Thursday, January 12, 2012

What "filth and squalor" looks like

The Scotsman (or the Crown Office) has taken the unusual step  of publishing photos of the home environment in which a 15 month-old baby boy died. I am reproducing them because I recognise them (generically)  from my time volunteering. I once described a home I worked in as presenting an archaeological challenge. You start with the first layer of detritus and work your way down, meeting ever worsening degrees of rot. Fortunately I have a strong stomach, probably because my curiosity and urge to 'put right' overrides my constitution. If it is any comfort, the children who live in them know nothing else.

One of the appalling images of filth and decay, which were released by the Crown Office, shows the cot where Declan’s body was found. It is surrounded by so much rubbish – clothes, plastic bags and toys strewn across the floor – that the carpet is no longer visible. In another room, Declan’s playpen or travel cot – where Hainey had claimed she found his dead body – looks like a rubbish dump, filled with empty bottles of 3 Hammers, a strong white cider, Irn-Bru, old newspapers and crisp packets.

At the extremes, and not withstanding other complicating factors, this is what you get when you give people money every week and expect  nothing in return.


Anonymous said...

No surprise or shock for me either, but still sickening and heartbreaking nonetheless. What a shame we have so few people with enough courage to publish those kinds of pictures here. And if only there was a way to get people to understand the stench that goes with such living conditions.

But despite the great work and courage of you, Cactus and others, nothing changes. No one in govt is brave enough to put our children first and demand personal responsibility and accountability for funds earned by others.

No one is prepared to acknowledge in policy that handouts exacerbate not resolve money issues, that money problems cannot be solved with money!

I would love for everyone who promotes the virtues of welfare to take time off from their plush white middle class cocoon and go & volunteer with some of the organisations that see these families up close & personal. They would soon realise if they really wanted to help these children then the best thing they can do is to stop the sense of entitlement & turn off the welfare tap.

Lucia Maria said...

I had to go clean something after looking at that!

James said...

In the last couple of weeks I have been watching the programme "embarrassing bodies" with disgusted fascination. Its set in Britain and has people revealing to the shows doctors their secret medical conditions,usual involving something nasty looking around their nether regions or utterly destroyed teeth. Its noticeable how pale,greasy,spotty and generally unhealthy most Pom's seem to look....and then I see here how some surprise. I shiver at the thought I am a descendent of this race lucky enough to have been separated from it by geography and culture.

Anonymous said...

Fifteen months of hell for a mere innocent, who was vulnerable and helpless.
Is this **** ever going to stop or is NZ just always the leader in such vileness?

brian_smaller said...

Lindsay - these photos highlight the problem that welfare ferals represent no matter the country.