Tuesday, April 03, 2007

DoH's Ungood* New Policy: Relocating Tenants for Fun and Profit

* Ungood: Newspeak from George Orwell's totalitarian fantasy 1984

Relocating Tenants for Management Purposes - EST0038A
Policy Effective Date: 16 Mar 1984 (retroactively)

Architects: Humpty, Humpty, Dumpty, and Orwell

'When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said in a rather scornful tone, 'it means just what I choose it to mean, neither more nor less'. 'The question is,' said Alice, 'whether you can make words mean so many different things'. 'The question is,' said Humpty Dumpty, 'which is to be master - that's all'." Lewis Carrol - Through the Looking Glass, c.vi

For the last half a century we housos have felt perfectly secure in the knowledge that we were as safe as houses, which everyone knows, stand, as does the universe, on a firm foundation of turtles standing on the backs of turtles on the backs of turtles, in short, turtles all the way down

Except that us housos have just run out of turtles.

When you have a policy that relocates tenants for "managerial purposes" where "managerial purposes " means

  1. Anything the department wants it to mean,

    OR alternatively

  2. Any other compelling reason relating to the management of the Department’s property (...sic!!!)

then hold onto your hats because we're about to go into free fall.

Check it out ...



Himself said...

Surely it should be Humpty, Dumpty and Kafka?

In any case, while this policy is pretty crazy, it's mainly because it could be replaced with a one-line policy, "We own you", and as such is a complete waste of space. Still, you guys at least get rehoused when this happens, which certainly doesn't happen to those of us in private rentals, such as the thousands of evictees who put in Priority Housing Applications to the DOH.

DH said...

Nice point.

However does DH detect a note of downward envy here? Well, its not exactly downward envy as all tenants in Australia are in the same boat, sinking fast.

Making public housing tenants feel guilty ie "be divided and ruled" is not the best strategy in this situation.

Perhaps its time to start a Tenants Political Party

Jane Doe said...

I thought that it was the world, not houses that stood on a turtle. A giant turtle flying through space to be precise, on which stand four elephants. These elephants have the disk that is the world on their backs. Hang on, you mean this isn't Discworld? Well I never.

While the idea that this policy seems totalitarian, we must remember that we're talking about the DoH here. It's going to take them a while to get off their thumbs and actually be proactive about anything.

See you in RnR next week!

Himself said...

Downward envy? No kidding, but I'm not alone: tens of thousands of private renters in NSW are desperate to get into public housing, for all its faults. This of course puts the government in a position to crack down on the existing tenants – the introduction of fixed-term leases for all new tenants last year is far more disturbing in terms of removing their rights, because it strikes at their right to be housed at all, not simply the stability of their housing. A Tenants' Rights Party would be good as a tool to create solidarity between all tenants to get public housing for all of us – are there any seats where tenants are the majority?

DH said...

Interesting question. Will try to find out. DH