Coffee House

Should evictions from social housing be broadened?

11 August 2011

2:13 PM

11 August 2011

2:13 PM

I understand that the government’s view is that social housing tenants whose children live with them and are convicted of looting should be evicted from their homes. The law already allows
for this, although only if the criminal act occurred within the borough in which the family lives, and the Department for Communities and Local Government is encouraging councils and housing
associations to use these powers. Although, the final decision on any eviction would be for the courts.

Personally, I think there might be a case for broadening this out. The problem with the current approach is that it lets off those dead-beat dads who take no interest at all in the upbringing and
disciplining of their children. It is surely worth considering whether these absentee fathers should face some sanction when people who are, after all, their children, misbehave?

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  • George Laird

    Dear All

    The government’s view that social housing tenants whose children are convicted of looting should be evicted from their homes.

    For many punishing the innocent is socially acceptable.


    Well because you people see these individuals as scum.

    And let’s face, when you have a mob behind you can do anything no matter how distasteful.

    Is it surprising that David Cameron is backing this, what would have happened if Cameron had been rioting with the Bullingdon club in the day.

    Would the Cameron of today, be calling for the feral members of the Bullingdon club to be thrown out of their bought homes as a punishment along with their parents?


    This is the same David Cameron who charged the taxpayer for his wisteria moment of madness.

    And think back to Michael Gove MP, who came from a broken home, his flipping, my God, the goods that he got away from.

    He would need a transit van to carry away that haul.

    And some of it bought from his mother in-law.

    From wiki

    Michael Gove reportedly claimed £7,000 for furnishing a London property before ‘flipping’ his designated second home to a house in his constituency, a property for which he claimed around £13,000 to cover stamp duty. Around a third of the first £7,000 was spent at an interior design company owned by Gove’s mother-in-law. Gove also claimed for a cot mattress, despite children’s items being banned under the Commons rule. Gove said he would repay the claim for the cot mattress, but maintained that his other claims were “below the acceptable threshold costs for furniture” and that the property flipping was necessary “to effectively discharge my parliamentary duties”. While he was moving between his multiple homes, he stayed at the Pennyhill Park Hotel and Spa, charging the taxpayer more than £500 per night’s stay.

    But that’s ok yah!

    It was an organised gang that enabled the Rt Hon Michael Gove to do what he did.

    Olaf makes an important intervention on this thread, expressing what many people who think the poor are trash should happen.

    “Take away their cash. Provide them with vouchers for food, clothing and other essentials.

    When rioters or the unwilling-to-work start to take some responsibility for their own lives they can have benefits returned in cash form if they still require them. A life on benefits should not be comfortable. Benefits should be a safety net for those who have fallen on hard times not a lifestyle choice.

    And stop giving flats to young mothers.

    Make them live with their relatives.
    that’ll cut the breeding down”.

    Olaf could be stating that poor people are trash as well and should be treated like such.

    In Wandsworth, an organised gang has thrown innocent people out of their home because a hysterical mob, led by David Cameron who wants revenge.

    We should be so proud to be British after that incident, but don’t worry, it is acceptable because it is done by a mob that we approve of.

    And let’s remember poor people in the eyes of government aren’t worthy of the same respect as the socially affluent.

    They aren’t one of us, and we should send a clear message so, isn’t that right Mr. Cameron?

    After all at the Bullingdon club destroying small businesses was acceptable because rich daddies could pay off the damages and a bung to keep it quiet.

    The MPs scandal left us all in no doubt about Parliament, Westminster gave up a few people to the courts but let’s face, many escaped citing error and stupidity but they called stupidity a lack of clarity.

    It is easy to join the bandwagon because there is so much anger about what happened, but some of us; I am sure what the problem underlying this dealt with.

    Throwing people out of their homes such as the family in Wandsworth is plainly wrong; our angry regarding the riots is that innocent people were targeted.

    Now, we see other innocent people targeted, but who is going to stand up for them?

    David Cameron has talked about responsibility so I publicly say to him as Prime Minister if fairness means anything to you stop this.

    If it doesn’t care on but don’t expect people such as myself to listen to you about morals and responsibility.

    What was it he says about Andy Coulson, everyone deserves a second chance, well give that family in Wandsworth justice, because the parents are innocent.

    Yours sincerely

    George Laird
    The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

  • Paul Danon

    Evictions and benefit-cuts will only make such folk more feral. The challenge is to impose penalties which make the criminal emotionally (if not physically) incapable of re-offending. The global solution is to cut all benefit, but that must be addressed separately.

  • Marstefi

    There are a lot of empty warehouses around. Suppose all those rioters were swept up & put into a warehouse with basic food supplies for a period of time? The Thai people managed to create order out of chaos after the tsunami. Do you suppose these miscreants might realise that law & order exists to create a workable social structure?

  • Minnie Ovens

    August 11th, 2011 5:45pm

    Please! Do not encourage this incomprehensible woman.

  • Rob

    ALiC…please don’t send them to Burma, it’s nice and peaceful here in Yangon…….

  • Baron

    JohnBUK is on the right track, the Toynbees have villas, second homes all over the country, abroad, they should take them in, dear Ken may also have a spare room or two, he should volunteer, accommodate some, come back after a while, tell us how things are.

    Baron agrees with most the postings, it’s plain silly, costly too, to move them somewhere else, the idea’s akin to Blair’s suggestion for the police to march the miscreants to cash machines for instant fines, what is that fuels the brain cells of people coming up with such gems, ha?

  • 2trueblue

    Verity, oh we wish!

  • Craig Strachan

    Yes, their whole families should be evicted. Not just immediate family either – I’d go to the third remove of cousinage, myself.

    And if their parents are responsible, so surely are their teachers. So they need to be turfed out on the streets and all.


  • JohnBUK

    I suggest the bleedin’ hearts like Ms Toynbee etc are asked to take them in. Think what a coup that would be for them, top marks for caring there.

  • Herbert Thornton

    I see that several suggest that compulsory National Service in the military would help solve the rioting problem.

    I’d like to believe that it would, but I very much doubt it could. When there was compulsory National Service after WW2, recruits had already passed through an educational system that had conditioned most of them to be submissive to authority. (The same largely applied to those who became soldiers after conscription was introduced during WW1).

    The Rioting Class that we have now would be far more difficult to tame.

  • strapworld

    Gosh the Labour Bunker boys and girls are out and about today. I thought I had read it all until I read the juvenile rantings of ‘Jan Cosgrove’ above.

    Coup by coalition!

    Madam, you should try writing comedy that is almost comical.

  • AliC

    Outsourcing is popular. How about we send our rioting n’er-do-wells to Burma, or Helmand, or North Korea? We could negotiate for half board rates. They could do something useful such as plough fields, sweep road……… mine clearance? Or just do the national service thing, compulsory if you are a NEET.

  • Sean O’Hare

    @alexdandr @August 11th, 2011 4:28pm

    Don’t wish the looters on the poor old inhabitants of the Falkland Islands. They have enough to put up with already. Tierra del Fuego (Argentinian side) would be OK though.

  • Jim Burfield

    All of you saying this idea is daft (or that Mr Forsyth himsef is daft) are missing the point. People can already be evicted from social housing and, if the number of evictions rises, the evictees will go to the same place(s) a the current ones do. In most cases, this means very unpleasant B&Bs that would make you yearn for even the nastiest high-rise flat. So that answers your question.

    And no, it isn’t punishing the innocent. Children learn from their parents. If their parents are absentees, they learn from that too.

  • alexsandr

    Tulkinghorn @August 11th, 2011 3:19pm

  • pharbitis

    Where would these evicted thugs go?
    With the decimation of our Armed Forces, I would imagine there will soon be plenty of empty barracks.
    Put a few RSMs in charge backed up by some Iraq veterans with a fire-engine on standy-by and problem solved.

  • Verity

    2trueblue – I have several times suggested perfectly sensible and economically viaable places were these people could be sent until they had served their sentences.

    One is abandoned rigs in the N Sea. They all have living accommodation for the men who worked on them, including kitchens and bathrooms. Food drops could be made from helicopters once a week. None of the people so confined are going to jump into the bitter N Sea and try to swim 15 miles to land. And even if they did, so what? They’d never make it.

    The other is, outsource prisons to Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, etc. The countries named would benefit economically and the prisoners would benefit from some harsh, merciless discipline and hard labour – given that they would be put to work building roads and similar. Plus a chance to learn a foreign language!

    Both of these ideas are perfectly viable.

  • Verity

    You’d have to do paternity tests on all the children. Just because a man is dossing out in a flat doesn’t mean he’s the father of all the sprogs in it. In many instances, you’d have to track down five or six men, some of whom will have long left the area and whose names the woman doesn’t quite remember. “Well, ‘e went by Chuck but I’m not too sure ….”.

  • Cynic

    Better to hit them in their wallet. Stop their child benefits.

  • Olaf

    Take away their cash. Provide them with vouchers for food, clothing and other essentials.
    When rioters or the unwilling-to-work start to take some responsibility for their own lives they can have benefits returned in cash form if they still require them. A life on benefits should not be comfortable. Benefits should be a safety net for those who have fallen on hard times not a lifestyle choice.

    And stop giving flats to young mothers. Make them live with their relatives. that’ll cut the breeding down.

  • Dennis Churchill

    Sounds like Indirect Discrimination. What if more Ethnic minorities proportionately live in social housing—or (and I know this can’t be right)—are found to have looted?
    I am disappointed that those “Researchers” can’t come up with something better until our attention can be diverted.

  • PayDirt

    In line with Boris’ Dad, as per last week’s Speccie, it’s not the parents, it’s the schools we should be looking to to humanise the beast.

  • 2trueblue

    Jam Cosgrove. The conditions were created by the coalition? Just what planet have you been living on?

  • 2trueblue

    As previously stated ‘where to’? If there was a dislocated place where one could transfer all of these people to, fine. But there isen’t. As stated again and again there must be a solution to making people take responsibility.

    I find the fact that people do not have to show up to get their benefits astounding. The rest of us have to show up for work to get paid and it is wrong that benefits are paid into bank accounts or by giro. I can hear people say it would cost so much to manage it any other way, but we are loosing millions by fraud. There has to be a better way. People should at least have to turn up somewhere at least once a month. It is irresponsible to pay out with a no show. Simples

  • I S

    Jan – Could you try again, using English?

  • Jan Cosgrove

    But what about the deadbeat dads who ‘own’ their home (rent-to-buy or mortgage as it’s known) or privately rent? The accounts do indeed tell us of the ‘elements’ you (all too often) trot out. But this misses the much-wider ‘representation’ seen on the streets. 5 dead, sparked by another shot-by-by-police-in-circumstances-prone-to-shifting-stories. This is on Cameron’s watch, he and his cronies were warned ahead of what they have been doing. It comes to ‘mindless violence’, ‘criminality’, ‘shitting on your own doorstep’, innocent victims, opportunist looting.

    But the causes …. as i say, Cameron and his Coup-by-Coalition were warned. Now it’s happened, as before.

    Said of Britain in the early 19th Century: Government by oligarchy tempered by riot.

  • Tulkinghorn

    Throw em out and put em where?

  • I S

    And then where would you put them, you unthinking muppet.

  • Dean

    This isn’t joined-up at all. If the mother doesn’t know, or will not say, the name of the ‘dead beat’ then where are you? Try again.

  • Ed P

    200 years ago we’d have shipped ’em off to the Antipodes. Perhaps Rockall (where there’s f-all) instead?

  • Sally Chatterjee

    I’m all for punishment but where to these people go? Putting them on the street does not fix much, they are more likely to start robbing?

    But their names could be kept on a register and when housing is prioritised, those with a helpful record should be helped first.

    I’d be in favour of community service, for example make those caught spend weekends doing visible work in their area, cleaning graffiti for example. For punishment they could be forced to wear tight pink bodysuits.

  • Jim

    Whilst I don’t entirely disagree with the sentiment you describe I do have to ask. What happens to the families once they have been evicted?

  • Rhoda Klapp

    Daft. And vindictive. And ultimately pointless.

  • Arthur

    What’s the point? You may punish the wrong-doer for a while, but they’re going to be rehoused somewhere (it’s their right, innit?). So you also punish the people you move them next to. Utterly pointless.

    Unless you’re going to move them to Gruniard or East Falkland. I can see the value in that.

  • Ian Walker

    If we string enough knee-jerk reactions together, maybe we can make a Can-Can?