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From The Socialist newspaper, 16 November 2016

Film review

A Street Cat Named Bob: Heart-warming tale of neglect by capitalism

'A Street Cat Named Bob' charts the material and social difficulties faced by a recovering addict

'A Street Cat Named Bob' charts the material and social difficulties faced by a recovering addict   (Click to enlarge)

Maddy Steeds, Leeds Socialist Party

'A Street Cat Named Bob' is the heart-warming story of a man trying to beat addiction and homelessness with the support of his pet cat. It is based on a true story, and while on the surface it may appear to be a film about a cute cat, at its heart it deals with serious issues in capitalist society.

Government figures say there are thousands of people sleeping on the streets every night, and these figures are increasing every year. The film shows a drug addiction counsellor trying to get a client put into emergency housing so he has a safe environment to live in while attempting to stop taking drugs.

However, the stigma around drug users means he is nearly turned away, as he is seen as less 'deserving' of a home than others. Emergency housing is in short supply, and young families are often in dire need of shelter. But this doesn't mean addicts and other impoverished people do not deserve a basic standard of living too. A socialist programme of mass home building could satisfy both.

Stigma around drug users features heavily in the film. It also shows the difficulties faced by the families of addicts.

UK drug laws mean that even possession of a drug can lead to multiple years of imprisonment, which can put people off looking for help getting clean. The criminalisation of drug use also means there is no regulated, safe way to obtain drugs, leading to even greater risks from using.

Methadone treatment, which is depicted in the film, is a step towards a safe method to quit taking drugs. However, the treatment can be expensive. And so, with ongoing cuts to the NHS, drug users may similarly start being seen as 'unworthy' of NHS treatment.

Socialists must fight cuts and the stigma around addiction. Addicts should be treated as victims, not criminals.

Invest in genuinely affordable housing for all, and fight for a fully funded, publicly owned NHS. We link this to the need for a socialist economic plan - to end poverty, so everyone in society can have food, water and shelter, and a decent, fulfilling life.

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In The Socialist 16 November 2016:


It's Socialism or Trumpism

Trump victory: Failure of the Democrat establishment

Lessons for Britain: Trump victory shows the right can't beat the right


Socialism 2016

Socialism 2016: Electrifying and powerful weekend puts socialism on the agenda


Socialist Party workplace news

Mass prison officer walkout over health and safety

Durham teaching assistants strike: 2,000 walk out

London Underground: RMT wins victory

Steel workers' pensions under threat again

Deliveroo couriers get organised

Workplace news in brief


Socialist Party news and analysis

Support the campaign to readmit expelled socialists

Secret hospital closures: bosses must come clean

£1.5trn household debt - nationalise the banks!

Court win against bedroom tax not enough

Super-rich investigated


Socialist Party youth and students

Students and workers unite and fight!


Privatisation and the 'race to the bottom'

Privatisation and the 'race to the bottom'


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Southampton Labour must bin Tory cuts!

Cumbria: Stop axing care home places

TUSC vindicated in censorship protest

Bristol campaigners demand anti-austerity alternative


Socialist readers' comments and reviews

A Street Cat Named Bob: tale of neglect by capitalism

The Socialist Inbox


 

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