My home is no longer my castle

From: Roger CrombieDevonshire Mansions, Eastbourne

Thursday, 22nd April 2021, 1:25 pm

Like so many in Britain and elsewhere, I have spent more than a year deliberately isolated from other people.

One of the lucky ones, I work at home, but have not seen my family since September last year, nor have I been to a supermarket in 13 months.

I have allowed only one visitor into the apartment since the start of this year.

Sandcastle SUS-210422-113943001

Many, many others are in the same boat. It hasn’t been much fun for anyone.

The residents of the apartment complex where I live, many elderly, as I am, have been informed that our isolation will be peremptorily terminated on May 24, when a team of young men – only some of them vaccinated by that point – will enter our apartments to instal temporary fire alarms in every room.

We were not consulted in the matter, nor has the managing agent for the block replied to an e-mail on the subject. Our MP has not answered a request for a meeting sent weeks ago.

Lucky again, I have found a relatively safe place to shelter for a week to avoid the consequences of this home invasion. Later this year, work will start on replacing by Government fiat all the exterior walls of the buildings, to improve residents’ chances of surviving a fire. Our building has no cladding, and the managing agent has advised that the prospect of fire is unlikely. Government has concluded, however, that it must by law force leaseholders to meet enormous bills and suffer their homes being turned into building sites for a period of years. Those who criticise Russia or China as being authoritarian states should be aware that the description perfectly fits modern Great Britain. Its citizens are mere inconveniences, to be shoved into harm’s way and months or years of misery, in order to safeguard them from the remote possibility of danger.

Time was that an Englishman’s home was his castle. How hollow that aphorism sounds now.