‘Without it, I would have given up’: three women on how Kids Company helped them

camilia_1813986b

It’s been a noisy couple of weeks for Kids Company. Since it was reported that the Cabinet Office was withholding £3m from the once-feted charity unless its chief executive, Camila Batmanghelidjh, stepped down, celebrities, including designers Bella Freud and Stella McCartney have rushed to her defence. The organisation, specialising in therapeutic support for troubled children, has maintained support from a number of prominent backers who have donated millions in the past. Batmanghelidjh, 52, vociferously denies claims of mismanagement and insists that she won’t be pushed out but had always planned to leave the role next year. “Ugly games” are being played in an effort to silence her “uncomfortable” message that vulnerable children are going unprotected, she says.

Kids Company has expanded rapidly in recent years: the result, it says, of a huge rise in demand from young people who have been turned away from mainstream services. Now Batmanghelidjh warns that the charity is likely to halve in size, with the loss of hundreds of staff, as it attempts to ward off a serious financial crisis. But, with 650 staff and an income reported at £23m in 2013, what does its work look like on the ground? Three young people who have been through Kids Company’s doors tell us what the charity’s intervention meant for them.

d2ee4416-1a74-4ea2-b2d9-d7c4e38ca045-2060x1236My mental health issues would have crippled me by now’

Eniola Akinlabi, 22, graduated from the University of Essex with a first in psychology a last year. She blogs about lifestyle, fashion and mental health, and attends Kids Company’s School of Confidence, funded by hairdresser John Frieda.

My problems started when I was 14. I lived alone with my mum and she was trying her best to support us, but it was a very distressing, confusing time for me. I felt very hopeless, like there was nothing out there for me. I had very bad mood swings, I was angry all the time, and began using alcohol as a coping mechanism. I’d been an A-grade student, but at school I became completely uncooperative. I would come in as I pleased, stay for an hour and then disappear. In lessons I was disruptive and confrontational; no one could tell me anything.

I talked to the school counsellor, but it got progressively worse. Eventually I was told by child and adolescent mental health services (Camhs) that I had clinical depression and anxiety. At 17, I was referred to Kids Company by a teacher, and started seeing a key worker once a week. We mostly met in coffee shops, just to have a chat. Sometimes we’d have dinner. It took a while, but gradually she became my emotional rock. I’m still seeing her, five years later.

Some people say Kids Company should have stricter boundaries in its work. I think that’s absolute bullshit. Social services get really uptight about boundaries because they’re scared, but the most important thing when you work with children is being able to demonstrate that you love and care for them. With Kids Company, it was different from the school counsellor, or Camhs. It’s sort of like they bring you up. It was a lot more relaxed, which made it more comfortable to talk. I used to hate going to Camhs, where I just felt like someone was judging and assessing everything I said. I would go in for an hour and just stare at them; it was excruciating.

 

Kids Company deals with a lot of tough children; they get tested a bit. My key worker said at the beginning: “There’s nothing you can do – you can swear at me, you can tell me to go away – that’s going to make me like you or care about you any less.”

Through Kids Company, I got a mentor when I was at school, and did maths classes at its Urban Academy. I carried on seeing my key worker, though less often, when I went to university. I don’t think I would have got through it without her. She wrote to them about my mental health problems, so I got the emotional support I needed. These days I’m having therapy with Kids Company. I have an amazing mentor through the School of Confidence, and do workshops there, too.

The thought that Kids Company might close down is scary for me, because without them I wouldn’t be where I am right now. I would have been a completely different person; I think my mental health issues would have crippled me by now. Maybe I would have given up.

ACVQQAAA4AAUAAIAAAAABYABIAA7777774AAAAAA4AAUAAIA

‘It helped me through some of my lowest moments’

Claudine Adeyemi, 25, is a solicitor working in property litigation for a large London law firm. Last year she founded the Student Development Co, a non-profit organisation providing careers support to young people from disadvantaged backgrounds.

I left home when I was in the sixth form. Although we get on really well now, I didn’t have a very good relationship with my dad at the time and it just got too much. At first I was in a B&B – it was filthy and had bed bugs. Then I moved into a girls’ hostel, which was better, but a lot of the girls had their own issues. There would always be late-night parties, people taking drugs, all the issues you’d expect. I’d struggle to sleep, and would often feel low and think: “What’s the point?”

When I was 17, I won an award for student of the year in south London because I’d got four As at AS level, and it was Camila from Kids Company who presented me with it. She pulled me aside at the event, gave me her card and said I could get in touch with her. I got a Kids Company key worker, who I saw every week or couple of weeks. We’d go for a coffee and talk about any issues I had. The support I got was amazing. It was just comforting to know there was someone there that I could talk to, and it helped me through some of my lowest moments. She was always able to pick me up, was always encouraging and supportive and positive at a time when my confidence was low and it was hard to stay focused, living alone at a young age in the hostel.

kids460x276

I think people don’t always understand what Kids Company does, but that’s because they do so much and the support they give is completely on a case-by-case basis. My key worker also helped me get out of the hostel and into my own flat, after about a year. It was completely unfurnished, so she arranged for me to have some furniture that had been donated to Kids Company – a table and some sofas – and found this place where you could get other things really cheaply. She also got me a place on a mentoring programme linking young people with professionals, connecting me with a barrister who gave me an insight into the legal world.

Now I feel I have a kind of duty to provide support to others, which is why I set up the Student Development Co. Our volunteers work with young people aged 16 to 24, targeting those who are from low-income households or ethnic minorities. We’re particularly focused on the soft skills you need in the workplace. I wanted to do law from quite a young age, so I knew I had to get the grades. I ended up with four As, in English literature, history, politics and sociology, and studied law at University College London. I’m not sure how things would have gone if my key worker hadn’t been there. I don’t know if I would have been able to stay focused enough to get those results and get to where I am today.

793c7633e18a8e0c83cfca2fd87b5818

‘These days I know I can achieve things’
Jane (not her real name), 25, is a full-time mother and has been seeing a Kids Company key worker and therapist for around four years

My father wasn’t around much when I was growing up and my mother was very violent. She used to hit us with whatever she could grab; she’d break antennaes off radios and beat us with them. There were times when she’d strip me naked, throw me into the shower and whip me with a bamboo stick or a belt. Once, when I refused to get ready for church, she locked me outside in my pyjamas – a vest top and shorts – for hours. It was the middle of winter.

When I was 16 I was raped – that’s how my daughter was conceived. I got the police involved but it didn’t go far; they didn’t believe me. I was the smart one, I was an A* student, but I got all Bs, Cs and Ds in my GCSEs and I was so depressed. I started college but I had all that trauma in my head and I didn’t stay.

It was only when I was 21 that I got involved with Kids Company. I’d just broken up with my boyfriend and he’d stolen my debit card and taken all the money from my account. I had nothing to pay my rent, electricity or gas with, no money to feed myself or my daughter. My state of despair must have shown on my face, because as I walked past one of the Kids Company centres, a key worker stopped me and asked if I was OK. I just broke down. Having grown up in a family where emotion wasn’t allowed, being asked if I was OK was a big thing.

They gave us some food and helped me get a budgeting loan. There was a long waiting list but later that year I got a key worker, and was also referred for therapy. I’d seen the state mental health people for depression when I was 18, but it hadn’t helped. As soon as I was discharged I was attempting suicide again. I just felt there was no way out. I thought: “This is what it’s always going to be like – it’s going to be shit, no one’s going to want me, I’m never going to be able to get a job or control anything.”

The therapy has been a lifeline for me. Because of the way I was feeling after my daughter was born, I hadn’t managed to bond with her and wasn’t nurturing her. Therapy has helped me to develop as a mother, and taught me how to show love for my daughter. It had never been shown to me, so how I was supposed to know how to show it? Today we have a really close bond. I did a year at Kids Company’s Urban Academy and managed to complete an arts course, which really built my confidence. Then I did an intermediate apprenticeship in customer service; Kids Company provided two hours of after-school care every day, which was a big weight off my shoulders because you get paid peanuts on apprenticeships, and it meant I didn’t have to worry about whether I’d have enough money for food. Now, I’m looking to go back to college to do an access course and want to study politics and international relations at university after that. These days, I know I can achieve things.

I still suffer from depression, but things are a lot better than they were. It’s really hard to pick up the phone and say: “I want to kill myself.” But knowing that they’re going to be there, that they’re going to help you through it, that’s the most beautiful thing.

header18

Advertisements

UNHCR Special Envoy Angelina Jolie Pitt calls for action on World Refugee Day

55114a3befc19

UNHCR Special Envoy Angelina Jolie Pitt has been commemorating World Refugee Day with Syrian refugees in Turkey, which has overtaken Pakistan to become the world’s largest refugee-hosting nation with more than 1.77 million in urban areas and government-run camps.

The Special Envoy and UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres also met Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to thank him and his people for the country’s generosity towards Syrian and Iraqis refugees and to discuss the challenges that Turkey and other host nations face, and their need for support.

In her capacity as co-founder of the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative, Jolie Pitt also raised her work on women’s rights and the global campaign against sexual violence in conflict. Later, while visiting the Midyat Refugee Camp in Mardin, south-eastern Turkey, she made a powerful World Refugee Day call for more action to prevent conflict and support refugees. Her statement follows:

stream_img

“We are here for a simple reason: This region is at the epicentre of a global crisis. Nearly 60 million people are displaced from their homes. That is one in every 122 people on our planet. Our world has never been richer or healthier or more advanced. Yet never before have so many people been dispossessed and stripped of their basic human rights. We should call this what it is: not just a “refugee crisis,” but a crisis of global security and governance, that is manifesting itself in the worst refugee crisis ever recorded and a time of mass displacement.

“The greatest single source of these massive refugee flows is Syria. In the space of four years, Turkey has become the country with the largest number of refugees anywhere in the world, with 1.8 million displaced Syrian and Iraqis. Lebanon, where I was yesterday, is hosting an even greater density of displaced people: every fourth person in Lebanon is now a Syrian refugee. People are running out of places to run to. If you are an Iraqi or a Syrian fleeing violence, where do you go? Every border country is being pushed beyond its limits.

“That is why we see so many dying at sea. It is not a “new trend,” it is a result of those fleeing country after country and finding no safe place. These are not economic migrants looking for a better life, these are desperate refugees who are fleeing war and persecution. The average stay in a refugee camp is 17 years. Think of your own life. Think of what that would mean. For many, it is their entire childhood. During displacement you might be able to get an education, or continue your education. But very likely, you will not.

“As a refugee, you cannot legally work in a host country. So your skills and education will dull over those long years and your much-needed contribution will be lost. As a refugee you learn how the world feels about you. You know if your suffering causes outrage and compassion or if it is mostly ignored. Familes like the six young people I met yesterday, living in Lebanon without parents, on half food rations and paying US$100 a month to live in a tent because UNHCR does not have the funds or capability to take full care of everyone they know.

Syrian-refugees-drowned-italian-coast

“We should see this time in displacement as the time where we should take the most care, and give the most support. Not because they are vulnerable, but because in fact they are the future stability of all the countries we say we are so concerned about. So my first message is that it is due time for people to respect the plight of refugees and see their value. We must protect them, and invest in them. They are not a problem, they are part of the solution to this global crisis. They are the potential for the rebuilding and restabilization of countries.

“But second, even more than this, I plead to the international community and leaders of the world to recognize what this moment in mass human displacement means. This is not just another day. This World Refugee Day marks some frightening truths about our inability to manage international crisis about our inability to broker peace and find lasting solutions.

italy-europe-migrants

Today as happened every day on average last year over 40,000 people will be forced from their homes. And it will be the same tomorrow. And the next day. And every day after that, if this political inertia continues.

“It is hard to point to a single instance where as an international community we are decisively addressing the root causes of refugee flows. Displacement is multiplying because the wars don’t end, and countries emerging from conflict don’t get the support they need. We handle crises by discussing either boots on the ground or aid relief. The global crisis is showing us that this narrow view of dealing with conflict is wrong and ineffective. UNHCR, along with other UN and NGO agencies, cannot be expected to manage the chaos of a population the size of France displaced.

wpid-1373722313081.jpg

“I have spent the last 14 years among the UNHCR staff. I know their dedication. Even love for refugees. I have also seen them overwhelmed and emotional over the last few years. They and other UN agencies and NGOs are filling a gap left by the international community. We are past the breaking point. The answer to a world crisis like this is not how many financial appeals can be met. Or in truth, by what percentage they can be met. I am of course grateful for the funds countries have contributed even if they are not enough to meet all the needs.

But I say to those countries, your job is not to fund displacement but to prevent it. To end it.

“Displacement at 60 million is a sign of our inability to work together as a community, to apply all our laws and uses our collective institutions effectively. To live by our standards and keep our word. There is an explosion of human suffering and displacement on a level that has never been seen before, and it cannot be manage by aid relief, it must be managed by diplomacy and law. This is a central problem. We cannot pick and choose which human rights violations we will and won’t tolerate.

moses

“We have the tools we need the resolutions, the doctrines, the conventions, the courts. But if these tools are misused, inconsistently applied or applied in a self-serving way, we will continue on this trend of displacement and it will grow and grow. It is inhumane to expect all of these families to tolerate this kind of life. We all know what needs to be done, we must do better. And it is self-evident that we have to start with Syria.

Moses-in-a-basket

“I call, again, on the United Nations Security Council: Send your ministers and ambassadors here. Witness this crisis for yourself. See that it simply cannot go on. And that it is past time for a credible plan to reach a political solution to end the conflict. I thank the people of Turkey, Iraq, Lebanon and Jordan for their generosity, and all host countries. To all the families here, and around our world, marking this Holy Month, I say, “Ramadan Kareem.” And I pay tribute to refugees themselves the people we rightly celebrate today, not only here in Turkey but around the world. Thank you.”

Press Releases, 20 June 2015

copy-of-a-mothers-sacrifice-johebed-mirium-and-moses

The Girl Who May Have Cried Wolf….

802b26c59853bf0174563b5ffcaf9292

“I just thought, ‘What the hell is going on?’” her mother said. “I knew what perverting the course of justice meant, so I knew they were arresting her for lying about the rape. So at that time my daughter had just turned 18 and I insisted because of mental health problems that I sit in on the interview.

After her arrest, the girl was on police bail for months while Hampshire police consulted the Crown Prosecution Service about whether to charge her. “It was horrible, because it was like she might have gone to prison. And what would she do, how would she cope, how would I cope, how would the family cope?” her mother said. She added that her daughter’s mental health deteriorated as they waited for the charging decision, and that she began self-harming and attempted suicide twice. “We didn’t find out until a later date that they hadn’t done the forensics on the clothes. And that was partly the decision to arrest her, for perverting the course of justice.”

That’s right, this young lady from Hampshire went out clubbing, alleged she had been raped, then informed her mother. The police were given her statement and her t-shirt which contained the alleged rapist’s sperm. No effort was made to have the t-shirt forensically examined in order to trace the gentleman concerned, because they didn’t believe her story. Lucky for her alleged rapist (because he could pretty much spend the next six months having sex with women regardless of whether they’d consented to it or not) not so lucky for her.

prosecutefalseaccusers6

Detectives from Hampshire police decided within two days of the rape report that the girl was lying. A detective inspector, who was supervising the inquiry, told a junior colleague: “Fucking nick her.” But six months later – after a complaint by the girl’s mother about her treatment – a new team of officers reviewed the investigation and informed the mother and her daughter that they believed her. The T-shirt was sent for testing, and the suspect, Liam Foard, was tried and found guilty.

The officers involved in the initial ‘investigation’ were disciplined, three of them chose resignation and early retirement from the police force (a good result all round) one received a written warning. The victim eventually received justice and the police force jettisoned three lousy police officers, but the bottom line is this. With 17,000 police officers cut over a four year period and the demands on the service continuing to grow, more of these kinds of cases are inevitable, because in the words of Debaleena Dasgupta, the young woman’s lawyer, “Many people wrongly assume the police have a legal obligation to investigate crimes. However, the only way victims of crime can seek justice for these sorts of issues is using the Human Rights Act, which imposes a duty on the police to properly investigate very serious offences.”

Properly investigate….the police service has a Comprehensive Spending Review in 2015 with more cuts in expenditure still to be made, leading to a reduction in the service being offered and a reduction in policing numbers. Not excitely an encouraging state of affairs for those who report a rape and are accused of crying wolf.

when-is-rape-not-rape-1024x613

 

 

 

Not Fit For Purpose?

rotherham-protest2

‘Investigators found the council had a “deep-rooted” culture of cover-ups and silencing whistleblowers’

– Louise Casey, the director-general for troubled families

The bad news is that Rotherham Council, having been made subject to several reports, is no longer considered fit for purpose. The good news is that Eric Pickles has declared that there will be elections in 2016….so the town can have a fresh start. That’s right, after sixteen years of ignored child abuse and neglected children, the town gets to discard those council members responsible and start again.

In effect, Mr Pickles makes it sound as if the town is being given a reboot with all the glitches and redundant packages erased. Which sounds great if you discount all the victims, who will be in their twenties and thirties by now, and may possibly be raising their own children. Damaged children who never got the protection, care, or emotional support they should have, struggling to raise their own children successfully.We don’t do that to physically disabled adults, if they have children they at least get a helper funded by the council to enable them to cope with life, and their child or children on a weekly basis.

slide_347205_3675917_free

Adults emotionally disabled, by a council who chose to ignore their sexual exploitation get zilch. Whilst they were children concerns about them were dealt with by ‘professionals’ who appeared to show all the emotional empathy of an Auschwitz prison guard observing his charges enter the gas chamber.The Home Secretary, Theresa May, blamed the failure of the authorities in Rotherham on “institutionalised political correctness“. 

But many of the men involved in sexually abusing and exploiting these girls were well known to the police. A local Rotherham youth group got just that suspicious and reported their suspicions to the police. Free of charge the police were given information which they could then have investigated but they chose not to. How much safer the streets of Rotherham would have been if the police had collaborated with social services, in tackling what had become a corrosive problem, within the community they had been paid to serve.

Eric-Pickles-007

Never mind Mr Pickles has effectively said, the old cabinet has resigned, and the new cabinet which the public will elect will be so much better. Inspite of austerity and the adverse impact that has had on social services and policing we are supposed to believe that. Think about it, the Jimmy Saville debacle, the revelations about Elm Guest House and Dolphin Square. The exposure of Cyril Smith, Dave Lee Travis, Max Clifford and Peter Hame, the CSA Inquiry and now this. The pattern overall is the same, trusted, ostensibly respectable pillars of the community exploiting and destroying the most vulnerable and for the most part getting away with it. And in all of these cases the powers that be letting them get away with it. Am I the only lowly member of the general public to wonder precisely who the great and the good are standing up to be counted for, because it certainly doesn’t feel like it’s us.

Child-Abuse

There Goes That Same Old Tired Refrain…

jlo2

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former head of the International Monetary Fund, will go on trial in Lille on Monday accused of pimping, in a case that threatens to expose the double life of the politician once tipped to be the next president of France.

The court is expected to hear how, while in Washington holding the most senior economic job in the world, Strauss-Kahn had group sex with prostitutes brought to him in Europe and the US, organised by French businessmen friends who wanted to curry favour with the man they thought would one day lead the country.’

– The Guardian (2 February 2015)

dominique-strauss-kahn

Yes folks (disinterested yawn), the former chief honcho of the Inter-Monetary Fund, is to be put on trial for allegedly being a pimp. Please remember that I’ve said ‘allegedly’ for one could hardly describe his former day job as a high grade variant of ‘pimping’. Not unless you examine the IMF  & its Structural Adjustment Policies (SAPs) through the lens of some of its ‘prone’ victims. In Zambia, the imposition of SAPs lead to a significant drop in girls’ enrolment in schools and a spike in “survival or subsistence sex” as a way for young women to continue their educations, one wonders if perhaps Mr Strauss-Kahn was dropped off there briefly in 2011,on his way to the Sofitel Hotel in New York. 

16imani.xlarge1

In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) IMF loans paved the way for the privatization of the country’s mines by transnational corporations and local elites, which forcibly displaced thousands of Congolese people in a context where women and girls experience obscenely high levels of sexual slavery and rape in the eastern provinces.This would hardly have been considered a significant concern to a man who, we are told, was known by his own political ‘gang’ (the Socialist Party) to be a notable womaniser, fond of ‘imposing’ his attentions on younger, less powerful, less influential women.

alg-tristane-banon-jpg

One might even have defined these women as a little emotionally high strung, if not unhinged (should the occasion have called for it). Yes, one might even have inferred that such women, desperate in the extreme, might be prone to lying and thus require a little personal ‘Structural Adjustment Policy’ that might induce them to remain silent (see Nafissatou Diallo, former New York hotel maid for further details). No matter, for when it comes to this former IMF head the world has grown wiser. Here now stands a man on trial for ‘aggravated pimping’ in Brussels, Paris & Washington, in France.

159172_600

As for the IMF itself, with the electoral victory of Syriza, Greece’s winning smile and supine subservience have all but evaporated. Greece’s new government have politely declined to renegotiate with the EU-IMF ‘troika’. They have refused to continue to follow policies that enabled the EU-IMF to cripple them as a nation, they want their decency and dignity back from an organisation whose moral compass is such, that they once recruited a prolific, forceful, womaniser, to be their head.

cyril

As was the case with Jimmy Saville, Peter Hame, Cyril Smith, and countless other profligate ‘degenerates’ we are forced to repeat the same old, tired old, done to death refrain. Associates knew about their proclivities, associates who considered themselves to be honourable men, why therefore were these abusers of the vulnerable not prosecuted sooner if at all?

Austere Oral Reforms

Bernard+Hogan+Howe+gD2eflT9FU3mSo I told you that we needed to be honest about dealing with the debt crisis and that doing so would mean police spending cuts. But I also told you that as Home Secretary I would be tough on crime, I would give you the powers you need to get the job done, and, as a government, we would do everything possible to maintain a strong police presence on our streets. I know many of you were sceptical. I know you meant it when you said that spending cuts would destroy the police as we know it, that the front line service would be ruined and that crime would go shooting up….and I want to take this opportunity too to remember the officers who have fallen while on duty in the last year. PC Shazahan Wadud; DC Adrian Grew; PC Andrew Duncan; and PC Mick Chapman They died serving their communities, and we honour their memory.

– Home Secretary Teresa May’s Police Federation 2014 Speech

Welcome to the Metropolitan Police Force’s new approach to making our local streets safer. Working in partnership (don’t you just love that phrase?), with our local councils, housing associations and the Department For Work & Pensions the police are smashing high level criminal gangs. High level criminals, living in our dwindling council housing and housing association supplies? High level?

I kid you not, we the general public are supposed to be profoundly reassured by the Metropolitan Police Force’s new cost-effective approach to policing. We’re not supposed to wonder why they would choose to attack crime by flinging back into our jail cells those petty thieves who have only recently been flung out of them. We’re not supposed to ponder the wisdom of raiding ‘Homes-in-Multiple-Occupation’ because of the poorly researched belief that the migrant workers living in them are drug dealers, as well as petty thieves.

Nor are we supposed to ponder the efficacy of trumpeting one’s triumphant drug raids one minute, whilst claiming that the neighbourhoods you’re policing have no appreciable drug problem the next (please see Harrow Observer). Nope, we’re supposed to be exceedingly grateful for this new cost cutting approach. That, and the increasingly significant role being played by Neighbourhood Champions in London Boroughs that were once very effectively and proudly policed.

Remember Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe? Britain’s toughest and most demanding Police Commissioner? Appointed as Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police in September 2011, he reflected the Home Secretary’s desire to find a “single-minded crime fighter” to lead the police force.

He is the man who introduced the Met to the slogan “Total Policing”, a mix of zero-tolerance policing and care for victims. And now the man reduced to voicing a 101 answerphone message, which reassures potential victims of crime, that their ‘non-emergency call’ will be dealt with in due course. And after you’ve listened to that, try listening to the voice of a belligerent police officer, as he or she strives aggressively to persuade you that your ‘non-emergency’ phone call is actually no policing matter of any sort.

The Little Book of Big Scams launch

Migrant Workers, Whatever You Desire

https://i2.wp.com/images.fineartamerica.com/images-medium-large/migrant-workers-in-the-tulip-fields-margaret-hood.jpg

‘This is the sharpest increase in [Romanian & Bulgarian] migration since the boom year of 2007. The fact that it has occurred despite measures to restrict benefits underlines the need for Britain to renegotiate with the EU about the terms of free movement of workers.

-Sir Andrew Green, Chairman of Migrant Watch UK

We’re having scary discussions about migrant workers these days, the kind of scary conversations that keep you up at night. First world health workers having recently worked Africa being sent back to the developed world with Ebola? Well, what about all those diseased migrant workers lurking in various affluent western nations illegally. God only knows what ailments they’re bring into the country with them. An upsurge in certain types of crime?(and given the massaging of police statistics even that’s suspect), blame those lurking, lurky migrant workers. Especially those who have the courage to admit they’re from Bulgaria or Romania. Blame them, don’t try to figure out ways of helping those who just might be prey to organized gangs, just blame them.

Which is when we find that we’ve helped encourage, nurture, and even nourish, a variant of employment that has nothing to do with human decency, and everything to do with the inhumane ‘sport’ of human exploitation. Now, there will be those who have enjoyed thoroughly the lucrative fruits of migrant exploitation via pirate video touting, pick pocketingand racketeering. And there will be some who will not have a clue what I’m talking about. But there will also be others who will have registered some degree of peripheral uneasiness about ‘stuff’.

Like for example,the ‘father figure’ walking closely behind an unaware commuter, a man who looks nothing like the children accompanying him. Perhaps you may even have found yourself working for a community centre in the business of helping asylum seekers and migrant workers. Perhaps you may even have found yourself encountering in that job migrants who weren’t really migrants (and most certainly were a part of our organized crime problem) but merely scam merchants ruthlessly exploiting the poor and the vulnerable.The Home Office certainly have (take a close look at their bulletin on English Language Centres posted on the Gov.UK site).

All these are underground practices and all are practices that would be speedily nipped in the bud, were the government to take a much more humanely proactive approach towards solving the so-called migrant problem. But hey, it’s not like doing that will win them the next general election.

 

youth