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Emma and Chris

By ZenTony
WARNING: THERE IS SOME BAD LANGUAGE BELOW![/b]
The two people in my photo are Emma and Chris. They are homeless and I have known them for a couple of years. Their lives have been brutal and our society has abandoned them. Philip Hammond, the Chancellor of the Exchequer at the time, said that the austerity program had impacted on everyone. Is he ******* mad? The cuts in spending on MIND, on social services, did not affect him. They did not impact on Johnson, Starmer, Rees-Mogg, et al; but they did impacted on Emma and Chris. Universal Credit impacted on people like Emma and Chris when all of a sudden, they had NO money for 5 weeks. Millions of other people in the UK have had to rely on food banks to stop them starving. How is this possible when the UK is the 5th richest nation in the World. Even then the Government had to be shamed by Marcus Rashford into making sure that children were not starving. And then of course, during this program of cuts, we watch as the CEOs income outstrips employees by truly obscene amounts. We see people like Philip Green asset strip old companies and stuff their money away in tax free havens and become rewarded for services to the economy with Knighthoods. God knows how this is further going to pan out with the economic fallout of Covid looming!
Something in the state of Denmark, my friends, is truly rotten !


Tags: Street photography Photo journalism Monochrome Despair Homelessness

Voters: Rudranath, RLF, Repertoire and 77 more

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Comments


15 Feb 2021 7:15AM
You have done so well Tony to get a rapport with these two and create such a soulful photo

His right hand on her shoulder speaks volumes

Colin

15 Feb 2021 7:26AM
The ugly downside of capitalism. The Tories have been systematically bringing the country to its knees for years, but keep getting re-elected, and on top of that the folly of Brexit... perhaps it's the unfortunate downside of... oh, what's the phrase... erm.... oh yes, that's it!...

"Democracy In Action."

But then, what's the alternative?
clevercloggs 18 251 15 Netherlands
15 Feb 2021 7:31AM
Tony, I hear you...
The indignation resulted in a beautiful portrait.
Robert
ZenTony Plus
6 13 3 United Kingdom
15 Feb 2021 7:31AM

Quote:The ugly downside of capitalism. The Tories have been systematically bringing the country to its knees for years, but keep getting re-elected, and on top of that the folly of Brexit... perhaps it's the unfortunate downside of... oh, what's the phrase... erm.... oh yes, that's it!...

"Democracy In Action."

But then, what's the alternative?



I don't know really. I did wonder if I should put this picture up as it may become too political. Just hope it does not upset people. If so I might take it down
AlfieK Plus
5 1 1 United Kingdom
15 Feb 2021 7:33AM
A great portrait, Tony.. And your intro, Iím in total agreement with. Well said.
Alfie
mrswoolybill Plus
15 3.3k 2536 United Kingdom
15 Feb 2021 7:55AM
'We are all in this together, and we are delighted to have been able to crawl on top of you'.
The UA is for a powerful portrait (and double portraits are damn difficult). I wish I could add an extra award for the story because it needs to be heard. There are Emmas and Chrises in every community.
hobbo Plus
11 1.8k 4 England
15 Feb 2021 7:56AM
So very very sad.... I have helped quite a few homeless people via friendship snd direct action, such as dons tong clothing, or food...

But...and there always a but...

I dislike intensely the blaming of cspitalism... there is and always will be poverty in socialist countries too... I get weary of the continual ...`left-right ...argument.......

Amazing that one if the most socialist areas ..the soviet bloc... has produced billionaires and oligarchs since all the changes... Likewise, in China, North Korea, and Cuba.... .. there are poverty stricken people in those places too.... there is no Utopia...there never will be..ever....

No....Iím not a right wing.... blue... this or that.... just a very old person... who has been very near the edge himself a few times.... ... Question? Donít we all, as adults, bear some responsibility for our own lot?

Look at India.... some of the richest in the population, alongside those brutal poverty... ... ...

Again...look at our own society in which... so called socialist thinking celebrities and sports personalities... ..shout for this and shout for that... whilst zipping of to the Emirates for a break.... or blatantly sporting their wealth....with their Rolex watches... super cars ..yachts .... private jets and multiple luxury pads....

Look to at the so called travelling communities, with obvious and blatant signs of ready wealth.... some with proven accusations of slave labour and exploitation... never mind none payment of taxes etc...

I praise you for your obvious concern for the welfare and care of our homeless... I live in a small community, in which our homeless are given almost every care... but still, a few flatly refuse most offers of accommodation or permanent help....
Blame too ...the, pushers of gambling, booze and drugs... our own billionaire soccer clubs push gambling, booze and luxury goods...whilst claiming to be ..working class... clubs... all sucking cash out of hard-up , brainwashed fans... by blatantly over-charging for club tat....

It is far too easy to blame just one side..... open your eyes wider....sit on the fence a little.... and you will see the real truth.....

Hobbo

15 Feb 2021 7:57AM

Quote:I don't know really. I did wonder if I should put this picture up as it may become too political. Just hope it does not upset people. If so I might take it down

It's something you feel strongly about, and you aren't exploiting those people Ė you should leave it up. It's photojournalism.
ZenTony Plus
6 13 3 United Kingdom
15 Feb 2021 8:06AM

Quote:So very very sad.... I have helped quite a few homeless people via friendship snd direct action, such as dons tong clothing, or food...

But...and there always a but...

I dislike intensely the blaming of cspitalism... there is and always will be poverty in socialist countries too... I get weary of the continual ...`left-right ...argument.......

Amazing that one if the most socialist areas ..the soviet bloc... has produced billionaires and oligarchs since all the changes... Likewise, in China, North Korea, and Cuba.... .. there are poverty stricken people in those places too.... there is no Utopia...there never will be..ever....

No....Iím not a right wing.... blue... this or that.... just a very old person... who has been very near the edge himself a few times.... ... Question? Donít we all, as adults, bear some responsibility for our own lot?

Look at India.... some of the richest in the population, alongside those brutal poverty... ... ...

Again...look at our own society in which... so called socialist thinking celebrities and sports personalities... ..shout for this and shout for that... whilst zipping of to the Emirates for a break.... or blatantly sporting their wealth....with their Rolex watches... super cars ..yachts .... private jets and multiple luxury pads....

Look to at the so called travelling communities, with obvious and blatant signs of ready wealth.... some with proven accusations of slave labour and exploitation... never mind none payment of taxes etc...

I praise you for your obvious concern for the welfare and care of our homeless... I live in a small community, in which our homeless are given almost every care... but still, a few flatly refuse most offers of accommodation or permanent help....
Blame too ...the, pushers of gambling, booze and drugs... our own billionaire soccer clubs push gambling, booze and luxury goods...whilst claiming to be ..working class... clubs... all sucking cash out of hard-up , brainwashed fans... by blatantly over-charging for club tat....

It is far too easy to blame just one side..... open your eyes wider....sit on the fence a little.... and you will see the real truth.....

Hobbo




Hobbo

I agree with everything you say. Sadly there is too much division now......like....if you don't agree with ME, then you are WRONG. That attitude prevails now and does no good. Somehow we need to become humanist in our view of everything. Please now can we just look at " For the greater good ?"
saltireblue Plus
12 13.1k 83 Norway
15 Feb 2021 8:10AM
"Democracy in Action" is nothing more in reality than Animal Farm brought to the real world...
saltireblue Plus
12 13.1k 83 Norway
15 Feb 2021 8:15AM

Quote:Please now can we just look at " For the greater good ?"

Yes, of course...but what do I get out of it?

Seems to be the attitude of so many today who are in a position to make some changes, but...
James124 Plus
7 50 51 Portugal
15 Feb 2021 8:19AM
A really sympathetic and touching photo, Tony, one wonders what brought these two to their abandoned homeless state. It is up to governments to adopt policies to help prevent poverty and society to help those in need whenever possible , but this won't happen with the current tory shambles and the greed of the rich. Neither is poverty a problem that can be solved quickly, it requires a complete change of culture which could take a generation or more.
James
woolybill1 Plus
15 38 79 United Kingdom
15 Feb 2021 8:38AM
Photo: 100%.
Intro: 100%.

Bill

P.S.: Capitalism in itself is as good - or bad - as the country wants it to be. Try 'Why the Germans Do It Better' by John Kampfner for specific examples....... I could go on for hours, so I'll desist.
15 Feb 2021 8:44AM

Quote:Amazing that one if the most socialist areas ..the soviet bloc... has produced billionaires and oligarchs since all the changes... Likewise, in China, North Korea, and Cuba.... .. there are poverty stricken people in those places too....

I find it hard to think of the soviet bloc as being any kind of 'socialist area,' it seems to me more like a repressive and corrupt autocracy, which is about as 'right wing' as you can get. Likewise China, North Korea, Cuba. Totalitarian states, all of them.
Socialism has failed in every country in which it's been tried, though it worked in Israel for a time.

So I agree, Hobbo, that it isn't really about the "downside of capitalism." It's about the downside of human nature.
franken Plus
19 5.5k 4 United Kingdom
15 Feb 2021 8:49AM
A powerful portrait, Tony.

On Saturday morning I was making my way home on a a bus and as we went slowly through the town centre I noticed a young couple sat in a doorway of a currently closed shop. It was snowing heavily and two police officers were talking to the couple and possibly asking them to move on?
This should not happen in this day and age and yet it's to be seen everywhere!"
Robert51 13 8 129 United Kingdom
15 Feb 2021 9:06AM
My son worked with the homeless for many years and I have to say how proud I am to have a son who cares that much. He often went far more out of his way to make sure things got done. Not matter who you are, we are all people...
15 Feb 2021 10:04AM
Excellent reportage to accompany this excellent and somewhat moving double portrait, Tony.
So many of us have been gifted with an almost charmed life compared to others.
Politicians have been gifted with the platform to make a difference, how they use that gift for anything other than their own ends,
is where the difference lay. How many of them have had to worry about where their next meal is coming from or; how they will pay next months rent or indeed, how much longer they will have a roof over their head? Those who have never known poverty are unlikely to sympathise with it or do anything that might change it.
Well done for uploading this post, Tony and for shining this glimmer of light onto two peoples story.

John.
af1 Plus
9 1 United Kingdom
15 Feb 2021 10:13AM
Hi Tony yes it makes you bloody angry, look at the Royals ! even ginge and cringe in there 11 million mansion in LA..Sarah and Tindel worrying about there millions and he even put his staff on furlough !!!..When Liz goes that is the end of them as far as l am concerned..better get off my soap box ! Great photo and works perfectly in B/W...Best Wishes Alan..
dudler Plus
19 1.9k 1947 England
15 Feb 2021 10:20AM
People can be greedy and selfish - and they can be generous and considerate. Often, both at the same time.

I suspect that there's actually a lack of contact between many of the rich and the truly impoverished: when I went to work on the bus, to an office in a deprived area, I noticed that the buses into town from where I live are newer and cleaner than the ones heading out into the council estates. I don't think most of the people I worked with ever saw the people whose health was their business in that sort of context...

Bring back the strong trades unions and things in Britain might change. I'd not bet on it, though. The only solutions we have are to do the personal stuff that we can - continue to donate to the local food bank, for instance - and ask questions at election time, and vote for the people who do the right things, even if they are not in our own immediate interests...

So - who's going to vote for higher taxes, and bigger benefits? For more government spending on future-focussed infrastructure?
cooky Plus
18 6 6 United Kingdom
15 Feb 2021 10:25AM
Image first: Cracking shot and one to be proud of - B/W, the only format for it as it is gritty and inline with your point. My first award of the day.

Sentiments: Complete agreement and as for politicians, my Nana,( Born in 1900 and part time cotton mill worker by the age of 13 years), had a saying which is more than appropriate to describe a lot of them, "They all pickle in the same pot!" She had a right to her view being brought up in the industrial North West and living through two world wars.

Loved your info and it is always good to speak your truth honestly. Well done.

Cooky
leo_nid 5 12
15 Feb 2021 10:28AM
a strong piece of photojournalism, Tony
and as John Kenneth Galbraith aptly put it:
"Under capitalism, man exploits man. Under socialism, it's just the opposite.."
bluesandtwos 12 542 1 England
15 Feb 2021 10:34AM
Most people are kind, most people are caring, most people will help strangers, yet it seems to me that the people with the means to have the biggest effect on a lot of what is bad in the world have a total lack of empathy. If they could but begin to imagine how others are living and feeling, they would surely change things.
Every homeless, hungry and hope less person was someones son or someones daughter, someones little boy or girl. Would those with the power want that to happen to theirs. Sad
We as a nation can't change the whole world ( I wish we could) but as a so called civilized country we should be able to keep our own back yard in order.

A great image, that saddens me.

Dave
dales Plus
6 13 Australia
15 Feb 2021 10:48AM
Excellent documentation of where much of the world is heading with our major political parties way out of touch or lacking in empathy , well done Tony for doing your bit for these unfortunate people overlooked by much of society.
Ian
Minty805 Plus
6 45 9 United Kingdom
15 Feb 2021 11:17AM
It's all been said above, but this is quite probably the most worthwhile picture we'll see all week. I would suggest you don't take it down.
15 Feb 2021 11:56AM
Thank you for such a thought provoking image and narrative Tony.

Karen
15 Feb 2021 1:45PM
Well said Sir! Great photo too.
chase Plus
16 2.4k 623 England
15 Feb 2021 2:06PM
A sad but very true story, combined with a touching and emotional image.
It's the expressions on their faces, quite devoid of much emotion except sadness.
Daisymaye Plus
13 23 23 Canada
15 Feb 2021 2:54PM
The expressions on their faces say it all. Just shameful how people are treated. A very good write up. This should go in your newspaper.
15 Feb 2021 4:46PM
Send to a politician, plus all the comments? Why not? Bravo for sharing the photo!

IamDora 1 6 Canada
15 Feb 2021 6:30PM
There is really nothing left to say that has not been said. It is a multi-tier problem from the highest of officials who make the decisions down through the bureaucrats who take care of themselves first, the "me" people where a second car for them is more important than a meal for a child; then the people struggling to keep a roof over their own heads; and people with roofs who abuse the system - taking from the really needy when they could be out working; to the people who are on the street because of substance abuse and other similar issues ... IMHO it has to be tackled one case at a time, working from the bottom up because it is never going to be solved waiting for money to trickle down passed the hands that are out to grab it on its way.
capto Plus
10 7.0k 32 United Kingdom
15 Feb 2021 6:42PM
A picture is worth a thousand words.Smile
ivor
hobbo Plus
11 1.8k 4 England
15 Feb 2021 8:01PM
I admit to having great difficulty posting this, but, here goes....

A very close relative, for various personal reasons allowed himself to sink into horrenddus chain smoking and drinking... the drinking wasnít hidden.. he visited the pub twice a day, consuming pint after pint... poor health didnít help... heart failure nor throat cancer made the slightest difference... 22 plus years ago his trachea was removed leaving him unable to speak....he communicated very poorly with an electronic buzzer voice..
For the next 20nor so years he continued to neglect himself and his property... He required constant family and NHS interventions...including several emergency admissions....he told his doctors, and myself to F off.... he threw all of his medications away, including all important throat care equipment.... How he survived the next several years puzzled everyone.... 6 years ago I found him collapsed in his own filth.. after a long period of allowing no one near him.... despite this, I involved Age Uk and Social Services....he told both, in no uncertain terms to leave him alone.... eventually he was admitted to a special care home, paid forvby the NHS...that was 3 years ago.... The only thing he has done since, is to lay in bed staring at the walls, and having meals... the staff love him...he loves the staff... ..but there is currently no visiting allowed...But two weeks ago he began to refuse to eat and to drink....then after emergency admission to A & E he discharged himself refusing further treatment.... fearing the worst, the Nursing Home requested we visit... he looked very frail... was puzzled by the full surgical ppe we were wearing... he surprised us in that he was watching TV and refused to switch it off....

Ok then...where is all this taking us, and what has it to do with the original very significant and moving post?

Well my relative, could have made himself homeless... his continued addictions, refusal of all help,both via family and medics... could have killed him at any point...but here is the crux...

For the last 14 years he has received continual NHS care and funding... his specialist nursing care must cost an absolute fortune.... So how do I see this situation? The governments of both left and right with taxpayers have kept him from harming himself... he has been very, very fortunate... so not everyone ends up sitting on the streets in the cold...

So exactly where do addictions come into the picture....?

We are all adults.... we surely have a resposibility for how we live, and what we consume... I know too, others who have refused or neglected treatment to continue addictive behaviors... ... Multiply my relativeís problems by a few thousands... who pays... what about the hard working, struggling families....

Can you see what I am attempting to say.... ?

It has been an extremely difficult post....

Still trying to understand...

Hobbo
ZenTony Plus
6 13 3 United Kingdom
15 Feb 2021 10:45PM

Quote:I admit to having great difficulty posting this, but, here goes....

A very close relative, for various personal reasons allowed himself to sink into horrenddus chain smoking and drinking... the drinking wasnít hidden.. he visited the pub twice a day, consuming pint after pint... poor health didnít help... heart failure nor throat cancer made the slightest difference... 22 plus years ago his trachea was removed leaving him unable to speak....he communicated very poorly with an electronic buzzer voice..
For the next 20nor so years he continued to neglect himself and his property... He required constant family and NHS interventions...including several emergency admissions....he told his doctors, and myself to F off.... he threw all of his medications away, including all important throat care equipment.... How he survived the next several years puzzled everyone.... 6 years ago I found him collapsed in his own filth.. after a long period of allowing no one near him.... despite this, I involved Age Uk and Social Services....he told both, in no uncertain terms to leave him alone.... eventually he was admitted to a special care home, paid forvby the NHS...that was 3 years ago.... The only thing he has done since, is to lay in bed staring at the walls, and having meals... the staff love him...he loves the staff... ..but there is currently no visiting allowed...But two weeks ago he began to refuse to eat and to drink....then after emergency admission to A & E he discharged himself refusing further treatment.... fearing the worst, the Nursing Home requested we visit... he looked very frail... was puzzled by the full surgical ppe we were wearing... he surprised us in that he was watching TV and refused to switch it off....

Ok then...where is all this taking us, and what has it to do with the original very significant and moving post?

Well my relative, could have made himself homeless... his continued addictions, refusal of all help,both via family and medics... could have killed him at any point...but here is the crux...

For the last 14 years he has received continual NHS care and funding... his specialist nursing care must cost an absolute fortune.... So how do I see this situation? The governments of both left and right with taxpayers have kept him from harming himself... he has been very, very fortunate... so not everyone ends up sitting on the streets in the cold...

So exactly where do addictions come into the picture....?

We are all adults.... we surely have a resposibility for how we live, and what we consume... I know too, others who have refused or neglected treatment to continue addictive behaviors... ... Multiply my relativeís problems by a few thousands... who pays... what about the hard working, struggling families....

Can you see what I am attempting to say.... ?

It has been an extremely difficult post....

Still trying to understand...

Hobbo



It is all so complex. There are of course thousands of people that are supported by the services. My overarching point though was that we should be doing better. The money is there in the system but it needs to be shared in a more equitable way. But as shown here Hobbo, strip away the politics and the nutters who want to control our lives for their own agendas and we see that there is so much kindness. Small acts of kindness mean a lot and the more of them there are the better we are as a society.
Tony
bliba Plus
16 1 2 Austria
16 Feb 2021 5:46AM
a touching double portrait

very well done

oliver
ColleenA Plus
10 503 8 Australia
16 Feb 2021 8:59AM
Those eyes say it all....an emotive image
Chinga Plus
11 102 3 United Kingdom
16 Feb 2021 6:36PM
Powerful !! It brings up strong emotions...
Excellent work and write up, Isabel
FabioKeiner 9 111 1 Austria
18 Feb 2021 9:31AM
well, in UK there would be a very easy way to fight poverty: get rid of yozu ROYALS ! spend their wealth (billions of pounds) and assets and estates they have stolen for centuries from the people not only of england, but of the colonies, too to build a rral welfare sytem like in sweden or denmark.
dethrone the queen and her fasmily: let them emigrate to US Smile
hobbo Plus
11 1.8k 4 England
18 Feb 2021 10:19AM
Better the Royals than a tin-pot dictator with a few hidden palaces.... or... a president, who has trillions of dollars.... or... an Arab billionaire.... or...a Russian oligarch .....or....the mafia.... ...oh! and...garry linekar ....
22 Feb 2021 4:33PM
Just seen this, had no choice other than to give it an award.

I agree100% with the wording, but I particularly agree with the consensual and sympathetic approach to showing these folk as they are in the circumstances they find themselves in .

Artistic sympathetic and effective .

Steve

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