Oxford and a Ticket To Ride

In financial hard times, a means of reducing expenditure and charity is to be more discriminating in your provision. The trick is to make the case: either resorting to demonising a sub group, or making the case that too many will suffer with over stretched resources. The last that you do not have responsibility for them.

So we turn to Oxford where “homeless tourists” are attracted to the beauty and splendour of the city. Help will be offered to those with a personal link to the city; others will be given a one way single train ticket out save if they would face violence on their return.

My first instinct is to be alarmed where rights are diminshed for any group, and I will know the cause that takes their rights away for fear that my rights may too be taken, and that my rights are worth less when the rights of my fellow citizens are diminished.

Those without property or fixed abode may be ordered out of a city. Shall we deem that a local authority has an arbitray power to exile people from their boundaries because their personal history is not linked to the town?

By this logic local authorities can evict “home tourists” who buy holiday property, denying locals accommodation and increasing the price of housing. Residents without personal links to the city could be asked to leave.

The right to live where you will are not dependent on your ability to own property. Oxford are stating that homless citizens have less rights then the population because of this, and that being local has a quasi privledge for a citizen.

That idea needs challenging – the rights of people are not subject to local considerations. The birthright of a citizen is to live and reside where he can. Being homeless is not a crime that makes these rights less; it is a national scandel that any response is anything less than solving this social problem, but to say here is your fare, on your way.

Nationally we need to tackle the issue of homlessness. We have a civic responsibilty not to condone our citizens living in cardboard boxes. A moral responsibility not to send them on their way.

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Filed under British Politics, British Society

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