On my way back from uni to an appointment I needed to attend, I stopped by a homeless person.
“Hey, you with the Hair (lol), I know you are busy, and you are probably trying to avoid me but, can you please listen to me before you pass by.”
I removed my earphones out of my ears and proceeded to listen.
He said, “ I know what you think of me, it is true I want money but I promise you I am not a drug dealer or an alcoholic but I need food ( in truth I don’t believe those things of him, and even if he were addicted to something, I could empathise with how that might develop).
The man continued “I am asking, can you spare any money or buy me food if you can? I would appreciate it.”
I responded somewhat in shock with the on-point analysis of the stereotypes and how articulate he was in communicating his message.
I said, “I am so sorry for the position you are in, and I do not place you at fault, “I am not as narrow-minded as you believe.. I don’t have much change on me but I cannot deny you the right to eat.” I looked into my wallet and gave him £1. 70 which was the amount available in my wallet.
Before he left, I shook his hand and wished him luck to help him out of his situation.
On reflection, I could not help but feel how incredibly accurate the narrative was against his plight and many others. How have we come to a situation where we criminalise the homeless, poor and working class - the narrative emphasised by capitalism and neoliberalism.
Can we exercise empathy and treat these people as humans, not delinquents?
The story has to change, and the judgement must stop. We can only measure that by eradicating homelessness, replacing the narrative of criminalisation to one of empathy and pushing for redistribution of wealth.
We must vote for a political party that embraces those changes.
Michael Tyrone Shortt
We the British public, are continuously being deceived, divided and had by the media and politicians (not all but, the majority) who are grossly intertwined.
Their interests are to maintain power and protect the elite, otherwise referred to as the establishment.
It is evident in the lack of changes over the years, the increase of poverty, falling living standards and the demonization of poor. It is happening now and has occurred over several Prime Minister appointments.
Don’t you find it strange that if anything goes wrong, it’s the underprivileged or minorities who pay the price?
This conceals where the problems lie, and power remains where it has always been with the Establisment, and their wealth grows.
Examples include the economic crash which ripped through the western world of finances because of lack of regulation, responsibility by the finance sector and failure of government policies to protect us (the issue that spans worldwide, at the time, both Labour, Conservatives and all of Parliament were responsible for this recklessness).
Yet who paid for this?
In a nutshell we did with austerity, high taxes, lower wages, public services starved of finance paving the way for pockets of privatisation in every public sector you can imagine.
The common man/woman picks up the pieces, allows the wealthy to maintain its power and is complicit in its growing finances, while politicians and the media use narratives to sustain power and divide us all distracting from the real issues.
Why might this happen?
If you want to be in the establishment, you have to play by the rules.
Mainly these people are all set to benefit from it now, and in the future via contracts and business propositions but it is also a historical culture to follow the rules of the establishment in politics and journalism.
This is why we still have poverty, homelessness, jealousy, resentment, lack of public services and are now on our knees.
However, it doesn’t have to be this way. Who really has the power?
We do as people, we can critically think, come together and redistribute wealth, prevent poverty and protect people from the cruelty of a society that the establishment promotes to survive.
If we come together, the powerful would have no choice but to make concessions and could change the structure of society.
Knowing all this, if the media is against an individual or a political party, it is because they feel threatened and therefore, so is the structure of the establishment.
My advice to you is, if the media doesn’t like it, we probably should vote for it.
We must resist division as it plays on stereotypes and prejudices.
We are all similar and have the same needs as each other, it is time for us to come together and fight for real equality, fairness and to bring back the social contract.
We need togetherness, social values, to promote supporting each other and share resources equally and fairly.
Together we have the power to overcome inequality, tackle injustice and realise 'we are far more united than the things that divide us'.
By Michael Tyrone Shortt
Jennie Formby: Labour's new general secretary