Sunday, 22 April 2012

Show we have caring values by making you wait 4 years on the street

Yesterday I was on the demo at the Border Agency "reporting" office in Brand Street, Glasgow - is it Govan or Cessnock? a yukky office of global apartheid. Ypeople, a name for the YMCA incredibly, has been housing asylum seekers, under a contract now being switched away from them, and they are simply throwing them out, regardless of nowhere else to go, and with no state support even at the same time as they are not allowed by law to get jobs. So enforced homelessness.

As the speakers said we should not even say "asylum seekers", as the Tories made up that term to spare the hate newspapers from having to use proper factual terms like refugees. So that is the term we should use. Along with Green and Solidarity, but nobody from Labour it was mentioned, there were 2 SNP MSP speakers who are trying to raise it with their own government but this week were unlucky in getting a question into Salmond's PMQs. Yes I will call it PMQs, "first minister" also being a silly made up term. Across the speakers it was criticised that the SNP government takes a position against these evictions but it not taking any step to provide for their victims, to help out practically.

Given that the evictions are a result of policy at British level so forms part of the SNP's case against the British system's whole culture, mention was made of how the SNP has trumpeted a "new Scotland" that will be more welcoming and decent than that, and the inaction conflicts with this.

Something else conflicts with it. That they plan still to stay in Britain for another 4 years. If you are on the side of folks in immediate need, and if you include in your case for independence that Britain is leaving them abandoned in need, and the picture that Glasgow wants to be a decent community and win back these folks' means of viable subsistence, then it makes no sense to plan to keep them waiting, still under the British policy and potentially on the streets because of it, for as long as 4 years! For remember how oddly Salmond does not want independence until 2016, a year and a half even after a Yes vote happens. Sounds really keen on it he does?

Will we get a Yes campaign that majors on inclusion and prevention of race hate, the message that 2 of the SNP presented as popular yesterday? If it does succeed in getting a good response, will that speed up the referendum timing? If not, then what will the Scottish government do for the victims of Ypeople and all victims of British asylum policy during the wait of its own choosing? If the cuts were fought by a spending increase under the devolved tax power, this is one drop in the ocean item it could deal with.

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