The Counihan-Sanchez family is just one story that highlights the human cost of Welfare Reform and the shameful connivance of the Labour Party in Tory led social cleansing.
The family of seven have already been shunted out of their home borough in Brent into temporary accommodation in Ealing. They now face further eviction after Brent Council have refused to accept that Anthony Counihan’s bus driver’s salary is not enough to pay the soaring rents in the capital.
At a meeting with their MP, the millionaire Glenda Jackson, the family were told to move to Wales, where they have no work and know no-one. Like thousands of other families in the capital they are now in limbo, facing an uncertain future of forced relocation, unemployment and isolation. Despite the lurid claims made in some newspapers of families living in housing benefit funded Kensington mansions, the Counihan’s story is one of an average working class family living in one of the less well off areas of London.
A protest is being held tonight to support the family who have vowed to fight for their right to remain in the borough in which their children go to school and is their rightful home. The protest will also raise the case of Kilburn resident Nygel Firminger, who’s recent tragic suicide is believed to be directly related to the vicious benefit cutting regime that has already claimed too many lives.
The mood amongst local people is militant with a call for “urgent radical action” in support of the family and all those facing eviction not just from their homes but from Greater London.
The clown mayor, Boris Johnson claimed he would not allow Kosovo style social cleansing on his watch in the capital and then proceeded to sit back and do fuck all as it took place. Labour Councillors in Brent have offered little in support other than mealy mouthed excuses. It is clear that we cannot rely on politicians, Councillors, or Mayors to support those who pay their wages.
Homelessness is already soaring not just in the capital but across the UK. It will not just be London residents who face a housing crisis as rents soar, wages stagnate and benefits are slashed.
Areas of the country already facing poverty will see huge influxes from those socially cleansed from London and other cities placing intolerable pressure on public services and housing. The Housing Benefit caps, which lying Tory filth told us would force down rents, have done quite the opposite. The benefit cap, to be introduced next year, will make almost the entire South East of England unaffordable for large families, whether they are low waged or unemployed.
The right to a home is more than a Human Right but a basic reality of existence. People need somewhere to lay their head at night, to keep warm, to cook and to keep their families safe. Yet even the most meagre council accommodation is fast becoming little more than an aspiration for millions of people. That one of the richest cities in the world cannot house not just disabled, unwell or unemployed people, but bus drivers, nurses, care workers or classroom assistants reveals the inhumane failure of both this Government and the current model of naked capitalism.
Protest outside Brent Town Hall tonight (Monday 20th August) at 7pm and share, tweet, blog and spread the word about the plight of the Counihan family and the tens, if not hundreds of thousands of people they represent.