A letter a day to number 10. No 1,060
Thursday 16 April 2015.
Dear Mr Cameron,
You announced that your “dream of a property-owning democracy is alive and we will help you fulfil it”. A home owning democracy? What does that mean? You don’t even believe in democracy, you cut the mooring ropes and kicked it down the river, not least with your fixed term unaccountable time in office.
I can’t think of a better example of the sneering disdain your party has for democracy than Michael Gove, who abandoned the teaching profession and the vast ocean of experience of head teachers saying, “we are going to have to part company”. That level of arrogance from a man with no experience in education is a glistening example of so many of the creatures who inhabit the steaming morass of politics in Britain today.
On your watch poverty has been relentlessly driven upwards and there is no democracy involved in poverty, it is a violent ideological assault and certainly not a lifestyle choice. Selling off social housing stock is an assault on the poor in particular and planning to end life time tenancies isn’t going to increase social mobility as a positive choice, it will enforce mobility and therefore increase hardship and distress.
A house owning ‘democracy’ is a debt driven ‘democracy’. I’ve had people beating me over the head with their choice to participate in such a ‘democracy’. ‘I’ve got responsibilities!’ they cry. Well whose problem is that? It’s certainly not mine.
Because of mental illness I’ve chosen to rent simply because it’s a pay as you go system that means I do not have to worry about whether I’ll be able to service a debt for 25 years or end up in all sorts of trouble on top of struggling with the daily reality of living with mental illness. It is also true that our welfare state has kept me alive, without it I’d just be another statistic found by the side of the road. And I am grateful, incredibly grateful. Part of the motivation in writing these letters is to say thank you to a nation which has enabled me to live, a nation which is facing the end of such support with a death toll already in the tens of thousands. And yes, Mr Cameron, I await your malicious welfare denial hammer to fall, an assault which has become a daily reality for disabled people who are disproportionately targeted in your attacks on welfare.
For people like me and millions of others home ownership is not an option and anyway, house prices and private rents are an obscene disgrace, a sign of an out of control free market ideology that ultimately benefits those who exploit housing as a money making opportunity only. House prices and rents should be index linked to pay. People are being priced out of housing and your specious property-owning democracy is only really going to benefit the markets whilst people struggle to make ends meet. Your property-owning democracy is just another sinister battle ground in your war on the poor.