Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Predictions for 2015!


Predictions for 2015!

Introduction
Making predictions for the next year on New Year's eve is a complicated business. Normally people try to maintain a balance between saying something definitive and interesting but not really wanting to stick their neck out and risk looking stupid when none of it happens!
I don't care if I look stupid in a years time and I'd rather this was fun so here is exactly what I think will happen in the next year (focus will be primarily on the UK).

Politics

Conservative, UKIP, DUP alliance in power
There will be a General Election in May, the Conservatives will "win" but not have an outright majority, just as they didn't last time. They will win because no one likes Ed Milliband and Labours policy of just promoting a vision of 'austerity lite' will start to look very pointless to their more politically engaged supporters (or ex-supporters). 
UKIP will have gained 15+ seats and the DUP in Northern Ireland will have maintained their usual 8 or so (they're on 8 now, it doesn't swing massively in Northern Ireland). This will be enough for a coalition with The Conservatives which they will all probably decide to go for (despite rumours of Cameron saying he'd never do it). They will be loved by many and despised by many equally. 
The country will be more politically split than it has been for a while. Smaller parties will all do better than in previous years, due partly to the Scotland referendum and partly to the continuing influence of the internet and social media allowing to parties ignored by the mainstream media to get a louder voice. 
A big swing to the right in terms of rhetoric
Labour and the Lib Dems will be expecting this (the above) and the whole rhetoric in the run up to the election will take a decisive swing to the right as they try to desperately grab some power. It will get more and more okay to ruthlessly criticise immigration, austerity in general will not be questioned, labour will, of course, attempt to package it differently but it will remain clear that there is very little difference between the main parties, there will also be will be a focus on criminal justice and lots of love for the military from everyone. There is no doubt that politics in the UK is taking another big swing to the right (after the 1990's 'New Labour' swing). Admittedly lots of this has already happened, I'm really just predicting more of it. 
A new left- wing alliance
The Greens, Paid Cymru, the SNP and maybe the respect party will form a closer alliance (and maybe make it official) as they form a more radical (ish) left wing voice in lieu of labour who most people will begin to dismiss as pointless (also a good few of UKIPs seats will have been nicked off labour anyway). This will form a new minority left-wing.


The SNP will do well and there is a chance that the Greens might get one or two more seats. This group may start to talk openly about working more closely together pre-general election.


Society

A more divided society
As mentioned above, the UK will get more divided than it has been for some time. The Scottish referendum pushed politically engaged lefties further left than labour (which is hardly surprising since labour are firmly on the right wing by any objective standards). It is also true that Russell Brand will have had a noticeable impact. He will declare that this new left- wing alliance is the answer and is worth voting for after all. This will be hard to resist as he becomes more successful and more accepted by the mainstream. Most people will agree with him, some of us will question the focus on party politics but will not want to make a massive fuss out of a desire to keep the focus on the heart of the problem (the mainstream who have, and will continue to have, all the real power). 
Strikes, protests and riots
A core of activism will build up around this alliance of the lefty parties will cumulate in protests and strikes by the end of the year. Rioting would not be a surprise but it will probably be much more intentional and purposeful than 2011's riots. It's not going to have majority support by any means though, even amongst the working class. The whole activist movement won't be like it was in the late 70s when sizeable numbers where behind it, participants will be marginalised and it will be controversial to declare support for them at work or other similar settings. The mainstream media will not touch any of this action taking place until it gets violent and will obviously misconstrue it (as always). 
Drugs
The push for relaxation of legislation proscribing certain drugs will be loud and vocal by the end of 2015, louder than now, but the Conservative-UKIP alliance will resist it at all costs. Openly speaking out in favour of total decriminalisation of drugs will become much more socially acceptable, those who don't support it will begin to realise that they are fighting a loosing battle. Of course when de-criminalisation comes thoughts will turn to how to cash in on it, small businesses or self-employed drug dealers will be forced out of the market. It might surprise some people to see this impact poverty rates, especially where some dealers from poorer areas are making money off selling weed and cocaine to the middle classes at present.  

The economy

Capitalism is in crisis, it is becoming hard to tell if that is just for us (the people) or if the capitalist class is feeling it too (unlikely given the fact that wealth inequality extrodinarily high right now). 
There has been no real economic recovery, unemployment figures are dropping but this is largely to do with the massive explosion in zero hours contracts jobs and forced labour schemes for those on benefits (this removes them from official figures). The deficit has not been cut in any significant way and national debt is still accruing at a huge rate. If this is a real crisis, not a manufactured power/money grab as I continue to suspect, we will see real problems. Another recession now, with welfare cut the way it has been will see people facing destitution in ways we aren't used to in the UK, we will be shocked at the poverty that people are finding themselves in by the end of the year. 

Homelessness is going to explode. I'm close to certain about this one. By this spring/ summer, when the winter night shelters have closed up we will see more people on the streets than we have in 25 years. We will get used to shop doorways and railway stations being full of rough sleepers again, charities will struggle to cope. With squatting now criminalised this will be a big source of clashes with the police (I've already personally wittnessed this happening in a small way, it will get worse), some confrontations will turn into riots.
The extent to which welfare reforms have impacted the help available to homeless people is hard to over estimate, it has been nothing short of devastating. On top of this most of the funding the government handed out to smooth the transition period is now running out, a lot of it was set for two years and it will not be replaced, charities will also have to cut services when they are needed the most. This crisis will tempt the government to look towards measures to criminalise behaviour associated with homelessness but they will know that they have to be careful (anything too harsh that catches the public eye could atract people to the growing activist cause). The average age of death for homeless people, currently standing at around 47 years old will probably have dropped a few years by the end of the year, especially if next winter is a cold one as many people who are not used to the streets will be facing them for the first time.
Sign up to volunteer or donate some money to a local homeless charity now if you want to help avert this, I'm confident that we are on the doorstep of a crisis (I have done full time support work with homeless people, more or less, for 9 years and we've never seen anything like this and it's building), just google 'homelesness' and the name of your town/city, you'l get a load of options, most of them are very flexible as long as you can just offer to do your bit and pitich in with whatever they've got going on and I know from first hand experiance that the smaller local charities (the ones that aren't usually getting in big corporate sponsorship or government money) value every £1.00. 

Global 

I don't have anything hugely specific to say here on a global scale apart from that the west will continue to sour it's relationship with Putin and Russia and tension between certain elements within Islam and the west will continue to run high. The possibility of a convenient terrorist attack  or a handy excuse for another war is never off the table. 
Countries to watch:
Venezuela and Bolivia: I've expected military intervention from the west in these Latin American nations for a long time. Their governments aren't playing ball and aren't fitting into the 'Washington consensus' globally. They're on the hit list, no doubt about it.
Mexico: What will happen with the on-going 'almost revolution' in Mexico? I don't know to be honest. If it keeps snowballing it's going to be very significant
Parts of Algeria, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Tunisia The (Magreb desert): There is ongoing insurgency in this area, the risk of another so called 'terrorist state' forming in that area is quite high. They could easily join up with Nigeria's 'Boko Haram'.
Palestine/ Israel: (As if it's a difficult prediction to make). After the year it's had this year Israel knows that it is getting more and more isolated internationally. For some reason this is causing it to step up both rhetoric and action against Palestinians. If Israel began to loose some of it's key international support the balance of the conflict could shift a little. Are the west finding they have enough alternative solid allies in the Middle East area now for Israel to look insignificant and not worth the trouble? The USA is still clinging to Israel but even conservatives across Europe are backing away. 
Syria: Not specifically for the ISIS Vs the west conflict but to see what becomes of the Rojova Revolution in the North. Will it survive? I hope so (Google it). 
The USA: The USA is entering what will go down in history as another of the great civil rights movements. The mass protests against the police, especially police brutality against black people are growing and getting more militant. Even tonight as I write this reports are coming in that a number of police stations have been occupied by protesters. This will probably, eventually, lead to some reforms which will make it harder for more radical voices to continue to demand that they don't go far enough as liberals grow tired and are satisfied with the concessions being offered. This is happening at the heart of the empire so it is going to be of interest to a great many people around the world to see how this one goes. We in the rest of the world can only hope for a revolution in the US from a distance and show our support to those who are pushing things that way. 

Summary


In conclusion. Conditions will get worse, unfavourable outcomes are likely across the board but the opposition will probably consolidate more and bicker less as things worsen. This will give a chance at change although lots of the obvious changes that might come about aim at reform, not revolution.

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Whatever is statism?

Statism - an introduction

If we're going to discuss statism we're going to need to agree on a definition of the state. I tend to use my take on the classic Weberian definition:

The state is the dominant group claiming to have a legitimate monopoly on the use of force over a given geographical area (and maybe are at least somewhat capable of enforcing this monopoly and active in doing so? - not sure if we need that but you see where I'm going...)

Just like both neo-liberalism and capitalism you don't normally find people going round saying "I'm a statist". Statism is the belief or assumption that the state is legitimate, desirable or inevitable.

A person who believes the state to be legitimate may have an idea that there is a robust philosophical basis for the existence of states (either in their current form or in some idealised form). This may be the social contract theory, the idea that in a functioning democracy 'we the people' are the state or, I don't know, maybe there are some lunatics running around proclaiming the divine right of kings still!

A person who believes the state to be desirable will probably appeal to a consequentialist belief that the existence of the state is preferable to any alternatives they can conceive due to the fact that it produces preferable outcomes (such as more pleasure and less pain as in utilitarianism).

A person who believes the state to be inevitable may or may not fit into either of the first two categories,but the defining characteristic of someone who thinks this way is that they don't believe that another way is possible, that whether or not the state has a legitimate philosophical basis or produces more desirable results that human beings will organise their societies into states as a natural part of our nature.  


De-mystifying the state

Nomadic bands

In the beginning there was freedom. Before the coming of tribes, empires and finally nation states human society consisted of small groups of nomadic hunter gatherers, the last few of these survive today in places like the Amazon Rainforest and Papua New Guinea, they have a strong sense of equality, they mix work and play, they combine a form of communism with a sense of respect for the individual which prevents anyone from ordering anyone else around.

(Then this happened: http://www.filmsforaction.org/news/the_great_forgetting/)

Tribalism

About 10,000 years ago in the middle east, and shortly afterwards independently in other areas humans had recently developed agriculture and began to live in more densely populated communities. These communities began to produce a surplus of  basic essentials which allowed for the division of labour and a tribal form of hierarchy was established. It was still a far more horizontal and voluntary- ish society than a modern state but there can be no doubt that there was a chief and a professional class of warriors and other classic indicators of a move towards states. Many societies continued to exist and develop along these lines and some grew significantly complex. A crucial ingredient of statism was missing; monopoly in a geographical area. Kings were kings of a people group, not of an piece of land.

In examples such as Ireland before the invasion by the English a kind of pan-archism was established (which has been written about, controversially, by right wing -libertarians such as Murry Rothbard and David Freidman featured on the web here and here).

Empires

Some did groups did not continue to develop along these lines, some grew aggressively expansionist and formed the first empires, in conquering neighboring tribes they subdued the people and demanded tribute (taxation). It was around this time that density of human population, permanence of settlement and development of land for agriculture reached such a stage that monopoly control of areas of land came to be of prime importance. In a process that rarely happened overnight rulers began to consolidate their control of territory, not just people.

Nation states

As the old empires fell and split western Europe found that a power vacuum was left during the dark ages and the very begginings of the nation state began to come about. In England this process was only finalised in the centuries post Norman invasion of 1066. The king established by force that all the land he ruled over belonged to him and so his many tenants owed him rent (the beginnings of taxation as we know it). In addition the kings courts forcibly superseded local ones establishing a single set of laws to be followed by all in the land.

Nation states are more than this though and they did not gain preeminence even in western Europe until a much later date. A nation is a group untied under the banner of culture and ethnicity. So in the 19th century when countries like Italy and Germany were unified as nation states it was an attempt to unite all German people and Italian people under one banner. The preeminence of nation states across the world came about much later on, well into the 20th century as the colonial empires of European nation states broke up an arbitrary borders were drawn all over the world map to leave states behind as their legacy

History of borders: http://newint.org/features/1991/09/05/simply/  
Borders in Africa: http://freakonomics.com/2011/12/01/the-violent-legacy-of-africas-arbitrary-borders/




The state today

By it's very nature the state is violent, it is hierarchical and it is lawless and disorderly. This is true always and everywhere of states. No pacifist, egalitarian or simple believer in the rule of law and the existence of order in society can consistently support the existence of the state, monopoly on law and order is by definition lawlessness. The idea of the 'nation state' in particular is also inherently racist. Death at the hands of the state was the number one cause of unnatural death in the 20th Century (i.e. not from sickness or accident etc.); from famines, wars, genocides, executions, assassinations etc. etc. millions upon millions of lives were ended due to these violent monopolisers of violence.

Further, the state today enforces a system of global apartheid, segregating different levels of workers in the global corporate capitalist system, used to grab land, suppress resistance, harvest wealth and control movement by national borders.



 A very very quick bash of the main reasons for belief in the state

The idea that we need states is so pervasive that despite the clear costs of continuing to have them people feel little need to excuse their support for them and instead demand that those who question their continued existence must provide a case for such a preposterous idea.
  • Security, internal and external is generally brought up by the right. 
  • The welfare of the people is generally brought up by the left.


Secrutiy

The more horizontal a society is the more security is built in. War is not usually about genocide, where this has been the case it has been for very specific reasons, most wars throughout the history of states, empires and tribes going to war with each other have been about regime change. An extractive economy which harvests wealth effectively and effectively sucks the maximum amount to the top is a prime target for regime change, a horizontal one is not. The effort required to re-order it, the unavoidable guerrilla warfare, the mass resistance in the form of strikes, civil disobedience, slow downs and occupations would impose a cost so high on a prospective invader that another target would soon be sought out (obviously a horizontal society the world over would really go much further in eliminating this!).

Welfare

The perceived need for a welfare state is a fundamental lack of justice. The massive divide between the 'employed' and the 'unemployed', the unequal nature of land distribution. Profiteering off labour due to a monopoly on the means of production by a state backed capitalist class, interest on loans due to a monopoly on capital due to the monopoly of capital by a state backed banking class, rent on land and accommodation by a state backed landlord class and taxation directly by the state would all be eliminated or largely eliminated (give this a read: http://c4ss.org/content/12561). The specific needs for education to prepare young workers to produce in a capitalist society would be diminished, the specific health needs of a workforce in a capitalist society would be diminished.

The welfare state exists to placate the people, to ward off revolution and to keep a trained, healthy and productive workforce.

The welfare state, national infrastructure, the military, the police and most of the rest of it are ways in which the political and economic elite are able to socialise the costs of their system whilst privatising the profits. It is no substitute for true justice.

Conclusion

This has been your left-libertarian guide to states, statism and why it needs to go.

Thank you for allowing me to monopolise your time.

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Whatever is Privilege?

Working out what is wrong in the world

I grew up with a sense that something was wrong with the world but I didn't know what; Was it socialism? Was it Muslims? Was it just adults? Was it Americans? Was it annoying celebrities? I wasn't sure, I had to try to work it out. Eventually I got there, or at least I got closer. I worked it out because I'm obsessive, I had time on my hands and I had pretty much all my other needs fulfilled, so, in a wonderful expression of self-actualisation I got there. On my journey I was able to debate it out, read books and endless amounts of online articles, watch films, see the news, ask people questions and listen to talks.

Eventually I realised that we live in a world where war, ruthless greed coupled with systematic violence, pervasive social hierarchy and selfish individualism were not just marginal problems, they were absolutely central problems.

I'm not like most people. This is not because I'm all 'political' and whatever. I'm not like most people because I had to work it out in the first place. Most people in the world know what is wrong because it defines their lives, it killed their brother, it threw them off their land, it raped them, it impoverished them, it spat on them in the street, it wore a uniform and shot them, it locked them up in jail...

This situation that I have found myself in is called having 'privilege'.

One big union pyramid scheme

Any society that has both violence and hierarchy built in to the way people meet their needs and wants tends to order itself into a metaphorical pyramid type structure. Our world was not always this way but it is now. There are a few people at the top of this pyramid who own most of the land, wield most of the political power and have most of the capital. These people make up what is known as the ruling class (some people call them the 1% or just the capitalists). But how did they get into this position? Adam Smith, the famous economist said this:

"Labour was the first price, the original purchase - money that was paid for all things".

What he meant is that it is those who actually carry out the work that create wealth. This includes everyone who put in the necessary effort and creativity to get the job done. But in the way our world works wealth does not remain with those who create it. 20 people in our world today control as much wealth as the poorest 3 billion. (Some of them even have audacity to suggest that this is a good thing because some their wealth will trickle back down). This is because the pyramid that is our society, and society everywhere sucks wealth upwards towards the top as it exerts violence downwards maintaining control and forcing it's own brand of order on those below. This pyramid is the context in which we all look to have our needs met, our need to eat, drink, have shelter, be try to stay healthy, to attempt to be happy, hopefully to have fulfilling relationships and even to express ourselves.

In order to get what we need we have to be of use to someone above us, in order to get away with being ourselves we have to avoid breaking the rules that those above us have set. This can mean having to get married in order to have somewhere to live and food to eat, this can mean having to work for a boss in order to get money to survive, this can mean censoring ourselves so we don't get into trouble or pretending we are someone we are not in order to avoid the consequences and it always involves obeying a myriad of rules and regulations. If we fail, if we aren't useful enough or if we don't even want to be used or if we break the rules then we face either punishment or destitution.

All of this means that the closer you get to the top the more hegemony you find. In our world this means the more likely you are to be male, white, educated, a citizen of a wealthy country etc. etc. If you are in this position you find that it has some interesting effects; people tend to give you the benefit of the doubt more, people listen to you more and putting it bluntly, people act like your life is worth more than others, sometimes much, much more than others.

Pure instinct

Going back to the theme at the beginning. Most people in the world have a instinct for what is going on, it is the air they breathe. When they talk about their oppression to people they know, they know that everyone knows what they are talking about. They don't sit in groups and debate it, they don't have fancy language for it, they just know.

Unfortunately for people like me (people who may not be a part of the actual ruling class but have had it fairly good in life), it can be almost impossible for us to understand what less privileged people are talking about when they tell us about their lives. They aren't used to having to try to describe it in ways that we will understand, they aren't used to being expected to debate it and they certainly aren't used to having to hear people being cruel about their situation. We have come up with comfortable stories which we think explains why we have it good but they don't. Stories about how poor people are lazy, how women are never happy and are always making things up, how people from some races are inherently violent and/or stupid etc. These help us deal with the bewilderment we face when we hear about oppression from people that face more of it in their lives than we do.

What now?

Having privilege isn't a bad thing, everyone should have it! It is also totally possible to have in some areas and not in others. it can all seem very confusing but it doesn't have to be. There are some very simple things that we can do if we want to be part of making this situation better:

  • Listen more: Don't speak over people, don't try to speak for people, don't accuse people of lying all the time. It doesn't mean that no one is ever lying about anything, but if we don't listen openly we risk dismissing people who really need to be heard.
  • Don't try to 'rescue': It's no good having people who have participated in oppressing you then deciding that it's their job to lead you by the hand to freedom. Instead we need to find ways to stop hurting people so they can heal themselves and their own communities/ countries.
  • Don't be an asshole.

It's been a privilege.

Friday, 5 December 2014

16 votes and no mule


Life expectancy in the UK is 81.5 years. Minus the first 18 years of your life you have 63.5 voting years in you. You get a vote (for central government) every four years. This gives you about 16 votes.

You have 16 votes to fix the following:


- Our head of state is a un-elected monarch.

- The powers held by parliament flow down from the un-elected monarch, not up from the people.

- The monarch owns every square foot of the land, even free-holders are just glorified tenants.

- The House Of Lords is an integral part of our political system and it is completely undemocratic.

- Prisoners do not get a vote (yes those people locked in cages, at the mercy of the state are allowed to have zero impact on it).

- The City of London corporation (the local authority for the area where most of our financial institutions are based) is completely undemocratic and has more power than parliament on its own turf and does whatever the corporations within its borders want it to do.

- There is no compulsion for those politicians who are elected representatives to keep promises which they made in order to get elected. These are broken so often it's not even a funny joke any more. Its also not illegal, at all.

- There are proven links with party funders and legislation enacted, famous instances of 'cash for questions' and 'cash for honours'. MPs regularly go on to have lucrative careers with groups that had lobbied them most closely during their time in power. The leaders of all three of the main political parties were educated at expensive public schools (read 'private schools' if you are speaking american English), it costs £40,000 plus to become an MP which obviously cuts most people off from the possibility of ever participating.



Let's face it, 16 votes to fix all this is a bit ambitious!

Give up on this fantasy that you live in a free country, that you have an impact on what goes on, that politicians are really representatives of the people. Some are better than others, fair enough, I can agree with that but the system is completely broken (for us). The problem is, representative democracy is a flawed concept from the very beginning, it's the lowest form of democracy and we aren't even getting that right. What we need is justice, freedom and equality. Radical solutions that strike at the root of problems not ones that tickle the edges of them.


The big three political parties in the UK are just teams of managers bidding for a contract to manage a massive corporation. The super rich shareholders, the directors and supervisors and workers don't change when an election happens which means that in reality no one 'in power' can get anything of any significance done that wouldn't have been done by all the other parties too if they were in power. When you cast a vote you are just asking for it all to be packaged in a way you can stomach better.

If you want change, and maybe you do and maybe you don't, you are going to have to get involved yourself.

12 votes and no mule if you are an Asian man
9 votes and no mule if you are from Bradford
7 votes and no mule if you are homeless
6 votes and no mule if you are homeless and female

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Spilling my guts

Confession time:

You know that thing when you hear someone describe their personal experiences and you know they're doing it to prove a much bigger point and you're all like; that's interesting but I'd really need to see some statistics on that if I'm going to believe it's a serious widespread issue and not just a personal problem that you are suffering from/ making up?

I'm putting that on suspension.

I work with homeless people and the situation they're in makes me furious, I've got stats about how young homeless people die, how ill they are, what kinds of backgrounds they're from, but here is what it's actually like in my experience of meeting and sharing in small parts of the lives of hundreds of homeless people:

People are always asking me, when they talk to me about what I do; "to what extent do they bring on themselves though? Are they homeless because of stuff that has happened to them that they couldn't have done anything about or is it just, you know, just a lifestyle choice?

Most homeless people I've spoken to, once I really sit down and have a chat with them tell me that when they were children they were abused, usually sexually, often physically too. I'm not making that up, I've heard them say it through tears, through drunken confessions, through schizophrenic rantings, not just lots of them, most of them.

Almost all the homeless people I've known were born into families that were poor and struggling. You always get one or two that everyone knows came from a nice family or had it good when they were young but they're a tiny minority. They are born and die in poverty mostly.  

Lots of them can't read or write. This often contributed to why they were homeless in the first place, they couldn't understand the letters they got sent telling them they were getting evicted unless they do ...

Lot's of them have never worked. Before you judge that step back for a second, the other day I was trying to help a young guy who was getting frustrated because I wasn't getting very far in coming up with solutions for him. I was starting to get a bit annoyed too, defaulting back to prejudices and wanting to tell him to get on and do something for himself for once. In a 5 minute speech he made, stood up before walking out he told me that his mum didn't want him, that he was beaten up by his step dad, that he was put into care and passed from family to institution to family, that he has nothing to offer the world; no skills, no education, he doesn't even know how to speak right and dress right and the world has nothing to offer him either. Now what? If this is where I'm supposed to tell him to get himself together and sort it out I refuse! How can I say that when I've always had it so good?

You know, for a lot of people there is no resolution. We're conditioned by those bullshit films about how people pull themselves out of the gutter and go on and succeed to think that sooner or later they'll finally get it, they'll see the error of their ways and make all the changes they need to make, maybe spurred on by some kind of inspirational situation or after hitting rock bottom and knowing it was either change or die. Then there is the montage scene and then it's all better! Actually it's too late for lots of people.  Lots of the homeless people I've known over the years are dead now; two people I've known were murdered, more than I can count decided that it wasn't worth being alive any more, and killed themselves, one guy fell in a river and drowned, some of them died of liver disease, some just disappeared and haven't been seen again. 

I can't help imagine them as children after that happens, I don't know why but I always do it. Even then they mostly had it bad but I bet they all had at least one good day, I bet at least once they laughed and we're happy and forgot a bit about the pain at home. I hate the fact that they died in total indignity and far too early and now there's nothing anyone can do about it now.

And here's the worst part, I haven't even got an answer.  I'm not going to round this post off with a rant about how we all need to do this thing to fix it, or the government need to do or not do this thing to fix It, its a horrible, horrible tragedy and I literally don't know what to do about it. 

In my job we help people and sometimes it works but I don't have a grand story to explain what's really wrong here and what big thing needs to happen to make it all better! In the last year we helped about 100 people find a place to live, I'm thankful for every one, but it's getting worse, we've seen far more people this year than last and this is one small town in a wealthy part of England.  I left school wanting to change the world not having a clue about how hard it is just to impact one life for the better. It's incredibly daunting. 

If I've got anything at all to leave you with it's that if we want to make the world better it's going to take all of us. We don't need heroes but we need at least as much dedication as a hero has, but from everyone.