Information Landmine

"The Americans keep telling us how successful their system is. Then they remind us not to stray too far from our hotel at night." - An un-named EU trade representative quoted during international trade talks in Denver, Colorado, 1997.

Monday, June 21, 2010

A little bit of pre budget sentimentality...

Last week was refugee week and went largely undocumented by IL authors. So, in retrospect, I would like to share two stories that will mark this one for me.

I commented in an earlier post about the difficulties facing Refugee Migrant Justice. I'm afraid eating my hat will not be required, as predicted, the LSC didn't budge at all and last week, refugee week, RMJ went into administration.
This is a tragedy.
I may disagree with some of the approaches that RMJ have taken. However, their presence will be a huge miss. Hundreds of asylum seekers will have their cases negatively affected as a result. Many people have not given up and continue campaigning (including an Early Day Motion from Caroline Lucas MP). The sad reality may be that MoJ will let this organisation die. This won't be the last player, big or small to end up like this. The next 24 months will be the worst the UK voluntary sector has ever seen. And the UK as a country and the people within it will be worse off as a result.

Which makes it all the more important when we are inspired. Which is exactly what I am by a gentleman by the name of Alan Brice. Alan is probably the hardest working person I have ever come across. He makes me look lazy. Over the years, I have known him dedicate amazing amounts of time and energy to the benefit of a huge number of people. In addition to his work, as Centre Manager for the Medical Foundation for Care of Victims of Torture in the North East, Alan is undertaking a bike ride across the UK to raise funds for the same organisation. His capacity to care about the welfare of his clients and others like them is something which I have the greatest respect for.

We don't know what life will be like tomorrow, after the budget is unveiled. It is perhaps not so melodramatic to suggest that there are dark days ahead. As the RMJs of the world begin to disappear, I am sure that the Alan's of this world are going to be needed all the more.


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