Sunday, 14 April 2013

Lord Freud's Eviction

You can just make out the top of my head under the 'C' in 'EVICT' - Antoinette is the angel in the blue coat pushing me

Lord Freud, an unelected Tory Lord, millionaire former investment banker who openly admits he has little experience of the welfare state, is, incredibly, the minister for welfare reform - including the disgraceful bedroom tax.

Freud, swaps between a four bedroom semi in Highgate, one of the plushest areas in the Capital; and an eight bedroom mansion in Kent - which by the estimates of the bedroom tax he has orchestrated means he has 11 spare rooms. Yet he has the temerity to impose upon some of the country's poorest this vile tax.

A large crowd gathered on Kings Cross concourse late this morning, with an unusually hefty police presence. One of whom approached my PA and myself as we headed for the khazey. On realising we weren't a pair of vulnerable tourists wandering helplessly, she thanked us for finding the loos, as she was in need of the facilities herself.

A few Old Bill were tooled-up with some very hi-tech looking photographic equipment. I wondered to myself if they could actually use the kit, as it looked a tad more complicated than just pointing and shooting - something we know they can do, often to the detriment of innocent people.

Anyway, the police kept their distance, and we, UK Uncut, Occupy, DPAC and a myriad of other anti-cuts campaigners began to move on. At around midday the crowd began dispersing; myself and my PA were ushered off with a UK Uncut guy called Jim to catch a cab to a secret location - which was Lord Freud's week-day four-bed semi in Highgate. Jim was surprised I knew the venue (though I didn't know the address).

The cab took no time snaking its way Kentish Town, past the Forum at the bottom of Highgate Road, and into Highgate itself resplendent in its neat this-is-how-the-other-half-lives redbrick and clay tiled semis.

Arriving early we began to mooch around a bit as we looked about as much at home as Len McCluskey at a the Tory Party conference. A helicopter circling overhead didn't look to good either.

Eventually we made contact with the other UK Uncutters and associated anti-cuts Comrades. Falling-in we marched alongside them to the 'secret' destination; only to be joined by another phalanx marching towards us from another direction.

One more steep hill, which nearly did for Eamon Aherne-Large (a GMB officer from Lambeth) - who volunteered to push me, stating that as usual the GMB was behind Unite pushing - and we arrived at the home of Lord Freud - investment banker turned social/welfare expert to both Labour and now the ConDems.

About half the demo, around two hundred, were gathered outside a very ordinary looking suburban semi (though I'm told it has a market value of £2 million), some rigging up an eviction scene, that is pieces of furniture, mattresses, bedding etc strewn on the road.

After ten, or so, minutes people with bull horns began to bring a little order to things, asking people to be seated. A Scouser behind me invited people to: "Sit down on this good tarmac. Tarmac laid by good honest working class men", finishing it off with a word or two about Lord Freud and his kind.

So began a very comical bedtime story led by a woman on a loud hailer and taken up by most of the protestors, who seemed familiar with the audience participation of the thing. The theme of the message, though delivered in a humorous way, was how the cuts and taxes imposed upon the poorest are having a devastating effect.  

After this another woman, whose name, again, escaped me, took to the mike and told us we were here today to evict Lord Freud, to rapturous applause.

Around this time I was needing to pee; and there was nowhere in the locale to have a discreet whizz. So, we had to off and find an accessible loo.

Sadly I didn't get a chance to speak on behalf of DPAC. Sorry!

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