Monday 18 August 2008

Gravy Train Derailed

One of Britain's most successful anti-gun crime projects is in danger of closure after the Home Office refused to continue its funding.

The Don't Trigger project, which has been acclaimed by senior politicians and the police, was supported last year by a £450,000 grant from the Home Office. But when the group running the project applied for a renewed grant and extra money for an anti-knife crime initiative they were turned down by the Home Office minister Vernon Coaker, who said the money could be better used elsewhere.
Well, yes. £450,000 is a fair bit of money to be squandered on what looks like a cozy sinecure for ‘art students’ and disaffected ‘youf’ to muck about with cameras…

Needless to say, local politicians fear the effects on their electability:
Labour's deputy leader, Harriet Harman, whose south London constituency of Peckham is among those badly affected by gun crime, said she was "shocked and saddened" by the refusal to fund the Don't Trigger project this year. She said she was "concerned that the decision to withdraw this funding will have wide implications".

Ms Harman has taken up the issue with the Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith, and has written to Mr Coaker, demanding a detailed breakdown of how he reached the decision to end the project's funding.
By looking at the headlines in the local newspaper, showing the complete lack of effect it was having on teenagers shooting/stabbing/beating each other perhaps?
Urban Concepts, the group behind Don't Trigger, had wanted to use a large chunk of the new funding to launch a grassroots, anti-knife crime project. It laid out plans last November to make a version of the film Twelve Angry Men. The adaptation, to be called Twelve Angry Teenagers, was to examine why young people carry knives, and spread the message: "One knife can take a life."
Well, yes, I can’t say I disagree with Mr Coaker here. This is just a vanity project for a few ‘youth and community leaders’ to mess around with cameras on the government tit. Their previous ‘achievement’ seems to be limited to getting their name in the papers by criticising a Facebook application.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to shell out for yet another clueless single-issue pressure group to guzzle vol-au-vents at media parties and ‘network’ with other pressure-group parasites.
Raymond Stevenson, head of Urban Concepts, said: "Everyone involved with Don't Trigger was totally shocked by the decision to stop our funding, especially as we had been held up as a great example of a grass-roots project. The Government have asked the community to come forward and get involved in efforts to cut gun and knife crime, and that's exactly what we are doing. Without the funding, we are finished."

He said the campaign would have been more effective than the Government's attempts to cut gun and knife crime. "There is a real turn-off factor among young people when they know a message comes from the Government," he said. "Our message is so effective because people in the community know us, and respect the work we do."
But this message does come from ‘the government’. That’s where you get your funding from!

The fact that ‘da kidz’ don’t realise this is obviously a telling indictment of our education system.


Simon Fawthrop said...

"Our message is so effective because people in the community know us, and respect the work we do." But this message does come from ‘the government’. That’s where you get your funding from!

Exactly, and that's also why it isn't a "grass roots" project either.

I'll bet the grass roots love it though, all that free money with no strings attached, no wonder they're pissed off it's stopped.

Anonymous said...

I bet there's going to be a few more gravy trains hitting the buffers soon.

Especially in Nu Labour lose the next by-election..!

Anonymous said...

My advice to Urban Concepts is to apply to the Arts Council for a grant to make "Twelve Angry Teenagers". I'm sure this project ticks all the AC's boxes being useless, out-of-touch, preachy and, the clincher, a manifest waste of money.