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The Royal Wedding homelessness row signifies a bigger issue

AFFECT: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle (Photo credit: PA)

THE ROYAL wedding between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle has caused controversy in regards to its location. A Tory conservative on the Windsor council, Simon Dudley, instructed that beggars and homeless people be removed from the Windsor area before the wedding takes place.

The councilman said that rough sleepers have turned the “beautiful town” into a “sadly unfavourable light". He went on to tweet that there has been an “epidemic of rough sleeping and vagrancy” in the area, as well as that, he wanted the police “to focus on dealing with this before the #RoyalWedding”.

As his tweets went viral, they drew criticism from the Prime Minister and certain homeless charities. Theresa May told the BBC: “I don't agree with the comments that the leader of the council has made”. She went on to say that the council, as well as her government, needs to do more to provide those that are homeless with accommodation.

The idea that the problem is rough sleeping, and not the fact that homelessness has skyrocketed, shows the lack of compassion people in power have for the less fortunate. As a society, we’ve adopted a superiority complex in regards to the way we view the homeless.

Instead of immediately thinking we are better than a rough sleeper, we should understand that it can happen to any one of us; our situations can change at any given moment. We can not contently call ourselves a society, if we’re willing to overlook the growing problem that is homelessness.

A week before the royal wedding dispute, a homeless man, 66, was found dead in car park in Bournemouth. A friend that found the rough sleeper, by the name of Kev, said a few days before, the council removed his sleeping bag along with other possessions.

Previously, the council was under fire after it was found that they played bagpipes near a bus stop, to deter homeless people from sleeping there. Many were even given one way tickets to leave the town.

Claire Matthews, a spokeswoman from charity kHope For Food, said she was told by some homeless people that sleeping bags were being removed by the council, in a bid to clean up the area.

To remove a person’s only source of warmth, because you deem it ‘unsightly’ is not only despicable, it goes against the moral and ethical duties a person on a council should have. The most vulnerable of society are being demonised and harassed by councils to vacate the area, rather than shown kindness and given acceptable housing. A homeless person doesn’t lose their civil rights just because their living predicament differs to ours - they are still just as much as a person as we are.

This unfortunate situation made its way to social media, making many call out the council.

One reader expressed their anger, tweeting “The calculated nastiness of (some) humans, knows no bounds. They can come up with all manner of variations on cruelty, given a little time. And that about playing the bagpipes outside the station so they can't sleep is quite something...”

Another person simply said “Murders on their hands”.

Despite the apparent outrage, this did not stop some people from showing support for the council, and a lack of sympathy for the deceased.

A person tweeted “Articles are bulls**t they make it out like they prized his sleeping bag from his hands which won’t be the case! he would of bin 2 busy out there harassing ppl 4 their hard earned £ to hide his bag proper ???? if there was more decency instead of papertalk things may of bin diff ????”

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