I have spent most of this evening gardening, visiting relatives and scratching my head. I don't mind admitting David Duff had me somewhat puzzled by announcing his threat to smack me. I did wonder if last nights Carry On fest on BBC2 had got him coming over all Sid James on us but I needn't have worried. He was only pulling me up for using bad language!
In my post about the low paid client of mine below I had used the word poor to describe him which David quite rightly points out is not really accurate and suggests the word pinched in it's place I must confess to using the word poor out of laziness, habit, to avoid using the ,more accurate but still wrong 'socially excluded' and so that people will know what I'm on about.
He is right though, these people are not starving, the receive cheap or free medical treatment, are clothed and have a roof over their heads. Maybe they'd be better described as the short changed.
Anyway never one to resist a challenge I shall acknowledge the gauntlet thrown down by David and try and answer the question of what we should do about the pinched/ poor/ underclass/socially excluded. It won't be a magic wand or a complete solution. However I shall do my best to identify the problems I see through work and topically enough through my various travels in the Glasgow East constituency. My main belief is that we should make it as easy as possible to do the right thing and as unacceptable as possible to do wrong.
The one area where there is true poverty, and I'm prepared to believe worse than anything you'll encounter in any other country in the world, is in the moral, spiritual, -philosophical and educational. Not only that but a fair percentage of the population are 'pinched'. So what is to be done?
It's not an easy question to answer but to allow me to have a run at it I shall be breaking my answer down to specific areas and hope to get a bit of a debate going with each.