Once more, the Scottish Government acts to help the most vulnerable in our society in a way utterly alien to the thinking of Tories in England or Scotland. Ruth Davidson’s Boris-like, bullishness may have got her into a list of the supposed influential in British society, but she has no influence on matters of real concern in a modern compassionate society.
Homelessness is falling in Scotland as it rises in England under the malign ‘leadership of Theresa ‘Windrush’ May. See these for more detail:
Homelessness falls in Scotland as it rises in England, mainly driven by heartless Tory welfare reforms
Could Scotland end homelessness?
Having begun to tackle the wider problem of homelessness with the successful Priority Needs Test in 2012/13 and currently piloting the Housing First strategy, the SNP Government has now taken steps to deal with ‘the hard core of street homeless who refuse to engage with services or access any accommodation on offer.’
See this, from the Guardian today, but ignored by the Scottish media:
‘Outreach workers in Scottish cities can make instant pay-outs of up to £200 for anything from haircuts to hotel rooms as part of a radical approach to entrenched rough sleeping. The funding, directly from the Scottish government, is being made available to frontline staff working with the hard core of street homeless who refuse to engage with services or access any accommodation on offer.’
Some say the measure of a society is how it treats its elderly, sick and poor. This seems an even tougher test. This hard core of rough sleepers and, perhaps, daytime beggars, represent a group for whom many in our society have no compassion. I doubt there are many votes to be won from this so the SNP leadership is to be commended for reminding us how different we and they can be from Tory England.
I’m not a believer, but ‘the book’ is full of evidence that our Tory kirk and church-going neighbours might want to recognise the efforts of this government:
And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’
I would like to believe that this is true. However it does not explain the increasingly visible numbers of homeless people on the streets of Edinburgh. Everyday there are more and more. Resembling Calcutta along Rose Street some days.
The guys I speak to seem trapped.
Absolute rubbish, there are not haords of homeless there at all. Rose street is certainly run down in parts, which is a worry for a major street in a capital city, it’s like the recession of the UK never went away, but I walk along it frequently and it is not like er, ‘Calcutter’. Anyway, just out of interest, just exactly who plunged India and Calcutta in particular into abject poverty? Yep, that’s right, the UK, London government who leave a trail of destruction wher ever they take land and countries for themselves, often with massive violence on their part.
Of course those who are homeless are often ‘trapped’, because they find it very hard to access services due to being homeless and in particular are sidelined and rejected by the UK’s DWP. It’s a vicious circle. I also met homeelss people in Edinburgh, who are great people, but due to long term drug use etc, find it impossible to hold down work even when given all the help required to do that and stay in accomodation. As the article points out, the ScotGov are attempting to target those difficult to reach.
Labour’s legacy, and the long term effects of bad housing, poverty, joblessness, lack of opportunities and with few prospects for ordinary people, who were condemned to a life of struggle and hopelessness, is an utter disgrace. Labour and Tories kept Scotland poor and begging for a very, very long time. The SNPGov have had 10 years to try to repair some of the damage with very limited powers and limited fiscal autonomy.
It’s an uphill struggle, I fear the Britnats would rather the people struggle and sink, rather than have a government that works to address problems faced by people. who would otherwsie be left by the wayside. SNP have made huge strides, with much more to do. Let’s hope the UKGov and their minions at Holyrood allow that to continue, but that could now be wishful thinking.
The union, with the Britnats running the show, has been an abomination for Scotland, just an utter disgrace.
Ps Andy did you pop into the Social Bite cafe on Rose st? You can volunteer there I am sure if you are so concerned, or make a donation to a homeless charity, or sleep out for charities like Bethany or the Rock trust. Plenty you yourself could do, rather than just SNP bad!
??? I get the article… l just don’t get the need for a Biblical quote at the end. Why? What did it achieve apart from me initially skirting through the article as l usually do, then returning for the reread… then upon seeing this deciding not to bother?
Eh, had to think, do these things quickly, so I was trying to remind any Christian Tory readers who might think these core homeless folk beyond the pale that the book the profess to follow says otherwise? I’ll ge tmy coat.
I didn’t mind the quote tho not religious. I got the context and in fact it is pertinent to remind these so called christians to er, practice what they preach.
I noticed a fairly lengthy and detailed piece on the beeb website (in the quaintly named – Stories that shape us section) about the role played by the security services in the vetting of beeb personnel/applicants for jobs. Interestingly it is phrased in the historical tense – but given what we learned from writer/broadcaster (and YES supporter) Sanjeev Kohli the other day it seems premature to cast things in the past historical – as we know the ’email list’ is alive and kicking. I have edited out a section that relates specifically to beeb Jockland. Curiously – given the direct Scottish interest – I noticed no inclusion of this article on the beeb Jockland site: some edits below:
The vetting files: How the BBC kept out ‘subversives’
Paul Reynolds was a BBC correspondent from 1978 to 2011.
“Policy: keep head down and stonewall all questions.” So wrote a senior BBC official in early 1985, not long before the Observer exposed so many details of the work done in Room 105 Broadcasting House that there was no point continuing to hide it.
By that stage, a policy of flatly denying the existence of political vetting – not just stonewalling, but if necessary lying – had been in place for five decades.
Banned applicants did not know why they had been turned down, though they might have guessed.
One notorious case involved the journalist and broadcaster, Isabel Hilton (who later received an OBE for her reporting). She was refused a job in BBC Scotland in 1976 because, she believes, she was guilty by association with a member of the Communist Party at Edinburgh University – a fellow member of the university’s China-Scotland organisation.
After unprecedented protests from the BBC executive who wanted to employ her, Alastair Hetherington, she was eventually offered the job. But it was too late, she had gone elsewhere. She was later told apologetically by Michael Hodder, the last BBC official who acted as liaison with the Security Service, that it had all been a “mistake”, but the episode still angers her.
“I still feel indignant. It’s the lack of accountability that bothers me and the fact that nobody in the BBC ever apologised, explained – or made any public statement in my defence or to acknowledge their error,” she says.
“They went into an institutional defensive huddle without regard for what their actions might have done to me, my reputation, my career etc – nobody in the BBC took responsibility or seemed to feel that they should make any move to repair any damage. I felt it was a squalid way to behave and I still do.
“More seriously, beyond the particulars of my own case, I felt that the BBC had betrayed public trust by promoting a system in the UK by which the secret police were licensing and blacklisting journalists. Whenever I hear the BBC boasting about its fine traditions of journalism, I feel a minor stab of outrage.”
Hilton did eventually work for the BBC, presenting the World Tonight on Radio 4 in the 1990s, and later the Radio 3 arts programme, Night Waves.
The system was further refined in 1990, following the Security Service Act, under which all vetting in the BBC stopped except for those who would be involved in wartime broadcasting and those with access to secret government information.
Then, two years later, the wartime broadcasting system was stood down, so vetting was further cut back. The BBC will not say whether any staff are vetted these days. “We do not comment on security issues,” a spokesperson said. But any residual vetting, of people needing access to classified information for emergency planning for example, would be open and known to the person. There is no more secrecy as once there was.
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Piece of good work from the CRU reported on the Scottish legal website (haven’t seen it on the beeb Jockland site though):
Seven houses bought using proceeds from crime have been recovered by the Crown Office’s Civil Recovery Unit (CRU).
The houses in Glasgow were taken from Harold Bennett, 49, and Christine Clements, 50, along with £45,000 cash and three designer watches.
After an investigation by the CRU’s expert solicitors and financial investigators, the couple conceded that money, watches and flats had been obtained through unlawful conduct.
At the Court of Session, the CRU were granted a recovery order which means the Drumchapel properties will be sold with an estimated six figure sum expected to be raised for the CashBack for Communities programme. The value of each property is estimated at between £37,000 and £135,000.
The watches were sold at auction in Edinburgh and raised approximately £5,200.
Denise Mckay, head of the CRU, said: “Unlawful conduct allowed Harold Bennett and Christine Clements to invest in multiple properties with money they were not entitled to.
“Civil recovery is a vital tool for disrupting crime in Scotland and this order sends out a strong message that we will do all in our power to recover properties and assets bought with criminal gains.
“The free proceeds from the sale of the houses and other assets will be reinvested into our communities through the CashBack programme.”
Meanwhile – in London (from beeb main page):
Paradise Papers: Ukraine crime gang hid proceeds in luxury London flats
By Paradise Papers reporting team BBC Panorama
A Ukrainian crime gang used offshore firms in British tax havens to secretly invest millions of pounds in the UK, a BBC Panorama investigation has found.
A Tale of Two Countries perhaps?
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