Sometimes you read something, for example a news report, that is so unbelievably inaccurate, that you are left wondering who pays people to write such nonsense.
I recently read such an article on the website of The Voice of Russia. (OK, I can hear you thinking: “What sort of person reads articles on the website of The Voice of Russia?”).
In an article on food banks and homelessness in Britain, it reports that “UK authorities are absolutely unperturbed by the great numbers of homeless citizens and believe it is a free choice of every person”. Really? It reports “an expert” saying that “the authorities use every opportunity to ratchet up the number of the poor in the UK.”
The report says: “Under the law, if children go to school in a certain district and have their doctor in the same district, the authorities are bound to provide them with housing in the district in question.” I imagine this will come as welcome news to those households that are being accommodated by certain London Boroughs many hundreds of miles away from their doctor!
It is clear that the writer has never heard of Weatherley’s Law, the anti-squatting measure that was introduced a year or so ago, a reference to Mike Weatherley, the MP for Hove who campaigned for this law. “Squatters seize swanky apartments and even castles. Under UK law, if a dwelling has been empty for a long time, is not used by the owner, and if other people moved into it without breaking doors or windows, then they can eventually claim legal title to those properties.”
And then it gets close to home: “A poor man has thus recently taken possession of a three-million pound mansion in Brighton.” It is amazing that The Voice of Russia has uncovered this ‘scoop’ that has, to date, eluded the finest at The Argus, the Brighton and Hove Independent, and Brighton and Hove News.
What I have written above is quite cynical, but it is out there and should people from Eastern Europe read this and some of the other tosh in the report, they might end up concluding that they will have it made by moving to the UK. The reality, particularly in Brighton and Hove, is that there are not the jobs and certainly there is not the accommodation. The message we need to send out is not one of three-million pound mansions, but increasing numbers sleeping rough. The message should be that Brighton is full up and for people not to come here, from elsewhere in England, and from further afield. I say this as an immigrant myself.