Those who live in squalor

Watching the vulnerable living in squalor, has been mainly on Channel 4, ITV and in the i. Most might switch off at the horror on the screens.

Daniel Hewitt led an ITV documentary ‘Surviving Squalor: Britain’s Housing Shame‘, about a young mother who lives in a house with flooding water pipes yet is unable to find a better place. 

In my schooldays there were children in the class who came in wearing wellingtons as they had no shoes. My grandparents lived in a terraced house with no inside toilet or bath in 1950s.

However it was clean, dry and safe.

In contrast the shocking screens and photos of mouldy, broken ceilings and walls totally unfit for people to live in are largely hidden by the media. Water flowing through ceilings, dangerous electric appliances and black mould covering everything. Not just in London but also in cities eg Birmingham, Bristol, Essex, Hull, Liverpool, Manchester and Newquay.

An ITV News political reporter, Daniel Hewitt, has spent most of this year going into these terrible dwellings. They are like the city homes of the poor in history books. How can this be happening? Who cares? We don’t see the children living in slum homes.

Are some of us in a Charles Dickens story? The massive gap between the desperate poor and the wealthy is relentlessly growing. Yet few care. Politicians are looking away.

During the Labour Government from1997 to 2010 the priorities were education, health and housing. Since 2010 all three of those vital issues have been in retreat. Property owners have made profits but there is still a shortage of housing, especially good quality housing. Education and health are also starved on investment. 

This is the first reason why Labour must win.