I have this fascination with small birds at the moment in our back garden. The finches, sparrows and various other small birds have been feasting on the nuts I put in the bird house, often sharing with their new young who are following and imitating their every move. ...So I thought nothing of putting out some old bread with the seed this morning.
I watched in disbelief as the bread I had put out in good faith was gobbled up in seconds by some pretty hefty seagulls. The smaller and much lesser birds scattered. It was chaotic, not least for my wife who had not long put the washing out (yes, in 2017 she still does that more than me!).
It spoke volumes to me about the inequality we have across Britain. Even as the fifth largest economy in the world, we still have situations where money is available (i.e. Grenfell Disaster fund) and yet the disposed "lesser people" are scattered while the corporate wheels turn in their own favour holding onto the millions of pounds, no doubt earning interest for the unworthy.
I cannot tell you how annoyed I was with the seagulls. But, to be honest they were just doing what they do. Over the years they have been conditioned to empty overflowing bins, pinch ice creams from unsuspecting children on the beach front, and survey the gardens for easy pickings. They know no different...they have been born into that society.
If I construct my analogy further, I will conclude that there is something wrong economically and socially in Britain. We are all doing what we have been conditioned to do - but it doesn't make it right. Here in Scotland we have the Child Poverty Bill. A great effort that is at risk of being totally swamped by paper and starved of resource at grass roots level by the money spent in government offices getting it off paper into action.
For instance, "The Bill includes a duty on local authorities and health boards to report annually on action that they are undertaking to reduce child poverty."...that costs money!
"and the Scottish government will work with these bodies"...more money... "and with other interested parties" to get the work done?? No, "to develop guidance on how this might best be achieved." Aaarrrggghhh!!
What do I see when I read this? Seagulls circling above the bird table ready to take the lot!!
There's something wrong with all this and it will take a new politic to sort it out. A brave politic that states that the many people involved with Child Poverty know what is needed; And they are not stupid people! They can work a "proposal" create a working strategy to address the situation. Then, when they need their bigger and stronger sibling to back them up in the playground of legislation and political correctness, the government can correct, and no doubt, re-correct, encourage and rubber stamp the process to get the job done!! And the bread on the bird table will be eaten by those it was set out for in the first place.
Please Madams and Sirs, Can we please have a politic where we don't have to come begging....please start at grass roots. Fund grass roots FIRST and help us create a nation where the community in question is trusted to "have a go" rather than years of politicians, lawyers and civil servants "having a go"....Why? Because recent history has shown us that after hundreds of thousands of pounds eaten by the Seagulls, the UK government simply pulled the plug on the Child Poverty Act (2010) before the sparrows got a crumb. That Act today doesn't even have "Poverty" or "Child" in the title (now the Welfare Reform and Work Act 2016) and after years and years of waiting, I see the Seagulls flocking once again around the Scottish bird table.
Your intentions are for good, Ive no doubt. But it is a fool that does the same thing time and again expecting to get different results.
At grass roots, we have well educated and life-experienced individuals who can help you achieve your goals. Why not be brave and let us, "have a go" - it will certainly be more cost effective and reap, at worst the same results, and at best a complete transformation so desired by the people for the people, the very people you are trying to help.