Secularism isn’t the enemy of religioni

For those still confused by this:

Secularism isn’t a push for an atheist agenda or an attack against religion and god.

Secularism is merely the idea that no beliefs have dominance or will be given special treatment.

It’s the antithesis of theocracy, which tries to make a single belief system dominant.

So if you’re religious or spiritual or neither of those things, secularism is in your interest – because it means your freedom to believe in what you do will not be violated.

No laws shall be passed that deny your beliefs, criminalise them, or offer preferential treatment to others who believe something else.

The opposite is theocracy, where a select group and their beliefs are given preferential treatment, and all other beliefs are marginalised, denied or criminalised.

Chances are, that will end up including your beliefs – even if you hold to the dominant religion of the theocracy, because “heretical offshoots” (those groups who on any way challenge the denomination favoured by the state), are treated in the same manner as non-believers. In fact, they’re often treated worse.

So, if you’re religious, secularism is in your interest, because only secularism guarantees your freedom to worship and practice your faith.

Theocracy prohibits it, even for those who are part of the dominant religion.

Stop pretending secularism is the enemy.

It’s only the enemy of those established groups who now have to give ground to all of us who don’t share their beliefs (whatever our personal beliefs are), and fundamentalist cults who fancy themselves creating a theocracy in the future (who would all be dead by now if they didn’t have a secular culture to thrive in – oh irony!).

Secularism is this: the acknowledgment that your survival to hold your beliefs (or lack of them) and follow your beliefs freely necessarily entails others to be able to hold and follow their beliefs freely. Because without that universal freedom, your freedom to hold and follow your beliefs is not guaranteed. In fact, the criminalisation or persecution of your beliefs is guaranteed, unless you accept and promote that universal guarantee for all beliefs (or lack of them) to be respected.

You can either stand with secularism and the tolerance of all religions and those who aren’t religious, or you can – out of a zealous philosophy – sow the seeds of your own destruction.

By the way: society is overwhelmingly choosing secularism, because the majority of people understand how rational thinking works.

So if you’re still confused, I suggest you catch up. Whatever you do or don’t believe.

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Transience on our own terms

Being a transient person means that I reject and am unable to live under a static frame of reference.

However, neither am I able to live under a semi-transient frame that is forced upon me.

Whilst my transient nature allows me to adapt to new living conditions and locations, even when those conditions are semi-static (ie, living in a house for 6 months, where my existence is tied to remaining there because I have little autonomy to find or sustain my own transient existence), I can no more than subsist and survive there – never feeling truly transient (because I can’t move on under my own steam or security) and never feeling at home (either through my lack of ownership over my personal space being made explicit, or through social pressures continuing to remind me that I have no ownership of my personal space – usually because I often have no legal safeguards when entering temporary accommodation at urgent short notice. When it’s going back to the street or taking a short term residence with no contract, it’s not even a choice – but it’s one that reminds me that society feels comfortable to neglect any ownership I should have over my personal space, which itself feeds into a spiralling ennui and psychological inability to see a light at the end of the tunnel. And static life is a long and dark tunnel for me.)

I’m placed in a horrific state of limbo, where my transient lifestyle is both rejected and used against me, by the social structures and institutions, even if not always by the persons involved.

Transient people are forced to merely subsist and survive, when our transient status is used against us to enforce our imprisonment in a life that subjects us to temporary static accommodations within which we have no spatial autonomy.

In order to thrive, we require as a necessity our transient lives to be dictated on our own terms.

We require the ability to take ownership of our spaces – including a space we can take with us to new locations.

But we are most often denied both by the political and economic systems, and social structures, we find ourselves in – constantly being denied space we are legally recognised as having ownership of, and constantly being forced into spaces that entrap us and within which our spatial autonomy is not protected.

Temporary insecure accommodation without spatial autonomy being guaranteed, is the reality of many transient people today. But it isn’t what actually defines transient people or our lifestyle.

Our lifestyle is defined by the spatial autonomy we can guarantee for ourselves as we move – a spatial autonomy that is rejected by the system in which we live, which perceives us as an existential threat at worst, and a minor quirk of economics at best (an acceptable sub-market with rules and restrictions imposed upon us as a community, that encroach upon our ability to exist, but which we’re allowed to live within so long as we don’t disrupt the system with our transient autonomy).

That’s why you have the problem of disillusioned and apathetic “economically successful” transient people rejecting or refusing to recognise the plight of their community – even rejecting or failing to recognise their community’s existence and their existence as part of that community.

An “I’m alright Jack” attitude, which only serves to curtail and destroy the community, instead of form a cohesive political, social and economic force willing to fight for the rights and needs of all its members.

It’s an attitude that is at odds with the traveler movements of the 80s and 90s, during Nostell Priory, the battle of the beanfield and the passing of the CJA. But all those events led to the ability of this attitude to exist and persist, eroding the community – until today we find almost no real traveler community outside that which is defined ethnically, at least in terms of a social movement happy to fight for the struggles of its membership.

None of this should or could ever diminish the plight of – and very real and very specific injustices – experienced by the Roma community, or any other ethnically defined transient group in the UK or beyond.

And neither would I define my transient status as someone who shares the injustices felt by the Roma community, or count myself among their community except as a brethren of a larger transient community – which defines itself both with broader ethnic identities (from the Roma to the Bedouin to the Masai and beyond) and without ethnic identities (in terms of all those of us without traditional ties who yet reject a static frame of reference).

I would do a disservice to all if I equated the two, but also if I denied our greater community, and how any attack against one part of our wider community affects us all.

I’m not here to wedge myself in to such communities as the Roma or Bedouin, but to state my allegiance with those communities and the wider traveler/transient base.

How many of us shared solidarity with those at Dale Farm? How many of us shared solidarity with the Palestinian Bedouin at Khan Al-Ahmad?

Are we not kin? Is their plight not part of our own? Can we justify our existence whilst ignoring the struggles of those who share our transient identity, however it is defined?

As well as – and maybe beyond – our rejection of a static frame of reference being the ultimate goal of our lives, we must reject any semi-transient/semi-static life that is forced upon us, which rejects our spatial autonomy and uses our transience against us.

Our transience can only – and must only – be acknowledge on our own terms.

We cannot be forced to accept a form of transience imposed upon us by the state, specifically designed to reject or ignore our spatial autonomy, and to dictate our transience in terms which we have no control over and under which we cannot thrive, but instead barely subsist.

Transients stay when they want to and move when they want to. Not when it is decreed acceptable by a state constantly trying to diminish their existence or deny their humanity.

And whilst I have no known ties to ethnically defined transient groups (believe me, I’d shout it proudly if I did), I nevertheless stand in solidarity with all transient peoples, however they define themselves, against all injustices they face.

An attack on one is an attack on us all: Because wherever we come from, however we define ourselves, and however we became transient, the threat we pose to the states that abhor us and the policies they employ to dehumanise and attack us, are universal and affect us all.

We need to build a community again which recognises who we are. A community that recognises the different members and groups in that community, that recognises the value their existence has in promoting our community and it’s diversity, and which dedicates itself to the struggle of each and every member and group as equals.

That’s why I happily work on vehicle conversions for next to nothing.

I want our community to grow and to become empowered, and to feel a collective identity that ensures we look out for each other.

For over 2 decades, that community has been eroded to the point of almost nonexistence by the state and the complicity of some travelers (most notably those of us without an ethnic transient identity, who have been happily apathetic to both the struggles of the Roma community and the struggles of the “non-economically successful” transient community, such as the transient homeless).

We can no longer ignore our community, our shared identity.

We can no longer allow our community to become an exclusive club, whose members only consist of those who have somehow succeeded in thriving within the political and economic and social system that envelopes us – a system that dictates which transient people are acceptable and which are not, on terms that we don’t get to dictate and which are designed to deny us of that self-determination, terms designed to conquer our community through division. We cannot countenance a club whose members can turn their backs on those who didn’t have the advantages others have had, or who can demonise or neglect those who struggle for transience against a system built to imprison them.

As Lincoln said (forgive the static use of language): “A house divided against itself cannot stand”.

If you have succeeded in a transient lifestyle within this system without fighting for those transient people who are struggling, you aren’t succeeding: you’re only contributing to a system that denies others their humanity, and will ultimately deny your own.

Before the turn of the millennium, and shortly after, we still had a strong transient community in the UK.

We still have pockets of that strong community.

And to my delight, we even have new pockets growing within that strong community – from Brighton to Bristol, all the way up into Edinburgh and the highlands of Scotland, we have pockets of the transient community who recognise each other and fight for each other.

But we still fail to stand by each other. We still fail the transient homeless, and we ignore their problems and their shared identity with us. We still fail to accept our shared community, ironically beyond the small villages we make for ourselves.

And many still fail to even acknowledge their place within that community, pretending that unless those injustices affect them personally, they can ignore them or put the blame on those members of our community who are affected by them.

If we want spatial autonomy, if we want transience on our terms, we are obliged to fight for all those transient people who are denied transience on their own terms.

Otherwise, what does our transience stand for, other than an individualist – almost solipsistic – approach which guarantees nobody, even those who hold to it, any guarantee of freedom and self-determination?

We’re a diverse and resourceful community, capable of facing extreme odds whilst struggling for our autonomy, our freedom, our self-determination.

That’s literally what defines each and every one of us.

We need to make that intrinsic strength of our community a force to bond us and to fight for each of our kin.

Whoever you are, however your transience is defined, we must stand together. We must acknowledge our community – both the successful and the deprived, the accepted and the reviled.

We are transient. Together.

Our community cannot fall.

Crypto-fascists, antisentism and islamophobia

I am disturbed by the obvious and increasing number of crypto fascists using claims of “antisemitism” in order to justify their racism and islamophobia – and worse, the increasing number of people they are successfully gaslighting.

That whole argument of “why aren’t you also protesting X?” which they give away by never asking any other campaign movement the same thing or holding them to this non-existent standard (none of them condemn those campaigning against Russia’s involvement in South Ossetia for not also campaigning against Georgia’s treatment of Abkhazia, or those campaigning for West Papua of not also campaigning against the treatment of the rohingya muslims);

The people claiming all Palestinian protests are some Palestinian terrorist group conspiracy;

And the folk who shamelessly post tommy Robinson and fascist memes;

And nobody challenges them in the conversation, which is worryingly ironic.

It’s almost as if they care more about their academic debate over antisemitism (in which they want to ignore any Jewish groups who disagree with them), than about a discussion about racism and islamophobia.

I really struggle to understand why 🤔

And to clarify, the “why aren’t you protesting X as well” argument is both logically defunct (might as well berate doctors working to cure malaria for not also curing every disease on earth), and is a major problem with the IHRA wording – because groups that campaign for Palestinian human rights are being called antisemitic for not campaigning for other human rights causes – as if the West Papuan campaign actively campaigns for Yemenis against Saudi Arabia, or the Sikh groups campaigning for justice for 1984 are actively campaigning for justice for Orgreave.

Groups campaign on their issues, but that wording is being used to suggest that by campaigning on that issue, Palestinian human rights groups are being antisemitic – as if every human rights group actively campaigns across the board, which, SPOILER ALERT, they don’t.

They can’t.

Because that’s not how you create an effective human rights campaign.

Try it and watch how quickly you run out of time, money, interest and other resources.

And as for anyone trying to pretend all Palestinian human rights protests are just Hamas or Al-Quds fronts.

Fuck you.

Your crypto fascist BS isn’t fooling us.

The gall to believe you can push a narrative that every single person campaigning against human rights abuses that are admitted and openly enforced by a government….

You might as well try to tell me that all Biko supporters in South Africa were burning tyres around people’s necks, you ignorant and/or fascistic fuckwits.

And as if you even care about the issues facing Jewish people around the world!

You’ll happily trade Jewish people in as a scapegoat – and do it openly without prompting!

When you go to such lengths to justify a government that is exercising an apartheid regime that matches the definition of apartheid as defined by the South African government *during* apartheid, fuck you.

(Ethnic segregation; second class citizenship based on race and ethnicity; impunity to harass, torture, displace or murder people based on race or ethnicity with no recourse; actively courting groups calling for genocide of people based on race or ethnicity; the control of resources to a population of a certain race or ethnicity in order to obstruct its infrastructure; the collective punishment of a certain race or ethnicity for any violation by a select group – it’s the *literal definition employed by the apartheid government of South Africa*! How much more until we’re allowed to call it “apartheid”?)

When you try to justify a regime whose leader has explicitly tried to redefine the holocaust in order to minimise the role of the Nazi party and blame the Palestinian people:

*Fuck you double.*

You’re not only a disgrace to the human rights of Palestinians, you’re a disgrace to the millions of Jewish people who died because of Nazi extermiation. You’re happily taking part in historical revisionism in order to diminish the horrific role played by the perpetrators of their murder.

And the same goes for when you’re silent as the regime’s leader endorses Poland’s policy of revising history to whitewash its role in the wholesale slaughter of millions of Jewish people – FOR A TRADE DEAL.

You don’t care about antisemitism.

You’ve made it clear.

Like Netanyahu, you only care about justifying your racism and islamophobia.

If you cared about the plight of the Jewish people and the inhuman injustice they’ve endured, you would keep the truth of the Shoah alive, and not let anyone whitewash it for trade agreements and racist ends.

We know exactly what you’re saying.

It’s not antisemitism.

It’s justifying your ability to dehumanise Muslims and Palestinians and Bedouin.

And we won’t stand for it.

Both the Jewish people and the Palestinians deserve better than your bullshit.

Terraforming geologically dead planets like Mars is going to be hard – and for more fundamentally tough reasons than you think.

There’s been a lot of talk over the past few years about terraforming Mars.

A lot of that conversation has been misleadingly simplified, with some people even pretending to themselves that it’s something that could be done quickly and probably very soon after we first send humans to Mars.

The problem is that Mars is a geologically dead body. And terraforming a geologically dead body is a very difficult thing to do, compared to a geologically active one, for reasons that very few people are talking about and even fewer are starting to get to grips understanding – because were only just beginning to understand the complex relationship our geologically active planet has with the ecosphere we inhabit.

Look, an absent active core presents a myriad of problems for terraforming a planet that need sorting out.

There are 2 big ones that stick out.

First off, you have to build an atmosphere whilst it faces being stripped away.

The solar wind doesn’t wait until your atmosphere is complete. It strips it whilst you try to build it, so you need to expend a lot of energy and resources into fighting that atmospheric depletion *whilst* you build the atmosphere up.

If you can’t get a magnetosphere up, then even if you build the atmosphere, it’s unlikely to be a planet that can keep a macroscopic ecosystem going for very long, both because the atmosphere doesn’t have to be completely stripped before it can no longer support that ecosystem, and you likely need the ecosystem going for a very long time in order for it to become self-sustaining rather than just heavily managed.

You’re going to be trying to set up with Flora and fauna that are not adapted to that planet, and getting them to a point where they are adapted enough will take a very very long time, because evolutionary processes take epochs, not generations. Your atmosphere needs to last that long and more.

It may or may not be plausible to induce a magnetosphere on Mars without an active core, but that doesn’t help with the next problem with living on a geologically dead planet.

Atmospheric stripping, assuming you can build one up, may take a long time even absent a magnetic field to deplete, but soil degradation is much quicker.

There’s not much point of a breathable atmosphere on a planet incapable of growing plants and food, because the soil is being continually depleted by agriculture and natural overuse with no mechanism to replenish it.

For that, you need geological activity, like plate activity and vulcanism, which requires an active core – which also creates a magnetosphere and helps with a lot of other problems you face when terraforming a planet.

Terraforming is much more complex than “build an atmosphere and plant a few trees and crops”.

You can try that.

You’ll be dead in just a few generations, even with an atmosphere.

Can you solve all these problems without an active core, on a geologically dead planet?

Possibly.

But 1) nobody’s actually talking about the complex role an active core plays in generating and sustaining an ecosphere and what all those different aspects are and how to sort them out absent an active core; and 2) just getting an active core solves them all – maybe even more efficiently and with less energy and resources than trying to solve them piecemeal, even if it means trying to get an active core.

Is it possible to get an active core going on Mars?

Who knows.

But recognising and understanding the complex role that it plays on generating and sustaining the ecosphere is paramount – instead of going in half-cocked and trying to deal with major problems we fail to foresee by ignoring it as we go along.

It controls the atmosphere, the soil cycle, the water cycle, the migration pattern of many animals, even the weather and a lot more that we’re only beginning to figure out.

Until we can fully grasp its interplay with our entire planet, we can’t pretend it’ll be easy to terraform a planet that is geologically dead.

Step on our faces if you want, but if you do we’ll make your feet stink for centuries.

If found something disturbingly telling a few months back.

During an anti-Brexit march in manchester, which passed many homeless people I knew on the street, not one person stopped to even speak to the homeless.

You marched on our home, and none of you had the presence of mind to acknowledge our existence.

I’m anti-Brexit, and I support your cause.

But I find it very telling that the largely middle-class demographic saw fit to actively ignore the very vulnerable people they pretend to care about.

As I say, if your struggle ignores or doesn’t even begin with homeless/transient issues and people, you’ve failed from the outset and I cannot stand with you.

Of all the intersections of society, those who live on the street and how you interact with them are the baseline – the yardstick by which your ability to succeed will be predicted and your worthiness of the support of your fellow humans will be determined.

We cross every divide, because abject poverty and anti-transient and anti-homeless prejudice have, at their very root, no greater discrimination.

Homeless and transient people of colour, homosexuals, transgender, women, mentally or physically disabled, elderly, etc, all face challenges above and beyond what those not facing such prejudices do.

But homeless and transient people, as a whole, face challenges beyond those prejudices that nobody else does or could ever understand without walking through that lonesome valley.

We’re the bottom rung.

In everything you do, remember that.

We’re the forgotten.

We’re the ones it is socially acceptable *across the board* to forget and neglect.

How you treat us, how your interact with us, how you deal with our issues, defines whether your campaign for justice and equality not only has a chance to succeed, but is even worthy of succeeding in the first place.

Step on our faces if you want, but if you do we’ll make your feet stink for centuries.

The “skeptic community” is not fit for purpose

When so many flat earth debunkers are idiotically perpetuating the Eratosthenes myth as if it was valid, I’m both utterly unsurprised that flat earthers are becoming more prevalent and able to argue against such red herrings, and angry that idiots pretending to be “rational” think they can jump into a centuries old debate with zero research as if their tone of ridicule was a valid substitute for a rational argument without further damaging the education level of humanity.

The way the “skeptic community” both failed to anticipate the flat earth resurgence, and failed to successful counter it because their ego meant more than doing any actual research into basic geometry and understanding the people they were arguing against, is a damning indictment against their neo-religious bullshit.

A better world begins with homeless and transient rights

If your struggle or campaign for social justice or a better and fairer world doesn’t begin with #homelessness and #transient issues, then it’s defunct from the offset and it means nothing.

If in anything you do, you fail to involve, campaign for or recognise the most vulnerable and most alienated people in our global community, you have failed before you start, and I will not stand with you.

Homeless women and homeless LGBTQ+

I am going to amend my last homeless issues post to add these in, but also thought I’d be negating my responsibility to highlight the fact that I’d missed them out, and that those who’d already seen that post may not go back and get the opportunity to see these as well.

Fucking typical male.

While writing out my #HomelessIssues post, I’ve realised I totally omitted issues that directly affect homeless women, such as:

#PeriodPoverty, where sanitary products are unavailable to homeless women;

#HomelessSexualAbuse, #HomelessSexualHarassment, and #HomelessRape, where homeless women are often vulnerable to attack and find it difficult or impossible to get justice and adequate care and safeguarding;

#HomelessBirthControl, where homeless women find it hard to access contraception, and where they are even vilified for having the audacity to have a sex life whilst homeless.

#HomelessLGBTQ people also face difficult issues, where they can’t access care, support, security and justice, especially when facing attacks primarily focused on their identity and taken advantage of because of their homelessness.

These omissions are totally my fault and my problem. Apologies.

Call them out when you see them ❤️

On Homelessness

These are some of the biggest #HomelessIssues faced by homeless people in the uk.

Share and spread the #HomelessAwareness!

(This list is, sadly, not exhaustive. But whenever you spot an issue related here, please use the associated hashtag, so that we can get these issues trending and push them into the public consciousness. And if there are issues you identify which are not outlined here, please add to them, so that we can make the lives of homeless people visible. It’s time to be seen and heard!)

#ThePovertyPremium

This is both the real and relative increase in the cost of living experienced by homeless people.

For instance, a loaf with spread and fillings for multiple sandwiches costs most people around £5 tops.

Without food storage options, a ready made sandwich costs a homeless person £2-3.

A jar of coffee and milk and sugar costs £5 tops for anyone with a kettle and a fridge. For a homeless person, each coffee costs £2-3.

Homeless people face both an increase in the real cost of living (each coffee costs pounds instead of pence), and the relative cost of living (the percentage of their income spent on basics is larger than for anyone else).

The poverty premium also affects homeless people in the criminal justice system.

As certain aspects of homeless life (rough sleeping, pan-handling, etc) are increasingly criminalised, homeless people face fines for their existence that they are unable to pay or avoid. This leads to the further indebting of homeless people, and even forcing them into incarceration for increasing fines that they can’t ever hope to pay – just for existing.

#PovertyImprisonment is back in the UK. I though we passed this almost two centuries ago.

#AntiHomelessViolence

Homeless people are routinely subject to violence from both the public and the police, from being assaulted to having their tents or belongings stolen, vandalised or set on fire/destroyed.

#AntiHomelessPrejudice

Homeless people have their status used against them, even long after their homeless experience.

This can manifest in abuse from members of the public and authorities, abuse or rejection from landlords, and abuse or rejection from employers.

This prejudice remains unrecognised by governments, the public, and even media and corporations – such as Facebook and Google, and even “progressive” outlets like the BBC, the independent and the guardian.

#HomelessExclusion

Homeless people are routinely excluded from policy discussions about homelessness, both in local and central government, and in charity policy.

Homeless exclusion is also a major problem in the media, where homeless voices are ignored except where they fit the narrative of “pity porn” the press thrives on. Any political movement by homeless people is ignored or vilified – look at the recent royal wedding fiasco, where homeless protesters were painted as “thugs wanting a riot” prior to the event, and when that didn’t transpire they were ignored by the press altogether.

#TheHomelessMyth

Homelessness is continually blamed on mental health problems, substance addiction, crime, and basically anything that puts the blame on the homeless person themselves.

This lie is exposed by the vast number of criminals, and people with mental health issues and substance addictions that aren’t homeless.

We don’t make murderers homeless, but we’re willing to suggest that someone with mental health problems is homeless because of their mental health problems!

It’s further exposed by the number of homeless people who don’t have any mental health issues or addictions or convictions, either prior to their homelessness or during it.

There are, including “hidden homeless” (such as long term “sofa surfers”), about 300,000 homeless people in the UK. There are 200,000+ long term empty homes (empty for more than 6 months) in the UK.

Even if the average empty Home has just 2 bedrooms (a fairly conservative estimate), that means we could house everyone *tonight*.

To appropriate a quote by Amartya Sen: Homelessness in the UK is the characteristic of some people not having access to a home. It is *NOT* the characteristic of there not being enough homes.

Nor is it the characteristic of some people making themselves homeless.

Nobody “makes themselves homeless”. This is a lie perpetuated to justify neglecting homeless people and blame their homelessness on themselves.

Whilst different solutions to different homeless people are necessary, the causes of homelessness lie in the lack of a political will to open up homes to homeless people and the anti-transient laws that criminalise transient existence, and not within the homeless themselves.

#StreetCleansing and #SocialCleansing

Councils, police and local businesses continue to engage in programs aimed at removing homeless people from town centres (where many rely on the only income available to them), with no real solutions proffered to the homeless people themselves.

The goal is solely to sanitise the town centre and makes no attempt to deal with homeless issues, beyond what is superficially accepted by the media who neglect any further inquiry that exposes the street/social cleansing going on.

(An example would be the implementation of “homeless hostile” architecture, like spikes on the pavement to prevent sleeping, or of Windsor council offering homeless people temporary accommodation miles out of town where there’s no public transport, during the royal wedding.)

#AntiTransientPrejudice

Anti-traveler and anti-transient prejudice has affected homeless people for centuries.

Many homeless end up having to move to find somewhere they *might* find help or a better life. This movement-by-necessity is used against them, either to differentiate them from the “deserving” local homeless (who the community still don’t care about, exposing this lie), or to suggest they’re just being “opportunistic” rather than desperately seeking a solution to their situation.

Many homeless people who travel to a new town find that they are not able to access assistance because they aren’t from that town, further exacerbating their situation. (Truth is, we don’t care about the homeless who live in our towns, let alone those who come here from elsewhere.)

Anti-transient prejudice also affects the “solutions” offered to homeless people, as transient people who find themselves homeless are offered static solutions that end up failing them, causing them to be blamed for their recidivism.

Many transient people are neglected as “intentionally homeless”, instead of being recognised as people seeking a solution to homelessness that works for them. This is largely down to a static-based bias in society that fails to see transient homes (living in vehicles, for instance) as a legitimate way of life or a legitimate home. As anti-transient laws have continued to be passed (and an anti-transient policy dogmatically followed by government from Nostell Priory, to the Battle of the Beanfield, to the CJA of the early 90’s, to Dale Farm, to today) transient people find themselves increasingly at risk of becoming homeless, with no effective solutions on offer to them.

#HomelessCalories

Thanks to the #PovertyPremium, it is impossible for many homeless to get enough calories in the day to do anything beyond subsisting.

This makes it easy to push the narrative that they’re lazy, when in actual fact they are struggling to get enough calories to keep their baseline existence going, let alone do anything that requires energy.

When your basal metabolic rate (how many calories you need just to survive lying in bed all day) can be between 1-2,000 calories per day, it’s easy to see why a deficit in calories can affect the energy levels of homeless people and cause real problems – both in terms of their health and in how they get perceived as “lazy” by non-homeless people.

#HomelessFatigue

Facing homelessness for any prolonged period of time can erode anyone’s resolve.

Facing constant abuse from the public and the authorities; Being moved on all the time; Being looked down on and humiliated; Facing violence, theft and destruction of property – even by the authorities; Finding “solutions” closed to you, or being given temporary or poor fitting “solutions; all of these things can generate an enormous sense of ennui and cynicism that can -through no fault of the homeless individual – perpetuate the issues homeless people face.

When you’ve been homeless for any length of time, the emotional fatigue you experience that can handicap any attempt to find a solution for the issues you face is overwhelming.

#HomelessRecidivism

Homeless recidivism affects homeless people who are either offered solutions that don’t work for them, or who are offered solutions without adequate follow-up care or assistance.

Many homeless people have reported being housed with no income for weeks and no amenities (electricity, gas, etc).

When “solutions” fail, the instant reaction is to blame the homeless person themselves, rather than investigate why the “solutions” were not fit for purpose.

This leads to many people who experience homeless recidivism being branded “intentionally homeless”, allowing the council and government to wash their hands of them and blame them for the situation they face, rather than adjust their policies to better deal with homeless issues.

#HomelessExhaustion

Most homeless people sleep sporadically for very few hours each day, which leads to a sense of permanent exhaustion that every homeless person will tell you is the number one characteristic of being homeless.

When you’re homeless, the first thing that hits you – and the thing that defines your existence – is a state of permanent exhaustion, from a lack of sleep, a lack of calories and a lack of stability.

Imagine living your life on only 4-5 hours sleep a night at best. Now imagine having to get those 4-5 hours sleep from 1-2 hour broken periods when you aren’t being woken up by the public or police.

Speak to any homeless person and the first and overarching theme you’ll hear is how they are always tired. Not just tired, but physically exhausted and spending most of their time in that close-to-dream state that characterises extreme sleep deprivation..

#HomelessDivideAndConquer

Homeless people are constantly used in political tit-for-tat by governments and groups trying to justify their agendas.

Whether it’s to push an anti-immigration narrative or an anti-transient one, or an anti-drugs policy or a pseudo-pro-mental-health narrative (characterised by there being no solutions to mental health issues, but simply the use of mental health to further justify the idea that homelessness has nothing to do with the system that creates homelessness), the media and these interest groups and government try to portray a difference between a “deserving” homeless and an “undeserving” one.

However, none of them even care about the issues facing their so-called “deserving” homeless, which again exposes the lie behind their rhetoric.

The truth is that #HomelessIsHomeless.

It doesn’t matter who you are or what your background: if you’re homeless, the-powers-that-be don’t care about solving your issues. They only care about using you as a political tool.

This is why all homeless people, regardless of who we are, where we come from or what we believe, have to stand together for a solution to homeless issues for all our kin: #NoOneLeftOut!

#HomelessImAlrightJack

Some homeless people who find their way out can – due to nothing more than human nature – map their experiences on to every other homeless person, leading to a lack of empathy for the struggles other homeless people face.

On its own, this would only be a mild irritant.

However, the stories of such people are often used in the media, public and government to justify neglecting those homeless who were not so fortunate, and helps further generate a public narrative that blames homelessness on homeless people.

#HomelessHomogeneity

Many charities, along with local and central government, perceive homelessness as having a single solution that works for all.

When someone doesn’t fit those solutions, they are literally thrown aside and labelled “intentionally homeless”, and their situation blamed on themselves rather than the lack of insight that treats all homeless people as a homogeneous blob.

#HomelessCriminalisation

More and more aspects that define homeless existence are being criminalised, which leads to homeless people facing convictions and/or penalties for doing what they have to to survive.

Do I really have to explain how this doesn’t help either the homeless or society as a whole?

You’re spending tax payers’ money on prosecuting people who can’t pay for just trying to stay alive.

You do the fucking maths.

(Apologies. That’s the only time I’ll swear here. But I think it’s very understandable why.)

#HomelessSeparation

Homeless people with children are often told that solutions exist for their children but not them.

Because they are blamed for their homelessness, the government sees fit to separate them from their children, leaving the homeless without any viable solution, and subjecting their children to a life in care separated from their family.

Instead of offering a solution that works for the whole family, helping build a constructive and cohesive social unit for both the parents and their children, the government forcibly removes children from their family, estranging them and destroying the already dilapidated moral of everyone involved.

#HomelessMortality

Thanks to the horrific nature of homelessness, homeless people face the very real threat of death on the streets every day.

On top of this, thanks to factors like #HomelessFatigue and the mental health problems created and exacerbated by homelessness, homeless people face an increased risk of suicide or ennui-induced death (that is, death that occurs not through a deliberate attempt to end one’s life, but a lack of motivation to do anything to continue a life that ultimately appears futile to the person involved – I appreciate it’s hard to pin down, because it can manifest as a general apathy towards personal health care such as the take up of addictive substances or not seeing a doctor in times of emergencies, or a more specific non-interest in personal health problems that someone might encounter, with a view of “well, life isn’t going to improve anyway”).

Just by being homeless, a person’s life expectancy is reduced drastically – at a rate beyond most pathogens and other health risks.

Being homeless is a very fatal issue.

What’s absolutely unforgivable is how this factor of homelessness mortality is completely ignored by the government when it comes to public health initiatives.

#HomelessHealth

(Yes, this is tightly connected to #HomelessMortality. Who’d have thunk it?)

Because many homeless people find themselves unable to find easy access to health care – even within the NHS (which is SOLELY to do with its management by an uncaring government and their hostile environment attitude towards homeless people, and not the hard working and ultra-compassionate health care workers in the NHS, of whom I only have the highest praise and support for) – homeless people suffer greater instances of physical and mental health problems than any other demographic in the UK.

They are less able to seek help, less able to obtain help, and less able to access the system that perpetuates healthcare beyond “at point of access” (A&E) which deals with sorting out causes of health issues rather than the symptoms of health issues.

(If you’re unaware, we pay the NHS to deal with the underlying issues behind our health problems, rather than just the symptoms. That’s why we don’t die from simple pathogens these days. Big up our NHS!)

On top of this, as stated before, successive governments have ignored the role of poverty and homelessness on health issues, which has further denied homeless people access to health care solutions to the health issues they experience.

When you can’t access beyond “at-point-of-access care”, then it’s no surprise that homeless people endure long term physical and mental health problems that exacerbate their situation.

I am going to amend my last homeless issues post to add these in, but also thought I’d be negating my responsibility to highlight the fact that I’d missed them out, and that those who’d already seen that post may not go back and get the opportunity to see these as well.

#PeriodPoverty, where sanitary products are unavailable to homeless women.

#HomelessSexualAbuse, #HomelessSexualHarassment, and #HomelessRape, where homeless women and homeless LGBTQ people are often vulnerable to attack and find it difficult or impossible to get justice and adequate care and safeguarding.

#HomelessBirthControl, where homeless women find it hard to access contraception, and where they are even vilified for having the audacity to have a sex life whilst homeless.

#HomelessLGBTQ people also face difficult issues, where they can’t access care, support, security and justice, especially when facing attacks primarily focused on their identity and taken advantage of because of their homelessness.

Again, this list – whilst already depressingly long – is sadly by no means inexhaustible.

I encourage everyone who has experienced homelessness to add any issues they have faced that are not included, with the hashtag #HomelessIssues, so that we can spread awareness to the wider public of what it’s really like to be homeless.

And this list is very UK-centric, but I encourage anyone who is experiencing or has experienced homelessness – in whatever form – around the world to make it their own.

For me, #HomelessIsHomeless.

No matter who you are, where you are or where you come from, we are the same people. We are kin. And we have a duty to help each other, because we’re facing down the same problem that we all face.

If you’re homeless, you’re my family. No matter what.

Remember: homeless people aren’t looking for “special treatment”.

We’re asking to be recognised as Human Beings.

#NoOneLeftOut

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