where will
you live? With your friends? Do they have houses?
No! Where will you get the money? What if your
family wont support you?
All put down to bad behaviour, kids moods,
theyre being difficult, lazy
EXPERT: "EMOTIONAL SECURITY? Parents
often misjudge their children..."
EXPERT: "Children who have suffered abuse
from their parents often punish themselves for
failing to live up to their parents expectations...
Children all too often think they are responsible, that
they are to blame (for what has gone wrong.) "As if
that isn't bad enough... the children are being
blamed for the world's ills!
EXPERT: 'It's all your fault.' A guilt trip... His
parents cant say its all his fault. You need a
different parenting role...
EXPERT: "Parents put their children through hell.
'I'm going to kill you.' Lamentable. Parents seem
to have so little faith in their own flesh and blood,
whilst being so trusting of politicians - those who are
responsible for causing the conditions that cause
so much heart-break and hardship! Why don't
you cripple the enemy, not your daughter?"

EXPERT: You want everything to be there in an


instant! But it doesnt work like that You kids
expect everything to be perfect! When it isnt you
take it out on everyone else! You cant expect your
parents to provide your every comfort! When you
are ready to deal with it and process itthen youll
be going home
(PERFECT means: As good as it can be.)
EXPERT: You need a chance of being in a
situation whereby you can have responsibility
without all their rules & regulations We need to
define a set of ground rules you all agree to. Then
there cant be any argument. The family need to
have fun together.
TEENAGER: Im plodding along. I feel shutdown. Oh, its nothing to do with you. Ive said
it 400 times Leave me alone.
(Ah! I want to be alone. Youre crowding me. Just
give me some space, OK?)
PARENT: I feel devalued. Its hurt my feelings
being spoken to like that.
EXPERT: When your teenager is shouting leave
me alone withdraw.
EXPERT: Youve got to grow up. How are we
going to do it? (They do up the garden shed so her
mates can come round). Keeping it light defuses
the situation YOURE IN CHARGE NOW!
Didnt she do well! The 1st new Home-Rule =
Do something the 1st time you are asked to do it!
(But it all goes pear-shaped again)
PARENT: I dont know what your problem is! Can
you help? Im sure youll think of something.
TEENAGER: I wish I could be a baby again- go
backWow! Id find that really exciting?
PARENT: "You've got an answer for everything!
Well, I don't want to hear it. No-one wants to hear it.
I'm sick of paying for you - all your food, gas,
electricity I'm sick of you. I'm sick and tired of
everything in this god-damned world. I just want a
bit of peace! I aint got time for any of this shit right
now." Ill teach you about what life feels like
when no-one cares. BASH! I cant take it any
more.
THE PARTY IS OVER. GO TO HELL. Go on.
Bugger off. Don't talk back! I want you out
TONIGHT. Now go. Clear out! Move out
immediately - sooner preferably. You've not even
got the Rights of a lodger. Yes, I am throwing
you out."
TEENAGER: Thats your answer to everything.
Chuck it out! Well, thank you very much for helping
me get through this. Now Im just rubbish!
PARENT: "Oh, let them go. Let them get on with
it. There's nothing we can do about it. They've
got to chase their dreams. They'll grow out of it
eventually."
When things go wrong "KICKED OUT"
"Physical violence! They threw me out. I was just
trying to explain..." "Chucking me before I can fly. I
44

she has grown up into a frightened woman, tortured


by feelings of inadequacy. Sadly, you must realise
you will never have a relationship with her. And take
care. Because of her own twisted psyche, your
mother wants to make you miserable and wants to
wreck your relationships. Feel sorry for her, love her
if you can, but don't let her destroy your life" (Dr.
Vernon Coleman, The People 97/1995) SELFISH Petty
Jealousy: A KILLER! (Just remember, you are not
her.)
ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT: "I've nothing to eat.
I'm starving. My ribs stick out. Wear a padded bra
they say! They always say it's because you've not
grown up right" "You'll grow into it" they said.
"But I never did. I wasn't given the chance to."
"Just when will Mummy's curse be over?"
ILL BE BACK before you know it
"That's right. And you aint got no money. You'll
have to come back. And then I'll tell you to pack
your bags and not come here no more. I can't
AFFORD to keep supporting you. I've got better
things to worry about "We can't keep bailing
you out!" "Always coming round here scrounging
for food! What is it this time? You look as if you
haven't had a bath for months! When last did you
have a square meal? Don't expect me to feed
you! Why should I? You're old enough to stand on
your own 2 feet."
"I'll be back on my feet some day." "If I could just
find somewhere to live - get away from what's
bothering me, I am sure I could stand on my own
feet"
GET OUT! AND STAY OUT!
"Now you're very much on your own."
"That's true."
He only comes here to steal
GOD HELP THE OUTCASTS!
BROKEN HOMES, BROKEN RELATIONSHIPS:
"How broken affects people in later life"
Parents are role-models for their children
"We've got to grow up like them?"
My Dads sleeping rough. I dont want to be like
him
"You're full of doubt we can work it out."
POLL: "Not many children want to grow up to be
like their parents" (April 1995) They want us to be like
them but times have changed we are not clones.
Todays challenges are different. We have to be
ready to tackle what our parents have refused to
acknowledge for years
"BOOTED OUT KIDS TOP OF THE LIST: Parents
kicking out their children cause the most
Homelessness said Islington council officials, who
have found that of 751 Homeless people seeking
their help between April and June in 1989, 488 were
accepted as being in genuine priority need. Next is
applying on grounds of marital violence (76) and
relationship breakdown (48)..." (8/2/1990).
Rebel without a clue?

A MOTHER: "How do you think I feel? Our family is


being torn apart. My loyalty is to them, not you."
"But it isn't imperially possible" ?
"They always ask who is to blame... This will drive
you insane."
PARENT: (meantime): Life is hell. He kicks the
walls, the doors He picks fights. Hes 14. He
drinks, he smokes, he takes drugs. He swears a lot.
Hes got no respect for anybody or anything. Ive
told him Im going to kick him out if he doesnt
change He talks back! He can be a nice kid
when he puts his mind to it
EXPERT: Are you respecting him?
EXPERT: Have faith it will work. Youve invested a
lot in your kid/s. Its too important for you to give
up
EXPERT: All this is normal family life!
Relationships have ups and downs
PARENT: If this is normal Id hate to see
abnormal!
WAH! its a CRY FOR THE CHILDREN"
"So many SAD children! So miserable! Tear
streaked, dirty little faces, their little frail bodiesscantily dressed - even in winter, no home, no-one
to feed or protect them! So desperately unhappy."
"Just think how frightened these poor children
feel!" "Do it for the childrens sake!"
Member Of the Public (MOP): I cant be
bothered with any of it. (Ah! Love dont live here
anymoreits gone like yesterday)
"A child must find his way alone?"
"PROBLEM PARENTS:" "HYSTERICAL parents
are no good to anyone." "Neglecting, Shouting =
Emotional Abuse." "The way some kids are
treated! No wonder some of them don't want to go
home!" "All she does is shout at her poor kids."
screaming at their kids as if theres no
tomorrow
" It's so hard for parents to get it right..."
"I wonder what my Mum thinks about it?"
"Go on. Spit it out. Tell your Mum..." (Yeh. Go on.
Spit it out)
WHY cant we do it another way?
What do I have to do to make you love me? Why
dont you ever put your arms around me? Why
arent you ever sweet and tender? Why am I not
your treasure? Id like a V.I.P area!
LETTER TO A PROBLEM PAGE: "My mother
always treats me like dirt. She is charming and
polite to strangers but I can never do anything
right in her eyes. I try my hardest to please her but
my best is never good enough... She constantly tells
me I'm a failure..."
ANSWER: "You aren't alone. The world is full of
mothers who get pleasure out of trying to destroy
their children. The type of malignant behaviour is
probably the result that your mother was overloaded
with impossible amounts of responsibility as a
child... because she was made to feel inadequate
45

CHAPTER 1: EDUCATION

work appliances, or
desperate (2006).

The answer is to send teenagers to a Boot Camp,


run by cowboys (to punish them?) (UK & USA, 2004)
(WAH! The kids are expected to make all the
changes )
EXPERT: "Its never too late to rescue children."
"2 children committed suicide 'because they couldn't
do it'..." (UK, July 1990).
The GOOD dies in our young
ADVICE: IF THIS BOTHERS YOU, YOU REALLY
SHOULD DO SOMETHING ABOUT it!
PARENT: We all feel terrible about it. But what can
we do? If we could, dont you think we would sort
this out? "Why is NOTHING done about it?"
EXPERT: You are taking it far too lightly. I
wouldnt dismiss it so lightly!
Some parents do understand. They just want to
know WHO IS RESPONSIBLE?
Will the government continue to do nothing?
The problem has been there right in front of you
and you never saw it
Are our kids being raised wrong?
Theres something missing (" it's a living
thing, a giving thing. What a terrible thing to
lose..." NOW You Know What it is)
it should be cut & dried by now. But its not, is
it?
Always look on the bright side Maybe parents
would be less irate?
Wouldnt it be lovely to say its no problem!
(You could have it so much better You could all
be having (good, clean) fun
I want it to be a turning point, really)
its life-changing stuff this
LIGHT UP as if you have a CHOICE.
If life was less CHAOTIC, wouldnt this make life
easier?)
These kids are in a terrible situation and its
going to get tougher...

manage

anything!

Hes

RUN AWAYS:
life is more than a string of days for getting
through
SHES LEAVING HOME after living alone for so
many years stepping outside she is free
something inside was denied for so many years
Why are you running away?
What choice do I have?
Uncorrupted.
Incorruptible.
"UNBOUGHT.
Nobility. God-Like. Fighting the Good Fight.
Having one's heart in the right place. The
innocent are taking flight..."
theres nothing I want more. You know its
true. What else can I do? All my hopes I know.
Ill keep searching so there it is. Im going now, so
what do you say? I know youre weary Couldnt
we find a way to make our love stay?
(Ah! it knows we should be together)
Dont leave like this! Love is not something you
should throw away!
(I believe in love! Cos its all weve got. Loving is
simple. It beats greed the disease. Families
Together! Tell someone - that without love I would
not be here, I would not believe in me. I believe in
love! I believe (song by Elton John).
I know Ill think of you every step of the way.
Darling, I will always love youso good-bye
Ill be coming home one day, youll see
"Will my SPIRIT survive? Absolutely, sir. You
want a machine... But I'm not for sale! I want a
home and you're flashing lies in my face! I should
be like you? I don't want to be like you. Boy, you're
out of date. You want cheap thrills... so you
come to see me? I love beautiful things. I pass
on the atomic and nuclear Age - where nothing
makes sense. I have no place in your world of
war and bombs. I'll go my own way - deep, wild
and torn. Self-respect matters, not money! The
people are the warriors. Good people are living
all over the world... We are the people to arrest
all this suffering for Centuries. I mean to keep
this fire in me - our love is so strong... We'll
never let it go. The day will come, when we
overcome our fear. As the city sleeps, shares its
dreams - our memories spill, adding oil as they
pour... and the money junky fades away..." (1990).
"Natalie ran away to find a taste of freedom. But
her dream turned into a terrible nightmare- sleeping
rough and living off boiled sweets"
"I slept on the streets, in other people's beds you know how things are"
TORMENTED TEENAGER: ARGH! Wouldnt it
be better than all this fucking about?(&
screwing around)
"Got loads of hassle at home - no choice but run
away." "Sometimes you have to run away to save

The problems will get worse as house prices


rise as more young people find they cannot
Afford to leave their parents
Its so embarrassing to still be living with my
parents! Im back here living with my Mom. How
do you think I feel? Truthfully, youve got to get me
away from here (2003).
Living with your Mum is no way to start married life!
We cant go out because weve got to save money
for the mortgage. We cant stay in because we
make too much noise. What can we do? (2004).
Were living with his elderly mother, in her house.
Were desperate to get a place of our own but weve
no chance
Parent: If only I could get away from the noise they
are making! I need something for my own sanity
and comfort!
I just want him to have his own base. I think its
against the natural order of things for him to still be
living at home! He doesnt know how to cook, clean,
46

responsibility of care from the parents?" "System


not attuned to targeting care..." "Money is
WASTED on stupid projects..." "17 year olds
starving - scandalous..." "Social Services wont
help..." "If you open the flood gates... 'it doesn't
matter a tinkers curse - if you allow it to start, where
will it all end?'" (ITV, 23/2/1993).
"TIP OF THE ICEBERG: ... 16 - 17 year olds have
no Rights. They need help, not punishments!
Forced into Homelessness, unable to fend for
themselves - a series of welfare benefit cuts.
Result: Begging. Sometimes going for days
without eating. Starvation Addiction Syndrome widespread even amongst those who are housed...
scraping by - very little money after paying bills...
The young feel nobody is on their side - their
circumstances are against them, their hopes
and talents, that society is conspiring against
them. Sick, despairing, desperate. 'I wanted to
help myself but I've nothing to live for. I nearly went
mad. Hospitalisation would be a relief.' Ever
increasing debt and interest- spiralling, never
ending cycle of poverty and ill health. Can't get on
1st rung of the housing ladder. The need for
some support. Pay for electricity but forced to live
on white bread. Stark choices. Pay Tax but can't
insulate flat. Never buy fresh fruit and veg so
eyesight getting worse. Can't pay for treatment,
can't buy glasses, can't see properly... seems
doomed in all ways. Government failing to make
sure people can manage. The possibility of
suicide... Youth poverty. Struggling to keep a
baby. Many young people will bear these
problems for the rest of their lives - will affect the
next generation... 'What have we done to deserve a
bad life?' 4th or 5th class citizens want to know
HOW they are to survive, not get on better. 'I wish I
had never been born.' (Channel 4, March 1991) ("A life
well spent?")
Any administration that is failing children is
destined to go through the window. Uh?
"1 in 7 age 14 - 16 RUN AWAY. 6 times more than
previously thought, the Childrens Society reported.
Survey shows most end up sleeping rough, are
alone, and do not go to agencies for advice. Are
detached from their schools" (BBC, 8/12/1993).
"WHAT IS THE RIGHT THING? PARENTS ARE
HYSTERICAL to know. Parents feel more
powerless than ever. An anti-establishment
culture. The external pressures make it hard to
bring up children. 'They are making us live in
their world.' 'We can't see any way we can get it.'
Children can't do it on their own. They need
guidance, boundaries so they can find their
independence and emerge into the adult world
safely. Children need a set of values. People
should be educated to be parents. Have teenagers
got it figured out? Most of us think they haven't.
Teenagers are misunderstood. Not all teenagers

your life - to survive."


"I couldn't get on with my parents. I lived in an old
air-raid shelter. Took food discreetly off the land. I
hid from my parents - knew this would upset them. I
felt I was an animal - hiding, scurrying, scraping
an existence. Frightened. Aware you smell. Get
filthy. Vicious circle - couldn't get out of it"
I get real nervous when I dont have no place to
live its going to do my head in
"Doing a runner... He / She was depressed. Had
emotional problems. Had bills couldn't pay. Was in
financial difficulty. Serious pressures. He / She
was confused. Things got too much for him / her.
Had major confrontations with family..."
"At 17, I thought I knew it all..."
"They never understood. I tried to patch up my
broken home... Please forgive me. I never meant to
break their hearts"
"Children are looking for the perfect parents."
"In all the years I've slept rough... I want to do
something before I die. The real thing. The thing
you can't think of..."
"THE WISH DREAM of the 1960's - it has not
gone away..."
Many teenagers want adventure but few
manage to do it When he left, all he found was a
cold corner in a city surrounded by strangers
UK: "100,000 children go missing each year- 1
every 4 minutes" (18/7/1993) "Every year, 250,000
people go missing. Most will return, but some
don't."
"To be reported missing, means someone is
missing you..." There are many children who drift
off and are not reported as missing...
"How often do the police review 'Gone Missing'
files?" "The cost of searching all the boarding
houses, the slums - all the possibilities where he /
she could go... and get hurt quite badly."
"Oh, I'm sorry. We should have done something."
"Parents just want to know their child is safe.
We've all said things we shouldn't have said. If you
have run away, please phone home!"
"It's up to the parents to deal with problems in
the home" wrote the Daily Express, in response to
'national soul-searching provoked by Home
Alone tragedies and recent murders. (Ah! They
are expecting parents to do it!) "It is unrealistic to
put the onus entirely on parents."
ADULT: I wish Id have had it when I was a kid it
would have kept me off the streets.
"In 30 years, the government has done nothing
to improve the situation. Things are as bad now
as they ever were."
"Many of us fear for the SAFETY of our children we would like to give them more freedom but..."
"Easy to become a parent, but what makes a good
one?" "It's my biggest regret we never talked
more than we did."
DEBATE: "Should the State take over
47

CHAPTER 1: EDUCATION

but we havent got the budget (November, 2005).


In the whole of the UK there are only 10 (safe)
beds for run-away children. (3 beds in Scotland, 6
in London, 1 in the south-west). Annually, there are
100,000 runaways. In March 2006, MPs will put a
Bill before Parliament to seek overall funding to
stop the funding for these 10 beds being cut

are rebellious, violent - they are too busy looking for


a job. Problems start when there is inadequate
supervision. Children need a secure, decent
home. 1/3rd of children who call Child-line feel the
family is a dangerous place. In an ideal world
people would be happy, they would be
managing;
their
health,
education
and
achievements would be good" (A programme to help

(December 2005) (re: The Children's Society www.thechildrens-society.co.uk)

alleviate the Breakdown of Family Life, BBC, 5/1/1994).

Hello. Can you help? She needs a safe place


It does sound like the poor child is in a terrible
situationHave you tried phoning...? The Social
Services wont help! BEEN THERE DONE
THAT The NSPCC are the only agency
empowered to oversee the Social Services. The
NSPCC has 180 projects nationwide but no
children's homes Im sorry. The NSPCC can
only call the Social Services in an Emergency
We have to do what the mother wants even if the
mother is in denial We cant discuss it with you
only the mother. The Data Protection Act
Ive tried 15 UK Agencies set-up to help children
in need of protection. Not one will help by
providing a SAFE refuge. It annoys me these
people are being paid to do a job when theyre
not doing it!
My daughter keeps running off- shes got
psychological problems
SOCIAL WORKERS: We dont think the child has
any issues Children's Rights have gone too
far its not illegal for them to drink They
know how to play the system. Theyre only being
difficult to get a flat Well arrange a meeting
Well discuss it next week
(So many agencies get involved! And still nothing
gets done!) An attractive face theyre so
convincing
RUN-AWAY: WAH! I come from a BROKEN
home Now do YOU understand why I need it?
Theyve let me down so badly. I dont know who
to trust anymore. You know how much I want it all
to work out right. Now youre ignoring me again
(Sometimes youve got to trust)
6 MONTHS LATER, the poor kid is still on the
streets The meeting was adjourned no
decision was taken THIS IS TORTURE!
(Everyone sooner or later cracks when being
tortured.) If you dare to openly ask what the hell
they are all doing, they conveniently refuse to
speak to you. They go into denial! So easy for
them to go into denial to protect themselves!
They collude You are accused of hampering
interfering causing problems harassing them!
ANYTHING, rather than provide the one bit of

"Parents don't want their children to break..."


Parents are going to pieces
"Up to 100,000 children run away each year. 23%
of runaways are from well-off families.
SECRET HAVEN: Ester Rantzen, who set up
Child-line has revealed plans for a 'safe haven,'
controversially out of reach of parents and the law,
for London's runaway children. Her scheme is for an
open house where runaways can seek help, a meal,
and a bed without the fear of being reported. She
said: 'They need time to think - a cooling off
period.'..." (9/7/1993).
Hello. You are through to our Helpline We
can only talk to the child. I understand the child is
not allowed to use the telephone - but thats our
policy
"2 MILLION CHILDREN LIVE IN POVERTY in
Great Britain. 1 in 5" (Social Justice Commission report,
12/12/1993).

350,000 children, in the UK, are in danger, at


risk in their homes
100,000 children a year run away, facing
Alarming DANGERS on the streets I walked
the streets. I slept in a phone box. A sordid mix of
drugs and crime Charities have called for a
chain of hostels to be built across the country.
Pilot schemes come to an end next year. The
Children's Society wants something up and running
to replace them soon. The need for
ALTERNATVES (Sky News 27/2/2005).
Social Services can only offer a form of respite
to children who have run away and are on the
streets because they are physically / beaten
MENTAL CRUELTY is not in our remit. She has
to go back home. Im very sorry, my hands are
tied The police will take her back. Our only choice
is a place in a secure unit. That will take at least a
couple of weeks to arrange But thats not the
answer. Secure Units are extremely damaging
places (emotionally)... Sending her there would
seem like a punishment (How can they
disregard the childs mind? The mind and body
are
connected.
Many
illnesses
are
psychosomatic 2005).
SOCIAL WORKER: We cant have Homeless
children on the streets! There are so many
children in the same awful circumstances we
cant help! Yes, I know, its very hard. Its not
at all easy for you. Weve all gone through it in one
way or another. Its a shame we couldnt do more

kit!
Were doing our best to help but the issues are
very complicated There is nothing we can do to
help. That is our final decision, Im afraid (2006).
48

CHILDREN IN CARE:
I was in financial difficulty She abandoned
her kids saying it was all too much for her
its not going to be for long. Its for the best
Parents with NO ALTERNATIVE, as a last,
desperate measure, put their children into the care
of the Local Authority - because they want to
safeguard their child/ren and ensure their
protection and well-being Their parents may be
Homeless, jobless, in prisonOther children are
removed from their parents for safety reasons EG.
He was beaten to one inch of his life. Hes had a
rotten life
Q: Why did you assault your child?
A: I couldnt see an alternative I snapped!
SOCIAL WORKER: These kids are damaged.
Theyre hurting inside EG.
CHILD: It must be me. It must be me Im
SORRY! Oh, why is it always me?
ATTITUDE: its leaving me in silence God
must hate me! Im plagued by demons Noone ever speaks about the monsters Ive made
myself so sick My hearts bleeding inside
CHILD: I need to speak to someone urgently. I
need some help
RECEPTIONIST: Shes away on a training
course at the moment Shes not in the office
today She cant come and see you. Shes on
duty Sorry. Hes in a meeting right now Ill
have to speak to my boss. Im afraid shes tied up
at the moment No, I cant reach her
("If we lose the time before us...")
BUTTERING THEIR OWN BREAD
CHILD: Social workers are useless! All they do
is sit around, dunking biscuits!
PARENT: When I think about how much (public)
money they are getting paid Theyre very
good at passing the buck and fobbing us off.
They should get off their backsides and do
something really constructive to help all these
poor kids
A SOCIAL WORKER (on TV) SAID: The
consequences of getting it wrong are so high,
and we have to live with that
(ERRORS OF JUDGEMENT COST LIVES. Lets
just make that perfectly clear, alright?
The wide eyed asleep need to WAKE UP!
Is it colouring everything?
WAH! its not even understood by the
beautiful and good in this city)
"450
SECURE
CHILDRENS
HOMES
CHILDREN HELD UNDER LOCK & KEY: Might
damage themselves. 75% have been abused by
their parents. Children have developed selfdestructive tendencies - banging their heads
against brick walls. Locked in at night. Watched
through windows in door. Some do manage to run
away. Some disappear. When something goes
missing, all the children are regularly strip

searched."
EXPERT: "Child abuse has not got worse - is only
more talked about..." (Oh really?)
"CHILDREN IN CARE PLEAD FOR HELP:
Britain's scandal-hit childrens homes... Child-line
has revealed that a high proportion of calls come
from children in care..."
"The government's definition of a 'correction
centre'..." "...they'll be good girls and boys in the
memorial homes for colonial wasters of life and
limb..."
His father died he ended up in a council-run
care home "I'm in here because we had to
move house. Your life can be turned upside
down at a moments notice... I wasn't consulted - I
wasn't allowed to have any say in the decision..."
"IN CARE: MASSIVE UNITS!"
"We should have smaller units - little homes or
something like that" said a child in care. "Constant
changing of staff, being moved around again and
again - controlled. Feel insecure. Others discuss
my life, write long reports about me, make
decisions for me. All they say is no, no , no. Does
my head in. A lot of messing around. They don't
listen to our views. They don't care."
"Youngsters needs are being overlooked.
Children accused of being difficult, ungrateful...
"Detained in a childrens home... had their bones
fractured by government staff. Blamed: Lack of
complaints procedure."
"Plans said to be for economic reasons.
Treatment described as TACTICS NAZIS USED.
Campfield House Young Offenders Institution. The
use of over-restraint Supposed to be place
where youngsters are trained"
Re: Complaints Procedure: "Kids don't have an
avenue." Let down by system supposed to help
them. 'It's all to do with funding' they say over
and over again. Legislation = No substance. "Hard
to accommodate their wishes" said carers.
"These difficulties have to be worked out or
these children will become adults with problems"
(Radio 4, BBC 8/4/1993).

"Permission granted for FORCIBLE RESTRAINT


to be used against difficult to control children- to
stop them running away" (28/4/1993) (What are they
running away from?)
EXPERT: Restraining children does not
alleviate the problem - this makes them want to
get away from you, makes them feel unloved,
unwanted, swept under the carpet
80% OF CHILDREN IN CARE OF LOCAL
AUTHORITY ARE ABUSED sexually, physically,
mentally, by other children and staff supposed to
look after them" (BBC, 13/5/1992).
Children are on drugs, using alcohol, sniffing
substances (Ah! Its so hard to gloss over)
"60,000 CHILDREN IN LOCAL AUTHORITY
CARE HOMES. of children have no
49

CHAPTER 1: EDUCATION

with reality. Parents burden over-loaded. 'We


cannot take our eyes off him for a second.' Constant
danger... the windows... Unable to differentiate
what is safe and what isn't. 'Denis's
accommodation is unsuitable... but so is all the
other accommodation on offer..." (Radio 4, BBC
8/4/1993) "UNMANAGEABLE: He draws on the
walls, throws food everywhere, has tantrum after
tantrum. We can't cope. Freddy is a natural house
wrecker..."
"Statistics published the National Children Home's
charity show Britain's children live in greater
poverty and will die younger than many of their
European
counterparts.
Britain
has
more
youngsters in need... The report attacks the
government who signed a UN convention on
Childrens Rights saying the government has
failed to recognise 'the Right of every child to a
standard of living adequate for the child's
physical,
mental,
spiritual
and
social
development.' Every day 13 more London children
are put on the Local Authority 'at risk registers...
Britain also has far more young people in custody
than European partners. More than 23% of
prisoners are under 20. The NCH fact file makes
50 recommendations including the setting-up of a
Childrens Rights Commissioner" (Evening Standard,
24/6/1992).
The human spirit needs to be nourished by friends,
family the simplest things. The joy of life! This is
what we have forgotten
"CHILDREN ARE A BLESSING: Stanley Wilson, a
great Socialist, started a home for sad children
who lost everything during WW11. 'We don't
withhold from the children - they've suffered
enough' he said. 'Nor do we punish or have
regulations. We didn't have children of our own instead, we were honoured to know and care for
250 children'..." (Ah! The secret is not to be hard.)
Children are as good as gold.
"HOME is what you make it."
I had to leave my job at the secure unit. I
couldnt endure the emotional upheaval. The
things that go on in those places! I could tell you
some stories that would make your hair stand on
end No, please dont tell me! Id rather not go
there Most of the are children in here are
criminals, and some have murdered
An investigation is being launched into children in
need of special care being DUMPED in care
homes in areas far from their family (February,

qualifications. of people in prison were in a Local


Authority care home" (4/5/1993).
"... the disturbance is the 2nd this month. Another
home was closed when youngsters ran riot,
smashing furniture and breaking windows"
(23/3/1993).

"CARE HOMES OUT OF CONTROL: Investigated


by the Evening Standard... Complacent social
workers... Parents not satisfied children are safe...
these people need more care... Are subject to
abuse... Council's failure to hold an investigation.
The government promised a full inquiry" (re:
Islington, BBC, 28/7/1993).

"PRIVATISE CHILDRENS SECURE UNITS?:


"Make money out of locking up children?
Meetings run by accountants? Make a profit out of
childrens misery? 'I don't see what's wrong with
making a profit. Homes are run at a loss.' We are
failing children lamentably. If we leave it to
politicians they will make a hash of it. Instead,
reduce the cost of it, and raise standards" (ref.
Conservative government, 16/8/1993).

"Children in care are being SHUNTED FROM


PLACE TO PLACE because of a lack of resources.
Agencies accused of not tackling the root causes
of their problems" (Greater London Radio, 15/12/1993)
They get bounced from foster carer to foster
carer
I dont want to work for the Social Services any
more. They havent got their priorities right
How did I feel being a foster carer? There was no
support. I was accused of caring too much! All I got
was forms to fill in. And no apologies
Britain has a shortage of good foster carers
"RIOT: Pupils at a school for children in care ran
riot causing 70,000 of damage. Squads of police
went in as 30 children - many of whom have a
parent in jail - rampaged. The children smashed
desks, chairs and windows and started small fires.
19 children were arrested."
"MUCH PUNISHMENT TAKES PLACE: Britain
should follow the rest of Europe and move away
from physical punishment of children. A reward
system works best. Corporal punishment is
ritualistic, medieval and humiliating. A normal
loving family Environment involves discipline
(lightly) smacking the child sensibly. Another way
to punish a child is deprive them of the thing
they love the most..." (Debate, March 1994) A softer
more caring and considerate regime wouldnt
hurt.
"ARSON PROBE: ... a suspicious fire swept
through a council owned childrens home..."

2005) Then all the agencies have to travel there for


regular meetings

(20/12/1993).

Kent has so many children in council care they


are at CRISIS point (June, 2005).
SHOCKING: CHILDRENS JAILS: 32,000
children are held in Young Offenders
Institutions. Lord Carlile said a child abuse inquiry
would normally be triggered if children elsewhere

UK: "15,000 CHILDREN NEED ADOPTING: An


adoption agency 'Parents for Children' believes
every child has the right to a family life - but is
fighting for survival... they used to receive
government funds..."
AUTISM = "Absorption in fantasy, lack of contact
50

hoodlums from birth, a range of social services,


health visitors etc. No new money for this- will be
shifted from elsewhere. Children may be removed
from (alcoholic / single) parents. Protest: A child
going through the care system is a bruised
child (BBC, 31/9/2006).

were treated the way they are in Secure Training


Centres and Local Authority secure children's
homes. Recommended: Routine strip-searching
of children should end. Strip searches have nothing
to do with searching for anything or for securityonly demoralising.
Use of hand-cuffs is
unacceptable. The use of physical force to control
children should be severely restricted. evidence
some staff would "bait" children into situations that
would lead to them being restrained for the adult's
"own gratification" 5 staff against one child
Physical force was used against youngsters
15,512 times during a 21-month period in England
and Wales. Gareth, who weighed just 7 stone, died
after being restrained by 3 members of staff at the
privately-run Rainsbrook secure training centre 4
days in to his sentence the closed environment
of custodial centres holding children for
dubious reasons The QC, a former MP said
responsibility for under-18s in custody should be
taken away from the prisons minister and handed to
the Children's minister. His year-long inquiry,
commissioned by The Howard League for Penal
Reform made 45 recommendationsMy team of
expert advisers shared my shock at some of the
practices we witnessed If children in custody are
expected to learn to behave well, they have to be
treated well and the staff and various authorities
have to set the very highest standards. The rule of
law and protection of Human Rights should
apply to all children equally, regardless of
whether they are detained in custody or in the
community (ITN & Channel 4, 16/2/2006).
WAH! YOU DONT KNOW WHAT its LIKE!
SOCIAL WORKER: Yes, I do know. Are you
purposefully trying to get yourself thrown out? Now
go to your room, stop snivelling or go and play
with the traffic! I wash my hands of them (2005)
= Growth in Self-Harming. Children are cutting
themselves! Whats the matter with her? We dont
know. We dont understand it. Whats the answer?
SECURE ? The system is screwed up said a
social worker. Were not allowed to lock the door to
stop them absconding... Youre going to end up
as a statistic! (2006).
WAH! So many kids in need! And all you want is
the money! ARGH to politics

SIN CITY VICTIMS:


PUT IN A LIFE THREATENING SITUATION: 1/3rd
of the youngsters who are attracted by the bright
lights in the city... end up Homeless are
approached for PROSTITUTION and forced to beg
on the streets - the vast majority of them raising
less than 5 a day, a survey by the charity
Centrepoint
reveals...
The
government's
determination to end 'benefit culture' has
caused 'street culture' which is far more
dangerous. of youngsters arrive in London from
areas suffering high unemployment. had been
in council care, leaving to try and find work and
excitement - instead they end up in a poverty trap.
The perils facing them grow more dangerous
every day. To change the system, the
Government could help them get a home which
will help them get employment. Centrepoint helps
approx. 1,500 youngsters a year. Those sleeping
rough went up from 53% to 78% in 1987" (1989).
"... became withdrawn, sulky. Was badly abused.
Wanted to run away - hated the world. starved, in
rags, a skivvy..."
You have now arrived at a very, very bad placewhere the sights are horrible, the people are
horrible. I hope YOU DONT ever go there
"THE PIMP offers the GIRL a room - somewhere to
stay. A bit of refuge. The girl takes up the offer
reluctantly, hoping, naively, there'll be no price
attached. She may be locked in, then forced to
deal with clients, to pay the rent on the room.
She may be left to die alone." "I wanted to get
away from home. A man said if I stripped - he'd
help me out. When I couldn't pay the rent, I'd
pose..." "Using persuasion. Young girls aint got no
chances. I can't share the pretences - there's
nothing wrong."
"The growing trade in child pornography. Snuff
videos. Children killed whilst being filmed. Price
(of film) paid depends on race - on colour and age
of child. Gang raped before being murdered."
"Vice squads can't keep up..." (July 1990).
"HOMELESS
CHILDREN
PREYED
UPON
(stalked) BY PAEDAFILES..." (1990).
"One of the grimmest side-effects of Homelessness
has been the growth in the RENT BOYS trade.
The need for money means that many, who are
corruptible, are prepared to accept offers from older
men. Some are befriended, introduced to drugs
and homosexual prostitution rings... There is
always the possibility of violence but even if they
are attacked they are unwilling to go to the police.

THE FUTURE?
To Hell With it? Its so awful to look after
children Dont have any? Develop other forms of
surrogacy to liberate. Children brought up entirely
by the State system? (God forbid!) Parents merely
visit once a week for an hour?
A dysfunctional person costs Tax-Payers
25,000 a year. Officially, there are 1.3 million
dysfunctional people in Britain. Tony Blairs thing
is social exclusion- how to deal with (cure?)
(His) Solution? A new computer to pinpoint future
51

CHAPTER 1: EDUCATION

The 2nd risk is the almost certain exposure to Aids


(HIV)..."
"GET ME OFF THE STREETS! I want a place to
stay. Make my day!" "WAH! I wanna go home. I
haven't got a home but that don't stop me wanting
one..."
THE (infamous) DENIS NILSEN MURDERS: "...
he had a history of mental instability he went
into the army, learnt how to dissect using a knife...
he joined the police... corpses fascinated him... he
resigned... then worked at a Job centre... Neilsen
EXPLOITED the situation facing the Homeless...
he murdered 13 young drifters - luring them
easily... He looked for would-be suicides who
were wondering how they could survive another
day - who were looking for the chance of a meal, a
bed for the night... Gruesome His state of mind
was questioned. He admitted he enjoyed killing.
He proved he was capable of planning. Clearly
he had a personality disorder. The word
'substantial' was questioned in the Homicide
ActNeilson pleaded 'diminished responsibility'
thus reducing his crime...
(If Neilsens cold bloodied behaviour (blood lust)
is not defined as INSANE, what is?)
BORDERLINE DISORDER: After hearing all the
gory details, the Judge expressed impatience with
the professional jargon... Neilson was given 'life'
(maximum 25 years.)
"The defendant shows signs of 'clearly' defined
mental
diseases
Schizophrenia
i.e.
hallucinations,
hearing
voices
from
God,
persecutory
delusions,
or
mania..."
Uh?
BORDERLINE means: Frontier, barrier or division
between
anything
doubtful,
verging
on
madness. (Know your borderline There are
many different types of borderline disorders - look
them up in a medical text-book.)
MY POST MORTEM? Not the 1st time this has
happened. And this wont be the last.
"Not much of a world for the young to inherit

52

poor to Afford even basic essentials. They only


have a few 's a week to live on. Small amounts of
money from begging are not enough for a bed at
night."
"I'm barely surviving..."
The tramp with plastic bags over his shoes
If you were in my shoes
If you dont clean up you can stay on your own for
as long as you like!
"Tired and misplaced... Ive got a hole in my
soul. They aint got nothing to fix that.
("Wishing things could be different...")
Where is the so-called safety net? I cant find
it!
SOD'S LAW: "Where can you go when you are
destitute? The workhouse? Horrible there.
Couldn't be worse. Make you ill. You'll die of
consumption..."
its raining againToo bad youre losing a
friend
STREET 'LIFE' = "THE WIND CHILL at night...
The cold is a killer. Stay conscious or you
become a corpse."
"I wish I had a place where I could dry out"
"Soup? Soup? Soup every day? I need good,
solid food." "There's a rumble in my tummy..." "I
can't manage on that." "He ran on an empty
stomach..."
Have YOU seen the old man in the closed down
market? Have YOU seen the old girl who walks
the streets dirt in her hair, carrying her home in
2 plastic bags the world doesnt care In our
winter city, the rain cries a little pity Oh, let me
take you by the hand, Ill show you something to
make you change YOUR mind (FOLK song: THE

CHAPTER 2: UK: THE HOMELESS:


(TRUE CHARITY: "Looking after the weak and
sick is the duty and obligation of the well nourished,
the well housed and the well clothed. In the New
Testament, we are urged to practice charity - to
comfort the sick, to visit prisoners, to clothe the
naked and feed the hungry.")
"We are called Human." "Fellow creatures."
HUMAN BEING (means: Showing sympathy,
kindness or understanding. The Gentler
emotions.")
"You are the ones who suffer most. Yours is a
story untold."
HUMAN BEINGS = AN ENDANGERED SPECIES!
"...THE DRIFTER. He is looking for the most
excellent place of all..."
"FLAT BROKE: "I can't Afford the rent for a
bloody flat. I aint got enough money for a
house..." "I was staying with friends, but it's easy to
outstay your welcome." "It hurts too much to stay
around when the magic's gone..." This house
aint a home "I have to find something. I don't
know what it is, but when I find it, I'll know." "Me?
Oh, I'm looking for a new life..."
(" it's a new address for this young man." " it's
a new start!) "It'll keep me happy!"
THE TRAMP: (A Hobo. A migratory worker:
"Britain used to have special accommodations for
tramps- they could go from one place to another,
always finding a place to stay...")
(A good example of a tramp is: "Charlie Chaplin the world's most lovable tramp...")
"A tramp is a person who counts riches by what he
hasn't got. The birds and Sun greet him. His
Freedom is his happiness."
"Sleeping out under the stars! I prefer it. Makes me
feel really happy!" "To sleep under the stars. The
sky is one roof that will never collapse on you. It's
the one roof you know will still be there in the
morning when you wake." (Ah! you want to be
certain, as sure as the sun rising in the East...)
" it's the way I want to live..." "To me it's not a
remote dream." " it's where I long to be." "I
still believe it's going to happen." "I feel like it's a
part of me - it goes deep, deep."
"GIVE ME LIBERTY! or GIVE ME LIFE! "I can't
be chained to a life." "I don't want a sheltered
life!" "Settle down? I couldn't! I'd go mad staying
in one place!" "In my heart, it will remain. When I
love, it is forever. The pity is you keep making me
feel as far away from my destiny as I ever
conceived I would get. I'll go by the way I feel
about things - my sense of smell." "Nobody is
going to take away my Freedom. You can't deny
me this feeling..." " it's all I want." " it's my
life. It's my life! Do you understand?"
"ALMOST FREE!" "These days, many are too

STREETS OF LONDON, by Ralph McTell).

(OLD FOLK SAYING: When it rains, God is


crying)
"A WINTER'S TALE: ... When his parents died,
Terence took to the road... He is 50. He has
camped on Hampstead Heath, in London for 14
years. .... He does not drink alcohol. ... He explains
there are 3 kinds of people who sleep rough:
There's the camping type who is in-between digs,
there's the sort from whom no explanation is
forthcoming, there's the sort who is scared the
house will tumble down - they are afraid cracks
will appear in the walls - the cracking theme is
evoked repeatedly... Terence has a Mac, some
blankets, but most importantly, he lies on plastic
bags, which are put underneath if the ground is
wet... He says he is in this situation because he
cannot accept society as you know it... Whilst the
problem of Homelessness persists all year long,
the coming of spring means the political issue of
down and outs reverts to the back burner" (Time
Out magazine, 3/4/1985).

HELP ME MAKE it THROUGH THE NIGHT! Its


so sad to be left out in the cold
53

CHAPTER 2: THE HOMELESS

"Thamesreach- an agency that provides aid and


advice to people on the street, reported
'callousness' at a hospital... a Homeless man who
had taken an overdose was taken in for treatment
but was merely dumped back on the street by
security guards... 'We fear for the back street
Homeless. The public can be less than
generous'..." (3/4/1985).
NIGHT SHELTERS: "... we are finding significant
numbers don't want to sleep in Night Shelters - for
very good reason: watery soup, going there can
give you lice, you can't sleep for all the coughing
and snoring... The worrying part is that people
disappear. People die here. There are some very
passive, extremely withdrawn people out there the vulnerable ones who never go near a soup van,
who run away from the main groupings, who hide
themselves away..."
Im so embarrassed
My whole world is just me and this dog
"Society is creating a swarm of jobless,
Homeless, young, unable to Afford habitable
lodgings, who have to keep on the move.
WAH! WHY is my world being turned upside
down? My memory is all I have left now
'Charity' is the Victorian solution to society's
cast-offs. It is in this direction the government are
aiming... Plans are going ahead for the progressive
closure of resettlement units which offer
instant Emergency shelter for 3,000 Homeless
people each month... the government wants to hive
off the responsibility... The government will not
release the funds to do a proper job..." (3/4/1985)
"We are 52nd class citizens..."
1986: "No-one is being taken off the waiting list
in Camden" said a Housing Officer.
AID WORKERS ADVISED: "If asked to give
money- buy the Homeless a hot cup of tea or a
meal, to stop them starving and freezing to
death." "The Homeless are 150% more at risk of
disease, accident, hypothermia, premature
death... These people need clean, warm, dry
shelter..."
"COLD DAYS, DARK NIGHTS"
A sign on the make-shift 'door' of a cardboard-box
(situated under the Queen Elizabeth Hall, in
London) said: "1987 IS THE YEAR OF THE
HOMELESS! Do YOU CARE? CAN YOU HELP?"
"God be with you" said visiting Christian workers,
as they drove off in a taxi...
(The Good Shepherd will leave his flock to save,
and carry, the lost sheep)
its RIGHT UP MY STREET! A few
portakabin-style temporary shelters are sited
behind Londons Highbury Underground-train
station, provided by St. Mungos to help a few
Homeless people
1987: A plastic-coated, NICE, NEW, white (flimsy)
tent - made in sections, joined together with

plastic windows, was put on a bridge, to provide a


temporary restaurant, for an Exhibition hall, on
Londons South Bank:

THE HOMELESS SAID: I need something like


that! Something that helps move me I believe in
style. They arent strong enough to help me
"It's hard finding anywhere to live around here... the
general situation..."
'The alternative is to sleep in doorways. Many
Homeless people had to do that after the trees
crashed down during the 1987 hurricane.
SCENE: A PARK (called Canada Walk. This park
was given to The People to commemorate The
War of Liberation. Situated in Lincolns Inn Fields- a
central London square, near The Royal Courts of
Justice i.e. Britain's Most Social Extreme.)

(Picture: The park hut commandeered by the Homeless).

1987: at least 50 Homeless people 'live' here (in


this park), in a 'cardboard city. The Homeless are
woken at 4.20am by porters from nearby offices.
'You have to leave now, before the Judges
arrive...' OFFICE WORKERS, who just want to
enjoy lunch in the park, said: 'All these camps
shouldn't be here! They leave their filth here!
Terrible! Go to Buckingham Palace and sleep out
there! You should be in hostels. Do you want to
be on welfare all your life? You live in a
cardboard box! Do you suffer delusions?
THE HOMELESS said: I want to stop the rot, get
back on my feet, form some sort of a base. I'm out
of work at the moment. Nowadays, everything is
too easy? Huh, I'd rather go back to the STONE
AGE My friends and I like to work on a FREE
exchange basis, with no strings attached... We
need a real home, not one stuck in the DARK
Ages. Yeh. I used to believe in magic, but now I'm
not quite sure why. The Homeless have a few
funny, but mostly really sad experiences. EG.
54

someone gives a Homeless youth an old tent. It's


really quite clean Here's a vacancy! he said to
his mates (ref. Extract: Documentary, Fields Apart,

shape, line with a plastic sheet - flap that under,


and over the top and sides
= A plastic Sanctuary! (well,
it is sort of, until the plastic
sheet blows off)
NOTE: Plastic
is liked /
favoured / used extensively by
the Homeless.
(Its LOGICAL! It all looks
very... sane.)
"I like it. I like it. I like it." "Now that's what I like!
SPEED. I'm a very fast mover"
A Little Joke: "I'll be there in a Jiffy..." (i.e. one of

Viewpoint, Channel 4).

The Homeless frequently DISCUSS it:


Oh! Weve been through it a million times
"When you need a light, in the middle of the
night..." "It's 3am. The rain's bucketing down...
youre cold, your cardboard box has a leak..."
("That wont keep you warm on a wet night!"
"Winter winds will be much colder..." "I know you
suffer from the cold dreadfully...") Ill be a much
deeper shade of blue
( Deep in the night, dont you hope youll find
your way?)
Survival Instinct = Adapting to circumstances.
ART = Being inventive.

those round, plastic squirty lemon-juice containers).

"I like things simple - simplified. Know what I


mean?" "I need it. I need it like this..."
"I'll tell it, speak it. I'll think it, breathe it and live it. I'll
reflect so all souls can see it. I'll know my song
well before I start singing..."
WAH! "WE WANT A STYLE OF OUR OWN!"
"I'm heading towards my Phoenix" "Stay with it.
Weve got to make something of our lives..." " it's
better than death - slow suicide, broken romance,
lost friends..." its not so bad. Its not so bad.
Its not so bad.
"Have a heart for the arts..." ("It could be worse.
Tis known by the name of perseverance in a good
cause, obstinacy in a bad.")
"Just give me some place I can go... Soon it'll be
Spring... " "My name is Summer." "Reckon we can
survive about another 4 months if the good
weather holds up..."
"My name's Destiny." "We dream where the Sun
don't shine..."
"We got our own way of talking. Don't YOU hear?"
"You can go right along this line and you'll find
brains - clever people!" ("They discussed this
matter with such theoretical and practical
knowledge, their instructor was afraid he had been
born on a different planet.")
Where is the catch in it? "I tell you man, it's
the only fool-proof system..."
( although its not fools I worry about...)
"We can re-arrange our world."
It would be a completely new start for us
its a life changing opportunity. "It means
liberty today! Everyone should have one." "You
could have happiness - everything, IF YOU just let
it be." " it's absolutely enchanting." "It'll be so
easy - it's a true love, made in Heaven." "Why
shouldn't life be this good?"
"I wish I had it now."
"Will YOU help me? Will YOU help our dull lives?
Will YOU help me find Heaven and Peace? There
are not many smiling faces here." "It's where I'll
find my Heaven."
"I want it and I think it's pathetic that they say we
can't have it." "They only want emptiness inside
us. That isn't right. They're pretending not to

OUTSIDER ARTS:
= Improvise!
"It's worth a try."
"We are searching for... Try!"
Give it a go! "Make the most of it!"
EXAMPLES of something to SHELTER in, created
BY THE HOMELESS:
The 'Bud Wrapper' or
'Coffin': A large, oblong,
cardboard box, laid on the
ground, on a plastic
sheet that is flapped
over the top...
("No! I'm not ashamed of it! You don't know what it
is to be poor. Being poor is extremely
unpleasant. Always cold. A life-time of being
cold, never well fed. Always outside, looking
in...." "It might be low, but there's nothing common
about it!" Think it over. "I'll sleep on it..." "It'll all
make sense in the morning, you'll see..."
" it's my small survival place, y'know?" "I think
it's going to be better the second time around" =
The Cardboard Castle: Stand the cardboard up.
Stack against a tree, lean against a wall - prop-up
with a length of wood, to stop it blowing away.
Sleep curled up inside, on a plastic sheet.
" it's my pride and joy." it's better than
going without! Surely to God, it's better than
nothing! It's better to try than do nothing. It has to
be worth something!" "There is always hope."
(Hope, for what?) (Is the idea gradually beginning
to dawn?)
"It's a damp night. Of course, I'd rather have one..."
(Ah! They can see the light)
("My name is Thunderbolt & Lightening...")
" it will help us!" " it'll save our ass!"
" it's got my attention!"
"Home in on it!" " it's my GUIDING LIGHT!"
(" it's easy when you know how...")
A bit Better: Stack plastic bread crates into a box
55

CHAPTER 2: THE HOMELESS

know the difference


" it heralds the change. Never give up the
dream for a GOOD FUTURE."
"It's just a dream you can't twist round your finger."
"It's the one thing they can't take away - just
remember."
Is it ONLY a dream?
"Understand it, so we can say it's a fine life! It's
something we have wanted for years!"
"YOU could have happiness- everything, if you just
let it be."
"The cold, suffering discrimination, isolated
from the community / society, are startled YOU
fail to see your FAILINGS in political matters that
affect THE PEOPLE in general- that affects
religious and moral issues.
It gets our vote. We're proud of it. It's good stuff.
And we're looking forward to having it for the rest
of our lives."
" it's my rightful place." "I can't do without it.
It's the real thing."
"Our purpose for living is to find Perfection. Let
it shine forth!"
"Please say the right words."
"CHANGE your mind."
" it shouldn't be imposed. If it helps me walk
down the street and feel safe, I'm in favour of it."
"It will be an incredible achievement!"
"It will help other people..." "We will be very
thankful for it."
"Some would say it's a real treasure." "I will
treasure it and make it last - it's all I really need."
"Some say it's overdue." "I've examined this issue
in triple cut..." "We're looking at you from the
bottom up. Do you need someone to rescue you?
I'll rise to the occasion - I can offer you so much.
I'm going to share with you..." "A prophet could
do all the administration."

WAH! How Long must we WAIT for it?


Its all about timing. "Timing is everything."
"They're taking their time about it!" It should
only take 2 ticks Dont be long about it. How
long does it take? "How long will it take?" "You
expect same day service when you break-down in
the middle of nowhere." "Don't take all day about
it!"
"We're in limbo." "There isn't a whole heap I can
do about it."
("At this stage it is all about COURAGE and
BELIEF and the ABILITY TO OVERCOME
difficult conditions.")
"WE'VE BEEN HURTING FOR SO LONG..." Ive
been waiting all my life
PRAYER: "Good shepherd. I am a lost sheep. I
pray that you might find me so I may return to your
flock..."
"The prayer for salvation keeps me going"
"We've got nothing left but faith."
it will happen IF we wait long enough for
the truth to happen and when it does, I hope it
happens for us
"It's HARD waiting!" Well just have to wait no
matter how long it takes.
"MAKE it SNAPPY!"
" it's coming together, slowly... it will be here. Yes
it will, better than before." it is getting there,
slowly, but surely.
"JUST BE QUICK about it." "Is it ready yet? How
much longer will it take?"
It is a matter of LIFE AND DEATH "The
problems are urgent and pressing. Get a result,
man." "Don't wait till Christmas! Do it NOW!" Im
sorry if Im being impatient. Ill see it clearly
someday soon. It cant be much longer. It must
come someday soon. Sorry to pressure you
but "The hungry can't wait!"
WAH! I DONT want to die!
"Hurry it along." YOU CANT HURRY LOVE.
"You shouldn't rush it. It has to go at its own pace."
It cant be rushed.
(Im not rushing it. We dont want any
misunderstandings. It is going at its own speed..
People on major work will not rush to publish until
they are sure of their results.)
" it's going to take time and patience. A lot of
thought goes into it. it's a craft. Takes some
time to learn." You cant rush art to turn it into
something beautiful (Ah! Yes! Perfection!)
"Stick with it no matter how long it takes."
itll be worth the wait.
"I can wait maybe another hour." "We can make
it. We can make it. Just HANG ON!" (When the
days and nights are long, and youre sure youve
had enough of this life, HOLD ON. Dont let
yourself go! Because everybody cries. Everybody
hurts, sometimes. Sometimes, everything is wrong.
If you are thinking of letting go, HOLD ON.

WAIT FOR it?:


RESPONSE FROM THE AUTHORITIES: Its
SELFISH TIME NOW. YOU CAN WAIT FOR THE
SHOW to begin.
"They don't acknowledge many of the Homeless
people and unemployed have dropped out of
society because we disapprove of the way things
are done." EG. "I don't want to get involved - too
much fighting." "What hasn't been acknowledged
is that just maybe, the Homeless know some of
the answers - that there are options we're not
looking at..."
WERE WAITING
(What are they waiting for?)
WAIT FOR it ( its something to get them
started for a long time. its somewhere you can
begin)
I hope it wont be very long
56

Shelter raised 2,933.351 in 1988 via public


donations Shelter owns 45 shops, 32 Housing
Aid offices, 3 main offices (Cost to acquire &
upkeep?)
Shelter live on grants- and only act as a pressure
group to Local Authorities to try and get them to
implement legislation they should implement..."
BUT "Shelter is weak. Emasculated. Got no real
power."
"Is the money raised by Shelter used to provide
Affordable homes?" "Grimethorpe Tenants
Housing Co-operative needed help with their
struggle to purchase houses British Coal were
selling off. Shelter gave 100 to help the co-op
survive." " Lenin remained stationery. We still
haven't been able to help him." "Liverpool
Emergency Accommodation project - providing
desperately needed short term accommodation for
Homeless young people Shelter gave 250"
In Shelter's campaign called: 'Lifting the Roof on
Homelessness' Shelter argue: "What most
people want is to be home owners... Encouraging
ownership is thought to be the goal of our national
housing policy: It leads to improved conditions and
wider choice... Finding solutions to housing
problems is difficult... There has never been
greater demand for our help...."
COMPLAINT: Shelter don't help get you a house.
They only advocate more of the same old crap
"Too scared they'll lose their jobs if we got
somewhere to call home?"
1990: "Staff at Shelter resigning."
(Ah! INADEQUATE SHELTER)
(One good way Shelter could help the Homeless
would be to provide an accurate statistical and
geographical, analysis of how many people are
Homeless. The list should include all kinds of
Homeless people, including ALL the Hidden
Homeless).
The average charity spends 30 75% on
administration. One case worker earns 13,000
per annum (1989).
Finsbury Park (not a tourist hot-spot) London
1989: Approx. 60 Homeless men and women trying
to survive in cardboard boxes, and begging. One is
partially disabled, another is totally blind and uses a
white stick, another is on crutches... All look old.
When you give them money they say: "Thank you,
God bless you. You're very kind." They 'sleep'
sprawled out on the pavements, crashed against
walls - wherever they can - outside the filthy public
toilets, by the entrance gates to the park - a shock
for the families who use the park... Many of the
Homeless are banned from going in the shops. Ive
often seen them, holding each other up, singing
songs to cheer themselves and passers-by. At night
they all have a terribly sad, defeated look. 2 of the
women cry if you even look at them. They are so
terribly tired, dirty, battered, sore, cold, grieving...

HOLD ON! (song by REM.)


(A few seconds on the rack to a TORTURED man
can seem like an eternity "17 seconds is a
measure of time") "I'm still holding on..." I cant
wait much longer! "I cant WAIT!" "I can't make
it." You only have to look at me to know every
word is true Thats it. Ive had it. I cant hold
on any longer
It might come tomorrow. Tomorrow? Itll take
that long? Tomorrow never comes
Just WHEN will the New World Dawn? ("Why
wait any longer for the new world to begin?")
WHY are we waiting?
THE FUTURE = its coming on
1988: Mother Theresa (bless her) asked Mrs
Thatcher to Help the Homeless. Help was refused.
Mother Theresa had a heart attack... (Mother
Theresa was known as the Saint to the Gutters
for her work in Calcutta). Mother Theresa said:
People are lonely because they build Walls
instead of bridges. (Mother Theresa died 5th September,
1997).

"Crowded afternoon - not much room in the city.


Some just want a laugh, some just want to be
free..." "He uses space with minimum waste"
i.e. The Homeless try to hold onto just a few
cherished goods: The Homeless dismantle their
makeshift shelter every day, packing it all up neatly,
sometimes putting it into supermarket trolleys, or
simply leaving their bedding folded neatly under a
park bench
(The Homeless are known for: "Hiding their
proverbial light under a bush...")
"Who's nicked his blanket?" "STIFF LITTER
LAWS INTRODUCED: "DIRTY LONDON: 47% of
Overseas visitors think there is too much litter on
London's streets, 26% identifying a serious litter
problem in Underground stations but felt there
were no significant rubbish problems in the
parks" (Evening Standard re: Tourist Board annual
survey., 28/12/1989).

"CRISIS FOR THE HOMELESS: ... latest statistics


show the London borough of Enfield, with 822
Homeless in priority need, has the 4th biggest
Homeless problem of the 19 boroughs - Brent,
Ealing and Greenwich have more..." (15/6/1989).
"WE SEE AN INCREASING NUMBER OF
BEGGARS and we increasingly pass them by,
not just because we have become immune to the
sight of them, but because we don't want to
acknowledge that we live in a society which lets this
happen, and which might allow Homelessness to
happen to us. Moreover, we have grown used to
blaming people for their own economic and
psychological predicament" (1989) We are
becoming Hardened! HARD!
"THE NATIONAL CAMPAIGN TO RAISE
AWARENESS = The (UK) organisation called
57

CHAPTER 2: THE HOMELESS

into a hostel..."
"HOSTELS WHERE DIRT & DEGRADATION IS
STANDARD:" The last rung on the ladder... before
going into a cardboard box = A Resettlement
Unit...
"... there's lots of forms to fill in... if people can't
read or write..."
On arrival - shower, checked for infestation - a very
degrading process

Its as if they know they have no chance of ever


making it...
WEVE GOT TO STAY ALIVE somehow
weve got to make it I refuse to give up or
give in
"NO COMFORT. Only strife. Always having to
move and going nowhere" "Same old story
everywhere - move on, you're not wanted
here..." "When I die, Im going to HEAVEN. I know
because Ive done my time in HELL." In
Heaven, you arent on the outside with your nose
pressed against the cold window
"Stop the Suffering! Combat Cruelty!"
DO YOU PREFER CARING or CRUELTY?
HEATED ARGUMENTS: "It's all very well for you
fat members to sit over there laughing about the
Homeless" said a very angry MP. "Do you realise
that over 70% of my constituents come and see
me because of Housing problems?"
"The
Homeless are only in Labour boroughs" said a
Conservative MP (still sniggering) (In the House,

"Are you just itching to get on with it?"


Always watching your only belongings - usually
only a plastic bag or worn clothes... A maze of
corridors, grime and grease smeared... 120 men
sleep in one dorm... hostel normally always full 80 long term 'residents... Short staffed due to
cuts... Running costs enormous, for the
building, administration - cheaper to send the
Homeless to Malta! They had run out of sheets...
We sleep in our clothes, guarding belongings.. "
"... blackened pillows, smelly blankets, windows
locked..." "... holes in the ceilings, plaster falling
off the walls, the lockers shattered, holes and big
stains in the mattresses..." "... the piles of dust..."
"I couldn't stay in that filth. I'd rather sleep out..." I
just need to have some space to BREATHE! I
just need some time alone
"I only use this place to wash... dirty towels,
dirty razors in the corner..."
"The conditions are really SPARTAN. The smell
stays with you..." "Don't stay here too long blokes settle in and never get moving again..."
"A condemned cell atmosphere about the place."
"NOBODY HOME. I've got a little book with my
poems in. Ive got a bag with my toothbrush and
comb in. When I'm good they sometimes throw a
little bone in. I got elastic bands holding my shoes
on. I've got swollen hands blues..." ("Rave on John
Dunne...")
"... there's no privacy... herded in with people I
don't like..." "I don't want to sleep with anybody!
I wouldn't sleep with my own mother" "Look, when
I want a character assassin, I phone my mother..."
"Hostels dehumanise people." "Children are
going to learn all the tricks from nutters."
"... many inmates are drunk..."
"TERRORISED" (So many horrifying stories
about violence...) "I was beaten up in a hostel had my eyes super-glued and Ive been thrown out
of a hostel." "Hostel proprietor hit me, called the

25/4/1990).

COVENT
GARDEN,
London:
A
Homeless
gentleman was wandering around the edge of a
large street cafe, looking for some left-over food. He
was wearing an old pin-striped suit. He saw me
looking at him, so he hobbled over to me. He
started laughing and then crying "Do you know
why I think it is funny? he asked. It's because I
used to be a bastard too." I gave him some
money. He gently put his hand on my shoulder and
asked: "Do you understand? Do YOU? Do you
want to know the truth? They're all CHICKEN!
900 million people are starving in the world! We
should ALL fight for love." The (fat) cafe owner
rushed over and pushed him away viciously. "Go
on, go away! I've told you repeatedly not to come
round here. Push off! Clear off!" he said. I protested.
"He's only trying to talk to me! It's none of your
business. I want to talk to him!" But the caf owner
continued to push him further away. 2 security men
and 3 police-men arrived. They physically dragged
him away (April 1990) (The LACK of
COMPASSION!)
"Thatcher's sucking up all our insides."
"WHAT WILL HOMES in the 1990's
BE MADE OF?" Cardboard.
I need something decent to get me
on my feet!
"BLOW
FOR
THE
HOMELESS:
Housing chiefs were given a 5 million boost to help
the Homeless... but the government kept control of
spending; all sorts of restrictions imposed... has to
seek government approval for any scheme the
money is spent on... will have to be spent on
repairs of empty council and Housing
Association properties..." (April, 1990).
"There is NO ALTERNATIVE" ?
'Good-bye freedom' he says, as he leaves to go
58

"CHARITY CHECKS: ... 500 charities were


removed from the register because they were
wound-up or ceased trading... the Commission
received over 1,000 complaints alleging
deliberate fraud, mal-administration or fundraising abuse... compounded by inadequate
financial records. 'It is crazy we do not expect the
same financial standards from charities as we do
from companies.' The Charity Commissioners who
supervise charities are run on a pittance are
struggling to catch up with their work, and need help
- mostly from the law..." (1990).
There are 200 charities in London for the Homeless
and 600 nationwide
Where Does All The Money Go?
That question still remains unanswered.
"HOMELESSNESS MAKES BIG PROFITS FOR
SOME..."
Pop singer Phil Collins released a record called
'But Seriously' to raise money for the Homeless.
At concerts, buckets went round for the audience to
fill with cash... But Seriously was top of the
charts in 11 countries... more than 11 million
copies were sold... (Before this record was
released, Phil had made 70 million, but he only
had 4 houses and 25 million left...") Phil said: "...
a lot of reviewers criticised me for writing about the
Homeless. They said I was cashing in on their
plight and that I couldn't really understand their
problems because I have no money worries. I was
really angry over those remarks but fortunately...
it is an amazing achievement..." The Devil's
Rejects said: "Sorry Phil, but we don't understand
the words..." " it's just got to make sense in my
head."
WHAT ARE THESE HUGE AMOUNTS OF CASH
SPENT ON? "More futile gestures?"
EG. THE BUY-A-BRICK APPEAL Advert: Buy a
brick and save a life."
"CITIZENS DESPAIR..."
"No-one is interested in the real needs of the
Homeless" ?
Blame THE SYSTEM" ?
"Do YOU blame the government for the (dense as
a brick) mess?
("DONT BLAME the Homeless! The HOMELESS
are the GOOD Guys!")
Young Mens Christian Association (YMCA) a
charity, now evicting people from hostel so they
can turn the building into a hotel. Residents locked
out with no explanation. The idea was to house
those in greatest need (28/8/1990).
"HOMELESSNESS AROUND THE WORLD HAS
HIT RECORD LEVELS..."
"London councils have dealt with 126,240
Homeless house-holds last year, up 10,000...
Housing charities say the real figure is double
this. Many Homeless single (and old) people
(many with children) etc., are not included in

police, I was fined 250! When I couldn't pay, I had


to spend 3 weeks in jail, when I came out, I'd lost
everything" "Staff don't want to know. They take
my money off me" "Staff made improper
advances towards the young boys... nothing was
ever proved..." Hostel closed down
"I've gone all round the Homeless hostels. They
wouldn't accept me..." "Hostel only has 12 places..."
"Only allowed to stay 2 nights..." "After 8 weeks,
put back on streets again..."
"Hostel due to close. 'Can you get me into another
hostel? I don't want to go on the streets, no more.
I'm Homeless - I'm registered disabled..." "Staff
inundated with referrals. 'We have to turn them
away..."
"Dr. M. Hall, in Oxford, believes 90% of those living
apart from society want to be re-connected as
soon as possible. They did not choose to be alone
and adrift. The solution to Homelessness is
homes, simple as that.' 'The loner, should he
want to escape from his isolation, needs 3 things:
Money, shelter and one meaningful relationship
with another human being'..." (1989).
THE COLD, CRUEL WORLD
"After a 3 year study, the (Conservative)
government has decided no changes are needed
to the system that deals with the Homeless"
(20/11/1989).

"THATCHER'S BRITAIN": "It's a scandal. But


what can we do about it?"
CHRISTMAS SHELTER: "The Sunday Times gave
the organisation CRISIS
250,000 for their
appealthe result of a 7 week campaign... ' a
generous response to this important social issue.
We are delighted'... 600 Homeless people got an
evening meal... 70 patients a day dealt with, a few
injured people put in B & B, 800 items of clothing
given out. Hot showers were available. The shelter
closed on 2nd January..." "Crisis says they have
now raised enough money to support 47 long-term
schemes (Hostels?)
COD FROM GOD: Vicarage-door beggars will be
handed fish and chip vouchers instead of money, by
the Rev. in Newbury, Berks." ("God bless ya
Governor..." "Jesus fed 5,000...")
"You're a poor risk, a sad loser. Still, what else
can we do?"
CHARITABLE DONATION: "Tesco, the giant
food chain, made 190 million profit... and
donated oats and a load of pork pies to help the
Homeless"
THE CHARITABLE HEART of Britain IS STILL
BEATING FIRMLY: A record 168,710 charities
were registered in England and Wales last year,
more than 4,000 new ones. The strongest growth
was in charities concerned with care of the
physically and mentally ill and those offering relief
for the deprived. In the field of poverty, there were
charities for the relief of street children... "
59

CHAPTER 2: THE HOMELESS

the problem... and has been widely viewed as


grossly inadequate..." (24/2/1990).
INADEQUATE SOLUTIONS.
"Files full of
complaints..."
As a matter of urgency we are considering what
further comprehensive action we need to take to
alleviate the problem... said Mr. Spicer. The
break-up of family life is one of the most
important reasons for Homelessness. Part of the
answer is to ensure as many young people as
possible stayed closer to the family home until they
had adequate accommodation and adequate
means to support it Would Mr. Spicer consider
allowing Local Authorities to start spending capital
receipts on housing the Homeless? Mr Spicer
said this was an international problem and the
government was looking at one of the causes... He
agreed it is a matter for the government to make
sure there is adequate accommodation for the
Homeless.
Another Conservative minister, John Marshall, said
1,000s of jobs are available with accommodation,
which employers had difficulty filling... did this not
mean most of the Homeless were 'malingerers?
Richard Tracey, Conservative MP, said the
problem would be alleviated if London boroughs
collected the 5 million rent arrears owed to
them... Mr. Spicer said he was right - that some
properties are vacant 'is a national scandal'..."

official figures." "Officially, 136,000 people are


without a home in London" (1990).
"GONE PAST CRISIS POINT. Something must be
done!" (22/2/1990).
"This is a rotten way to live. No fun at all. Not for
anyone." "DRAGGED FROM PILLAR TO POST"
"Tossing and turning all night..." "TORMENTED!
I feel so let down"
"SOMETHING'S GOING WRONG... but we don't
know what it is!"
"OUTCASTS: "There's an army of Homeless
peoplevulnerable
groups,
sleeping
in
cardboard boxes... There are makeshift villages
- slightly safer than street sleeping... You can find
them lining sub-ways, in Charing Cross, near the
Royal Festival Hall..."
UNDERNEATH THE railway ARCHES: Huddled in
wet sleeping bags, old tramps - too afraid to drop
off, chat to keep themselves awake: "They wrote
us off years ago... The love is always empty."
"They said: The Homeless need a Bridge! Yes.
A bridge - to see them from childhood, to
adulthood... Yes, the situation if anything is going to
get worse for people before it can get any better."
(NOTE: Weve now gone from needing a safety net
to a bridge). "Arches are quite nice to look at arches create quite a cosy look to the place." "Yeh,
Bart, know what you mean. Pity the old bricks are
crumbling though. Look at that crack over there.
See all the water running through? Tut. Wonder
how much longer will these old bridges hold
up? I wonder what the cost of replacing them
is? Do you think they ever will replace them? Or do
you think they'll just keep on patching them up a
bit? You know, arch design is quite interesting... I've
got quite a good idea for a new style
(People in the university of life have a different way
of assessing things).
"... Evicted from under the bridges..."

(9/3/1990).

"They're filling my mind with more useless crap!"


"BULLIED OUT OF THEIR BELIEF..." There is
deep unhappiness and a sense of injustice
"HELP IS ON THE WAY..."
"KNOCK AND WAIT" "Another advice service
is being set-up to help prevent and relieve
Homelessness... cost approx. 1 million... with the
help of Shelter, SHAC and the Nat. Assoc. of
Citizens Advice Bureaus... to advise on the
dangers of leaving home...
THE HOMELESS SAID: "They offer the usual
excuses"
EG. "I'm very busy right now I haven't got the
time" "The person you need to speak to isn't
here." "You'll have to wait. Could take all day. Are
you sure you want to wait?" "You'll have to come
back again tomorrow. Were up to our eyes in it..."
"Are you from this area? No?
Then you've no right to be here.
That's the rules. I understand
you've had to move around. But
you've got to provide proof
you've lived in the same area
for at least 3 years to get on the
waiting list. I can give you a list of hostels, but
they're probably full..." "Have you got an
appointment?" "She's out to lunch. Shall I give her a
message?"
THE HOMELESS SAID: "Surreal. They're giving

('Underneath the Arches' the play was showing at the Prince of


Wales Theatre). Prince Charles, when asked what he

thought about the Homeless problem said: "It is a


social problem, not a political problem." Uh?
"London is facing an EMERGENCY. The number
of Homeless people has reached frightening
proportions..."
TRICK OR TREAT? "135,000 house-holds were
officially recognised as Homeless in 1988, double
the 1979 figure. Councils cannot meet the crisis.
One million council homes sold- not one council
has replaced lost housing stock. As property
speculators sit on their millions, building
workers are laid off and brick makers are closing
their plants. Indebtedness for millions of people
deepens, conditions for council tenants worsen
and housing stock deteriorates. There are fewer
examples of madness in the market place. ...The
250 million promised to restore empty council
houses for London's Homeless will hardly touch
60

on the streets is not glamorous! They say we like


this life-style! I'd rather be living it up in a hotel.' Is
there a re-occurring problem? 'Yes. Since the
1980's it can be traced Some young people don't
understand the system... We have the most
generous housing benefit system anywhere in
the world' said Mr. Spicer. 'I tried to get welfare
benefit but Section 4 means you have to go on a
training course which is low paid and you can't
Afford to get housing. Without help to get a
deposit, unable to get benefit. You're filthy, so
can't get a job.' 'Rates of benefit are so low...' 'The
poverty trap forces people to take low-paid jobs...'
The government say they have helped the
Homeless! 250 million set aside for next 2 years.
'Our publicity campaign to tell people to stay at
home, warns them of unhappiness should they
become Homeless.' 'I can never go back...' 'The
government has put us on the streets.' 'The
government does not understand they cannot go
back home.' 'DEEP UNHAPPINESS.' 'Children
now leaving home at 13 and 14! This is new, not
natural - something is going on.' People choose
to sleep rough rather than the alternatives of going
home. 'It's wrong for people to start off life on
benefits' said Mr. Spicer, quoting Beveridge.
'Leaving home is a natural transition' said Shelter.
'They'll leave home between 16 - 25 depending on
their maturity and circumstances. I do see that as a
Right.' 'There are scores of housing agencies
advising young people. We have a massive
HOSTEL programme... to persuade them not to
leave, grants to voluntary organisations' 'The UK
has the HIGHEST rate of Homelessness in
Europe' said Shelter. 'That's not true. Look at
America!' said Mr. Spicer. 'Where is the 250 million
going to be spent?' (Question unanswered). 'An
enormous reduction in house building last 10 years.
The private sector is very worried about this need a weak link in the chain. There has to be money to
buy land, we have to build more Affordable
homes... Trouble is people just fall through the
hole.' 'A lot of people are in physical danger having a lot of trouble. Very real problems. Once
they find themselves in terrible conditions, how do
we help them avoid crime?' 'Whatever we do, we
mustn't encourage people to come to the cities.
150,000 people have done just that. The trouble is
the market rents.' 'Places now really difficult to stay
in... not safe to live in... housing has declined.'
'It's happening in most metropolitan cities. An
extremely unfortunate position for youngsters.'
'1 in 20 people are struggling to keep a roof over
their head. That's 3 million people in Britain.'
'What chance do people see of keeping a roof
over their head for life? None. It's very
degrading. It takes the life out of you" (DEF 2. BBC,
25/4/1990) (Play Spot the Balls Up). Meantime...
"The government only pretend to care."

me advice just when I want to live making my


OWN decisions! "We don't need you to explain
it to us!"
WAH! I got enough sermons from my Dad, OK? I
need HELP, not a sermon. "Dont give me any
lectures. I'm just not in the mood." HELP ME!
"I'm pissed off with begging for a place to stay from
people who don't want me." WAH! I DONT
WANT TO GO BACK to that place! "I've been
advised not to leave home! They are still trying to
get my blood out of the carpet..." Are the
government seriously suggesting we should go
back to, or stay with violent parents?
"How I wish we could turn the clock back..."
"Don't give us this crap! The authorities should
accept some relationships break down and are
beyond repair. It's as if society has such great faith
in cosy get-togethers... that society simply wont
accept those who say there is no cosy get-together
for them..." "People get bored with their parents that's human nature." "Society is obsessed with
this thing called 'normality'..." Weve got to
pretend its all going naturally - pretty normal, that
were happy? "Why do they always assume we
want the same life-style as our parents?
"Just who I am supposed to be? I got to help
society move on. All this indecision is bothering
me..." it's the way I want to live..."
"You wont turn back to even see what's gone
wrong and you expect all of us to go back home?
You don't know what you're talking about."
"Torture is their plan. 40 years they've had to
plan" "Waffle, waffle, waffle. They're just playing
for time." "Yeah, and whilst they're delaying - we'll
be dying by the thousand"
GO HOME? HOME? I havent got a home! Ive
got nothing. Nothing! Im never going back. What
have I got to go back for? You cant lose what you
never had. "THIS ISN'T JUSTICE!"
"They'll throw me back into the childrens home"
"I VANISH in DESPERATION"
"Come back again if its a problem ("It will be.")
STREET WISE: "Do it, and be done with me!"
If you wont share, youll be stuck with me.
"Who causes more Homelessness? Conservative
or Labour? Who cares? Just get me off the
streets!"
THE ADVICE CENTRE SAID: "Children can't
Afford to buy property!" "I get so depressed
sometimes. I really do wish we could do something
better to help all these kids"
" He just broods... His home was everything...
He's so terribly unhappy..." "Life's too
complicated for kids these days"
DOCUMENTARY: "WORDS APART: "Tonight,
more than 5,000 young people will sleep in shop
door-ways, in car parks, under fly-overs, bridges...
The government do not understand it. Are they
Homeless because they get a kick out of it? Living
61

CHAPTER 2: THE HOMELESS

("I'm sure the debate about it will go on in your


homes")
I got it so bad. You dont know how good youve
got it. The cold is biting. I dont want to be here no
more. You dont want to be in my shoes ("Send
me a beacon to bring me home.")
"HOMELESSNESS CONTINUES TO RISE by
20%..." "We're just lost souls swimming round in a
fish bowl year after year, running over the same old
ground..." Was I born for this?
PEOPLE SAID: "The government are completely
out of touch with public opinion." The
government haven't the slightest conception of what
they are dealing with." "Look, if you want these kids
off your back... they need their own place." "GIVE
THEM A HOME OF THEIR OWN. It's the only
connection they feel."
"The agencies set up to help the Homeless place
much emphasis on 'go back to your parents' to
discharge their obligation... How can you live with
an ogre who wont even talk reasonably to you?
Who locks you out? Who thrashes you? Who
shouts repeatedly that they wish they had never
had you?"
"When told to return 'home' the Homeless scream,
moan, and fight. It's so awful the advice
workers throw the Homeless out of their offices...
Only a small minority will manage somehow to steer
their way through this minefield..."
I, who have nothing "Wont you please, please
help me?
"If there wasn't a shortage of decent (Affordable)
accommodation, people wouldn't beg..."
"Show me the way to go home, I'm lost and all
alone." "Just give me the basic facts." "Just give it
to me straight."
Im looking for somewhere where the food is
cheap, the people are friendly and the wages are
fair. Is there anywhere like that? No. Not any
more.
"KNOCK ON WOOD SYNDROME:" "I feel I'm not
getting anywhere - I'm only going round and
round in circles." "I'm walking the streets... no
energy to do anything. I sit down every so often. I
feel really ill
"Can I have a sausage for 1?"
"No you can't."
Being on a diet all your life isn't nice. How can I
get a drink? Maybe I've got a vitamin deficiency?"
"By the time I get to Phoenix..." "Brother, can
you spare some food and wine?" "Everywhere I go,
I get slandered. I hear words I don't hear in the
Bible." "I'd rather be dressed in rags than be like
them - they are more concerned about
possessions, about keeping up appearances
than the truth." "My clothes are dirty but my hands
are clean." "There are some things worse than
going hungry - selling your soul to the Devil, for
example."

"WE JUDGE PEOPLE BY THEIR APPEARANCE."


"Image is everything." Appearances can be
deceptive. Somebody could be a cold bloodied
killer, but if they have nice clothes and smell of
after-shave, we accept and instantly respect them.
But we turn a blind eye and shun the person
who may have a heart of pure gold and a long list
of enviable qualifications, simply because he or she
wears an old coat and their shoes are dirty...
("it might make them socially acceptable.")
"I'm not serving him. He's dirty. You'll have to
wait. Get it yourself." "Filthy vagabond! The great
unwashed! Ugh. Makes me feel quite sick to look
at him." "I wish he'd go away. He's putting me off
my meal."
(Ah! Do you prefer to make small talk about the
weather?) "Oh no. We don't talk about anything
about nasty!"
STARVING TO DEATH ON THE STREETS OF
LONDON "... ill, cold, dirty, and starving. I'll
never get the chance to vote..." "I hate the rich.
The rich are the scum in every country of the Earth.
Of course I don't mind if they're genuine..."
"Having NO FOOD makes me feel quite ill... Been
wearing the same clothes for 3 weeks now! I just
can't go on this way... I'm going to be dead on the
corner - lying in the street... You collapse thinking I
can't do it. It hurts real bad..." "More than once he
experienced crawling self-hatred. Bad habits. His
classic fear? Failure, after so many years trying..."
"Been on my own such a long time - can't take any
more."
("He used to sleep on the sofa downstairs...") "All I
want is a bit of peace and quiet..."
Ive hungered for your love yes, all the time
Im broken. No hopes left in sight
"I'm taking the dive cos you can't help the
slide..." (Our day will come)
"I wouldn't treat a dog this way!"
PASSERS-BY: "What a disgrace! Quite offensive.
He should be locked up." "He must be mad." "He's
drunk of course." "Can't you do something!?"
"Oh, look! There's a man in great pain - they're
ignoring him. He's torn his heart out. Same as I
saw yesterday..." "There's an old man on the
pavement. I think he's dead. (A common sight).
Nobody has called an ambulance. He's only an old
tramp..."
"Is he really dead?" ("To bring the dead back to
life, blow on the embers - few are wholly dead.)
("Do you believe in the unconscious? Where there
is life there is hope? If you haven't got hope...
you're dead.")
"LONERS ARE NOT UNFORTUNATE, they are
not competing enough. Down and outs are lazy
and inadequate. The Homeless are simply
incapable of using their own boot-straps as an
elevatory mechanism said the Conservative
government. (As a direct result, insulting the
62

Homeless became all the rage).


Yet another negative seed sown by the
Conservative government. "We need to get
tougher" (Lordy, lordy. Give us strength.
Were going to need it.)
God! Why dont you get in my life?
"AN ANCIENT SADNESS: "For Christ's sake,
I've been on this road for such a long, long time...
I'm begging you..."
("You only beg as a very last resort.")
("Will those who beg win the Holy war?" Dont
you understand? It means the world to him.)
"Oh! Help me. Help me, please!" "If you fed my
heart, that would be true love." "What more can
you possibly want from me?" "I'm breathing like a
dying man." "Will you smile in reassurance? Will
you send me packing, if I show my weak side to
you? What will you do?"
"Take a hike. Get lost!"
("I did that yesterday.")
"Oh, look. He's begging for it!"
(Whats it to you?)
Were out to enjoy ourselves.
(Thats easy for you to say. Its not your life put on
hold)
So? What do you want me to do about it?
Bring it down. "Let's do the dirty" "A lot of
people go past spitting and kicking at the poor
beggars." "This is for calling me a bum! I'll kill
you. This is for... He knocked him out. After that
he went a little strange." (Brain damage).
"BATTERED AND BEWILDERED" "He had scar
tissue all round his brain, from being beat so many
times." "At least I didn't kill him when I hit him."
Hes a low life. He had it coming to him
("Keeping me down. I'm a nobody. Keeping me
from what's mine...")
"They poured petrol over him... set him alight..."
MORAL SQUALOR: He was a kind old tramp,
known to the locals for years. A friendly soul who
always waved hello. He never did any harm the
yobs came one night
"40 WATCH MURDER IN THE STREET: A Gentle
Giant' was battered to death by 2 teenagers- as
more than 40 people stood and watched. Hadyn
Rees, 49, 16 stone, 6' 3" was beaten about the
head with pieces of wood. Customers in a
restaurant and wine bar looked on horrified, but did
nothing. A detective said: 'I suppose that is
today's society..."
No pity in your eyes = No love in your heart.
WARNING!
HUMANS are becoming IN-HUMAN!
"Scotland Yard is clamping down on beggars in
the streets. Observation posts set up to watch the
Homeless - there have been cases of beggars
turning nasty when refused money and help. Most
have now known the power of the law... they are
searched, and charged..." (26/6/1990).

"BATTERED AND BEWILDERED"


MOP (member of the public): "I feel guilty about
the number of beggars - the way the government is
trying to sweep them under the carpet. The
government are dealing with the symptoms, but
not the cause..."
Sweeping the dirt under the carpet never
works.
Oxford: "CRISIS! So many single, Homeless,
mentally ill people on the streets! Old managers
coming up for retirement still think they can deal
with the problem by giving them a crust of bread
and pushing them off to the workhouse..." (1990).
Im at the end of my rope (tether) "Stiff and sore
joints, muscular pains, backache, cramp..." "The
walking wounded..."
"Try
The
Salvation
Army?
"Compulsory
tambourine bashing?"
"I've cut myself off. I'm too embarrassed about the
state I'm in..."
EMOTIONAL & PHYSICAL STARVATION
"I can't take him in! He doesn't look very well. He
needs a doctor" "Come away! Poverty is
catching." "His kind are scum." "Don't touch him!
He's bound to have all sorts of diseases. You never
know what you might catch"
"THE CRISIS DEEPENS..."
"WHY DO MOST PEOPLE NOT GIVE BEGGARS
MONEY?" "It's not that we don't want to. We pay
taxes so we shouldn't have to! The government
should provide for these people, using taxpayers money." "The government have told people
not to give beggars money."
THE HOMELESS BEG: "Can you please spare a
little change?" (Does this mean NOTHING to
YOU? Are the Homeless only asking for a bit of
cash ? And / or a change of policy & attitude?
( its just a little change as true as it can
be)
"CHANGE is inevitable- but what kind of
change?"
Oh, I want to change it all Im not into small
change ( its been a long time coming but I
know change is going to come.)
THE ATTITUDE of the DESTITUTE before DYING
on the streets: "I'm
DYING
for
it." "I'm
prepared to sacrifice myself - just like Jesus did, to
show you the errors of their ways. What else can I
do given my circumstances, if I want to remain
true?" ("He would, by denial, reveal the depth of
his strongest, truest nature." )
"Will YOU just look at the State we're in?"
"You are watching our world GO." TIME IS
RUNNING OUT! "We're the last few survivors..."
"Let me tell you my story, before I grow too old...
Tell the locals. I had to sell my house. A good
Captain can sometimes fall asleep. I got children
here to feed. I got people back home who depend
on me. If you run with the hope, tell my wife. Tell
63

CHAPTER 2: THE HOMELESS

the world its something to rely on, something to


believe in
"But no-one could hear him"
"Go home. Piss off."
"Did we come so far, for this?" "It's like talking to a
brick wall!" SYMPATHY! Where have you gone?
You try to explain to them and theyre having
none of it I close my eyes. I can see just a little
bit of it. Oh! Bring it close to me. Oh, Im on my way
back home it makes me feel at home
"One by one, these people slip away, they kiss
the ground - they die."
"Has anybody seen my old friends Abraham and
John? They freed a lot of people..." "Heroes live
where you and I could only hope to be..."
"... it was lying in the gutter, 20 years abused, just
another broken heart"
( couldnt you have given just a bit of love
Hed come such a long way He was such a
long way from home)
"People just can't take 'life' on the streets" "We
die by the roadside"
"Kind, good natured, beaten-up..." "Walking
around in wet clothes... no loving Environment to be
ill in... He got hit by a car... Verdict: Death by
misadventure."
WHO CARES? "There are 2 types of people
in this world: Those who care, and those who do
not care."
"TEEN-AGE VAGRANCY in London: Begging is a
crime. Law being used as a substitute for helping
the Homeless. The archaic law, dating back to
1824, states: 'Every person seen wandering
should be regarded as a rogue.'
The
Conservative government brought the law out of
mothballs... We are imposing court charges
against people who have no home, no money,
nowhere to go, who are sleeping outside... Arrests
rocketing. Put in cells. Told to pay 50! If you can't
pay, bound over... SHOCKING. A horrible
experience. These people are begging for a bit of
food, to survive! A vicious circle. When they
have a criminal record, even harder to get a job or
accommodation... Could you imagine how this must
feel if this happened to YOU? The Home Office
refused to repeal the Act... MP's, the Church, the
legal profession all campaigning to get the law
abolished... The urgency of this problem... they say
it's all part of their policy to get these people to go
home... 1,000s of commuters walk past the
beggars... the fear of aggression... How can
anyone be expected to endure these conditions?
Criminalising poor beggars is a criminal act of
injustice. No ALTERNATIVE - there are no
houses... (World In Action, ITV, 14/5/1990).
"Theyre feeding me to the lions."
DARK DAYS: "Up to 60 people a week are
jailed or fined under the Vagrancy law. People who
are Homeless are not criminals. But they face ONE

fundamental problem THE LACK OF


AFFORDABLE HOMES."
"The police are a hard shoulder to cry on."
"The night dark and thick..."
"WHEN
DANGER
IS
YOUR
SLEEPING
PARTNER: ...at mid-night, this car park is a
dormitory for many of London's Homeless...
Contrary to popular belief, the people who sleep
here are not happy to be here... Undesirables
wander through armed with iron bars and bricks,
looking for trouble... Police patrol once a night... 'I
am a carpenter... I came here but couldn't get any
work. Even the YMCA costs 17 a night...'
Generator's hum incessantly as water seeps
through cracks in the walls - the harsh yellow light
always burns in the basement - the regulars get
used to it, for it enables them to see the faces of
those who enter the car park... Sleep deprivation.
'There is a stench about this place and I hate it...'
The smell of rotten food and excrement hits you as
soon as you enter the car park... 'The police came
in the morning and found the guy covered in blood.
Nobody knew who he was'..."
"DANGER. TOO MUCH PAIN!" "Of this I want to
be free."
"HOMELESS ON THE MOVE AS CRISIS
DEEPENS: The poor are heading towards leafy
heights... but Camden has cut their budget for
helping the Homeless by 6 million... Cases of
aggravated begging... Police say we are in unchartered territory... Police have to react to
nuisance complaints... There could be a rise in
tension... A bleak picture was painted by all those
involved with Homeless people... Rate of
Homelessness increased by 200%. Camden can
supply 1,500 units to help the Homeless but that still
leaves
2,200
people
in
temporary
accommodation... Supply does not keep up with
demand. Camden has asked for 260 million from
the Dept. of the Environment, to renovate empty
properties... but despite being such a stressed
borough had not received this. Housing
Associations are already over-spending and
Local Authorities are being put in an impossible
situation..." (18/5/1990).
"Lack of self-esteem. Wasn't valuable enough to his
parents.
He
can't
make
choices.
He's
unpredictable. He may feel violent..."
"Salvation Army workers attacked... 5 teams of
volunteers which make early morning soup runs for
Homeless people have been suspended... Captain
C. King said the team was avoiding the area after a
group of Homeless youths pushed several female
workers against a van..."
(" it might help them gain self-respect.")
"Hostels are to be set-up in church halls and
disused
hospital
buildings...
will
be
rudimentary... but they should at least provide the
Homeless with some protection from violent
64

recently will have noticed the increase in the


number of Homeless people being had up for
begging or obstruction 'Operation Burlington':
Cops nicked 100s of 'vagrants' during the spring /
summer - cleaning up the West End for the tourist
season. But when they have nowhere to go,
especially when places like the Belgrave Hospital,
(squatted last year as a crash pad for the
Homeless) get evicted, they drift back, in greater
numbers" (Autognome, October 1990).
No-one answers the Emergency help-line
Ragged Youth's Plea (written on a tatty bit of
cardboard): "Sick, hungry, no bed, no dole.
Please help!" (London, 1991).
Bruce House needs extensive renovation. Ideal
development site. Could be sold for millions.
Policy of running it down. Had 600 beds for the
Homeless. Now only 60 beds, at a time when the
government trying to get beds for the Homeless. No
money to do it up. Fears it could be closed. Only a
bit of money needed. Housing groups outraged. It
could be turned into private flats" (3/1/1991).
1992: (Continued / Lincolns Inn Fields):
"...
numbers grown. Now 200 Homeless people in the
park. Cold, wet, disorientated, forlorn... Hes
rigged up a sheet of plastic - a makeshift tent - with
really big holes, very draughty, but dry Passersby complain: "They are trying to make us feel
guilty! Drunk at 8am! They've probably got more
money than I've got!" "They don't want our help.
All the abuse!" "I don't like glue-sniffers or
scroungers. Gives me the hump we're paying for
their alcohol." "We are shocked! "It's criminal!
It's cold outside." "But if we gave them money,
they'd
only
spend
it
on
drink,
not
accommodation..." (Where can you find a bed for
the night for 50p?)
("Too many are feeling the strain.")
Ultimatum issued to the Homeless: "Clear
up the Field, or face legal action." The park has
got to be cleared of 'tenants.'
We have NO ALTERNATIVE but go to court.
Some of the finest legal brains -v- the council.
HOMELESS MAN: I BELIEVE IN THE LOVE OF
THE COMMON PEOPLE.
I trust Homeless
people - they've done me a lot of favours. We're
like one big happy family on the streets, but
officials! I wouldn't trust them! We're not nasty
people! They don't know reality these people. I
don't sit and criticise their homes. Rich people don't
want us here. They don't understand it.
Homelessness can happen to anyone.
HOMELESS MAN: There's 197 million square
miles on this planet... I don't want to talk about it
anymore. I try not to be threatening...
He confronted a representative of the council:
Kill the Antichrist! We're going to do it to
survive. You ought to be destroyed by the
Almighty God... Run away! That's what cowards

drunks and kerb-crawlers... There is no easy


answer... but it must be addressed urgently...
Helping the younger Homeless in the longer term
will require considerably more imaginative effort.
Help the young get flats..." (18/6/1990).
"I'm feeling rough. They say I got brains. I keep
looking for a place to be where I wont get left
behind. Youve got to show me by treating me right.
Show me by not wasting my time"
MOVES TO CLEAR STREETS OF CARDBOARD
CITIES: The growing ranks are an embarrassment
to the government. Police given new powers to
force Homeless people into temporary hostels.
No enthusiasm for the scheme amongst the
Homeless. There is little choice. 'What is needed
is permanent homes. These people need some
security.' Labour said: 'Revoke catch 22 - the
Social Security law so people can get rent in
advance.' Clearing cardboard cities described as
a 'first-rate initiative.' Going to extend scheme
nationwide" (18/6/1990) ("Restrain them to impress
the tourists.")
"I wasn't made for these times" "Nothing ever
came easy, huh?" "I'm still waiting"
"When you are without knowledge of your sin,
you go dancing through doorways with a crazy
balance" (" it's going round and round my
brain...")
"He's just another Human Being - like you or me.
He's tired, he's probably had too much alcohol. He
just needs a rest..."
"Now the government is planning to spend
millions setting-up special hostels aimed at
housing up to 3,000 vagrants and helping them
work" (The Sun, 19/6/1990) (Clearing beggars off the
streets and putting them into the workhouse is
nothing new)
The government failed to ask the Homeless
what they are looking for!
"HELP THE POOR, SAID THE RICH: The GAP
between rich and poor is too great. Even the rich
AGREE. Most people believe the poor need nearly
2/3rd more welfare benefit money, according to a
survey of 2,700 Londoners, by the Low Pay Unit. In
a report, they say almost 1/3rd of Londoners are
around the poverty level set by the government.
(2/7/1990).

"THE GREAT DIVIDE..." A deliberate ploy? (EG.


When subjects have nothing left to yield they can
be dispensed with altogether) (EG. No
Competition thats how I like it.)
Do the government know their policies are
inflicting GENOCIDE on ordinary people?
(Ignorance is NO excuse...")
"This nation looks after animals better than they
do their own kind!" "They've built nice cosy
shelters for bats..." (Im not the jealous type, but)
"When you're feeling out of it..." "FOR CRYING
OUT LOUD: "Anyone who has been in court
65

CHAPTER 2: THE HOMELESS

do. Who's your boss?


Reply: Don't know. Speak to our Press office.
HOMELESS MAN: The Town Hall is a nice place
to hide while you evict the Homeless... I need to
talk to him on national TV. The dosser against the
professional arse-hole. Let's see what people
think. They want to erase a minority group of
people. We were born here, but we can't get a
thing! These people need to re-establish their
lives!
HOMELESS MAN: The government doesn't give
a damn about our situation.
Tent city was evicted... (Steel was used to
barricade the park; making the park look like a
prison) (Extracts: Viewpoint, Channel 4, 1992).
THE UNDESIRABLES... = "We're the good
and mad, the lost, and the lonely."
"Plans to convert an old peoples home (called
Meadowcroft) into a hostel... are being finalised...
was going to be sold but proposal to sell the
building scrapped because of the state of the
property market... will temporarily house up to 100
people..." "An arsonist has wrecked efforts to
rescue (a few) Homeless families... fire caused
200,000 damage, will take months to repair... the
fire exposed dangerous blue asbestos..." "Single
parents, women in need of a safe refuge (away
from men), single men EG. with drug-related
problems, alcoholics and the mentally ill... all put
under one roof, with frequent disastrous
consequences... There are iron bars at the
windows, that bend - there have been break-ins.
Victims of thefts denied compensation... Security
camera in reception - no film inside..." ("... it doesn't
have to be the same as this....") (UPDATE: only
2 out of the 12 women in here with me ended up
keeping their kids- the kids were taken into care
because their Mums were so mashed)
"TRENCH FOOT: A condition suffered by WW1
troops, is inflicting youngsters living rough in
London. This is only one of the many health risks
the Homeless face... some have arrived at hostels
after living for months in rain sodden shoes and
soaked clothing... Many have flu and severe
chest ailments requiring hospital treatment...
Others have contracted food poisoning from
living off scraps of food in bins... Some hostels
are so bad, wild horses will not drag the
Homeless in... the filthy conditions, the threat of
violence... stories of drug-taking and unsafe
conditions
frighten
youngsters...
The
government's Rough Sleeping Initiative: 96
million spent to ensure standards in hostels are
upheld, to build and refurbish hostels has helped the numbers sleeping rough dropped from 3,000 to
500 in London. Funding cuts... It is vital funding
continues..." (13/10/1992).
THE
UNDER-CLASS:
Shocking!
7,500
Homeless people turned away from hostels

every month..."
"HOMELESSNESS HAS BECOME AN EPIDEMIC.
The government claim they care about the
Homeless, but then say it is not for central
government to generate the growth in the
Housing sector which the Homeless so
desperately need! Then the government say they
will bring in special measures to prevent local
government from generating growth! How much
potential is being wasted in shop doorways? How
many opportunities could have grown - could still
grow - out of the people who have no home of their
own and hence no opportunity? The opportunity to
own a home and pass it on is one of the most
important Rights an individual has in a free
society. A Right to Clean, Decent, Affordable
Housing should be Guaranteed, and if all else
fails, it is incumbent on the government to
safeguard that Right..." (SPEECH by Glenda Jackson
MP, House of Commons, 20/11/1992).

"DYING FOR A HOME: Officially, 670 people died


sleeping rough last year. Under-nourished, and
alone. Homeless. Died before they could get
housing. The deaths could have been prevented...
234 suicides.... Frail old people rummaging
through dustbins... Badly assaulted - died... Horrific
murders - 7% of deaths fall into this category... 40%
are caused by drinking themselves to death. 40% of
deaths are alcohol related hypothermia. EG. Man
found under a bush, in snow, frozen to death.
Rejected, despised, but all are people... They've
got to live somewhere. 'None of us can get proper
hot food, heating, light... Health neglected till it
became an Emergency... 15% of Homeless men
have TB (consumption)... existence breeds
despair... 'He walked down the stairs from the night
shelter, straight into the river Thames. It was all
over very quickly.' Their neglect is obvious.
Nowhere to go. 'No-one housed him even though
he was dying.' No likely help on streets for at least
another 3 years! So many people waiting! This
Christmas, how many more will be dying for a
home?" (ITV, 10/12/1992) Now Im really blue
NOT
ONE
Government
minister
is
ACCOUNTABLE!
"DOWN AND OUTS begin a desperate race for
shelter at 5pm - there is a rush to see who can
occupy doorways in which to huddle to have
somewhere to toss and turn all night..."
"You can see the results of your policies every
day in Britain as people huddle in doorways and go
into subways to BEG for some KIND of SUPPORT
their government NOT give them!"
("Better to be spoilt for choice, than only have a
desperate choice.")
"DYING ON THE STREETS: 200 people die each
year (in London) according to the charity 'Crisis.'
The shocking toll among 2,000 down and outs
sleeping rough was announced as charities brace
66

and bathrooms...
What do you want? Paradise on this Earth?
(World In Action, Channel 4, 5/4/1993) YES! YES! YES!
(Cheer up! It's better than the usual hand-out.)
"HOMELESS FORCED OFF THE STREETS:
"Further persuasion, not coercion, is our strategy.'
Numbers down by . Hostels only option.
Dangerous places. 'New hostels are very different
to old hostels. Behind these is permanent housing'
(flats). Not tackling causes of Homelessness.
'We are interested in those that don't want to sleep
rough.' Mr. M. Gottlieb wants a law to ban rough
sleeping" (16/6/1993) (Mr. Gottlieb introduced hosing
pavements down with water during the winter to
stop the Homeless sleeping near his restaurant.)
"They're charging me 2 for a sausage now..." "I
just need to get some money..." "Hey, look at me.
I'm starving away..."
"I don't think we can make an Emergency
payment..."
"WAIT for it, WAIT for it..."
"3 people seriously ill in hospital after series of
stabbings at a Social Services hostel..." (Enfield,

themselves for the winter freeze. of those who


died took their own lives and were in their mid-30's.
There is a major killer on the streets Homelessness. The report called 'SICK TO
DEATH
OF
HOMELESSNESS'
shows
Homelessness does not only ruin lives - 2 out of 3
deaths could have been prevented if the victims
had lived in proper housing and had good health
care. The report highlights the desperation many
down and outs face as they try to fend for
themselves... The statistics were compiled after an
examination of coroners records..." (10/12/1992).
"I'm dossing down outside 'Centrepoint, the
charity for the Homeless. Been here for months..."
"I'm sick to death of BAD governments..."
"130,000 Homeless people in London" (Shelter
statistic, 29/3/1993) ("You've got it all figured out?")
"1 person in 30 is Homeless."
SLEEP TORTURE: "Surely, I should be entitled
to a decent night's sleep?"
Theyre always pushing us around!
"GIVE ME SHELTER!" Channel 4 TV's 'Season on
Homelessness' (Right of Reply) said: "Let us know
what you make of it. With your views, it will be
possible" (27/3/1993).
"Arlington House: (in North London). Built 1904...
for 1,000 working men - a common lodging house.
Caters for all sorts Penniless, had a mental
breakdown One resident is 93. 'Came here to get
a fresh start.' In 1980s was filthy, dark, smelly.
Now decorated... Most of the men are alone. 'I
haven't made one friend here.' Broken men. 'I'd
sooner be in hell than in here.' No opportunity to
put down any roots... 'What did we get for
Christmas? Tree lights that blink! What's so
wonderful about that? I haven't got a home. Don't
preach at me about Jesus!' Suicides badly upset
everyone in the building... Under-funded. No
resources. Many are psychiatric patients turfed
out of institutions. 'There's no legislation that
covers these people, no committees are working
to make it better. 'Decent Housing should be
Available for Everyone.'
No effort will be spared said a government
minister...
Support Network = Social Workers: an in-house
team to advise about drink related problems. 'We
can refer them to a GP and if it gets really bad they have to be admitted.'
Lack of sound-proofing... 'I hear voices... I itch
all over!' The doctor said this is quite common. '
it's in the blood.' 'I've never felt at home
anywhere - choices are a doorway, a church, a
hostel, an off-licence, a (barren) park I can't find
any support.' 'I might get re-housed'
It would help them do something for themselves.
And be so much easier to cope with when you are
in your own space...
Hard to get self-contained space... Shared toilets

21/6/1993).

"According to a report by the Housing minister, Sir


George Young... a government drive has cut the
number of London's Homeless: The Rough
Sleepers Initiative claims to have reduced the figure
from 1,000 to 358 in less than 3 years. Funded by a
96 million grant... an extra 86 million is set
aside to continue the programme until 1996.
Additionally, 20 million to provide psychiatric
help...
Strange! Whilst they are supposed to be helping
the Homeless, there are actually more of the
Homeless
the charity 'Centrepoint' is not satisfied with the
accuracy of the statistics. 'The Homeless
population is quite mobile. As people move around
it would be quite difficult to establish definite
figures.' We are very glad the government has
invested this money, but we would be happier if it
was spread around, outside London...' Since the
Social Security Act, 1986, which withdrew Welfare
benefit payments to 16 - 18 year olds, there has
been a massive increase in the numbers of
Homeless youngsters.
Terry Dicks (Conservative MP) said: 'I see no
reason for cardboard city to exist. Most of the
people there are beggars and tinkers. There are
people who come to London expecting tax-payers
to provide a home for them. They should go back
where they come from. This sort of behaviour
should be stamped out'..." (7/7/1993).
GO BACK to your homes. Terrific.
Yes, but you lot are the dregs you dont
matter. I know this world is cruel and wicked but
what ALTERNATIVE is there? "REHABILITATION
in the NEXT DECADE? Homes will be built for
67

CHAPTER 2: THE HOMELESS

The Dept. of Health is refusing to meet the cost.


There are an estimated 8,000 Homeless people on
the streets of London. Centrepoint said: 'What we
see on the streets is there are some people who
need more than a roof over their heads. It would not
take a big cut in funding to tip the most
vulnerable people out of hostels.'..." (4/11/1993)
(They always pick on the weakest those least
able to fight back)
"5 empty buildings have been made available for
rough sleepers in London for use during the winterkitted out by the construction industry through
their charitable organisation called 'Crash.' Gifts
from contractors, assisted by 15 building materials
producers and builders merchants - will provide
327 beds, with additional Emergency spaces during
severe weather. Last year, Crash gave shelter to
more than 1,500 people" (Evening Standard, 9/12/1993)
(Businesses off-set charitable costs against Tax,
so it is worth their while to do this - they dont lose
out.)
"Homeless people are sleeping in cardboard
boxes, in 'the Bull Ring', in London... because they
have NO choice. Hostels are FULL. Very cold,
very wet conditions... EMERGENCY ACTION
NEEDS TO BE TAKEN. 3 years ago, the
government promised 750 new homes for people
with mental health problems. Not one, to date, has
been provided!" (Greater London Radio, 15/12/1993).
"NOTHING has CHANGED in 60 YEARS since
George Orwell wrote 'Down and Out in Paris....
Now I understand why some people prefer the
street... Hostels are full to overflowing... Uncleaned. Smelly dirty carpets. Battered, broken
furniture. Lots of noise, shouting... Like a barracks.
Can be hell in here. Oppressive system forces
people to leave. Stinks of charity. Are treated like
children.. Sleeping in a doorway easier... Salvation
Army hospices worse than lodging houses. 'I don't
want a house or flat.' Days spent in search of
warmth and food. Addiction to drugs and alcohol is
an effect - not a cause... their future is BLEAK"

you one day, if you survive that long! Ha, ha."


"Ashamed to face us? Penniless! I presume he
died?"
("I'm watching you from where shadows fall,
dreaming of that New World.")
"Let me talk to the hard rock pavement moving
by..." Its not hard to fall Life taught me to
die.
Homelessness in seaside (coastal) resorts is a
serious problem. 5 times the rate of Homelessness.
Many seaside hotels have high number of
Homeless. Some have to walk the streets - trying to
stay awake all night; some are sleeping in cars..."
(Shelter report, 27/7/1993).

SPEECH: "The LIVING DEAD who beg on our


streets. Scourge of the capital's pavements
(What? Really dangerous pavements all
cracked,
full
of
pot-holes
blight
poor
neighbourhoods)
A new breed of violent criminal called 'The Taxmen' rule the beggars on the streets, with a knife
and a boot, systematically stripping the
Homeless of their begging proceeds... Subject to
unremitting police surveillance... Police arrested
705 beggars in this area last year... police found a
number of convicted rapists, burglars and prison
escapees from all over Britain trying to disappear
into the anonymity of street life... 75% of 1st time
offender beggars are let off with a warning to
encourage them to seek charitable help. 'I believe
it is an evolving society. We are left with people
who cannot adapt to real society, and those who
wont..." (6/8/1993).
"NUMBER OF HOMELESS COULD BE HIGHER:
An unrecognised army of people are sleeping
rough or in hostels... doctors claim the current
figures are unreliable. In Westminster, the study,
published by the BMJ, suggests there are 5,000
Homeless people... about 1/3rd have mental health
problems. This does not apply just to London but to
many inner city areas" (1993) (Still obsessed with
figures!) "Despite 'colossal' funds spent on the
Rough Sleepers Initiative (96 million for 3 years,
86 million for next 3 years), the problem still
persists. Funding is ending on 11 hostels,
meaning these will close, resulting in the loss of
600 beds. With the number of temporary places
falling, patients being released into the community
and houses being repossessed, no wonder there
are so many people sleeping rough!" (1/11/1993).
"HOMELESS
SUFFER
AS
MINISTERS
WRANGLE: 100s of hostel beds for the mentally
ill, drug addicts, alcoholics and young Homeless
people are set to disappear across London as
ministers wrangle over who should pick up the
bill... J. Gummer believes the Dept. of Environment
should no longer pay the 10 million allowance
given to registered care homes, because it is a
Community Care issue and not his responsibility.

(20/12/1993).

"CHRISTMAS
SHELTERS
CLOSED
the
Homeless went back to sleeping on the streets,
their condition deteriorating..." (30/12/1993) The
Homeless don't just need shelter for Christmas
you know...
What do you suppose hes wishing for? I dont
know, but I hope he gets it. ( it would be a very
good Christmas present.)
"Please, I beg you, I implore you, please spare
just a little change..."
GOVERNMENT INTRODUCING NEW LAW
AGAINST BEGGING: This law is not a solution.
You are not dealing with WHY they have
insufficient money - why they are on the streets..."
(21/12/1994).

(When a man has lost everything, he needs a


68

circumstances that leaves them on the fringe of


society. Many trapped for years Their dilemma
not recognised as a priority by policy-makers

philosophy to see him through. WHEN will the


philosophy to be able to take care of yourself
come into prevalence?)
"Canterbury have introduced a scheme whereby
food vouchers are given to the Homeless - food
provided by a day centre..."
"WE DON'T WANT HAND-OUTS..."
"People who are on the streets can change their
lives - with help" (said Dr. Kilroy Silk, 21/12/1994).
The GOVERNMENT HAS CHANGED the law
for care of people on the streets: EMERGENCY
ACCOMODATION does NOT have to be
provided. Protest: The government should be
doing more, not less!" (25/2/1994) ( it should be
mandatory! You should be able to walk right
in)
Lets turn around, go backwards! Yeah. Now its so
much clearer? Im not sure these people
understand. Will they remember me at night? Will
they be smiling when we are left swimming,
holding our breath?
THE PEOPLE DESERVE SOMETHING so much
better. The government has FAILED them.
COLD COMFORT: "A plaque honouring the tramp,
Lenny Lewington, who froze to death in January,
age 83, is being placed on the bridge he slept
under at Reading" (The Sun, 2/4/1994).
SHELTERS NEW ROLE = a Key role in
shaping house building. Friends of the Earth
criticised Shelter for being duped by big
business / large construction firms who only want
executive homes. Should Shelter focus on the
need for more Social Housing? 3.5 BILLION a
year is needed + an adequate supply of good
quality, Affordable housing thats sustainable that has proper infrastructure around it (19/1/2005).
Many people believe the crisis of rough
sleepers has been done away with. The Key to
solve this is to prevent Homelessness
No, its not all going very well. They say its only a
lunatic fringe element that want it. Are they
insane?
"I have MERCY! Do YOU?"
David Gilmour sold one of his houses and gave 3
million to the charity Crisis, who hope to build a
village for 400 residents. Crisis still needs 50
million (21/5/2003) (Affordable?)
HEALTH CARE and other street services
WITHDRAWN from rough sleepers in Westminster
to FORCE them into hostels. Those who remain on
streets reported to police. RAPID ACTION TEAMS
WILL OPERATE 24 HOURS A DAY to
persuade people not to sleep rough. The
Salvation Army warned people will become more
excluded (31/7/2003).
Do YOU have any MORAL misgivings about
what is happening?
An invisible city of excluded, vulnerable
Homeless people exists today trapped in

(Crisis report, 2004).

The government estimates 508 people are sleeping


rough in rural England but one worker estimates
there are 150 rough sleepers just in Cornwall
sleeping in barns, hedges, garages and woods
But the government still maintain there is not a
problem (21/12/2004).
The Millennium Dome (tent) opened at
Christmas for 1 week organised by the charity,
Crisis. 1,500 Homeless people in London were
given
temporary
accommodation.
4,500
volunteers were needed behind the scenes to
prepare and dismantle temporary hostels (2005).
A Homeless man was found outside the Town
Hall, on the steps, frozen to death (reported by a
weather forecaster, 31/12/2005).

YOUNG HOMELESS: Around 250,000 people


under-25 are sleeping rough, research from the
BBC showed yesterday. Campaigners called on the
government to do more to help- but a spokesman
denied the figure was so high (Daily Mirror, 11/11,2006).
HOMELESS PEOPLE WITH CHILDREN:
1960's: "What's it all about, Alfie?" Gimme shelter!
Its just a shout away
GENERATIONS LOST
1966: "CATHY COME HOME shocked the nation...
A pregnant woman, with 3 children evicted onto
the streets by a private land-lord who said children
would ruin his property...
'I want to live in something good.' ... But until the
government accepts there is a crisis..."
1970s - : The families with children, accepted as
Homeless by their Local Authority, are regarded as
fortunate. They are put on the Waiting list and
provided, in the meantime, with Bed and Breakfast
(B & B) in 'budget' hotel accommodation.
"HEART-BREAK HOTEL:... the room is bare apart
from a single bed, a table and chair, clothes soak in
the hand basin. This bleak room is their 'home.' ...
Homelessness has proved to be BIG BUSINESS
for the owners of this 350 room hotel... the overcrowded conditions are a health hazard... scabies
outbreak... ... isolation... Noise levels severe...
hard to sleep. Nowhere to keep food - food gets
stolen... the stove (for 20 families) doesn't work nowhere for kids to play... Since 1979, the
numbers of people living in places such as these
have doubled... government expenditure on
housing cut by 80%... The average length of stay
here is 18 months - 3 years" (Extracts: Article, Time Out
magazine, 28/4/1983).

"SIGN on the door says: NO COMPANY


ALLOWED: "The walls of this hotel are paper
thin. I wish I couldn't hear a thing." "The place
smells horrible. Can't open the window - so stuffy in
69

CHAPTER 2: THE HOMELESS

Bayswater) received 250 million from council


budgets to temporarily accommodate Homeless
families for one year. Spiralling Homelessness...
soon there will be no spaces left in B & Bs...
Already councils are turning away people legally
entitled to be housed" (Assoc. of London Authorities,

here, I've got a permanent head-ache." "I'm in the


basement. No windows! Always dark. No natural
light. Have to keep the meter fed with shillings."
"We have to sleep in the same bed as the children."
"This is the 11th room they've put us in." "I don't
know this area. I feel lost. I'm so miserable I could
die." "Getting out of here would be a very heavy
burden off my soul." "I can't remember when I last
smiled." "No Nursery place, so I can't get a job." "I
can't live like this! I hate this place. It's driving me
crazy." "I can't live up to the image of the loving
Madonna. I'm an angel being torn apart." "The
city lights tell me there are no stars." "What to do?
What to do?" "I want to find out what its all
about."
" it'll be alright Mummy. Don't worry."
"Homeless families given an 'eating allowance' but
as no cooking in most B & B's, you have to eat out
so allowance barely lasts 3 days." "We can't get to
use the bathroom - is used by 20 other families."
"Our stuff's been put in storage, paid for by the
council. We're trying to survive by living out of black
bags."
"It's written on the walls in this hotel, you go
Heaven once you've been through HELL."
THE SECOND GENERATION OF HOMELESS
YOUNGSTERS...
"My generation will put it right..."
1976: Youve got to take the 1st offer of
housing. But I dont want to live in another
borough Theyve put me in SHORT LIFE
housing! This place is going to be demolished to
make way for a shopping centre
"Hackney council have run out of money... are
selling 350 council-owned houses a month to meet
Homeless families hotel bills. Council houses sold
off to private developers...
BEHIND THE SCENES: Families, with children the 'statutory Homeless' are being evicted from
Homeless Family Emergency accommodation 1,000's of people put out on the streets, with no
prior warning. When the Homeless Family Unit
(HFU) refuses to pay the bill out - you and your
kid/s - go!
June 1989: Another borough the council are
selling off publicly owned assets to the highest
bidders
(GRADUALLY, bit by bit, THEY ARE SELLING
THE NATION'S ASSETS!")
"Councils have NO CHOICE but use B & B
HOTELS... 100s of children are missing
school... Many women in Homeless family hotels
suffer sexual harassment... Most family B & Bs
are unhygienic fire traps which have already
claimed lives
1986: Over 6,000 families in these cramped,
depressing rooms
1988: 11,270 families were living this way...
The expensive insanity of B & B... one hotelier (in

1989).Authorities, 1989).

"WAITING LIST FREEZE: ... we recognise the


problems caused to 100s of existing tenants in
desperate need of transfers... this will shatter their
re-housing hopes... but increasing allocations to
Homeless families will only be a temporary
measure... this is emergency action to avoid a
huge increase in the number of people going into B
& B... blaming the government's short sightedness
for the plight of the Homeless... the government
are content to sit back and blame councils..."
(14/6/1990) OPERATION FOG: We already know
there are few homes becoming available. This will
set tenants against the Homeless, not the
council...")
"A NATIONAL EMERGENCY: 7,000 children are
in B & B in London, facing malnourishment and
psychological damage... protests outside the
Dept. of Environment. SLOGAN: CHILDREN
NEED HOMES" (2/7/1990).
"CATHY STILL HAS NOWHERE TO LIVE...
Diabolical...
The
'Cathy
Come
Home'
documentary led to the formation of the charity
'Shelter.' But cuts continued. Chance of licking the
housing crisis lost. Nothing really changed...
How to communicate with bureaucracy? There
should only be one side: Fair HOUSING FOR
ALL. 'They are being weaned off the drug of
dependency' said a housing minister. The
separation of sheep and goats. 'Go somewhere
else.' 'All we have is arguments, pressure.' ... it
could be a significant leap to help first-time home
buyers... Why must we live in higher densities?
Only the state can Afford to build houses at a price
people can Afford... In the old system,
government used to care. An iron philosophy?
It's closing time... It's never seen as a Human
Right. There are 22 million houses in Britain.
The population is 55 million Officially, 1
million people accepted as Homeless. We've got
to build homes again for people who want to help
themselves..." (Jeremy Sandford, BBC, 9/7/1990).
"THE DISPOSESSED: "... there are 6,500 people
registered on (this) waiting list we cannot house.
Council has a commitment to the Homeless. 4,465
applied
to
Westminster
council
for
accommodation. ... 3041 people were rejected as
not assessed to be in priority need. A priority
Group = Disabled or pregnant... That means if you
are mentally ill, if you have Aids, you have
children, are long-term Homeless... You do NOT
qualify! ... 'On your way' say the police. 'Nice
country to live in, isn't it?'..." (Channel 4, 30/11/1992).
70

forced to accept private tenancies of as little as 6


months. It doesnt matter that one of the fastest
growing causes of Homelessness is eviction
from privately rented accommodation. Nor does it
matter that private tenants may be harassed, live in
the worst conditions without adequate fire
precautions or pay high market, poverty-trap
rents. Is this really what the Homeless deserve?
Of course, this accommodation is only temporary,
so after about 6 months or so, families will be back
on the streets again, so they can re-apply for
another 6 month stint in temporary shelter. Watch
out Sir George, it could be a Homeless child you
step over next time you go to the opera. But then
they are only queue jumpers, arent they? (letter by

CAUGHT IN THE POVERTY TRAP: "A new report


says 43,000 children are living in temporary
accommodation- living out of a suitcase, in and out
of B & B, affecting their health and education. Local
Authorities should be allowed to use their assets to
build low-cost accommodation" (BBC, 27/5/1993).
"3 Homeless families are challenging the
council's housing policy in a High Court action.
Forced to accept a squalid private let away from
their family... They need council accommodation...
in the long term B & B costs more than the cost of
building a house..." (17/12/1994).
HOUSING SYSTEM BENEFITS FRAUDSTERS:
... Genuine Homeless people go without, are
systematically abused... The law isn't working.
Millions of fiddles. Queue jumping. Fraud is rife.
Housing Act encourages people to lie to try and get
priority need... System too harsh. 'You are not
entitled to it.' Fraud costs millions... Many people /
families (still living at parents or friends house) not
recognised
as
Homeless.
There's
no
ALTERNATIVE but to go through the Homeless
system..." (Channel 4, 31/3/1993).
SINGLE MOTHERS WILL NO LONGER BE
CONSIDERED
PRIORITY
FOR
HOUSING
following accusations they are jumping the Waiting
list (Capital Radio, 18/1/1994).
Single-parents and Homeless families will no
longer go to the top of the Housing list, nor will
they be entitled to a permanent home, only a
temporary home (i.e. B & B) new rules declare.
Much harder proposals than expected. We could
soon see families sleeping in shop doorways.
Chronic shortage of housing blamed (BBC1,
20/1/1994) (If this is their idea of being selfsupporting)
Homeless people with children will face a life of
hardship and misery to make a more just
society. These people will be starved to death to save government money.
ANOTHER ASSAULT ON THE HOMELESS:
Government proposals to remove the Rights to
permanent Housing from Homeless families do
not only affect single parents - they hit every
Homeless family in Britain, including those on
council Waiting lists. By defining a family as
Homeless only if the family is living on the
streets, Sir George Young has revealed the real
purpose of these reforms - to change what
Homelessness means, so that the governments
appalling record on housing disappears like
magic. The record shows the number of homes
available to rent (both public & private) has shrunk
by 1.5 million & Homelessness has doubled since
the Conservative government came into power in
1979. The thrust of the proposals is that families
must be without shelter before they can ask for
Emergency housing. IF accepted, Homeless
families will be placed in short term hostels or

Michael Burrell, Kings Cross Homeless Project + 19


other Homeless Projects, Evening Standard, 25/1/1994).

These proposals will have a DISASTROUS effect back to the days of women and children on the
street. Most Conservative & Labour councils are
opposed to this! They want to cut the Housing
Benefit bill People need homes. How can you
set one group against another? Wales: Housing
Associations building 4,000 new homes. 60,000
people on Waiting lists. Not meeting demand
By the time they have investigated your
circumstances, youll be on the streets and
Homeless. A classic old trick of blaming the
victim Government persecuting women and
children to draw attention away from
themselves.
"The number of Homeless house-holds have
doubled" (11/4/1994).
VINDICTIVE
LEGISLATION:
There
is
overwhelming opposition to government proposals.
There are over 400,000 Homeless in Britain.
Priority - to get a home of their own. Tired, sick,
bored of living in hostels. We need to restart.
We dont want to end in the gutter again. 9,000
responses received by government, even Tory
John Gummer opposes families having to move
around. Government may scrap plans (BBC1,
19/4/1994) Plan not scrapped
Officially, 100,000 children are in B & B
accommodation. Average length of stay 267 days.
Costing 500 million. 380,000 people are
Homeless (Shelter report, 29/9/1999).
THE DICK WHITTINGTON EFFECT: Have to stay
in local borough (to qualify for B & B). The
government should regard the Homeless as a
national problem. Families in the South East could
move to places where properties are available (EG.
The North - where there are desolate streets of
derelict terraces awaiting demolition, in highunemployment black-spots?) The cost to keep per
person in B & B is 30,000 per annum. Local
Authorities are FULL- cannot accommodate any
more in B & Bs (Kilroy, BBC1, 3/12/2001).
I dont seem to fit in anywhere
71

CHAPTER 2: THE HOMELESS

THE HIDDEN HOMELESS. You cant see them


but they are still there. The problem has NOT
gone away. 100,000 families are officially
Homeless. Number has doubled last 7 years.
(The Labour) Government has pledged 150
million but this is a drop in the Ocean - and will
not solve the problem (13/12/2004).
STUPID & DODGY: This is not a Cathy Come
Home situation said John Prescott. The
government are trying re-define what Homeless
means (17/12/2004).
Hostel clients moved into privately rented
housing Desperate people threaten self-harm,
suicide The governments relentless financial
squeeze on hostels in the name of economic
efficiency closure proposals Kids bullied out
of family homes women fleeing violence drug
and alcohol casualties who cant cope

unusable when closed by the authorities. The


sight of such wanton destruction shocked the
dismayed squatters who then had the awful task of
telling the people with children there was nowhere
for them to live
1977: SNOW is an information service for
squatters... SNOW produce the legal notices
squatters pin on doors to inform people that entry
into a squatted property is illegal under Section 6 of
the Criminal Law Act ..
1983: Housing London's Homeless. Squatters
have an ACTIVE network. Squatters groups know
what's going on locally The squatters, bless their
hearts, go out everyday on foot, on bicycles,
watching out for council-owned (empty) property
in the process of being boarded-up keeping
careful lists. Homeless people ask the squatters to
help, usually as a last resort, rather than face being
on the streets. EG. the elderly, students, singleparents, single people, ex-convicts- anyone
rejected by the housing departments. 'There are
so many down-trodden people who the State
does not help.' These poor people are invariably
cold, starving - having not eaten sometimes for a
week,
exhausted,
penniless
and
almost
heartbroken. The squatters welcome them into their
squats - warm them with hot drinks, meals and
friendly chats. Then the squatters go out and try to
find them shelter - risking a jail sentence by
opening derelict council buildings for them, just
so these poor souls have some place to call home.
The squatters even negotiate with the councils to
ensure the elderly have a few blankets, a heater,
and some food These squatters ask for nothing in
return. I wonder over the years, how many lives did
these kind squatters save?
Human KINDNESS. Getting to be a rarity these
days.
1985: HOMELESS STUDENTS: "Squatting is
booming. The Advisory Service for Squatters
estimate there are approx. 24,000 squatted
properties in London - 48,000 nationally - 40% up
on 2 years ago..."
1986: CRISIS. I JUST WANT A HOME! "
We only occupy empty council or Housing
Association property. Housing stock is diminishing.
We believe it is criminal social housing is left to
stand empty when people need a home
SQUATTERS SAID: We only occupy empty
council or Housing Association property. Housing
stock is diminishing. We believe it is criminal
social housing is left to stand empty when
people need a home
"I'm going to spend my whole life making the time
right."

(16/12/2004).

SQUATTERS:
LONG HISTORY: 1946: "WW11 aggravated bad
housing conditions which had remained unaltered
for 100 years. We were told we were the
backbone of the country. We were given all sorts
of promises but we were pushed from pillar to post.
Usual houses short to come by. Live like a gipsy,
look like a gipsy. Squatting began. Army huts
taken over, viewed as OK, but not private property.
We were not acting in self-interest but our
squatting forced the temperature of house
building. We were helping others in times of dire
crisis. Taking law into their own hands.
Complaints of: 'Hot Air & No ACTION.' 4 people
living in 1 room. Squatters water & electricity cut
off. Squatters found guilty in court. But squatters
drew attention to Housing Crisis" "OUT BUT
NOT DOWN... Squatters moving on"
WE ARE LOST PEOPLE WITH NOWHERE TO
GO"
1976: HOMELESS FAMILIES CANT EVEN GET
TEMPORARY HOMES: EG. Cornwall Terrace, Nr.
Baker St, London: Whole row of empty houses
squatted by families with young children.
Approx. 500 people living there. Suddenly evicted
by police. (Eviction shown on TV news).
"... its cold when you're in a storm, there's
nothing you can do or say, you've just got to
leave, get away..."
"HELP ME if you can, I'm feeling DOWN. HELP
ME!
To try and help all the Homeless families asking
them for help, a group of squatters in Tufnell Park
(London) used crowbars and opened up a boarded
(abandoned) Victorian maternity hospital - only to
find everything inside had been ruined- concrete
poured down the toilets - all the plumbing
apparatus trashed, gas and electricity connections
ripped out. The building was deliberately made

"I love helping my fellow man."


("Why wait any longer for the world to begin?")
72

("A squatters only crime is to be born 150 years


ahead of his time.") ("Let's say he came back too
soon. He was starving in some deep mystery?")
"I keep looking for a place to be. Where there
are people I wont leave behind."
CO-OP
PLAN
FOR
EMPTY
COUNCIL
PROPERTIES: "London's growing army of
squatters are trying to hammer out a deal with the
Local Authorities to avoid the constant fear of
eviction, and instead, to begin some kind of cooperative venture to share sub-standard
housing...
SQUATTERS want a BETTER deal FOR THE
HOMELESS from THE COUNCIL: Squatters
leaders bombarded a Town Hall for 5 days... The
squatters have come up with a 5-point peace plan...
to stop councils taking tough legal measures
against squatters, squatters groups want to be told
which properties are on the let-able or un-let-able
lists - anything un-let-able can be squatted until
allocated, if the squatters live responsibly, they will
be considered for housing. Squatters say this will
reduce Homelessness, fill empty properties and
bring in council rents. Once properties habited, this
would deter vandals and thieves, they would
stave off damp and decay and would halt the
blight on many estates... in many cases squatters
try to make the place as pleasant to live in as
possible... " (Time Out magazine, 1985) (Their plan was
not accepted).
"The folk-singer, pushed to one side"
"More than 100 students in London could be forced
to give up their courses simply because they can't
find a place to live... the London Student's
organisation say that 2,500 students are sleeping
on floors, and approx. 40 from 6 colleges are
squatting the empty university building at Gower St
in an attempt to provoke official action... meanwhile,
a 230 bed hostel - a wing of Bedford college may be
sold off to a private USA school" (1985).
1986: The squatters are producing a magazine
called 'Crowbar' with interesting articles etc. One of
their most memorable piece of artwork was headed:
A HOUSE IS NOT A HOME... when it's a
commodity, when it's the land-lords, when it's a
bureaucrats problem, when it's the councils, when
it's a profession, when it's a political decision..."
1986: Dear Tenant, This letter is to remind you that
squatting is one solution to the growing housing
problems... a solution for people who have been on
council Waiting lists for years without getting
anywhere... There are 4,500 empty council
properties just in Hackney, while 500 people are
kept in B & B at a cost of 4 million a year... the
council say they are aiding the Homeless but mostly
they are aiding Homelessness... While the rich build
luxury homes in the borough, the Homeless get
nothing... we are not Junkies and dole
scroungers - we are not a race apart... we are

normal people who just want a roof over our


heads... If we are denied a home we should do it for
ourselves...Squatters do not steal peoples
homes - the council do enough of that... squatting is
a symptom of the lack of proper homes... the only
way to end squatting is to provide decent homes
for all..." (circular produced by the Stamford Hill Squatters
Group, as a protest - on the Stamford Hill estate, in
North London, approx. the flats are empty)
1987: SNOW - the collective called Squatting
against Homelessness, was evicted from the Old Kent
Road, in London.

1988: SQUATTERS TRYING TO PROVIDE CHILD


CARE: "Lambeth is famous for a lack of child-care.
Our ex-squatted crche was evicted 4 times from
4 different places over 1 years... During our
campaign, Lambeth council had a luxury day
nursery unused for 2 years, which cost 300,000 to
build and equip & 60,000 for a private security
company to patrol... This empty nursery has now
been squatted by CAP (The Cultural Awareness
Programme) who are now making full use of it. The
intentions are to have a crche, an after school
group, a place to learn languages and history - as
a centre for people mainly of African descent. CAP
is self-funded"
COUNCIL LABELLED 'VANDALS:' Workmen
paid 680 a week to make empty council property in
Camden uninhabitable - ripping out toilets, sinks,
disconnecting mains services... 'So vindictive and
nasty'..."
EVICTED BY THE HEAVIES "... building
companies etc are regularly hired to illegally evict
squatters, damage their property and threaten
violence..."
"One group of squatters, fearing illegal eviction
fitted a Claxton on the roof The local
community who had benefited from the squatters
presence - the squatters were pleasant and well
liked, agreed to stand in front of the squat when the
Claxton sounded. The police were filmed
smashing everything. When the police left, to their
surprise they were met by practically the whole
community! (The film was shown on TV).
"DON'T ASK US WHAT WE THINK!
BIG BROTHER CAN GO TO HELL!
Angry squatters disrupted meetings at the
town hall for the 3rd time in 3 weeks... Council
leaders and the Housing Committee were barracked
with jeers of 'Yuppie Socialists' and 'Class
Traitors.' Paper missiles were thrown during the
protests at moves to evict them from council
(owned / managed) flats and houses - a cost-cutting
measure to make these properties (supposedly)
available to families in B & Bs. Police moved in to
clear the public gallery, so that decisions about rent
rises could be taken" (Hackney re: Stamford Hill estate,
16/10/1987).

"SIEGE: Squatters turned the Stamford Hill estate


73

CHAPTER 2: THE HOMELESS

empty properties. The Sultan has 10 empty houses


in the UK." "Prince Charles is said to own 600
houses and flats, over 200 are thought to be
empty.
"Can't Get A Job. Can't Get any dole Money. No
Wage Increases. Constant Rising Prices and
TERRIBLE HOUSING CONDITIONS!"
"PROVOKED THEY HAVE BEEN..." "Trouble
stewing...." "We are the dead." "We are not dead
yet."
"THE END FOR SQUATTERS:... thought to
number more than 130,000 in London... some Local
Authorities have faced a constant battle to keep
premises free of the nuisance. Sweeping new
powers to clear squatters from empty
buildings... squatters will not be entitled to
witness any court hearings..." (14/11/1993).
"Council squat-busters go into action
2
days after The Possession notice is served..."
HOW THE SYSTEM CHANGES PEOPLE:
Squatters
said:
"WAIT
TO
START
A
REVOLUTION? "What do YOU say? Blood must
flow?" "One day, everyone will be number one.
Until that day, whatever needs to be done..." "We
will not participate in deception." "There are
definitely NO National Front members amongst
us! We are very anti-right wing." "With or without
you, in our own sweet way..."
"Disturbances / Riots throughout the British
Isles..." Hitting-back at stupid councils."
Squatters covered their faces during battles with
police.
BEHIND THE MASK?:
"I'm leaving this GHETTO..."

into a no-go area for police as they prepared to


resist mass evictions... about 250 protestors
overturned giant rubbish bins and lorry-sized skips...
the evictions were condemned by The Hackney
Housing Action Group. The council's housing
policy is designed to set one group of people
against the other" (11/3/1988).
"We know from long experience we can't actually
resist evictions but it helps to quell our anger doing
stuff like this." "With mass evictions in some
boroughs, there are more people on the streets,
and some of them are getting a little pissed off..."
VOIDS SCANDAL: Local Authorities own 100,700
empty homes, government departments own
35,100 empty properties (the Ministry of Defence
owns 13,000 homes that are not being used), there
are 589,000 empty private properties, (94,000 in
London), Housing Associations have 21,800
empty homes..." (1990).
"We've been DEBASED!" "TOLD TO LIVE IN A
CAR: A living hell: A family with 3 young children
were kicked out of their council house for 1,000
rent arrears... Now their car is their 'home.' 'I don't
want our family to split up.' The children live on fryups made by Mum on a portable gas stove and
wash in public toilets. The council's housing
officer said: 'The family are intentionally
Homeless.' Karen said: 'I am desperate to get a
proper roof over the childrens heads'..." (Daily Mirror,
13/6/1990).

"PLAY I SPY": "The council are trying to get


tenants to inform them when squatters move into an
empty, disused council property... Camden has so
many empty properties standing idle it is madness
to evict more people..." (5/9/1990).
1990: PLANS TO MAKE SQUATTING ILLEGAL:
Squatters actively campaigned for no new laws
against squatting. The threat to criminalise the
Homeless! The trespass laws which in effect
illegalise squatting A squatters main protection
is that squatting is not an illegal act...
"EVICTIONS must be made FASTER" said Mr. K.
Baker (Conservative Party chairman). "Make it an
offence to occupy empty property. All suffer from
squatters."
POLITICIAN: "Squatters are getting something for
nothing! Squatters cause enormous criminal
damage! Squatting is theft from the council!"
SQUATTER: "We should have a flexible
approach. Homeless people should be able to
commandeer a property left empty for more than 3
years." Give us a chance! We'll do it
ourselves." "We have rebuilt this place! When we
leave people will come to trash it!" "Wrecking
places is the antithesis of squatting!" "...it should
be made a criminal offence to leave property empty
for more than 3 years" (15/10/1991).
"The Sultan of Brunei was accused of being
heartless for evicting squatters from one of his

"If you need another type of love, I'll wear a


MASK for you. You'll strike me down in
anger, but here I am - I'm the man for you...
But if you want to take me for a ride, you know
you can. The chain's too tight. The beast wont
go to sleep. The promises I made you, I can't
keep. I fall at your feet and howl like a wolf on
heat. I've practiced every night. Now I'm ready. I
can't forget. That's how I want it. I've got
this mind that runs on memory. I've loved it
all my life. Well, now it's Father's day - and
everyone's wounded... Remember me? I used
to live for music. I brought your groceries in..."
(song by Leonard Cohen).

("The man she wanted all her life - his life was
hanging by a thread, his muscles numbered..."
"She counted all the battles A woman's
education is not clear. She gives her soul in
empty rooms..." "He offered her an orgy in a room
in return for her womb, instead of a passage to the
Moon. He offered bloody rituals and none of
them were true...")
NOTHING
ever
REALLY
CHANGES
"EVERYBODY KNOWS they'll never find a
CURE... the poor stay poor... Everybody knows
you're in trouble... it's written in the
74

Scriptures... it's written in blood I walked into


this empty church - the sweetest voice I ever
heard whispered to my soul- I don't need to
be forgiven, for loving you so much. YOU
stand on the other side of the river. I don't know
how the river got so wide... all the bridges are
burning that we might have crossed...
They're moving us tomorrow... to the tower
off the track..." (song by Leonard Cohen) In other

have NO Right to Safe, Decent, Secure,


permanent Housing?" "Ferocious rationing due
to the lack of Affordable homes..." "What one
wants is an imaginative, positive solution!" (Greater

words? "SAVE ME!


"The Home Office has issued a NEWS RELEASE
that will have enormous implications. Government
plans to criminalise squatting will leave 50,000
people, 1/3rd of them families, under the threat of
immediate Homelessness. Home secretary,
Michael Howard, announced that squatters who
refuse to leave within 24 hours of being served
with an eviction notice will face arrest. This was
met with fury by Homeless organisations,
London councils, and concern from the police
who will have to enforce the law. The proposal, part
of the Criminal Justice Bill... The government are
ignoring the causes of Homelessness and are
using squatters as a political football... The real
crime is not 50,000 squatters, it is the 864,000
empty properties in the UK. The government is
the most inefficient land-lord of all, with 12,000
empty properties... This new law will bring the
already over-pressed housing system to breaking
point... The new law will also mean it will be easier
for private landlords to evict tenants... Once again,
the government have ignored warnings from the
police, Housing groups and organisations to
help the Homeless. In so doing, this will increase
the criminal population, with social implications
that will come back to haunt the government... The
new law will deprive many of what little shelter
they have, and the new law will criminalise the
Homeless" (9/11/1993) ("... it is not a political football...")
CONFRONTATIONS: WAH! "Who else would put
up with all the cockroaches? This situation is a
nightmare!" "I can't go and live in a squat no-one
else wants, I can't live in a cardboard box in a park,
I can't break down in a lay-by. Where can I live?" "I
don't want to die on any cold pavement. I want to
end my life in a green valley, with just blue sky
to look at." "Do I have to spend the remainder of
my years in the gutter? Why can't I use my talents
to help others?"
DEBATE: "Where are all the evicted people
supposed to go?" "We are excluded from
housing!" "It's a myth that squatters break into
private ordinary peoples houses." "Making
Homeless, most needy people deliberately
Homeless again, through no fault of their own, is
DISGUSTING." "Kids wallowing in squalor! This is
disturbing. (I don't mean these people are
disturbed...") "Are the government saying people

12/12/1993).

London Radio, 18/11/1993).

Stamford Hill Estate: "The police (armed with riot


shields, helmets, flail batons...) evicted 150
squatters - who left peacefully. Some will miss out
on having a nice Christmas" (local newspaper report,
THE REAL STORY: "EVICTED BY BUILDERS,
Heavies hired by the council, who turned up with no
warning while we were out, smashed down doors,
took our personal belongings - putting these into
rubbish skips, taking anything valuable - stealing
these, they towed away our vehicles. When we
arrived back, the flats were boarded up. Our pets
were also missing! No-one at the council knew
anything about this of course. This happened in
mid-winter. With frozen hands and feet, and
nowhere to go, we tried to open another squat but
we couldn't
"THE FORCED MARCH OF THE CONVOY:
The only thing we could do is walk away

"There's lots of room in the gutter"


We walked 20 miles a day, carrying what we
have left..."
We struggled really, really
struggled just to stay alive...
songs helped to keep us going
(EG. When you walk through a storm, hold your
head up high
" there is nothing left to lose. All my friends
have gone. There's no work here any more. I know
I hate to leave this land I love, that it's going to be
lonely on the Freedom road, but I've got to keep on
going until I hold that promised land in the palm
of my hand. There's a new tomorrow waiting
that's all shiny and new. We will see we are not
alone in the Heavens, out there on the Freedom
road..." "We're singing in the rain..."
" Walk on, walk on, with HOPE in your heart,
and you'll never walk alone..." "How many roads
does a young man have to walk down, before he
can find his way home? The answer my friend, is
blowing in the wind..."
"I want it so fine. I want to be where stars
shine...")
We need to find a better place...
"But the further we walked, the heavier our load
became..."
"Here we are, dropping down in pain, watched by
75

CHAPTER 2: THE HOMELESS

the police. I'd like to stay awake but only the police
are getting paid overtime."

bones..."
"The Sun went down..."
These words were ringing in my head:
"The Lords my shepherd He lead'eth me. He
makes me down to lie in pastures green Yea,
though I walk through death's dark vale, yet will
I fear no ill. For thou art with me My soul He
does restore again. And me to walk doth make,
within the paths of righteousness,.. for His
names sake GOODNESS AND MERCY ALL
MY LIFE shall surely follow me and in Gods
house, forever more, my dwelling place shall
be
("When you need a light, in the night...")
"We set up a make-shift camp, using what little we
have, on wasteland, in the pouring wet..."
BENDERS: We make shelters by bending long,
thin twigs, covered in holey clothes and a few
blankets
"Our chances of survival are slender." "We only
have a light diet." "Give us this day, our daily
bread. For what we are about to receive may the
Lord make us truly thankful..." We make our
own bread (on the camp fire).
DURING THE LONG NIGHT: "I believe I have seen
the face of the risen Lord..."
Then:
"DAWN RAIDS by police Grim
scenes..."TAKEN BY SUPRISE..."
"Bloody hippies. Take that!"
"Hey! Go easy, man! There are children here!"
"God! They're trying to kill us!"
"Ow! They'll KILL us if they can!"
st
(see: Video of June 1 , 1984 evictions

"If politicians are so good, how can they cause


us to live like this?" "They've not even got
sensitivity!"
"Unbiased treatment by the police?" "It isn't only
the lonely who know this isn't right."
"STOP these experiments in animal terror.
"UNDER CONSTANT THREAT" "As an agent of
Her Majesty's Government... you trespassers must
give up this ground. Clear off! Or else!"
"Off balanced, Levin did not know what to say.
Trespassing made him uneasy..."
A few local residents complained to the police,
that we shouldn't be allowed to walk past their
property (Ah! You just dont love enough)
others brought us food..."
(thinking: its your generation WHO WILL
HAVE TO SAVE THE PLANET because weve
made such a mess of it!)
THE SQUATTERS SAID: "I'm pissed off with
begging for a place to stay from people who don't
want me. God, give me somewhere to go where I
do not have to continually justify myself!" "It's so
depressing. We're living in a world of fools, always
breaking us down!" Do YOU know what youre
kicking away? Everything we do is for FREE!
"Something's got to give, sooner or later" "It's no
good pretending things are alright, when they aren't.
They really aren't." "We all live like ants. The
Queen is our only superstar. There's no real love
here "Youre holding my heart in the palm of
your hand. You're burning my body to fill in the
time." "Got to keep up with the Jones's? I'm not
one of them." "LOSERS. There's only losers in this
game." "I'm not playing their game no more..."
" it's the only way to be. I can't be chained to a
life!" "They make everybody work so hard for
everything. We are all slaves to the system?
"I'm not part of your system feeding off flesh and

from Bean field, www.youtube.com ).

"WE'LL DIE. WE'LL DIE. WE'LL DIE."

Benders and vans confiscated...


1986: "The police have taken everything we've
got, again. What do we do now?"
"They are still taking us for the same old clowns!"
"HOW DO WE DANCE WITH THIS FIRE? We are
lost. We are freaks. We are crippled. We are
weak. We are the true answer to the world"
(song by: New Model Army).

76

What is happening to them (and all that they love)


is bewildering
"I aint got no money, I aint got no land." "I feel left
out. Where's my share? I want my share."
(THESE ARE: "Your New Generation Shoppers...")
"ANCIENT MAN: Once Upon A Time, a man lived
in the heat of the city. An ancient man, with
ancient ways. He was Eco-wise to cholesterol
shops and micro-biotic veg. He hated tap water
and carbon air. But he was everywhere, on
every street and highway and open space... He
was an ancient man with modern ways. He
fought the demise of living every way. Every
step with his feet... Searching for solace in the
traffic of the city... His hands natural
instruments of melody, flapped the polluted
air, but the birds have long since flown to
Freedom... On street corners he stares at the
landscape blocking the Sun. When he tries
to sing, he recoils in mid-verse. The pollen count
is high today. An ancient man, with modern
ways..." (song composed by ARTEC students, London

"Oh! HOW WE DANCED WITH THIS FIRE, cos it's


all that we know..." ("I believe we felt our way from
another world...")
"Jesus, Jesus. What's it all about?" "We are
GENTLE FOLK. Tender. Naturally sweet. We
wouldn't hurt a fly" "WHY do THEY TREAT us
this way?" (You've lost the plot!)
"WE ARE THE DEVIL'S REJECTS
"HOW can WE be STRONGER? I've often
wondered..." "You know, the way things are going,
they're going to crucify me"
"Notice how when we move around we lose
everything?" "What we need is not 'security,' it is
more than a loan, and a law..."
"They say you can't change anything. They want
you to get out of LOVE"
"Love, free as running water. Free as you and
me. That's the way it's got to be..." "If we had love
before, we can love again."
(" it is in my heart, it's in my soul, it's in every
school boy's dreams...")
"We've got far to go"
"Without a home, we wont get far. We can't hang
onto a dream. If there's no place, not even a star
we can get to. It seems so far away, light years
away..."
" it takes a while, and I know it"
"THESE GUIDING LIGHTS, slipping away..."
"These are the ones with the best ideas..."
CAPITALIST: Dreams dont put food on the table.
Ideas are 10 a penny
(Ah! But a good idea is priceless.)
"I'm the man who walks as though he's dead."
"CANT carry-on this way"
(re: Stoney Cross, UK., June 1986. Photos kindly supplied

1991).

Our HAPPINESS Misunderstood


"THE ANNUAL PROBLEM? New Age travellers
moving on... in search of... FREEDOM"
NEW AGE CHAOS: "500 'hippies' set up camp in
Hungerford... the advance guard of the mid-summer
trek Police served notices under the Public Order
Act... violence flared during eviction... (24/4/1990).
"20,000 fans arrived for an illegal 'free' music
festival in the Malvern Hills... The Hippy Invasion.
Police told to introduce tougher laws. Farmers
opposed to New Age Travellers. There are no
toilets - will have to use fields. Annual cat and
mouse game. Local opposition. Travellers have
nowhere to go... Police used force..." (27/5/1992).
______________________________________
Just what does HIPPY mean?
The 1960's:
somethings gotta hold of my heart
and now for something completely different
The in thing really hip = LOVE, PEACE and
UNDERSTANDING, man.
The DREAM: Men don't want to fight! We believe
in tenderness, sweetness. We don't want to
become robots! = Drop-out (of suburban
mediocrity) Meditate (to find your true self.) At
Our Centre Is Peace. Change, create! Expand
your consciousness. 'We love you.' We'll show
you where it's at = The coming together of 'tribes'
for a 'love-in' - a major Groove. = Gentle people,
with flowers in their hair. Theres a whole
generation, with a new explanation The
Flower Children: Spread Happiness, Joy! =
FLOWER POWER = Grow
Crops EG. Sunflowers to combat
Environmental
problems
(Sunflowers = Oil)
(Hippies started the movement - a campaign -

by: Fred Rabbit.)

NEW AGE TRAVELLERS:


(New Age: see Chapter 15).

Many (evicted) squatters joined the (convoy of)


New Age Travellers.
"Knocking around with the travellers They're
OK. Warm hearted. Welcoming. Genuine..."
These unassuming people make us feel wanted,
liked, LOVED, happier. The NEW AGE
TRAVELLERS are actually exceptionally KIND,
CARING and HONEST HUMAN BEINGS. But
man- theyre SUFFERING really, really terribly!
77

CHAPTER 2: THE HOMELESS

"NOT SO NEW AGE: ... people descended to


pitch camp... if the BBC had described them as
'vagrants' fewer people would have flocked to join
them... Loud noise, excrement, rubbish, broken
glass... Spare a thought for the people who live
here!" "HIPPIES MAKE PLACE LOOK LIKE
BEIRUT: ... hippy travellers 'terrorised' residents...
(hippies) fired distress flares at a police
helicopter... A pall of smoke from a forest of fires...
Where cows and sheep have grazed for centuries,
there was a motley collection of caravans,
coaches, cars, ambulances, buses, fire engines,
tents and tepees. The chaos was not confined to
the camp site..." "They come round here in their
rust buckets on wheels, using our gardens as
toilets..."
Travellers said: "We take all the blame!" We get
lots of free insults! This is a disaster "None of
this is going my way.
("Wild boys never lose it?" Do the Residents
understand your plight?)
"More clashes with police in full riot gear...
Motorway across 2 counties blocked when a
convoy came to a standstill..." "750 police, from 6
counties, advanced at a cost of 250,000. New
Age Travellers gave Nazi-style salutes to the
police and fighting broke out. 'You beat up little
children!' Then police closed roads - towed away
vehicles - remaining people put on a pointless
route"
("The joy of the mobile home! You used to be
able to stop anywhere")
("Britain will only have a revolution if they ban
caravanning and car-boot sales" said Victoria Wood,
comedienne) ("Our last little bits of Freedom...")
"Some people believe there is A Hidden Agenda
to make all travelling simply impossible... driving
a different way of life out of existence... The notso hidden statements of politicians past and
present: EG. Mrs Thatcher said, June 1986: "I am
only too delighted to make life as difficult as
possible for such things as Hippy Convoys."
(This government is obsessed with controlling
the population...")
EG. "The Conservative conference, October 1992,
announced tough new rules affecting New Age
Travellers: 'Most people were sickened, as I was,
by the sight of these spongers descending like
locusts, demanding benefits with menaces. We are
not in the business of subsidising scroungers' said
Peter Lilley, Social Services Secretary. 'I am
closing
down
the-something-for
nothing
society'..." (I can hear you now saying: They did
the right thing. Bloody scroungers)
THE ONLY WAY TO BE FREE IS TO PLANT...
Hate ?
The only way to break free is to love
DOCUMENTARY: "NEIGHBOURS: Bristol has
terrible problems. What do you think will happen if

giving away free Sunflower seeds). it just


started silently and grew The best things in
life are FREE!
(Protestors hold flowers- offer flowers to the
police and soldiers etc., who perhaps dont
understand the significance, or the significance
is ignored).
Dont criticise what you cant understand cos times
are changing
(1960s SONGS: "BORN FREE, AS FREE AS THE
WIND BLOWS, AS FREE AS THE GRASS
GROWS, BORN FREE... TO FOLLOW YOUR
HEART...
LIVE
FREE,
AND
BEAUTY
SURROUNDS
YOU,
THE
WORLD
WILL
ASTOUND YOU..."
I feel free
We are stardust, we are golden and weve got
to get ourselves back to the garden JOY TO
THE WORLD
"This world is like a great big onion (i.e. when
cut, we cry)
"If theres anything that you need, if theres
anything that you want, I'd send it along, if I were
you, with love, from me to you. It'll keep you
satisfied..." " I don't care too much about money
- money can't buy me love. Say you don't need
diamond rings, and I'll be satisfied..."
Well get along in blue jeans
"We can work it out. Life is too short "We've
got to Get it Together, now! YOU know that it's
right There's something in the air The
revolution is here..." (Thunderclap Newman).
Were going to shout it to the top
10,000 are whispering and no-ones listening.
Some hard rains are going to fall
"Wouldn't it be nice if we didn't have to wait so
long? If we could live together in the kind of
world where we belong? If we could spend
happy times together! We could hope and pray
it might come true. It seems the more we talk
about it, the worst it seems to live without it..."
Hey Im spaced-out, man. Unfortunately THE
HIPPY MOVEMENT degenerated into chaos... IT
Magazine: Mainly about drugs?
EXPERT: The 1960s were sort of a test to see
how much anarchy the system could take Hippy
(i.e. HAPPY) communes Actually, the system
backed off
EXPERT: Back in the days of the swinging 60s
life was simple, the hippies were young as they
frolicked in the fields and long hair wasnt just for
students. The far off time that was the year 2000
held the promise of being a magical epoch of
flying cars?
______________________________________
MEANTIME: "... there aint nothing like the real
thing, baby..."
Estimated: 3,900 people are living in recycled,
old buses (Jeremy Sandford, BBC, 9/7/1990).
78

meeting. Comments will be passed on. 'Officers are


investigating it.' Consultants brought in - cost a
lot of money. Another councillor leaves. 'Run
away! sir.'
The National Romany Association said: 'It's not
helpful if we end arguing.' Councillor's attitudes bad.
15 pitches = 75 travellers. Once sites found- no
longer a harassment policy - then it's designated.
You may move in, but you cannot move out!
'I hope it will be agreed we do full consultations.'
Travellers not told what sites are where. 'It wont
happen in Avon' said a councillor. 'If only 15
places, what will we do?' 'Comments from
travellers very important. A Report - we will take
note of that. We need a survey of travellers. We
need a definition. Numbers vague... If we evict
them, moving them on, it's somebody elses
problem.
Problem
not
addressed
by
government.
Are New Age Travellers drop outs, moving out of
houses - to improve their status, their quality of
life? Historically, so did Irish travellers. Their
reasons are their own. The numbers of New Age
travellers are escalating, increasing many fold,
and will continue to do so under the current
economic climate...'
'Obviously this site is totally inadequate.'
Tax-payers angry at misspending of their
money. 'People are getting pissed off at the
system... these people need a home, that's all it
really is. You still run! We all want the same but still you run away! Give them somewhere
decent to live so we don't have to put up with
this, for Christ's sake.'
Bitter feud. Councillors walk away, saying nothing!
'We're plonked here.'
'Property prices devalued - can't sell - view of
caravans unappealing.' 'I don't like looking at a
housing estate' said a caravan dweller. 'Making us
depressed. We can't live our lives the way we
want to. In this day and age, in this country we
should be free to, but we can't!'
Patchway has been a temporary site for 17 years.
'Why can't you find them somewhere to live,
where they want to be, so WE would not have this
confrontation with people WE do not want to
alienate, but we have to because they are
constantly on our backs, with a council we have to
constantly fight because they don't listen to
what we want them to do?'
'We do have several sites in rural areas, but MPs
want sites to be in urban areas. We are looking at
sites in both areas.'
The delays lead to more HASSLE for everybody arguments.
'All the piles of rubbish - broken cars. The bricks
through my windows. We don't want them here.
They are vagrants who take, take, and give nothing
back. They take drugs! I don't want it. I pay my

sites are not provided? THE NEED TO HELP


residents and travellers. People need to accept
that concept. There's outcry. 'We are going to try
and do something about it. We are restricted by
Acts of government. We have to go through
Planning procedures. It takes time but hopefully, in
next couple of years, sites will be here.'
Avon has only provided one site. Now squatters in
caravans on council- owned land. Deep
puddles... Is the site suitable? 'We'd like proper
flush toilets. Chemical loos leaking - dangerous
for children. They haven't emptied the toilets for 2
months! Causing rats.' 30 vehicles arrive,
spreading mud over the highway - dangerous - an
offence. Travellers warned
The council wants to erect a HIGH WIRE fence to
protect neighbours gardens but this would not
make their lives more tolerable. But the fence is
built to contain the situation. The fence is a 2-way
barrier. 'Our quality of life has deteriorated since
the travellers arrived.' General attitude of the
travellers is good but the seriousness of the
circumstances... Things get worse as more
travellers arrive... broken glass... Despite the 12'
high fence, children climb, get over the top 'Why
can't the police do something about it?' 'One of
the agencies should address this situation...' 'The
issues are not simple. Would YOU like to live in
a caravan here for 7 days a week?' 'No, I wouldn't!'
10 children in one caravan that is too big to go
on road. 'Where could they move to? Away from the
housing estates and pylons?' 'We'll go to court to
decide.'
'Why don't you go to a proper mobile home
site? Because there isn't one!
Not all travellers are the same. Some are dirty,
some are clean... but they all need somewhere to
live. 'No hot water - how are we supposed to keep
clean?'
'People say we don't pay our way. What have we
got to pay for? I wouldn't mind paying my way.'
A MEETING is arranged to air views. It will be
unstructured. 'Make a request and we will
consider it. Is it for their benefit or ours?' asks the
council. The New Age Travellers are a new
group. Does the 1968 Act cover them?'
'We need the backing of the National
organisations who understand what we are
trying to do.
Avon (county) is aiming to have 100 spaces /
pitches for caravans... viewed with suspicion by
travellers. 'We don't need site wardens to run
our lives! There's no play areas for our children!
Sites look like prison camps! Sites should be a
pleasant Environment. We haven't found a site
without a massive fence! The integration of
people into the community must be the thing they
- the council, aim at.'
A councillor replies, saying he has to leave the
79

CHAPTER 2: THE HOMELESS

rates. I'm entitled to know what's going on. You tell


us a pack of lies. How many more lies are there?'
'It worries me people can get so steamed up and
irrational over an encampment. If it's a large and
unpleasant one, one can understand. 200 - 300
people are very angry at us - I'm frightened - what
makes people react this way?'
'It's not something of our making' said a Liberal
Democrat 'I don't want to make the situation worse,
but ignoring it, it will get worse.'
Somehow, they cannot make that rational step to
do something about the mess that surrounds the
area... travellers will continue to live on an
Emergency encampment basis. Trouble is, noone stands up for them, no backing, and no-one
wants them, and that is the wrong attitude. New
Age Travellers are Human Beings, who have
feelings. The towns are really bad. People are
either going to have to somehow get a roof over
their heads, live in squalor, or wait for the council
to do it for them, that's how it's going to be in this
country" (Cutting Edge, Channel 4, 4/5/1992) ("Who could
be so callous to turn them away because they're not
wearing diamonds?")
IN DIRE STRAITS: "Travellers site attacked in
Manchester. 2 men hurt. I woman had a
miscarriage" (24/6/1992) ("If it happens, it could be a
God-send to some people.")
"POLICE TACTICS: Code Name: OPERATION
NOMAD: have succeeded in preventing the
travellers camping on private and common land"

respecting other people's property if denied the


Freedom of Choice, the Right of Movement, the
Right to Peaceful Assembly, to Social Security these do appear to be becoming less and less
available to our minority group..." "We are leading
independent lives. "Hard to make a living - so
we have to claim dole, but we are saving the
government the cost of having to pay us Housing
Benefit."
"Society as a whole was greedy enough to take all
the common land away from people, greedy
enough to swallow all the land we could have
parked on. They say we shouldn't ask for
something back! The waste-land is not being
used..."
"I see some of your vans have windmills on the
roof - for an Alternative Energy supply?" Yeh.
They should get hip to the silicone chip..."
("Hey! We might just be needed after all! "We
communicate effectively, inter-act effectively... We
have an ALTERNATIVE life-style... not an ideal
life-style, not as nice a life-style as we would really
like it to be - we can only improvise... but this has
given us great ideas how we would like it to be"
"... it is WHERE I'LL FIND MY HEAVEN.")
( it's better than sleeping in a van.)
"Many of us are artists, who prefer the greenery
of the country..."
(Ah! Now I understand why they say an artist is
worth more dead than alive.)
______________________________________
(DOCUMENTARY: " it's a NEW ART:
Diversification is a good thing. This is an
important cultural era. Defying the various
categories... the dictates of the media... The
concept of Unity The rigid dogma of the
Western mind, the boxing in... Maybe if other
people would champion a new mold? Art does not
prohibit the imagination..." "Friendship, trust all
come into it..." "It's a very dynamic process." "With
collaboration success!" "You might be surprised
at the power of people around you." "Make it better
than the last one." "The important thing is that it is a
good product." "Establish a funky stronghold..."
"You need to create a buzzing atmosphere. You
need certain skills..." "Follow the banality of
industry? Don't become obsessive about
ownership. Be more concerned about doing
GOOD. Do it because you love it." "Don't let
devious cynics mess you up.")
(STREET-WISE CRED: "Make it like you mean it,
make it like a work of art. Baby Jesus had it
strapped to his heart." "Give me things put
together with love." "You should always be
working out how to perfect it." "We think it will
always be magical.")
(POPULAR SONG: "HEY! WE'RE HEADING FOR
THE FUTURE. Give us some room. Weve got to
build the New World. We got to do it now. We

(1/6/1993).

(Moving Around = "We can't control the


buggers.
The Conservatives scheme to deal with the
problem of New Age Travellers is to bring in new
trespass laws." "Aim of strengthened powers is to
stop people coming together in large numbers..."
("MP's can still come together.")
PROTEST: "The police only have one vision. Food
for themselves, today."
"There should be a law to protect people like us."
"They could do a special deal for us." "There's
nothing wrong with wanting to have a good time
like simple folks used to have many moons
ago..." (Communities used to be so colourful and
cheerful)
"DO people have the RIGHT to an ALTERNATIVE
LIFE-STYLE?
"TRAVELLERS LOSE COURT BATTLE: NewAge Travellers lost their High Court battle to force
Local Authorities to provide them with camp
sites. The Judge upheld the decision of 3
Authorities... that travellers did not come within the
definition of gipsy" (3/11/1993).
"WE have NO CHOICE..." (What came first? The
hammer or the anvil?)
"We have no opportunity to get work" say New-Age
Travellers. "How can you exercise Rights,
80

"They are primitive? Is that why you want to


criminalise travellers so much?" "Do you
despise them because they want to get away
from mortgages (traditional?!) living? Is that what
owners are afraid of?" "What is the terrible threat?"
"Overgrown sense of fear... Formal society cannot
eliminate an alternative life-style. Can a fine
balance be obtained?" (Heart of the Matter, BBC,
20/6/1993) (ONE SIDE too money orientated,
Greedy, Selfish! The OTHER SIDE completely the
opposite...)
DOCUMENTARY: WHO ARE THE NEW AGE
TRAVELLERS? We are living like this because
we wish to live as cheaply as possible - in a way
that does not use too much fossil fuel. We are not
middle-class drop-outs. Most of us are trying to
get out of being Homeless EG. out of B & B. There
is no other way to get out of that. Many of us
would like to buy a piece of land and settle
down. But planners say definitely not. Police now
have the powers to take our 'homes' (vans) away
from us! This is ruining the lives of our children
who might have no home when they come home
from school. I might not be able to get my kids
back! They might take me away from my Mum.
Powers are used as a sledge-hammer to hurt
those who do not rent a home or buy a house.
We are caught in a no-win situation. Society
saying we have to conform to the middle-class
idyll. They are being intolerant (16/3/1994) ("
it's us against Hitler's regime. Whoever said Hitler
is dead, must be joking.")
Although their living quarters are unusual, they
are certainly not alone in eschewing bricks and
mortar. As house prices have spiralled higher
and higher, more and more people have been
forced out of the mainstream housing market and
are having to find alternative forms of
housing (The Telegraph, 26/2/2005).
WERE ALL TRAVELLING LIFES HIGHWAY
(Let Me Ask You Now: Do YOU want to stop the
New-Age its growth & development? Very
exciting innovations that should be LIBERATING
for us ALL? Will you give it YOUR permission?)
"One day, the residents will say: 'Life without you
isn't worth the trouble... Can't you see, we are lost
without your love. We are like a ship, without a
wheel'..." One day, the people wholl surround
it, will see the benefit of it and why the hell it
means so much to you and me
"One day, we'll get to that place we just want to
be, but until that day baby, tramps like us were
born to run..." "The highways are jammed with sad
heroes just like us." "Trouble is, we're dreaming
our lives away..." Theres a place for us. Weve
just got to find it
(Its found you!) (Now take me by the hand and
lead me to your promised land You use the
language of God. Now know God loves you. Its

got to do it right. It's got to last a long, long


time. I'll show you HOW. Hey! We're heading for
a new place. We got to take a long ride. Time
wont wait around forever. Let's build it together.
You lean on me. I'll lean on you. The future's now.
The future's ours. COM on now!")
______________________________________"
it's not going to go away because the government
don't like it."
LABELLED 'THE TRAVELLING SCROUNGER.'
(Labels tend to stick.) "Their dogs roam free and
attack sheep! They occupy land that is not theirs"
complained a farmer. "Locals don't like 1,000s of
people descending on them - hence road blocks..."
"We are no longer in a society that allows people to
do their own thing, encroaching on others" said
the Land Owners Association. "People have the
right to pursue an alternative life-style but with the
duties and responsibilities that go with them. A lot
of these people do not show any effort to contribute
to the system at all, they have no road tax - some
do seasonal work but most don't. Most want their
children to be educated but without the
inconvenience of having to pay for it! Open
space should be used to grow food on, not park
on. Land in Britain is not a shared asset! Virtually
every piece of land is owned privately and is
somebodys property." ("... it takes LOVE, over
GOLD")
("... you're so full of fear. They keep you doped
with religion, sex and TV. You think you're so
classless and free but you're still peasants as far
as I can see. There's room at the top they're
telling you still, but first you must learn to smile
as you kill if you want to be like the..." Song, by John
Lennon).
("IMAGINE there's no (divided) countries. It isn't
hard to do. Nothing to kill or die for You may
say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one. I
hope some day you'll join us, and the world will
live as one IMAGINE no possessions - I wonder
if you can? No need for greed or hunger. A
brotherhood of man..." song by John Lennon, Voted:
The Hero of the Working Class).
A common value between New Age Travellers
is almost anarchist. They do not claim they own
the land. They believe they BELONG to the land.
A theological, scriptural connotation. The Psalms:
'The Earth belongs to the Lord and all that
in there is.' A reaction to materialistic society in
which we live. I see it as a prophetic message.
Get back to base. What are the true values of
life?" (re: Speech by: "Rev. David Penney, the Director of
Social Responsibility, Diocese of Salisbury).

"Hippies don't want to live conventionally."


"Should we all be the same?" (Hitler wanted
everyone to be the same) "It will matter if
these people vanish. It mattered terribly what
happened to the (Native American) Indians!"
81

CHAPTER 2: THE HOMELESS

TORTURE I wish I had a warmer sleeping


bag Snuggle up and share some bodily
warmth Pumped up beds. Yeh, Ill go for
that... "Missing girl, found dead in a tent.
Hypothermia blamed" (1992).
"MY HOME IN A TENT: Phyllis became
Homeless after she was evicted for rent arrears
on her Milton Keynes development corporation
house. The debt mounted after her husband was
unemployed for 3 years. The council told Phyllis:
'You are on your own.' Now she has to live in a
tent with her 3 children, aged 8, 5 and 3..." (Daily

calling you to help work it out at the speed of light.)


FOR THE GOOD LIFE SET THEM FREE.
SET THEM FREE!
"Will the traveller remain? He says: 'FREEDOM.
Have no fear.' He may lose. He doesn't want to
fade away."
Make (ageing) hippies really Happy
("Will they find their way home? The answer my
friend, is blowing in the wind...")
CAMPING:
The call of the Great Outdoors! The freedom to
come and go!
"Is this a suitable investment? A Tent = Ropes,
clips, pegs, bungees and gizmos- hopefully all the
bits will be there. Quite hard to put up, especially
in a wind, or the dark. "The sooner it goes up, the
sooner you get out of the rain." Fiddlesticks, I
give up! Can you do it for me, please? Youd think
someone would come and help us. It took a lot
longer than I thought. (Ah! How long can you stick
it?)
Trip over tent pegs It was too windy to put the
tent up. I wouldnt like to be stuck in that tent in a
gale! First, the main tent pole bends The
stitched up... flaps Damn thing blew away! Oh!
What a RIP OFF!
Modern styles of tent are lightweight, ultra-Flatpack, & Pop-Up i.e. has flexible ribs (which twist).
How strong is this? The tent will still be SHORTLIFE.
You need to find a safe place to camp. NO
CAMPING ALLOWED! Pitch fees Dont put
your tent on a hill, or at the bottom of a hill (the
water runs down) Avoid mud fields! Put the tent
on the ground, which may be wet. What happens if
it rains? You get wet. And very uncomfortable!
Oh! Everythings wet!
"WELCOME TO CAMP CRAP" And just where
am I supposed to go to the toilet? The toilet
and washing facilities are disgusting. So cold at
night
Tents are neither safe or secure. No guarantee of
no creepy-crawlies Why is my tent full of
mosquitoes? This place is crawling with ants!
Whats to stop a snake crawling in here? Or any
other animal that wants to get in? Avoid wild
animals - how? I hope I don't get run over by
those elephants
JOKE: Dont go camping in the hunting season.
Your arms might be mistaken for antlers.
" Prowler attacked sleeping boy in tent... 'a
sickening attack' (5/8/1993).
Do you really want to camp in November?
When its snowing?
Cook outside. Im so cold, so cold! use a
little gas stove- if you cant get that going
Im covered in frost! I cant sleep! This is
ridiculous. Been woken 8 times already. This is

Mirror, 20/4/1990).

Huh. I cant stand up straight! I have to do


everything with a permanent stoop Youre
living in a tent! How LOW can you get? You
need serious help.
UK: Estimated: 900 families are living in tents...
EG. Tepee Valley, in Wales: A hippy commune.
No legal water supply. Police frequently raid
(Jeremy Sandford, BBC, 9/7/1990).

Think of a bad night at Glastonbury, crawling in


the mud EG. A WASH OUT: the
Glastonbury music festival event was thrown into
chaos 100s of 1,000s of campers sheltered in
tents and caravans as lightning flashed around
the giant site the downpour of rain turned the
camping areas into a muddy swamp the
unlucky late arrivals had to try to pitch their tent in
the storm tents were washed away fields
were flooded the fans were drenched (
wealthy music fans are paying 1,000s to stay in 2
new luxury camps - in palatial motor-homes
nearby 50 large 5-star tents were snapped up for
6,000 each TOO OLD FOR MUD: the
wealthy entrepreneurs get proper toilets and
showers are warm and dry Justin said: My
motor-home is a God-send. Mr Leigh said: I
wouldnt have thought there would have been a
need for this 10 years ago, but as its grown I guess
theres a need for these facilities) (BBC,
26/6/2005).

Are you an unhappy camper? I havent been


camping in 20 years. I wont go camping for another
20 years. I will endeavour to forget this holiday
like the pain of childbirth. I twitch now when I think
of that tent The memory of it still lingers
After one day of camping, he abandoned his
holiday We came here to please the children but
a week of the outdoor life almost cost our
marriage We vowed never to go camping
again. Sorry, I like home comforts (Ah! Are
you seeking something better than camping?)
Camping can be great fun when its warm and
dry
Terrified campers fled parched woodland - a
blazing forest fire A high risk of more forest
fires (France, 6/8/2005).
82

road shocks + strains, stresses imposed


Freedom from LEAKS is a principle point as
caravans are kept outdoors permanently
AMATEUR CARAVAN BUILDING: If a man
wishes to build his own caravan other caravanners
will understand his desire but he must expect to
be paid in pleasure and not in savings It is
necessary to understand shock absorbers Far
from easy to ensure joints will not work loose Not
something that can be safely undertaken with
ordinary knowledge of joinery The wiring
system is a job for an electrician The braking
system on a caravan is really very complicated
TOWING: When its all going downhill

CARAVANS:
(Caravan: Traditionally a term for crossing the
desert).
CARAVAN = " it's a favourite dream. Escape
the bustle. Your own home. It's in just the place you
want. It's ready for whenever you want to get away for a refreshing break..." Oh! The convenience of
owning a mobile home!
(Brief) History of Caravanning:
(Ref: The Caravan Manual printed 1930s).

The SHAPES do not vary enormously

Remember, you are pulling weight - you cannot cut


corners Many roads are
cambered which causes the
caravan to lean Beware if
roads are greasy Beware
of the car receiving a shock
from behind If snaking
starts Beware descending
hills let the brakes cool
Encountering a hill you
cannot climb It is difficult to over-take The loss of
power due to extreme over-heating Re-starting on a
hill - a passing vehicle may stop to help you - the
passengers can lend man power Some caravans have
a pitching motion or are very nose heavy Reversing
can be a tricky business For many reasons a
caravan will be unsteady on tow and in some cases
cause actual danger Advice: Carry a good hemp tow
rope plus a complete set of ice chains

most are the standard slug shape


The roof is domed like buses (and trains)

The Jockey Wheel: To assist in man-handling


the van - to push or pull
LACK OF INSULATION: On the cold glass
windows, clouded with moisture (in winter
much moisture builds up, and streams down,
forming puddles on the inner seal/s and sill/s causing fungicidal growth (a health hazard). (The
humidity is caused by breathing, cooking etc).
TO STOP CONDENSATION: Ventilate via an
open flap (not practical due to heat loss). Or
construct the caravan, or adapt the walls & roof so
they keep the inside warm no matter how cold
outdoors i.e. line the caravan with 3-ply wood
creating an air cavity- the larger this is, the more
efficient. Sealed? But wood will not keep in good
condition if damp + if damp penetrates into the
cavity - cannot easily be dried out. Red cedar wood
is an effective insulator used extensively in house &
shed building, and this is 5 times more efficient
than brick. British caravans used to be panelled in
hardwood for strength. The insulator needs to be
much thicker than the usual ply. Or use insulation
board? Covered with leather cloth? Expensive
caravans have 3 layers of this. This is the cheapest
method. Also, add Alfol: Aluminium foil - used
crumpled, not flat. Or bitumen between strong
paper with metalised surface (used in USA
models). Or felt, Kapok blankets EG. Tropal, or

The Curves = Streamlining

The SHELL = A wood frame (add panels)


The tools needed to build a caravan are very
costly for a single body style. Car manufacturers
can Afford these.
METAL (i.e. steel and aluminium welded) panelled
caravans are EXPENSIVE to make and repair.
The Galvanised STEEL type had no drawbacks
except their WEIGHT.
(Galvanised means: No rust).
The WEIGHT is Important - and it must be
uniformly supported. Lightweight materials are
essential & must provide STRENGTH to resist
83

CHAPTER 2: THE HOMELESS

Glass Silk, or Cork (not good on curved walls) or


Linovent (bitumen with cork granules.
A wise caravanner would not have wood in his
home Uh? (The contradiction!)
For about 250 there is a wide range of reliable 4berth models with cavity walls and generous
equipment which can be used comfortably all
year round there is still some choice in doublepanelled models which are recommended for
caravanning at different seasons, since the cavity
walls keep the van temperature even in cold or
hot weather The standard models below 175
have simpler equipment and cheaper body
construction Towards the bottom of the price
range for rigid caravans at about 85, sizes may be
reduced to 9 or 10ft with the cheapest vans you
cannot expect perfectly stopped seams and many
coats of paint
COLDNESS AT FLOOR LEVEL: Caused by cold
air underneath and warm air inside rising.
SOLUTION? Cavity floors tried by amateur
enthusiasts not successful. Use carpets + rugs.

caravan sides. These are not lighter than the


smallest rigid vans, the gains from the folding
constructions being principally a lowered centre of
gravity for towing and smaller bulk when stored.
(The sleeping trailer is a recent development
taking the form of a rigid body
van just large enough to sleep 2
persons with or without folding
extensions of canvas. The tent
trailer has a box body with a
collapsible tent top; it is in effect a
tent with the floor raised off the
ground these offer the certainty of a dry bed)
BY 1930: Caravans have been used for relief
ambulances, Red Cross stations, touring dental
clinics to remote villages, an Emergency
telephone exchange, a mobile post office,
canteens, for film location work, exploration,
homes, offices
BULKY & HEAVY

For Hot water:


A big, heavy, metal, Gas (naked flame) boiler.
Caravans Cannot Be EASILY Distributed
world-wide to Help Relieve
the Housing shortage.
The caravan is the only form of (rigid) housing
immediately ready for occupation for the family
evacuated from the danger zone that is capable
of being immediately moved if the danger zone
shifts
(Any sign of violence obviously wed all rather be
a thousand miles away)
A small, press-button
portable electricity generator
USA: TRAILERS:
The 1st high-gloss trailer was the Curtiss Aerocar,
built 1919 for a largely imaginary customer, the
millionaire trailer traveller (the stove unfolded from
the recesses of the trunk) by the late 1930s, the
Curtiss dream trailer went out of production.
The 1st
trailer organization, The Tin Can
Tourists, was formed in 1919 when a group of
angry Floridians showed up to drive campers out of
the playground of the nation's elite. Tin Canners,
the locals said, came to the State with "one shirt
and one $20 bill, and they don't change either all

THE NON-RIGID CARAVAN: Apart from normal


rigid caravans there are various types of trailer
which
offer
cheaper forms
of
caravanning.
There
are
folding
caravans with
a rigid roof
and
rigid
84

trailer parks. A park in Virginia one of the world's


largest = 2,300 trailers squeezed onto 290 acres
1940S: DEFENCE HOUSING FOR WAR
WORKERS intended as slum clearance
privately built, mortgages arranged. Price range
$4,000 - $4,500, rental $40 a month
With the advent of the Cold War, the government
became one of the trailer industry's best
customers manufacturers argued that the trailer
was the perfect dwelling place for areas adjacent to
nuclear test sites. According to one article, a trailer
would roll with the shock wave from a blast
rather than falling to pieces. Surprisingly, the
author was sort of right: An Airstream was parked
close to ground zero for the 1955 Operation Cue
test. It survived with only a broken window...

winter."
But by the mid-'30s the organization's membership
was 250,000 strong and had bought land for
permanent camps. They wound up being courted by
the very people who'd thrown them out less than a
decade earlier.
to tap into the pioneer spirit Arthur
Shermanstarted building the 1st massproduced trailers in 1929. (His initial inspiration
was a family vacation disaster involving a torrential
Midwestern summer rainstorm and an expensive
pop-up tent that would not pop). He called his
company Covered Wagon. Sherman's trailers
dominated the industry for years.
Trailers, a mix of the aeroplane, automobile
and house in construction and engineering,
according to Trailer Topics magazine, seemed like
the perfect new item for the '30s, which was a
good time for hybrids, generally. In pulp magazines,
steely-eyed men in jumpsuits gazed out across
cities wrapped in silver, skies filled with cars that
flew
PREDICTED: In 1936, the beginning of the trailer's
boom years, economist Roger Babson predicted
that the country would be living in a mobile
home by the 1950s. People would be driven to
them, he said, by the same things that always drove
Americans onward: hatred of the tax man and love
of freedom. 1,000s of people turned out to trade
shows to see the newest Rollalongs, Kits,
Airstreams
the number of trailer manufacturers in the
'30s: Approx. 2,000. This includes commercial
manufacturers like Palace, Schult Trailers, and
Airstream, which are still in operation doesn't
include the 1,000s who built their own, using plans
from Popular Home Craft
J. Roy Hunt cleverly combined the car and the
bachelor pad: Miss Sheila held a television, a
radio, and all the comforts of home you could
wedge onto a Ford chassis.
Early on, one of the trailer's main selling points was
its status as a social leveller they were
supposed to be a kind of egalitarian leisure utopia, a
place where itinerant millionaires, movie stars, and
"just plain old folks" could sit happily side by side.
Obviously, this utopian vision did not take hold. By
1943, the term trailer trash made its 1st print
appearance
Almost as soon as long-term trailer dwellers
became common, towns fought to keep them out,
or at least on the fringes, away from the
"normal" houses. After all, even fans like Fortune
writer Gilbert Seldes admitted that trailers were
popular with "pitchmen, vaudeville troupes, circus
people"hardly who you'd want for neighbours. But
when World War II came, everything changed.
Defence plants opened, towns abruptly doubled or
tripled in size, and even "regular" people lived in

(Picture: Rusting

Trailers)

1952: The 19 TALL Space Queen mobile home


made its debut to camping-crazy American families.
Its tendency to flip over in high winds kept
demand down and so this was only produced for
one year
(Strange! They can make double-decker buses,
coaches, trains, planes and boats but they
cant make a satisfactory double-decker mobile
home!?)
1972: The Rapid City Flood Disaster: a grassy
flood plain heavy rains triggered rock
avalanches many (flimsy / plywood?) homes not
bolted down to the (concrete) foundations simply
floated away many bodies found in the debris
Trailer parks are particularly vulnerable to
floods
A burning house trailer fire
1992: Hurricane Andrew: Florida: 137,000 homes
damaged or destroyed- many (flimsy) trailer
homes

85

CHAPTER 2: THE HOMELESS

a trail of disaster... a devastated caravan park..."

THE MODERN CARAVAN:


its the freedom to go anywhere, any time
that is particularly attractive Owning a caravan is
like having a 2nd home with an ever-changing
view (The desire to live self-sufficiently, with
little expenditure also comes into it)
A MODERN CARAVAN is a thin metal (tin) box.
The metal rusts, corrodes, dents, crushes, holes
easily. Metal FATIGUE is a common sight EG.
around the door. (Areas used most frequently EG.
the floor near the door, are not made from
strengthened material).
PAINTED EXTERIOR: The paint
scratches, flakes, blisters, bubbles exposing RUST. (CHIPS on everything!)
Are Caravans Attractive? Caravans
remind me of fridges - White Goods! I
don't like the colours either, do you?
WHY are caravans Only Available in:
White, Off-White, Dove Grey, Beige &
Cream, or Sludge Green?

"HEART BREAKING. TOO MUCH OF A WORRY."


Caravans are built to satisfy road conditions.
UNDERGEAR: Caravans are HEAVY due to the
chassis, axle, tyres
"Caravans are (still) a nightmare to tow." Drivers
are supposed to keep their speed down, but many
don't Very dangerous towing a caravan in
cross winds... the caravan weaves from side to
side... Caravans BLOW OVER / OVER-TURN
easily. The same ACCIDENTS happen year
after year with caravans... You can always tell
when the holiday season has started. The roads are
jammed because another caravan has overturned
JOKE: There are aliens here and they all tow
caravans.
(UK: 1992: Average medium size touring caravan
= 22' x 7' x 6' (wheel base span). A Large 3 bed
measures 37' x 12' - is "too big to go on the
road" i.e. towed. Has to be transported i.e. is
delivered on the back of a lorry i.e. is a static,
permanently sited caravan. Cost: 15,138.66).
SITING = PLONKED: When the ground is not level
- have to use bricks to level it out and balance the
caravan! The manufactured support legs = Tin
pot anodized Jack Legs, made of thin metal,
possibly painted, more than likely rusting!
PUSH POWER: "It's hard when you're pushing and
shoving it around." Push, shove, can't we rise
above?
ELECTRICITY HOOK-UP: Connect to mains
electricity when sited (metered supply), (not always
available).
NO PRE-INSTALLED SAFE ENERGY SYSTEM:
Thats a BIG PAIN!
KNOWN HAZARD: = The use of naked flames...
If no electricity EG. during power cuts, have to
use (matches &) CANDLES. (Takes 2 hours to
heat water over a candle to make a cup of tea I
hope you like iced tea)
You could power appliances by running your
car battery down.
A PORTABLE Electricity Generator = HEAVY,
BIG, LUMP OF METAL.
Cumbersome.
Unpleasant: Incessant loud hum / Noise. Petrol

A GOOD Investment? A new caravan


is the same as a car - will depreciate
in value by 25% in the 1st year - as soon as it goes
on the road.
Average LIFE EXPECTANCY: Maximum 10 year
manufacturers warranty?
Life span depends on the WEATHER.
INTENDED USE: Cheap accommodation for a
SUMMER
HOLIDAY
i.e.
for
occasional,
recreational use. Suitable for use in WINTER?
NO! Caravans are very COLD in WINTER.
Ive got goose-pimples on my goose-pimples!
Its a full-time job just trying not to freeze
The ice is on the inside of the windows!
colder inside than out! Im FREEZING!
(These days a very thin wood frame. No
insulation?
Or
insulation
provided
by
polystyrene?)
Homeless people have to endure a HARD SUBEXISTENCE in caravans for many YEARS.
(I feel sorry for anyone who has to stay in a caravan
for more than a couple of days. The novelty-factor
of such a cosy little place soon wears off. I crave
something solid, something warmer, durable,
protective and secure-feeling, to make me feel
less rattled!)
UK: 1988: "Approx. 32,000 people are caravan
dwellers."
("Live in a caravan? I'm sure we could do better
than that!")
BIG PROBLEM:
Caravans are NOT WATER-TIGHT.
The GAP around the door
"In a few storm-wracked hours,
86

striped tent (to co-ordinate with old mens


pyjamas?)
LACK OF PRIVACY: "I don't mind communal
living, but having to share..."
NON-EXISTENT SOUND PROOFING: The sound
of heavy snoring made me spend the night in the
(smelly) shower Who can sleep when seagulls
parade on the tin roof? (Ah! The need to stop
creatures nesting on my roof! Slippery, slopes,
nothing protruding, no ledges A loudspeaker
system?)
DO I PRAY FOR PEACE? Walk on the flooreverything- the whole structure rattles, bounces,
vibrates Ever heard the sound of little feet in a
caravan? Try living with 4 kids in a caravan then
youll know- it wont take long to get through to
you
CABIN FEVER: After a short while, people
SCREAM at each other! People fall to pieces
The Strain GET ME OUT OF HERE!
Enthusiastic members of the Caravan Club re:
INTERIORS: "Most are deceptive. They look small
from the outside but are quite roomy inside!"
Come on in! Its bigger than it looks
"Amazing how big it is inside! Thought it would be
really cramped! There's room for a food-bar, a
cocktail bar stocked with lots of glasses, a table,
with seats, a kitchen, a mini-bath, a double bed,
with plenty of headroom. It's all kitted out. Lots of
storage space. It may not be as big as Alton Towers
for thrills and spills, but it's safe, quiet and
accessible. Thank heavens, it does live up to
childhood fantasies. People will think this is really
great."
EXPERTS: The interiors work the same as yacht
cabins The other brilliant thing - is that the
interior kit is really good It is usually lightweight,
collapsible for easy packing and often has several
different functions. Caravans have storage
solutions most house make-over TV shows
would die for: Secret compartments, clever
shelves, miniature kitchens In fact, modern
caravans seem like Dr. Whos Tardis It is this
increasing luxury which is behind the caravanning
boom
(Advert: IDEAL FOR MOBILE HOMES: The TTI
Cyclo- Jet Stream oven made of plastic aerospace polymer - as used in nose cones in
missiles. Wont shatter. Wont burn you if you
accidentally touch. Cooks food without oil. Is a fast
microwave. Is truly portable, lightweight. Is 8
appliances in one. Self-cleans with a little soap &
water (costs same as a conventional oven) (NBC
Super Channel, December 1994).
The STEP/s UP into the caravan = A SAFE SET
OF (RETRACTABLE) STEPS are not supplied as
standard. Make Your Own! Make-do!
NOT SUITABLE FOR THE LESS-ABLE BODIED:
(UK: 1970: 61,000 homes with wheel-chair

driven - smelly fumes, smoky (cough, cough)


Many caravanners (have to) use BOTTLED GAS
(i.e. naked flames) for cooking & heating. This is
not convenient! Cylinders are HEAVY. The gas
is smelly (this alone makes windows stream with
the condensation), and costly as the gas is
quickly depleted. SAFETY: Pressurised gas is
HIGHLY Flammable and Explosive. During a fire,
the gas bottles, made of thick, HEAVY metal,
hurtle through the air
(Propane gas burns at 2,000 degrees.)
The RISK of Gas Leaks The gas is often
connected via hoses which are easy to cut / snag,
the rubber corrodes with age. A draught can blow
the flames out GAS Fumes! Carbon monoxide
poisoning. Do not block air vents = Icy cold
draughts. Therefore, impossible to ventilate and
keep warm.
(New Trend: Muggers / Thieves putting gas into
ventilation vents to drug occupants to rob them
during the night France, 2003).
Some caravanners have wood-burning stoves.
The very real risk of fire...
Steam from cooking etc causes condensation
droplets to form on the cold metal (unpadded)
ceilings- water droplets drip down onto you all night
so you can't sleep.
HIGHLY FLAMMABLE CONTENTS: Carefully
selected by in-house designers: Chip-wood
kitchen units, attractive (imitation mahogany or
oak) veneer (coated plywood) panelling used
extensively throughout the interior EG. on the door
(the only exit), the pelmets for the plush curtains.
The soft furnishings: Invariably stomach-churning,
old-fashioned, absolutely ghastly, hideous,
repulsive, garish, multi or puce coloured
velveteens (The lack of appeal for young
people!) (And then there are the carpets which
smell). (Manufacturers are so behind the times!)
The Heavy use of wood! HEAVY WOOD
wardrobes, and beds (in
MOBILE
homes!
Staggering oversights) HARD KNOCKS: Fitted
furniture with sharp corners / edges. Chipboard
cupboard doors (open outwards when space is
confined, rather than glide) & drawers open in
transit... (the kitchen doors fall off! I dont even
want to fix you!) (Youre not supposed to be
inside the caravan during transit but many people
find this preferable to being squashed in the car)
Tables, benches / bunks etc., screwed down
cant be moved / repositioned.
WAH! I need decent storage space!
Glass light shades! Dull lights!
INFLEXIBLE! Everything is a problem even if you
are a standard size!
CRAMPED LIVING SPACE: The caravan sleeps
up to 6 people "If you don't mind being badly
squashed..." This is SPACE AGE?
TO EXPAND: Bed-space expanded by means of a
87

CHAPTER 2: THE HOMELESS

toilet, shower. Awning. Extractor fan. Satellite TV.


Wheel levelling blocks and chocks. Gas & elec
heating. New tyres, battery and exhaust. 18,500.
EG. Talbot Rambler 1990: 62,000 miles, 3-way
fridge. Blown air heating. Shower room. Cassette
toilet. New curtains. Separate battery system.
7,995.
EG. Hobby 750 Fiat Ducacto 2.8 turbo diesel.
High Spec German motor-home, ideal for longterm touring. Left hand drive. Twin rear axles (i.e.
double wheels on rear). 4500 gross weight. Sleeps
4. Fixed rear bed. Shower. Thetford toilet. Awning.
Safari room. Twin solar panels. Power inverter.
Blinds. Front screens. Heski roof light. Gas air
central heating. 3 burner hob, oven & grill, fridge. 2
leisure batteries. Drivers and passengers swivel
seats. Removable steering wheel. Reversing
camera. Scorpion alarm. 28,950.
EG. ACE Napoli 2004 Fiat Ducato 4 berth, 1,800
miles. Rear lounge. Space heater. Has reversing
sensors Save 5,500 on new price. Under
warranty. 24,750.
EG. Renault Campervan: Petrol. 2 single berths + 1
double. Regularly serviced, MOT & Tax. Done
72,000 miles4,650.
EG. 25FT Foster and Day coach built camper. On
Ford transit. 5/6 berth. 10,500 or nearest offer.
Why are there so many 2nd-hand camper vans
for sale? Well, they obviously found what they
had bought wasnt good enough
Maybe mobile homes in the future will be a blend
?
USA 2004: Recreational Vehicles (RVs) BIG
(petrol driven) Motor Homes with every MOD CON.
There are 12,208 RV parks. New sites added
daily
Com 'on. Slow coach!

access are needed. By 1986, only 8,500 have


been provided.")
Doorways too narrow for a push chair
IMPOSSIBLE TO SECURE: Caravans are very
easy to get into- thin, flimsy doors (Pathetic!) a
blow with a hammer will do the trick. Take it easy!
Child kidnapped through a caravan window
(13/8/1990).

Black Rubber Seals around the windowsPut on


the outside?
(Rubber goes porous in
Sunlight) (Rubber seals glued glue gets wet,
seals fall off (Some caravans have aluminium
window frames and Grey (yeuch!) tinted
windows (made of glass or plastic). Lower cost
caravans do not have secondary or double glazing.
The FROST effect on the bathroom' window.
Anybody passing can still see in esp. when the light
is on - I darent strip to wash that freezing blast
of cold air from that gaping hole (near the floor needed to vent the toilet!)
Why are so many 2nd-hand caravans for sale?
Our council has removed everyones right to park
their van in their front garden and just about
everywhere else (Comment posted on Ebay, January
2006).

he has to sell 66 caravans a month to break


even. Hes selling 30 (re: Sales & visitors:) The
Caravan Show was a lot quieter than we hoped
for (Badger or Bust, Sky 11, 20/5/2007).
"The reality? The sad, bitter irony? "This (toy)
does not satisfy."
If YOU were given the CHOICE, would you prefer
to live in a caravan or something MODERN
avoiding the SCRAPHEAP ?
Everyone loves caravans! Far from it!
MOTOR-HOMES:
Motorised caravans: UK: 1993: Cost New approx.
22,000. Hardly any space inside. You may have
to duck frequently - hence stoop. Some storage on
roof. Ladder on back (fixed in one position).
Brakes operated via the cab. These are a lot more
fun if they could just get the concept right
"TOUGH NEW PARKING LAWS TO HIT CAMPER
VANS: A change in the law enables councils to
create and enforce stronger parking restrictions"

CARAVAN / HOLIDAY PARKS:


ADVERTS: Free brochures. 24 hour brochure
order hotline
New models on display. For sale, for hire. Good,
used ones cost even less when you buy.
Reasonable price. Special discounts. No hidden
extras.
Compared to conventional homes, it is
remarkably good value. Because it is a holiday
home, many parks allow you to hire it out to other
people when you're not using it and to help you pay
for it.
Additional Expenditure: Pitch Fees, transport
and site costs - pay separately for electric hookup
water connected via a hose. Free ample hot
water. Superb facilities
Self catering. Well stocked shop. Supermarket and
cafe across the road. Delicious food to satisfy all
appetites. Fast food. Licensed shop and take-away.
Dishwashing room. 2 laundrettes. Hairdressing

(23/4/1994).

ADVERTS FOR 2ND-HAND MOTOR-HOMES in my


local paper, April 2005:

EG. Elldis Autostratus Motor-home: 4 berth, flush


88

room. Sauna. Swimming pool/s. Safe bathing. Free


admission. Information room
(It all sounds very convenient, doesnt it!)
Family owned parks. Un-commercialised. Family
run. It's a family business. Beautifully kept.
Cleanliness assured...
(Wood) Cabins of various design. Plenty of room.
Fitted out to a high standard. Luxurious lounges,
built-in kitchens - some with microwaves, modern
bath and shower room. Own toilet. Every
convenience and detail taken care of. Fully
furnished. Fully equipped. Bed linen provided. Iron,
ironing board
Outstanding
Environment
Award.
Warm
Welcome Award Area of outstanding beauty
Panoramic views Beautiful scenery Well
positioned. Ideal centre. Local attractions
Nestling... Natural surroundings For the
nature lover A naturalists paradise
Tranquil... A park for peace lovers Pitches
backing onto hedges... For the discerning camper.
Suits all generations. Something for everyone
Small, secluded park. 36 caravans set in 2.5 acres
of
mown
lawns
and
natural
unspoilt
woodland...
68 caravans on the park. Enjoy real freedom.
Care-free Secluded Surrounded by forest.
Abundance of trees and shrubs. Surrounded by
trees offering shelter. Landscaped paddocks
Part of a farm. Offers children the delight of farm
animals. Peacefully relaxed. It's the perfect
base. All homes have their own garden, with
patio table and chairs. Superb facilities all within
easy walking distance. Quiet walks. A quiet
friendly park maintained to a high standard by
resident owners
Suitable for children. Children welcome. No fruit
machines. No bars or clubs. Stylish club. Family
area. Recreation area provided. Under 5's play
area. Playhouse. Games room. Small play park.
Fish ponds. For health and fitness... Clay pigeon
shoots Volley ball and badminton. Table tennis.
All-weather tennis Dogs not admitted but Dogs
on lead allowed (Extracts: 'The Freedom Brochure'

wonderful healthy place where children can smell


and touch animals, and feel at home... its a
garden paradise.)
PARK HOMES:
(should that read: Parked Homes?) A low cost
home intended as summer holiday chalets but
often occupied permanently by elderly people.
Planning rules vary. Paper thin walls (made from
what?) (sectioned concrete?) Little or no
insulation. Average size = A single garage. Only
one-storey. Often no room for a bath, only a
shower. (But women cant manage with only a
shower!) Landscaped means: A patch of grass
you put potted plants to hide the unsightly Gap
underneath the chalet. There may be hard-standing
for a car. Parks owned privately. A weekly ground
rent is paid towards site maintenance
UK: 250,000 residents of Park Homes
(2005).

measures are being instituted to stop park


owners from pushing home owners into selling
their homes to the park owners at derisory
prices for resale at massive ones. The age of
park homes is no longer to be used as an
excuse for insistence on the removal of them and
their owners from parks might take some time to
become effective Park homes are more fragile
than brick-and-mortar dwellings. An unlucky buyer
could find life on a park a nightmare instead of a
dream they might find themselves still paying
in 2015 for homes burnt down or destroyed in
floods years before The President of the Park
Homes Advisory Service advises potential buyers
to postpone investing their savings until the whole
set-up has been radically reformed. Better safe
than sorry - and broke (Herald Express, 27/4/2005).
A 2nd hand Park Home, approx. 40 years old, in
need of a heating system, internal & external redecoration and substantial repair is on the market
for 52,000. A newer model, also needing repair
and a bathroom, on the same bit of land, is for sale
costing 110,000 (UK: 2005).

1992, produced by the Caravan Holiday Home Campaign,


UK):

FREEDOM:
dont be alarmed by my fields and my forests theyre only waiting for you to share
"The best things in life are were FREE."
(If I could get it to where the grass is greener, to
where people could feel happier with their
freedom)
"Every slave cries 'Liberty! Freedom Forever'..."
Im waiting to be free. A free man. I just cant
wait to be Free ( its a song thats as old as
time)
Throughout our civilisations people have fought
for this. All those people so willing to die for it.
Why is it so important? FREEDOM. What is it?
Freedom is a Right. Not a privilege. In our

Average COST of a caravan park holiday: UK:


750 per week in high season for a caravan
sleeping 4 people. A slightly more top-of-the-range
model: 1,000 per week (2003) "You can stay in a
hotel for less than that!"
"I see it's brought the colour back to your cheeks!"
There are now 1.6 million caravanners in the UK.
Caravan sites have never been so well laid out, with
the top end of the market providing hard standing,
clean toilet and shower blocks (The Daily
Telegraph, 24/4/2004).

"Set it free!"
it sounds like an excuse for one long holiday
(" it will be one long vacation." " it will be a
89

CHAPTER 2: THE HOMELESS

hearts and minds we need to be free


You dont really appreciate freedom until youre
fighting for it. "Freedom concerns all individuals."
FREEDOM IS: Absence of Slave Status. The
Freedom not to be ill used. ( it is your chance
for freedom- escape) (It is something to help
ease your struggle to be FREE.)
( it is what we have wanted for a life-time to
see. Dont let it be in vain, I beg you Being
surrounded by beauty, what more could a man
want?)
FREEDOM IS: The condition of being exempt from
a defect, burden etc.
The Freedom of Nothing to Worry About. ("If you
don't do it, you'll regret it!")
constraints,
Freedom
from
unnecessary
unreasonable dictates. (A world without walls,
fences and boundaries. Is this where you want
to be? Oh! its so much more than a fantasy)
To be Unrestricted - To have Personal or Civic
Liberty. The Freedom to Come and Go!
(Shed all the baggage thats been weighing you
down = Youre Free! Chain my heart to this fable
till you make it real.)
Freedom from Fear and want.
To have Freedom of Speech. Freedom to choose
a religion. Free to be seen and heard!
The Freedom to choose how you live your life i.e.
to take important decisions that affect your life,
Or the life of your family - children etc. EG. Freedom
to elect which school, which hospital, which shop,
which path you choose...
The freedom to use your own mind to influence
how you live your life
The Freedom to make it your home. It is your
home. (If you love something, set it free) The
freedom to make imaginative use of interior space.
The freedom to move to a bigger or smaller place.
"Life is for living, not being miserable." its not
a matter of you versus me "People need
something to enjoy. The freedom to express how
they feel inside - to have the chance to make their
life worth-while. (That's why some people drink
alcohol - because instead of freedom they have a
rotten job and life). In England, you are almost
there - free. Dancing and drinking is not life - just an
expression of life. Life is about things that matter.
Something in the heart of me is telling me, its
time I just need somebody to help
GOOD BYE OLD WORLD. HELLO FREEDOM. Is
it as simple as that? (You just need to believe)
Sing me a sweet song - remind me of the truth. Its
there under the veils of the imperfect mystery. Itll
only be true when we can see it, feel it, well
know by its smell
The only thing better than perfect is Freedom.
Take me there. Lets get there this time
FREEDOM! FREEDOM! FREEDOM!
some day, we will all be free

WAH! Its just out of reach


"Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not
for themselves" (said Abraham Lincoln).
To gain your freedom, you have to give it.
A little bit of freedom is all we lack
ANARCHY:
Anarchy
literally
means:
"Without
Governments."
Therefore
governments
deliberately CONFUSE the word - associating
anarchy with utter lawlessness / mayhem /
disorder.
Anarchy is an IDEAL. An ideal vision for a
BETTER world. An idealist is one who has vision
and works- strives, prays and lives towards it.
Anarchists believe the cause of all violence is the
submission of one person's will to another...
Ironically, we are the most PEACEFUL people,
and we ABHOR violence of ALL types. So please
stop giving anarchy a bad name."
(It was anarchists who conceived the Internet).
The Anarchists Symbol = A Bird... Flying... Free...
"WE CARE! Anarchists write I LOVE YOU on
pavements
etc.,
to
CHEER
the
poor
downtrodden
Freedom is scary? "Intellect working under
freedom achieves increasing law and order" (said
Buckle, in 1857).

Anarchist Slogan: "Be your own leader" i.e.


Achieve Independence! Dont follow self-serving
(bad) masters. The power of self determination. i.e.
Self-Governing.
All people have to face making a choice selecting one act or wish above another. The
Conservative may pick traditional values as his 1st
choice. The Liberal - justice. The Socialist - equality.
The Communist - the rule of the working class. The
Fascist - race and labour discipline. What is so
different about the anarchist? It is that he or she
places the word 'FREEDOM' at the top of their list..
Anarchists like all other people vary in their motives,
concepts, and their methods... their backgrounds
differ, their intellectual and political pedigree also
differ... But what do anarchists have in common?
A very strong desire for Freedom. Freedom to
overcome the traditional prejudices that have
enslaved Mankind since earliest times... The
anarchist wishes to be neither slave nor pet.
Anarchists are the common people's jesters. These
creatures may irritate us but anarchists are a builtin fail-safe BRAKING system in politics. It is at
least truth seeking... In a world that imposes
more and more restraints on the freedom of
individuals, the anarchist dream may perform a
useful function - bringing a form of stability
through hope of better times to come. If people
are obsessed with Freedom, could it be that
perhaps they do not have enough? Too many
laws reduce the authority of law. Therein lies the
90

folly of most governments" (wrote Axel Ney Hoch, 1980)


(When there are too many people involved with it,
who dont know whats going on with it THEY
WIN THE GROSS INCOMPETENCY AWARD
You dont have to be a genius to know you attract
more flies with honey than you do with vinegar.
Q: Why do anarcgists wear black? Is it because
they are the great unwashed?
A: Maybe theyre depressed?
Theyve got us dangling on a string
(FREEDOM = Give em enough rope and theyll
hang themselves.)
WARNING: Anarchy means: Abolish All laws. In
other words: Do what thou wilt. The law of
Satanists. Used by (some) punk rockers and
Heavy Metal followers...

OUTCASTS. Jesus was an outcast Gipsies


are not asking for wealth, power or glory All
they ask for is help for all the poor people - the
children of God...
1932: "Something must be done!" (said Edward
V111).
"Hitler tracked down and killed 600,000
Gypsies"
. its such a shame. Were the lost people. All
weve got is each other
"Gypsies, tramps and thieves they call us! Men
came from the town - killed my brother. Burnt
down our caravan. The same everywhere. Is
there no end to it? ("Oh, baby, you're obsolete!
Out of style..." it's a mere technicality")
Drop in demand for gipsy labour. Farm work in
rural areas no longer exists. Gypsies need a NEW
economic basis
"There's no good will any more. These days all
people want is money."
DISCRIMINATION: Sign On The Door says: NO
TRAVELLERS ALLOWED.
Children wont play with me because our way of
life is different Im going to pray to Jesus to
make it alright I'm proud we are Romanies.
Our traditions go back centuries. What have they
to be proud of? Nothing."
"TRAVELLERS NEED SITES: There are approx.
3,500 4,000 caravan sites in UK for travellers each has 8 - 35 pitches. Travellers do pay rent.
These are council owned and privately owned.
Sites not meeting demand There are approx.
100,000 travellers in the UK. Land is available,
land is Affordable BUT Local Authorities
exempt themselves from provision. Travellers
want sufficient permanent sites (1990) (The

ROMANIES:
(NOMADIC people, originated in India; appeared
in Europe in the 15th Century")
Romany is a word Gypsies use to describe
themselves. (means: The People.) Gypsies also
called 'Travellers.' The travelling folk.

Traditionally, a wooden caravan or wagon pulled by


a horse. A gentle pace. Horse has to have gentle,
docile nature. Sights and sounds exhilarating.
See much more going gently. Independent. Most
people friendly towards you. This is really good
fun. It's in the blood..."
"A LIFE OUT IN THE OPEN, IN THE FRESH AIR!"
(These people prefer NATURAL open spaces.
What does that tell you?) They want to be as
fresh as a good day in Spring The open air
is good for your soul
Youve got to have a little charm around you
" it was a warm and friendly way of life.
Earthly. Travelling in the garden of England"
(England is a beautiful country - so many winding,
green, leafy country lanes. They dont have those
in America)
USA: 1883: "If they (the unemployed) want to live
like Gypsies - let 'em keep rolling" "You must join
the ranks of the industrious. You will be
colonised."
COMMON MISBELIEF: "Travellers are not
people. Gypsies are low lifes."
GYPSIES SAID: I PRAY TO GOD. HELP THE

Romany Institute tries to help travellers deal with


planning permission, Appeals etc.)

We want proper integration.


THE LOCAL AUTHORITY RECIPE: Find a spot
in the middle of nowhere. Build one toilet. Throw
in a few travellers. Add water (if available). Leave to
set(tle). A REAL RECIPE FOR DISASTER.
EYE-SORES: SITES = A bit of rough ground.
Caravans put ad hoc on mud, concrete, tarmac.
Pot-holes, puddles, pools of blackened oil

Sites sectioned off with barbed wire, metal


corrugate, crumbling brick walls. Lots of rubble
lying around (for children to throw). Gas cylinders
91

CHAPTER 2: THE HOMELESS

everywhere. "Has the car battery gone flat


again?" Noisy old generators. Lots of broken
engine parts, rusting. Heaps of smelly rubbish councils refuse to remove this. Water usually
supplied by hose-pipes. No baths or showers.
NO TREES! Hardly a blade of grass!
"Have YOU ever tried keeping clean without
water?" "You can't live like this and come up
smelling of roses."
"She'll carry the stain for the rest of her life." "She'll
scrub up alright." WAH!
"SAD AS A GIPSY" " Roof's leaking and the
wind's howling. Kids are crying - the sheets are too
cold. Woke this morning, my hands were frozen tried to fix the fire but the damn thing's too old.
Winter's coming, and it's going to be cold. The wife's
expecting - I hope she can wait..." "Stop going on
at me." "It's all too much for him"
Oh, why dont you put a sock in it?
"PROBLEMS, PROBLEMS, PROBLEMS. All due
to a LOVE that's OVERDUE. You can solve
problems with a love that's true. You got
problems, I got problems, all day through"
Could YOU stand living in scrap heaps, day
and night - all through the winter? Well, could
you?
"You'd better do something! I can't take living in
this dump much longer." "How much longer can
we stomach this?" I think my heart will break I
refuse to give up
CRIMINALISED: Some councils operate a nonharassment policy of illegal gipsy sites. 'Stay here a
while. Keep things in order.' Police use Public order
and various Bye laws to force people to move on.
(FAIRGROUNDS legally rent sites all over the
country & go on tour with their caravans)
It DONT ever WORK OUT Theyre chucking
us off this dump again! The best dump weve had
for ages. Weve got so much trouble. Always trouble
for ages. Theyll send us packing They wont
let us stay in any one place
"When it's something you want real bad...
If you want to know about love and devotion,
speak to a gipsy.
"Shall I tell you your fortune?
It is BAD Luck to DEFY A DREAM.
THE CURSE of on the Traveller = "There's NO
certain peace. The desire to keep moving, got a
hold on me. And it wont let me be. This old tired
heart aches. Such a long way from home. The
craving for refuge... Always wanting to sell up.
But always wanting to buy. So, till the road leads
somewhere..."
"An 18 month old girl was run over and killed by
her father outside their caravan home. Little Lisa
Morgan had crawled under the wheels of her Dad's
truck. Lisa was crushed as he reversed his pick-up
on a gypsy caravan site in Bucks..." (9/10/1990).
its TIME TO FACE THE TRUTH (its no

sacrifice. No sacrifice at all. Cold, cold hearts, some


things are better than just passing through)
("Whatever happened to wishes on stars?" I had a
dream I could fly anywhere" I think about it every
night and day Starry, starry night colours of
an ever-changing hue Now I understand but
they will not listen "Just go with it. I swear
it's as sweet as honey. It'll help you relax. It will
make sweetness of you too. It'll make the place a
paradise.)
"SETTLE DOWN GYPSIES: Gypsies staying on a
bit of land are fighting eviction by the council under
The Caravan Site Act 1968. The Act is out of date
because conditions have changed. Magistrates
heard that many of the gypsies want to lead
settled lives... The gypsies (now) want nothing
more than to be left alone..." (28/6/1990) Gypsies
dont get on well with stone walls YOU want
to be nailed down? We're all being screwed!"
"They're as hard as nails." "YOU can FOOL some
of THE PEOPLE, some of the time, but you can't
fool ALL THE PEOPLE, ALL the time..." "They'll
never know the pain they've caused."
DOCUMENTARY:
"WE'RE
BEING
STONE
WALLED: Gypsies protested at Parliament..
Government trying to get rid of gypsies. 'They're
trying to get rid of us one way or the other, trying to
force us into (traditional) housing, making it
unbearable on the road.' Some have little
sympathy for their plight. 'Hangers-on, spongers,
don't bring their children up properly' said a minister.
'Ethnic cleansing.' 'They don't have a place in
society.' Is this the end of the road for gypsies?
COMMON COMPLAINTS: Caravans... We don't
feel safe with them around. These people can do
what they like.' Travellers have nowhere else to go.
Moved on, constantly persecuted. 'What Right
have you to be here?' 'We can't vanish!' 'We can't
go to school because they move us on.' Regular
clashes, repeated all over the country. Tough new
laws to stop illegal camping... changes to a way
of life - the way these people have lived for
1,000's of years! Accused of trespass, the council
evicts. 'See you in court - again.' Over 10,000
travellers... Police can confiscate vehicles. Law
has strong support. 'A scourge on society should be banished- get what they deserve.' ...
Gypsies can't comply. Recipe for conflict. They
leave, the ground churned up by tyres, the piles of
rubbish will cost 20,000 to clear. 'I feel sorry for
gypsies.
They
don't
deliberately
provoke.
Desperate need for sites. Shortage causes
fights.' Council fails to provide sites because of
stiff opposition to caravans - nobody wants to
live next-door to a caravan site. Many managed
sites are falling apart, lacking regeneration
funds. No duty to provide. Long awaited
improvements to upgrade sites now in jeopardy...
100's of Planning Permission cases rejected, to
92

locations should be found elsewhere... they will


protest... 2003: Local council granted government
cash to set up 2 sites, but applications refused
by Development Control Committee... Devon has
approx. 3,000 Gypsies and travellers... the majority
are law-abiding. Approx. 200 people a year stop at
unauthorised encampments... the cost for cleaning
up an unauthorised site is up to 5,000... 'The
alternative is to do nothing. Unauthorised sites
will continue to spring up, causing disputes,
unhappiness and cost to the public purse'..." (BBC,

people who bought their own sites. All Appeals


turned down... 100's of acres could be available
but local football clubs and horse-riders dead
against caravans... Why should gypsies be
forced to give up their way of life? Attitudes
getting
much
harder.
'We
don't
like
encampments.' Confrontations wont help anybody.
Where do we go from here?" (ITV, 19/3/1993).
Michael Howard, Home Secretary, removed the
obligation for Local Authorities to provide
sites
There are approx. 37.2 million adult Gipsies in the
world suffering prejudice, discrimination,
intolerance (2004).
(NOTE:
Around the world, SYSTEMATIC
DESTRUCTION of NOMADS is taking place. The
onslaught of capitalism Nomads are people
who have always lived for FREE.)
"VILLAGERS HELD TO RANSOM: ... Farmers
wanting the best price for land, so using auctions.
Local people fearing caravans moving onto these
fields, are clubbing together and are being forced
to pay high prices for this land as they try to
outbid gypsies, who need land to live on..." (Daily

21/11/2004).

TRAVELLING
LIGHT:
An
ALTERNATIVE
ENERGY Initiative: Due to the large number of
requests for funding to provide travellers with solar
panels and other forms of Alternative Energy,
the Trustees will be launching a one-off Alternative
Energy Initiative called Travelling Light which will
provide 100 free kits (made up of a solar panel,
inverter and battery) to travellers throughout the UK
Comic Relief, BBC, 2004).
"Michael Howard, Tory leader, pledged, if his
Party is elected, the Conservatives would ensure
planning laws are enforced consistently. He said
the problem was made worse by Tony Blair's
Human Rights Act. He said there are 'one set of
planning laws for most of us' and a 'completely
different set' for a small group of travellers who
abuse the system. He spoke of the increasing
anger at apparent abuses of the planning system
by travellers..." (BBC, 21/11/2004).
PLANS FOR SITES TO BE DROPPED
Conservatives have called for plans to build sites in
Devon to be withdrawn following opposition. There
are many misperceptions concerning how these
people live There is clearly an issue here that
needs tackling said a Devon councillor (BBC,

Mail, 30/10/2004).

"You got to STOP these nasty things you do." I


NEVER CEASE TO WONDER at THE CRUELTY
in this world "Shame most folks are too stuck
in their brainless conventions to see the CON
trick government are putting on them. Sad, they
hate those barely clinging to life, to their
freedom. Sad, so few will know a true home."
"Paradise is a great big parking lot" said the winner
of the Cynic of the Year Award.
"MP's said councils should provide sites for
travellers. This is the only way to resolve
disputes." "... Just because we have a society that
doesn't want to live in bricks and mortar doesn't
mean we can't accommodate them within the
planning system..." "... changes may mean easier
eviction from sites... pointless - they'll just have
to move onto another illegal site... Children wont
get an education..." (8/11/2004) (Do you think it might
make them think again?")
"A NATIONAL PROBLEM: Cambridge: Travellers
Appealing using Human Rights Act... Evictions
wide-spread, using police and bailiffs... Children
crying, people screaming, protestors dragged
through the mud... Very harrowing scenes. Can't
stay on their own land!"
TAX-PAYER: "The Authorities want legalised sites
so the council can charge rent - at the moment the
travellers move around so the council can't go after
them for any of the standard stuff like car tax,
parking fines, Council Tax, like we have to pay..."
"NO ROOM HERE." "Plans for 4 small transit sites
proposed by Devon county council... needed to
help bring problems of unauthorised sites under
control... But people living nearby say more suitable

8/12/2004)

My responsibility is to the land-owners (No. Its


to the country)
HANGING IN THE BALANCE: Dont these
people with homes and jobs ever give a thought to
these people who are Human Beings? Give them
a chance Gipsies are HUNTED by the police
everywhere we go! Were not even allowed to
stop on the road-side said a gipsy. RESIDENTS
COMPLAIN: We would all like to expand our
homes, build an extension, live in this field - but
were not allowed to. (Nor are gipsies). I live 500
yards from this field. The caravans will devalue
property. RESIDENTS PROTEST slogan: Why
not use brown field sites? Many travellers angry
saying actions against them are Racist.
Protestors angry they were not allowed to speak at
the public meeting (BBC, 9/12/2004) (They are
all busy saying not in my backyard)
Travellers are a growing community
WILL THE TRAVELLERS BE ALLOWED TO
STAY? The gipsies moved onto the Minety site in
93

CHAPTER 2: THE HOMELESS

caravans
NEW POWERS TO EVICT gipsies from camps
come into force today, granted by J. Prescott,
Britain's (Labour Party) deputy Prime Minister. We
can take emergency actions but not against
people who are living in their sole residence. The
new powers are as good as useless. We have to
find a solution because there is no
ALTERNATIVE. The thorny question of where to
put travellers remains unsolved (ITV, 8/3/2005).
The council said: We are considering all (?)
options i.e. is it necessary to put extra boulders,
metal posts & fences placed over site entrances,
to keep travellers out? (Western Morning News,

having bought the land. Within days,


drives were laid, water pipes and electricity were
installed. Fences divided the plots up, and made a
permanent enclosed space for the families. A
retrospective planning application was made
(Planning
Committees
hate
retrospective
applications). Local residents screamed blue
murder the council rejected the application.
Then a Judge refused to allow their eviction on
Human Rights grounds leading to a protest on
his own lawn. Matter given to the deputy Prime
Minister, J. Prescott, to solve. His eventual
decision will be very important Local
Authorities are shifting the problem rather than
solving it. This is more or less their last chance.
They have spent money on the land because they
want to settle but protect their way of life.
Education is important to these people. There are
men there who have never learned to read or write
and they dont want that for their children. You cant
go to school if you are parked on the road-side. No
doctor will come out to you said the Gipsy
Council. One council cannot solve a national
situation on their own. The government is very
well aware of these problems. The location of the
Minety site, next to a junction on the M4 motorway the noise is deafening! The site itself is small, but
obvious attempts are being made by the
travellers to make something of it, including the
starting of little gardens or patios. Local
campaigners against the gipsies have raised
11,000 for a legal fighting fund.
A campaigner said: These people just act like
they are privileged A young gipsy said he was
ashamed by the unfinished nature of the site,
explaining the councils enforcement notice meant
that works had to be left incomplete (BBC, 2/2/2005).
PITCH BATTLES ACROSS THE COUNTRY: The
gipsies own the land but they are not allowed to
stay. Evicted by the police using force. We need
understanding help! Both are in short supply.
Bailiffs arrive at dawn. Children, old men, heavily
pregnant women man-handled, dragged - put
out on the streets. Costing Taxpayers (How
much?) Planning permission granted for a (profitmaking) holiday park but when travellers put their
caravans on the site, permission refused. OK for
a business-man, not a gipsy. Having bad effect on
health - the stress, the depressions. Councils
and residents adamant. They have to go. We
just want to be left in peace in our own home.
10,000 families in England BLIGHTED. Cant
educate a child when on the road. 2 days this
school, 2 days that school. The onus is on the
government to change the law to provide sites
but that wont happen as it is not popular with
voters (Newsnight, BBC2, 3/2/2005).
Gipsies are buying houses with land. They are not
living in the houses but are using the land to live in
August 2003,

16/4/2005).

WAH! What about standards of Human


Decency? God, show them mercy, when
nobody else will God, I hope the Angels bless
them. God, help my people! I thought we all are
the children of God
A man is trying to set-up a private permanent
travellers site (to make a profit). This will be the 1st
in the country with clean shower and toilet
blocks and will lead the way (Radio Devon, July,
2005) ( it remains to be seen if this trend will
continue.)
SITE PLANS: (the) council is to apply for
government money to set up transit sites for
gipsies and travellers. No location has yet been
found, but councillors want to ensure they obtain a
share of the cash on offer from the office of the
deputy Prime minister. Whitehall is prepared to give
100% grants to establish long and short-term
sites, to try and combat a nation-wide shortage
The new Regulations on site provision are
complicated it will take a nation-wide survey to
discover exactly what facilities are needed The
council has a duty under the 2004 Housing Act to
do a needs survey. The Criminal Justice and Public
Order Act required Local Authorities to provide
alternative sites to control unauthorised
encampments. Under Human Rights legislation,
gipsies and travellers have Equal Rights with
residents (Herald Express, 1/2/2006).
("When you no longer enjoy what you are doing,
that's the time to change.")
("Yesterday's gone. Now all I want is a smile...")

94

(Not to be confused with: The 3rd Eye, situated


invisibly in the centre of your forehead - used to
tune into the other side i.e. your imagination and
spirit. Close your eyes you can see the
Universe See through this eye to centre /
balance you - and your perceptions).
______________________________________

CHAPTER 3: PUBLIC HOUSING


The need for a SAFE place to live.
Criteria to Help You Choose:
TRADITIONAL
BUILDING
MATERIALS:
KNOWN HAZARDS / PROBLEMS:
(Tradition is the cornerstone of our society")
Traditional building materials are VERY HEAVY...
(HEAVY means: "Having weight, DIFFICULT to lift
or move, burdensome, serious, dull, forceful,
violent, distressing, sad, gloomy, lethargic,
clumsy,
oppressive,
thundery,
villainous,
pompous...")
Do WE have a towering realisation that the weight
of building materials really matters? "Are we
doomed to a HEAVY life before we start?"
("When you are not beneath this load...")

THE WORLDS LARGEST BLOCK was a mined


slab of quarried stone measuring 68' by 14'
weighing 1,590 tons in the Lebanon" (Reference: The
Guinness Book of Records).

1989: UK: Building Industry ADVERT: We put


back more than we take out. (That is not true).
they buy the land cheaply they blow it up,
break it down, slice it They blast stone in
the ground so machines can lift the stones BIG
blocks. The stone then carved by big noisy
machines. And then heavy slabs are used for
external cladding on big buildings
QUARRIES: From 1906 to mid-1969 the total
excavation had been 2,445 million long tons over an
area of 2.08 square miles to a depth of 2,280 ft.
28 tons of explosives were used daily. The
average daily extraction of 1% ore is 96,000 tons
and 225,000 tons of overburden (Ref: The Guinness

STONE BLOCKS:
Masonry: The HARD WAY: All HEAVY work.
HARD LABOUR. Much energy required to cut
and lift - a SLOW process. HIGH construction
costs. Labour intensive. This will take a lot of
effort. Expend toil. This takes time to build.
Very COSTLY! These BLOCKS COST THE
EARTH Pieces of rock detached from the
Earths crust, usable in building and road making,
or as a missile. Hard, rigid, Refusing response or
recognition A HARD surface.
The Great Pyramid of Cheops contains approx.
2.5 million blocks of limestone and has a total
weight of approx, 6 million tons. Some of the
blocks weigh 15 tons apiece" (Ref.: The Guinness

Book of Records).

Largest stone quarry planned - will be visible


from (outer) space. Will take away the
mountain-side. To provide hardcore for new
motor-ways. Will bring up to 100 jobs. The
SUPER-QUARRY plan is dividing the community.
Compensation will provide 1 penny for every ton
removed (re: Outer Hebrides, BBC1, 11/10/1994).
Stone extracted using BLASTING Now quarries
using CUTTING MINING UNDERGROUND!
ENVIRONMENTAL RAPE. Huge scars left
behind (2004).
HARDCORE: "The world's largest artificial dump
comprises: 42 million tons of crushed ore or rock
waste; a volume 6 times that of the Great Pyramid
(Ref: The Guinness Book of Records) Q: "What happens
to all the rubble and debris put in builders
skips?"
A: "This is used to make hardcore mountains i.e.
real Mountains are replaced with SPOIL
HEAPS.
(i.e. They Are Destroying: Gods

Book of Records).

Pyramids = Tombs. Also called: 'Death Houses.'


______________________________________
Q: WHY DID THEY BUILD THE PYRAMIDS?
A: To be an Ever-lasting REMINDER to the
World? i.e. CLAW your way to the top and youll
find theres NO room for more than one person.
i.e. A Pyramid system can wipe out the rulers. And
cause the downfall of the people.
Also: See these (you cant miss them!) and
acknowledge the pitiful suffering of all the poor
slaves who perished.
WARNING! We now have a Pyramid system
whereby all the people at the bottom of the heap,
are scrambling to reach the top.
(SYMBOL: The All seeing Eye:
Believed to be the eye of Lucifer.
Those who claim control of it have control of world finances.
Used in divination, curses,
psychic control - all corruption/s
are worked through this emblem. EG. The Illuminati
- the basis for the(ir) New World Order...) (Also

Holy Mountains)
Stone can CRACK, crumble, spoil, COLLAPSE,
SLUMP. Bits can fall off. Falling debris / rubble
kills and injures.
Sticks and stones may break my bones
This is beyond repair.
And another one bites the dust
Difficult to stop water penetration, DAMP.
Rising damp.
This place is COLD & HARD to heat.
Stone discolours, attracts fungi growth. Is HARD
to clean - have to BLAST with sand & water = Put

known as the eye of Horus the Egyptian symbol for a


god)
95

CHAPTER 3: ARCHITECTURE / Traditional

up scaffolding - large heavy planks of wood, lots of


metal poles, hassle, mess etc.
A city of cold stone wears you down to the bone.
HEARTS OF STONE Faces of cold stone
This huge place is eating me up!
I dont like old places. They give me the creeps.
Old-fashioned, heavy, solid, dark, dank,
dismal. So draughty! Crumbling - their
condition continues to deteriorate. Oh! The
Burden. I just cant seem to find the cash to fix
this.

difficult to maintain
Should disaster loom, brick built structures
cannot be moved out of the way.
Obviously, bricks do not float
CEMENT / MORTAR:
Cement = Paste. A mortar of calcinated (acidic)
lime and clay. Is mixed with water and sand, for
sticking things together. Powdery substance.
Crumbles.
Digging for chalk for the cement has turned
green hills into grey, dusty eye-sores.
High Temperature kilns used in cement
industry - plastic waste is used as fuel for
cement kilns. Doesnt meet strict emissions
standards - gives off poisonous dioxins (BBC1,

BRICKS:
BLESS these walls, sturdy and STRONG,
KEEPING OUT want, TROUBLE and sin BUILT
TO LAST: A 13th Century chateau in France had
walls over 22.5ft in thickness - levelled to the
foundations by the Germans in 1917. The walls of
Babylon north of Iraq built 600 BC were up to 85ft in
thickness (Ref.: Guinness Book of Records).
During EARTHQUAKES, brick houses shift on
their foundations crack, crumble and can
crush anyone unfortunate enough to be caught
unaware
(BRICKWORKS: The largest in the world is the
London Brick Company, established 1898. In 1974,
site covered 221 acres, producing 17,000,000
bricks every week (Ref.: Guinness Book of Records).
"Clay quarried kneaded, moulded to make a
rectangular block, measuring roughly 9 x 4 x 3.
(Could be baked by the Sun) or fired in
FURNACES- kilns to 1200 degrees C. Left outside
to cool for 3 days
Bricks will build a better London?
UK: "The mix re-defined to increase profits by
60%... (1990) (reducing strength?) Walls built by
layer, with cement joins
The costs of putting the bricks together to make
one wall One square metre = 60 bricks. One
House = 26,000 100,000 bricks. Average cost at
least 8p each brick (1990). Because of the poor
insulation qualities, an additional wall becomes
necessary to help sound-proofing and to stop the
house becoming too cold
How much does one brick weigh? Bricks are
HEAVY.
FAST CONSTRUCTION? Builder, John Evans, 46,
balanced 36 bricks on his head, then carried them
up a 12ft ladder to set a world record in Derby
(11/6/1993) SLOW! LABORIOUS. CRIPPLING!
(Advert for A BIGGER BUILDING BLOCK: "When
you build a wall, the time you save is directionally
proportional to the size of building block you use..."
UK: 1989).
Much fuel is needed for transportation.
The bricks have gone soft.- they need repointing
CONCLUSION: Brick houses are HARD and
COSTLY to construct, expensive to heat, and

13/6/1995).

CONCRETE:
(Concrete was invented by the Romans.)
3 parts sand, 2 parts grit, 1 part cement + water =
Concrete. forms into a solid mass, solidifies
when dry.
EXPERT: Not possible to guarantee consistency or
performance of the mix, actual strength or water
resistance, as too many variants possible - British
Construction industry argues they can now control.
Concrete can be made too powdery or dry with
too many air bubbles, reducing strength and
life (1990).
HEAVY! A crushing weight. A COLD, HARD
surface. Requires TONS of water to make.
Requires HEAVY machinery to mix, lift and
transport. Mixing / Laying cement. Back breaking
work. Ugh, Im really feeling it now
In traditional house building concrete is laid to
make sure the ground is solid and level
(Ballast means: Stabilise In foundations, for
increased bulk and weight, transported gravel or
stones are loaded into the mix.)
EXPERT: "You need men committed to what they
are doing - according to the book. Or DEFECTS
EG. Bond at joint faulty, hairline cracks, deep
cracks, surface voids, irregularities, leakage
stains, skimpy pour - too sandy Concern ability of the materials to withstand stress. If you
put something up, you want it to stay
Pre-stressed concrete - more complicated. More
things that could be done badly EG. Forms could
lack rigidity to prevent displacements, inserts
installed off anchorages, ducts improperly secured
before the pour, crumbling, weakened bonds,
future fracture lines, debris, water seepage,
slippage, no bond at all
(EXPERT: Re: Reinforcing Steels: All the things
that could go wrong! EG. Steel with grease, or too
much rust, or mill scale. Bad welds. Lack of dowels.
Under-sized bars. Brittle tie wire. Un-staggered
splices in adjoining bars. Voids under and around
96

reinforcing, erosion")
CONCRETE CANCER: Concrete can soak up
water, can become water logged, damp in
foundations etc. Structural problems - very
costly - a terrible problem. Rising damp and
mould - common problems.
Damp air corrodes concrete. Concrete
DEGRADES, pits, crumbles - from the bottom,
top or middle, cracks. Caves-in. VAPOURS can
seep through hairline cracks
(Because Robert McAlpine had a thing about
concrete) The 1960s and 1970s saw the
construction of 1,000s of new council homes in
cities, most of them large concrete system built
estates and tower blocks. Many soon developed
faults, became havens for crime and vandalism,
and are now UNPOPULAR places to live.
Concrete estates - an attempt by politicians to
modernise - brutal and inhuman
"Nationwide scares. Faulty batches. Sold over
unidentified period, not covered by warranty,
causing alarm to architects and contractors..."

blocks! Why? Thats Illogical! Yes, but cheap to


build with.
HOT Countries: Use blocks with holes in (holes
used for plumbing pipes & ventilation) (positioned
with holes facing in & outward) are used as a
complete wall.
UK: Uses softer, lighter (white) blocks as an inner
wall (to reduce building costs) with facia bricks
outside. Blocks cut to size with a hand saw. (For
Party walls, to minimise sound penetration, heavier
concrete blocks have to be used).
1980s: The latest world-wide trend in house
building is to slap breeze blocks together, quickly
slap a (thin) coat of render over and charge the
same as if the building is made of (more
expensive)
bricks.
EXPERT:
Sometimes
formations are not staggered to spread the load.
The skills Gap Structurally useless. But you
dont know as the walls are rendered. The whole lot
will come crashing down
GLASS:
A transparent, lustrous, HARD, BRITTLE material.
Silicon dioxide. Made by fusing sand with soda or
potash, or both, and other ingredients Molten
Glass = Sand heated up melted The furnaces
use a lot of energy, and that costs a lot of money.
Glass is not considered to be a solid - is a liquid (is
amorphous) (Has confused atoms) Very high
temperatures needed to make new glass EG. For
computer screens, so glass wont sag, drop or lose
shape. Could last a very long time - providing no
ACCIDENT occurs
1992: "A GLASS
cinema will replace one
cardboard city... Hi-tech, round. Cost 8
million..." (Shaped, curved glass is very
expensive.)
GLASS CONSCIOUSNESS: The weight of
Glass? Glass is very HEAVY.
A CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER: Glass can
splinter, crack, or be broken quite easily.
EXPERT: "The only way a manufacturer can test
the performance of glass is to smash each piece
and judge how the pieces broke. Same applies to
toughened glass." "No such thing as glass that
wont break. Would have to be very thick and
therefore very, very heavy." Does GLASS
shatter? Is the Pope Catholic? Glass is not
strong - a vibration can make glass shatter. So
can noise. A bang can break glass. THE
PAINS OF GLASS: Glass CUTS same as a knife.
Very sharp edges. Lacerations. CUTS both
ways. Loss of LIFE AND LIMB. Severs limbs /
arteries. Hurts like Hell! If overheated, glass
EXPLODES... Glass blows in, glass blows out.
Jagged SPEARS of GLASS. Flying glass is
equivalent to SHRAPNEL. Shards. A Horror
Classic. "Destruction all around..." "Cost of
repairs? Cost of what cannot be repaired?"

(U.K.1989).

fear of bridges cracking up (London, May 1990).


A scenario for the future might be, as the
Earths temperature increases, a bug eats the lime
in concrete 1,000s of buildings have to be blown
up (Tomorrows World, BBC1, 7/7/1995).
Homes made of pre-cast reinforced concrete
(PRC) were declared defective under the 1986
UK Housing Act 1,000s of owners are trapped
unable to get a mortgage. Can get a costly
Refurbishment i.e. putting a skin of bricks around
the property and reproofing, but government grants
ended in 1984 (Daily Mirror, 7/9/2005).
STUPID ARCHITECTS! They are not thinking of
the future - only build, get tourists in, fill the blocks,
make money
Theyre still carving out hillsides for concrete
housing! MASSIVE conurbations! So many being
constructed in semi-desert regions. Only
finished! No men working on them! Why? Its too
HOT!
Of course, the heat does NOT help when laying
concrete. The top crust dries / forms too quickly
the water, instead of floating to the top, cannot
evaporate - the mix remains wet i.e. semi-solid,
underneath
BREEZE BLOCKS:
One block roughly the size of 8 bricks. Colour:
Mainly grey.
HEAVY. Not strong. Crumbly. Very little strength.
Insulating.
Porous / NOT good weathering qualities: Have to
screed with cement (render) exterior
(inside
plastered).
These BLOCK the breeze as their name
suggests So many desert regions use breeze
97

CHAPTER 3: ARCHITECTURE / Traditional

"LIVES CUT short..." Badly cut-up. Picture


their PAIN... "VICTIMS of glass, your FEELINGS
will matter soon, I hope."
PLATE GLASS: Thicker, and HEAVIER! Used to
provide large picture windows, see-through doors,
panel/s, enclose, GLAZE LARGE AREAS EG.
walls of TOWER Blocks i.e. Floor to Ceiling
GLASS windows!
SKYWALL: GLASS has become the favoured
material for MANY buildings, and
is known as: "a cheap filler"
meaning: Put up a framework, use
Glass as cladding. GLASS can
be detached from moorings and
FALL OFF"
Re: Earthquakes: ("I feel the
Earth move under my feet...
EARTH QUAKE = The buildings
shake violently, the buildings sway, huge
chunks of concrete and bricks fall, glass
shatters)
This could be a potential death trap.
"TALL buildings are designed so GLASS /
outside & inside claddings FALL OFF i.e. hopefully
leaving steels upright TO (avoid THE DOMINO
EFFECT and) SPEED REBUILDING."
(Something tells me, you'll never win.")
Engineers rely on statistics and prayer. ("They'll
learn how to do it properly, one day...")
"Architects shouldn't design buildings that kill
people!" ("Do you wish you could make it right?")
"... it's make, or break."
"The next Quake... could take the cake..."
Glass Buildings = Soul-Less. A glassy look
Some people like big glass windows!
We fit glass windows because we dont know any
better.
"DANGER. HUGE GLASS PANELS used to build
the spectacular roofs of many shopping malls have
become potential time bombs because of
undetected flaws that can make them suddenly
explode. Atrium panels in at least 8 British malls
have exploded because of internal flaws showering shoppers with razor sharp fragments of
glass. In the worst case - at the Glades shopping
centre in Bromley, 6 shoppers were injured when a
glass screen above an entrance shattered in high
winds. At Lakeside, in Thurrock, 3 roof panels
fractured and collapsed, one into a restaurant
packed with customers. The developers have had
to fit wire mesh to shield people from falling
shards (re: Report in the construction journal New

children hurting themselves EG. with furniture


made from glass EG. Coffee tables. Doesnt cost
much to buy. This could be used by businesses to
save money in the long-run and adequately
protect the public but safety film over glass is
not the answer (Thats Life, BBC1, 8/5/1993) Glass does
still break
WIND SHIELD / SCREEN / Laminated Glass:
Stretched / strained glass in 3 different layers. Has
semi-visible lines of weaknesses - will break into
small pieces under impact, to reduce dangers but
still cuts & hurts badly. Some windscreen glass
has layer of glue in middle- small particles adhere to
glue, so dont fall away. Youd still get cut but not so
badly. Made to protect eyes? a brick fell from a
builders skip - smashed through her windscreen.
Theyre still picking bits of glass out of her ear
the windscreen smashed - bits of glass flew
into his eye EXPERT: Skill of manufacturing
very good really - wouldnt sever a limb - may get
a lot of nasty scratches. Bounces off body rather
than penetrates. Windscreen glass not used in
side or back windows of cars - cheaper glass is
used. I dont know if windscreen glass is used in
train windows. After a train crash you usually see
large shards of glass, capable of severing limbs
and arteries (1993).
"Todays glass is high in silica. Glass is damaged
by pollution, corrosion, Environmental stress"
(Tomorrows World, BBC1, 1/10/1993) (Silica dust can
cause cancer if inhaled.)

"Planes use plastic for (inner) windows as lighter."


Does this cause such dangerous shards? No.
GLASS SCARE: 3 windows in a British Airways
Concorde shattered as the plane flew at twice the
speed of sound. 2 outer panels broke at 57,000 ft
on a check flight after maintenance. A 3rd window
was found to be cracked when the plane landed
The Sun, 12/8/1994).
Waterloo Station: "... 100 tons of plate glass to
provide a roof..." (May 1993) The new Waterloo train
station, with a massive glass roof won an award
for architecture (October, 1994). 17 commuters
narrowly escaped death or serious injury when a
17ft long iron rod plunged like a spear through the
Glass roof at Westminster station. Passengers
were also showered with glass shards and building
rubble (31/10/1994).
SMASHING: Glass is the most vulnerable part
of a house said a burglar.

Builder Evening Standard, 12/2/1993).

Would a layer of sticky-back plastic, speciallymade for the purpose, reduce dangers of flying
shards? Yes. Put on the inside of the window makes glass laminate. Stops pieces of glass flying.
Holds glass together. Can be punched through.
Useful for increased security and to stop
98

When people do not get enough light - the effect


on the pineal gland is to release melatonin; this can
make people drowsy, and if they can't sleep, they
become depressed. The way we design houses
now - the conventional design has hardly
changed since medieval times and is geared to
pre-industrial society when people worked
outdoors... Human physiology is set up to work
outside, and our glands geared to outside light. Now
we work inside, we need to compensate for the
loss of light..."
PRIVA-LIGHT: Now you see me, now you dont
(with the flick of a switch). 2 sheets of Glass, with
liquid crystal in-between. Can be bent, shaped.
Ideal for security panels. Discovered by an
experimental physicist - a nut and bolt man

Glass frequently smashed by thieves and


vandals...
Why dont they use Anti-Vandal plastic? British
Telecom has started using low quality plastic - i.e.
is not scratch-proof - to replace smashed glass
panels in phone boxes, but people are pinching the
new panels (April 1993) STREET-WISE: (" it
has MAJOR ADVANTAGES. To name but a few...
you can count (depend) on it. It wont let you or me
down, not ever. Why trust anything less? It wont
break like glass...") (ADVERT: it could be worth
investigating (re: BTs Share Flotation offer, 1993).
SHOP FRONTS MADE OF GLASS: The RISK to
passers-by the RISK OF EXPLOSIONS the
need for PROTECTION against riot, STORM
DAMAGE
EG. A car smashed through the shop window could have killed people Shop-Keeper:
Replace with plastic? Wouldnt work. Too
expensive. Dont like plastic. Not necessary chances of same accident happening again are
small (UK, 1993).
HEAT LOSS THROUGH GLASS: ENERGY
CONSERVATION & EFFICIENCY: A thermal image
photo taken from an aircraft - an infra-red image
which measures heat emissions - shows a factory
pouring heat into the atmosphere - wasting
precious energy and money, sending bills soaring
through the roof The factory - one of dozens of
buildings which shows up in an Arial energyefficiency survey by Ealing council. Many of the
worst offenders are domestic properties, where
improvements can be made much more quickly and
cheaply than in factories and offices. The photo
shocked technical manager, Dr. K. Wood, who said
the company had spent more than 1 million on roof
insulation. A 2-hour video also identified heat loss
from schools, hospitals The Assoc. of Energy
Conservation said at least 90% of house-holds about 19 million - are not Energy efficient.
Improving the thermal efficiency of British
housing would greatly increase the standard of
living of 1/3rd of the population, achieving a payback in 4 years (Evening Standard, 31/1/1994)
GLOBAL Warming (heat loss through roofs &
GLASS)
"People who live in GLASS HOUSES..."
"We live in houses with brick walls, slate roofs, and
small windows - everything conspiring to keep
out the light... and let out the warmth... so... the
'house of the future, said architect R. Spence...
must be made of... Glass. His own glass house...
is dazzlingly light... but this does not go far
enough... in his ideal home, technology would
ensure the house wraps itself up at night - insulating
louvers swivel, shut, and keep the heat in, and out
when there is a heat wave... He has reached this
conclusion after following research into:
SEASONAL AFFECTIVE DISORDER: (SAD):

(Eureka, BBC1, 13/7/1995).

Self-cleaning glass ? Its covered in a film


STEEL:
Malleable alloy of iron and carbon, tempered to
differing degrees of HARDNESS. INFLEXIBLY
SEVERE. COLD. Largely used for weapons,
tools, machinery, construction rods, support
girders - beams, supporting joists of floors, walls,
latticed, forming a span of bridge, roof etc. VERY
HEAVY! Very heavy machinery needed to lift,
transport etc EG. Cranes.
Steel can twist, bend, crack, be uprooted,
knocked over
CORROSION: Steel rusts in contact with air and
water (caused by oxidation, corroding of the metal);
impaired state, blight, loss of quality, efficiency,
old-age. (Thin Ferro-chromium alloys are used for
stainless steel cutlery etc).
RUST NEVER SLEEPS: Steel girders and bolts
often start to rust before being concreted over.
Is Iron Oxide paint toxic? Yes.
Galvanised steel does not rust but is easy to
Dent.
High carbon steels have great tensile strength,
but are HARD & BRITTLE.
A small percentage of other elements are found in
steel EG. Silicon forming a slag, then the carbon
is burnt off, passing off as CO2
The steel used for ordinary construction work is pig
iron. High grade steel is produced in electric
furnaces (Ref. Materials & Structures by E.H. Salmon).
"British Steel accused of operating a cartel (illegal
price fixing), with 15 other manufacturers. Fixing
prices of steel beams used for construction at
artificially high level. Facing a 24 million fine for
breaking European competition rules Amount
of fine is their annual income. Job losses may
be unavoidable. The other manufacturers also
face fines. Industry being asked to cut back extra
capacity. British Steel may appeal" (BBC1,
15/2/1994).
99

CHAPTER 3: ARCHITECTURE / Traditional

wood to build our house, the worm is already in the


wood" (said Goethe).
Death-Watch Beetle: A grub which burrows deeply
into structural timber and makes a ticking noise,
thought to foretell death."
TERMITES can cause more devastation than
man. In the USA, homes have to be inspected for
termite infestation before they can be sold
(25/10/1994) Termites EAT wood. If house made of
wood products theyll eat it till completely
destroyed. Nests can be controlled but not
destroyed - deadly poisons used - costs 100s.
Colonies are spreading as temperatures are
increasing UK: The 1st termite infestation found in
Britain was unearthed at a property in a north
Devon village by timber preservation workers. An 18
inch piece of wood had more than 1,000 of the
destructive pests (Watchdog, BBC1, 30/4/1998).
The majority of houses in Britain are timber
framed
WOODEN FRAME CONSTRUCTION: When pine
and spruce used to be plentiful, bark used for
insulation. When the bottom plank rots, a new
plank is slotted in Medieval houses - timber
houses - secured with joints with wooden pegs.
Assembly technique used for 600 years. Most
people - the poor, lived in tiny cottages too flimsy
to survive. The pioneers log cabin openings for
windows and doors cut out of the solid wall. For a
tight fit, square pegs were inserted into round
holes. Gaps between logs filled with clay. A house
used to cost 30. Thick coating of mud inside for
fire-proofing. Built FREE-standing against a brick
wall Wood inspired symbolic respect in Japan wood is a sacred element. Architecture echoes
the skill of their carpenters. Great beams tend to
impress, intimidate. Sliding doors, little furniture on
the floor - design influenced by religious
considerations. The role of the veranda (partially
roofed & enclosed) is to bridge the interior and
exterior. The goose-neck joint is one of their
specialities Like medieval houses in Britain,
Japanese timber frame houses pre-fabricated in
the carpenters workshop before being
assembled on site. Carpentry skills changed with
the screw, power tools, nails The growth of mail
order pattern books. An 8-room house could be
built for $1,500 Building Sites, BBC2, 1994) Id love
to live in a log cabin
FINLAND: 80% of houses are made of wood.
Why? 75% of Finland is forest. Wood at the heart
of their culture and economy. Forests managed
sustainably (?) Using a mechanical monster,
takes approx. 30 seconds to chop the tree.
HOUSES in KIT form. Why from Finland? Trees
VERY OLD. Very old = Tightly packed, very strong
timber. Timber cut, pre-drilled (for electrics so you
cant change your mind where sockets & switches
are going to be put). Timber sawed with precision in

STOP WHAT YOU ARE DOING and think about


it. Our ancestors lived WITHOUT ANY METAL.
They were very sophisticated. They didnt eke out
a living on the edge. They had it sussed artistically
and spiritually. (They were expert trackers huntergatherers - who treated everything, especially the
animals, with the greatest reverence. They had an
incredible knowledge of nature) Just 2
generations ago, people had skills - survival
crafts that are being lost today but are going to
be needed to help us survive in the future (re:
Stonehenge Man, Ray Mears, BBC2, 27/2/2005).

WOOD:
Wood is a fibrous substance
A HOUSE MADE OF STICKS has to resist: "I'll
huff and I'll puff. And I'll blow your house down..."
TIMBER CUT TO SIZE: Wood is FLAMMABLE,
especially when cut thin. And then wood is not
strong. Timber splinters, rots (wet rot, dry rot),
splits, cracks, bends, warps Finishes fade,
discolour, scratch, chip, flake, peel...
Hes going hard at it, using his wood tools
UK: 1988: "800 accidents a year involving chain
saws." "Everything from cut fingers to fatalities."
EG. SAW DEATH HORROR: Lecturer, George
Ankers, 36, bled to death after he chopped through
a limb while cutting firewood with a circular saw. He
died before help could arrive. The injury was so
severe he could only have survived if the accident
had happened in an operating theatre. His
distraught wife told the inquest the blood gushing
from his severed leg sounded like water pouring
from a hose-pipe (Today, 15/1/1993).
EG. A father was killed when he fell into a highpowered circular saw as he cut logs for his central
heating burner. Friends tried to save the truck driver
and DIY fanatic from becoming entangled They
said a log flew up and hit him, knocking him sideways into the saw (Daily Mirror, 18/1/1994) ("Yes. HOW
you do things matters a lot.")
(MDF: Modified Fibre Board: Looks like board - is
recycled wood made into sawdust, mixed with
resin. Some believe this is the material of the
future. Has NOT got 0% spread of flame but
satisfies Regulations because MDF takes 20
minutes to burn (UK, 1993) Have to use a face-mask
when cutting MDF due to carcinogens Ive
now been burnt where I was cut.)
(A saw mill in Northern Ireland specialise in soft
woods such as spruce for packing cases. 150 tons of
sawdust waste every day. Recycled for fuel,
chipboard - or burnt as waste. 1,000s of tons! But, by
working with a German company, a new type of saw has
been developed. All the power is in the machinery. This
took them 7 years to develop. Now theres no sawdust
Tomorrows World, BBC1, 1990).

WOODWORM can reduce beams to sawdust.


"When this timber cart trundles down the road, with
100

a factory - a family-owned company. A week later


arrives in UK on a juggernaut lorry. Your house is
delivered just like that! The whole house - every
surface is made of timber. The walls made of
logs. Super-insulated roof & walls = a timber
board, thin plastic sheeting, cavity filled with
recycled newspaper fibres - this is sustainable;
do not catch fire / these help to prevent fire; these
are blown in, + air gap, + exterior & interior wooden
cladding boards. (The risk of FIRE in an allwooden house not mentioned!) The Kit costs
53,000. He has to lay in a concrete foundation,
then 98 concrete piers + a damp-proof membrane
(a thick plastic sheet). If the piers are in the right
place should take 3 weeks till we get the roof
on. A giant KIT house - so many pieces! Blocks.
All coded, batched according to size. not lay-out.
Pieces 1, 2, 3 & 10 are missing this is A1, B1
Im confused! Pieces nailed together. Im in my
element. (He makes wooden furniture for a living.
His wife is having to be the bread-winner - running
a business, do the school run and feed the builders
whilst he is doing this). 3 piers are in the wrong
place! (Rather than add new piers to support joints,
the discrepancy is ignored). This building method is
so simple - 2 grooves, 2 tongues, tied together.
(i.e. Bashed with a hammer). This is such a quick
process They are desperate to get the roof on
before the Autumn rains. (None of the timber is
weather-proofed / tanalised). Doing 12 hours
work a day. The pressures on to get the house
water-tight. Spirits are flagging. Hes driving them
so hard they never get a day off. There just arent
enough hours in the day. The light is going The
timber will contract so you have to allow for that
The rains and storms have discoloured the colour
of the stacked pile of timber for the interior. Takes
them 1 week to only move the wood! To protect
the exterior wood from the elements - several
coats of varnish - this will have to be done for the
life of the house (which is how long?) Wood has to
be sanded before painting. Very time consuming.
Daunting. A huge house. By December, only 1
coat of varnish on - will have to do. Now windows
going in - 9,000 worth of high-tech triple glazing
requiring specialist fitting + a hand-driven fork lift.
Some rooms have under-floor heating. The woodburning stove will heat the whole house using local
coppiced timber. The house takes 7 months to
almost finish. Looks like a ranch. Such a high
ceiling!
All this came from one renewable
sustainable source - TREES! But the Finnish
system is hard work - non-stop toil. Final cost
(excluding land) 120,000 (due to the cost of
bathrooms, kitchen etc). Ive done something for
my children. We were living in a wooden shack. Its
clean, crisp. Now our lives are going to be easier.
Its a natural building. Its got integrity (Grand

EACH HOUSE BUILT = A MOUNTAIN OF WOOD.


______________________________________
Re: Trees: GOD said:
"It is called THE TREE OF LIFE...
... those keeping fast hold of it are to be called
happy... God's wisdom founded the earth and
fixed it so cloudy skies kept dripping down light
rain. May the trees not get away from your sight.
Safeguard practical wisdom and they will prove
to be life to your soul. You will walk in security,
when you lie down you will feel no dread. You
will not need to be afraid of any storm upon the
wicked..."
INTERPRETED AS: "I walk with the Lord of
dreams sheltered by His path..."
Tree Spirits: Some people believe trees have
souls or that trees house the souls of Gods. "Lord
of the forest. Lord of souls. Precious gifts I bring
you..." "Trees are spiritual things. In olden days,
trees worshipped - celebrations and festivals.
Considered bad luck to chop a tree down." "Trees
thought to be a good-luck charm..." The magic is
in the trees, in the air Cant you feel it?
ENCHANTING! "Trees said to be like Human
Beings..." Love will never die while there is a tree.
When trees were plentiful, the Oxygen was
rich
______________________________________
DESTRUCTION OF FORESTS:
"A tree could live to be 1,000 years old..." Trees
are some of the longest surviving occupants of
our planet. Some British Yews are 8,000 years
old
Trees occupying considerable tracts of ground
"Trees regarded as an abundant, cheap,
effective building material - you needed shelter,
so you went and chopped a few trees down..."
"Forests are PARADISE to all creatures that live
in them."
Trees and animals exist in their own Right. We
should RESPECT that.
Trees provide HOSPICE. An hospitable place to
rest.
"A man wandered onto a mountain. What sort of
tree is that? A tree 1,000 people can sit under.
Uhm. Lovely timber. It will do very well. H'mm. Jolly
good."
TREES = Finders Keepers ?
"It used to be the case that stealing land
reserved for deer was a crime..."
There are 1,000s of different kind of trees. The
sort used to make buildings has a large trunk.
Old trees are rare because of the tendency to
fell more mature specimens

Designs, Channel 4, 27/4/2005).


101

CHAPTER 3: ARCHITECTURE / Traditional

doors, windows, coffins and plywood. The


aftermath, death, flood and famine."
"ARCHITECTS ARE TO BLAME: For a profession
responsible for the improvement of mans physical
Environment, what justification can architecture give
for perpetuating man's greatest folly - the
irreversible destruction of tropical rainforests? The
importance of these areas cannot be overstressed. Covering only 7% of the world's surface,
they contain 50% of our flora and fauna; a natural
richness that yields many of our important
medicines and foods. They are home to many tribes
who are now forcibly removed or killed. With them
disappears the knowledge of how to utilise this
plethora of plant species. Tropical rainforests
prevent soil erosion and thus protect the
watershed on which 1 BILLION people depend.
They influence regional climate. The devastating
results of deforestation are all too clear to see in
countries such as Bangladesh, India and
Ethiopia. The effect on Global climate is unclear,
but as forest is being irrevocably destroyed at a
rate of 100 acres per minute, we should have the
answer to this by the year 2000. The causes of
deforestation are complex but 70% is attributable
to the logging of tropical hardwood in an
unsustainable manner, using bad forestry
methods. Despite this, architects still consider
tropical hardwood a valid design material! Its
qualities and uses glossily presented in trade
literature. This rich and important ecosystem is thus
converted into hardwood doors, windows,
skirtings, (wooden) mouldings and even toilet
seats. A millennium of life sacrificed for maybe
100 years of utility. With the ever increasing media
coverage and public concern being shown on this
subject and with the publication of the Friends of the
Earth The Good Wood Guide, architects can no
longer hide behind a veil of ignorance. Perhaps
they suffer from plain indifference? (M. Martin, RIBA,
(INDIFFERENCE is a terrible
July
1988)
DISEASE.)
"A GREEN GUIDE listing the Health Hazards and
Environmental impact of more than 4,000 building
materials has been produced by the Friends of the
Earth Trust" (1990).
ADVICE: If you see a tree being poisoned /
strangled by ivy, save the Tree's life KILL the
ivy" (1990) (advised to just cut the vine) (will keep
coming back. Tree surgeons know how to kill ivy
permanently).
THE IVY LEAGUE = NEW JOBS! All those
creepers & suckers need to be got rid off
TREES ARE SO BEAUTIFUL, so why are they
left to strangle to death with ivy? After spending
100 years in bloom, it seems a pity they get
strangled and its probably dangerous when the
trees fall over. Why arent unemployed people
offered the job of saving them? (Mrs. J. Hurford, The

Forest, track, road, town,


city... That's how it generally
goes..."
"The most powerful land
clearer is the 125 ton Le
Tourneau
electric
tree
crusher built in 1964. 72'
long and can clear 4 acres
an hour" (Mr. Tourneau's Book is called: 'Mover of Men and
Mountains.')

UK: 1973: "Wood and board prices have soared


astronomically - costs have more than doubled in
the last year or so. Wood is expensive to make
furniture. Always consider a cheap ALTERNATIVE
to wood. Supplies slowly being restricted..."
(Prices rose but no shortage of timber visible. UK
timber yards are stacked high...)
Countries not (money) rich want to exploit
natural wealth - so they open the forest/s up build a road through, attack forest in a BIG
way
"Forests have large populations of small
creatures - 6,000 rare species destroyed, lost
each year." Troops with heavy machinery - Earth
diggers, chain saws - destruction for miles
where few had gone before. Trees worth
money
140 different trees are at risk of extinction.
"Are we as thick as two short planks?" MAN IS
DESTROYING NATURE!
Trees = A Rapidly Thinning Playground." Do
you remember the Cherry tree that used to be in
the market square? "Where once fields of
flowers were green, now a single flower grows..."
Felling Trees destroys other Trees and
animals - accidental damage. Not carefully done.
Other people follow - trying for luck and fortune.
TIMBER HOUSES! The timber comes from
1,000s of forests and trees
90 MILLION TREES cut down every year to
satisfy the UKs demand for
paper
and
card
(ME
Magazine, 12/2/1990).

Destruction
of
RAINForests: In 25 years, could
KILL us ALL. We really
must do something about it.
We are turning land into
DESERT
for paper and wood.
Soon therell be NO TREES
left! Cannot be replaced.
Our Grand-children will not
have any forests! We are going into suicide!
Northern EUROPE: Forests being cut to make
paper. Remaining forests are mainly Pine. Answer
is to recycle paper (see Chapter 9 / Waste & HEMP).
"WE ARE DOOMED DUE TO GREED"
"Wholesale destruction for hardwood floors,
102

People, 14/8/1994).

communal houses have now gone... Many 1,000S


of people killed during the destruction. The land is
wrecked. A battle ground. Nothing will ever grow
here again (Earth Watch, BBC, 29/1/1990).
VAST ARMY OF PROSPECTORS: The Roraima
territory belonged to the Yanomami Indians South Americas largest tribe of forest Indians but
now murder most foul is afoot here. GENOCIDE:
There are reports of Yanomami children being shot
out of the trees and adults killed by armed gold
prospectors. The Brazilian government has been
accused of genocide for failing to protect the
Indians from the despoliation of their homeland.
40,000 60,000 prospectors are estimated to be
trying their luck. A greater threat is the arrival of
white mans diseases EG. Malaria. The hospital run
by the National Indian Institute is short of funding.
Many there are suffering from Malaria and other
diseases which have developed since the
invasion - Hepatitis, TB, diarrhoea etc and various
digestive maladies caused by fish poisoned with
mercury which polluted the rivers. The hospital
resembles a zoo where humans gaze on humans.
The Yanomami look like a defeated people
stripped of dignity and self-respect. The
government and business leaders said the closure
of gold fields would trigger civil disorder!
The Indians very existence is in danger - they
have no voice, no-one to articulate their cause
said the Church, but the Church is not against the
gold prospectors - many of them are good people desperate, poor, and exploited too. The Church
is defending the defenceless against powerful
commercial interests - the multi-national
companies. The multi-nationals want us out, so
they can take over and if they do their tractors and
excavators will really damage the Environment
and the Indians. 150 airstrips in the mining area.
The prospectors have extracted (stolen) all the
available gold.
Brazil is controlled by a rich oligarchy of a
maximum 5% of the population, the rest of us are
plebs. 1989: A Presidential decree demarcated the
Yanomami territory into 19 separate and
discontinuous areas - islands in effect. 5 Chiefs
went to Brasilia to protest that even these zones
were being violated by gold lust. The Chiefs
returned muttering bitterly about forked tongues.
The population has seen their territories
shrinking and culture eroded ever since the gold
rush began. The Yanomami seemed doomed to
become a lost tribe.
In Boa Vista the new gold state there is no sign of
the poverty that inflicts Latin America but there is
hyper-inflation. The miners measure their earnings
in gold. A monthly average ranges from 150,000
300,000 cruzados - a lot compared with Brazils
minimum wage of 1,300 cruzados (about 26.50).
The gold prospectors will survive, but the same

UK: Approx. 50% of the remaining few trees are


being strangled with poison ivy. No agreement
between various agencies - English Nature and
The National Trust both say ivy does not harm
trees! Councils Argue: Funds should be used for
more important projects (2004).
DESTRUCTION OF TREES = A DEAD LOSS:
The Amazon Rain-Forest is disappearing at 1
acre per second will be GONE in 20 years
(1989).

BRAZIL = 60% of the worlds RAINFORESTS Brazil. 20 years of dictatorship


LAND FEUDS: Some Brazilians now rich, owning
yachts, but many millions in terrible poverty as a
result. No running water, no houses - Homeless.
Stage 1: Government actually helped them! Gave
them money and some land! Go build your own! A
dream come true! But they were not used to
farming The insects! Had to (?) clear trees
before they could live on the land. Millions of
hectares destroyed by settlers seeking a new life.
Soil now no good for growing crops. With
forest/s gone, soil dries up in the Sun. Weeds
grow. Crops fail. So they get fed-up, move on,
repeat same process elsewhere a nightmare a disaster.
Stage 2: They sold larger plots to developers who
clear land for improvement. No time to lose! Used
to clear Trees: A single match. Millions of TREES
burnt every year - simply going up in smoke!
When the forest dies, the animals die too. Cattle
ranching is biggest destroyer. Beef is big
business. But grass gets poorer in quality - so
they move on, repeating the process
The burning of so many TREES produces
Carbon Dioxide MINING is another activity
affecting Rainforests. Valuable minerals - iron
ore, tin - all necessary to bring money into the
country. Miners need houses - so build another
road, clear more land Build a railway - 2,000
meters of track a day. All at the expense of the
living forest/s. Wood turned into charcoal for
cheap fuel. Iron ore smelting in furnaces One
hour uses 4 tons of TREES! The smoke! All
causing more POLLUTION- making The
Greenhouse Effect worse.
The idea to generate cheap electricity: One Dam
cost $5 BILLION. Water held back. Flooded the
forest. Now rotting vegetation poisoning the water.
Fish not fit to eat. Water has become very acid.
Animals totally helpless - many drown in the lake.
Rough treatment if rescued. Millions have perished.
Electricity promised. Up go the pylons spreading
across the country where the trees were. Money
does not always improve the standard of life.
People did not get electricity. The tribes beautiful
103

CHAPTER 3: ARCHITECTURE / Traditional

forecast cannot be made about the Indians (The

area, the police beat squatters, tying their hands


behind their backs. A rope is put round their
necks. Then they are hung up on a large wooden
Cross. See the bullet holes, where they shot him?
the people lament. Squatters block the airstrip to
stop ranchers and gunmen flying in again. All we
lack is a land agency title for all of us. The ranch
theyve won is divided into small holdings. The
murderers of the squatters still not brought to
justice
Near the 4th largest Dam in the world - which
turned forests into graveyards, submerging a
whole town, the police receive news another
squatter has been assassinated. The police go but
find the dead man is not a squatter. A witness
said: The man turned up, asked him for his gun.
He said he did not have a gun for killing. The man
shot him, saying he was a squatter. The mans
body is quickly buried - top soil shovelled over him.
Police believe action was to panic squatters. The
squatters were panicked. The next day, they took
off - into an ambush. Children had their heads
blown off. Multiple projectiles were the cause of
death. The remaining survivors fled. One father an old man, said: My God. I will die at the hands
of these assassins. He shouted: Take ME, not
my child. But they killed him too - they tried to run
for their lives. The father said: WHAT EVIL! just
before he died. For the 4th time we come on this
part of the road to bury our dead. One man at a
meeting defended the squatters - he was later
assassinated.
Children slaughtered, women
raped. Undeclared war goes on everyday. 50
workers and Union leaders killed. In actual fact,
the statistic is 154 rural workers and leaders. From
this forest, we heard shots. Hiding behind a tree
stump, they had killed him. They tore out his eyes!
2 gunmen withdrew. I saw them. 2 ranchers were
accused - brothers. You saw the whole massacre.
I have nothing to do with this conflict. The police
exhume the body of a squatter to do a post mortem.
Do you really expect me to prove who killed him?
Yes. I want to put the assassin in jail. The
squatters smash one of the ranches, leaving a
notice: You think we are frightened of you. Then, at
the sawmill, gunmen kill a man and child. A
woman helper at the ranch explains: Every
night the gunmen went, armed, to where the
squatters were. They said there will be war on
squatters. Squatters say gunmen are hired at the
towns gun shop. During the police enquiry,
ranchers still at liberty! He has papers, so we cant
touch him. The squatters said: The question in
our hearts and mouths is whats being done to
punish the gunmen? The land-owners? Nothing!
Only a genuine land Reform will end this
violence. The ranchers hold cowboy festivals to
collect more money for themselves, tormenting
baby bulls in the cruellest of ways. A speaker, using

Times, 27/1/1990).

(GOLD-DIGGERS are out for everything they


can get. They have no scruples at all - less than
admirable traits. You know what men are during
TREASURE HUNTS)
KILLING FOR LAND: After 20 years of
Dictatorship frustrating Democracy, Brazil has 1st
Election. The Key issue? Land Feuds. The
Eastern border: a road through - along coast,
produced most violent area of rural Brazil. The
forests cleared - large government subsidies, for
profit not what was produced. One ranch has
34,000 acres - over 1/3rd for cattle. Surrounding
forest un-cleared. Squatters - the landless poor
lived there before the ranchers arrived. Ranchers
now say squatters must leave the forests. Many
sending their families away (1977). Deadline set.
The ranchers protect their property using hired
gunmen. Squatters claim gunmen set fire to their
houses. 20 homes burnt. We are going to stay,
nowhere else to go. We cant move on - if we enter
another tribes land, they will kill us. So they try to
defend their Rights. Brazil law says they can stay if
they occupied the land for more than 1 year.
Squatters want to stay on the right side of the law.
In desperation, they cut down a wooden bridge so
bull-dozers cant get through - to stop ranchers
clearing their part of the forests. The people who
lived by the roadside have gone - frightened
ranchers will get them. The squatters go to the local
town to get protection for their homes. The
Ministry of Reform: Land-owners protected by
the police, courts and judges, because they
have a government certificate. The squatters
have minimal rights. Ranchers strip land. They
move away to well guarded condominiums.
Argument unfair. Only 1% of the population own
land. Some have squatted land for 40 years. But
the police order them out. One morning, the Sun
barely visible due to smog from burning TREES
the squatters try to recover the corpse of a
murdered squatter. The greatest treachery! He
only went to buy kerosene and sugar. They
surrounded him. They shot him. He was my
companion. Theres no-one to appeal to. We told
police 7 days ago. The police wouldnt even send a
car. 10 million people willing to die for land.
Sad, if only because the soil is so impoverished - for
this, they risk their lives. One of the squatters
leaders was beaten to death. They ordered him
killed. I wont leave hed said. He died for us.
Afterwards, his son, with the squatters, patrolled
their patch believing the situation was working
against the ranchers. If they come and pass by
here, our plan is to shoot them. Men in ranches did
not come out for 5 weeks. Then, the gunmen
slipped out down to the river. A squatters victory!
Unusual for squatters to win any land. In another
104

(10/5/1990).

a microphone declared: The squatters are a


danger. They are invaders. Theres no time to lose.
We must make our class supreme. We must act.
Ranchers now suspected of shooting people in
authority. After visiting the morgue, the Secretary
of State became agitated: I am most indignant at
this violence. Punishment, punishment the
people chanted. Outrage spread abroad. 1,000
murders. Only 3 gunmen convicted but none of
those who commissioned the murders.
At the ELECTION: 100s of 1,000s of people
massed in valleys to the left. Their candidate - Lula.
His father driven off the land. I commit myself to
carry out land Reform. Its capable of improving
lives very quickly. 1st, punish those responsible for
the butchery. 2nd, allocate land to end rural
violence. Let this be a warning to all Brazil. We must
convict these criminals. Valleys to the right
attracted less people from the cities. They fear
Lulas Reforms. Election day more like a carnival.
Many of Lulas supporters thought he would win.
Lula got a majority in all the big cities but this not
enough to win over the Conservative interior. Lula
lost by 5%. The people now sing, in Prayer:
Without hate, malice or avarice, exploitation of the
poor by the powerful. It will be so beautiful to hear
this song sung again in the Kingdom of the
People.
Ranchers building a gun range for target
practice. 2 years later, the case against them still
has not come to court. Amnesty International
confirmed this is the case. It will probably go on people preferring to die rather than leave, like the
1,000s before them. They are driven deeper and
deeper into the forest that bore them (ITV, 30/1/1990)
Why do conservatives want to crucify people?
Re: LAND REFORM: the Law of Moses in the
Bible a system exists whereby every family in the
community owns a share of the land. This share
of land is owned by them perpetually and could not
be sold. Time was divided up into 7 day; 7 month; 7
year and (7x7=) 49 year periods. At the end of the
49th year began the 50th or Jubilee year, which was
a total reset of the system. The land which belongs
to each family could be leased out, but only for one
of these periods, then the lease could be renewed
or annulled. i.e., the land was returned to its rightful
owner who had the choice of either leasing it again
for another period or keeping it for himself to use.
This system prohibited the charging of interest on
any loans and prevented any person or group of
persons from amassing large amounts of wealth at
the expense of others. It also had provisions built
into it to prevent people who had foolishly or
mistakenly lost their share of wealth and had
nothing, from starving or being driven to crime to
survive (ref: summary by Matt Pye, 28/3/2007).
a health programme to immunise Yanomami
Indians remains paralysed due to lack of funds

Brazil: 4.5 million land-owners. 12 million rural


families have no land. 11,000 workers killed in the
struggle for land. No-one can agree. No-one
actually opposes Reforms, but nothing happens. It
could take another 10 years to end land monopoly.
Origins of the problem are not new. 1985:
Politicians made speeches about greater social
harmony proposing an end to poverty and
hunger. 1964: Land-less workers leapt into politics.
A plan, unique in our history. It was promised to
land-less families. 2,000 conflicting land claims. 14
years of negotiations! Newspapers promised
concessions. But 1,500 Homeless families
simply could not wait any longer. They occupied
a ranch. We were in a difficult situation. The boss
took most of our harvest, but we couldnt plant the
land anymore. How would you feel about losing
YOUR home? A squatters camp - many police
patrol the low-level wood and metal huts - makeshift arrangements put on dirt. 8,000 people live
here - mainly women and children. Transport is
provided by cart & horse or home-made peddle
scooters. After months of fruitless negotiations, 50
families set-up camp in a car park. Were here to
put on pressure so they solve our problems
faster! 79,000 acres due to us. Its hard - our
children have nowhere to play. Sometimes we feel
like giving up but we think its only by fighting well
get anywhere. They sing songs to cheer each
other. Children unite! We shall overcome. Unity is
strength. We have the right to land.
4 months later Prayers still repeated every
night. Were together - its good. Were fighting for
a good cause to help our poor comrades. We in
the country will collaborate with our friends in the
city.
7 months on theres no settlement on offer. A
lot of discussion among the people. We will march
through the state and the towns to appeal to the
government. They ask squatters: Do you approve
or not? Greenery is hope. They march 300 miles nuns join in. The pilgrims numbers multiplied en
route. These are people clamouring for justice.
Well stop Brazil. The march takes 28 days. Their
last supper is loaves of bread. A bystander said:
I was so moved to see them marching! The march
has brought solidarity. They wait for a concrete
reply. Heads of families say we feel very needy.
People are badly housed and fed. Government
should show concern for our situation. We have
to convince them. We hope for an audience with
the President. In a Democracy, every citizen has
the Right of Appeal in a court of law. People, not
on the march, came and said dont give up! The
squatters decided to lie down in a main square by
the government offices till they settle the dispute.
10 months now Occupation of camps still
considered illegal. We were used to eating
105

CHAPTER 3: ARCHITECTURE / Traditional

600 Homeless families camped on the roadside.


We work land collectively. At harvest time we
pay our debts to the Bank. Were forming a group.
We are constantly aware of our brothers who have
no land. We support others. 1986: The land-owner
paid compensation for the farm. Property redistributed to settlers or squatters. Now we can
begin to plant. We have a different
organisation. Land here can only support 250
300 families. Women said: We see Land-Reform
as the number 1 priority. It is our duty to strive
for Justice.
Out of 5,000 Homeless families, only 400 given
land, so another 400 occupied another farm. It has
become the HQ of hope and despair. 1987: A truck
smashed into a demonstration - many protestors
were run over - crushed. An inquiry launched. An
accident? Rose is dead. She was torn to pieces.
The squatters carried her body and laid her on the
grass at the edge of the road. Weve suffered
enough the people cried. I hope my son grows
up. It wont be in vain. Hell have a better life

greens and vegetables. Now our children are ill.


On rich farms they only grow grass! Nothing to
eat! We often wonder if well go back to the land.
We want to help others to organise - people are
losing their land. I dont like living in the town.
Lots of people do not want to migrate to the city.
Id like all women to be more active - work on the
land.
I am shocked. I can hardly believe it - theyve
told us to go back. They sing songs in defiance of
troops. The troops know we have no weapons. We
are here to carry out a mission. I gave them no
cause to hit me - the soldiers think we are animals!
God is good. Well win yet. Troops charged with
batons, causing much bloodshed. The President
was in the old military government.
At another camp: Were in a state of siege!
Squatters guard the perimeter fence in a hopeless
effort to keep the troops out. The soldiers parade
through the squatters on horses. I shall keep
fighting for food. The troops leader addresses
the squatters: Until you say who is your
representative A woman speaks out: Our
weapon is our mouth - our words. The land-less
show their weapons to the media - garden rakes.
The Church and artists send help: We support you.
Our need for land wont wait. Those ministers talk
of love at Christmas. Love, of Jesus! There are
over 12.5 million Homeless in Brazil. We learnt
you had to fight to get a future for our children.
People weve never seen before are our brothers
now. Were going to form a new society. Well
go on till we have an answer. Well fight as long
as we have the strength. (She does not look very
strong at all).
The Confrontation: The squatters decide to
occupy other farms to plant crops. Confrontation a
part of everyday life. Armed soldiers decide to
attack. Beating the people. Has this happened
in any other country? an angry woman asked.
We didnt steal! We are here to work with our
hands. Another woman, holding a small infant,
screamed: We have to take hold of Gods hand.
We want land to feed our children. Theyve put up a
barrier. They draw blood! God must hear what Im
saying. He rules the Earth! Another woman
said: We are at an impasse. We hope they do
what we say - not only when they want our vote.
Well fight till we get it - the promised land.
The State decide to end the squatters to
protect the rest - to defend their property. The
people burned effigies of ministers. The pilgrims
went in a religious procession, carrying with them
a large wooden cross. They killed Christians
and theyre still killing Christians!
The DREAM: Well plant crops, have animals,
raise chickens. People would pay less. The dream
gives people life.
The dream has come true on one farm won when

(In Memory of Rose, Women Call the Shots, Channel 4,


12/3/1990).

Basically, in the Law of Moses, in the Bible, a system


exists where every family in the community owns a share
of the land. This share of land is owned by them
perpetually and could not be sold. Time was divided up
into 7 day; 7 month; 7 year and (7x7=) 49 year periods.
At the end of the 49th year began the 50th or Jubilee
year, which was a total reset of the system. The land
which belongs to each family could be leased out, but
only for one of these periods, then the lease could be
renewed or annulled. I.e., the land was returned to its
rightful owner and he had the choice of either leasing it
again for another period or keeping it for himself to use.
This system prohibited the charging of interest on any
loans and prevented any person or group of persons
from amassing large amounts of wealth at the expense of
others. It also had provisions built into it to prevent
people who had foolishly or mistakenly lost their share of
wealth and had nothing, from starving or being driven to
crime to survive (ref. comment provided by: Matt Pye).

They're going to flatten us, smash us - our homes


- everything. Turn us out onto the streets. Homes
we built with our hands! We're going to be redeveloped in concrete'..."
(Venezuelas Environment Ministry reported): A
serious escalation of the destruction of the
Amazons largest Indian group is taking place.
Their report suggests that 9,000 Yanomami may be
killed by the contamination of rivers by nitric acid
and mercury, and that 1/5th of the Amazon Basin
has been contaminated. The Yanomami are being
decimated by diseases, including Aids, and are
subject to sexual abuse and the forcible seizure
of their shelters and land (July 1990).
**** "Since (natural) Anti-leukaemia drugs ****
were discovered when scientists talked to forest
tribes, 90 entire Forests have been wiped out"
Every minute 60 acres of forest are
106

furniture. Fears for the future of this tree species.


May become a protected tree. Some governments
want this but the British government likely to argue
fiercely to continue heavy logging (Newsround,

destroyed
43,000 acres disappear each day. 4 million
tribes-people used to live there - made
homeless & land-less
" THE RAINFORESTS HAVE GONE ! Brazil's
rate of destruction has halved. Government's
incentives to destroy have dropped. Maybe these
people could do something else?" (18/10/1990).
The Yanomami live in 100s of small villages,
grouped by families in one large communal
dwelling; a disc-shaped structure with an open-air
central plaza - an earthly version of their Gods
abode They tend gardens in harmony with the
forest (and like to wear MODERN flip-flops!)
"To tribes, the Rainforest is their Cathedral"
Your hand of friendship brings a sickness
starvation - a disease. We were kind and decent.
We dressed in our native dress. We were proud.
Before you came, my people respected the Law.
We respected the Land. Suddenly we have
become the thief. Go away and leave us in peace.
You say your god is better than our God. If you
know a better God, bring Him here to us.
"The Yanomami in Brazil have been promised a
park to live in, having lost 2/3rd of their land, after
living in the forests peacefully for 10,000
years (20/11/1991).
This century has seen the destruction of most of
South Americas Indian cultures. On average
over 80% of each of these communities dies
within the 1st 100 years of contact - almost all these
lives are claimed by Western contact (re: The

BBC1, 4/11/1994).

The Grass Roots movement needs public


support. The community needs to invest in local
communities needs to discuss priorities. Town
councils must make things happen. Residents
meetings The poor are isolated, only the elite
are favoured. Its not only about discussion - giving
voice and power to citizens whose Rights have
been denied. Its about forming a partnership
with government. We need a dignified life without
the need to steal or sleep on the streets. You
have to believe in the people The growth of the
Socialist Workers in Brazil - an organisation to
bridge the gap between the rich and poor, and
ensure everyone has a say in how the nation is
governed (Critical Eye, Channel 4, 10/11/1994).
Brazil: Classical, conventional development
created misery for the majority. Dramatic drop in
living standards. 4/5th of forests destroyed (re:
the Debt Repayment Crisis, BBC2, 25/1/1995).

Brazil: Road developers want to build a


motorway straight through the heart of the
remaining rainforest. Scheme called the
Highway from Hell. Many are opposed (Newsround,
BBC1, 5/4/1995).

EXPLOITATION:
"Forests
chopped
in
Bangladesh, India, Ethiopia, Amazon. New
Guinea, Venezuela, Australia..."
Thailand: 6 million people now landless due to
deforestation - wood needed to build new houses
and farms. Government and industry NOT
Replacing Trees - many were over 100 years old.
Shell argue they can only re-plant cleared land.
Government has insufficient man-power to stop
illegal felling. Villagers who complained have been
murdered - others told to keep quiet. The TREES
provided ECOLOGICAL BALANCE - Trees
created rainfall. Now land dried out - other regions
flooded. New wooden houses have water right
up to their door. Remaining protected areas now
greatly at risk. Squatters traditionally looked after
the forests. The squatters say they have lived
there caring for the forest for 3 generations. In
many areas the situation has gone beyond the
control of the law (1990).
"TRYING TO RE-GROW A RAIN-FOREST: Deep
scars. Urgent. Reforestation project. Spread
seeds of native trees from the air. Scientists make
seeds heavier using a gel coat with water and
nutriments, so they will grow. 1 in every 1,000
seeds grow. An encouraging result (?) This tree is
going to be 5 metres tall. It is hoped the area will
be green again. International co-operation is

Yanomami in Venezuela, Channel 4, 2/6/1994).

TOMORROWS SLUMS: "... because building


materials are so expensive... many self-built slums
are left leaking, unfinished, to be washed down
the hill any time.."
South Amazon: Worlds largest forest. Giant
trees. 400 metres high. 250 years old.
Magnificent. Takes a few seconds to cut each
down. Forest size of 30 football pitches
destroyed every minute. Rainforests cover only
7% of the Earths land surface. Mining for aluminium
cans etc. All vegetation has to be destroyed for
open cast mining. The trees are not used for
building cracked in the heat of the Sun. Such awful
devastation. We have to identify which new
trees we want for Reforestation. This tree could
take 100 years before producing fruit. Brazil will
always be the land where nuts come from?
An Indian tribe, undiscovered 12 years ago,
sold their mahogany trees to get street lighting
and are now replacing their leaf houses with
houses that wont rot away. This was opposed not done by voluntary agreement
Takes a century to grow a mahogany tree.
of Brazils mahogany is sent to the UK to make
107

CHAPTER 3: ARCHITECTURE / Traditional

Heres a picture of a house they are building:

needed" (BBC, 22/3/1990) Let's hope they don't run


out of seeds!
SPONTANEOUS REGENERATION:
Much
better to give every person 5 seeds to grow in
their backyard. With nurturing, the trees when
they are 1/3rd grown could then be planted by the
community who could continue to water and feed
them when necessary.
Trees that were 400 years old Madagascar:
STUMPED: Forests burnt to make grass-land for
cattle. Poverty is worsening. It will be a painful
transition. The need for an ALTERNATIVE lifestyle is apparent. Industrialists move in - mining
for titanium. The beauty of the land is further
threatened. Mines cut through forests. The wildlife will get in the way. Many species are unknown
to science (ITV, 13/11/1991).
Canberra: The federal government has given the
timber industry permission to log a further 60
hectares of National Estate forests in South East
New South Wales, and promised to bring forward a
decision on the industrys long term future. The
Conservation
movement
condemned
the
government saying they had given in to the timber
industry (Southern Cross, 24/9/1990).

L@@K AT THE HUGE TIMBER FRAME!


STICK BUILT: (Oh! My gosh!) HOW MANY TREES
have they used? 60? To make ONE House! ?
2 armies of 800 people work 24/7 for 3 days to
construct 2 houses. We cut down TREES, to give
it a 2nd life. We do THIS in Jesuss name. To our
Father - glory. God wants us to do this.
Unfortunately, there is no cost solution arranging
the trucking in of 3,000 different pieces of
timber..." (11/8/1990).
Im a lumberjack, and Im OK ? "No-one can
agree. No-one that matters actually opposes. So
nothing happens."
1990: "87% OF THE RAINFORESTS HAVE
GONE..." Does anyone care about it?
The whole of the UK was once covered by
forests - massive trees much larger than any that
live today England has the reputation abroad as
a green and pleasant land "Britain now has the
unhealthiest trees in the whole of Western Europe.
1 in 4 is badly damaged by pollution and insects.
Damaged trees lose leaves - cant feed or
breathe properly - they die. A terrible picture is
emerging in East Europe: 2 out of 3 trees are
damaged in the Soviet Union. 1 in 3 in
Chezoslovakia. More action called for to clean up
our air" (re: United Nations report, BBC1, 30/8/1990).
Bring the country to the town.
GO GREEN!
= PLANT TREES NOW!
(Ignored).
Planting Trees = Long Term Development.
There are only so many trees, and trees take
such a long time to grow
Growth rates vary with altitude, soil type and
density of tree cover
Q: "How long does it take for an acorn to
grow?" A: "Well, lets put it this way: When the tree
is big and wide, the planter has died."
It can take 4 years for a tree to grow 11
inches. Which species grow quickly?

A HUGE ENVIRONMENTAL CATASTROPHE


IS LOOMING
"Trees are not replaced on a one to one basis..."
They are supposed to replace every tree cut down
with 3 saplings but the soil is too poor. They dont
grow.
"Every 30 minutes, a million trees in the Rain
Forest will be destroyed."
"For God's sake. YOU have to understand..."
"RAIN FORESTS ABSORB CARBON DIOXIDE
AND PRODUCE THE OXYGEN ESSENTIAL FOR
LIFE." (Photosynthesis balances CO2.)
"Re-establish love for trees. Change the person
inside you."
UK: "Maybe you should complain to your branch
manager?"
Lots of jokes going round EG. ("If Jesus were
alive today, he might be able to regain the ashes for
us. Now that really would be a miracle.") ("Maybe
governments don't like Trees because they
know fresh air makes you feel good")
"FORESTS are being destroyed at a rate of 100
acres per minute..."
"THE GREAT TREE MASSACRE..."
HABITAT FOR HUMANITY:
450 groups across America, using volunteer
labour... Community groups brought together to
provide low cost, high quality homes for people in
need. RESURGANCE! We will end poverty.
How can we go wrong?

(I posted that question on Friends of the Earths website, in 2005. No replies!)


(The worlds fastest growing plant is Giant Bamboo growing 80 cm a day, to 35m high.)

UK: "They are still chopping down trees to make


108

fence posts etc! They keep coming here in their


lorries to take trees..." "Are you lumbering"
1991: Tree roots are undermining properties.
Solution? Get rid of tree/s (?) Go to the council, to
Town Planning, to an Aborculturist, Tree growing
expert, to the Tree Officer who all say trees along
roads are NOT protected by the Tree Protection
Act - only some very special trees are protected.
Trees have to be declared of special interest to be
protected. End the mutilation of trees. Avoid
excessive pruning i.e. removing all the foliage the greenery.
Governments could put TREE PROTECTION
ORDERS on the remaining TREES & SAPLINGS!
They say the trees are causing the buildings to
subside, they have to chop the trees down.
(Cant you come up with any better ideas?)
DOCUMENTARY:
Man
is
violating
his
fundamental principles. There will come new
diseases for which there is no cure. Man must
look after all that is natural - the plants, the
animals, the water, the air, the stones.
Everything planted must be blessed and helped
to grow - this is why we are Guardians.
Guardians of all things. The Guardians are sick.
The Guardians need help, to save them from
mutilation. We see the Earth as decaying. We must
get governments to help communities. Both
sides are part of the integration- both sides are
responsible for the harmony. Taking out one side
UNBALANCES the fundamental energy. All sides
are integrated to make a whole. Our lakes - drained
to make a power station! The EARTH is being
made WEAKER. The EARTH IS IN DANGER. The
HEART OF THE WORLD IS DYING. Unless we do
something, the world is coming to an END. No
more water is being produced. The Tundra is
drying out is now yellow - should be GREEN! No
snow to drain into lakes, to make rivers! Plant life is
too dry! (re: The KOGI, TV 1991).
ADVICE: DIY uses a lot of timber. Boycott
hardwoods from Rainforests. Customers can
make companies change their mind.
UNLESS ACTION IS TAKEN TO SAVE OUR
REMAINING FORESTS, THE TREES WILL BE
GONE BY 2025. People are urged to write to Banks
asking them to cancel 3rd World debt (ITN, 5.30am

control. Axed to make parquet flooring for


Europe. Machinery also causing ground damage.
Forests opened up for roads, railways. Virgin
forests now threatened by more new roads.
Small farms burnt. All needs come from the forest
- food, medicine, furniture SOON, FORESTS
WILL BE GONE! An endless stream of logs? The
World Banks plan is to increase Exploitation!
Less than 10% of people are interested in
Conservation. CUT & RUN, devastate, clear out,
to make bigger profits - more money. Less
investment. Whole region devastated (This
Week, ITN, 3/11/1991) ("Did they plan the destruction
behind locked doors?" They havent thought this
through, have they? NO Rainforests = Lots of
commodities will disappear)
DONT
WAIT
for
Government
Action.
Population pressure - gather like-minded friends
to help. Youve got to stand up for what you
believe in even if theres very little hope. Plant a
tree. Think twice about it. Trees are replaced by
noise pollution. Write (send lots of emails) to the
European Commission, Friends of the Earth (Go
Wild, ITV, 21/11/1991).

(Nobody bothers to water the trees during hot


weather!)
UK: Prince Charles congratulated the dedication
of gardeners and foresters for their care of Britain's
trees. As patron of the National Trusts Tree
Disaster appeal, he described how he visited the
South East decimated by ferocious winds of up 100
mph and had witnessed appalling scenes of
devastation. An estimated 15 million trees were
toppled in the storm of 1987. Insurance firms paid
out 1.2 Billion. In January 1990, winds up to 100
mph (again) felled millions of trees, including
saplings planted after the earlier storm. At the
time it seemed impossible the Trust would have the
resources to recover - a public appeal raised nearly
2 million. Thanks to the efforts of foresters and
gardeners an enormous amount of work has been
carried out (Evening Standard, 7/5/1992).
(After each storm, men with chainsaws cut up
the uprooted trees)
EXPERT: Uprooted trees can be replanted, just
as any other plant
BYE BYE USSR: 5 million cubic metres of forest
cut in one USSR region every year. At this rate devastation in 7 years.
Wood is not used SENSIBLY - is burnt as fuel cellulose produces chlorine gas - very dangerous.
Sometimes, the trees get thrown into the rivers - this
pollutes the water, kills the fish Timber exported.
The more we exploit, the more harm we do.
Britain and Siberia have signed a 2.6 Billion
deal to cut down a forest 3 times the size of
Yorkshire. Britain will supply the technical knowhow to build houses and roads in the Soviet
republic. The Russians know how to cut down

news, 28/9/1991).

RAINFORESTS
DISAPPEARING
VERY
QUICKLY. Question of Aid for re-foresting. World
Bank holding a crisis meeting. AFRICA = THE
WORLDS 2ND LUNG. Rainforests retreated
before last Ice Age. Now in retreat again.
Destruction creeping south and east. Chainsaws,
logging mills. TREES = Only way of making
money to save the economy from debt.
CAMEROON: They want to become leading
exporter of timber to the West. Will trees be
replanted? Oldest timber. Government cannot
109

CHAPTER 3: ARCHITECTURE / Traditional

they can reproduce. The reports findings confirm


the worst fears of Environmentalists. The report
tells the story of an Ecological catastrophe in the
making. It is time the timber trade faced
responsibilities and realised it is impossible to
continue this rate of destruction. The timber
companies do not want data in the report to be
published as this could have an adverse effect on
trade (The Guardian, 29/3/1993) (I believe youre going
to need ALTERNATIVE employment!)
TIME IS TICKING AWAY!
Re: The need to save the Rainforests
and halt Global Warming, John
Major said: "It is a huge task - too
huge for governments alone." A
minister, in response said: "A
change in our life-styles is desired
- but what changes? We must ask ourselves isn't there a better way we could all live our lives?"

trees. The profits from world-wide sales will be split


between the 2 countries. Harvesters promise to
replace every tree. Attitude is very
irresponsible. There is Ecological concern all
over the world. The problem cannot be solved?
RUSSIA is selling (military) tanks to forestry
firms. Tanks will pull up Trees (1992) WAH!
"25,000 species of plants under threat of
extinction from destruction of rain forests" (1992).
GREENPEACE SLOGAN: "THERE'S NO TIME TO
WASTE." "An internal policy decision was taken by
Greenpeace not to inform the public in Europe
about the destruction of the Rain Forests" (Why?)
(GREEN.... PEACE Do you get it now?)
THE URBAN FOREST: Dear to peoples hearts?
Theyre a nuisance. Causing damage. Pulling
down the wall. Should be cut. Cut it down. Too
high. Very dangerous. (Actually causing minor
inconvenience). Blocking Sunlight. Gradually,
these older established trees are being phased
out - cut down, replaced with smaller trees. I want
them out. Garage attacked by roots. I dont
want the trees to go! I dont believe theyve
reached the end of their life span. People
butchering trees - severe, heavy pruning vandalism. Legalised vandalism. Trees used to
absorb
pollutants.
Trees
threatened
by
development. Wooden stakes used to support new
trees - put in too close, too tight - damages tree. A
wild tree tightly bound. Ground concreted, paved
over roots, walled in, caged - simply cant grow.
No way tree can get water. Roots coming to
surface to find water. Paving stones lifted someone could trip. Authority liable for accidents.
We will repair. They put on more paving stones!
Trees dying as a consequence. This was once a
forest. Ask yourself now, how many trees are
there? Transplanting semi-mature trees = Less
risk of vandalism. To protect trees each person
could adopt a tree? (Fragile Earth, Channel 4, 28/2/1993).
America: One man is sitting it out in an old tree hes been there for 10 days. Tree was to be
chopped for a housing project. All the other trees
have gone (February 1993).
UK: Dutch Elm disease killed 85% of the Elm trees.
Now disease is back to claim the rest (April 1993).
THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT is backing the
international timber trade in suppressing a report
showing that 100s of tree species face extinction
due to excess logging. The report by the World
Conservation Monitoring Centre lists 304 species so
exploited they are considered threatened at
Global level. A total of 1,868 species were
identified as involved in the timber trade, being
imported to Britain and Europe from Africa and
Asia. Of these 190 were recorded as threatened in
2 or more countries and 304 Globally, meaning
these trees have a 1 in 10 chance of becoming
extinct. Many species are being felled faster than

(Rio, 1993).

UK: Deadly virus / fungus is attacking 1,000s of


trees in Kent. Spreading rapidly. Large numbers
have already fallen. Strikes rapidly & devastatingly.
Fear of epidemic. Scientists trying to halt believe
disease is water borne. Could affect other wild-life.
Outbreak has wreaked havoc (BBC, 27/6/1993).
A Country-side Commission report said London
needs more trees if London is to remain green.
People are choosing small trees. As old trees
affected by pollution etc., so they will disappear. A
tree planting programme has started (BBC1,
27/6/1993).

EXPERT: Hug a tree to avoid stress (7/12/1993).


UK: CHOP, CHOP, CHOP. Dont chop our trees!
Teams of fellers wielding the axe in a leafy
street, are barking up the wrong tree, said an irate
resident. They are cutting the trees so that all
you get left is a 30ft stump sticking in the air. By
the time 6 trees have been extensively pruned, he
had had enough. He warned that if they continued
to lop branches so savagely they would find him
wrapped around a tree. Haringay council said they
were not destroying the trees but thinning and
reducing the trees by 30%. We have to handle a
growing number of insurance claims because of
subsidence and damage to property said a
spokeswoman (Islington Gazette, 27/5/1993).
"MONEY LENDERS ARE STILL CAUSING
DESTRUCTION: Have you heard of those highfinance Foreign Aid packages to 'Conserve'
Rainforests'? Most of the time all they are
conserving is business as usual. We are now
losing forests at a rate 50% faster than 10 years
ago - an area larger than England and Wales is lost
at a staggering pace - faster than an acre per
second... 1/5th of human induced emissions of
Carbon Dioxide arise from Tropical Deforestation. Clearing forests releases the Gas
and absent ones are not there to reabsorb the
110

diseased trees. Many had brown or yellowing


leaves, or none at all. They looked as if they
were suffering from lack of water. Fungus is
threatening 800,000 Plane trees (Evening Standard,

Gas. Exactly how fast the worlds species are


becoming extinct cant be known since most
species arent known - a good guess would be more
than 50 a day. Impacts on people living in and
near the forests continue to be quite dreadful.
Many tribal forest-dwellers face cultural and
physical extinction. The MAIN Causes:
UNSUSTAINABLE LOGGING, MINING for gold
etc., conversion of forests to cash-crop
plantations, and flooding them for huge DAM
projects. Politicians have been under increased
pressure to deliver solutions. So far, they have
delivered mainly Aid. International Aid for
Environment projects has mushroomed. Legions
of multi-million green-funding mechanisms litter
the development circuit - their objective is spending
Tax-payers money on 'sustainable development.'
So why is the rate of loss still increasing?
1980: The Aid agencies went green but that seems
to have had very little effect on the Environmental
quality of many of their projects EG. Britain's
Overseas Development Administration (ODA) still
funds logging projects! There is no such thing
as sustainable logging! Forestry programmes
concentrate on commercial timber exploitation,
rather than sustainable use of forests on behalf
of local people. The World Bank persists in
setting the scene for forest destruction. A
convincing body of evidence suggests the
organisations main priority - lending money to make
money - has not changed" (BBC Wildlife magazine,

31/8/1994).

"The consumer can protect the remaining


world's forests by NOT buying timber. The latest
Royal Green household policy is only to buy timber
from renewable forests. Imported American
Indian forest timber passes this criteria! Labels
on wood to advise consumers are however mostly
meaningless. Its the good will and conscience of
the consumer that will save the forests. Prince
Charles expressed overwhelming despair at the
rate of the destruction (17/3/1994).
The British are very slow at complaining
"... maybe we would if we had a viable
ALTERNATIVE..." "Trouble with this country,
there's so much dithering about..." "We're superfools."
"Britain has lost 45% of ancient woodland in the
past 50 years - a rate of loss greater than that of the
Brazilian forests. London has lost 18% of its
woodland" (11/4/1994).
"AT LOGGERHEADS: ... moves by land-owners
to win EEC support for tree planting on set
aside land have met with a splintered reaction
from top Euro-crats in Brussels. A hard fought
campaign
by
the
Country
Landowners
Association... who said that Refusal to make tree
planting grants to farmers was damaging efforts
to establish new woodlands in the UK. The EEC
directorate argue that British farmers are reluctant
to take land out of arable production. The RULES
do not allow for TREE planting... (22/4/1994).
UK: 10s of 1,000s of Alder trees are affected by a
disease which stops leaf growth and rots bark
(Country File, BBC1, 25/5/1994) "UK now only has 10%
of forests left..."
1994: "We need the remaining forests. The
TREES ACT AS OUR LUNGS, removing
poisonous carbon dioxide from the air and
replacing this CO2, with OXYGEN, so that we
can Breathe. THE WORLD ONLY HAS ONE
LUNG LEFT. We have already destroyed our
other lung." STOP THE DESTRUCTION!
Why dont you plant trees? Theres no
money in it. UNFORGIVEABLE!
"We'll have a GRAVE, not a New World..."
"Home is where the heart is." Is your heart made
of wood? "Are you wooden?
"A CHRISTMAS TREE takes approx. 9 years to
grow. Most are chopped and cannot live without
roots. Carnage. 50 MILLION TREES are chopped
down every Christmas.
250,000 trees chopped to make Christmas
cards every year
WHEN will YOU STOP Killing to make a living
?

August 1993).

UK: The Forestry Commission own 3 million


acres of woodland. This will not be privatised (ITV,
18/5/1994). Then: The Forestry Commission were
criticised for planting large blocks of dense forest
which alters the look of the landscape
There is very little remaining natural woodland in
Scotland (June 1993).
1000s of trees on Hampstead Heath in London
to be cut down to improve the view (!) (i.e. cannot
clearly see the High-Rise city skyline) and improve
undergrowth. Poison put on roots! Up to 50% will
be felled - if not all the trees which is their
favoured plan. Area gives a bit of respite. Its
bliss not being able to see all these new buildings
(BBC1, 12/8/1994).

UK: DESPAIR OVER YOUNG TREES DYING:


Delicate young trees are being slowly strangled
to death due to carelessness and neglect. 10s of
1,000s of saplings are having their life blood
squeezed out because nobody is adjusting or
loosening their ties. Lack of maintenance in
London was seriously worsening the problem of
strangulation. Experts believe 30% - 50% of new
saplings die within 2 to 3 years from ill-health and
vandalism. A GP discovered that 25% of young
trees around her home in Kent were dead or dying.
We found it very upsetting seeing so many sick and
111

CHAPTER 3: ARCHITECTURE / Traditional

"Work out how many trees YOU have used, and


replant NOW!" (The average UK family uses 6
trees a year in paper)
One single garage A-frame roof = 4 Trees!
TO HELP STOP US SUFFOCATING Indonesia
has planted 9 million trees (TV advert, May 1994)

something about it then.


The oldest rainforest in the world - Australias
forest is threatened by logging, new roads
(The Big Trip, BBC2, 19/10/1994).

FOREST FIRES sweeping popular tourist resorts


in Spain. More than 1 million hectares of forest
destroyed. Cause: Soaring temperatures

In Londons Docklands, trees are dead or dying,


poisoned by an overdose of weed killer which
filtered through the soil slowly destroying the
roots and delicate membranes. A landscape
gardener said the product had been recommended
by the Ministry of Agriculture (Evening Standard,

(10/8/1994).

14/10/1994).

A new link between car exhaust fumes and


damage to Londons trees has been made by a
scientist. Air pollution affects growth patterns,
which may explain an apparent decline in the
health of some broad leaf species. This can also
alter the time the trees bud (Evening Standard,

UK: I could have cried Residents are


mourning the loss of a 100 year old Lime tree which
was suddenly chopped down. The tree was axed
because of its proximity to a medical centre being
built nearby. The tree had no sign of disease.
Islington council gave permission for it to be
chopped down (Islington Gazette, 20/10/1994).
BUILDING BOOM BRINGS NEW THREAT TO
TREES: Green open spaces in London and the
trees on them are being threatened by
developers. As a national TREE Awareness
campaign is launched today, Estates Gazette
said there is demand for 8 million square ft of new
office space and every available site will come
under scrutiny. The London Ecology Unit fears
councils will face pressure to sell land (Evening

(Are they still there now?)

8/9/1994).

REFORESTATION PROGRAMME: Seedlings


from forest taken to a tree nursery. Over 70
species - being added to all the time. Got to be
tough to survive. Trees planted 2 metres apart.
Same type of trees not put next to each other. Most
varieties seeded by wind, birds. Growth rate
depends on quality of soil. Planting new trees will
take a very long time and is so very important so whole cycle can begin again Small steps
taken but in the right direction (Blue Peter, BBC2,

Standard, 23/11/1994).

16/9/1994).

UK: Furniture shop fire. Fire was so huge there


was a fear the whole city could be engulfed! 200
fire-crew fought the blaze. So much water was
needed, river water had to be used (19/1/1995).
In the Scottish Highlands, pine forests replaced
by grazing sheep.
I have this longing to see and smell apple
trees, green leaves, a bubbling brook I think
Im dying inside until
Chezoslovakia: FIR TREE forests are being
killed by acid rain - devastation, Environmental
disaster. 300 square miles of land turned into a
desert. Dirty air causing illnesses, premature
births. Coal burning power stations blamed

TREE WATCH: Many of Londons street trees are


shedding leaves - the cause is not just the change
of seasons but a range of problems from pollution
to vandalism. The trees which line the highways
are the legacy of our far-sighted fore-fathers,
whose vision was of a city shaded by greenery.
Trees are living, breathing things, and just like
humans they suffer from illness, stress and
damage. It is really up to the public; either we
ignore the symptoms or we can start planning
for the future. We can help by adopting a
neighbourhood tree and reporting any problems
said the London Tree Officers Assoc. Trees have
been fatally damaged when streets dug up to
accommodate the needs of electricity, water, gas
and telecom mature trees have had their roots
entombed in concrete Trees threatened with
the axe to make way for new link roads

(BBC1, 6/1/1997).

Indonesia: Flames lit by greed, spread by


drought. Land cleared of forests. Now SMOG. No
Sun for 3 months! Only 50% visibility. Surgical
masks not adequate protection from carcinogenic
hydro-carbons. Here, the Earths lungs have
gone! Forests here disappearing faster than in
the Amazon. Bob Hasan, the President, has
projects EG. A pulp factory, clearing 1 million
hectares of forest to make rice fields (on peat
which is too salty to work). Business as usual
attitude. People badly affected by smog but have
no voice or power. We need an accountable
government. Copying Britain where 97% of the
forests have gone - a big mistake (Newsnight,

(Evening Standard, 26/9/1994).

BLESSED ARE THE PEACE-MAKERS.


Let your love shine like a mountain stream. Let
your love grow. Let your love SHINE and youll
know what I mean
LEAVES: A rich resource. Should be kept for
fertiliser. Most gardeners burn leaves and throw
the ashes away. Trees need to reclaim most of
the nutrients lost by recycling the decomposing
leaves. LEAVES are beautiful things producing our Oxygen. We should respect that.
DO YOU LIKE TREES? YES shouted the
audience (Scolfields Quest, ITV, 16/10/1994) Do

BBC2, 1/10/1997).

Britain's last remaining 2% of ancient oak forest is


likely to be sold to timber merchants who argue
112

legally protected by any preservation order and


could be cut (9/5/2005).
EXPERT: You can buy French oak railway
sleepers for 25. What a bargain! Ideal for making
planting tubs (March 2005) What a waste, what a
waste, what a waste.
EXPERT: At the moment everyones buying
hardwood flooring but things change (UK,

they will merely thin out forests. Wood is destined to


be sold in Germany (Channel 4, 1/8/1997).
The worlds forests will have gone in 50 years.
Needs of farmers put above the Environment
(8/10/1997).

Man continues the destruction of the


rainforests for farming. Logging - Sierra Leone
has now lost nearly all forests (1998).
UK: Forestry Commission being privatised.
Forests gradually being sold off - no longer open
to the public. Taken over by aggressive
management for pheasant shooting Were
heading for disaster (Out & About, 13/6/1998).
1.5 million trees still being chopped every year
to make junk mail (1999).
DONT PANIC. GROW TREES!
India: "... in one region they are working on a
micro-climate project - are going to bring down
the temperature by using wasted spaces for a
massive plantation of trees... Impetus from US
Agency for International Development" (2001).
UK: Latest must-have trend is decking for
gardens using hardwood timber to match the
hardwood garden furniture now available in many
styles. Decking should last 20 years. ADVERT:
30% discount on all hardwood floors and decking.
Huge stocks. Free delivery
UK: "EUROFOREST are removing healthy trees,
to sell - this has nothing to do with managing
forests, only making profits..."
USA: "Only has 15% of forests left. G. W. Bush is
pushing for some of the largest logging projects
whilst dismantling critical forest protection laws
that took decades to put in place" (2003 - 4).
(Turn over a new leaf) "One (African) woman
so concerned about the loss of trees, planted 3
million trees (& won the Nobel? prize) (October 2004).
UK: WOODLAND WARS: Only 2% of ancient
woodland left. Lost to quarries, roads, housing,
airports These trees will be bull-dozed
because we need crushed rock to maintain
hospital buildings etc. 350 remaining sites under
threat. Irreplaceable. These are our Rainforests.
Economy or Environment? Forests should have
absolute Protection (BBC, 9/12/2004).
60% of tropical rainforests are gone (February,

March 2005).

the wood comes from the USA to make furniture


in this huge factory in Taiwan, then it goes back to
America its cheaper to do it this way
27,000 Trees a DAY still being chopped down
(November 2005).

"With a bit of luck, touch wood..." a table or


chair? This happy-go-lucky attitude filled me with
foreboding You should be able to reach out
and touch a LIVING TREE!
We are down to our last breathable
dregs of polluted air (2006).
"There's death in the air. Those who survive sing a
desperate hymn. Pray God owes you one final
request..."
A World Wildlife Fund report out today states we
have only 5 years to save the Planet to stop
deforestation (Palm radio, 15/5/2007).
SCENARIO?: "What's happened?" "THE TREES
have died, that's what's happened. We didn't do
anything about it!" "Ashes to ashes... dust to
dust..." "You always want what you haven't got..."
WHEN ALL THE TREES HAVE GONE, how will
we survive?
"Autumn trees were once paved with gold. Now
they bid you a sad farewell"
Well disappear into thin air
take away that sad word good-bye. Bring back
the JOY in this life Say we need trees again

SITE SAFETY:
"We were asked why Architects designed
buildings using building materials - blocks that
weighed 93lbs, when the laying of such blocks
was injurious to the health of the bricklayer... ... it is
a question of saving money on site..."
HARD WORK NEVER KILLED ANYONE ?
UK: 1987-1988: "157 people were killed and
17,000 people injured on construction sites" "3
deaths a week..."
EG. "3 more construction workers died today...
Tons of rubble fell on them... an inquest decided
they were victims of unlawful killing... the men
responsible had no understanding of the dangers
involved..."
1990: "Real men are no longer judged by how much
they can sweat."
"10,000 people seriously injured in construction
every year"
"We kill and injure more people than all the other

2005).

I knew they were destroying Rainforests but Im


amazed by the sheer scale of the destruction!
ALL the trees have gone - chopped down to
make way for cattle - for beef-burgers!
78 million acres of Rainforest are destroyed
every year - land the size of Poland (The
Independent, 10/7/2004).

Canada & USA have been at logger heads for a


long time - haggling over subsidies re: logging
agreements (Sky news, 25/2/2005).
UK: TO MAKE WAY FOR UNSUITABLE
HOUSING residents are fuming after trees were
cut down The council said the trees were not
113

CHAPTER 3: ARCHITECTURE / Traditional

heavy industries put together" admitted the


building industry (UK, 1993).
"Back pain costs Britain 3 BILLION a year, and
50 million working days lost." Theres only so
much a person can take before their back
breaks... (Osteoarthritis: Wearing down of
cartilage. Causes excruciating pain) hes
got a plastic knee now. Hes disabled

it." "I hate it in here." "I can hear him coughing


100 floors above me." "I'll chuck myself off the
balcony if I don't get re-housed." "After all that
hassle moving in here, the only way I'll get out of
here is when they carry me out in a wooden box."
The only good thing about being so high up is the
view of other tower blocks
I feel so far from nature
"He jumped?" "He thought he could fly... He
wanted to fly but..." "He was pushed!"
1974: THE TOWERING INFERNO: A blockbuster
film made 1974, about a stupidly high skyscraper,
a GLASS TOWER, 120 storeys high. Lots of rich
people go there for a party, the tower catches fire
The TOWER = A monument to all the bull-shit in
the world..." WARNING MESSAGE: "One day,
10,000 people will die in a tower block...
THE FIRE DEPT SAID: We can only deal with
fire if buildings are kept to 7 storeys
maximum'..."
"Don't use the lifts in the event of fire!"
HOW CAN WE GET THEM DOWN? All those
people, stuck up there..." Put a ladder up to
reach up there? With the risk of all that glass
exploding out? Never. A giant inflatable helterskelter? Air drop parachutes? OK then. Whats
the
ALTERNATIVE?
(You
need
an
elevatorsomething that can rise to the occasion.
You raise me up Hmm. Ah! Im actually
excited by this prospect. I really am!) A ROBOT
has been developed that will (slowly) climb up
walls that could help if the building is on fire
(California, BBC TV, 31/7/2005).
"1,000s of CRUMBLING HIGH-RISE UNITS. When
no work, no money available to maintain
property." "39,000 complaints from one tower
block in London about cockroaches. Only way to
get rid of them? Dynamite."
"ARSON attacks in tower blocks are on the
increase. There's a cycle of violence..." (1/3/1992)
(Theyve seen the link)
"Architects dream, tenants nightmare. Good
riddance. Glasgow is getting rid of 2 blocks.
Totalitarian Architecture. Tenants voted with
their feet, couldn't wait to leave" (28/4/1993).
"CRIME is up in tower blocks..." "MUGGING in
tower blocks... frenzied attacks..."
"A housing estate with the worst record in the UK
for racial violence is being axed from a
government
inner-city
regeneration
programme... a 50 million housing programme...
money would have been used to replace the highrise blocks with houses for 1,500 residents... money
will go instead to another estate (Stonebridge)... the
estate would have been taken over by a Housing
Action Trust (HAT), which would have organised
the reconstruction... The tenants could then have
voted to return to council control, or run the estate
as a Co-operative, or allow a private land-lord to

A Typical Building Site:

(Photo: The Whittington Hospital, London, 1989).

UK: 100 children a year killed on building sites


(29/3/2005).

"It's having houses built by men, I believe that


makes all the work and trouble" (said H.G. Wells).
All this DIRTY work as if theres no
ALTERNATIVE Bozo. Dont know youre out of
style.
NEW RULES ON DESIGN SAFETY: "Strict new
regulations could become law... The Health and
Safety Commission Regulations would oblige
architects to design buildings so they can be
built, maintained and demolished safely..."

SAFE means: Predictable, secure, untroubled by


danger, or fear, impregnable, reliable, certain not
to fail- give way, fortify..."
DEDUCTIVE
LOGIC:
Traditional
building
materials are UNAFFORDABLE. Thats my theory
and Im sticking with it.
TOWER BLOCKS (Brief History):
(Le Corbusier the Grand-Father of modern
design loved for curvy concrete structures
raised and supported on columns) His designs
copied by lesser talented architects, gave birth to
the loathed 1960s tower blocks
HIGH-RISE BUILDING SYNDROME: "I hate
heights." "I'm always afraid my kids will fall..."
"Such a long way to fall." "The fucking lift's not
working again! Now would you just credit it?"
"How the hell am I supposed to climb up all them
stairs with the pushchair and me shopping?" Ill
break my neck on those stairs! "The council's
having a laugh, at our expense." "I don't know
what they think they're playing at, but I'm sick of
114

oversee them... People's hopes were aroused...


the HAT proposal took 18 months and cost
200,000... The Environment Dept., said there was
not enough money to meet all demands under the
programme..." (5/8/1993).
("Can you tell me what is safe, secure and
economic?" "England's fate hinges on it.")
"HIGH-RISE OWNERS: ... the council right-to-buy
scheme... a London borough has been accused of
abandoning families who bought high-rise flats... a
7.4 million deal excludes more than the
borough's ex-council flat owners. 'We have been
blatantly conned.' ... Families who live in blocks
more than 4-storeys high will not be included in the
transfer to the private sector... Lenders reluctant to
give mortgages for High-rise council properties,
leaving owners unable to move... the Council of
Mortgage Lenders asked to drop the ban..."
(19/7/1993) "70,000 people who bought their high-rise
flat who are unable to sell... council told they must
give mortgages" (14/12/1994).
DESPAIR: "Prince Charles delivered one of his
most damning indictments yet on the breakdown
of society... describing the anarchy and
lawlessness of inner-city children... young people
living on soul-less housing estates had a feeling
of hopelessness and alienation, were prone to
racial tension, crime, drug abuse, and
unemployment. 'The very fabric of society starts to
get eaten away.' ... Architectural and urban
decline... children are not designed to live in tower
blocks, where there is no framework of order,
together with a sense of isolation from the rest of
society... He warned any solution to the problems
of inner cities could not come from government
alone, but had to be based on participation by the
community... He urged a partnership approach
by public and private sectors... in many parts
people were coming together, determined to put
the soul back into their local society and create a
future for the community..." (26/10/1993).
"SEEDY these days means: SQUALID." How to
end urban sprawl?
"A nursery lost their high court battle to stay open were providing only safe place to play for
children from top floors of tower block..." (October,

The stench of burnt wood! Intense heat.


"A fire burning out of control can double in size
every minute. The heat hot enough to bend
steel..."
TERRIFYING: "... Flames erupted, spread so
quickly! Todays homes are so dangerous - full of
electrical gadgets... Fumes - 2 gulps and you could
be unconscious. Victims badly burnt. Smoke so
thick you can't see anything. Terrible! You've got a
maximum 2 minutes approx. to get out.
"Fire swept through the home..." "There was no
external fire escape! I didn't want to melt. The
window frames and the floor were on fire. I jumped,
broke many bones..."
GONERS: "They've gone! 4 people in a few
minutes. Terrible!" "She died in absolute agony..."
FIRE! The children are burnt. The house is
gone "Despite the desperate attempts of
neighbours..."
"How did it start? Wiring?" "How the hell do I
know?" "25,000 fires a year start with cooking.
WAH! 'I don't want anyone else to go through
this. I want something done about it.'..."
"It took hold so quickly! How? The contents were
highly flammable. Ceiling voids. Lack of
sprinklers. The answer is to create compartments
that can be contained."
1992: "ARSON ATTACKS: 40% of all fires in
Britain are started deliberately. 2,000 people die
each year." These kids love playing with fire! I
dont know where they get it from - its not from
us! ("If only all the arsonists would run out of
matches" "They're making a bonfire of the
rules" (see: UK Building Regulations).
1993: UK: "60,000 fires in homes every year.
More than 600 people died. 75,000 injuries."
FIRE FIGHTERS STRIKE: "It's quite obvious
we've not got it. We're going to fight for it" said a
fireman. "The fire brigade's not a special case! The
nurses want it, the doctors want it! But we're only
giving them a 1% pay increase..." said a Tory. (it =
money). "Growing anger. A lot of people are
dissatisfied. Another conflict" (17/3/1993) ("... the
debate about it is simmering on the back
burner...") "Britain is at the bottom of the league in
fire prevention in Europe" (26/5/1993).
"The Emergency services are stretched to the
limit (breaking point)
A block of flats are on fire

1993).

"I am very mindful that people who are living in


tower blocks, are the HOSTAGES of bad
government." (The government could announce
an amnesty relieving harsh Capital punishments,
life-terms)

ROTTEN HOUSING:
THE CONCRETE JUNGLE: "World-wide:
HUGE
BLOCKS.
Everywhere...
identical
HORRIBLE BLOCKS... "Ailing GREY BLOCKS,
rotting, infected by some insidious wasting
disease..." "In a state of serious decay..." "What
a dump!" Shoddy, substandard, so poor, rundown." 25 million people trapped here? "I'm
feeling off colour"

HOUSE FIRES:
1991: UK: 64,000 house fires. 610 people died in
them"
HORRIFIC! "Your house can burn down in the
time it takes to phone the fire brigade." "Your house
reduced to a shell..."
115

CHAPTER 3: ARCHITECTURE / Traditional

(When it's a complete unknown...")


CITIES are TERRIBLY OVER-CROWDED: = HELL
(on earth). (Over-crowding is assessed by how
many people per room, not how many people per
plot - in a square mile). (I know a good way to
reduce over-crowding)
"Most people live in houses over 60 years old. 75%
of people have low incomes. Millions of homes are
substandard... as the housing stock ages and
building techniques prove defective... (1987).
"11 Billion cut in investment for housing in
London over last 10 years" (1989) "Some things
never change, eh?"
"INHUMAN PLANNING: Many 'modern' housing
estates... everyone convinced there is something
wrong with the buildings. Brick built. Culprit? The
space between the buildings. People avoid too
much isolated space or if too built up. More open
space could be the answer" (5/5/1993) ("There's too
many empty spaces between people...")
"We need to house a lot of people quickly...
Factory-made houses can be just as good as
production-line cars = Industrially built... concrete
blocks... a utopian vision, of high units with
nothing in-between, quickly became SLUMS. 'We
were condemned.' A failure only 4 years later.
People were not happy. Most awful blocks. One
example of what is wrong with housing... 'We've got
together to make sure they don't experiment like
this with anyone else.' 'The community works well
if they have a common interest.'... Cheaper to
demolish and start again... " (re: Hulme, Manchester,

banging and crashing, every sound travelling


through the walls and floors "His toilet leaked
through my ceiling!" "Uh Oh! There's another
crack in the ceiling..." Filthy corridors, strong
smell of urine and rubbish - the smell of Humanity!
Disgusting. I FEEL like a Homeless person
"Couldn't relax, couldn't relate" "I'm too afraid to
go out." Rusty pipes. Ceilings falling down. Hot
water heating not working "This is neither
cheap or cheerful." "So damp in here we're growing
mushrooms!" "This estate is a HELL-hole. Should
have been condemned years ago." "What is
there that couldn't be improved?" These places
are a health risk, and should be closed down."
"Every block is infested with cockroaches. You
turn the light on and they scurry away all over the
place. They're in the food cupboards, on the
cooker... They are so disgusting. Yuk, makes my
flesh crawl..." "Even the rats have asked for a
transfer!" "It aint like it's supposed to be."
Deficient. "This puts a lot of people in very
desperate
situations."
"Reduced
living
standards..." "The SHORTAGE of DECENT
housing, and prospects... Demoralised. "All the
people are BREAKING... The language they use!"
A RISING TIDE OF COMPLAINTS:

"... it's just not good enough..."


"We're housed... but not OK. Housed but with no
direction They never understood this was no
good. We can't carry on with this on our
shoulders. "We're not going to sit in silence.
Oh woe, woe, woe. We're going to try and
understand it, cos here life gets harder every
day..." "I hear Freedom call. Tear down these
walls. It wont be long - we'll be in a better place.
Speak out loud. It wont be long..." "All we need
is some kind of ACTION PLAN..."
("A HOME is supposed to be a LIFE SUPPORT
system, isn't it?" "I guess it depends what is on the
top of your list of priorities...")
"Britain's housing is crumbling... estimated repair
bill over 54 Billion. Britain is not a poor nation but
too little money is spent on housing..." (1990).

UK, 29/5/1993).

"Could we be heading for the biggest HOUSING


CRISIS we've had for years? Many houses unfit. 1
in 4 fails to meet the government's (low)
standard. Many houses showing their age. In only
one borough, 1,000s of homes unfit to live in. The
problem can only be solved with government and
private money. That's not likely to happen in a
recession" (21/6/1993).
"ON VERGE OF COLLAPSE: ...a series of
surveys Nationally 7.5 million are unfit to live in
(7.4%). A quarter of the homes in London need
serious renovation, with structural problems, poor
ventilation, heating, water and sanitation... The
definition 'UNFIT' is based on inadequate levels
of stability, disrepair, dampness etc. ... The fall in
availability of improvement grants... The
government's plans to change the rules for
renovation grants... The slump in the housing
market discourages people from maintaining their
property... The situation will be worsened... The
national bill for next year must be cut... "
(23/6/1993).
COMMON
COMPLAINTS:
"Council
accommodation the size of rabbit hutches, in rundown areas..." "This aint no dream house." A
miserable sub-existence. NO PEACE! Doors

(Cartoon: Architects magazine: Artist unknown. 1980s?)


116

would be reducing the poverty that forces


women onto the streets. In particular, re-instating
Housing Benefit for the under-18s (early
December, 2004) There are so many prostitutes

(I've got a plan..." "Of course, it's not everyone's cup


of tea..." The money saved by providing a lowcost ALTERNATIVE = Money to improve existing
desirable traditional housing?)
BOXING in the 20TH Century = "There's always a
winner and a sore loser. You have to fight till you
can't get up." Boxed-in badly.
Boxing shouldn't be bruising!"
( its a contender)
"See and understand the wounds they suffer..."
HOW POOR HOUSING AFFECTS WOMEN: "
Women have relied on council housing - councils
housed more women than men because women
could not Afford to buy a home on their income
alone. Many women rely on state welfare benefits or
maintenance payments from estranged partners"
"We're so hard up." "This aint no stairway to
Heaven. One slip down these stairs is enough to
scare the pants off you..." "Pokey and grimey."
"Gone to rack and ruin." Grotty. Shabby. Not at
all chic "This is hardly Paradise." "I would love
to have a garden. If I had one, I would take great
pride in it. It's not too much to ask for, is it?" "All I
want is a patch of grass, some flowers... a SAFE
place where my children can play..." "Sometimes
when it all gets on top of me, I go to the bus-stop
and weep..." "Is the slump over yet?"
"The House of Pain." "Gruelling."
I hate this
God-forsaken house! I cant manage This is
killing us! "This'll be the ruin of us." "I'm walking
out of this house. I've had enough! I can't take it
anymore." "If one thing doesn't get you, another
thing will." I just cant hack it anymore!
(Add your comments here..................................)
"No chance of honest toil. They diddle, they cheat all to try and survive, to eke out a living on Social
Security..." "You never know what's around the
next corner..." "Pimps, prostitutes, weirdo men
hovering round, perverts, crazed thugs... " "Kerb
crawling is a real danger..." ("Men who hover
around are always a risk to females / families.")
( he hovered around just to make sure she was
safe) "900 girls stand on the street corners in
the UK plying the oldest trade (for money). Will
they willingly be herded into zones? Where will
the legalised zones be? Police videoing scantily
dressed girls, instead of removing them from the
streets - will do this until a solution is found..." (re: TV
debate to legalise prostitution, 4/10/1991) ( its happy,
its cheerful, it would brighten any dull corner)
Most women get into the sex trade due to
suffering abuse. They dont like themselves. They
have a sense of worthlessness Shes a knockaround girl "We have to pay the rent man." "A
girl's gotta eat." "What's wrong with making him pay
for it?"
(Prostitutes sell sex rather than plastic containers.
Prostitutes are fallen angels.") Legalising
prostitution is one possibility. What would be better

(2005).

(Cutting Corners: SAVES TIME, but can


compromise SAFETY!)
SAFE AS HOUSES? UK: "Every year 2.5 million
accidents in the home - many involve children."
UNHAPPY: "... Most people complain about the
LACK OF DURABILITY: "Its broken again! I
don't believe it! Oh! They dont make things like they
used to. I LIKE things that ARE built to LAST.
Nothing lasts anymore. Sometimes things dont
last as long as youd like them to - this hurts.
Everything has a life-span. Starts off new, breaks
down - has to be patched up, then scrapped. If
only the corners were reinforced, the handles made
stronger. If only these didnt keep breaking... Ive
lived here for 6 years and this is the 4th washing
machine Ive had to buy! Not built to last. Tested to make sure they do break down, just after the
guarantee, if any, expires! Very annoying! "It's
broken. Crappy thing!" "This takes over our
lives." "WAH! I want something to last a lifetime." "I want to organise my life so I live
independently - everything has to last." "I've got a
very long list of things that need fixing." "Those
'little' jobs around the house? A modern, exciting
life-style? Hardly." "I'm gutted. We worked so hard
to pay for this and it didn't get us anywhere"
(Ah! You dont feel happy when things let you
down? When you know what it is you really want
to do, when you make up your mind, there will be no
stopping you. But what has been stopping you all
this time?)
A big complaint is that complaints never get
anywhere
"Mrs Thatcher came here and agreed the conditions
are terrible but nothings been done." "Talk to
Walls." "Ow! That HURTS. Do you think people
really like banging their heads against brick
walls?" "They've fobbed me off, again." "No-one at
the council wants to know anything about it!"
"We've got to show the council they can't get
away with it!"
OUTSTANDING REPAIRS: "The council's up to
their ears in repairs!" "There's a lot of people before
you, you know! You've been allocated a number.
If you haven't heard by the end of next week, call
back.." YOU ARE CAUGHT IN A QUEUE. Please
hold on.
UK: 1989: Things are actually getting worse.
Fed-up with queuing, waiting to pay? Advice:
COMPLAIN! Say: Provide the service we want.
Be Bold
THE HOUSING DEPARTMENT SAID: "All I get is
peoples constant complaints. If it were up to me,
I'd let them have what they want, but I can't, so
117

CHAPTER 3: ARCHITECTURE / Traditional

hoping to get a home with a garden, in a safe area


where the kids can play You know what theyre
like down at the council. Youre only a number,
held in a queue. When you do get through, theyre
so rude to you! They treat you like shit! I cant be
bothered chasing them - whats the point? They
havent got any properties available (2000).
COUNCIL HOUSING ALLOCATIONS: NEW
SYSTEM: So now Im supposed to compete for
points against other bidders when you advertise the
odd available hovel in the newspaper? You
people are pathetic (2004).
("Considering their circumstances, these people
seem remarkably sane. These people have endured
the most profound agony and suffering. I ask you to
give them leave so they may recover...)
"NEW HOMES = LET THERE BE LIGHT!"
Of course, its not compulsory. You still want
bricks? The best of luck to you. May you always be
happy. The idea is just to INCREASE CHOICE !
Its just a little change true as it can be not
unexpectedly its small to say the least but we
all are a little scared will it be just the same? How
can be sure?

there, that's it, and all about it. I've done all I can. I
don't want to hear another word said about it,
OK?" "I'm sorry. There's nothing I can do about
it, OK? Don't give me a hard time over it! It's not
my bloody fault! I don't make the bloody rules..."
PEOPLE SAID: "ANYONE WITH AN HEART
WOULD KNOW HOW TO LOVE US!"
They keep bouncing us around - saying its not
down to them. Theyre passing the buck all the
time! "Council repairs. Can't do. No money. Staff
Shortages. So frustrating. The council will do it
up lovely? Yeh right
(The Conservative government allowed council
tenants to buy their council house - so councils
could avoid the hefty cost of repairs?)
"RENTS ROCKET: 100s of 1,000s of council
tenants face hefty rent increases, M. Spicer,
Housing minister said yesterday. The Shadow Housing
minister told the conference of the Chartered Institute of
Public Finance and Accountancy: 'This is crazy.

Council tenants and Housing Association tenants


are now having to pay very high rents and in
many cases this amounts to 40% of their income'..."
(8/6/1900)
"GLOOM,
GLOOM..."
"MAXIMUM
RENTS ACHIEVED..." How does this help
people on low incomes? NEEDED: New Initiatives.
If given the chance, most people would like to do
something...
The
residents
want
one
thing,
the
administration
another...
Very
heated
discussions... System designed to trap people.
We must get to the nitty-gritty... If we're going to
do it, do it right... People should not live in fear.
People are not happy in public housing (i.e.
homes owned by the government). Make it safe.
People want to be able to control their own
destiny. You've got to persevere to make it right....
Shockingly bad conditions... It is something we
should do now. It is certainly worth an attempt... If
people treated like trash, they behave like
trash..." (1991).
WAITING LISTS: Did I fill in the right forms? You
didnt send me any! Youve taken my name off the
register? Do you have any idea what I had to go
through to just get my name put on the register?
All the letters and forms that had to be completed,
processed, approved My MP wrote to you 3
years ago saying I have priority need because of
Domestic Violence, with medical grounds. Im
TOP of the waiting list. If I cant get a transfer,
who is being housed? WAH! HOW MUCH
LONGER am I going to be kept in this dump?
After waiting 5 years, youve offered us a grotty,
filthy dirty, tiny flat - thats much smaller than the
one Im living in, and you say Ive got to take it?
The whole point of this transfer is to get a bigger
place now Ive got three kids Go and live in it
whether I like it or not? If its my dream Ive got
to weigh up the pros and cons first WAH! Im still

DEAD END STREET:


where nothing ever changes "I look out of
my rabbit hutch, what do I see?" "Mounting levels
of FRUSTRATION..." "Most places round here are
shit-holes."
1992: "Is this a home, or a prison?" "Life's too
hard." "Would YOU be seen dead here?"
"Should we wait for walls to crack?" "WALLS,
WALLS, WALLS. We've paid with our lives. Fuck
this. There's NO purity. Only bribery, slaves and
fucking FEAR! What we do is all the same. Walls,
walls, walls..."
(WALLS are MAN-MADE. HOW Shelters are
made, is mans CHOICE!)
ANCIENT SAYING: If a house destroys that which
we love, we will destroy the house, brick by brick,
until only the wind remains..."
Many youngsters feel isolated... no money,
nowhere to go... kicking their heels...
ADULTS SAID: "Rotten kids! Go on. Clear off"
"Get lost." "Don't want them sort hanging around
here. You never know what'll get nicked." "Haven't
they got anything better to do? You wouldn't think
they've got a decent home between them." Go on!
Sling your hook. Don't give me dirty looks! I'll give
you the back of my hand. Cheeky blighters!" "Oh,
there's no telling them these days. Kids! Huh, who'd
'ave 'em? Kids don't listen to a word you say!" I
don't know what's gone wrong with kids these
days. I simply do not understand it!" SOD
THEM!
KIDS SAID: "We're put in a different class
altogether, disregarded..." "I didn't ask to be born."
"I hate life."
118

on this estate are no different to anywhere else..."

= Strong GANG culture... "Kids rattling and


cracking windows, shaking the house to the
foundations
(NOTHING CONSTRUCTIVE TO DO? "Talk it
through. It's better than sitting doing nothing.
Making your dreams a reality..." "I think you'd
enjoy it." "Success breeds success")
"SERIOUS RIOTING on housing estate called
'Wood End'... gangs throwing stones..." (12/5/1992).
(The Guardian Angels, a group from America
offered to help by patrolling estates in Britain.
Authorities Fear: Could be a vigilante group?
Their Offer rejected.
(Kick-boxing became all the rage
The need the think outside of the box)
"People on housing estates too scared to tackle
VANDALISM after attack on man who died trying to
stop vandals."
"... furious tenants barracked council chiefs who
promised to finance security patrols on one
estate... and a week later changed their minds. The
council said: 'It would be irresponsible of us put
our money into sticky-plaster remedies at the
expense of other tenants..." (Hackney, UK, 9/2/1994)
(What? Whose money are you spending?)
"Everybody is Searching for Easy Street. It aint
so easy to find."
ESTATES UNDER ATTACK: "... a worried police
force... 'We are going to burn your house, kill your
whole family.' Intimidation... every day, petty racial
abuse is a big problem... Under siege of racists
throwing stones at house... 'We're taking it very
seriously, there's no doubt about that. We will
evict people" said the police. 'They don't know
what it's like, do they?' Panic buttons, security
cameras installed where incidents occurring...
houses spray-painted... neighbours wont act as
witness... Racism breaks families..." (7/4/1994).
"Man killed - was found covered in white paint paint poured all over his head"
1993: THE NO-GO ESTATES: "In many cities now
there are no-go areas for the police. The police
realised if they walk there they run the risk of being
knifed (cut). Street people join together to deal
with what they call: ROARING FACISM. Children
deal with over-zealous disciplinarians EG. the
police, by gesticulating i.e. putting their finger under
their nose, saluting Hitler.
"... those people who live in run-down areas have
something to be angry about..." "Drug-plagued
estates - Junkies in stair wells, leaving their
needles everywhere... CRACK DEALERS... the
dismal atmosphere of inner-city neglect... no
delivery man is safe..." "Police no longer
patrol... the kids take the wheels off their cars, set
fire to their cars, launch attacks on the police... kids
just run off - place is like a warren..." "The no-go
zones were drawn up by the police. 'We didn't
want to do it, but we had no choice.' The people

(18/1/1993).

" Last night I heard the screams behind a wall.


For me it wont do no good to call the police. They
always come too late, if they come at all. Last night,
I didn't get any sleep..." "You try to hide behind
paranoid eyes, you fix your grin and try to hide,
hide, hide..." (songs).
"The police? They don't do nuffing! If you phone
the police, you're in big trouble. They don't like
people who grass them up..." (You dont seem to
know the meaning)
(Life! Do you get confused by it? Its the little
things in life that make life worthwhile. You being
happy- thats what its about. Its all about YOU.)
"2nd night of violence on a Lincolnshire housing
estate..." (5/6/1993).
"The gangs TERRORISE the notorious estate...
criminal damage, assaulting other tenants,
breaking into other flats... high rates of robbery,
burglary,
vandalism...
restraint
injunctions
served... case adjourned... could not be proceeded
against as he is only 14 years old... council will
execute eviction notices served on families of
ring-leaders of the gangs... broken tenancy
agreements..." (13/5/1993).
NOISE:
Chipboard is used for sound-proofing between
floors
New party walls have to be built from concrete
blocks
"There is nothing like PROBLEM neighbours for
lowering property prices... 88,263 COMPLAINTS
last year... usual trouble is noise... dozens of
people end up in hospital after taking the law into
their own hands (UK, 1993).
"120,000 complaints about noise... Pet Hates:
Loud music, screaming children, DIY tools
(hammers, power drills etc), house parties, sirens,
alarm bells, car tyres screeching, horns... Irate
residents are fed up... " (9/8/1993).
"Noisy places, noisy people."
"Most people do not complain for fear of being
victimised / harassed."
FIENDS: "Neighbours at WAR.. This is
TORTURE... Noise driving me crazy... I feel
trapped. No-one can do anything about it!
Confrontations... Call the Police? No powers to
deal with it. Rests with Environment Health
officers. Understaffed, over-stretched - can only
take action if nuisance evidence gathered over
period of time fines imposed, equipment
confiscated, threaten or impose 6 month prison
sentence. Most complaints at night - few councils
operate a night service... Noise can lead to
depression, suicide, murder. Noise = A blunt
instrument. "It's up to the council to decide" said
the Environment minister. Bitter, long, drawn out
119

CHAPTER 3: ARCHITECTURE / Traditional

advertised as capable of hiding cracks.


ATTITUDE: "There's nothing wrong, carry on."
"The illusion creates pleasure..." "Yeh, cover over
the defects, man. That'll really help sell the joint.
"There cannot be hope for the future whilst we
are trying to paper over cracks pretending
nothing has happened."
EXPERT: Why have horrible wall-paper and risk
buyers not liking it? Im not a fan of textured
ceilings. Unfortunately every ceiling in this house
Papering round corners. Tempers flare
"The plaster keeps coming off the walls. I don't
know how to plaster! Costs a fortune to bring
someone in..."Plastering: Very difficult to do, to
get all smooth and straight. I know. Thats why you
pay me to come and do the plastering.
WOBBLY WALLS: Theres hardly any mortar
left between the old bricks! This whole stack could
fall down! What A STATE! Weve certainly got
our work cut out! Everything you touch in this old
house crumbles away Theres no point getting
upset about it. Weve just got to get on with it
The builder has disappeared! Hes not
answering his phone
If you are having a lot of work done on your
house,
you
might
need
to
consider
ALTERNATIVE accommodation
"OLD-fashioned values. OK, till things go wrong."
COST TO REPAIR COUNCIL HOUSES: 10
BILLION. Cost to repair houses in the private
sector twice that (Kilroy, BBC1, 3/12/2001).
"How to save a fortune in home improvement?"
" it pays for itself" means: it could knock a
few bob off insurance policies. Youll only need one
insurance policy... Ask a decorator for a quote for
repainting a house x 10 years. Let's see how
much you'll save on petrol

disputes... People have to leave their homes...


Mediation often ineffective..." (20/7/1993).
I cant be doing with it. All this screaming.
Families these days are full volume, at fever
pitch
"Noise patrols FAIL to stop the MENANCE...
People don't communicate!" (28/7/1993).
"120,000 complaints about noise in England and
Wales last year... In Scotland, sound insulation
tests are carried out... builders have to comply with
Regulations...
The
world
is
becoming
increasingly noisy" (22/9/1993).
UK: 4.8 million people suffer from Tinnitus
persistent noise EG. ringing in the ear, caused by
damage to the delicate hair cells. Causes
depression, lack of concentration and in some
cases suicide (March 2005).
NOISE IS THE IMPORTANT FACTOR RUINING
OUR LIVES. Traffic, aeroplanes, road works. You
cant escape it. The noisiest places are the most
congested and heavily populated. Citizens want
noise reduction (ITN, 11/8/2005).
Therell be a hush all over the world
MAINTAINANCE:
EXPERT: Before buying a property, take a long
hard look, and consider all the downsides.
The works never ending! A nightmare! A
bottomless pit. EG.
ROT caused by DAMP called Dry Rot is a
fungus also called House Cancer. Can be
devastating. Spreads through walls, floors,
ceilings. Can attack house next-door You treat
your house, but can spread back again
DECORATING: "We've been meaning to decorate
for years - somehow we just never got around to
doing it" Its a waste of time, if you ask me.
SHE SAID: "He sits there, like some big greedy
over-weight lump, farting for England, making my
sitting-room smell, he watches foot-ball non-stop,
wont shift his arse from the armchair, and then he
has the audacity to shout 'Goal!' when his team
scores. One of these days, I'll tell him where he can
stick his bloody goal..." "I am going on about it,
cos I want it done NOW, OK?" "Blimey. No need
to shout, love!" Should we repair the car or the
house? We cant Afford to do both "There's
got to be more to life than decorating! Decorating
is OK, if you've got nothing important to do, but
oh! isn't this exhausting! The cost of all that
clobber! Oh, it's never ending!"
Paint hides a multitude of sins When you
use paint you are actually coating with plastic
Painting walls, doors, ceilings always brings me out
in spots. "She wants me to paint the whole house!
When I do, she tells me she wants to move - the
house is too small." Painting walls is about as
exciting as watching paint dry
1980's: A thick, rubbery paint introduced -

ROOFS:
FLIMSY: Traditionally roofs collapse, cave-in and
blow off
A gust of wind can easily rip roof tiles off. Don't
go outside! The SLATE could cut your head off"
Tiles go porous. moss growth weakens the
effectiveness Nails rot... The mould on this
wall is probably a sign the roof is leaking. The
tiles could have slipped, some could just be
missing. You may need a new roof! Cant tell till I
get up there These tiles are too heavy- youll
have to strengthen the timbers "The roof's
been leakingcan't Afford to fix - will get worse.
Ceilings all need replacing. (Gives new definition to
bed wetting). The rafters got all wet and rotten.
The main supports are rotting. The floorboards
have gone... I hope our roof does blow off in a
storm - as long as nobody gets killed
he fell off the roof
ADVERT FOR AN INSURANCE COMPANY:
Weve seen it all
120

Could you please do something about it? He cant


manage without it! It should have been done by
now
Fractured pipes EG. An upstairs pipe leaked
for 6 hours. 3 floors drenched. Took 3 months for
everything to dry out. The loss adjuster didnt know
what to make of it all. Yeh. Go figure
The rules state a toilet waste / slurry pipe must
have an air vent = a pipe sticking up from the roof
by at least 18 inches to release any methane gas.
Doesnt look very nice
Do you want to fit a sewage shredder? Ugh! I
dont even want to think about it! The sanitary
engineer always takes an interminable time.
God! Why do they make these baths so bloody
heavy? Has your floor been reinforced? Im
sorry. But this wont fit up these stairs Was
your head screwed on when you chose this
piece of Victoriana? He had just fitted the new
bath when he dropped his hammer Seeing the
bath cracked, nearly broke his heart
Her bath overflowed through my ceiling
Washing machines frequently break down,
flooding the place out. Ill get it fixed
tomorrow
STOP COCKS: Oh, theyve put these in a silly
place! Youll never be able to turn these off in an
emergency. Good God. This is ridiculous! If you
want to change their position, this whole wall is
going to have to come down. Ill leave them where
they are. You never know Turn off the mains
inlet into the house? I dont want to do that causes an air lock - a bugger to blow out Oh, Ill
have to do that.
ROGUES! Cowboys. Emergency repair men.
You wont know youve been ripped off till you get
the bill. A trail of misery. Over-charging. Shoddy
work. A costly exercise. We get a mountain of
complaints. Fleeced for clearing blocked drains most common domestic problem. Tricks used by the
trade Whew! Who did this job? Bills often fixed
according to the size of the house. Pump problems
- pump jammed. Faulty valves. Did unnecessary
work to charge more. You dont need any
qualifications to become a rich plumber (Watchdog,
BBC1, 6/2/1995) .Call out charges, hourly charges,
parts & labour bills Then the cost of tidying
up, repairing damage done
No matter how many times I go to buy all the bits,
I always find, right in the middle of a job, Im
missing something Im just popping out. Be
gone for about an hour Im paying him by the
hour, not the job- a big mistake
A typical Workman: Are they still working in the
bathroom? No, ones gone to the van - I think hes
still here but I cant see him. Hes been gone ages!
Ones gone to the newsagents. The others gone for
his lunch (at 10am) The plumbers stuck on
another job - says he cant make it tomorrow.

THE HIGH COST of a NEW traditional ROOF: All


that work, hassle & WOOD = Dead space in the
eaves
"SHODDY BUILDING WORK... new roofs blown
off 3 blocks of flats... 54 families made homeless,
freezing chances of 2,300 on waiting list... ... the
lightweight, Seamless aluminium roofs put on to
replace the reinforced-glass fibre Resiform in late
1960's... Other blocks examined, roofs now
weighed down with sand-bags... CONCLUSION:
We are dealing with Kit construction buildings
which have proved disastrous in legal and
construction terms..." (19/3/1990).
The old ROOF came off Plastic sheeting is the
latest stop-gap material
You can raise a traditional roof to vastly increase
habitable space, but this is enormously
expensive (ALTERNATIVELY, you just might,
one day, be able - at the same time, to fit a much
more Affordable molded ONE-PIECE roof onto a
traditional house thereby having a SUPERSTRONG
roof
that
provides
adequate
protection. Ah! Yes. The roof over your head could
be FUN)
PLUMBING:
CONVENTIONAL PLUMBING = Copper welded.
Standard end fitting. Different sizes of copper pipe,
with ring of solder, some with slide-on notch fitting.
Pipes with sections to go round corners
Combination joints
Conventional plumbing system can be very
noisy. You can always tell a poorly designed house
by the amount of noise the plumbing makes. I
cant sleep. Someone is running a bath in the
middle of the night
Plumbers make the most money.
Ill get it fixed tomorrow
GRUMBLES: HELL. WHY do they put these
where you cant easily reach them? Pipes sunk in
walls, boilers in tight cupboardsWhat a job!
Hard to lay pipes in a solid concrete floor
Pipes have to be lagged to stop water freezing
up. Dont stand on the floor! Youll go right through
the ceiling! Stay on the joists! This job is nearly
impossible! The water tank in old houses placed
in the roof space. Theory was they would burst in
a fire and put the fire out. Doesnt work but they
still do this. Trouble is, in these old houses,
when something goes wrong, all HELL breaks
loose all the floorboards have to come up.
No hot water Awkward, difficult, time
consuming, aggravating, costly Things arent
as flexible as they used to be...
THE IDEAL plumbing system - SIMPLE, QUICK,
EASY ASSEMBLY for (central heating) radiators can be removed, add onto system easily, has been
invented. Idea patented, but NOT marketed
Ive been getting a lot of bills from the plumber.
121

CHAPTER 3: ARCHITECTURE / Traditional

Look, can you do it, or not? Oh, I might as well


do it myself. How do I start?
I know you can buy these cheaper elsewhere, but I
only guarantee my work if I fit stuff I supply
I cant think of anything else now except freezing
baths. Takes 10 hours to run. It should only take 2
minutes. Go for it!
This shower unit makes so much noise! Cant you
do something?
The taps have seized. Lever taps are much
better. But cost twice as much. Took 3 men most
of the day to change bloody set of taps! I cant
reach the taps love. You wont be able to change
them...
1995: U-bends under sinks etc., are now made
out of really cheap, shoddy plastic. A bit of
pressure on the screw joint, this splinters and
leaks. Of all the things to make that should be as
robust as possible - are subject to hygieneconscious people scrubbing, getting clogged
after 6 months or so, you need a new U-bend.
Crazy!
The sink leaked for 2 years. The council wouldnt
repair it. Leak ruined my carpets. I got into debt
replacing them
LATEST CRAZE: Plastic pipes (made in
Germany) which push-join using solvent which
melts to form a solid airtight weld. Is quick but
more expensive than copper!
Are you a plumber? No, Im a carpenter but with
this mob you have to do everything. That hardly
inspires confidence.
Will you fix my garbage disposal? I know what
women with clogged plumbing need She wants
me to see to her plumbing! Heh heh Are you
using me?
Weve got mistakes weve copied from time.
Weve got mistakes they didnt used to have
CHANGE WE MUST.
Those old hot water cylinders that heat up all the
water - which may or may not be used
2001: Combi(nation) GAS boilers save energy, by
simply heating the water when you turn on the
tap UK Government grants to persuade
everyone to install a new Gas boilereven though
UK gas supply running out
I dont want pipes running all around the room
above the skirting boards! Theyre ugly. They trap
dust, attract spiders. Hard to decorate behind. The
dog chews them and the kids stand on them
The Regulations now state The Regulations
are stupid! (2005).
WORLD CLASS = Universal Size (with as few
restrictions as possible, please).

ingenuity. Homes in need of repair. Dark, dingy. No


money to spare. Amateur jobs - cant Afford
professionals...
"Oh! There's never a man about when you need
one"
HIGH ceilings The dust, the dirt, the spiders,
the cobwebs, the draughts
ACCIDENTS: Many people FALL
OFF ladders Head injuries,
broken bones, fatalities
UK: 48,000 people attended
hospital due to falling off freestanding ladders (BBC, 8/1/2002).
BLOOD, SWEAT AND TEARS
"Back to the days of the workhouse."
Theres a baby on the way, Im expected to look
after 3 kids, do the decorating, cook Christmas
lunch and be a wage-earner. Im sorry! I cant do
it! WAH! I CANT do it! Theres no such word
as cant "I'll be dead on my feet." "I'm not a
bleeding octopus you know." I couldnt do it for
love or money! She cant do all this HEAVY
work! "There are some things the gentler sex
should not have to do..."
TYPICAL FEMALE: I didnt go to Havard to spend
my life doing up this shack! WAH! I am NOT
interested in HOW it works! I only want it to
work... If I knew HOW to do it, Id do it.
Only 5% of women regard DIY as their hobby
(2004).

PROFESSIONAL FEES are very expensive. The


more you can do yourself the better BUT they
could get it done in a fraction of the time
"There are catalogues of Really Useful Tools, Nifty
Gadgets, Hi-Tech Thingamajigs and Crafty
Geegaws." You need a different tool for every
different task. "A list of tools and materials longer
than your arm..." "You'll need to take out a
mortgage just to buy those..."
HELLS BELLS: Can anyone tell me why the
bells are ringing? (Maths: Number of times a
quantity multiplied.) ALL the power tools! Electric
wallpaper strippers, electric drills, electric saws,
electric sanders, electric cement mixers THE
COST! 40 BILLION is spent on renovation goods
every year in the UK. 10 BILLION on hardware,
paint, brushes & building products. 30 BiILLION
on dcor, kitchens & gardening products or
appliances (Manchester Online, 19/10/2004).
HAZARDVILLE: Dont worry love! Ill have this job
finished before you know it... DIY for many
people spells DANGER, disaster Im getting
really annoyed. If I smash my knuckles with that
bloody hammer once more, I wont be able to hold
my rage Uh-Oh! The pressure is beginning to
show. People FIGHT all the time. All the
tension, aggravation DIY can turn the most
mild mannered person into a raving monster.
EG. My wife and kids are taking me for all Ive got!

DO it YOURSELF:
SHACKING UP: DIY really started in the 1950s.
We wanted shapes our parents didnt have.
Painting, covering up. Made do and mend. Applied
122

facts. The plaster is all shot. All the damp. The


ceilings are sagging. They really let their heart rule
their head when they bought this pile of
People NEED HELP! If they could Do it by
themselves, they would have, a long time ago!
I cant be bothered to read the instructions
Scientists have come up with the ultimate
FOOL-PROOF FLAT-PACK- a furniture kit, with
microchips that talk to you! (BBC, 23/2/2002).
Get it into FOCUS.

Should I shoot them now? (Relaxation


Technique: Lie down, close your eyes, breathe
slowly and think: Let it Go. Let it all Go.)
ACCIDENTS do happen. Paint gets spilled on the
carpet
Loose floorboards - will take more than a screw
Tiles have a traditional look. Im stuck in here
cleaning the grout Are you still at it? We laid
the tiled floor then had to take the tiles all up
again
"Is your Father tired of doing all that DIY work?"
No dear. Complaining is all part of the fun of it.
Im not doing this for the fun of it, you know!
Thats it. I give up. Dont try to talk me out of it.
We get 1,000s of letters from people saying they
dont have the time for DIY (DIY SOS, BBC1)
(S.O.S. means: Save Our Souls.)
My husbands useless. Its a skilled job!
Everything he touches gets worse When DIY
is more like Destroy it Yourself... All the
mistakes! A very painful experience Householders spend 850 million every year calling in
professionals to repair damage caused by DIY
DISASTERS (BBC, 23/8/2002).
All the finished jobs! I cant use the kitchen,
the bathroom is a nightmare, the stairs are
dangerous, the hall is frighteningly off-putting, the
kids bedrooms arent fit to sleep or play in, and I
cant abide being in the living room since he took
the ceiling down and lifted the old floor up (Glue
sniffing caught on, big time)
All the DIY stopped due to ill health
Architects Estimate to do up a Period Property
= 500 a square metre (Relocation Relocation,
Channel 4, 20/42005) (an estimate is non-binding. A
quote is a fixed price).
EXPERT: People always under-estimate how
much these jobs are going to cost Riddled
with Rot. Some people never learn
OLD Adage in the Building Trade: Theres
always surprises round the corner.
This cost double my budget. Now I owe money
to the tax man as well and I have no idea how to
pay his bill Weve mortgaged, re-mortgaged,
our credit cards are up to the hilt. My husband is
working, Im working and we still cant Afford to
buy food! We are living off what we can grow in a
poly-tunnel
All these rotten floorboards, joists, (support)
beams, doors, frames Horrendous! Death
watch beetles even in the walls! Scary. Our budget
has gone through the roof! ALL the WOOD has to
be replaced. To replace one small house with new
oak COSTS 50,000! "With oak beams costing
8 a foot, one ceiling cost 5,000..." EXPERT:
Theres a HELL of a LOT of TIMBERS need
REPLACING! The house is rotten, falling apart.
All the joists, floors - everything! A labour of love.
Miles off budget! Its time they started facing

SELF BUILD:
its his pride and joy. He built the house
himself just the way he wanted it it was a real
labour of love
D. H. Lawrence spoke of the dignity of a man
building his house for himself and his
dependents. In many countries of the world, the
majority of houses are still owner built. Not so in
Britain where a succession of Regulations make
it almost impossible for a man to do what his
ancestors did. Other forms of adequate but substandard housing are caravans & boats. Here
again, an intolerable number of Regulations
gravely hamper a lot of those who would like to live
in them ( Down & Out in Britain, by Jeremy Sandford,
1971).

"What? Do you mean I could 'build something


with my hands?' " ("Build something you can
hold onto..." You dont have to do it yourself)
We would like something we could do
together
1985: "There has been a BIG BANG in self-build..."
Where will we get the money? WHO will be
our FINANCIAL saviour? Can you do me A
REALLY BIG FAVOUR? " father's help is
indispensable." "I hope he's got wallet-bearing
hips." "A bottomless wallet also helps."
I dont mind hiring a professional IF they listen to
our opinions
NONE OF THE BANKS WILL LEND on an
unconventional / experimental design
"The Heritage style is very popular"
"Once you have found and organised payment for
your site - not easy to do - you launch into about 6
months of paper-work, having plans drawn for
you, obtaining Planning and Building consent,
making arrangements for finance, insurance and
about 1,000 other things..."
Self-build? "Ask Joyce and Mickey who's their
favourite bricky!"
Ah! Pay someone else to do it! DFY: Done For
You.
LONG & SLOW: This is the only way we can get
a house. Took 3 years to find a plot of land, nearly
3 years to get Planning consent, then clear and
level the land, pour the concrete 5 months on,
not much progress- the building is still far from
being water-tight How can I do this and still
123

CHAPTER 3: ARCHITECTURE / Traditional

significant difference to a small but committed


group... Self-build will never be a speedy
solution but it is increasingly being seen as a
remedy for the housing problems of low income
people... Uh?
schemes benefit the Local Authority and selfbuild properties can be re-let. Otherwise unusable
sites are now utilised... Schemes can be completed
in groups or by individuals... The need for selfbuilders without traditional building skills to
participate in schemes..."
"I reject the role, the routine, the monotony. I can't
be doing with it. I've got better things to do with my
time" We HAVE TO do things the HARD way?
Where is the LOGIC in that? "Oh, it would be
such a RELIEF if someone came up with an
answer to it!
"Give US Something To Believe In."
Q: "What stops the aching?"
A: "People who CARE."

earn money? I have to pay back the loan We


have to rope in all our friends to help 10 months
later, the building work is still not getting there
("Did you make good use of natural light?")
I am trying very hard not to dwell on it. With
all these overheads, were running out of
money
"Sink micro-bore piles, linked by reinforced
ground beams... The pressure is piling on. Such
a worry We'll need assistance to erect the
WOODEN frames. Can you help? We will try and
arrange some accommodation for you..."
"Many self-builders have to buy and live in
caravans whilst they try to assess what their dream
traditionally-built home will cost. Many of these
people have children...
Drag it out for a couple of years. You know what
builders are like
This place is a money pit!
it wasnt supposed to be this way! Were
supposed to be together, not in this mess!
This has been an 8 year nightmare - going
through a lot of shit - emotional destruction.
UK: "By 1988, over 12,000 families have built their
own house..." "They all have one thing in
common. They are good at making things
happen..."
1989: (Because theres no alternative) TIMBER
FRAMED HOUSES are becoming INCREASINGLY
POPULAR in Britain. the house owner sees
TIMBER as a traditional, attractive and renewable
resource..." We also want a new, hand-crafted
oak kitchen "The lavish use of WOOD inside
and out...
ADVERT: A comprehensive range of HARDWOODS suitable for everything from staircases to
fireplaces... Easily saleable to that sector of the
market which is not satisfied with the uniform
design of many new houses in the UK..."
"Supposing I want to change the lay-out?"
"The ELECTRICIAN says the real art to his job is
The Timing. He agrees the outlet positions with the
architect, waits for the building to dry out and gets
in there quick before the plasterers. If they get it
wrong, he has to cut great chunks out of the
plaster. He likes doing that - its a very satisfying
part of the job"
It was an incredible struggle to make this
house into a home It was a lot harder than
we thought it would be. He built his own
house- which burnt down. No insurance as
income too low to Afford. 20 years later the 2nd
house he has built is still not finished
"More PRECISE solutions are needed for
URGENT accommodation problems."
"I want something PRACTICAL!"
"Er, I need living space QUICKLY!"
Self-build will never be the answer to the
Homeless nationally, but self-build could make a

EXTENSIONS:
A loft conversion, for an old Aunt? We need
something more appropriate.
I want something quickly
(Ah! Move into this shell, outgrow it, move into that
shell like little sea creatures)
If you require additional living space, you can
build an extension onto the back of your house,
maybe without Planning Permission, unless you live
in a Conservation area
VALUE FOR MONEY: An extension can cost a lot.
TIMBER rafters, batons, joists, roofing felt, tiles.
100s of pieces
FLAT ROOFS - always a problem. May last 20
years if youre lucky. Add on waterproof
membranes - expensive! Mine blew away!
A WATER-PROOF JOINT = However the roof is
constructed, the joint between the existing building
and the new building has to be made weather-proof.
This is a frequent source of trouble. A waterproof
junction is made using a flashing strip made of
lead, zinc or aluminium alloy materials that are
soft, easily bent, which overlaps
FAVOURITE BUILDERS SAYING: Its really no
problem.
Call the builders in, will always take longer than
they say.
I cant find anybody to dig the foundationsThe
cost of building the foundation!
Extending your home can be a nightmare. All
too often professional advice is sought too late i.e.
when problems with the builder arise. His standard
of workmanship maybe poor, the cost of the work
extensive, or perhaps there are delays finishing the
project. Often the builder is uncooperative
THE BUILDING PROCESS IS COMPLICATED
and complex. An initial appraisal may involve
preliminary enquiries at the Local Authority
124

Far from happy. We had to go up on the roof


ourselves to put the cover on Builders! When
they are here, they traipse through the house. The
whole house has been affected. We had no idea
this was going to be so traumatic. We may have to
go to court. They say we owe them money!
"Don't upset the builders! They can get very
nasty, cause lots of problems, hassles, costly
legal battles..." "Gang-handed."
The cost of putting all his work right! Plus all the
legal costs
Can the Master Builders Federation prevent this
sort of terrible condition? They take complaints
very seriously. The ceiling collapsed. I heard a
giant crashing noise everywhere. Joists cut
through. The bathroom floor fell through. Badly
bodged work. Partly collapsed structure. Work
still not finished! We couldnt stand any more.
The MBF said: We have learnt. We have now
changed procedures. Now we strongly advise to get
a surveyor first. The MBF are not a consumer
Watchdog. Their badge wont protect you. We
cant put a price tag on what we went
through (Thats Life, BBC2, 13/5/1990).
NEVER pay upfront. Youll never get your money
back if this goes wrong. Make them build , then
your bank pays them when job done satisfactorily.
Many mistakes are made that are hard to
correct if the building inspector finds the job has
been done all wrong
THE BUILDING INSPECTOR SAID: People want
to cut corners to save money but I say no, knock
it all down and start again. I wont let them and I
get slated for it! People really resent the councils
role. They think the council is the Gestapo.
1989: A well-known UK High Street Bank is
charging 24.4% interest for a Home Improvement
loan!
ROOM FOR A CHANGE: Todays houses are
rarely designed to take extensions and those people
who build them often find the result unsatisfactory
and uneconomical claims Peter Bolger. His
company, Home-Lodge, started 5 years ago, have
developed a TIMBER-framed FREE-standing
Extension. He now offers 8 designs ranging from
12 x 12 for 8,850, to 12 x 30 which is fully fitted
for 25.500. Prices include delivery, on site
assembly, lighting, heating, internal & external
decoration, carpets & blinds. With the number of
people working from home steadily rising, the
demand for extra space or simply extra
accommodation or leisure space increases

regarding
statutory
requirements.
Then,
approximate costs and the timetable for completion
of works. This may be followed by carrying out a
measured survey of the existing building and
producing a survey drawing. Then full working
drawings and submit applications for plans, Building
Regulations approval and other statutory consents.
Then prepare a specification of works to be carried
out by a Chartered Building Surveyor. The client is
given advice on any defects and consequential
liability for remedial works under the terms of the
contract

CONSERVATORIES:
UK1990: BIG SALES DRIVE in conservatories
Made with toughened Safety glass. Lots of durable,
weather-proof, white UPVC. The Roof = Twin wall
polycarbonate - a tough yet durable insulator Easy
Assembly. Clear Assembly instructions. (Can take
2 men 48 hours just to understand how to make
the bolts work). Also available: Hardwood panels.
Malaysian timber. Hard or soft wood. Pre-treated.
All with 7 day free delivery. Project finance
available. Most people value the Affordable aspect
said a salesman.
Oh, this is nice. What do you use it for? Sitting in.
How typically British!
A very basic, very small Conservatory costs 999,
excluding cost of groundwork, the dwarf wall &
assembly / construction (1989).
SELF-ASSEMBLY KITS. So many to choose
from? Why dont they do any in Green
TO DO A DIY EXTENSION - you manage the
project, you supervise workers - dont sub-contract.
You conceptualise what you want - do a basic
drawing, check this with a surveyor, get a
professional drawing, liaise with the Planning Dept.,
you get Permission, you lay-in drains, you get the
concrete floor done - correctly sized for the bricklayer. Order made-to-measure windows. Organise
wiring, and dry- lining walls with plaster-board, then
the plasterer. This will save you the cost of
getting a builder to do the whole job for you.
HORROR STORIES. CATASTROPHIES. The
WIND GUSTS IN. Weve got a sheet of polythene
over the gaping hole in the wall. The rain comes
in, down the sides "It's so draughty in here!"
"There's a gale blowing through... In one side, out
the other." We tried to stop the water with
tarpaulins and black dustbin bags. Howling wind!
Then air filled with soot. A hole in the ceiling. A
huge lump fell off - missed me by inches! House
looked a terrible mess. The cracks appeared first.
The roof started dripping - sagging, pushing the
walls out. We paid 21,000 and had to throw the
builders out Rain streamed in doing the most
terrible damage. Had to cover everything with
plastic. The water leaking in smelled foul. The
water still drips in the bathroom... Im crying now.

(Hampstead & Highgate Express, 26/9/1993).

I still would rather have something light, more


practical and fun.
"A ROUGH BUSINESS: ... 60,000 complaints re:
home improvements EG. slipshod construction
work. 'We were left with a hole, exposed to the
elements. No extension!' The constant hassle!
125

CHAPTER 3: ARCHITECTURE / Traditional

discover cracking - the new insurer is unlikely to pay out


for problems that occurred before the new policy starts.
This is particularly relevant to buyers who do not insure
the property through the same insurance company as the
vendor. Check your policy includes subsidence cover -

An absolute nightmare! A tirade of angry


customers... Rogue operators... licensing them
might be the only answer" (20/12/1993).
EXPERT: If you need more space, buy a shed!

the escalating cost to insurers could cause


them to withdraw automatically house-holders
could be asked to pay an additional premium if they
want subsidence protection (1990).
EXPERT: The 1976 heat-wave / drought caused
enormous damage to houses built on clay which
dried and cracked, causing movement in the
foundations - cracks in walls, lintels trees
sucked the water out of the clay which shrank
causing movement. If trees had been watered this
may not have happened.
Clay - in some areas - already 2 cracks
appearing (May 1990).
NOW FLOODING: THE FOUNDATIONS LEAK.
Were taking in water! A flood of problems.
A filthy base. Damp, fusty smell. My damp
patches need looking at. RISING DAMP. Risk of
rotten timbers. Rot. Our bedroom, meant for 1,
sleeps 3, and is now so damp were growing
mushrooms. Taken 5 years for an inspector to call.
Theyve
still
done
nothing!
Extensive
Excavations Required. We will have to make good
the damage done.
Surveyors cover themselves by reporting
foundations could not be accessed for
inspection - so cant say if foundations have gone
or not. Only houses with cellars have visible
foundations (?) Foundations can go at any time this is the risk you take when buying a house
"Subsidence affects 30,000 UK homes every year.
Warnings of worse to come" (15/8/1990).
100s of 1,000s of claims 1975 - 1995. In total
over 400,000 instances of alleged subsidence
damage occurred, which cost the insurance
industry about 4.5 Billion; this was, of course
paid indirectly by householders through increased
premiums By 1992, insurers were paying 1
Billion on subsidence claims and over 500,000
houses per year were being underpinned The
public were the principal victims of subsidence
hysteria.

financial
and
insurance
considerations took precedence over the
common-sense technical approach to the problem

SUBSIDENCE:
SETTLEMENT: Have you the story about that man
who built a house on sand?
EXPERT: If soil slipping, best not to use heavy
foundations...
THAT SINKING FEELING The house is
sinking! I dont understand it. The rain caused
mud Oh, why cant they build the way its meant
to be, without this sort of thing happening?
Subsidence effects on buildings are by no means
an unknown phenomenon. Buildings have been
falling down or becoming seriously damaged for
100s of years
CRACKING UP: This summers drought has
given many house-owners, and their insurance
companies, that sinking feeling again. After a
sizzling summer and shrivelling property prices,
prepare for a sinking house. Most at risk are
properties built on clay soil for those with shallow
foundations said the Royal Institution of
Chartered Surveyors. Most of London is built on
clay and potential casualties are Victorian terraces,
many of which sit on foundations of less than 18in.
Post-1965 houses should be safe from movement
if foundations extend at least 3ft into the earth.
Building an extension may disrupt subsoil and trees
planted within 30ft are other causes of movement.
Tell-tale signs are cracking walls, leaking drains
and warped door frames. The most vulnerable are
the corners of windows and doors. Subsidence
often develops slowly - measure cracks every
month to check if cracks are widening - dont panic
if cracks are less than inch. New cracks should
be clean inside. Repair work ranges from cosmetic
stitching of brickwork, to expensive underpinning
that may force you to vacate the property for
several (up to 24) months. Buyers are encouraged
to get a structural survey - but precautionary advice
is not guaranteed protection. The 1976 heat wave
cost the insurance industry 60 million, a 10-fold
increase on the previous year. Each subsidence
claim can amount to 30,000. Insurers try to
wriggle out of paying. Insurance companies will
certainly Refuse liability if the structural fault
predates the inception of the building policy unfortunately this is not an exact science.
Surveyors are unlikely to make on-the-spot
judgements - tests can last many months before
the severity of the movement is diagnosed. The
insurance company may dispute the extent of
movement - you will have to pay for a structural
engineer for a definite opinion - a preliminary
investigation could cost 300. Problems can also

(Building Control magazine, May 1995).

(Some people are buying houses that have


subsidence problems, for a knock-down price,
knowing when they are underpinned they are much
stronger then if no movement recorded for 2
years, they resell for a huge profit).
A STRUCTURAL ENGINEER SAID: They used
to build shallow foundations, so if there was any
movement the whole house moved in one piece this wasnt so bad. So what if you ended 1ft
further down the hill after 25 years? With deeper
foundations, houses tend to crack apart (1995).

occur if you switch insurance companies and then


126

We never seem to reach our potential." "We only


have the knowledge our lives hopes will be
unfulfilled." "WAH! I want something MODERN!" "I
really hate being tied down - being tied to a flat,
to a place. I'm miserable, really miserable. I want
to travel and have a roof over my head - a roof I
can Afford."
"IF ONLY WE COULD MOVE THE FLAT!

These days structural engineers, surveyors


etc., are paranoid about any tree/s growing
within 18ft of the property. They usually
recommend severe pruning of the tree/s or removal
- cutting the tree/s down. The problem is that tree
roots infest the underground drains, break the
foundation walls, cause ground heave, cracked
concrete, bricks (BUT NO TREES =
Landslip)
There is a 10mm BULGE in the flank wall. Your
choice is: Strapping: (wafer thin metal strips
nailed to joists). Recommended to stop the wall
falling outwards. If that should happen the cost to
repair/replace the wall will be very expensive.. Or:
Metal rods put through the walls of the house, with
bolts that tighten - to pull structure into place / back
together again. You end up with several, highly
visible, large crosses stuck on exterior wall/s...
Weve discovered another HORROR! The walls
are ALL bulging out. The house could collapse!
This is not what we wanted
They now make Plastic Padding (a putty) to fill in
holes, repair cracks - in lots of things.
We can easily fill the crack/s with Resin. Resin is
very strong! The repair will probably outlast the
house! chuckled a highly respected builder. (Ah
yes! RESIN BONDING is a very effective way to
fix Gaps)

Do you need telescopic, bionic legs to extend?

its a flying HOUSE?


IN YOUR DREAMS! Dont be silly. If houses
could fly - wed all want one!
I dont think thats true. Plenty of people are
perfectly happy with their lot.
"You can always hear me singing this song:
'Show me the way to go home...' "
Moving is such a pain!
MOVING TOOK A LOT LONGER than we
expected
I
need
something
mobile,
something practical. Not a heavy suitcase! "I'd
like to live somewhere quieter" "I want to live
somewhere bigger but cheaper. My room's the size
of a shoe box." "The kitchen's too small. The
bedroom's not big." "I'm sick of masquerading."
"Find out what it means to me!" "In my dream
house, children and adults could share the joys
alike." "I'd like a hobby room, nothing very big. Just
something cosy..." "Oh, life could be so much
easier..."
THE GROWTH OF MOBILES =
You can Talk: Telecoms via satellites. Confusing
contracts apply. HELLO? I cant hear you! Can
you hear me? Ive lost the signal. Youre breaking
up! Er, hello? What did you just say? Weve lost
the link My batterys dying! MOBILE
TECHNOLOGY = Multi-media on the move
No! Dont put me on hold! Im paying a fortune
every minute
A Typical KID These Days: Doesnt care about
their life - so long as they can play with their
mobile(phone) (UK: 2003).
QUICKLY MOVING ON "Business is down by
60% since 1988 when 2 million moved (to another)
house. Only 1 million people moved (to another)
house in 1992" (16/8/1993).
Britons spent over 10.6 BILLION moving house
- before moving, on solicitors fees - the amount
was spent on Stamp Duty (Tax) (Woolwich Survey,

MOVING:
Moving house is the most STRESSFUL thing we
do. "All the packing, goods going into storage, all
the arrangements one has to make to get a new life!
Stamina needed and lots of money to pay all the
bills..."
FRUSTRATED because you want to MOVE? "Are
you going to have to WAIT?"
"THE BETRAYAL OF THE MODERNISTS": UK:
"THE NATIONAL MOBILITY SCHEME: ... agreed
between most public authorities i.e. local councils...
to help their existing tenants, those high on the
Waiting lists... and other people with a pressing
need, who want to move to another area... if your
application is accepted... the authority may make an
offer, decide to consider your application later, or
refuse to accept it... you should try and find
accommodation in the interim..."
1993: The Tenants Exchange Scheme: Totally
INADEQUATE. There are LONG lists (kept by
every UK council) of people desperate to move,
change their circumstances and improve their
quality of life. EG. "I want to move, for the sake of
my kids." Im doing everything I can think of to get
out of here. Ive got to do it. Ive promised myself I
will do it. I just dont know how. "My dad's lived
here so long, he's got woodworm" "All this is
killing me." "The same repetitive crap. Same old
routine, year after year. I want to do something
different!" "We need a break from the old routine.

9/6/2005).

THE BOARDING HOUSE:


"Bedbugs in old houses - common."
127

CHAPTER 3: ARCHITECTURE / Traditional

"This room is for one thing only - sleeping in."


"Bed-sitter people look back and lament, another
days useless energy spent..."
"The drabness of their skin has the texture only
nourishment can restore."
UK: 1986: NEW BOARD & LODGINGS
REGULATIONS
"Will this mean I can stop moving around?"
if you are under 25... you may be limited in
how long you can stay... you will have to find a
room within the new price limit- this may be very
difficult... you may not get enough allowance to
pay for accommodation..."
"I feel like a Frisbee, tossed from place to
place!" "I've tried so hard to settle down." "I'm
looking for Mercy Street. I think they've moved the
sign." "If it was warm, comfortable, if there was
plenty of food, I'd stick around." Cant put down
roots Weve got to move on and move on.
Wont you take me to funky town? I want a sense
of belonging to something "I'm stuck. Can't
Afford to leave. Can't Afford to stay." "They have to
leave anyway "
"Why is this place still open? It's falling apart. It's
filthy! Grimy. Blimey. They should pull these
down, not re-let them!" "Refurbished. Looks
good, but for how long?"
"Houses divided into multiple occupancy rarely
work." "Made my life untenable."
"Anti-Social Hell-Raisers in situ..." "The border
from hell keeps his door locked, the music on loud,
eats all your food, doesn't pay his way and refuses
to leave!"
WAH! I WANT TO LIVE SOMEWHERE QUIET!
UK: "(At least) 2.6 million people live in bed-sits,
flat-lets, shared houses, lodgings, hostels and bed
& breakfast hotels" (1990).

that are unfit for habitation, 45,000 have no


bathroom or toilet....
SQUALOR FOR HIGH RENT: Christmas: "All the
water pipes froze. The drains, the toilet froze.
The dripping taps caused the bath and the sinks to
turn into blocks of solid ice. A pipe burst upstairs
- the water saturated everything - the water
cascaded downstairs... The landlord came to fix it and used putty to repair the pipe... putty doesn't
work The windows fall off if they are opened..."
"Why did I leave my first tenancy? I had it in my
head all the time"
My last tenant said he sensed bad spirits I
dont blame him. Im only here because of
horrible circumstances. How can I relax in these
conditions? All I want is an ordinary life"
through the graves the wind is blowing. Here I
became an old woman."
"The London HOUSING MARKET: How I love it.
You try the ads - get round there - they say the flat's
taken but we've got somewhere else - described as
luxury! I'd hate to see squalor. This yuppie wants
80 a week for a tiny room at the top of the house!
Hes having a laugh!" 1990: "A single room in
Highgate let for a rent of 160 per week. An
apartment on the Isle of Dogs in Docklands 260 a
week..." "The only place I can Afford to rent is miles
from anywhere."
Paying all this rent is draining me. Paying Rent
= Dead money. "Paying rent all your life you've got nothing to show for it..."
Their rent is 240 a week! For a one-bedroom flat!
Theyre only a young married couple with a baby
So go on unemployment - no incentive to work.
They cant make ends meet Land-Ladies
ADVICE: "Renting is the ideal thing to do. But
not buy. It's a risky business. All the liabilities nothing ties you down more than buying a
property. Leasehold means more problems - no
control of service charge"
"The State system can make people lazy... The
healthy way is obviously to say Go For it!"
"Councils do as they please... they set the
maximum rent they will pay for Housing Benefit
below market rent level... so you can't Afford to get
privately rented accommodation..." (Please dont
put your life in their hands)
INFLEXIBLE ARRANGEMENTS: If you have
savings, you are not entitled to receive help
paying for rent. You may not be eligible for
Income Support or Family Credit (welfare
benefits). An enormous problem. Small amounts
of money count as income" "If you get an
Enterprise Allowance, they stop your personal
living allowance and Housing Benefit..."
"Land-lords sucker the system..." "... land-lords
specialise in the Social Security (welfare benefit)
market because they can be sure unemployed
claimants will not query rent levels while the cash

PRIVATE RENTED ACCOMODATION:


You mean I have to take strangers in because
Im so poor? "Rent my place out? Tenants don't
look after the place" "It's not easy being a landlord - tenants smash, destroy (and steal)
property..." "Many land-lords do not want DHSS
claimants with children... they believe they are a
lower class of tenant who will damage their
property..."
"LANDLORDS have a long hard day - are victims
of tenants who are busy ruining his carpets.
Obstructions seem to be made just to aggravate
him. They take in room mates who make lots of
noise. They block the hall and use the bathroom all
night. He is regarded as the wart of the end of
everyone's nose." She owes me money for back
rent He left without paying He was really
nasty. When I asked to leave my premises, he got
all threatening
She left taking all my furniture with her!
1987: 90,000 tenants in privately rented houses
128

are (at least) 6 million mortgage phobics (UK,

flows in from the public purse..."


"HOUSING BENEFIT BARONS:... they have
spotted the trend and loop-holes... a property
millionaire... provides scores of rented rooms to
(welfare) benefit claimants... he is letting out
1,000s of rooms for 100 a week each... with an
annual turnover of 3 million. Almost 2 million of
that comes from the Taxpayer." "Councils do not
bargain with land-lords..." "Councils have little
incentive to keep budget in check..." "... one run
down house in Tottenham has 5 rooms all let for
90 a week. On a house worth 100,000 his annual
income from the state is 20,000 a year." "WHY
SHOULD WE CARE what the rent is? It doesn't
matter because the council are paying." "The
landlord is free to charge as much as the
authorities are prepared to condone." "The bill for
Housing Benefit is set to rise further, because the
Conservative
government
abolished
rent
regulation, allowing prices to rise to market
levels... This is causing grave disquiet..." (The Times,
1989) "So many are trying to screw the State..."
"Any moves to end Housing Benefit would be
disastrous..." We dont discuss it
"REVIVAL PLAN: ... at the turn of the century,
private rented accommodation totalled 90% of
accommodation in Britain. Today that figure is 7%.

30/7/2005).

HARASSMENT:
(PREDICTED: The next phase of our civilisation will
be CANNABALISM" 1975).
"FEELING SECURE IN YOUR OWN HOME IS
VERY IMPORTANT... and so is knowing where to
go for help if you need it."
"We should fear PERSECUTION"
THE LAND-LORD SAID: "I can make life
extremely unpleasant for you." I dont like
evicting pregnant women but that goes with the
job "There's no sentiment in business." (They
openly admit they don't care!)
"He's never satisfied with what he's got." "I need
your rooms, flats, houses! I'm on a TREASURE
HUNT! And this aint no fairy tale." "There's plenty
of profits in this game."
"Fie, fo, fi, fum. I smell the blood of an English
man." SCANDAL: "Peter Rachman is a name
synonymous with all that is worst in a land-lord and
despicable in a man..."
PROCESS CALLED: "If the caps fits, try it on."
PROFITEERING: "Harassment is the traditional
way of getting people to move out of property usually so the rent can be put up, or house sold for
profit. Ha bloody ha." EG. "Landlord gets Planning
Permission for new development. Tenant made to
leave. NOT awarded damages, compensation for
loss of their home or provided with
ALTERNATIVE accommodation. This happens
all the time." "One favourite ploy is the land-lord
will say he wants you out to make room for his
relative."
Therell be no room for you here now. Im getting
in a better class of tenant.
" Their axe is made of gold"
(Ah! No-one could say you havent kept up with the
payments things like that)
"Everyone these days is corrupt - just depends at
what level you are immersed."
"EVICTION FEAR: "Harassment takes place
when a land-lord tries to get you out of the home
you are occupying without going through the correct
legal procedure EG. Putting the rent up. Refusing
you full access to your letting by changing locks,
throwing your possessions into the street etc.
Stopping you having guests. Constant visits from
your land-lord or landlords agent - visits late at
night, or without warning. Entering your home when
you are not there. Allowing the property to get into
such a bad state of repair that it is dangerous or
uncomfortable for you to stay there. Refusing to do
repairs, or starting building works and leaving them
unfinished. Sending builders in at unsocial hours
etc. Removing or restricting services such as hot
water, or failing to pay bills so that services are cut
off. Offering you money to leave, threatening you,

(30% in France and America. 40% in Germany).

Hostility has contributed overwhelmingly towards


creating 600,000 empty private houses in Britain
today. The collapse of the private rented sector
was tragic for single people who traditionally
depended on it. There were signs the 1988 Housing
Act was bringing life back into private rented
housing" said Mr. Spicer wants to speed up his
plan to give more confidence to the private landlord... he would discuss with building societies and
finance houses their reservations about letting
property in which they had an interest... Attention
would be focused on empty rooms above shops..."
(The Telegraph, 3/7/1990) "More servitude."
"Many would-be private land-lords are still
unwillingly to rent out despite moves to make it
easier to evict tenants" (11/4/1994).
Rents double after developments
He worked to renovate his rented property. Now
proposed rent going up 30%. I cannot Afford to
stay here. Very worried. Too afraid to speak up.
FORCED out. THEIR OUTLOOK: Bleak
(28/2/2005).

The biggest problem facing landlords these


days is drunk. alcoholic tenants Hes been
drunk for 6 weeks. The place smells of booze and
stale sick. He hasnt paid any rent. But I cant chuck
him out because I feel sorry for him! Since he was
wrongly arrested
Almost of people who rent (out) their homes
suffer from mortgage phobia i.e. fear of not
being able to keep up mortgage repayments. There
129

CHAPTER 3: ARCHITECTURE / Traditional

or physically assaulting you. Racial abuse. Sexual


interference. Denying receipt of rent payments.
Stealing mail "VICTIMISING A SITTING
TARGET: Incidents often take place when the
tenant is alone..." "Harassment is frightening,
especially if you live alone, are old, have children, if
you are Female." "Often incidents take place
outside office hours... Harassment is a criminal
offence and the police should help you deal with it."
"It can be difficult to get the police to take action."
1986: "It's not our responsibility!" said the
police.
"Harassment is a sad fact of life for many private
tenants..."
"A SENSE OF DESPAIR AND HOPELESSNESS."
" it wont do no good to call the police. They can't
investigate DOMESTIC affairs... Last night I didn't
get any sleep at all..."
The 1986 Social Security Act = You may no
longer be entitled to Housing Benefit (a welfare
subsidy whereby claimants do not have to fund rent
or Local Authority Community Charge Tax).
Changes will affect 'unrealistically high' rents or
tenants whose rented property is 'unnecessarily
large'... Local Authorities will no longer be able to
offer their own schemes to local tenants... this bias
will impact low paid and unemployed tenants...
This Act will save 450 million... These cuts will
affect (at least) 26,000 house-holds..." Mrs
Thatcher said: "Now a lot of people will be better
off." Norman Tebbit said: "No-one expects
popular manoeuvres!" "The government has
operated against a 70% majority and will operate
that way again." ("Are you sure they are on the right
track?")
CRUEL JOKES: EG. "Till death do them part..."
PEOPLE SAID: "AT BREAKING POINT..." SO
UNFAIR! "Jesus, Jesus. What's it all about?"
"They pretend it's a joke. The puppet master manipulating people." "We've been in the ring,
had more losses than anyone in the City..."
1988: THE HOUSING BILL: ... means LESS
SECURITY of tenure, HIGHER market RENTS,
scrapping of The Fair Rent Act, reduced Rights
of tenants and tenants relatives, increased
harassment by unscrupulous landlords, reduced
Housing Benefits... changes to Income Support
or Unemployment Benefit payments... a steel level
of withdrawal that will add to Homelessness and
poverty.
"Overnight,
HOUSING
became
UNAFFORDABLE! This is the stuff madness
comes from."
PEOPLE SAID: Will they take all of us? Plans
finalised over a game of golf?"
"MY LAND IS CRYING. My country says you're
dead. From out of nowhere NO FAITH."
"Passing more futile laws. They put the interest of
the party over what's best for the whole country."
(Futile? Meaning: You don't get it?)

"THIS WAR! All the scenes of desolation you


never