Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Diabolical Suffering On Our Very Doorstep

Sometimes it is hard to appreciate just how lucky we are, but every now and again a story of human suffering and endurance comes to light and puts everything into perspective. All of the everyday worries and concerns that seem so significant and overwhelming can be thrown into the spotlight and revealed to be trivial and inconsequential when a tale that attacks the emotions so powerfully is brought to the fore and leaves an indelible mark on our consciousness. It is not unusual for feelings of guilt to manifest themselves within us when we hear of affliction and torment so great in another that our lives by comparison appear truly blessed. It was this guilt, this burning shame at my past complaints and feelings of dissatisfaction that I felt when I learned of the plight of the people of the Avenue Road Estate in Leytonstone. I was, in fact, almost physically sick when I found out that not only are they living in conditions so horrifying that it defies imagination, but they have been doing so for four years. It doesn’t seem possible that these people, these poor, desperate human souls, these fellow human beings, have since 2008 been living with a poor television signal. I was first made aware of the Avenue Road Estate outrage last week, but I could not bring myself at the time to share it with you. Even now I can hardly type because my hands are shaking so incessantly and I can hardly see what I write through the tears in my eyes. This, I hope, goes some way to explaining the poor grammar.

It is hard to believe that in so-called Great Britain there are people living without proper access to the basics that most of us take for granted, such as The Jeremy Kyle Show, Inspector George Gently and Alan Carr: Chatty Man. It is almost beyond comprehension that people just around the corner from where we live are experiencing a bit of fuzziness occasionally as they watch The World’s Tallest Skyscraper or How Clean is Your House USA. But this is reality for some people – and it is all the fault of the Olympics.

Two like-minded gentlemen enjoy the Olympics. It was invented by the Greeks, you know 

Before construction work began on the Olympic site in 2008 residents of Avenue Road Estate enjoyed Diagnosis Murder and Extreme Fishing with Robson Fucking Green in complete clarity, but when the sporting venues began to go up the televisual misery began for people like mother and daughter combo Sue and Vicky Jewel. The family Jewel, however, refuse to take their plight lying down, having first complained to Ascham Homes, the corrupt, money wasting den of incompetence that ‘manages’ social housing in Waltham Forest, and which has been charging residents for an analogue aerial that hasn’t worked for ten years. When their complaints bore no fruit the Jewels decided to stand in front of a local press photographer with expressions of dissatisfaction etched firmly on their faces.

Telly. We want Telly

A sad, sad story indeed. Even as I write, the Jewels and their neighbours are probably watching Midsummer Murders with shadows flickering across the screen. And eating crisps. The last desperate, resonating words in this shocking case must go to Sue Jewel herself:
“It's being very harsh because people can't watch TV properly. It comes down to damaging their quality of life."   
There but for the grace of God.

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