A Guest Article From Martin Lennon
I take a great pride in being a Celtic supporter. When talking to other supporters of other clubs, it doesn’t take long for me to break out the Tommy Burns classic about how Celtic F.C. isn’t just a football team; it’s “a community and a cause”. Our club has a particular history and that is what makes its place in our hearts all the more dear.
I don’t need to tell you how many of us came to be in Glasgow, about the famine and about the oppression that our great and greater grandparents had to flee. I don’t need to tell you about Celtic’s roots as a means of raising money for the The Poor Children’s Dinner Table, a charity Brother Walfrid set up to feed those who had come to Glasgow out of desperation and who would go on to make the city their home. But, I’m afraid; I have to tell you that that work isn’t finished yet.
Only a couple of nights ago, I was at the launch of the Scottish Refugee Council’s campaign to end destitution among asylum seekers and refugees, and some of the things I heard made my blood run cold.
For those who might have seen the viral (in more ways than one) picture on Facebook about the cushy life that government gives asylums seekers, at the campaign launch I heard about a woman who has to beg for sanitary towels every month; about people who know they could go to jail if they tried to work, so they volunteer at the same soup kitchens they rely on to eat.
The Scottish Refugee Council hope, among other things, to get the government to give asylum seekers right to work to feed themselves properly and to take very basic step that would stop so many of them falling into homelessness. They are not asking the government for much, but they are asking you for even less – just your name in support of their campaign: http://www.stopdestitution.org.uk/
Today’s refugees and asylum seekers might not have stolen Trevelyan’s corn, but make no mistake – they are our community. This is our cause.
N.B. Generally, as regular visitors the website will know, we do not discuss politics. As a website, we do not adopt official political views. However, as I’m sure you’d all agree, the article above concerns a humanitarian situation, not a political one. I’d just like to take this opportunity to thank this article’s author for writing it, and if anyone else would ever like to write a guest blog for the website, please feel free to contact me.