Two things struck me in the local news the other day. First – 30 people were discovered to be living in a small three-bed house in Harrow. No prizes for guessing that they were probably (illegal?) migrants brought over to work for low wages (if any), or perhaps trying to send every penny home.

The second thing that stuck out was the plan to build homes on a car park in the same area. Now you might think oh that’s good people are living in overcrowded conditions and we are building homes – great! But we know the two won’t solve each other at all – they are two very different issues. All that will result – and already happening – is that our quality of life will go down and down.

Building is relentless and all spare space is at risk – parks, car parks, and now, with Labour’s grandiose new plans, even gardens, as if Corbyn gets in he wants to tax YOU, yes you, who have worked hard all your life to have a modest home with a garden to call your own, just for the pleasure of having a little bit of green to sit in on a sunny weekend, or maybe just park your car on.

The irony of this madness struck as I flicked through the articles in the same local paper. More new homes equals more people equals surely more parking needed? Especially in this day and age of instant parking fines if you even stop for a few seconds in the wrong place – cameras are everywhere. How on earth is this tiny island supposed to cope and what about our quality of life?

We are told we need more and more new homes, and we all know that our young people are struggling to get their own homes. More and more are staying at home longer and longer, or just renting (but is renting so terrible?). We are told it is the fault of old people, of people not using space wisely, of councils not utilising space, of the government for not helping building companies, and so on.

But we all know that mass immigration is a huge factor. But don’t keep mentioning it or you will be called – yes – a racist of course. How many of those homes actually go to people born and bred here? Or to people doing vital jobs in busy areas? Or how much of social housing is actually occupied by people who even have jobs? I could go on and on about the mess our society is in, but for now I am concerned with quality of life, for all of us.

It’s not nice to live 30 to a three-bed terrace, we know that. But it’s also incredibly selfish. What about the effect on the local area? The extra rubbish, extra pressure on local services – hospitals, transport etc? Not to mention the squalor that probably exists within the house and the ensuing infection and infestations that probably develop.

Then of course once discovered we have to deal with the rehousing and welfare of those inside. And as for the landlord, they get sued of course, but it’s probably water off a duck’s back to them. Somebody else picks up the tab – ie us!

This is becoming a common discovery of course, and some landlords claim no knowledge of what was going on in their rented out properties. They claim a respectable married couple signed the tenancy agreement and then proceeded to fill the house with up to 30 people or similar all paying rent to them.

A scam obviously, but why didn’t they ever visit to see what was going on in their property? Either they were in on it or they just didn’t care. Everyone I speak to cites the amount of rented properties as one of the reasons their area is going downhill.

Of course it’s not your average tenant causing the problem – but more than likely the overcrowded sub-let properties used for low waged illegal immigrants brought here for something not much short of slave labour. We cannot afford to turn a blind eye – it changes the areas we live in for the worse. Some of these people may be leading terrible lives, but they are destroying our way of life too in the process.

Everywhere I look I see evidence of overcrowding – piles of rubbish, flytipping, stuff sitting outside people houses waiting for someone else to deal with it (what about taking it to the dump yourself), unkempt gardens, windows with any old piece of material hanging up, stuff meant for recycling flying around, and even old clothes just randomly flung into bin sheds, probably when a tenant has moved on, followed by building materials chucked into domestic bins because no one pays for skips any more…

All evidence of people who don’t care and don’t feel this is their home. Many areas are being dragged downhill, and we often feel powerless. The answer is often that we just move further and further out of London and other cities. We either face a lower and lower standard of living or we leave our cities to end up as empty shells.

What is the answer? Well, whatever it is, we need radical action right now, before it is too late – if indeed it isn’t already way past the point of no turning back and we all just pack up and leave….

Quality of life – what’s that?

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