Archive for June, 2014

Anti-homeless spikes

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

I got an email today that invited me to sign a petition calling for the removal of the Anti-Homeless spikes. As soon as I read it, all sorts of alarm bells started ringing.

Firstly, the spikes are a symptom, not the disease. Messing around with spikes misses the point. The point is; why are people homeless in the first place? Where is the safety net of benefits? What has happened to these people that they’ve fallen through the net?

Secondly, getting a petition up to bully a property developer to modify a part of their building sited on their land is hypocritical.

Now, my view on land ownership is this: you can’t own land you can only defend territory. The law is there to defend this territory. It’s not a perfect system but if everyone agrees to abide by a set of rules then I expect everyone to do so – without exception.

Of course, inequality is predicated on hypocrisy – the rich don’t play by the rules, they break them or ignore them – which is why banks have to be bailed out whereas anyone else would go bust. We all know this, which is why it is even more important that those fighting inequality adhere to the rules at all costs because if no one plays by the rules then we have chaos (anarchy is something entirely different and misunderstood).

If it is agreed that someone can buy a piece of land and do what they want on it (subject to approval from an official body), then that is how it should be for everyone. If a property owner wants to put a gate on their property, fine. If they want to put spikes, fine – it’s their property.

If you don’t like it, you should lobby your parliamentary representatives to change the law on land ownership. If you don’t like the idea of homeless people then you should lobby your parliamentary representative to do something about it (or ask them why it’s happening when it’s not supposed to). Setting up petitions to remove spikes is short sighted, misguided and achieves nothing in the long run. I’m disappointed in the activist group that precipitated this action, I thought they’d be cleverer than that.

And no, I won’t be signing their petition.