I’d love to say why I think the EU is fucked, but it would be taken the wrong way by everyone – bigots would pretend that my story justifies their bullshit, and middle-class remainer-zealots would pretend that I’m just being a bigot by strawmanning my experience.
None of what I experienced as a street-homeless person in Europe ever told me we should leave the EU.
It told me that the EU – as it currently stands – doesn’t give a shit about homeless people beyond us being a political football among the member states and the EU as a whole (and the far right parties desperate to eradicate us. I lived on the streets in Nuremberg when Neo-Nazi groups were killing homeless people, and I saw it PERSONALLY. So yeah, fuck you, I’ve lived on the streets in Europe and experienced people targeting me for death.)
It taught me that the EU needs to be opened up to give a shit about its poor and homeless, in the exact same way that none of its member states do individually, including the UK.
It taught me that those member states need to be FORCED to give a shit about us, but instead their indifference, negligence and even animosity has been encouraged.
The fact is that my experience requires nuance at a level beyond what I’d have been able to deal with without going through it, and at a level that few in the discussion have ever demonstrated.
I’m so sorry about that. About the fact that most people’s privilege has protected them from the experiences that I’ve had. About the fact that most people are sheltered from the things I’ve seen and the choices I’ve had to make, and the agonising nuance of reality you never ever get to understand without that experience.
I’m so sorry about that.
And there’s a reason why I always ask what people think the knock-on effect of any decision will be regarding homeless people.
It’s because I LIVED IT.
You never have.
To you, speeches and words are absolute and sincere (as long as they come from people you vaguely agree with).
To me they aren’t.
I lived it.
I’ve seen that they aren’t.
Trying to persuade me that they will be this time is disingenuous.
Especially when you try to use such rhetoric in order to pretend you shouldn’t take the only action that will produce change.
I lived sleeping with my hand grasped around a knife under my pillow as I slept under a bridge in Strasbourg because I couldn’t get a job or a home, because nobody I turned to ever gave me the option to be anywhere else.
But NONE of you on either side are answering this.
The right wing don’t give a shit, but to the left: has anybody in labour stated that the right to habitable shelter trumps all other rights?
None of Corbyn or anyone else has.
Why do I keep asking how homeless and transient people will be affected by your party’s policies?
It’s because your party (all parties) have never comprised of people with my experience and have never addressed anything us homeless have experienced.
If your policy doesn’t include – or , to be honest, have as a FUNDAMENTAL TENET – “ensuring nobody sleeps on the street”, in the way we demonstrably can prove will make that a reality, I don’t care.
And as a remainer who actually lived as a street homeless person in the EU:
CAN WE STOP FUCKING PRETENDING NOBODY HAS ANY POSSIBLE REASON BEYOND RACISM TO HATE HOW IT WORKS?
If you can’t accept that, I welcome you to try to live street homeless in the EU outside Britain.
Someone mass produces a shitty kinder egg toy, pays their workers crap and earns millions from the profit.
Someone goes out to feed and clothe people in destitution, gets paid nothing because it’s what they do to volunteer their services to humanity.
According to capitalism everything here is ok, because it only values one thing – and it’s not humanity.