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Revival Of The Bunker

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  • Revival Of The Bunker

    Just read this:

    Revival of the bunker Aug 4 2003

    Merseyside MP Frank Field tells ECHO political reporter IAN HERNON why he's waging war on the neighbours from hell

    by Ian Hernon, Liverpool Echo

    BIRKENHEAD MP Frank Field famously told the Prime Minister that the region's neighbours from hell should be housed together in a concrete bunker under an M53 flyover.

    "That would show them what it's like to live next door to people like themselves," the former welfare minister said.

    Tony Blair looked "startled and nervous", and the bunker idea came to nothing. But Mr Field's crusade against those who cause misery for decent, law-abiding families is hitting home at the highest level.

    His backbench bill to strip housing benefits from tenants twice convicted of anti-social behaviour and rogue landlords has been incorporated in the government's criminal justice legislation.

    And he will spell out his long-term strategy in a book, Neighbours From Hell - The Politics Of Behaviour, to be published in September.

    Mr Field is in no doubt that a social revolution is needed to reverse woolly, 1960s thinking about how to handle dysfunctional families.

    He says: "Anti-social behaviour rapes the privacy of decent families, forcing itself into people's living space.

    "Families know that terrible things happen in the world but they are entitled to well-being in their own homes and their immed¬iate neighbourhood.

    "Too often people don't know when their privacy is going to be attacked and invaded."

    He went on: "Gangs of youths congregating for hours, shouting at each other, the volume always turned up to maximum.

    "Gangs terrorising people, threatening, running across rooftops, peeing in letter boxes, vandalising, joy-riding...

    "Whole families who behave in a totally dysfunctional way, governed by no sense of decent behaviour. It is difficult to describe how horrendous these people are."

    Mr Field is heavily involved in drawing up the final legislation, last week meeting housing benefit minister Chris Pond and anti-social behaviour Tsar Louise Casey. Next week he will meet Attorney-General Lord Goldsmith.

    He wants to ensure that not just the "usual suspects" - charities and social work institutions - are consulted.

    "The Government must take notice of people at the sharp end - those who have the misfortune to live next door to the thugs and the louts," he insists.

    The key issue is exactly how offenders should lose their housing benefit, and whether the decision should be made by local officials or the courts.

    Mr Field favours a two-tier system in which officials could deduct a percentage of benefits as a first warning. If offenders continue to misbehave the courts could strip them of the balance.

    He also wants to add to the bill a scheme, which Home Secretary David Blunkett approves in prin¬ciple, to elect anti-social behavior tsars in each constituency charged with enforcing orders.

    He said that too often government crackdowns are not enforced. Some courts have been reluctant to impose anti-social behaviour orders and few, if any, have imposed curfews.

    In Wirral it takes an average of 14 months to evict anti-social tenants.

    "They all have lawyers on legal aid who know the ropes and how to stretch a case out," he says. "They put in sick notes, postponing their cases."

    Mr Field is well aware that many find his solutions unduly harsh and warn that removing benefits will only add to poverty and the break-up of families.

    He counters: "It is good that the horrors of destitution no longer exist but that is being abused by a small minority who know that whatever they do, whatever misery they inflict on others, they will still get the money.

    We are talking about the behaviour of families in which no children should be brought up. Thirty years ago too many children were hoovered up by local authorities and taken into care.

    "It has now swung to the other extreme where everything is done to prevent children being taken into care or fostered.

    "Children must learn that their parents' appalling behaviour is not normal or acceptable. Parents must learn that they cannot use their children as a cover for the consequences of their action."

    He adds: "There is still the soggy 1960s view that we must understand such people. That we should spread them around and that the good behaviour of the rest of the street will improve their behaviour.

    "That has not worked. The truth is that one bad family can bring the whole street down because other bad families follow, put into a neighbourhood by unscrupulous, negligent and greedy landlords who are only interested in collecting housing benefits."

    Even when new sanctions are in place, that will not be the end of the problem.

    "We have to start teaching good behaviour again. Society must draw a line, beyond which it is unacceptable to go," he says.

    "I would quite happily build a bunker under the M53 but I accept that the suggestion symbolises what we have got to face up to.

    "For the real hard core of neighbours from hell we will have to consider moving them into small areas well away from decent fam¬ilies.

    "There they could terrorise each other and not decent people, and the police would know where they are.

    "Dysfunctional families have no concept that their actions must be thought about over time, or about the impact of their actions on other people. Everything has to be an immediate buzz.

    "Ordinary, decent, law-abiding families deserve a break from them."


    Of course this only addresses part of the problem but if it goes ahead then it's a start.

    "Almost anything you do will seem insignificant, but it is very important that you do it. You must be the change that you wish to see in the world." Gandhi

  • #2
    Very interesting that Misty, thanks.

    I don't agree with all of his comments, but if some of the things he's suggesting materialise at least it will be a start.

    Hmmm, a bunker - what a good idea. :lol:


    • #3
      good old frank field, he is speaking my language.

      NFH in Britain should write to him, letting him know about this forum!!!

      i really wish there was more robust legislation to protect homeowners not just social tenants.

      I decree today that life

      Is simply taking and not giving

      England is mine - it owes me a living

      But ask me why, and I'll spit in your eye

      Oh, ask me why, and I'll spit in your eye ~ Morrisey/Marr

      Politics is Showbusiness for ugly people ~ Jay Leno

      I don't like liars, I don't like cheats. I don't like bullsh***ters. I don't like schmoozers. I don't like ar*e-lickers. ~ Sir Alan Sugar

      "Why, Sir, you find no man, at all intellectual, who is willing to leave London. No, Sir, when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford." ~ Samuel Johnson

      The secret of success is the capacity to overcome failure ~ Noel Coward

      An economist is an expert who will know tomorrow why the things he predicted yesterday didn’t happen today ~ Laurence J. Peter

      Always laugh when you can. It is cheap medicine ~ Lord Byron

      Better bread with water than cake with trouble ~ Russian Proverb

      There is no trouble so great or grave that cannot be much diminished by a cup of tea ~ Bernard-Paul Heroux

      Carpe Diem

      Give Yourself to It ~ Sue Gadenne


      • #4
        Just thought I'd let you know I've emailed Frank Field MP.

        Dear Mr.Field,

        I recently read an article in the Liverpool Echo about your plans to introduce legislation to withdraw housing benefit from 'Neighbours from Hell'.

        I belong to an online community called 'Neighbours from Hell in Britain' ( where people who are the victims of these antisocial people can come and tell their stories and find sympathy, support and advice.* Some of the stories our members have to tell can only be described as horrendous. To date we have 447 members from all parts of the country and our membership is growing.* I am sure that many of them will be grateful that you are standing up for them in Parliament.

        So many lives are blighted by antisocial, dysfunctional families who rip apart their neighbours' lives, destroy their peace of mind and cause untold misery.

        Thank you for championing those who feel they are fighting a losing battle, not just in your constituency but all over the country.* Even those who won't be helped directly by your legislation will be given hope that eventually things will change in their favour.

        With many thanks,

        Hope he isn't on holiday

        "Almost anything you do will seem insignificant, but it is very important that you do it. You must be the change that you wish to see in the world." Gandhi


        • #5
          Go for it HE The more people who know about us the better and I'm sure they will appreciate our appreciation of them

          "Almost anything you do will seem insignificant, but it is very important that you do it. You must be the change that you wish to see in the world." Gandhi


          • #6
            Well done MistyMod

            I'm sure that he will appreciate your comments and I hope he replies.