For those of you who don’t know:
Shelter is an England and Scotland-based charity which aims to eradicate homelessness. It does very good work.
Skepta is a grime musician and producer from London.
At a recent charity gig by the latter in support of the former, Idris Elba made a brief appearance to introduce the musician, the night, and to highlight the importance of the charity, especially in the face of a new wave of savage and brutal Conservative budget cuts.
As per The Guardian on the Tories’ new Universal Credit regulations:
Beginning today, government regulations will deny thousands of 18- to 21-year-olds any help with their housing costs through housing benefit. For students of the future, this will be a textbook case study of policy and political misjudgment. A triumph of dogmatic ideology over facts, a refusal to allow proper scrutiny of the decision being taken and an arrogant dismissal of concern about the consequences.
The savings from this cut are little more than a rounding error in the Department for Work and Pensions’ budget - amounting to just 0.01% of overall spending next year. But while the savings are small, the costs are potentially huge. The charities who work with young people in housing difficulty, day in and day out, have been clear about the hardship this crude cut will cause. Centrepoint estimates that about 9,000 young people will be put at risk of homelessness. Shelter has said: “There is no way this isn’t going to lead to an increase in rough sleeping.” The charity Crisis - which played a big part in delivering the new cross-party homelessness reduction bill - says this “runs entirely counter” to the aims of that bill, and “could spell disaster for the many vulnerable young people rightly entitled to help”.
Economic cruelty disguised as competence? Callous ideological savagery? Top-down class warfare?
Yep, sounds like the Tories alright!
At Skepta’s charity gig, Idris Elba, who has previously spoken out on diversity in the UK TV industry, was having none of it:
There’s a real problem, man. There’s a real problem in 2017, where there’s 850 people here tonight, but there’s at least 1,000 men and women on the streets tonight. That’s fuckeries alright? We need to do something about it and that’s why we’re here. That’s why we back Shelter, that’s why I back Shelter.
There are 60,000 families homeless. I mean, we have one of the strongest currencies in the world, why do we have 60,000 women, single mothers, homeless. That’s fuckeries, that’s bullshit. So listen, even though, everything’s done in increments, this room, although we’re here all jolly, having a good time, there is a point to the situation. We need to make some change. Brick by brick. There’s a petition outside, you can sign it. The government’s probably trying to take away housing allowances for 18-21 year olds. They’re gonna get their housing benefits whacked out. We need to stop that, because we can. And that’s where Shelter come in, alright? Seriously, man, no-one should be homeless, that’s fucking bullshit. No one should be hungry.
You can watch the speech here: