And our Housing Association-provided heating broke down again yesterday.
So we're dressed up like Innu (' Like Eskimos' in the old days: though why that name was changed, I don't know).
The meta point is that, here in Bromley, the Tory/capitalists choice to impose austerity on the poor mean that, for us as examples, we are being crushed innan anvil of two opposing wedges: when I moved in here, to Coleridge House, to a flat which was so ribby that not-one on the housing waiting list would take it (and Bromley refused to put me on the Housing Waiting List as being homeless, which I was, deeming me to be, as a 'non-vulnerable adult man', voluntarily homeless and voluntarily unemployed and, so, voluntarily unwilling to take a private landlord's ' lease'), Coleridge House was still described as 'Sheltered Housing'.
But the vice of austerity was already being applied by the Tory capitalists: Bromley Tories had already taken away funding to Housing Associations for schems managers at Sheltered Housing units, so we were already on our own when problems arose.
Riverside, 'our' Housing Association, tried to bridge that gap by asking us to pay £5 a week to pay for an excellent, but part time Social Worker. But, when someone complained about that payment, even that part-time cover was stopped.
Add to that, that the Bromley Tory capitalists had taken the Tory+Fib Dem capitalists' 'option' of clawing back, and eventually, abolishing our low-income Council Tax (property tax) rebate/ Benefit/now renamed Council Tax Support, the vice was being tightened.
And we're getting older, iller, more disabled, more isolated: the opposing jaw of the twin wedge austerity vice.
So, Riverside has renamed us. First we're no longer Tenants, but Customers. Second Coleridge House, etc, is no longer 'Sheltered Housing' but is renamed as 'Retirement Living'.
And, as of May last year, we're the subjects of 'A Decant': where we're being gold to find (with 'an assistance package') somewhere else to live.
So far, of our house of twelve singletons, getting older and iller, and one elderly couple (ditto) five have moved into isolated accommodation, two more are in process of doing so and two have died.
The vice of austerity bites.
And all the while, Tory Capitalist Bromley uses the 'Benefits' system to grind down our immune systems, in the unstated hopes that the two of my neighbours who 'have lost their lives' become three or more.
Or that we'll slip up/be slipped up by missing a deadline (how apt a phrase) in yet one more demand for evidence of income, capital, 'change of circumstances'.
Of course, the altetnative exists.
Let's bring about The Wellbeing Society as an evolution on from The Welfare State.
Let's Socialise the Economy rather that re-Nationalise, with compensation, this pernicious wickedness called capitalism.
And, rather than pay usury, let's have an interest-free, not-for-profit money, banking and finance system as a transition from capitalism, through Co-operative Socialism, to an Economy of Love, Peace, Freedom and Voluntary Contribution.
John Courtneidge 6th November 2017