I don’t know if anyone’s been regularly reading this blog. If they have, they’ll know the fight I had to remain in my native Scotland (a fight I clearly lost). They’ll know that at least two/three politicians asked me for my email address so they could read my situation and help.
Long story short, look how it went. Frans and I in exile. Alice still back in Scotland. And it was down to Belgium, NOT Scotland, that we got the transition period. Now, that doesn’t allow us to return to live in Scotland, because to date disability benefits are still unprotected under the Withdrawal Agreement terms.
Then there was the time, recently, my daughter hit a financial crisis that literally meant she’d no heating, not enough food and was almost out of electricity for the key meter. I contacted Mike Russell, MP, who had someone called Stephen O’Neill inform me she could claim for a crisis grant at Highland Council. I blogged how that went. And how if it hadn’t been for the kindness of Scottish people, Alice would have gone hungry and cold.
And because of the ineptitude of Highland Council (btw, since I filled in the forms on Alices’ behalf, when did it become obligatory for them to demand what her sexual orientation is? What on earth does that have to do with ANYTHING, never mind a crisis grant claim?) I’ve contacted Stephen many times asking if Scotgov intend to do anything, because he SAID Scotgov intended to make it easier for those affected by Brexit..as Alice is..to access crisis grants at their councils.
I’ve documented proof of emails back and forth. I have also had to write here about how I’ve been ignored, consistently. By Ian Blackford MSP (“after New Year I’ll have my team on it” then nothing), by Michael Russell (“I’ll keep you up to date on things” then nothing), by Gail Ross (“stop saying the SNP have abandoned you, they haven’t!” then when I ask for proof of how they hadn’t, nothing) and of course, Alyn Smith (just, nothing after that first equivalent of “sorry, you’re fucked basically”) and now Stephen O’Neill, who said “if you need further info don’t hesitate to get in touch” and when I do? Guess…..)
and not forgetting Nicola Sturgeon herself, who when this first began had someone tell me “try the DWP”..that was it. I’ve since emailed her again. Nothing. Not. A. Thing.
Now, you guys might be thinking “fuck’s sake this woman’s nothing but a pest!” and you might be right. But I HAVE been asking pertinent questions, both regarding my own family’s situation AND the political situation in Scotland. Even the circumstances surrounding Highland Council, their appallingly pointless reasons for refusing my daughter a crisis grant, AND their need to know her sexual orientation. Filled in those forms myself. Trust me. It’s there.
And I’m getting zero response.
I finally get it, Scotgov and the SNP. Took a while but it finally sank in. One wee family wasnae worth fighting for. And when faced with difficult (but entirely pertinent questions) such as the issue of Highland Council and their inappropriate forms and lack of aid for no good reasons, you just don’t want to know, do you?
And all those Scots thinking how fabulous you are at your Day Job? Not so much. No, not so much. Not really.
You wrote us off like rubbish. Two wasted years of my life, my family’s life, begging at your feet for help. Getting nothing. And now we’re not even in the country of my birth? Getting nothing. Not even words of sympathy, apology, nothing.
Well gues what? My lassie’s still there. And that makes you partly responsible for her welfare. Because you wrote her parents off, the ones who should be there to care for her.
Don’t you DARE do the same to my daughter. She’s as Scottish as anyone else.
Stephen O’Neill, be ashamed of yourself, man. If you can’t even deal with the farce that is Highland Council and the disgrace of their inappropriate need to know people’s sexual orientation for no reason I can see, then whatever job it is you’ve got, I pity those depending upon you.
All of you who promised help, found out how difficult our case was, then have spent the rest of the time consistently ignoring us, shame on you all. You can pretend all ye like my family doesnae exist. You obviously believe we dinnae matter, despite Nicola’s pretty words, great soundbites of “All welcome here” and her touting of a “fair, inclusive Scotland for all” as if it was some Holy Grail.
Right words. Wrong actions. Because even if it’s only a handful of folks, there ARE people that can see what you’re doing, how you’re treating one Scots family. A family that spent two years begging for help you *could* have given and didn’t.
Just you all go on ignoring me. Fine that. But I’m not going anywhere.
As for you, the SNP, you’re a disgrace to your roots. Not only would your predecessors have actually fought on our behalf, they wouldn’t be wearing the ultimate armour of the biggest coward…silence.
You just make sure you remember us, Nicola, Michael, Alyn, Ian, Gail, Stephen, all of you. Even the LibDem Jamie North who was meant to get in touch with me (didn’t, of course). Just make sure you remember there were Scots you allowed England to evict from their ain country.
And when your retirement days come and you’re cushy with your ain hames, families, in parts of Scotland you believe you own, remember those you never fought for and let England’s politics exile.
Because I’m not going to forget you.
To those Europeans actually believing in Nicola’s words, I can tell you this much…my husband is European. Ten years a Scottish resident. Ten years. On disability benefit from his native Belgium. The minute Brexit hit, Nicola and the rest of the SNP abandoned us like hot tatties.
So if you DO intend to make Scotland your hame, make damn sure you’re working there. Get a good paying job. Don’t require welfare because WM won’t give you any. And if you get into difficulties, don’t bother asking Scotgov or the SNP for help. I wasted two years at *that* brick wall….
Even when they say they’ll help those financially affected by Brexit, such as those in Alice’s position, it’s a lie. Should your local council say No, think Scotgov’ll help ye? Don’t, please, be so foolish as to think they will.
If you trust anyone in Scotland, make sure it’s the Scottish people alone. Because the government, and the ruling party, they’re too busy playing by Westminster’s rules to give a shit about the ordinary man, woman or child, despite Nicola’s copious photo ops, despite their words. Want the proof? Ask for actual help. Ask for it.
If you’re case is deemed “too difficult” they’ll waste no time in writing you off, discarding you like a piece of trash.
The Scottish people deserve better. And I wish they’d wake up and realise it. My whole blog, my whole Twitter account has been a document of exactly how they deal with those they can’t be troubled to help. I had ordinary Scots offering help they could ill afford.
How I wish THEY were running Scotland. We’d be free, by now, if they were.