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 The Food and Shelter Illusion

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PostSubject: Re: The Food and Shelter Illusion   Thu Oct 09, 2008 7:31 pm

Auditor #9 wrote:
Zhou_Enlai wrote:
There is no right to food and shelter. No other animal treats it as a right either. The OP makes no sense in that regard imho.

I don't agree with a right to a house. Fair enough if you are willing to work hard for it (even if you can't get work) and to pay for it out of your salary and to pay taxes towards other unfortunates getting a food and shelter if they are trying but can't afford it. But that's called a deal not a right. Nothing comes of nothing, all shelter and food has to be provided somehow through work and effort. If you don't sign up to the deal, if one thinks one has a right to these things while opting out of the effort, then one is little better than a thief.

Well yes, I feel there has to be some effort on the part of the recipient of the food and house but perhaps the opinion might be better framed in terms of an aim for a society or economy. This is how I interpreted it. There are plenty of people in Dublin and elsewhere who have been hard workers all their lives but can't afford a house - I think this is severely unjust. There are also people who would work hard if there was work around but they are often victims of geography. I also think there is enough surplus for those who can't work and even for those who won't. (We haven't had a debate yet here on social welfare - maybe this thread is it ?)

I think we could tweak the market to help those people earning 50-60k or more per year where the market price of an apartment (e.g. in Dublin) is 300-400k. This is tampering with the market but those people have a right to be able to buy if they want. It might even be the government's responsibility to gauge what is needed by the society - the quantity of one/two beds, the number of family apartments, the volume of high-profile places, the extent of social and affordable housing along with public transport.

This could be within the governments aegis - to gauge the needs of a society and orchestrate the delivery of what is needed. This is tampering with the market but it's out of all whack now anyway.

Well it is our country so we can run it however we want (if Brussells lets us). I don't like talk of rights but if the people all get together and say we are going to make it so people can get houses then we can do that to an extent and indeed have done it with the requirement for Social & Affordable housing in planning applications. Even if we amend the constitution we probably will be prevented from riding rough shod over peoples property rights as enshrined in the ECFHR. Can any expert tell me the extent of such rights? Thomas Aquinas? Bueller? ........anyone?

Of course the whole European attitude to private property might change now if other Europeans, like irish people, have to guarantee all the mortgages to get the bank access to funds.
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PostSubject: Re: The Food and Shelter Illusion   Thu Oct 09, 2008 7:33 pm

cactus flower wrote:
I visited the Czech Republic a few years back when it was in a state of transition. I was at a very nice little tower block in Prague. At one corner the Minister lived and across the hall, in an identical flat, his chauffeur.

We have all kinds of crazy hangups about status and the need for conspicuous consumption associated with social ranking. Why shouldn't all the housing we build be fit for a chauffeur or for his Minister?

I watched a documentary set behind the iron curtain recently. The chief surgeon lived in the flat on the floor above the patient's wife. He, like everybody else, and had to boil his water on the stove to take a bath.

[They all looked grey and miserable]
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PostSubject: Re: The Food and Shelter Illusion   Thu Oct 09, 2008 7:57 pm

I'd like to see everyone elevated to rosy-cheeked happiness in the Czech Republic. Maybe the surgeon and his neighbours could set about building a better accommodation for themselves.
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PostSubject: Re: The Food and Shelter Illusion   Thu Oct 09, 2008 8:01 pm

Zhou_Enlai wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
I visited the Czech Republic a few years back when it was in a state of transition. I was at a very nice little tower block in Prague. At one corner the Minister lived and across the hall, in an identical flat, his chauffeur.

We have all kinds of crazy hangups about status and the need for conspicuous consumption associated with social ranking. Why shouldn't all the housing we build be fit for a chauffeur or for his Minister?

I watched a documentary set behind the iron curtain recently. The chief surgeon lived in the flat on the floor above the patient's wife. He, like everybody else, and had to boil his water on the stove to take a bath.

[They all looked grey and miserable]

I'm not saying everything east of the Volga is perfect. Neither is everything perfect here. I could take you to see a woman with serious mental disability living on her own in a "portacabin" shack, last time I called with the shower full of empty cans; a blind woman living in a house with no functioning hot water and the only form of heating an open coal fire - the fireplace burnt with flames from her fire lighting efforts and a woman bringing up two children with a congenital lung condition in an unheated trailer. I could go on. If you're in Dublin you could pop along and visit the Devaney flats. But that isn't my point. My point is that it is not outside our capacities to build pleasing accommodation for everyone, and that my priority would be to make sure no-one is homeless or in desperate housing, before worrying about building Personal Palaces.

If you're in Dublin perhaps a trip to the Devaney flats would be an eye-opener. The people there could do with some support.
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PostSubject: Re: The Food and Shelter Illusion   Thu Oct 09, 2008 8:03 pm

Aragon wrote:
I'd like to see everyone elevated to rosy-cheeked happiness in the Czech Republic. Maybe the surgeon and his neighbours could set about building a better accommodation for themselves.

A lot to be said for self-build, but it doesn't work for everyone. You need to be fit and have some construction skills if its going to turn out well, and it can be very slow.
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PostSubject: Re: The Food and Shelter Illusion   Thu Oct 09, 2008 8:07 pm

I actually agree with you CF. The possibility of status symbols has fuelled the greed. That also makes people productive. However, soon we will be looking to survive and productivity will not be everything.

The fact that they were all grey and misrerable was just the style of the film - the flats were ok. I think it was one of the Dekalog short films. There was no status divide in terms of accommodation but there was a huge divide when the lady went to talk to the Dr. in the hospital. This was not overcome by their being neighbours as she never raised the issue out of the hospital. Anyway, it's a decent film.
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PostSubject: Re: The Food and Shelter Illusion   Thu Oct 09, 2008 8:16 pm

zakalwe wrote:
rockyracoon wrote:
Is it an inalienable right for those who control debt, the media and the reigns of power to allow asset prices to spiral out of control in order to line their own pockets at the expense of simple wage earners? Should a home be considered a home or an asset?

the free market decides what asset prices are, not those who control debt/media/reins(?) of power.

thats the vendors to you and i. basically that translates to the 40-60 year olds of our society that have been gifted with hundreds of thousands of euro spending power due to demographic change*.

*increase in female labour participation rate and net immigration.

Hows ya Zakalwe? Well, I'm beginning to think that the "free market" is a bit like Sartre's god - it's retired. After reading quite a bit about the invisible hand of the free market, I can't come to any other conclusion that such a beast doesn't exist and never did. We end up with the some of the most expensive housing and property in the world for very man-made reasons, imo. What particular mechanism or shift in financial demographics occurs is not of vital importance.
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PostSubject: Re: The Food and Shelter Illusion   Thu Oct 09, 2008 8:18 pm

johnfás wrote:
Absolutely, adequate psychological and psychiatric facilities are essential to the homeless problem in Irish society. The vast majority of those who are homeless on Irish streets suffer from varying levels of psychiatric problems ranging to the most serious of disturbances. The failure to properly provide services for the alleviation of such ailments, including addiction, is the single greatest cause of homelessness in Ireland. It has little to do with the free market - more to do with a failure of Government. We could stop people becoming homeless in the first place for as cheap, if not cheaper, than it costs us to provide the services which we provide to the homeless.

I have said it before, and will again, that the same applies to anti social behaviour in deprived areas in our towns and cities.

Hi Johnfas (and apologies to others for busting in with this)

I see you are very sympathetic to the plight of the homeless and their problems - and I wholeheartedly agree that adequate psychological supports are essential. However I really can't agree that the fact of homelessness is caused by an absence of these services although the lack of them seriously exacerbates the situation, for sure, keeping many people in a parlous state for tragically long periods of time - some times people never get the help they need and simply die younger than they would have done in miserable straits. For personal reasons Im especially concerned with young men on the autistic spectrum whose behaviour is often badly misunderstood and who often end up on the streets reliant on Simon shelters and the like. A man I know who works in the autism field (he runs one of the major service providers) told me they have reliably estimated that approx 33% of prison population fall into this category. But I digress.

The housing situation is a direct barometer, nay, consequent upon housing policy and the IBEC led insistence on rowing back from funding for public housing has been a growing disaster the results of which will shortly be horrendously evident to us all. As I type, I'm currently awaiting a call from a housing professional who I hope will have news for of the whereabouts of a member of my family. There's a huge shortage of supervised accommodation for people who need it too. PD policy has been pernicious across the board in this respect - they really dont give a shite about social problems and FF have been infected with savage meanness from their association with them.
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PostSubject: Re: The Food and Shelter Illusion   Thu Oct 09, 2008 8:26 pm

Aragon wrote:
johnfás wrote:
Absolutely, adequate psychological and psychiatric facilities are essential to the homeless problem in Irish society. The vast majority of those who are homeless on Irish streets suffer from varying levels of psychiatric problems ranging to the most serious of disturbances. The failure to properly provide services for the alleviation of such ailments, including addiction, is the single greatest cause of homelessness in Ireland. It has little to do with the free market - more to do with a failure of Government. We could stop people becoming homeless in the first place for as cheap, if not cheaper, than it costs us to provide the services which we provide to the homeless.

I have said it before, and will again, that the same applies to anti social behaviour in deprived areas in our towns and cities.

Hi Johnfas (and apologies to others for busting in with this)

I see you are very sympathetic to the plight of the homeless and their problems - and I wholeheartedly agree that adequate psychological supports are essential. However I really can't agree that the fact of homelessness is caused by an absence of these services although the lack of them seriously exacerbates the situation, for sure, keeping many people in a parlous state for tragically long periods of time - some times people never get the help they need and simply die younger than they would have done in miserable straits. For personal reasons Im especially concerned with young men on the autistic spectrum whose behaviour is often badly misunderstood and who often end up on the streets reliant on Simon shelters and the like. A man I know who works in the autism field (he runs one of the major service providers) told me they have reliably estimated that approx 33% of prison population fall into this category. But I digress.

The housing situation is a direct barometer, nay, consequent upon housing policy and the IBEC led insistence on rowing back from funding for public housing has been a growing disaster the results of which will shortly be horrendously evident to us all. As I type, I'm currently awaiting a call from a housing professional who I hope will have news for of the whereabouts of a member of my family. There's a huge shortage of supervised accommodation for people who need it too. PD policy has been pernicious across the board in this respect - they really dont give a shite about social problems and FF have been infected with savage meanness from their association with them.

I agree about the savage meanness. The report linked in this thread - commissioned to prove that sick people on benefits should have their nutrition allowances taken away, was a real sickener originating from Ms Harney's personal office.
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PostSubject: Re: The Food and Shelter Illusion   Thu Oct 09, 2008 9:46 pm

cactus flower wrote:
Aragon wrote:
johnfás wrote:
Absolutely, adequate psychological and psychiatric facilities are essential to the homeless problem in Irish society. The vast majority of those who are homeless on Irish streets suffer from varying levels of psychiatric problems ranging to the most serious of disturbances. The failure to properly provide services for the alleviation of such ailments, including addiction, is the single greatest cause of homelessness in Ireland. It has little to do with the free market - more to do with a failure of Government. We could stop people becoming homeless in the first place for as cheap, if not cheaper, than it costs us to provide the services which we provide to the homeless.

I have said it before, and will again, that the same applies to anti social behaviour in deprived areas in our towns and cities.

Hi Johnfas (and apologies to others for busting in with this)

I see you are very sympathetic to the plight of the homeless and their problems - and I wholeheartedly agree that adequate psychological supports are essential. However I really can't agree that the fact of homelessness is caused by an absence of these services although the lack of them seriously exacerbates the situation, for sure, keeping many people in a parlous state for tragically long periods of time - some times people never get the help they need and simply die younger than they would have done in miserable straits. For personal reasons Im especially concerned with young men on the autistic spectrum whose behaviour is often badly misunderstood and who often end up on the streets reliant on Simon shelters and the like. A man I know who works in the autism field (he runs one of the major service providers) told me they have reliably estimated that approx 33% of prison population fall into this category. But I digress.

The housing situation is a direct barometer, nay, consequent upon housing policy and the IBEC led insistence on rowing back from funding for public housing has been a growing disaster the results of which will shortly be horrendously evident to us all. As I type, I'm currently awaiting a call from a housing professional who I hope will have news for of the whereabouts of a member of my family. There's a huge shortage of supervised accommodation for people who need it too. PD policy has been pernicious across the board in this respect - they really dont give a shite about social problems and FF have been infected with savage meanness from their association with them.

I agree about the savage meanness. The report linked in this thread - commissioned to prove that sick people on benefits should have their nutrition allowances taken away, was a real sickener originating from Ms Harney's personal office.

She's one cold, cold lady - time and again shown herself ruthlessly impervious to any notion of human decency. She basically believes that people are only worthwhile in so far as they are rich while ensuring that there are plenty of folk kept poor enough and dependent enough to service the rich as unquestioningly as possible. If they suffer and die, well that's just economically efficient for rich people who won't have to bother paying for their health. I know this is inappropriate but everytime I see a picture of her I cannot stop myself from thinking how her physical appearance reflects her sick creed. Things really are well and truly Orwellian now.
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PostSubject: Re: The Food and Shelter Illusion   Fri Oct 10, 2008 1:31 am

It's very possible to get a lot of crops out of the land as long as there is a bit of good weather. This will save yourself a good few pennies as the seeds are cheap. The bit extra you get out can be traded with the neighbours if they venture out with their gardening tools themselves. Get the children out too to join you in the garden instead of buying them Mars Bars in the shop - children like to get away from the homework now and again. They can earn a few bob that way to buy their black plastic bags for their Hallowe'en costumes. It's a crying shame that the Government doesn't supply a plot of land in the style of an allotment to every family in Ireland as if there was a war on. Maybe there is as I keep hearing our banks are under attack from Hedge funds - now I've seen unruly hedges which I've attacked myself with a substantial shears but I've never seen one attack a bank!

Anyway if we all had an allotment to go to instead of watching television wouldn't it be great for the nation? A place where you could sing a few songs as you were tending ...



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PostSubject: Re: The Food and Shelter Illusion   Fri Oct 10, 2008 8:13 pm

rockyracoon wrote:
zakalwe wrote:
rockyracoon wrote:
Is it an inalienable right for those who control debt, the media and the reigns of power to allow asset prices to spiral out of control in order to line their own pockets at the expense of simple wage earners? Should a home be considered a home or an asset?

the free market decides what asset prices are, not those who control debt/media/reins(?) of power.

thats the vendors to you and i. basically that translates to the 40-60 year olds of our society that have been gifted with hundreds of thousands of euro spending power due to demographic change*.

*increase in female labour participation rate and net immigration.

Hows ya Zakalwe? Well, I'm beginning to think that the "free market" is a bit like Sartre's god - it's retired. After reading quite a bit about the invisible hand of the free market, I can't come to any other conclusion that such a beast doesn't exist and never did. We end up with the some of the most expensive housing and property in the world for very man-made reasons, imo. What particular mechanism or shift in financial demographics occurs is not of vital importance.

The most expensive real estate per square metre now I believe is in Mumbai. The usual glassy towers of babel are shooting up everwhere. The developers and planners have now turned their attention to a "slum" area close to the centre where hundreds of thousands of urban poor people live and work. The plan is to sweep the whole area aside and to rehouse a proportion of the residents in flats on the site, from which they won't be able to run their stalls and workshops, shipping hundreds of thousands more off to a remote urban fringe area.

The first 100,000 people were shipped off to the urban edge last year with the promise that there would be new houses and schools and shops for them. They were dumped into an empty field with no water supply and 14 toilets. They are trying to build tents and shacks around themselves, but a third who were working have lost their jobs as they can't afford the buses to the centre. None of them will be compensated for the loss of their valuable homes.

This should be famliar: in a less brutal way but in the long term as destructive, people from the centres of the Irish city centres were deported to remote suburbs with no facilities and no transport, from where they have struggled to get into employment ever since.

Some people find it very hard to get into a house:

Quote :
North Tipperary County Council will early next week seek a High Court injunction aimed at preventing a group of protesters from maintaining a blockade close to a house which has been allocated to a family who are members of the Travelling Community.

The local authority are seeking an order from the court as a result of an on-going blockade, which began early last month when local residents discovered that a house at Cullenagh, Ballina in Co Tipperary had been acquired by the Council for the purpose of housing the ten strong O'Reilly family. Today the Council was granted permission by Mr Justice Roderick Murphy to notify those individuals involved in the blockade of their intention to seek an injunction, aimed at restraining the protesters from interfering and trespassing upon the property.

The judge made the matter returnable to early next week.

Mr David Kennedy SC, for the local authority, told the court that "the situation had become very inflamed." and that his clients were now in a position where they had to act. He said that access had been gained to the house in Cullenagh and glue had been placed in the locks.

The electricity had been cut off, and it was unclear if the house's water supply is working. Mr Kennedy added the council employees attending the house were in fear of being intimidated by those maintaining the blockade.

I don't know of anywhere in the world where there is a free market system that doesn't have massive slums and homelessness. The free market sets basic wages at a level where people can't afford to buy a house. All of the best examples of housing that is good quality, integrated and accessible have been heavily interventionist and have pursued social and not profit making housing goals.

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PostSubject: Re: The Food and Shelter Illusion   Fri Oct 10, 2008 9:33 pm

Whilst not disagreeing with you cactus, it is important to remember than ill conceived 'commieblock' development has not been exclusively the demesne of so called free market systems.

Here is a Soviet Block in Armenia


Here is Ballymun




They look fairly similar to me. Housing requires good planning - regardless of who is doing it.

Interventionist policies equally do not necessarily entail ownership so I think your argument on income versus cost of purchase is slightly redundant. Why do people have to own their houses? In some of the richest countries in the world most people don't.
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PostSubject: Re: The Food and Shelter Illusion   Fri Oct 10, 2008 10:34 pm

Fair point johnfas - I should have said buy or rent decent accommodation. There are a lot of advantages to renting.

There's nothing wrong with high rise - some of the most expensive and best housing is high rise. And for someone on the streets, a Ballymun flat would be bliss. Having your own front door, for yourself and your family, is a wonderful thing.
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PostSubject: Re: The Food and Shelter Illusion   Fri Oct 10, 2008 10:59 pm

Oh nothing wrong with high rise at all. The problem is poorly built and poorly maintained high rise which exists in areas without adequate facilities. I think it exists in all sorts of countries. As I said the issue is good planning, rather than the market in which it operates. Whether one is more likely to produce it than another is a matter for debate but I don't think any system is immune from poor planning.
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PostSubject: Re: The Food and Shelter Illusion   Fri Oct 10, 2008 11:10 pm

johnfás wrote:
Oh nothing wrong with high rise at all. The problem is poorly built and poorly maintained high rise which exists in areas without adequate facilities. I think it exists in all sorts of countries. As I said the issue is good planning, rather than the market in which it operates. Whether one is more likely to produce it than another is a matter for debate but I don't think any system is immune from poor planning.

One of the biggest planning crimes in my books is putting people on low incomes to live in remote areas without good, cheap public transport. Their employment levels, incomes and general well being plummets. It also cuts down their access to education and training. When a lot of people in one place are unemployed for a long time the stresses and strains get unendurable and the place goes sideways.
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PostSubject: Re: The Food and Shelter Illusion   Fri Oct 10, 2008 11:22 pm

Wouldn't disagree with you there. That's why I think the Metro North thing is a waste of time.

Introduce a congestion charge in Dublin City Centre. Ban on street parking and build more multi story carparks. Use a percentage of the money planned for the metro to buy alot more buses. You would have more street space to use them and you could use the money generated from the charge to subsidise travel.

The whole thing in my opinion must start with a complete destruction of the local councils in and around Dublin. Dublin is a metropolitan area of about 1.5 million yet we have what, four county councils? That's madness. How can you have integrated planning when you have 4 competing councils with 4 different aims and 4 different ways of going about things, all for a relatively small area.

Same goes for most things. We have delusions of grandeur in Ireland that we are a country the size of the States. I was reading recently that when you put the Irish banking sector in perspective (ie 4 independent Irish banks exist) you are in comparitive terms talking about there being 4 independent banks existing solely in North West London. Anyone would tell you that isn't viable.
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PostSubject: Re: The Food and Shelter Illusion   Fri Oct 10, 2008 11:45 pm

Aragon wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
Aragon wrote:
johnfás wrote:
Absolutely, adequate psychological and psychiatric facilities are essential to the homeless problem in Irish society. The vast majority of those who are homeless on Irish streets suffer from varying levels of psychiatric problems ranging to the most serious of disturbances. The failure to properly provide services for the alleviation of such ailments, including addiction, is the single greatest cause of homelessness in Ireland. It has little to do with the free market - more to do with a failure of Government. We could stop people becoming homeless in the first place for as cheap, if not cheaper, than it costs us to provide the services which we provide to the homeless.

I have said it before, and will again, that the same applies to anti social behaviour in deprived areas in our towns and cities.

Hi Johnfas (and apologies to others for busting in with this)

I see you are very sympathetic to the plight of the homeless and their problems - and I wholeheartedly agree that adequate psychological supports are essential. However I really can't agree that the fact of homelessness is caused by an absence of these services although the lack of them seriously exacerbates the situation, for sure, keeping many people in a parlous state for tragically long periods of time - some times people never get the help they need and simply die younger than they would have done in miserable straits. For personal reasons Im especially concerned with young men on the autistic spectrum whose behaviour is often badly misunderstood and who often end up on the streets reliant on Simon shelters and the like. A man I know who works in the autism field (he runs one of the major service providers) told me they have reliably estimated that approx 33% of prison population fall into this category. But I digress.

The housing situation is a direct barometer, nay, consequent upon housing policy and the IBEC led insistence on rowing back from funding for public housing has been a growing disaster the results of which will shortly be horrendously evident to us all. As I type, I'm currently awaiting a call from a housing professional who I hope will have news for of the whereabouts of a member of my family. There's a huge shortage of supervised accommodation for people who need it too. PD policy has been pernicious across the board in this respect - they really dont give a shite about social problems and FF have been infected with savage meanness from their association with them.

I agree about the savage meanness. The report linked in this thread - commissioned to prove that sick people on benefits should have their nutrition allowances taken away, was a real sickener originating from Ms Harney's personal office.

She's one cold, cold lady - time and again shown herself ruthlessly impervious to any notion of human decency. She basically believes that people are only worthwhile in so far as they are rich while ensuring that there are plenty of folk kept poor enough and dependent enough to service the rich as unquestioningly as possible. If they suffer and die, well that's just economically efficient for rich people who won't have to bother paying for their health. I know this is inappropriate but everytime I see a picture of her I cannot stop myself from thinking how her physical appearance reflects her sick creed. Things really are well and truly Orwellian now.

Hello Aragon,

I hope you've found your family member, first of all.

We had a discussion about Asperger's Syndrome and the Autistic spectrum elsewhere on this site and I have great sympathy for the situation that families of people with a disability find themselves in, regardless of the nature of that disability.

On the other hand, I find it difficult to ascribe the kind of deliberate cruelty to politicians, especially Mary Harney, that you do.

Quote :
She basically believes that people are only worthwhile in so far as they are rich while ensuring that there are plenty of folk kept poor enough and dependent enough to service the rich as unquestioningly as possible. If they suffer and die, well that's just economically efficient for rich people who won't have to bother paying for their health.


This is an outrageous statement, outrageous, ascribing motives and reasonings to behaviour that you have no evidence whatsoever for. The health system is far from perfect and mental health services likewise, but that's not because politicians deliberately set out to euthenise those whose deaths are economically efficient for rich people.

Homelessness is caused by a number of factors, and the lack of services for those suffering mental ill-health (not just mental illness), drug and alcohol dependency and mental health problems is certainly a key factor. In fact, if you look at this report you'll see that a third of those on the streets give alcohol or drug addiction as the main reason for their homelessness.355 homeless people took part in that - over half had been in prison ( and only 6% had higher education. The majority were on government benefits).

This 2006 report only involved 33 respondents but the results are clear here too - the lack of support services is the major contributing factor in homelessness; though in the current climate, the last paragraph is interesting, not because rents are going up, but because incomes are disappearing.

Quote :
The primary reason cited by those interviewed for finding themselves homeless related
to family break-up and difficulties within the family home. Some of these difficulties
concerned a breakdown in relationships between adult partners and between parents
and children, whilst in other circumstances it involved abuse and physical violence within
the home. In this regard a number of the interviewees felt that family support
interventions at an early stage might have improved the situation and might have
prevented them becoming homeless. In other circumstances, where it was inevitable that
somebody had to leave the family home (primarily on account of abusive and violent
behaviour), there was a view that the relevant support services (e.g. social workers,
counsellors, accommodation providers) should have been activated and put in place at
the earliest possible opportunity – in the experience of a number of interviewees, this did
not happen.
Whilst family breakdown was a significant factor for the majority of interviewees, it was
also often accompanied by other problems relating to alcohol abuse, drug abuse, mental
and psychological illnesses. However a number of interviewees did feel that these
problems were partly a consequence of family breakdown and relationship issues and
would not have become as severe had earlier remedial action taken place in relation to
the difficulties within the home/family environment. It should also be recognised,
however, that a number of other interviewees clearly stated that their alcohol habit or
drug taking habit was the primary reason why they had to leave the family home in the
first instance and why they ended up homeless.
6.2.2 Other Factors
A number of interviewees who have become homeless in the last five-year period
identified the increase in rents being charged by the private rented sector as a notable
contributory factor. These interviewees said that prior to the hikes in these rental costs
they were able to survive within the private rented sector and did not need to use
homeless services. However, sudden and arbitrary rent increases of up to 25% to 30%
meant that that they were no longer able to afford the rents being charged by landlords
and were forced to seek out emergency accommodation. Although feedback in this
regard is largely dependent on self-reporting from a small sample, it is important to note
that such market effects, perhaps driven by the significant economic growth that has
occurred in Ireland, are having a direct impact on the propensity of individuals to end up
homeless.
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PostSubject: Re: The Food and Shelter Illusion   Sat Oct 11, 2008 12:25 am

Kate P wrote:
Aragon wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
Aragon wrote:
johnfás wrote:
Absolutely, adequate psychological and psychiatric facilities are essential to the homeless problem in Irish society. The vast majority of those who are homeless on Irish streets suffer from varying levels of psychiatric problems ranging to the most serious of disturbances. The failure to properly provide services for the alleviation of such ailments, including addiction, is the single greatest cause of homelessness in Ireland. It has little to do with the free market - more to do with a failure of Government. We could stop people becoming homeless in the first place for as cheap, if not cheaper, than it costs us to provide the services which we provide to the homeless.

I have said it before, and will again, that the same applies to anti social behaviour in deprived areas in our towns and cities.

Hi Johnfas (and apologies to others for busting in with this)

I see you are very sympathetic to the plight of the homeless and their problems - and I wholeheartedly agree that adequate psychological supports are essential. However I really can't agree that the fact of homelessness is caused by an absence of these services although the lack of them seriously exacerbates the situation, for sure, keeping many people in a parlous state for tragically long periods of time - some times people never get the help they need and simply die younger than they would have done in miserable straits. For personal reasons Im especially concerned with young men on the autistic spectrum whose behaviour is often badly misunderstood and who often end up on the streets reliant on Simon shelters and the like. A man I know who works in the autism field (he runs one of the major service providers) told me they have reliably estimated that approx 33% of prison population fall into this category. But I digress.

The housing situation is a direct barometer, nay, consequent upon housing policy and the IBEC led insistence on rowing back from funding for public housing has been a growing disaster the results of which will shortly be horrendously evident to us all. As I type, I'm currently awaiting a call from a housing professional who I hope will have news for of the whereabouts of a member of my family. There's a huge shortage of supervised accommodation for people who need it too. PD policy has been pernicious across the board in this respect - they really dont give a shite about social problems and FF have been infected with savage meanness from their association with them.

I agree about the savage meanness. The report linked in this thread - commissioned to prove that sick people on benefits should have their nutrition allowances taken away, was a real sickener originating from Ms Harney's personal office.

She's one cold, cold lady - time and again shown herself ruthlessly impervious to any notion of human decency. She basically believes that people are only worthwhile in so far as they are rich while ensuring that there are plenty of folk kept poor enough and dependent enough to service the rich as unquestioningly as possible. If they suffer and die, well that's just economically efficient for rich people who won't have to bother paying for their health. I know this is inappropriate but everytime I see a picture of her I cannot stop myself from thinking how her physical appearance reflects her sick creed. Things really are well and truly Orwellian now.

Hello Aragon,

I hope you've found your family member, first of all.

We had a discussion about Asperger's Syndrome and the Autistic spectrum elsewhere on this site and I have great sympathy for the situation that families of people with a disability find themselves in, regardless of the nature of that disability.

On the other hand, I find it difficult to ascribe the kind of deliberate cruelty to politicians, especially Mary Harney, that you do.

Quote :
She basically believes that people are only worthwhile in so far as they are rich while ensuring that there are plenty of folk kept poor enough and dependent enough to service the rich as unquestioningly as possible. If they suffer and die, well that's just economically efficient for rich people who won't have to bother paying for their health.


This is an outrageous statement, outrageous, ascribing motives and reasonings to behaviour that you have no evidence whatsoever for. The health system is far from perfect and mental health services likewise, but that's not because politicians deliberately set out to euthenise those whose deaths are economically efficient for rich people.

Homelessness is caused by a number of factors, and the lack of services for those suffering mental ill-health (not just mental illness), drug and alcohol dependency and mental health problems is certainly a key factor. In fact, if you look at this report you'll see that a third of those on the streets give alcohol or drug addiction as the main reason for their homelessness.355 homeless people took part in that - over half had been in prison ( and only 6% had higher education. The majority were on government benefits).

This 2006 report only involved 33 respondents but the results are clear here too - the lack of support services is the major contributing factor in homelessness; though in the current climate, the last paragraph is interesting, not because rents are going up, but because incomes are disappearing.

Quote :
The primary reason cited by those interviewed for finding themselves homeless related
to family break-up and difficulties within the family home. Some of these difficulties
concerned a breakdown in relationships between adult partners and between parents
and children, whilst in other circumstances it involved abuse and physical violence within
the home. In this regard a number of the interviewees felt that family support
interventions at an early stage might have improved the situation and might have
prevented them becoming homeless. In other circumstances, where it was inevitable that
somebody had to leave the family home (primarily on account of abusive and violent
behaviour), there was a view that the relevant support services (e.g. social workers,
counsellors, accommodation providers) should have been activated and put in place at
the earliest possible opportunity – in the experience of a number of interviewees, this did
not happen.
Whilst family breakdown was a significant factor for the majority of interviewees, it was
also often accompanied by other problems relating to alcohol abuse, drug abuse, mental
and psychological illnesses. However a number of interviewees did feel that these
problems were partly a consequence of family breakdown and relationship issues and
would not have become as severe had earlier remedial action taken place in relation to
the difficulties within the home/family environment. It should also be recognised,
however, that a number of other interviewees clearly stated that their alcohol habit or
drug taking habit was the primary reason why they had to leave the family home in the
first instance and why they ended up homeless.
6.2.2 Other Factors
A number of interviewees who have become homeless in the last five-year period
identified the increase in rents being charged by the private rented sector as a notable
contributory factor. These interviewees said that prior to the hikes in these rental costs
they were able to survive within the private rented sector and did not need to use
homeless services. However, sudden and arbitrary rent increases of up to 25% to 30%
meant that that they were no longer able to afford the rents being charged by landlords
and were forced to seek out emergency accommodation. Although feedback in this
regard is largely dependent on self-reporting from a small sample, it is important to note
that such market effects, perhaps driven by the significant economic growth that has
occurred in Ireland, are having a direct impact on the propensity of individuals to end up
homeless.

33% is not really enough to be statistically valid, so what it being looked at is 33 individual experiences, not a representative sample. The study might have missed very significant causes of homelessness. In general, though, homelessness is not a problem of the rich, whereas Mary Harney is and has been for some time, a problem for the poor.
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PostSubject: Re: The Food and Shelter Illusion   Sat Oct 11, 2008 12:31 am

Do you think the policies in the Department of Health will change if Mary Harney is not at the helm? Unlikely. She is doing it because, like you are doing, she exists to be a scapegoat. There is nobody else in Fianna Fáil who wants the job because they will be called exactly what you are calling her. She presumably just has very thick skin and also is aware that her political career is in its twighlight anyway.
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PostSubject: Re: The Food and Shelter Illusion   Sat Oct 11, 2008 12:43 am

johnfás wrote:
Do you think the policies in the Department of Health will change if Mary Harney is not at the helm? Unlikely. She is doing it because, like you are doing, she exists to be a scapegoat. There is nobody else in Fianna Fáil who wants the job because they will be called exactly what you are calling her. She presumably just has very thick skin and also is aware that her political career is in its twighlight anyway.

She has a mission in life to enrich the rich at the expense of everyone else johnfas, it is her political creed and here entire track record (apart from smokeless coal) has been dedicated to it, not just in Health. Fianna Fail makes the most of having such an able and dedicated "scapegoat" to make the running on the divisive policies they pursue, and to some extent to take the rap for them.
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PostSubject: Re: The Food and Shelter Illusion   Sat Oct 11, 2008 12:56 am

I am no great fan of Mary Harney. However, in fairness to her - her record as a politician comprises only 3 portfolios: a Junior Minister in Environment, Minister for Trade Enterprise and Employment and the Department of Health, a position she has only held since 2004. Brian Cowen and Michael Martin are her immediate predecessors in health and equally we have had Fianna Fáil politicians, Hanafin, Cullen, Brennan and Coughlan in Social and Family affairs.

Surely the Fianna Fáil politicians mentioned above have had a much greater role in the development of the social policy of the Government we have had, yet there is barely any mention of them in the criticisms give of the State services. It is for that reason that I say she is a scapegoat. A willing one, mind you.
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PostSubject: Re: The Food and Shelter Illusion   Sat Oct 11, 2008 1:00 am

johnfás wrote:
I am no great fan of Mary Harney. However, in fairness to her - her record as a politician comprises only 3 portfolios: a Junior Minister in Environment, Minister for Trade Enterprise and Employment and the Department of Health, a position she has only held since 2004. Brian Cowen and Michael Martin are her immediate predecessors in health and equally we have had Fianna Fáil politicians, Hanafin, Cullen, Brennan and Coughlan in Social and Family affairs.

Surely the Fianna Fáil politicians mentioned above have had a much greater role in the development of the social policy of the Government we have had, yet there is barely any mention of them in the criticisms give of the State services. It is for that reason that I say she is a scapegoat. A willing one, mind you.

Good FF trick, isn't it. Mad
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PostSubject: Re: The Food and Shelter Illusion   Sat Oct 11, 2008 1:06 am

One you are clearly falling for Very Happy.

Mary Harney may be a wolf in sheep's clothing but it is a Government dominated by Fianna Fáil. Anyone who thinks otherwise is deluded. Perhaps if you really believe in the issue you should attack them rather than an increasingly meaningless fringe party and Minister who will be all but redundant by the next election. Harney will be collecting her P45 in a couple of years - the policies supported by Fianna Fáil won't.
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PostSubject: Re: The Food and Shelter Illusion   Sat Oct 11, 2008 1:20 am

johnfás wrote:
One you are clearly falling for Very Happy.

Mary Harney may be a wolf in sheep's clothing but it is a Government dominated by Fianna Fáil. Anyone who thinks otherwise is deluded. Perhaps if you really believe in the issue you should attack them rather than an increasingly meaningless fringe party and Minister who will be all but redundant by the next election. Harney will be collecting her P45 in a couple of years - the policies supported by Fianna Fáil won't.

Not really johnfas, if you look at my old posts on P.ie or here you'll see that we are in one mind on this. The PDs in my view were never anything other than a right wing of FF and both parties have played a clever game with the electorate. Having said that, Harney herself has played an influential and energetic role pushing Ireland's social and economic policies right. She is still at it, and is far from a lame duck at present, busily signing commitments and contracts that will tie us into an irrational and costly semi privatised health system that will be extremely difficult to extricate ourselves from. Her role as a European Council member has been no better.
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