Idris Elba slams Tory government for ‘f-ckeries’ on youth homelessness

100 Streets UK Premiere

There’s always a question creeping around, in the back of my mind, when Prince William does work around homelessness and his patronage Centrepoint. The question is… would homeless charities and homeless-youth organizations be better served by celebrities who actually understood the issue from the inside? Take Idris Elba, for example. Idris could have fallen through the cracks. He basically supported himself, early in his career, by dealing drugs. He was able to go to acting school because of a scholarship from The Prince’s Trust (and now Idris is an ambassador for the organization). Idris knows what it means to struggle and he never forgets it. So Idris will actually speak out on vital issues involving homelessness and homeless youth… and he can do it in a way that William is incapable of.

So, Idris Elba made an appearance as a fundraiser/concert a few nights ago. The fundraiser was for Shelter, a homeless charity. Idris made a speech about the current Tory government’s move to radically slash housing benefits for young people, meaning… if you’re a young person struggling to get by and you lose your job, the government will probably take away your housing benefits and you’re more likely to end up homeless. Here’s part of what Idris told the crowd:

“There’s a real problem, man. There’s a real problem in 2017, where there’s 850 people here tonight, but there’s at least 1,000 men and women on the streets tonight. That’s f–keries alright? We need to do something about it and that’s why we’re here. That’s why we back Shelter, that’s why I back Shelter.”

There are 60,000 families homeless. I mean, we have one of the strongest currencies in the world, why do we have 60,000 women, single mothers, homeless. That’s f–keries, that’s bullsh-t. So listen, even though, everything’s done in increments, this room, although we’re here all jolly, having a good time, there is a point to the situation. We need to make some change. Brick by brick. There’s a petition outside, you can sign it. The government’s probably trying to take away housing allowances for 18-21 year olds. They’re gonna get their housing benefits whacked out. We need to stop that, because we can. And that’s where Shelter come in, alright? Seriously, man, no-one should be homeless, that’s f–king bullsh-t. No one should be hungry.

This is isn’t about any celebrity giving back, this is about us all giving back. Everyone should give back, everyone. How important is it for people in my position to give back?’ … I’m like, what position is that bruv, everyone should give back, it’s a normal procedure.’

[From Metro & Pajiba]

I applaud Idris for this, for talking about it in such blunt terms and for putting his time and his money where his mouth is. Idris is a hero. And now I wonder… why didn’t Prince William summon a government minister to his palace to discuss this issue? If William is so keen and he cares so deeply about these issues, surely he should be out in front of it?

I’m including NSFW (for language) footage of Idris’s speech below, but the video is low-quality. You can see a better quality video here.

Photos courtesy of Getty, WENN.

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46 Responses to “Idris Elba slams Tory government for ‘f-ckeries’ on youth homelessness”

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  1. Narak says:

    He is right. There is no reason to slash benefits for youth, or to have 60,000!!! homeless. Idris speaks truth.

    • dodgy says:

      Especially with the £60 billion set aside for a Brexit the economy doesn’t need but you know, 52% percent = the people have spoken.

  2. dodgy says:

    Yeah, this government is cruel and vicious – and May bangs on about her faith all the time. The Tories really want the poor to just curl up and die in a corner like poisoned rats.

    Not to mention the new law where the government will only cover tax credits for the first two children that you have. They’ll give you one for the third child…. if it’s a product of rape, and the onus is on you to prove that. Just… WHAT?

    • Tiffany says:

      The poor to curl up and die…..why does that feel familiar where I live.

    • Sixer says:

      I really, truly thought they’d have to row back from this one. If I start typing about it here, I’ll never stop. I’m putting my hopes in it having to be repealed eventually on human rights legislation for the rights of a child. Women will have to disclose rape at a time not of their choosing. These children will be identified as born from rape on official documents that will follow them through life as official passports to entitlements. I’ve cried tears of blood over this.

      Dodgy – how much lower can we sink? I’m honestly asking.

      • dodgy says:


        I don’t even know anymore. May supposedly told the Tories when they were out of government speaking, “Truth to power” about them being the Nasty Party. Under May, the Tories have become nastier. The fact that they refused to slap down Howard when he talked about warring with Spain over Gibraltar (who voted to stay in the EU) and yet will slap down other people when they try to put out moderating messages. The Tories have gone full UKIP, which is why UKIP is folding now, because the Tories have parked their tank on the UKIPs lawn, and ‘Citizens of No Country’ like myself are just sharing on in shock. With Camron and May, and their Tory lot, they’ve really shown why the Tories aren’t fit for purpose, tbh.

        Women will have to disclose rape at a time not of their choosing. These children will be identified as born from rape on official documents that will follow them through life as official passports to entitlements. I’ve cried tears of blood over this.

        That’s what I’ve said! I don’t want to go, “But what about the children?” But really, what about the children?

        Children tend to know things, and for them to know that they’re products of rape, for their mothers to actually say that in order to get that sweet, sweet benefits money (which has been cut by £30 a week) can only wreck havoc on their psyche. For the Tories to put a mother in this position foul, foul, foul. Then for the Tories to coach this in notes of it being compassionate for the mother… WHERE?

      • Sixer says:

        I am pretty sure that it would fall on a challenge under the rights of the child section of our human rights legislation. And it seems as though the third party organisations that will have to rubber stamp the claims (Rape Crisis, Women’s Aid, etc) are all saying that they won’t comply.

        But there are so many holes in it I can’t even begin. What if your first child was born of rape and you go on to meet a decent bloke and have twins? What then? I can think of dozens of similar examples.

        I too, am staring on in shock.

      • Abbess Tansy says:

        Are they serious? Would women really have disclose they were raped?

      • SilverUnicorn says:



      • Sixer says:

        Abbess – yes, if they want low-income social security top-ups for the child conceived that way if it was their third child. Our program is a cash transfer system but it roughly corresponds to the food stamps program in the US in the demographic it serves.

      • Annetommy says:

        Nicola Sturgeon has called the clause disgusting and MP Allison Thewliss is not giving up the very good fight she has fought against this. I contacted her and urged that public sector unions should instruct their members to refuse to participate in this heinous process. I am still hoping that there will be an effective fight back, though it is hard to stay positive.

    • Kyra says:

      So people who already have two children they cannot afford to raise should have taxpayers money diverted from healthcare, education, infrastructure, etc… to pay for them to have more children they cannot afford to raise?

      Is personal responsibility not a thing anymore?

      • Veronica says:

        You do realize that the logical conclusion of what you’re suggesting is that it’s acceptable for children to live in poverty in a first world country as punishment for their parents’ mistakes? That’s the entire problem with trying to frame it as a personal responsibility issue (overlooking situations like rape, birth control failure, abortion expenses) – children can’t control their environment. I need you to think really hard about the implications of that and how poverty is often cyclical BECAUSE of entrenched behaviors and debts incurred in childhood.

      • Diana says:

        Well put, Veronica.

      • Theodora says:

        +1!! If contraception is used correctly it has a very small margin for failure. Using two method of contraception should be normal. Abortion is free in the UK.

      • Theodora says:

        Contraception is free on the nhs

      • SilverUnicorn says:


        Education? Which education? The one we pay £9k per year for with a debt lasting until we die?
        And it’d be all or nothing for me. Child tax credits for all children or none. The rape clause is simply an aberration!!!

      • Theodora says:

        I think she was referring to state education. Most schools are over subscribed.

      • Veronica says:

        I was not aware that abortion is free in the UK, so thank you for that correction. This being said contraception, even when dual utilized, is not infallible. I’ve known at least two people who’ve had children while utilizing multiple forms of BC. It happens, even in that small margin.

        This still doesn’t address my main point, though – children are ultimately on the receiving end of that poverty, and they don’t have control over the situation. That is the fundamental moral quandary put forth by arguments on “adult responsibility.”

      • Kyra says:


        Abortion and contraception are largely free and freely-available in the UK. And paying feckless irresponsible people to view breeding as a career and have MORE children does nothing to prevent the cycle of benefits-dependence, it just results in more children having a poor start in life. As long as the “state will pay” mentality exists, so does child poverty.

      • Emily says:

        I agree kyra. I don’t know why asking people to take personal responsibility is such an issue for some posters.

      • Sixer says:

        JFC. BREEDING? Poor people are not animals.

        By the way, if we are now suggesting that poor women should be pressured into abortions if their contraception fails – BECAUSE THEY ARE EFFING POOR? WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE? – we might like to actually check the legal framework for abortion in this country, which is a fudge dating back to 1967. It does not give you the right to an abortion on financial grounds or for pure choice. Only for mental or physical health reasons. The abortions you are suggesting that women should be pressured to have would be technically illegal.

        Shame on you people for making remarks like this.

        Child poverty exists because of structural inequality. Tax credits are the bridge for structural inequality and the motherhood pay penalty. They enable low paid women to be economic actors in the economy. Tax credits mean that public services continue to exist when they are staffed mainly by low paid women.

        Child poverty does not exist because “feckless” poor women “breed”. What a disgusting way to put it.

      • Lafawnda says:

        Veronica, I totally understand where you’re coming from. However, there needs to be some kind of accountability for this situation. It is possible to not have children when you don’t want to or you are not financially, emotionally or physically ready to. My husband and I never wanted to have children, we decided this very early in our relationship. I ended up getting pregnant by not taking my birth control as prescribed. We chose to keep the baby and she is the best thing that ever happened to us. We have been married for almost 15 years and our daughter is 12 years old. We never had anymore children b/c we learned from my irresponsible use of birth control. We never regretted having her but we did the responsible thing after the fact by not having more. Do you see where I’m going with this?

        I’m not discounting the fact that women are raped and get pregnant that way. I was drugged and raped in high school. It changed my life forever. Rape is a whole different issue than just being irresponsible. How do we hold people responsible for all of this? I have no idea. I held myself responsible for my own actions so that could be a start. I wish I had a solution for everyone.

      • Tina says:

        This issue is much more complicated than it seems. Many women have multiple children because they are in abusive relationships. I would refer you all to Mrs Justice Thirlwall’s judgment in the Mick Philpott case. It’s worth reading in full, but here’s some context:

      • Annetommy says:

        Spot on Veronica, and if a life event – illness, accident, disability, redundancy – should befall someone who was previously financially comfortable and has more than two children, Sophie’s Choice should apply. I know I’d far rather my taxes went towards nuclear submarines than towards kids.

  3. Sixer says:

    Even when the Princes Trust started, Chuck was orders of magnitude more informed, better at it, and recruited more knowledgeable people to run his programs than Normal Bill will ever do. I can pretty much guarantee that.

    But, to be fair, there isn’t much any royal can do to get government to track back on removing Housing Benefit from 18-21 year-olds. It was in their election manifesto, the (idiotic, in my opinion) British public voted for it, and for other retrenchments of welfare (including the #rapeclause and believe me, Kaiser, you don’t want to research that even worse f*ckery) so, you know, not a royal’s business.

    Idris is right. It is our business, as citizens, to protest this shit. And protest it big. I am trying, honest. And good for Idris for not prettifying it.

    • Diana says:

      Good on you, Sixer. I learn so much here – I didn’t realise the extent of the cruelties being inflicted by austerity. And good on Idris!

      • Hattie says:

        They shouldn’t Pay for more than 2 children.

      • Diana says:

        Why not, Hattie?
        Don’t you think all children deserve a decent start in life?
        Besides, those children will grow up to support the generation supporting them, after all. It’s the way social welfare works, no?

      • Sixer says:

        Oh, get a bloody grip, Hattie. Social security is based on need. In this case, the needs of a child. The #rapeclause has just broken that link for the first time. Even Thatcher didn’t attempt such a thing. You want to punish a child because it is evidence that its mother had sex? Seriously? It’s 20-bloody-17. Not the Dark Ages.

        We have an ageing population. We need a birth rate. Scandinavian countries already have fertility policies and we won’t be far behind. Especially if we’re kicking out immigrants because we’re leaving the EU. Are we saying only rich women can have babies? Shall we just go the whole hog and have a One Child policy of our very own?

        It won’t even save any money. The costs will simply transfer to other budgets – care orders when mothers can’t manage, hospitalisations for malnutrition, criminal justice costs for unpaid council tax and TV licences and petty shoplifting, prescriptions for mental ill health due to poverty and stress.

      • Kelly says:

        The declining birth rate is a concern is both the US and Europe. I’m an American woman in my early 30s and not sure if I’ll ever be able to afford to have children. For me, I’m more privileged than some women in that I have a job in which I could take a full paid maternity leave, paid through the use of my sick time and an income continuation fund that I’ve paid into. That’s the easy part – the hard part is finding child care that doesn’t cost as much as a year of college tuition.

        It’s really hard to not explode on older, mostly female, relatives when they complain about younger people delaying or not having children. That, along with how important it is that THEIR social security and medicare be protected are some of their favorite topics of conversation. We can’t afford to have kids because of student loans, uncertainty about our jobs and taking parental leave, etc. It would be different if the US government started to care about the needs of younger people, including expanding eligibility for subsidized daycare, making it mandatory that employers offer paid parental leave, and some degree of student loan forgiveness. Of course, my old biddy aunts who want babies to play with won’t like it if they don’t get their Social Security, so that wins out. The sacred cows of Social Security and Medicare will never be touched by politicians of either party as long as older people keep voting in higher percentages than people my age.

        I think that Hillary Clinton had some good ideas on how to start approaching more government support of working parents. Some states are taking the lead, but their initiatives were more confined to public sector workers, including Minnesota offering paid parental leave.

    • dodgy says:

      The only good I’ll say about the Tories overreaching with no opposition to push against them (Corbyn is in his allotment somewhere, happy that we’re leaving the EU) is that a lot of Tories I know have had the scales fall from their eyes. The Tories are just wrecking things nationally and internationally. I remember asking a Tory MP once if she had another country to live in after her party destroyed this one. She waffled like May does.

      But I’m pretty much registered with local grassroots and trying to push back against certain Tory bits. I can only keep trying, until it gets too bad that I have to flee and claim asylum in the EU like the rest of the world, it seems.

      • Hattie says:

        Diana I’m sure lots of people would love to have many children. Most people can just about afford two. I think all children should have a good start in life. I wish parents would think more about the situation they are bringing children in to. If you can only afford to have a third children on the basis the government pays for it. We have access to free contraception and abortion in the UK. It’s not like they are an abundance of jobs for these future kids.

      • dodgy says:

        @Hattie – to be fair, a lot of middle-class women that I know, tend to just have one child (one and done) because it’s extremely expensive to raise two children, especially in the style you want to (good schools, money for holidays, extra tuition if needed). Not to mention when one has children with their career, it can put your career on the wobbles. I don’t know how people can afford to have more than one child, tbh.

        That being said, like taxes, the poor and the unplanned will always be amongst us, so the best thing is do right by the ones we have here.

        Invest in education (that the Tories don’t do), upskilling (ditto), having sports activities outside of school (instead of selling playing fields to housing developers) and give people options (especially women).

        Cutting tax credits to the first two children and then needing to prove rape to get tax credits for the third kid is not the way to go.

      • Diana says:

        Totally agree, dodgy. There’s a strong correlation between attaining high levels of education and having fewer children – making education affordable and accessible would be a much more sensible way to go. But I suppose it wouldn’t have the same shock value and punitive power as the current policy…

      • Emily says:

        We all ready have enough people in higher education.we don’t really need more. We have sex education at school. Like other posters have mentioned contraception and abortion can be accessed for free on the UK. At some point people need to start taking personal responsibility.

      • Diana says:

        Okay, Emily, but how exactly does preventing children from accessing the bare hecessities of life help them in ‘taking personal responsibility’? They don’t have much of a say in the matter as far as I can see.

      • Zahida says:

        They’ll suffer because even though we have widely avaible access to contraception and abortion they still decide to have more children than they can afford. They put their own kids into poverty. I admit it’s difficult to punish the parents without punishing the children. However these cuts have been publicised for over 1 year.

      • Zahida says:

        I work as a teaching assistant. It’s a school in a deprived area. Some of the children there are in poverty due to no fault to the themselves/parents. Some have parents who lost their job and there are no avaible jobs. They can’t move area due to lack of resource and the need to stay close to care for the aging family. However I know its controversal to say but so many are in poverty simply because they have sh**ty parents. They won’t have money for fruit and veg but can afford to routinely buy their children expensive game consoles, tvs and expensive trainers. They couldn’t care less about the children and their education. They refuse to take safe sex measures and won’t even consider abortion. They swear infront of their children and sometimes at them. I’ve had parents tell me to f**k off for making the suggestion the read to their children. My heart brakes for these children.

      • Sixer says:

        Zahida – as an education professional, you’ll know full well that you have a statutory duty to report neglect of children. It is a child protection issue. We have child protection systems. This has NOTHING to do with tax credits.

  4. Diana says:

    The rape clause really sticks in my mind.
    It reminds me if the days, way back, when people would have ‘illegitimate’ stamped on their birth certificates if their parents weren’t married. My grandma had that happen and she lived in fear of people finding out. How much worse to have your mother’s trauma forcibly exposed to the world! The whole thing gives me the creeps. What a way to disrespect people who need (and qualify for! Deserve!) a bit of extra help.

  5. detritus says:

    Oh boy. Dris, you are such a beauty.

    Eff Marlon Brando, he was a broken child in a hot man’s bod. Dris is a forever lust – an honourable and compassionate man who also just happens to have a very hot man’s body.

  6. TQB says:

    “o Idris will actually speak out on vital issues involving homelessness and homeless youth… and he can do it in a way that William is incapable of.”

    Idris can do it in LOTS of ways Wills is incapable of, if ya know what I mean…

  7. Snowflake says:

    I read on DM he’s going to be the next James bond. Swoon

  8. WTF says:

    Am I less woke cuz this just made me want to rip off his clothes and make sweet sweet love to him?