Down & Out In Bournemouth & Poole: Day 13 – Things I Could Do With Bananas…..


Some people’s attitudes don’t change, today I watched the news and found out that the government has refused planning permission for the building of a ‘mega-mosque’. The timing of this announcement, sandwiched in-between the appeal against Corporal Blackman’s conviction for the murder of an Afghan citizen, and the championing of the Invictus Games by Prince Harry, seems particularly fortuitous.

A mega-mosque in the Labour being built in the middle of Labour run Newham? And at a time when we are dropping bombs on the burgeoning Muslim threat in Syria? Heaven forfend! How easily we forget that mosques aplenty have been constructed all over the country without their being serious ramifications, the like of which might constitute violent social disturbance.

Mosques are places of prayer and worship, just like churches. They are places where people can get married and have prayers said over them when they are buried. We have yet to know of a single instance in which a mosque has been the hub of terrorist activity in this country. Mosques definitely are places where people take the Quran, prayer and worship every bit as seriously as most churches. In fact if building more mosques would improve the grip Britain has on morality I would say build more mosques!

Two days ago I waited in line for sandwiches at the Salvation Army soup run and watched a middle-aged man being denied food and talked down to by a woman old enough to be his daughter, I was there so he got the food he asked for (god help him!). A day ago I watched a volunteer do some unique volunteering. You see whilst the other volunteers were talking informally to rough sleepers and serving them food with much cheer, this lady was condescending to dole out charity.

Having her hands on the food and being seen to be the one ‘dishing it out’ seemed to give her an inflated sense of power. In fact she reminded me of the landlady who had stolen all my worldly goods on the same day she took rent and evicted myself and my partner, she had the same ‘I’m alright Jack fuck you’ disposition. At one point a bunch of bananas was  waved in my face “would you like one?” I was asked, up until that point in the evening food had been offered by this lady to anyone but me.

In the company of a bunch of middle-class professionals this woman would have been mocked for being little more than an overweight chav with poor dress sense, but here, amongst the homeless and the rough sleeping this inveterate imbecile was the closest thing to god. My attitude to this woman’s arrogance and ignorance might have been more considered, had I not met the Crime Reduction Initiative (Aka Rough Sleeper’s Team) and the council’s ASBO Officer earlier that morning. Every time we meet these guys their spiel goes something like this,

‘If only the council would give us more money we might be able to help the poor homeless. If these people (the ones we’re supposed to be supporting), would only pull up their socks get on their bikes and find themselves landlords and properties to rent out they wouldn’t be on the streets. Homeless people are unsightly, the council receives all sorts of complaints about them and really what they (we) need is to get themselves off the streets. Charities enabling them to remain homeless by feeding them isn’t helping matters either’.

Smug, self-satisfied, even manipulative, anything but Christ-like, but why do I bother mentioning Christ? After all we don’t do morality in this country quite like we did decades ago do we?