Friday, January 28, 2005

Letter to the Guardian

this is a letter I sent to The Guardian - a futile gesture as the paper is a front for a bourgeois conspiracy to suppress the voices of the oppressed - but it made me feel better anyway.
Re: Payback time for those who gained in the housing boom
Dear Editor
Ms Toynbee has fallen into the trap of narrowing the debate on housing into those who own property, so-called key workers, and people on benefit in social housing.
There are many people in the same situation as myself: low-income families living in expensive private sector rented accommodation, with too few points to qualify for social housing and not deemed to be a key-worker (for the record most key workers earn far more than those of us in the arts and service industries).
The advice I was recently given by one representative of a housing association in London was to desert my wife and child for a few months if we wanted to stand a chance of being housed.
A local authority advice worker told my wife to go the doctor's feigning depression in order to aid our cause.
Ironically, our private sector flat is on a council estate where we pay more than double the rent of our neighbours.
It is very easy in our situation to feel that if you don't fit into one of the neat demographics I've outlined above then you don't exist in this debate.
You don't need to go to a sink estate in Hull to find the socially excluded, they're far more likely to be selling you your theatre tickets in Islington.
John Rogers
link to the original article,,1398606,00.html

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