In one of the richest cities in the world, we refuse to provide people with a decent place to live. Not because it isn’t possible, but because homes have been defined by successive politicians and parasitic citizens as a luxury for the rich, like cars and fur coats, rather than what they should be – a necessity like water and oxygen, to be protected at all costs from the brutal inhumanity of a hunger for profit.
This time, it appears to be a lack of effective fire alarms that has cost people their lives, but please do not think that this is the first time that a person’s life has been ruined or prematurely ended because of the disgraceful attitude that the rich and powerful have taken to people’s homes across the UK, and London in particular.
It might not make the news, but there are millions of people in Britain whose lives are on fire because our society doesn’t think it is important to give them a safe place to live.
There are children growing up three or four to a room, having to move every few months, having their education blighted by instability and their health blighted by the mouldy and unsanitary boxes that are viewed as no more than storage units for human bodies.
I hope that this terrible tragedy can be a wake up call for all of us: a home is not an investment to earn money without having to work for it. It should be a haven, our ultimate source of safety; a place where, should be choose, we should be able to see out our days in peace and certainty.
Because the truth that we seem so unwilling to acknowledge is that human beings live within two absolute limits, which have been brutally drawn together this morning.
The first limit is space: we all must find a little space on this earth where we can shelter from the rain, unravel our weary minds and feel protected. Being made to compete for that space is not an option, because there is no other space we can occupy.
The other limit is time.
We don’t have forever. We don’t have eternity to save for a mortgage, or the chance to redo a childhood spent in bed and breakfast accommodation. Life can be taken from us in minutes, in unexpected ways. It is life, not property, that is the ultimate investment, and it is far too precious to be squandered in the search of a decent home of our own.
What Can You Do To Help?
Churches, Mosques, charities, crowdfunding etc – Londoners are rallying round to help the victims of the Grenfell Tower fire.
Please give whatever you can. Blankets, water, clean clothing, food, money etc.
Londoners who would like to help are being advised to donate to the following drop off points:
Rugby Portbello Trust
221 Walmer Road
St Clement’s Church
95 Sirdar Road
Tabernacle Christian Centre
210 Latimer Road
Londoners can also drop off clothes, toiletries and other items at London restaurants: Tredwells, The Gilbert Scott and Marcus Belgravia.
*The main body of the article is an excerpt from Emlyn Pearce’s Facebook post.
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