Two hundred hostel places cut
The headline screams.
Two hundred lives shut down.
Wasted dreams

Of a job and a flat of your own
Instead we are thrown
Out on to the streets
Faceless, alone, deadbeats.

We shiver in the cold
As we struggle to hold
On to dignity and hope
That we can cope

With the boredom and pain,
Feeling tired and brittle,
Getting drenched in the rain
Facing insults and spittle

Dripping onto our cheeks
From the loud-mouthed gob
Of a lout, who reeks
Of alcohol. Just lost his job.

Don’t be too quick to condemn.
A few pints help to stem
The misery, being on the dole;
The stresses of life take their toll.

Isn’t this the 21st century?
Tomorrow’s World said we’d be
Riding round on rocket cars
Not sleeping rough ‘neath uncaring stars.

Note: Leicester’s 51 Labour councillors are considering cutting 200 homeless places. With the loss of yet more jobs, the future for homeless people in the city looks bleak. Yet the council could stop the cuts. They could fight the government, rather than doing the Tories’ dirty work for them. However, the homeless are fighting back – a 200-strong protest outside the recent budget-setting meeting won a reprieve, while the Lord Mayor (on a £60,000/year salary) considers what to do. I can tell him what to do – instead of spending the council’s reserves on making its employees redundant, build a campaign to protect jobs and services. That’s the programme put forward by TUSC and Leicestershire Against The Cuts.

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