LETTERS FROM LONDON
REASONS TO BE CHEERFUL
30 January 2016
Paint the Town Red

What’s behind the red doors on the streets of Middlesbrough, Hull, South Wales
or South Yorkshire? Rat/cockroach infested houses, women offered no privacy,
pregnant women (about to give birth) evicted, forced bedroom sharing, disabled
asylum seeker told to "crawl" to upstairs bathroom, mould, filth…the usual
accommodation offered to “the swarms” and “bunch of migrants” according to
PM CallMeDave, the last announced in the Commons on Holocaust Memorial
Day to deflect the secret deceptive Google deal. Oh Dave. What a ghastly little
PR man.

Private companies have taken £1.7 billion of public money to house asylum
seekers behind obvious red doors if they wanted to stay out of the cold, and
have made them wear shiny red wristbands if they wanted to eat. How humane.

Infamous contractors G4S, Serco, Jomast, COMPASS and Clearsprings/Capita
owe compensation to taxpayers and to local authorities who have paid out the
bills for their duplicities, obviously.

The Home Office has condoned the red doors for the last three or four years.
Deals behind a black door; Number 10 that is. A Parliamentary enquiry was
ignored naturally.

One grateful tenant, Abdul Al Bashir told the BBC: "I experienced an arson every
single night behind my property."

When property tycoon, owner of Jomast, with an estimated £175m fortune,
Stuart Monk, was hauled before MPs and accused of profiting from refugees’
misery, he simply dismissed the practice. “There’s not been one single reported
incident,” in twenty years. Right.

Here we must mention that when one of the tenants repainted his red door, it
was immediately repainted red. Nothing suspicious here. The singled out red
doors have been repainted after a public outcry. Jomast was subcontracted by
G4S to house asylum seekers as part of a £60million Home Office deal. Open
door policy? Really….


Caught Red Handed

Red is certainly the popular colour choice. The asylum seekers were forced to
wear red wristbands to qualify for meals. Yes, Nazi methodology has been
raised, you know, displaying the black Star of David, but Welsh Tory MP, David
Davies, has made practical suggestions. “If having to wear a little red wristband
to get meals and walk 10 minutes to a centre is the worst thing that's ever
happened to him, and the other things that were happening to him are a lot less
worse than that, then he doesn't have a valid asylum claim and shouldn't be
here.” Ah, a man with a heart.

DD felt compelled to continue: “Last summer I was on holiday at Lake Balaton in
Hungary with my family. The Retro Hotel expected us to wear wristbands when
we ate our inclusive meals so people couldn't just walk in off the beach to claim a
free meal.” Quelle horreur!

Some staff refused to feed people who were not wearing their wristbands – in
Wales. They weren’t on a happy sunny inclusive, exclusive family holiday were
they? “Let’s have a quick swim in the shimmering pool before that all-you-can-
eat fabulous lunch, kids. Last one in is a migrant.” The man should be locked up
behind one of the red doors for his next holiday and fed through the letter box,
after showing his wristband of course.

Davies simply couldn’t stop himself could he? DD had more advice to share. He
advised the refugees who have been abused by passing motorists who could
see their wristbands to 'wear a jumper' if they wanted to avoid such verbal
attacks. Wristbands that visible? Do they glow in the dark?

One asylum seeker, Eric Ngalle, said he had been subjected to "terrible
remarks" while wearing the wristband in the street. “Some drivers would start
honking their horns and shout out of the window, 'Go back to your country.' My
time in Lynx House was one of the most horrible experiences in my life (time to
take a minute out to imagine what these people have been through to reach the
red door houses). I hated wearing the wristbands and sometimes refused to
wear them and was turned away from food," he added. "If we refused to wear
the wristbands, we were told we would be reported to the Home Office." I’m
confused here. What fair, tolerant country are we living in exactly?


Onesies are Winning Out

Kate Chisholm, headteacher at Skerne Park Academy primary school in
Darlington sent home a letter to parents asking them to get dressed properly and
stop doing the school run and even coming to school meetings and assemblies
in pyjamas and slippers. Apparently more and more parents are choosing this
fashion statement. She wants those cosy dressing gowns and furry slippers to
stay at home.

Pyjamas in assemblies, in meetings, out and about in shops, post offices. Oh
dear me. Miss C: “Then at Christmas we have about 12 different performances
of the Christmas play, in morning, afternoon and evening. And there were
parents in all of these performances wearing pyjamas.”

It started in September when Miss C spotted a handful of parents wearing
nightwear not only to drop off their children, but also to pick them up. Back to
bed? All-day TV? Anti-bathing? You know the obvious question: what are these
parents doing all day in the PJs?

Miss Chisholm has been attacked as well as supported as her four-sentence
request has gone viral. Sent out to 450 students in their school bags, the jim-jam
joiners turned up the following morning in full, flannel nightwear to make their
point. Others took to social media to brand Miss Chisholm as 'snobbish’.

“I’ve been called an overpaid prostitute and a failed fat supermodel. Both times
this was parents saying this to me in front of their kids. If I want to have a word
with the parent about a discipline issue, say, some parents have shouted at me,
they’ve sworn at me, they’ve told me that I don’t know what I am talking
about…I've had parents take a swing at me. It was because I wouldn’t back
down over the school uniform," even though Miss C ensured every child would
receive a free uniform there was a backlash. “A father just got so irate he took a
swing at me. I had to duck. He was massive.” I’m irate now. One parent said she
hoped Miss C was barren “because if you have children, they’ll be the spawn of
the devil”. Seriously? Are these parents perpetually potted in their PJs?

When Miss Chisholm took over the Skerne Hill Academy, the primary school
was possibly going to close down due to bad results. Her mission was clearly to
improve and inspire by not allowing parents to let their children skip school or
turn up late. Good so far. She improved SAT scores, appointed a full-time social
worker, introduced loads of after-school activities, and replaced French with
Mandarin as the second language. At its most recent inspection, Ofsted rated
the school as “good”. So; what’s not to like? Pyjamas over improvements? Ce
idiots or should I say 什么白痴?

If these slags, oh did I say that? want to pop into Tesco for some super sugary
doughnuts, forget it. Tesco’s dress code policy reads: "To avoid causing offence
or embarrassment to others, we ask that our customers are appropriately
dressed when visiting our store (footwear must be worn at all times and no
nightwear is permitted)."

“We do, however, request that customers do not shop in their PJs or
nightgowns." This is assuming they can read. Oh wait. They can as they read
the note from Miss C didn’t they?

Labour leader for the minute, Jeremy Corbyn, has stepped in to tell parents to
"put some proper clothes on" when taking their children to school. What? Oh
wait, Jeremy Corbyn on fashion faux pas? Oh dear oh dear, Jeremy. The very
same who (OK, until last week) prided himself on being mismatched, dishevelled,
inappropriately dressed has an opinion on mums at the gates? Really?

Perhaps JC should be taking on Dickensian Dave at Prime Minister’s Questions
in regards to the inhumane position taken by this government in regards to
desperate migrants, the ‘Don’t Be Evil’ Google deal, oh anything the Tories do
really. Well, Jeremy? We’re all waiting for you to outwit the ex-PR spinner,
aren't we? We’ll be waiting a very long time in our flannel jim-jams.

Jeremy, who wears that - yuck – Leninist cap as an obvious announcement of
his ideological position: "I wouldn't do it myself, I'd advise people to wear a coat
and put some proper clothes on - it gets cold out there. I've got a lot of sympathy
for that teacher, but I wouldn't get too hung up about the whole thing.” Then why
express an opinion? Surely there are so many more crucial matters to address?
Really. Shell suit or onesie?

Lately I’ve been wearing my cosy bedtime ensemble at home, on the sofa. Pass
the popcorn. Salted or sweet? Neither. The latest TV offerings are too tension-
inducing to worry about popping popcorn in my mouth – and possibly missing.
Popcorn stuck on furry flannel, not a good look.

Deutschland 83, Occupied, Spin, The Nightmare Worlds of HG Wells, and less
breath-holding but not to be missed, Stan Lee’s Lucky Man – plus at least seven
more not-to-be-missed dramas. At least. Not going out.

When Iranian President Hassan Rouhani visited Rome this last week, wary of
offending the West’s new best friend (with the signing of some €17 billion worth
of trade deals), museum authorities were ordered to cover the numerous nude
statues that line its galleries.

Italian PM Matteo Renzi told the 70th General Assembly of the UN last
September, “Italy is the country where the culture of conservation of cultural
assets was born…together with country partners and friends, we candidate
ourselves to be the guardians of culture in the world…because this is who we
are, this is our identity.” Really? White boxes (so post-modern) were placed over
the sculptures, covering them from head to toe. White? Not black? They could
have considered onesies. A more contemporary look surely. Censorship?
Capitulation? Certainly not.
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