As many will recall from articles and interviews I did back in April 2020, I kept reiterating that if people wanted long term effective change they had about three weeks in which to do it.
This was how long I believed the novelty of a lockdown, and the spirit of community that it had nurtured, would last.
I was almost spot on to the day.
The NHS clapping was pulled for being politicised in May 2020.
In that same month, we watched on the news that people had queued for four hours for McDonalds & six hours for Ikea
The riots in Primark were soon to follow a few weeks later. Consumerism was back with a vengeance.
By June 2020 it was economics that was driving the news agenda and not health or homelessness. Our 15 minutes of fame had well & truly passed.
So when I did my animation for Lockdown 2 in November 2020, it was clear to me that homelessness was off the political agenda in any real way. The window of opportunity to fix things in that regard was way past its use by date,
Working with May Bulman at The Independent, we got the figures to emphatically prove that the Government’s homeless success stories were a nonsense as anyone working at grassroots level with those experiencing homelessness, could have told you from first hand experience.
But those early day headlines in Lockdown 1 of “we are going to fix homelessness” had done their job – the public believed them and it was time to move on.
So it comes as absolutely no surprise to me whatsoever that ‘Everyone In’ is not being extended and that there is little media furore around the failure. I myself have almost been returned to the streets by bureaucracy last night (6th January 2021), having been given just another month inside after some 11th hour legal action and calls from Journalist friends to Westminster Council.
I’m now sitting like a condemned man on death row in my emergency accommodation, waiting for my sentence of “frozen until dead” on 6th February 2021. I could get not one journalist to cover my new story.
Those of us who were homeless were a useful tool to bash the government with last year This year we’ll be lucky to get a footnote.