A report in the Nazi Post on 29 January announced that the homeless have been FORCED to pitch tents on Rosemary Green, just by Greenbank Cemetery. Not only was this an EYESORE for the hordes of wealthy hipsters in the area but, screamed the Post in an attempt to dial-up further controversy, the homeless had set their tents up next to a ‘WAR MEMORIAL’.
How disrespectful, setting up tents by a memorial for our fallen heroes in wars. However, some basic RESEARCH revealed this ‘war memorial’ was actually a memorial to 4,000+ paupers who DIED in the now demolished Eastville workhouse. All died of POVERTY and NEGLECT in the workhouse and were dumped in UNMARKED GRAVES.
A few years ago, local historians wrote a book detailing the CRIMES of this workhouse and then raised funds for a MEMORIAL to these people who had been FORGOTTEN. So historians and locals were scratching their collective heads at references to a “war memorial” in Greenbank Cemetery. Concluding that it was either more CRAP JOURNALISM or, maybe, the Nazi Post is recognising a “CLASS WAR MEMORIAL“? Whatever the case, all references to a “war memorial” have now been disappeared from the newspaper. Funny that.
Busy spouting the usual blather from Mr Angry, the Nazi Post missed THE REAL STORY here. This memorial to the workhouse was about people who DIED due to a system that CRIMINALISED POVERTY. People who could not work – like the old, infirm, those with learning difficulties or, even, those who suffered industrial accidents – were dumped in workhouses. Families were split up and the able-bodied poor were set to work undertaking MINDLESS TASKS.
Food was cheap and INADEQUATE and the regime BRUTAL. The theory of our Victorian CITY LEADERS was that if people were treated harshly, they would stop being poor. No, we’re not taking the piss, that’s the size of it.
Before burying those that died from CHRONIC neglect and starvation, the Church of England came down and consecrated ground on Rosemary green for the burial of the workhouse dead. Not once but three times at £50 a pop. Enough money to feed all of the incarcerates well for a year. But at least their bodies were safe … Er, not bleeding likely.
Most were DUG UP by a JCB in 1972, taken to Avon View cemetery and DUMPED in a hole without any marking. Historians are still trying to get the CofE to pay for a headstone at Avon View but getting the BISHOP OF BRISTOL to give a shit about anyone that’s not a wealthy creep or a Merchant Venturer is like getting blood out of a stone.
Today, with austerity cuts, ‘CITY LEADERS’ won’t be building any workhouses, feeding the poor gruel or dumping their bodies in MASS UNMARKED GRAVES with the CofE’s support. Instead, the homeless and destitute are left to crawl off to a tent or a shop doorway and FUCKING DIE. As long as the shoppers or commuters don’t have to look at them, there’s not a problem.
But you better look at them, because YOU COULD BE NEXT. A workplace accident, divorce or a death in the family could see you reduced to LIVING IN A TENT in Bristol – as long as the council don’t nick it off you, of course. That’s the reality of Bristol today. The benefits system is INADEQUATE and support services are COLLAPSING due to a lack funds. The inhumanity must stop. Surely the media and everyone else need to stop demonising the homeless and poor and have a pop at those who put them there, innit?
We don’t want historians writing books about the cruelty of today’s city leaders while people build memorials to our dead homeless in a hundred years do we?