Its 7 am and I have just come back from running with dog in my local London park and am feeling conflicted. Over the past few months the numbers of rough sleepers in the park has increased substantially. They are not “homeless” in the traditional sense of the word but are Eastern European builders sleeping with their tool bags, waking up early before they go off to work on the dozens of major construction sites in just about every borough of the capital.
I do believe that humanity is “one world” and we should look after each other whatever creed or colour we are. I do support immigration on a number of levels and in theory if we can build much needed homes for a generation desperate for homes by importing skills that we are desperately short of I the UK, with the help of a labour force that benefits from the wealth of our country then surely it’s a win-win?
But like most things it’s not as simple as that. When I read articles like this where the 60% or more of the units (they are not homes in the true sense of the word) in these residential towers are offshore fund purchased, foreign owned (and check out the dodgy credentials of some of the owners in this article) often left empty, built by Europeans, then sold onto other offshore funds for a tidy profit a year or so later.
I can’t help thinking that these “investment” towers that have sprung up all over London under Boris Johnson’s watch are being built in part by the rough sleeping builders from my local park, the kind of “immigrant” workers that Boris and his “Leave” friends and followers would have us leave the EU to prevent coming here.
We need these builders, they need access to our countries wealth, we just need to erase the dysfunction and get them building for the generation of British people who need affordable homes.