The suggestion that council tenants with a spare bedroom should let it to a homeless person in order to avoid a £14 reduction in housing benefit didn’t surprise me. Like the Jeremy Hunt burble about reducing the legal limit of abortion in this country to 12 weeks this is more of the Tories trying to outrage us so that when a less hideous suggestion becomes policy was all breathe a sigh of relief instead of rising up in righteous anger. Don’t be fooled. Of course abortion limits will not be reduced to 12 weeks and council tenants will not be forced to take in lodgers, but it’s still appropriate to be outraged.
One nasty little twerp’s remark particularly outraged me this morning. He asked the rhetorical question, “Is it morally right for people to have spare bedrooms while others are homeless?” Can you see the utter vileness of this idiotic question? He is trying to turn the social conscience tables, while clearly demonstrating his own total lack of compassion. He tries to use the natural kindness and sense of social duty found largely amongst the poor against them. He’s not even expecting us to think about middle-class, privately owned homes, nor palaces, mansions and country seats. No, the spare bedrooms he has in his sights on belong only to poor people. It is immoral, in his words, for poor people to have spare bedrooms while there are homeless people, but not immoral for him or his aunt to have one or seven spare bedrooms.
But he was referring to council tenants who claim housing benefit, you may cry. If they receive benefits from the state then they are mere plebs and must do our bidding! Really? Surely the fact that they are in receipt of a means-tested benefit demonstrates how poor these householders are. Is it really morally acceptable to reduce their circumstances even further by withholding £14 per week for having an unused spare room?
If it is morally wrong for people to have spare rooms when there are homeless people then it must be morally wrong for anyone to have a spare bedroom, including the Queen in Buckingham Palace and silly little Tory spokesmen, too. Or do you believe that having enough money to buy your own home means you don’t have to be as morally correct as those who can’t afford to do the same?