Out of Sight is Out of Mind

When writing of his experiences of poverty and the way the poor are treated, George Orwell described a cheap sleeping hostel at which the homeless slept sitting down but leaning forward against a rope. When it was time to wake up, the hostel manager untied the rope and sent the rough sleepers on their way. It was known as the twopenny hangover, which described not only the way people were made to sleep, but also the cost of the hotel. 

Things have not change much since the 1930s which were time times of which Orwell wrote. Rough sleepers still search for benches and sheltered places at which they may spend a night in which to sleep. Old fashioned park benches seem to work the best; they cannot use bus shelter benches because they are designed to make it impossible for anyone to use as a bed. In alcoves of some buildings in major cities in the world the building owner places sharp studs at regular intervals to make sleeping in the shelter of the alcove impossible.

It offends the wealthy to be reminded that there are folk who live (or would like to live) cheek by jowl with them or to see ragged people in close proximity. Out of sight is out of mind and the best way to keep it out of mind is to make sure that some things never come into sight.

Perhaps those that design bus shelter benches and spiked alcoves would like to subscribe for the reintroduction of the twopenny hangover.

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