A few days ago, we put up this post about an agency acting on behalf of the Home Office placing refugees in privately rented housing in Chadwell St. Mary without informing Thurrock Council and with no apparent support: Lessons never learned. After posting this, we started to think about the parallels between this situation and that faced by some households being socially cleansed from London.
Here are a few posts to illustrate this… This post from Focus E15 puts a human face on the story of an expectant mother effectively dumped by Newham Council in Southend with sod all in the way of support: Stranded in Southend: expectant mother told by Newham Council that she hasn’t been moved far enough away yet. Here’s a just three of the many posts we’ve written over the years about the impact of social cleansing from London all the way out along the Thames estuary, starting with: Blame games and the elephant in the room and then this: A house in Vange owned by…Local Space Stratford and finally this which links to a fair few other posts we’ve written on the issue: A little reminder about why people are moving out of London.
The clearest parallel between the situation with the refugees in Chadwell St. Mary and households torn away from their families, friends and support networks in London as they’re socially cleansed from the capital in the name of so called ‘re-generation’ is local authorities not being informed and an almost total lack of support. Not to mention the lack of any consultation with the host community in a bid to explain the situation and defuse tensions. Which is why we have to write blog post after blog post explaining why this happens – regardless of whether it’s refugees or the victims of social cleansing – in a bid to stop elements of the far right sliding in to exploit people’s concerns for their own nefarious ends.
When we wrote this post – ‘Legitimate concerns?’ Yes, they are legitimate! – the situations described above with the refugees and the victims of social cleansing from London were precisely the issues we wanted to address. What we want to do is get people to direct their anger at the right targets. Not at the refugees who are seemingly placed overnight in their communities but at the Western imperialist meddling in regions such as the Middle East that creates the chaos that forces people to flee. Also, not at the household who has been unwillingly parked in a home on an isolated estate on the fringes of Basildon but at the project of ‘re-generation’, supported by Labour and Tory councils alike, that’s aimed at making London a welcome home for the global super rich and their money, regardless of the consequences.
Sometimes this feels like a thankless task but we’ll keep on plugging away because not doing so would be an act of surrender and that’s something we don’t do…