Eclectic Blue

Homeless

Comments Off on Homeless 08 February 2018

Homeless

Walking through Bristol tonight, it was impossible to ignore the sheer beauty of the place, especially the harbour area. The history of the docks has somehow been maintained as a result of careful, well-planned development. What also struck me was the growing levels of inequality.

Walking past the former Sceptre, now the Brewdog, by Bristol Bridge and here was the new hipster-friendly Bristol. I am always class conscious at the best of times. You can see how things are going.

From Bristol Temple Meads, I had already passed three homeless people, all of whom were still there when I returned to the station on the return journey. It was cold, it was increasingly wet, it was not the place to be begging for a few coppers. The Brewdog could have been in another world.

My God: there were homeless people and people begging all over the place. What struck me this time was none of them were by cashpoints. This dishevelled army of men seemed as if they had given up. One man played – if you can call it played – a harmonica. He looked in a bad way. He was a stone’s throw from the Council House, now pretentiously known as City Hall, a couple of hundred yards away from thriving Clifton. I was walking through two worlds at the same time.

If these men were not really homeless in the literal sense of the word, they didn’t exactly look like they were in the best places they could be. If they were able to sofa surf, or simply doss somewhere, Theresa May would be happy because in her world such people are not really homeless at all. The same Theresa May who married into serious millions.

I’m trying to get my head around what I saw tonight, hence the somewhat chaotic nature of this blog. I saw a side of the city doing very well indeed and I saw a side of the city somewhere adjacent to death’s door. Overwhelmingly, the centre ground of Bristol is simply forgotten about; that centre ground of Bristolians who have always been here but have been forgotten about in a tale of two cities.

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