It’s rare to walk more than a few minutes in London without someone asking for spare change.No it isn’t. I went to London three times just last week without once being accosted by a beggar. There, that cancels out your anecdote. Doesn’t it?
Many charities warn against giving money to people begging and advise, instead, to give regularly to specified charities. That approach may make sense on a macro level but, as my friend pointed out, we’re human and, faced with an individual explaining they’re in need, it’s difficult not to give.No it isn’t. It’s pretty easy. I never have trouble withholding money from the scabby druggies and alcoholics that I do see, usually (in good weather) in Southend.
It’s been a hell of a long time since I saw a beggar on the Tube, too, but I never had the slightest problem in staring them down until they moved on, with their snot-covered infant in tow.
It’s for this reason that Nottingham city council has come in for harsh criticism in the past few weeks. Around the city, adverts funded by the local authority have popped up on bins and bus stops warning people not to “give to fraud”; that homeless people are often alcoholics, drug users, or not as needy as they seem.Boo! Hiss! Bad council, bad! We'll just skip over the fact that they are right, shall we?
Framework, a charity and housing association that works to prevent homelessness in Nottingham, described the campaign as “provocative but accurate”, pointing out that many people begging in Nottingham are known to them, lead chaotic lives, and often refuse accommodation because they can make more money begging.But what do they know, eh?
But many residents point out that the campaign contributes to a growing stigma against homeless people and, coming at a time when homelessness services are being cut in Nottingham, is hypocritical and a poor use of funds.Would that be 'many residents who read the 'Guardian', then?
Not everyone who begs is a drug addict, an alcoholic, or a fraud, and even if they are, we must not lose sight of our common humanity.Wait, you've spent all that time trying to convince us that the campaign is wrong, and now you're hedging your bets, Dawn?
If I’ve had a gruelling day I’ll pour myself a glass of wine when I get back to my warm, stable home. If I were homeless, that small stab at release and happiness would be no less important, emotionally. Giving to homeless people is an act of empathy resisting the tide of opprobrium hitting them.But, Dawn, I've earned that wine. Even you've earned that wine (by dint of the fact that someone's paid you for this pile of bollocks).
See the difference?