Now that the Queen is dead, it’s time we bury the monarchy

gal-dem

The queues began in the night. Starting at St Giles’ Cathedral on the Royal Mile, a line of several thousands of people snaked across Edinburgh for miles, patiently waiting for the opportunity to shuffle past a 96-year-old woman’s coffin. The city jumped into action to accommodate the royal mourners: portaloos and water stops were installed along the route, while the Salvation Army arrived to hand out hot drinks and food during the cold night. Yet, elsewhere in the city, 4,500 of Edinburgh’s homeless citizens slept rough on the streets or in temporary accommodation – a figure only expected to worsen as the UK’s cost of living crisis continues into the winter.

As we’ve seen since the Queen’s death on 8 September, the UK is actually very well equipped to handle a crisis – or whatever the state deems to be one. Public billboards and advertising spaces immediately transformed to memorialise the Queen, transport services have been magicked out of thin air to accommodate mourners, and a meticulously orchestrated operation has rolled out across the country.

Where was this leap to action at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic? Where is it now as the UK enters a cost of living crisis? Where are the hot drinks and portaloos for the people who are forced to spend every night outside? And where, exactly, are the millions of pounds that will be coughed up for the Queen’s funeral and the King’s ascension, for the parents relying on schools and a footballer to feed their children, for the pensioners riding buses to stay warm and for the 42% of us who will not be able to heat our homes by next January? The pompous display of wealth feels jarring against the worst fall in living standards for 60 years. Not only is it unnecessary, it’s deeply inappropriate.

“In modern Britain, ‘respect’ is only reserved for the wealthy – not for the most vulnerable in society”

The Queen’s death has only proven what we’ve come to know

view post

Red and Black Telly roundup.







Red and Black Telly roundup.











Red and Black Telly roundup.








Red and Black Telly roundup.








We want council housing and homes for life!

Focus E15 Campaign

Another family has been moved into the hostel Brimstone House in Victoria Street in Stratford during the last eight weeks. This means that Newham Labour council and Mayor Rokhsana Fiaz still think that rooms built for single young people are adequate to house families. This has to stop! People need to be housed in decent housing. Shame on the council and those in local government who sit by and let the housing crisis in Newham escalate whilst people suffer and homes remain empty.

This family is a father, a mother and a four month old baby. There is just about space for a double bed and a sofa. Currently the father sleeps on the sofa while the mother sleeps with the baby in the bed, which is against the advice from midwives, health visitors and GPs about safe sleeping for babies. It is just not appropriate for an adult to sleep all night on a sofa.

There is little or no ventilation, the room is quickly filled with cooking smells which can be overpowering, and the toilet flush does not work properly despite repeated requests for it to be fixed, it has not been repaired. The alarm continues to go off in the building and there is drilling early in the morning. It is no wonder that these parents are distressed, tearful and unwell. There is no space and nowhere to put their belongings. It is clear that Brimstone House is no place to raise a child and the housing is not suitable.

Meanwhile, the roomy council flats around the corner on Carpenters estate remain empty and there are trees growing out of them! What a waste. We want to save every single council flat on this estate because this housing offers the chance for long term stability, community and cheap rent. A chance for a decent life.

Please join us on Saturday 18 December 12-2pm on the Carpenters Estate where over 400 home have stood empty for over a decade, where currently a ballot is underway and where the council is spending hundreds of thousands of pounds to secure a yes vote to its regeneration scheme which will mean demolishing 60% of the estate.

We need more council homes, not fewer!

We need families like the one above from Brimstone House, and the thousands of others on the housing waiting list and those in temporary and emergency accommodation, to be housed decently.

Join us on Saturday 18 December at 12 noon in the middle of Carpenters Estate in Stratford (near the shop) to fight for housing, to make a stand against capitalism, against racism in housing and to restore people’s dignity.

Please share and join the facebook event

Red and Black Telly roundup.






Red and Black Telly roundup.







Life on Carpenters Estate -a life worth fighting for

Focus E15

A local resident speaks to Focus E15 campaign about what Carpenters Estate means to her.

When I reminisce about my best moments growing up, I always think of the Carpenters estate. I can’t imagine growing up in a more fulfilling community.

Across all generations we supported one another. You had the over 65s, some who had known each other since the 2nd World War. They had grown up together and then raised their children together. It was a very close, caring and supportive community that felt more like a family. Us children would all attend Carpenters primary school and play together afterwards in the lovely green spaces and park. There was so many different cultures too, I tried so many different cuisines and learned a lot by being around different ethnicities and religions. I actually believed the whole world was multicultural like the estate I grew up on, because to me Carpenters was the only world I knew.

View post

Residents say NO to redevelopment plans: ‘We must fight for the people, the planet and our beloved Carpenters Estate’

Focus E15 Campaign

A resident of the Carpenters Estate, Stratford, Newham, London E15, speaks out: From the day I was born, I have lived on the Carpenters Estate. It was also home to my Mother, Grandfather, Grandmother and Great Grandmother, along with Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, childhood friends and so on.  It has been a special place for me and

View post