Free Radicals


“For far too long, we have been a passively tolerant society, saying to our citizens that as long as you obey the law, we will leave you alone,” the Prime Minister said. Now, we ALL know that to be a lie. Do we, you say? Oh yes we do, say I, take a slow look at the following statistics.

There are 20,000 people on the social housing waiting list in Lambeth Borough despite this, In Clapham, South London, a residential mews called Rectory Gardens is being emptied one household at a time. Henry – who has lived in the street since 1985, despite being classed as a ‘short-life tenant’ – is among those waiting to be rehoused. The council has offered priority rehousing to anyone who agrees to leave Rectory Gardens, ahead of most of the people already waiting. In both Newham and Lambeth, tenants who refuse to accept the new houses offered are classed as ‘voluntarily homeless’ and entitled to nothing.

When Henry leaves, Lambeth Council will almost certainly pay Camelot, a ‘vacant property management’ company, to install short-term, live-in guardians. These property guardians are ordinary people who pay to stay in disused buildings – councils use them to keep out squatters after social housing tenants like Henry have been removed.

£7,000 to move to Birmingham if you are an amenable council tenant living in Wandsworth. The Tory-led council of Wandsworth in south London sent a letter to social tenants last week informing them that they could have “access to a garden” and “a private driveway” if they chose to move away from London.

The letter was brought to the Guardian’s attention after Will Martindale, the Labour parliamentary candidate for Battersea, said a distressed woman knocked on his door to tell him she had received it. “She was really upset. The council is her landlord and she trusts them. How would you feel if you got a letter like this?

900,000 jobseeker’s allowance (JSA) claimants have been subject to a benefit sanction decision in the last year, the Department of Work and Pensions said on Monday in response to a Freedom of Information Act request.These figures cover April 2013 and March 2014 & since the government ruled out any reform of the regime then and now the figures will have worsened. 

More than 1,750 migrants perished in the Mediterranean since the start of the year – more than 30 times higher than during the same period of 2014, says the International Organisation for Migration.

Hardly this government’s problem it would seem, as intent as it is on separating itself from Europe.

338 people were detained on suspicion of terrorism offences in 2014/15 – a rise of a third compared with the previous year. The laws which the government have utilised to control their activities? Not much in use apparently. Despite this, the government declared that it intended to abolish the Human Rights Act. I do say declared because it would seem that the refusal of the Scottish Nationalists and Northern Ireland’s DUP to support the despotic notion. Plus, the opposition of a former Tory justice minister, a former Tory whip and a former (this is getting boring) Tory Attorney-General, have put a halt to the government’s intentions. Imagine, a government so aggressively interfering in its beleaguered and impoverished citizen’s lives, being frightened into retreat by the prospect of its first ever backbench rebellion, champers anyone?