The Argus Begin Their Defence of the Super-Strength Lager Rights of Brighton's, Shhh, Say it Quietly, 'Messy' Poor

Bill, what were you thinking?  And I'm not talking of the golliwog endorsement...
Just for a laugh I picked up a copy of The Argus to see whether they were doing their usual job of resiliently defending the rights of the 'messy poor'.

Under the headline 'Super-strength booze ban bid,' The Argus today reveal how Hastings Borough Council are implementing a ban on super-strength alcohol, because of the anti-social behaviour problems caused when (I think it might just be the poor, you know) drink it. Over the next few days, check out the comments under the article to find out just what Brighton's 'good people' think of Brighton's street drinkers.

'The Argus, revealed in July that Brighton and Hove City Council is developing a city-wide accreditation scheme allowing stores to advertise themselves as responsible retailers if they agree to a set of conditions including not selling super-strength beers and ciders.'

I looked in the Editorial page to see whether anyone from The Argus has highlighted the obvious hypocrisy of the Council's idea, when the whole ethos of Brighton is one of embracing the hedonistic lifestyle and denouncing anyone who criticises it because its a city of 'live and let live' where 'all lifestyle choices are welcome'. We might add that all lifestyles are welcome here, as long as the poor do not embrace them! Heaven forfend!

Are we saying some of the poor are 'messy'?

The lager choice of many an irritating little....
According to The Argus, the Hastings pilot scheme has gone relatively well, depending on whether you believe this flagrant policy targeting the 'messy' poor is either ethical or even wise, given that they'll most likely move onto vodka.

'The ban in the town centre, the Old Town and Central St Leonards areas, will launch on October 18.  The anonymous resident who organised the campaign said the petition was started because the community could no longer put up with street drinkers fighting in the sreet, open drug dealing and obscenities shouted in the street'.
He said: "This is a good, positive step forward and we will see what happens come October. It might just mean that street drinkers get drunk on low-strength alcohol. We just hope that the message will get through to off-licences that we are fed up with them selling alcohol to people who are obviously drunk and that street drinkers need to think about themselves as part of the community."

So, no word yet though, in opinion, from the vigilant Hollingbury based-defenders of the poor of Brighton, a proportion of whom are addicted to super-strength alcohol and who regularly ask parish priests for money to get to Southampton and then Hastings the next day, to see 'dying relatives'. Obviously, though, what with Bill Gardner, who I see is on a programme on ITV tonight, called Fear and Loathing Online about internet trolls (I guess it takes one to know one, eh, Bill?) being such a splendid campaigner for the poor to do whatever the poor want to do without any other members of the community commenting upon it in any way whatsoever, I expect to hear his thoughts soon.

Coming to a town near you, if you are poor and drink Skol
Of course, it could just be that Bill and The Argus news team have no real concern for the 'messy' poor, secretly resent them like much of Brighton and just wanted to stitch up a Catholic priest by misrepresenting his considered thoughts on the poor and the Church after all. Could it possibly be so?

Nothing in the Editorial today about this latest news from The Argus that suggests that something like prohibition is coming to Brighton - targeted explicitly at Jason and his friends - but I wait with baited breath for them to defend the super-strength alcohol rights of the 'messy' poor?

What a wonderful campaign this will be for The Argus to lend its considerable support in the Brighton area - The Argus's 'Special Campaign for the Super-Strength Lager Rights of Brighton's Street Drinkers'. I can see it now. A-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!

I can't wait for this campaign
 O yes! You'll be waiting a lifetime for such a campaign from that quarter of Brighton! The Argus news team - you really are a bunch of jokers. How's about me and George buy a van, go to wholesalers and make a packet out of selling street drinkers Skol Super in our 'ice-cream van'? It's only 'business' after all. Of course, a percentage of our takings will go to our rehab house for the poor and to the Church building fund, naturally.

The Argus: Little Form in Defending the Poor of Brighton

It was my friend George, of course, who was stitched up by the local authority, the police, his housing association and, eventually, the lap-dog of the local authority, The Argus, who printed a few years ago that he and Diane were running a 'crack-den' at their home, when, in fact, they were both poor crack addicts who had other poor and homeless crack addicts back to their flat to smoke crack.

They didn't always smoke crack. Often they took heroin too. However, when I visited Sheffield Court to learn Johnny Cash songs with George, they weren't doing crack or heroin and I couldn't see any crack and there was nobody else there smoking crack, so its possible they just had friends round at irregular times with similar drug taking issues as them at the time in a town awash with drugs and the mass taking of class As in every club in the city. George and Diane certainly were not 'dealing'.

Sheffield Court, from where George and Diane were evicted

Evicted and Shoved from Pillar to Post

In the end, just 0.1 mg of crack cocaine was found in the entire flat, for which George had to pay a £180 fine. Now, half the police force in Brighton know George by his first name, despite the fact that in every club in Brighton cocaine is being snorted in toilets with near total immunity from prosecution!

The local authority and Moat Housing got their wish though, and George and Diane were shoved out for good from beloved Sheffield Court flat, which was what their 'nice' neighbours, Moat Housing, the police, the local authority and the powers that be, against which they had no real defender, wanted all along. For some reason, The Argus made it appear (with attending video of the huge 'drugs bust') that a huge drug operation involving about ten police officers ramming in their New England Quarter door had been 'successful' and that a source of Brighton's drug problems had been stamped out for good. A case for misrepresentation? I'd say perhaps so!

'Crack den': Odd because George and Diane's place was perfectly normal
The Poor: Scapegoats of Brighton's Sins

In the end, George and Diane were both made homeless, slept on the streets for a while, until they ended up in the privately-owned dump, Percival Terrace, which makes loads of cash out of housing benefits from the drug addicts, mental health sufferers, alcoholics and other homeless men and women, charges exhorbitant rent from the local authority and leaves their tenants in utter squalour. From here they were sent to such 'dives' as 17-19 Grand Parade and other such horrific tenements owned by the rapacious Baron Homes Corporation Ltd, sister company of Brighton's biggest property company, Baron Estates. Not that you could have learned about the injustice of that firm through reading The Argus, mind. Not to 'blow' my own trumpet, but if they had any sense, they'd employ me as their 'homelessness correspondent' because I'm developing quite a 'contacts' book.

So let's hear it for those champions of Brighton's poor, The Argus. A more lazy and, dare I say it, rather hypocritical bunch of hacks you would be hard pressed to find. How keen was The Argus to point out the speck in Fr Blake's eye, when the beam in their own is yet to be removed. If they cared about the poor, they would indeed write about what they have to live through, how they are stigmatised and exploited by ruthless private landlords. If they cared, they would interview those on the streets and hostels, including the much maligned street-drinking homeless community whose only real crime is that they can't afford to drink in pubs and have nowhere else to congregate but upon the street.




Comments

gemoftheocean said…
Bravo, Laurence. another fine post! [And landuberlord scum charging ridiculous rates for rat holes in nothing new, and it's the same world over. Substandard housing at mint prices. Quite some time ago, some judge in the US had HAD it with complaints of rip-off substandard housing that was far from code that the poor of the city had to put up with. The judge sentence the guy to have to live in one of his substandard hell-hole of an appartment for X period of time. Hope the rats crawled all over him and gnawed at him.