Feature

United Kingdom: Save anger for the system, not the poor

We should criminalize the causes of the housing crisis, not the homeless people who are its symptoms.

Owen JonesThe Independent

Now even the Left wants to punish the homeless for being homeless, said Owen Jones. Chuka Umunna, a Labor Party lawmaker widely hailed as a “rising star,” is spearheading a crusade to rally Labor behind the Conservative effort to criminalize squatting. The Tories last year started throwing people in jail for camping out in abandoned private homes, and now they want to do the same to those who seek shelter in unused commercial properties. This week, Umunna praised a newspaper commentary that “dripped with xenophobic nudges and winks,” telling of people “whose life has been made hell by neighboring foreign squatters,” and then tweeted how unfair it was that some people should work hard to pay rent while others just squat for free. How sad that Labor has fallen for an old Conservative tactic—redirecting people’s anger over their plight away from those actually responsible and “toward others at the bottom of the pile: immigrants, ‘shirkers,’ public sector workers.” The fact is, if you struggle to pay your rent, it’s because wages are too low, landlords are ripping people off, and social housing has been slashed. We should criminalize the causes of the housing crisis, not the homeless people who are its symptoms.

Recommended

10 things you need to know today: December 7, 2021
A 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games test event.
Daily briefing

10 things you need to know today: December 7, 2021

Psaki confirms diplomatic boycott of Beijing Olympics
Olympic rings in Beijing.
Winter Olympics

Psaki confirms diplomatic boycott of Beijing Olympics

10 things you need to know today: December 6, 2021
Bob Dole
Daily briefing

10 things you need to know today: December 6, 2021

Myanmar court hands Aung San Suu Kyi 4-year prison sentence
Myanmar protest for Aung San Suu Kyi
Myanmar Coup

Myanmar court hands Aung San Suu Kyi 4-year prison sentence

Most Popular

The political risk in prosecuting an alleged shooter's parents
Karen McDonald.
Samuel Goldman

The political risk in prosecuting an alleged shooter's parents

Mace vs. Greene is the fight for the future of the GOP
Mace and Greene.
Picture of W. James Antle IIIW. James Antle III

Mace vs. Greene is the fight for the future of the GOP

Kathy Griffin slams CNN for firing her but not Jeffrey Toobin
Kathy Griffin
'I loved that gig'

Kathy Griffin slams CNN for firing her but not Jeffrey Toobin