No Urban Village?

It’s a real shame to hear that Crisis lack the support needed to build their Urban Village in London.

The plan, you may recall, is to create affordable housing for the city’s low-paid key workers, as well as the homeless, who would benefit from on-site training and counselling.

Such a model has worked well in New York; so well, in fact, that their fourth Common Ground project is soon to open.

The Observer today reported that opposition to the scheme from local councillors, following a less than enthusiastic response from residents, has scuppered plans for development at the latest potential site.

Locals don’t seem to like the idea of having so many people with mental health problems moving into their neighbourhood.

Crisis estimate that there are some 40,000 people living on the streets of London, in squats or B&Bs. There is also a great need for affordable housing, with 60,000 public sector workers expected to leave London, due to the capital’s high living costs, within the next decade.

Five years after David gave such strong support for this integrated community, why can’t they get it off the ground?

What do you think?

Author: FEd

Features Editor of David Gilmour’s official blog, The Blog (‘Features’ previously being its rather naff title), affectionately – or lazily – shortened to ‘FEd’.

126 thoughts on “No Urban Village?”

  1. Would Londoneers accept the project if it were a “Green Project” like the “BedZed” Project?

    How could they refuse it if it were also good for the planet?

    ~Tomi Sue

  2. Wow, David has done great work for Crisis. But everybody is so selfish and only thinks about themselves now. Maybe it’s time we help a friend or foe in need…

  3. I think it is a shame that people can’t think to help someone in need, especially their own. It is a sad testament to those who don’t need or want are too caught up in their own self indulgence to help others or, allow them to have a decent place to live. Our governments spend so much money outside their own borders and the people don’t seem to mind because it isn’t in their own back yard but, when it comes to helping the less fortunate people who would live in the same neighborhoods well now that is a different story. I have seen it in my own metro area of Detroit Michigan and it appears it doesn’t mater where it is in the world.

  4. This reminds me of people that rather write a check or nod with a sad face when they hear about poverty, wars, refugees, etc; but as long as they watch it on tv. It’s too big of a dose of real life if they are confronted with it live and direct. Then, the life of a person is worth less than the fluctuation of the value of their homes. It’s sad but true. Let’s live better in a fantasy world where we go shopping everyday, worry about the latest tech gadget and rush from here to there but we never look around at the world that surround us.

    Hopefully Crisis wont give up.

    This reminds me a bit of “Us and Them” …

    FEd, I hadnt seen that you were back. Took some time but here you all are. What will this year bring in DGland, I wonder? Hope everything is alright with you.

    [All’s well, thanks. I hope the same is true for you and yours. – Features Editor]

  5. [Locals don’t seem to like the idea of having so many people with mental health problems moving into their neighbourhood.]

    C’est toujours le même schéma, les gens ont de grandes, belles et généreuses idées tant que ça ne les concerne pas directement, tant que ça ne les dérange pas personnellement. C’est une forme de racisme, c’est ainsi que l’on crée les ghettos (au sens large).

    Sorry, absolutely unable to say that in English.


  6. People have so much fear and loathing that they cannot think straight. How do you help someone you’re afraid of?

    Politicians and other liars have succeeded in making people think that the homeless are a threat, are crazy or deranged. In truth, most of the homeless are just plain folk who have fallen on hard times. As any of us could. They say most people are just six paychecks away from beig homeless. It’s true. If most average people lost their income they’d be homeless in a matter of months.

    Politicians and other liars have turned their backs on the needy because the needy are not a powerful people. Shall we turn our backs on the homeless just because it is not us? And when it IS us, who will be there to help?

  7. over here we call it n.i.m.b.y . not in my back yard .

    it is so sad to think people can’t get the help they need .

  8. I have an idea that could work: Crisis in co-operation with a big developer could build blocks of flats around London, with some flats for sale/rental at a profit and some subsidised to the public sector workers. While some people may have an issue with having people with “mental health problems” living in their area I don’t see how having a paramedic next door could be seen as a negative.

    Now Crisis could be making a nice revenue from the flats sold for profit. This profit could be turned to developing quieter areas near London into a “rural village” rather than an urban village- so those with mental health problems can get the protection and help they need.

  9. Howdy FEd,

    There is a “Not in my backyard” syndrome that seems to be prevalent worldwide. It seems everyone is all for helping the needy and the homeless as long as it isn’t anywhere near their neighborhood. This sort of hypocrisy needs to be addressed. As to how, I don’t have a clue. How can we change the nature of man? How can we alter the faulty cognitions of the masses? What can truly be done to facilitate the progress of the Urban Village? Fear is a very powerful incentive. Fear of the unknown, of what might happen.

    I am currently working at a halfway house/transitional facility, for parolees straight out of prison. We are trying to expand our facility and are meeting with opposition in the area. No one wants them either, even though the facility has been there for 10 years.

    There is an area that is between a rock and a hard place that these wonderful plans/ideas seems to get stuck. This area is the closed, dispassionate hearts, souls and minds of man.


  10. Hey FEd,

    Greetings to you and all the irregulars.

    I missed the chat on Friday, bummer. (due to the evilness of working!)

    I do not see another one scheduled at this time. I do hope there will be another one soon.

    I have been having withdrawal symptoms, from the chat.

    I hope your weekend was a pleasant one.


    [It was great until the 73rd minute of the Everton-Portsmouth game. (I have to stop judging my weekends by how positively, or negatively, other teams’ results affect the battle for fourth place in the Premiership. Fourth place, for God’s sake.) – Features Editor]

  11. Do I need to do an intervention with you?


    [Excuse me? Sorry, Penny, I’m feeling particularly dim tonight. – Features Editor]

  12. I’m disgusted to be honest.

    You have people such as David and many unknown others who make such huge efforts to sort out these problems and the rest of the population just don’t care enough to make any allowances for such ideas.

  13. This is a worldwide problem that appears to be getting worse instead of better. Thankfully there are people of David’s stature that won’t let this go at least without a fight. And all of us that follow this blog need to do what we can to help turn the tide on this problem.

    Thanks Fed for bringing this to our attention.


  14. I saw that article and felt sad that the project is stalled. I’m optimistic, though, that David and others fighting for the Urban Village will succeed.

    Sometimes it helps me to think of a huge ship sailing in one direction for a very long time. It can take quite a while to turn such a behemoth.

  15. Maybe David or better Pink Floyd should do a concert to raise awareness about this problem or better yet a tour!!

    Somebody pass that on to david jkjk

    I dream too big

  16. My heart was saddened by what’s going on with the housing project for the poor and the homeless.

    Where there’s a will, there’s a way. I applaud David’s selflessness, determination and continuous efforts in supporting this worthy project.

    Thank you.

  17. Such nimbyotic nonesense has utterly gotten my gall. Living in Canada, we suffer this deletrious fate as well as everyone on this globe. Stop. Look and Listen.

    P.S. A true legend has passed away today. Jeff Healey. Bless you always.

  18. This discussion touches on a subject I continually complain about.

    Councils have an ever increasing amount of regulations to throw at the public and this type of control is blocking a lot of commonsense development from happening. Cheap multi-unit housing is a thing of the past as the regulations are now causing a lot of extra cost and making projects unviable. The types of people Crisis helps need housing spread within our community, without segregating them, with a network of support from a central body.

    The question is how do we do this?


  19. Part I

    People are afraid of what they don’t understand. At least that’s what I have encountered doing my social work and community organizing thing here in NYC. I’ve read the Observer article and it all sounds very familiar.

    New York is credited in the article for its generosity, but we have our fair share of “Nimbyism”. What’s happening with that London project is similar to what happens here in NYC or in “nimby” situations I’ve read about: people are afraid that horrible things may happen to them, their families, or their properties (and property values). Every community is different, and though I’m not familiar with all the reasons why local residents were opposed in London and what the legal obstacles were, anything that has to do with homelessness and the mentally ill is usually grossly misunderstood. However, the fear is sometimes justified…

  20. Part II

    In the community where I work, there is an armory that has been converted into homeless shelter. There are social services located there, but there have been problems over the years with vagrancy, loitering, robbery, and most recently murder. Where this program fails, in my opinion, is that there are not enough social services to assist the several hundred men who need adequate psychiatric care, comprehensive chemical abuse rehabilitation, and the rehabilitation of social and/or vocational skill sets to become productive members of society. It’s not a statistical anomaly that wherever poverty is saturated crime is not hard to find. Now it’s entirely possible that the Crisis project would have had the adequate amount of resources for its population, but it’s hard to break through people’s prejudice towards a needy population if you introduce too much too soon…

  21. Part III

    Some of the first questions I’ve seen residents and lawmakers ask are: who are these people moving in to my community, how many are moving in, what problems do they have, what services are going to be provided, who is the agency providing the services, what track record does that agency have with providing these services, what security will be provided? Then there are the host of irrational comments and questions that percolate to the surface.

    Thinking about this Crisis project, I wonder what outreach was done to these London communities before hand? Were there town-hall style meetings to address concerns? Were residents included in the process of determining the scale and scope of the project? It’s possible it wouldn’t have made a difference, but the quickest way to have a community turn against you is to not be a good neighbor…

  22. Part IV

    In 1992 I worked in a homeless shelter (more specifically a transitional living community for homeless women in recovery). What made this program a success was its smaller scale and saturation of services (only three dozen residents or so). Changing local planning laws and people’s mindsets is sometimes easier when there is a track record for success and that success is marketed effectively to lawmakers and citizens. What works in NYC may not mean squat to Londonites if these successes are foreign to them…

  23. Part V

    I hope it all works out in the end. Try to start small, make it an outright success, brag about it, market the hell out of it, and replicate it. Use the successes to leverage policy changes and throw a ton of resources into that. One final point is to always be ready to counter NIMBY concerns by answering WIFM’s (“what’s in it for me” questions). It sounds selfish, but people want to know what they personally are going get out of “x-y-z” scenarios if they commit their support/resources.

    Oh well, those are my 2 cents.

  24. Ok FEd,

    Sorry, it’s a drug counselor thing…

    An intervention, due to your obsession with, addiction to sports.

    You know, we gather all of your family and friends and tell you how your addiction has affected you and all of the people around you, then we send you off to rehab for therapy.

    Have a blessed week,


    [Ah, of course. I don’t like the sound of it, but thanks all the same. – Features Editor]

  25. Hi FED,

    Maybe it’s time these politicians take a long hard thinking look at the lyrics written by Gilmour/Waters and other lyric writers and perhaps they might learn a thing or two. ya think?

    [Lyrics for councillors and concerned local residents to ponder. Any suggestions? – Features Editor]

  26. Hey Fed,

    That’s really sad news. I worked on a psychiatric unit in Chicago for three years and met a wide range of people who suffered from various forms of mental illness and personality disorders. Perhaps the most important thing I learned was that underneath the sometimes odd behavior was an actual human being with an actual personality. I don’t know why that came as a surprise to me, but it did.

    I guess my point is that the people in this neighborhood are probably hung up on some sort of vague idea of what they think mentally ill people are really like. Perhaps CRISIS could find a way to expose these people to people in the community who have schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, etc so that some of the stigma can be erased.

    Not sure this is the answer or not, just wanted to weigh in and hopefully give a helpful suggestion.


  27. It’s hard to convince people to put themseleves in a situation that they find uncomfortable. I wouldn’t think that anyone is going out of their way to make a callous and selfish move against the people that are targeted in a project like this; they probably feel that they are acting for the greater good of their community, or maybe just convinced themselves too easily that that was the case.

    I’m certainly not excusing it, but it doesn’t surprise me either, unfortunately. People in my hometown have very rude things to say about both the homeless and very poor. I’m ashamed to say that I’ve walked out of a different door to the sidewalk in order to avoid an awkward, “I don’t have any change,” conversation with a homeless man outside begging for money.

    It’d be very easy for me to move to a different neighborhood, so that I could avoid those situations all the time. Society likes me for the choices that have been made for me. I’m a white girl from the middle class.

  28. The choices that I’ve made for myself, though, have brought me to a place in Life that I share with people who didn’t have the same choices made for them – and Society doesn’t like them like it likes me. My church has been integrated with black people, white people, asian people, poor people, middle class, prostitutes, junkies and then me and my WASP roommate sitting in the middle and it could be really easy to craft my religion in such a way that I could tell them that they’re not praying hard enough, or wonder what they did wrong to deserve that.

    My experiences with Life, thankfully, won’t allow me to do that. It may be simple to see the rationale behind the opposition of the Urban Village plan, but I am saddened by the news that America isn’t the only industrial country that can’t/won’t/isn’t doing everything that they can to take care of every person in it.

    Sorry for the long rant. It probably won’t make much sense because the topic has been on my mind lately…

  29. … So I had lots of different thoughts on the matter that I somehow crammed into these posts. Sorry for that.

    Oh and, FEd…

    [Well, your railroad gate, you know I just can’t jump it… – Features Editor]

    We never did too much talkin’ anyway so don’t think twice, it’s all right.

    Thanks, David, for doing your part, and probably for picking up on all our slack as well.

    [But Jessica: Our conversation was short and sweet. It nearly swept me off my feet. (Don’t you feel that that song ends too soon? To me it feels that there’s more to come after the harmonica. Leaves me wanting more every time I hear it.) – Features Editor]

  30. It sums up todays society really. There are too many people who only give a sh*t about themselves nowadays.

  31. Off subject a bit, Fed!!

    Jeff Healey passed away yesterday, serious talent he was….


  32. Hello to FEd and fellow bloggers, the website looks wonderful and it’s good to be back here.

    I read that article and that’s really terrible, after all those people including David had taken all their time and efforts to create something good in this world and now, it gets overturned due to unpleasant government inference.

    I really, really hope this will work out and the vision or idea can be brought to life. I really do. I have confidence it will happen.

  33. In my experience politicians are simple creatures that generally operate on the principle that they will side with the people who make the most noise and/or will vote for them.

    Would it be possible for Crisis to start buying up homes (as they become available) in an area where a future Urban Village could be located and rent them out (affordably) in the mean time? Maybe stealth could be the way forward.

  34. another thing that boils my blood about this is that the people who are complaining about crisis’ plans will complain soon enough at the number of homeless on the street . where should they go to get help ?

    ( sorry i know i am preaching to the converted here )

  35. I am not sure it is a ‘NIMBY’ situation.

    Not long ago, despite everyone having a phone (except me still), nobody wanted phone masts in their back yard but now they are on every street corner.

    If there were profit and credance to be made from people with mental heath then it would happen.

    Or am I being cynical?


  36. [Lyrics for councillors and concerned local residents to ponder. Any suggestions? – Features Editor]

    How about (Time)

    … You fritter and waste the hours in an offhand way
    Kicking around on a piece of ground in your home town
    Waiting for someone or something to show you the way.
    Plans that either come to nought or half a page of scribbled lines
    Hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way.

    Or (Us and Them)

    Us and them
    And after all we’re only ordinary men
    Me, and you
    God only knows it’s not what we would choose to do…
    Down and Out
    It can’t be helped but there’s a lot of it about
    With, without
    And who’ll deny it’s what the fighting’s all about

  37. I am not really that surprised, you should have seen the reaction in York when the Council and another Housing Association were looking at building new hostel accommodation for the homeless. The usual nimby attitude.

  38. I wasn’t aware, until just now, that David gave the money from his house to Crisis. That, quite simply, blew me away. It is certainly distressing to learn that others aren’t as giving or caring.

    As is the case in difficult journeys, obstacles may appear from time to time, but this matter is something that should be fought for and seen through to the end.

    While it breaks my heart to hear this latest news, it also reinforces my faith in humanity when learning of David’s charity. He’s a kind soul and that is the greatest compliment one can hope for.

    May the path that David took be followed by others so that one day this will end positively.

  39. Just a quickie to say welcome back FEd. I missed the blog and was away when you returned from ???? Still getting used to it all but looks classy and hope it remains stable. Will study it more later.

    Re homeless, why london? Be interesting to see other places’ reaction.

    Ian Pearson

    [Returned from the Twilight Zone, Ian. – Features Editor]

  40. Enlightened despotism is dead? It’s a sad day when Crisis can’t get a project of this importance off the ground. But what happened to Governments taking care or ALL the people it was elected to represent? Isn’t that their job? Did it ever really exist? You have to ask yourself what the purpose of governments really are. Democracy = oligarchy/plutocracy/ kleptocracy; rapidly evolving into an autocracy. Robocracy after that? Perhaps, IF we make it that far.

    What happens when that ultimate goal of the democratic dream is reached? The ultimate outcome of democracy — the free market economy — is an oligarchy; one of the things democracy is supposed to eliminate.

    The work ethic. You must be a productive member of society or you don’t have a place in society – the system is kept in motion by the people it enslaves. Institutions of the system indoctrinate/empower us from birth with an illusion of individuality.

  41. Analogues of ‘acceptable’ behaviour are used as a means of keeping the working class in a suitable condition for use in the ‘salt mines’ the ruling class have turned the planet into – ostensibly, to keep the ruling class in the comfort they have become accustom too.

    Keep peddling. Discrimination against the mentally/physically ill is a nasty side effect of that system — what good are these people to a system based on slavery? We in the ‘free’ world — and beyond– are bound by many restraints of the ruling classes – weapons manufacturers, financial institutions – false economy. Our elected governments are the tools of these institutions. Individuality means little in the ‘free economy’ world.

    People that are incapable or unwilling to participate in this system are relegated to the most basic of existences – premature death is the most likely outcome.

  42. The salesmen are inculcating generations with the illusion that success is based on the amount you own and consume; the person with the most wins. The few have accumulated all the wealth and we all conform to ‘their’ reality. We ARE conforming to the reality of the few. I’m afraid that Crisis is just another example of the indifference that the system breeds. It must end.

    Hope everyone is well and had a chance to recharge over the holidays. I sure did.

    Best Wishes,
    Hysteron Proteron

  43. Hi FEd,

    Seems as though care for the homeless and mentally ill has gone from the barbaric institutions of the not so distant past, to forced integration (due to the closing of so many of them) into a society that is in large part totally ignorant of the conditions or treatments. There has to be a solution.

    I think Crisis is definitely on the right track, but perhaps a head on approach is a bit too blunt. Has Crisis or David (or both) ever considered the idea of locating and building this community on the outskirts of London? Somewhere which would provide the protection and sense of security that could benefit the people they are to help, while at the same time not sending polititions and the general population into hysterics.

    Not being from Europe I have no idea what the conditions are in London, but having mentioned New York I can tell you that there were, and still are, many areas where housing was simply left abandoned.

    “Don’t give up the ship”,

  44. Interesting to me is how you interpret NIMBY. You don’t build or support a project like this cause you don’t want it in your back yard, yet the where are the people that are homeless and living in the streets? Are they not in your back yard as well? Geez, I much rather know there is a building down the street where the homeless can find a spot rather than having to trip over them as I am walking down the street.

    Maybe Crisis should have started on a smaller scale. Something that was more managable and not as politically intertwined.



  45. [Lyrics for councillors and concerned local residents to ponder. Any suggestions? – Features Editor]

    So I open my door to my enemies,
    And I ask could we wipe the slate clean.
    But they tell me to go fuck myself.
    You know you just can’t win.

    All very admirable comments so far but this situation is just an indictment of the state of the UK in general… the UK will never get back on track and resolve the CAUSE of these symptoms until they close their borders and stop letting everyone in!

  46. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again:

    Until this Labour party get out of town, great ideas like these will always diminish.

  47. Thing is that if youre worried about living near those who have mental health issues you should remember they are living on the street already near you. what this project would do is provide somewhere much safer and also people with those views probably havent met someone with mental health issues. if they had they would know that if the person was so ill that they may hurt themselves or others they would be in a semi secure unit.

    Also mental health issues are managable. it is possible to live with for example Bi Polar like Stephen Fry or autsim like Thom Yorke, mental health is a subject people are only scared of because they dont know enough about it.

    Maybe what crisis should do is work with a charity such as mind and run a small campaign aimed at demistifying mental health.

  48. er is it because we live in a country fit for heroes?

    no, wait, I know!

    we still live in a country that regardless of what they want you to believe you are always divided by your “class”

    though it’s a lot more subtle nowadays ie mental health being something that “threatens” those and theres further down the class ladder as opposed to the lower classes threatening the upper classes

    we are supposed to be a nation that supports the underdog but it has never been that way in britain, not when it means that people have theirs infringed

    maybe DG should get Red Ken to be involved? although there’s no gaurentee that he hasn’t changed since becoming Lord of London?

    or better yet, let those in the neighbourhood get some money off their council tax?

    now that would work, even I’d put money on that 😉













  50. My two cents…

    For the past thirty two years, ever since I became globally conscious (I am ballparking that age at around 17) I have never seen anything change. We still have war, racial tension, pollution, greed, crooked politicians and biblical unfairness in our world. I hate to be a pessimist but…

  51. I think the telling line in the article is “faced with soaring legal bills”…

    So that’s where the money has gone…

    How many lawyers does it take to change a light bulb?

    Fifty four. Eight to argue, one to get a continuance, one to object, one to demur, two to research precedents, one to dictate a letter, one to stipulate, five to turn in their time cards, one to depose, one to write interrogatories, two to settle, one to order a secretary to change the bulb, and twenty-eight to bill for professional services.

  52. I was wondering FE’d if you knew or could find out what was the silver camera Polly uses on the breaking bread docu?

    it looks digital but has a wind on for the film like old cameras


    [I don’t know, sorry, but will let you know if I find out. – Features Editor]

  53. on monty python, from ’72

    ‘we would like to apologize for the way in which politicians are represented in this programme. it was never our intention to imply that politicians are weak-kneed, political time-servers who are concerned more with their personal vendettas and private power struggles than the problems of government, nor to suggest at any point that they sacrifice their credibility by denying free debate on vital matters in the mistaken impression that party unity comes before the well-being of the people they supposedly represent nor to imply at any stage that they are squabbling little toadies without an ounce of concern for the vital social problems of today. nor indeed do we intend that viewers should consider them as crabby ulcerous little self-seeking vermin with furry legs and an excessive addiction to alcohol and certain explicit sexual practices which some people might find offensive.”

    🙂 andy

  54. “I’m a-goin’ back out ‘fore the rain starts a-fallin’,
    I’ll walk to the depths of the deepest black forest,
    Where the people are many and their hands are all empty,
    Where the pellets of poison are flooding their waters,
    Where the home in the valley meets the damp dirty prison,
    Where the executioner’s face is always well hidden,
    Where hunger is ugly, where souls are forgotten,
    Where black is the color, where none is the number,
    And I’ll tell it and think it and speak it and breathe it,
    And reflect it from the mountain so all souls can see it,
    Then I’ll stand on the ocean until I start sinkin’,
    But I’ll know my song well before I start singin’,
    It’s a hard rain’s a-gonna fall.”

    Tolerance and compassion ~ two things that could truly change the world.

    R.I.P. Jeff Healey

    Peace and love ~ more than just a 60s slogan!

  55. i say it’s disgusting. there’s good and bad everywhere.

    a lot of ex-homeless together in a building doesn’t have to mean there are more criminals, addicts or lunatics there than in any block of flats or university dorm.

    people deserve to be helped.

  56. [Locals don’t seem to like the idea of having so many people with mental health problems moving into their neighbourhood.]

    Actually, at my work we’re trying to move people with a handicap (or health problem) all over the city. We did achieve some succes. Takes a lot of time and money…

    Anyway, if it’s working in NY why not in London?

  57. Hello everybody.

    Honestly I don’t know perfectly the situation in London about this,but it’s the only city in the world where I’ve seen a real integration,but,of course, there are always exceptions.I’m from Italy and I’m living in Spain and in these countries there isn’t a real integration,only a “false” integration,in my opinion.

    Maybe the problem now is that people living in the neighbourhood of this Urban Village are afraid of what they don’t know and think that they will never be able to live together with these people,somebody should explain to them the situation and tell them if it’s true,that they will never run any risk.

    Crisis is a great association,when I bought David’s sleeve of RTN I talked to two people who work in this association and it seemed to me that is really a serious thing,and I had never doubt of it,they only confirmed what I was thinking.

    Hope somebody will solve this situation and Crisis will cope with building this Urban Village.


  58. Is there an online petition to add our names in disagreement?

    Inevitably it will happen for Crisis if they arent prepared to let this be swept under the carpet. Afterall, they are providing a roof over someones head, something this government (and others before it) seem incapable of doing for the really needy. They have to live somewhere.

    Roll the sleeves up and be prepared for a fight as the beaurocrats that make these decisions dont see things in perspective unless its election time or enough people complain in writing (then they must at least reply)

    If thousands of people are unhappy with the decision and all take action…. you never know what may happen?

    Just a thought, that’s all.

  59. MEDDLE wrote that politicians should read the lyrics of Waters/Gilmour. “On The Turning Away” comes to mind here, as does “Us And Them.”

    I think that all politicians should read the lyrics of Lou Reed, who wrote quite a bit about an underworld of urban dwellers living on the edge. Reed looks beyond the drugs, the crossdressing and the sexual deviancy. He leads us to see the very human side of this world — sometimes tragic, sometimes humorous, but always very real.

    More than that, I think leaders should be required to live for a few months on the streets. They should have to survive on low-wage jobs and live in less-than-savory neighborhoods. A lot of things would be different across the globe if leaders knew what it was really like out there.

  60. What I was saying in my previous post, I will try to express in English in another way, please, be all indulgent.

    We are all here convinced that it’s a shame, of course, we express it high and strong and our words are sincere, I have no doubt, but I ask you, each and everyone here, if you were personally facing a similar situation, what would you do? I am not sure of my own answer.

    In the extreme (=?), what would David do if Crisis found a ground in Hampton Court, close to the Astoria? I am not provocative, certainly not disrespectful to David, of course, that stupid idea just popped into my mind…

    What I am trying to say is that there is always a big difference between what we -sincerely- claim and how we act. Sadly.

    And yes, it’s a form of racism…and yes, there are ‘ghettos’ everywhere…


  61. Well, I applaud David and his efforts. It is too bad that cultural perceptions and social status cause things like this to happen.

    One thing I have gleaned out of following David’s career is that he doesn’t give up withought a fight and that he will succeed when no one else thought he would.

    Dealing with outcast segments of society is hard, because you have to change the culture to make progress, and that is like trying to boil the ocean.

    As far as lyrics go, there are several songs that come to mind, one being On the Turning Away, and one of Roger’s songs, Watching T.V. There is an element in these and other songs that reminds us of the human factor of these issues. Homeless are people, too. They have stories and lives and deserve basic human dignity.

    I wish David the best of success with being able to influence the right people and get the right changes made.

  62. Michèle, you have just expressed exactly what was running through my mind and in faultless English. If only my French was that good.

  63. First off I really hate the acronym NIMBY and every sentiment around it. It’s the epitome of selfish, closed minded thinking and every time I hear someone use it it makes me gnash my teeth.

    I completely support Crisis and David’s project but my question is why Camden? A lot of money has gone into rejuvenating Camden, trying to remove the criminal and drug element which is pervasive. There’s already the big hostel on Inverness Street, I can see the council and residents objecting to the building here.

    London, especially Central London, has property pricing at a premium and population density climbing with the huge influx of european immigrants. Why does such a project need to be placed somewhere which has such constraints?

    Could it not be placed somewhere further out, still on bus and tube lines (i.e. easy to get to work opportunities) but where space isn’t at such a premium?


  64. (continued)

    Our illustrious mayor, Mr Livingstone, is a hardcore socialist (too much so for my politics) but I can’t believe that he wouldn’t support this kind of a project and even (ab)use his mayoral power to make it happen…


  65. Michele,

    Your point is very well made, thank you for the translation as I was having a heck of a time trying to figure it out in French.

    You are so right in that we don’t know the entire story and circumstances. It is just so easy to blame everyone and anyone. That is so often the case here and in other areas of life as well. Heck, I do it too, it is just human nature.

    And you raise an excellent question. What if the Urban Village was right next to your house? What would you do? Embrace it? Move away? Fight it? Honestly, I don’t know…

    Also when you step back, remember that it is always more productive to ask “what can be done?” instead of “why wasn’t it done?”



  66. The setbacks in the Crisis article are bad news, but hopefully plans are underway to find the next site/solution.

    Angelo had some great comments, especially in Part III. Even more community outreach in the next go-around may be successful toward establishing community partnership with the Urban Village. The problems faced by the individuals, who would be helped by the housing and services, are varied of course. Either the people served will prosper, get healthy, or may somehow be enabled to continue addiction until they’re ready (nothing compelled my father to stay sober until HE was g’damn good and ready – fortunately that was 15 years ago).

    As Angelo pointed out, if adequate services are in place, the Village will be an excellent resource to help the underserved populations – and the whole community will benefit.

  67. The benefit to the community is a hard sell tho. No one “owns” the problem and no one is specifically accountable for fixing it, but it is a part of society and if I lived in the community where the Urban Village was proposed, I would want to participate in its development.

  68. Sometimes it’s hard for people to understand that we’re all equal….someone had better start in life, someone had better opportunities…

    I think it’s all about vanity…some people think that they’re better than the others…well, they’re not! And it’s up to “rich and famous” to be the first to say that….

  69. Dear Fed,

    depuis le temps… le temps passe, la vie entraîne vers d’autres rivages, et… mais, heureusement, les amis “rappellent à l’ordre”. Gentiment.

    Les sans abris de Londres et ceux de Paris sont “logés à la même enseigne” (pardon pour ce jeu de mots typiquement français et qui tombe assez mal, j’avoue). Ici, ils sont “pris en charge par le DAL ( qui fournit aux malheureux des… tentes. Des artistes soutiennent cette association, mais tant que les politiciens ne prendront pas leurs responsabilités, rien ne changera en profondeur.

    A quand une révolution?

    Ikkar, with love

    P.S. Pardon, dear Fed, pour le français. Voyez, je n’ai pas fait de progrès en anglais, même si, je vous assure, j’essaie… 🙂

    [De rien. Votre progrès en anglais est plus que mon progrès en français, j’imagine. – Features Editor]

  70. It’s sad to think people can’t get the help they need. And the most sad thing is to think that they can’t because other people don’t want to help them. Selfishness, this is what will make the world collapse.

    And with these wise words, I wish all the best to Crisis project. And I wish you all the best to get and to give.


  71. I am sorry to learn of Jeff Healey’s death who I believe was due to do some concerts here in the UK in a few weeks.

    Wasn’t the main question posed by DSOTM, is mankind capable of humanity? Us and Them is very apt.

  72. Anyone who thinks racism is dead, just doesn’t know. All you have to do is go to a large city and compare the number of “people of color” living in the streets with those in high corporate positions.

    There is no other explanation for this disparity than racism.

  73. Rudders

    At the risk of handing you a piece of rope of just the right length, what exactly has Enoch Powell got to do with it?

    As far as I am aware, his “rivers of blood” alert was directed at the specific risk of non-assimilated ethnic groups causing problems of racial tension along the lines of those played out in 1960’s America. A thesis flawed largely by it’s amoral “reasoning” and failure to recognise the inherent similarities rather than differences between people.

    A civilised society has a moral duty to find homes for the homeless … and that will be a never- ending quest I suspect.

  74. Oh, and I apologise to those who follow him, but Tim Rice put these words in Jesus’ mouth

    “Surely you’re not saying we have the resources
    To save the poor from their lot?
    There will be poor always, pathetically struggling.
    Look at the good things you’ve got.
    Think while you still have me!
    Move while you still see me!
    You’ll be lost, and you’ll be sorry when I’m gone.”

    But then, it was Judas who had that cursed social conscience.

  75. It seems to me that there must be a solution to this problem, what I don`t know, I agree with virtually every post. And Rudders does have a point!

    But I`m sure Crisis and David will not give up due to one hurdle (even if you`re trying to hurdle the Thames!!!)

  76. Sorry to hear that your team was in 4th place. I would be really down too. But I’m really glad that you’re back and you still have that great humor. Plus it really looks like you put in a lot of work into make this a better web site and the music is great!

    Take Care, Thomas

    PS Now that you’re back do we need to sign up again to get into the chat?

    [No, there’s no need to re-register. – Features Editor]

  77. Five Nights Without a Bite.
    No Place to Lay His Head.
    And if Nobody Takes him in.
    He’ll Soon be Dead.

    Charlie Freak by Steely Dan


  78. Thanks Paul for mentioning Jeff Healey, a great Canadian Guitarist who also tried to help the homeless.


  79. In plain English..You can spend as much money as you want to,to house and feed these unfortunates. But what you cannot do is instill a sense of ambition in them to succeed on their own once they have been put back on their feet. Free tickets have never been a solution to anything..however..

    It’s not necessarily their fault. Over population dictates that some will have and some will not have. Lack of education,reduced mental capacity(again not their fault) dictates that they are at a disadvantage to compete.It may seem that this is an over simplification but that’s just the way our cruel world goes around.

    This problem is just too large, rampant and complicated to completely solve with money alone.

    I don’t think anyone has a single solution.We can help some of them as David has and it is truly a social crime that the politicians have decided to turn their backs on many more.

    Human beings are our greatest resource and it’s just too bad and so sad that this problem even exists.

  80. The persons in charge of Crisis have to get everyone involved!!! That means the government, the media, local buisnesses, sports, movie and music celebrities, and the people needing housing.They need to start off by creating new jobs from the government.

    Landfills are taking in tons of used materials bricks, tile, lumber, etc everyday. Jobs could be created to salvage those materials, and at the same time create free material for Crisis construction projects. The people working those jobs could be partialy paid in credits for Crisis housing, further reducing the cost of labour. Jobs could be created for salvage recovery of materials to be picked up by people willing to donate items and materials for Crisis, they could check online donation domains like the craigslist.

    The media (T.V., newspapers, billboard companies) could be talked into helping the cause, and asked to give up some free commercial time. Celebrities could be asked to donate time for fundraisers.


  81. Glad the blog is back!

    Very sorry to here the trouble Crisis is having, however being in hostel services, I cannot say that I am surprised. People seem to care in the abstract, but if it means patience and tolerance to actual neighbours, then it seems to be a different matter. Education appears to help and telling stories about individuals, putting a face to the unknown individuals rather then the faceless unknown – and lots and lots of telling the community how successful these projects are.

    Keep trying– anything new is hard to do and anything regarding poverty issues even harder.

  82. [But Jessica: Our conversation was short and sweet. It nearly swept me off my feet. (Don’t you feel that that song ends too soon? To me it feels that there’s more to come after the harmonica. Leaves me wanting more every time I hear it.) – Features Editor]

    YES. I always felt a little … … … when it’s done: “Bob, where’s the rest?!”

    …Well, there’s too many people and they’re all too hard to please, I suppose. So it goes. : )

    Anyhoo, it ain’t no use a-talking to me. It’s just the same as talking to you.

    (I missed Dylan Talk SO much. No one at my school appreciates Dylan’s amazing poetry… Did I tell you, FEd, that I saw him with Elvis Costello at the Chicago Theatre in the late fall??)

    [Did I tell you that I’m jealous? – Features Editor]

  83. FED, I know that I am off topic, but I am starting for Milan (Giuseppe Meazza Stadium), so I would like to make the best wishes to the Gunners….but me and you, FED, know very well that the final will be Milan Liverpool again….

    I only hope that the score of this evening does not give David a sad birthday (by the way David, I wish you the best birthday of your life)!

    Claudio from Ravenna

  84. Ciao!

    No comments on this particular subject but I just popped in to tell everyone I am still alive (as the blog seems).

    Well done.

  85. Whilst I am not surprised about this as is always the way with society, the one thing that I will say is I knew a homeless guy.

    I used to speak to him daily (and others) and he got himself together and is no longer homeless.

    One thing that Paul (the homeless guy) did say to me was this: “There is no excuse for being homesless, as there is help out there always”. He said that he was given a place to live along with some furniture etc. etc. He is still an alcholic but he has dragged himself off the street.

    The above quotation of course is not my opinion, this is what a homeless person in Birmingham actually said to me.

    I have always admired David for putting his money where his mouth is which is something a lot of the monied class do not do. He does not speak from his armchair, he actually gets up and does things and cares.

    Best regards.


    p.s. I always thought “On the Turning Away” was about the fifth line in Chapter 24 of the I Ching.

  86. (Part One)

    I am living about 150 miles north of New York City, in a city called Schenectady. We have a homeless charity called Bethesda House, which had purchased an abandoned building in the heart of downtown Schenectady. They were planning to tear that building down and put up a facility that would house up to 14 homeless people. It would also be a one-stop center for all the various services that Bethesda House now provides at various locations across the city.

    The city council prevented Bethesda House from building on land that it had purchased specifically for this project. The claim was that Schenectady, a Rust Belt city currently in a revitalization plan, was the wrong place for the project. They were afraid that the homeless presence would scare people out of town and derail the revitalization.

    The mere fact that this project would have taken 14 people OUT of doorways and sidewalks meant nothing.

  87. (Part 2)

    Just last week, Bethesda House was given another piece of land on which to locate the project. The new location is pretty far from downtown, where other services for the homeless are located. So now, rather than living near the employment agency and the food pantries, the clients will have to travel across the city to access those services.

    I keep returning to this topic. It stirs a passion in me. It speaks to the part of me that is bitterly disappointed in mankind. We have the means to take care of one another for the greater benefit of all, but too many of us are interested in our own short-term (and short-sighted)goals.

    I am ashamed of our modern global society.

  88. I think Rudders was referring to Noah’s great grandfather. You believe that. LOL….LOL!

  89. George, I saw Jeff playing in a small club in Belfast a few years ago, he was just brilliant and a great sense of humour


    Sorry for off the subject, Fed

  90. Dear F.Ed.

    I don’t know Crisis but this kind of news are very sad to read, moreover well knowing after the great and remarkable effort of Mr. David Gilmour to help them.

    I wish him as his best birthday gift that he could see his dream realized very soon!

    Keep well everyone

  91. To push Michele’s point to an extreme, one answer to homelessness is that we take action ourselves and invite a homeless person to live in our homes.

    That would appear to be a “Christian” thing to do.

    It doesn’t happen.

    The Global village sounded like a great idea, and with due consideration for local circumstances, I believe could “fairly” be imposed on many of those localities where property owners have benefited disproportionately from buying in oh-so-chic up and coming neighbourhoods.

  92. (Pt. 1)

    Wtf would Jesus do? Now, in contrast, what would Darwin do? Is one right? Is one wrong? Does the herd cull itself (Judas), or does nature take on that responsibility when human response mitigates (Natural Selection)?

    Perhaps we are saddened by the news that the homeless aren’t being helped, that the lawyers are asking too much, or that the community finds the proposed solution unacceptable.

    The article in the UK Observer is 865 words total. Only 43 words discuss the initial 2 locations falling through and a mere 20 words describe the third location failing due to ‘soaring’ legal bills.

    Something tells me the majority of this five year dream is not being completely represented. Is any of this perspective due to minimalist journalism and provocatively quick quotes that prey on those with a grade 6 reading comprehension? Was the article edited for the adverts so the staff gets paid? What level can this be taken to?

  93. (Pt. 2)

    The truly altruistic work without acknowledgment. Those who know what’s right and do what’s right are seemingly extinct. I teach myself on a daily basis, yet am no closer to greater morality or enlightenment, despite understanding more everyday because the more you know, the more you know you don’t know. . .

    What I do know is approximately 60 of you wrote responses to this topic. A few of you offered suggestions and advice. If there is a way to ‘crowd source’ our energy and knowledge to our elected representatives, based on their short time in office, perhaps we can make a difference.

    Click my name for a slice of a possible solution.

  94. Happy birthday David and thank you for doing what you do, making life very enjoyable for all us around the world. Thanks again David.


    [You’re a day early. – Features Editor]

  95. I don’t understand why these fat headed deep pockets are allowed to take up space on our planet.

    If I were in charge of things…people would have to purchase the days of their lives using only compassion, empathy and humanity.

    Have you seen the little piggies crawling in the dirt
    And for all the little piggies
    Life is getting worse
    Always having dirt to play around in.
    Have you seen the bigger piggies in their starched white shirts
    You will find the bigger piggies stirring up the dirt
    Always have clean shirts to play around in.
    In their styes with all their backing
    They don’t care what goes on around
    In their eyes there’s something lacking
    What they need’s a damn good whacking.
    Everywhere there’s lots of piggies
    Living piggy lives
    You can see them out for dinner with their piggy wives
    Clutching forks and knives to eat their bacon.

    The Beatles


    [Very well said. – Features Editor]

  96. Marcus, your link doesn’t work.

    The media is a plutocracy. Getting beyond Jesus and God would solve half the world’s problems; look at the history of religion and make your own mind up about its validity and authenticity. I saw The Mist the other day — the whole theatre erupted into incredulous laughter and applause during ‘certain’ scenes.

    Illusions keep the human race under control and the people that control the illusions could care less about the disadvantaged/disabled/mentally ill etc. The human race has had enough time and resources to solve the problems of the world. Ask yourself > why not?

    Tim, well said.

    Hysteron proteron

    [You have to wait a short while for the link, but it does work. – Features Editor]

  97. What a pleasant surprise, Ikkar !

    Les actions des Enfants De Don Quichotte, d’Emmaüs, des artistes, les tentes sur les quais du Canal Saint Martin, ce n’est évidemment pas une solution à long terme, ça ne résout pas les problèmes en profondeur, mais ça aura au moins eu l’avantage de déranger les Pouvoirs Publics – tourisme oblige – et de les forcer à réagir, ce qu’ils ont fait, et ce n’est déjà pas si mal …

    Sorry, Fed, forgiven ? Vous savez, c’est vraiment, vraiment plus facile dans sa langue d’origine…


    [Oui, oui. – Features Editor]

  98. I was happy for David to try and help less fortunate with the Crisis project which would have been a kickass thing but most people, doesn’t matter what political and religious party you support and how much cash you have, could care less about the homeless and spend on meaningless things.

    Just because people have mental health issues doesn’t mean they are bad people (Ozzy and Britney Spears are noted celebrities in music who have mental health issues yet had careers, though I am not a fan of the latter).

  99. People need to learn to fear less so they can do more. I am very upset by the amount of human suffering and earthly damage that is tolerated by the ignor-ant in favor of big corporate profits and their share holders.

    People need to take action to stop the madness of corporate wrong doings.

    I have been putting my neck on the line to end this problem in my own city and have received many death threats and harassment for my efforts.

    My efforts are to simply get businesses to meet the minimum standards of set forth in established labor laws.

    Well, I’m still alive and making progress though at times it seems to be painfully slow but, I keep on keeping on and my tenacity is paying off.

    I would much rather see David Gilmour and others put their efforts into the causes of homelessness and why a valuable human being becomes homeless in the first place.

    If you do not know what causes a person to lose their home then I’m sorry that you are so removed to help.

    [Keep up the good fight, James. – Features Editor]

  100. I think…we should do a documentary on the homeless. There must be a few who would like to tell their story. Some I’m sure are incredible.

    I’d like to hear it,wouldn’t you???

    I think people have images in their minds of the homeless being just dirty and weird.You need to show different imagery to change minds, and dispel fears.The TV is a powerful tool.Could work.

    Best regards, Dustin

  101. I got it now, cheers for that, FEd. Interesting site — thanks for sharing it, Marcus.

    James, more power to you — just don’t end up in gaol or get killed doing it.


    Hysteron proteron

  102. Just thought you might like to see David’s brief appearance on ITV’s London Tonight programme from Monday.

    Although the interview footage is from 2003, when David made his donation to Crisis, the matter of planning permission is covered in some detail and, therefore, contributes to this discussion.

    It’s only available for a few more days, so please be quick.

    Click the link above, choose ‘Latest News Bulletins’ (from the list to the right of the video player) and then select ‘London Tonight – Monday – 03/03/08’.

    You’ll probably want to jump to the 19-minute mark.

    Thank you all for your comments on this topic, particularly your supportive words of encouragement toward those who, like David, are determined to see the idea of an Urban Village in London through to fruition.

  103. But, too sad, outside UK, you can’t watch it, I got the message :

    “Sorry, the video you have chosen is only available to users in the UK”

    C’est dommage…


  104. Thanks FEd and fear not Hysteron proteron.

    No gaol for me, and the risk of getting killed well, I’ll just need to keep a wee bit smarter than the average bear.

    To motivate others to do the right thing by doing wrong does not help at all. It simply offers a case against your efforts.

    I believe the pen is much mightier then the sword, for with the correct strike of a pen, you can put forth the right words, and deliver the right message, and your foe will fall and possibly want to off with their own head…or check into an institution.

    We have the local gym, were we can exercise our physical body to insure physical longevity. Then we have our courts, were we can exercise our civil rights (mental body) to help insure the longevity for peace of mind and dignity to the people.

    Many lives were lost for us to have rights, I am shocked when rights are wrongfully taken from the people, by those empowered to protect them.

    Make it so, Mr. Gilmour!

    [Can I get an Amen? – Features Editor]

  105. Just a thought, but is there any prospect of the Olympic Village becoming available in 2013 for this purpose?

    Surely compatible with the urban regeneration agenda and the Nimbys could hardly complain….

    [Oh, I like your style. – Features Editor]

  106. RE: Marcus link, 7 Abandoned Wonders of the European Union: From Deserted Castles to Retrofuturistic Factories

    Theres an iconic empty building we all know on the south bank of the river Thames. Battersea Power Station has been an empty shell ever since I can remember. Why?

    How cool would that be to be put to such good use?

    Like my last post, just another thought.

    Thanks for the link FEd.

    [It certainly is a sad waste. – Features Editor]

  107. Raise more money. Raise public awareness. Open a wide discussion through the news media about Crisis and the whole “urban village” concept. Apply political pressure. Change minds. How to do it?

    With a Pink Floyd reunion concert, naturally.

    [Naturally. – Features Editor]

  108. Sadly, the link to the Monday broadcast does not cross cyber-space internationally and I was unable to load it.

    My last comment on people stating that there is a need to put a face to homelessness: my experience, there is no one face, its all of us.

    I have been fortunate enough to share time with a minister, ashamed to tell her congregation her plight, a nurse working hard but unable to make the rent, and truth be told there were times when newly divorced I could have lost my housing if I wasn’t blessed with negotiating skills.

    Yes, there truly are mentally ill homeless, but many new to the country, naive or proud people have experienced homelessness. Safe, sustainable housing with a sense of community can make a difference for all.

  109. I tried to watch the link – sady, I was prompted with a message that says the film is only available to UK users.

    Thanks for keeping us in the loop though.

  110. You have far more faith in the system than I do, James, FEd. I wish life were so straight forward – simple. As long as there is a ruling class, there will NEVER be equality; there simply aren’t even enough resources in the world.

    Being positive is one thing, but denying the reality of the situation is something all together different. You can’t beat these people with a pen or a sword – things have gone too far for that.

    Things are far worse than any of the general public could ever imagine. Who said life was fair and the human race would last forever?

    I know what I’m saying isn’t popular, but it’s the truth. I truly hope you do some good, though. You can’t change the world with Band-Aids, but you can make it a better place to be.

    Good luck with that idea, Tim C. Where’s the profit in that ‘they’ will say?


    Hysteron proteron

  111. [With a Pink Floyd reunion concert, naturally.]

    [Naturally. – Features Editor]

    So happy to have learnt here ‘rotfl’ ! I think it’s a good opportunity to use it…


  112. That’s a wonderful image, Battersea Power Station used as an urban village, with a Pig flying above it to show that sometimes the extraordinary can happen.

    It looks like planning has progressed for a mixed use site – but who knows, maybe there are unallocated units / space ? The publicity attached with the iconic image would be priceless…

  113. [You can’t change the world with Band-Aids, but you can make it a better place to be. – Posted by Hysteron proteron]

    Band-aids are remarkable things, aren’t they? Just be ready to ‘band-aid’ when the situation arises and not turn a blind eye. I think too many turn away from action and shrug their shoulders. Small things matter. Did that band-aid really help my scrape heal when I was five? Why did I want one so badly? It was the nurturing act of my mother that comforted me and made a difference.

    I reflect on my week and remember all the schmucks that made my life a living hell when all I was trying to do is help some kids. Then I think of how I found some school-lunch on my desk my staff left for me after a long day, or the look on kids faces when I made them laugh and then I feel all the burdens evaporate.

    Small sustainable actions by individuals make a difference, and at the end of all things is what each of us have control over.

  114. This has been an extremely interesting topic to read.

    I was homeless for approximately 14 months several years ago. Thanks to all the support services, I only slept rough on a few occasions. I was on the run with my two children from a violent husband. We stayed in a refuge all that time, it was tough, I developed a mental health problem. I was terrified of the future, of men, of going out in case I was stalked.

    The support services, police, social worker, housing, medical, educational, refuge workers, all of those people ploughed a vast amount of time money and energy into putting me back on my feet. When we left the refuge, we were independent. We have stood on our own feet ever since. My children did not end up in care and they nearly did. It’s all thanks to the help of a society that cared. I will never be able to thank those people enough.

    Angelo 🙂 the band aids work. Don’t ever give up doing what you do. Same goes for anyone else reading that does this kind of support work.

  115. Hello Angelo,

    Unfortunately, it’s easier to turn a blind eye and not lend a helping hand — the system makes it easy; it encourages it for reasons I’ve previously stated.

    There wouldn’t be a problem if the majority cared. Why don’t people care? The further we move down the track of corporate slavery — mortgages, the job race etc — the more insular/homogenised/pasteurised we become as a ‘society’; we head deeper into their dream/illusion/construct.

    Governments are spending trillions on war instead of providing people with the fundamental necessities of modern life. Hard fought human rights are eliminated with the stroke of a pen and then tailored to the requirements of ‘big business’ these days. As yourself > Why> What for > Who profits/benefits > where does all the money go? You will come to the same conclusions I have — no matter which way you look at it.

    The money spent in Iraq – 6-7 trillion so far – would make the lives of hundreds of millions better; could you imagine the pure good that could be achieved with it?? And that’s only on one of our recent wars…

  116. yes, im david as well. i have been a lifelone floydian since 1971.

    my first hookup with pink floyd was Dark Side Of The Moon. i loved it. And as a 10 year old i had to have it. i have always loved the pink floyd style, and will continue to be.

    also my condolences for syd’s passing. i never heard his playing only in past pink floyd albums.

    please keep up the wonderful music, and guys dont ever dismiss as a group. even the three of you fellas are great.

    thanks for all the music.

  117. …You could eradicate world wide poverty and disease if that sort of amount was spent with the aim of truly solving world issues — not Band-Aid solutions that make an endless list of private contractors wealthier and achieve very little in real terms. Could you imagine the good that could be done with all the money we spend every year on gambling, booze, tobacco, drugs, cosmetics, soft drinks, pink feather boas etc. People problem solved. Not mentioning the environmental benefits.

    Government are perpetuating a cycle of corruption — feeding money to an elite of individuals/shareholders that have clawed their way to the top — so that we end up paying for something that our taxes used to maintain for the good of all. The problem is that not enough people ask or even think about what it is that I’m saying; if people did, the world would change – we would change it, fix it. Fix the problems and then worry about spending money on all the luxury’s of life.

    I’m afraid it’s too late now, though. As I’ve said in previous comments; we are peddling ‘their’ bike to oblivion. The ruling class are exploiting fundamental flaws in human nature.

  118. Hysteron proteron and others,

    I’ve spent quite a bit of time trying to understand people, their motivations and concerns, and the macro-level context in which we all live. I find myself struggling with the futility of optimism in the face of enormous challenges (locally where I serve and greater society). I’ve experienced successes and failures. Why do people turn a blind eye?

    Apathy. Parochial concerns. Self-interest. Desensitization. The list goes on. Why do people try to make a difference?

    Genuine concern. Optimism. Guilt. Sense of responsibility toward others. I was happy to read your story, ‘A Woman you all know’. Personal stories like that are inspiring…

  119. …So called ‘Band-aids’ to solve broader concerns like poverty and disease, however, feel like getting a hug from a criminal perpetrator after being violated. There is a lot of waste in society and we are all guilty to some degree or another. Being curious, asking questions, and choosing to do good is just about all we have control over in the day-to-day rut.

    Working this non-profit thing and living grant to grant is taking its toll on me after 15 years. What could I have done with the money NY Governor Spitzer spent on prostitutes? A lot. Did my NY State afterschool grant get funded? No.

    It’s maddening…

  120. Welcome to the real world, Angelo. The system breeds madness. There are no real answers, but there are definitely reasons why it’s all occurring – as I’ve stated in all my previous messages (remember those?).

    I try and take full control of my life; I chose not to participate in the madness — I try not to be dependant on anything or anyone; I’m the master of my own destiny — I try. If more people chose to stop participating in the madness – and it’s not easy – the world would be a much better place for it. I would rather do you a good turn rather than a bad one – usually at my own expense… I, I, I, I…

    People – the majority – have been ‘broken’ by the system, and thus, are easily lead; they take the path of least resistance, and in most cases are just electrons passing through a circuit, sadly. People doing bad things to people is all part of the struggle the system creates to climb the ladder, and everyone want to climb the ladder first. Battery Hens pecking at each other…

  121. …Most will never awake from the psychological constructs created by the system — they just go from A-Z causing damage in between entrance and exit. They are going to cash in all their chips with God — compensation for all the misery they have suffered on earth; you can get people to do anything when that sort of construct is installed in their minds. They will never truly understand or enjoy the world they live in. Most don’t have the luxury of ‘free’ independent though, just the illusion of it. At the end of the day the human race is just a part of ‘spaces’ recycling program — it’s only ego that makes it something else. Yada, yada, yada…

    I’m certainly not claiming to be some highly ‘enlightened’ being, though — version 3.0 of the human race. I have enough faults of my own; I haven’t fallen into the vanity trap…

  122. …I don’t really think that this is the place to discuss such things, though. It’s a David Gilmour fan/marketing site. I can feel the vibes. I don’t think I’m part of the demographic these corporate types are looking for.

    As I’ve said before: Forums are silly… I try to reply as seldom as possible…I’m sick of the internet…. It’s ugly and boring — like a trucker hat. Everyone wants functionality… which is corporate, tedious, homogenizing/pasteurising and pathetic. I try to have as little to do with the internet as possible. It kills me slowly… If you agree to be my lookout while I paste ten foot tall paintings of people fucking to buildings, we can discuss whatever it is you want to discuss at leisure. And just to clarify; I’m not saying that to offend anyone.

    Best Wishes,
    Hysteron proteron.

    [And that’s a very good point at which to close this discussion for good, I think. And I’m only slightly offended, by the way. – FEd]

  123. The blog is surely not a silly part of a David Gilmour fan/marketing site. Can’t explain.


    [You’re offended by that, too? – FEd]

  124. Don’t get me wrong, FEd. I was sort of off ‘topic’. I wasn’t trying to suggest that the blog isn’t a perfectly valid place to express admiration for one of the worlds greatest musicians. Just saying that I’m not as immersed in the whole ‘blog/forum/internet’ thingy as some — rather crudely I admit. As always, thanks for the time/space.

    Hysteron proteron

  125. To Angelo, Hysteron and the rest of the lot,

    As this subject closes let us re-address the topic regarding homelessness and David’s attempt to help. This is an example of good leadership values and moral excellence. Despite the questionable journalistic integrity of the article, bringing the weight of the world’s broken issues here, is perhaps not the equivocal forum, as Hysteron mentioned.

    This is the perfect forum to address David’s concerns, however.

    Angelo you said,

    [Small sustainable actions by individuals make a difference, and at the end of all things is what each of us have control over.]

    Nail on the head is what I say. It’s the individual actions, usually small ones that change history, and perhaps evolution.

    Nobody here can solve the world’s issues. Individuals should not fret over insurmountable odds, impractical issues, and the purely unobtainable. Nobody here is Superman, not even David*.

    Just do what you feel is right when you help- it’s the most practical solution.

    *I know, I know . . . Blasphemy, BLASPHEMY!!

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