Relax – I’m safe, I’m not a homeless beggar.

Currently Police Scotland and the UK Borders agency are running an operation in Edinburgh to immediately deport foreign homeless beggars back to their home countries. If they want to go, fine – but I’m a bit afraid of coercion of the form ‘You do want to go home, don’t you, sir!’ As far as I’m concerned, anyone has the right to be in any non-private property they choose.

I’m fuming that at a recent community council meeting, it was said that ‘unfortunately, begging of itself is not a crime’ (my emphasis). As far as I’m concerned, if there’s a crime, it’s that we haven’t organised society so that there is no need to beg. Of course, if a beggar acts in an offensive manner, then there is some right – and public nuisance laws – to deal with this.

But if you are offended by people simply and politely asking for money because they aren’t in a position to earn enough for themselves, then do something about it! Attack the cause, not the symptoms – try to build a fair society where we all have enough.


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