It is an important image. This is a social history that must be remembered and taught. These “beaming boys” and what they evoke and represent are integral to our national story. My gripe, if that is what it is, is not with David Peat and his photographic journalism of this Glasgow in the late 1960s.
Austerity in the United Kingdom has managed to plumb such entirely new depths that we can be sure now we are talking to beasts – people whose moral compass is so skewed their policy decisions can only be considered an affront to human dignity.
What makes them obvious from the outside is the conspicuous placement of ornaments on their window ledges and families coming and going from side and back entrances with shopping and school bags.
Every day across Scotland – and even in Ireland, England, and Wales – organisations like the Trussell Trust make sure that hungry people get something to eat. Foodbanks in community centres and parish halls are in operation every day of the year, come rain or shine, even on Christmas Day and St. Stephen’s Day.
Every year it is the same thing, the government responds to the news and the pleas with eloquent words and everyone hopes to ride the story out until January when the well-to-do are planning their summer vacations.
He said: “All the foreigners coming into the country, they get everything. Irish people are getting nothing.” Immediately after this I asked if he knew of any foreigners who were sleeping rough.
Neither Fine Gael or Fianna Fáil have shown any serious commitment to tackling the homeless crisis. They have been content to have people put onto the streets and leave it to the law to make the victims invisible.
Sharon finds it hard to sleep, and who would blame her after being set alight in her sleeping bag by a passing group of thugs the Halloween before last? She was reading the city paper and was all chat about the doctor who was acquitted on charges of murdering her own daughter.