"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

The First Of Many

Edward Meakins' story will be repeated up and down  the land but 'congratulations' to heartless Barnet Council for being the first to show us how the government's new rules on council housing will be applied.
An 83-year-old pensioner who has lived in the same council house for 74 years is being evicted after the death of his sister left him living alone.A Barnet Council spokesman said: 'We sympathise with Mr Meakins’ position, and we appreciate that the prospect of leaving the family home after so many years must be very difficult for him.
'However, Mr Meakins is living in a three-bedroom council house, which are in very short supply in Barnet.
'We have to balance our sympathy for his position against the needs of the large number of people on the borough’s housing register who are desperate for a good quality family home.
'We will continue to offer Mr Meakins all the support we can in finding suitable alternative accommodation.'
Cold comfort.


  1. Blogged on this myself this afternoon.

    It beggards belief that this is supported by anyone at all... but it is.

    IDS said that councils should let people moving into the area to take up work get to the top of the housing list, but as most of the available housing is pig sty quality, they will be glad to have this poor old man's place.

    I wonder how long he'll last if they get away with it.

  2. If I was him at that age I would douse the house in lots of petrol, turn the gas on and after a good long wait ,have a last drink and light up a ciggie!

  3. There should be no council housing. People should pay the market rate, and an LVT should be insituted so people don't do the hugely economically destructive thing of having oversized house as a retirement asset rather than investing.

  4. They state,thay need his home for the rising number of families needing it.Well we all no the sort of families needing it, fucking scum bags who have one intention in life and that is to do fuck all and live of us(the tax payer)

    The poor old boy probably hasn't got long left anyway.

    And if there wasn't all these "single" mothers working the system there would be loads of housing.

    A.C.O,i agree there shouldn't be any social housing, but there is.

  5. GV all the cafe owners knew there was a flood of weans coming, but the council did not! How come the tea shop mafia are so well informed and the useless local government are not?

  6. Thanks for your comments. There has to be room for compassion in these policies and enough flexibility to accommodate people like Mr Meakins - or else what's the point?

    There'll also always be a need for social housing for the genuinely needy. As Tris says in his own post, the faults in the system derive from the right to buy and the depleted housing stock. You try buying a house in London at x3 the average earnings.

  7. Hi Incoming - yes good point - immigration has just piled more pressure on the housing stock and much else of the country's infrastructure.

  8. It's a sad case and I feel for him but isn't that the price to pay for living off the council for so long? If you're living in someone else's house, there is always the chance they'll want it back.
    Council homes should be used as a stepping stone to ownership, not a right to subsidised housing at everyone else's expense.

  9. So long as they find him a suitable smaller place what's the problem? He doesn't need a 3 bed place, some other family does. There should be no law that says you can stay somewhere forever just because you're old when you're taking up more space than you can handle and there's a family of 4 living in a 1 bed flat somewhere or staying in a B&B.

    Also this is the Daily Fail, so I won't believe a word of it till it's reported in a reputable journal of opinion.

    Yeah yeah, the new occupants will probably be foreign, or have darker skin than you find acceptable, ooga booga, but once you get over your paranoia and racism life is more fun.

  10. Nick... The deal here is that the man is 83 and it's been his home for 74 years. he doesn't remember living anywhere else.

    He's put work into his garden; it's his hobby.

    What kind of people would put him out, into a flat...

    Britain has become a despicable place to live if we can do that. I hope it has a new regime by the time I'm old.

  11. In an ideal world he can stay where he wants to. That would be my preferred outcome, but being realistic I think it's acceptable to say "1 man in a 3 bed house can move to a smaller place and let a larger family move in". He can get a garden flat with a nice garden to tend. Smaller place, less upkeep he might even end up preferring it.

    I don't wish anyone to cause him grief, if he doesn't want to go or can't go then I support his attempts at staying, however I do think moving is the right thing to do. I only give him a pass because he's old.

    I don't think it's a sign of a despicable country. A despicable country would not inform him, forcibly remove him with force and toss him in jail, and anyone who dares voice concern over such a despicable action.

    Perspective, use it.

  12. "He can get a garden flat with a nice garden to tend."

    Nick, I take it you are Finnish, Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, Icelandic? And that you have never visited the countries of the UK?

    He'll have to take what he can get. If Barnet is anything like my town, the likelihood is that it will be a flat in a multi-storey, gratte ciel, with small windows. These are the only flats that are available. Garden flats were all bought up years ago by sons and daughters who wanted to cash in once their elderly parent was dead.

    I'm not criticising. It happened in my own family. The opportunity to make a fair sum of money overrode the moral obligation to leave in circulation housing suitable for elderly people.

    Why don't we just use the money that we would have been handing out in dole to build houses instead? After all we are always hearing that people on the dole are better off than those working...so, why doesn't the government pay these out of work people with suitable qualifications and experience to build houses for those people who can no longer afford a quarter of a million for a tiny house (with a 20% deposit on the mortgage).

    Just a thought, instead of putting an old man in a flat, quite possibly on the other side of town, away from his garden, his neighbours (who maybe pop in to make sure he’s ok, give him some of the stew they made.... bloke on his own, from the age when men didn’t cook?), away from the pub he goes to and what are left of his mates?

    Seriously, what you say makes good economic sense. It’s sensible from a business point of view. But people aren’t business and there is more to life than economics.

  13. hah, no, I live in Barnet and I'm English, born and raised. I know all about the area and what's available.

    Nothing is more important than business and economics. I enjoyed my bailout funded bonus, thanks for that. Assuming you're English, and thus contributed towards it.

    I completely agree that building more houses is needed, because then we won't have a family struggling to fit into a 1-2 bed flat while one man has a whole 3 bed house to himself.

  14. Well no Nick, I'm not English, although I admire the English very much, and have visited your country, some of which is astoundingly beautiful. I'm glad you enjoyed your bonus though. It's always nice to see people happy I think.

    I don't really disagree that it is bad for someone to have to wait for an old codger to pop his clogs before they can get their hands on his house, buy it, do it up and sell it on at a monstrous profit as I believe you can still do in England...

    I wonder if you think, due to shortage of public housing it would be a good idea if mr Cameron who already has several houses of his own, some paid for at least partly by us, should give up Chequers for example to people more in need of it than he is. After all there’s only him and his mrs, and a couple of kids?

    It is, when all is said and done, a council house. And what about all the wasted space in these palaces which are council houses. Why does Charles need a council house? He has his own and his mother has more than she can shake a stick at.... I realise that his wife likes to spend some time on her own and of course presumably her replacement as royal tart will have to be accommodated, but surely we could fit in a few families to their vast collection of houses?

  15. Yes, because if anything says "fair" it's giving a bunch of homeless bums or welfare scroungers the keys to palaces and country houses.

    Since they and their ancestors have built up those estates they belong to them. Since they pay taxes they are contributing towards the welfare system so they are doing as much, if not more, to help others than the ordinary bloke.

    Let's not even get into the fact that they bring in more money to the country's economy than they cost to maintain. It would be a foolish move to even begin treading down the path of which you speak.

    As for Chequers, well it will do f*ck all to help the situation to give it to poor people so why bother? It's a nice bit of history that would be soiled by the fecal stained peasantry that you would have inhabit it.

    Mind me asking where you're from and whether or not you currently are on the waiting list for a council house? If so that might point to a bit of bias, if you're gunning for a flat in the future Buckingham Palace apartment complex.

  16. No Nick. I'm not from England and I can safely say that I've never been on the waiting list for a house of any type.

    I'm given to believe that anyone who has had the misfortune to live in Buckingham palace has hated it. So no, I'm not looking to move in there. I shouldn't much care for the neighbours. They have such unruly children.


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