Friday, 20 January 2012

Quick: dig a moat...



This week Chris Moncrieff wrote an article in the Daily Mail (you can read it here), in which he whipped up fear in the usual ways, offered not a single fact and shouted: the Moldovans are coming! Chris' article was entitled 'It won't be long before an Englishman's home is someone else's castle', evoking the image of east Europeans overrunning the parapets, and reinforcing the siege mentality that some sections of society seem to lap up.

When the phrase was coined in the 16th Century, it may have been the case that an Englishman's home was indeed his castle. These days, of course, the vast majority (roughly 99%?) of Englishmen (and all peoples of the world, of either gender) are so in hock to various banks and lending institutions that they may do well to start digging a moat: the bailiffs are coming! Englishmen are more under siege from the mortgage than they will ever be from Moldovans. The daily slog and grind it takes to keep the money men from our door, just to heat our draughty castles, is the real battleground.

Look, if rampant economic inequality and the politics of austerity employed by our coalition government cause homelessness to surge by 17%, as it did in 2011, of course you'll get an equivalent surge in people seeking shelter in abandoned properties. But don't just amputate: if you want a really preventative cure, how about ensuring that everyone is adequately housed and heated? A much milder, to say nothing of more effective, medicine.

If you think that Chris might not have quite hit the mark with this misguided metaphor, do let him know. A Squash campaigner sent a letter to him and his employer, and would be delighted if you sent it, or one like it, too. It's packed full of wholesome and nutritious facts, and you can find it here:

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