Author Archives: Euan Davidson

Why I’m angry that the Government has abandoned its commitments to child refugees

On Friday night I was on my way home from a wonderfully festive day with amazing colleagues who spend huge amounts of time and energy helping vulnerable people solve their problems. I was feeling at peace with the world. Then I made the mistake of logging onto twitter and I saw some news that changed my mood completely.

Our new government had sneaked some amendments into their revised version of the Brexit withdrawal bill. Despite repeated promises to the contrary Boris Johnson has dropped the government’s commitments to work to reunite unaccompanied refugee children in Europe with their families here in the UK. 

Suddenly I found myself both blood boilingly angry and on the verge of tears. A year and half ago I spent three weeks volunteering with an educational charity in the refugee “camps” of Northern France. Whilst there I met numerous unaccompanied teenagers, some as young as twelve and thirteen. They had all experienced harrowing journeys to get that far often being exposed to traffickers, police violence and unimaginable destitution. These were our continent’s most vulnerable children; they had witnessed things that no one should ever see, especially as a child. They were alone in the world and facing hostile state authorities and abuse on all sides. We volunteers had one tool in our arsenal to get those children to safety quickly; the Dubs protections. 

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 12 Comments

Vulnerable people are being oppressed on our doorstep – by the British and French Governments

I’ve come back from the greatest emotional rollercoaster I’ve ever dealt with.

I spent three weeks in Northern France volunteering with an educational charity working in the refugee camps surrounding the channel ports.

It’s incredibly hard to believe but in Western Europe, merely a stone’s throw from the British coast, thousands of people are barely managing to survive, deprived of their basic rights, harassed by a supposedly progressive government and all for the crime of fleeing the most harrowing situations on the planet and trying to build a better life. And worse of all we’re paying for it.

Yes, really. British taxpayers’ money is being ploughed into the French riot police, the CRS, all in the name of ‘border security. They are using that money to make life a living hell for some of the most vulnerable people on the planet. Whilst I was in France, volunteers were witnessing so called evictions on a daily basis.

This meant destruction of the little possessions that the refugees posses, rounding families up and abandoning them miles away from settlements in the middle of nowhere and often involved the use of tear gas against defenceless peaceful people.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , and | 5 Comments

Horror in Orlando

Today I’m struggling to find the words to come to terms with what has happened in Orlando. Fifty people have been slaughtered solely for being who they are. Every terrorist attack is both an outrage and a multitude of personal tragedies but for all LGBTQ people this attack at the heart of our  community is particularly terrifying.

Throughout our history as a community LGBTQ people have faced violence and terror but there was a prevailing attitude that to be LGBTQ in Western Europe or North America was becoming safer, more accepted. This horrendous attack is a reminder that for some people, …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged | 11 Comments

Opinion: In defence of the Scottish Government’s plan for named persons for every child

I am writing this article after becoming increasingly frustrated at the tone and level of debate with which many people in our party are subjecting the Scottish Children and Young People’s bill and in particular the provision for a “named person” for every child.

Many of you will be asking what a “named person” is. If you choose to listen to the Daily Mail, the Christian institute and an assortment of other hysterical social conservatives this represents the introduction of state sponsored guardians whose mission in life is to spy on families and enforce political correctness. However I choose not to listen to these groups. I choose to listen to the countless social workers, teachers, child protections professionals, youth workers and other professionals who are backing this legislation.

What this legislation actually does is provide for a single point of contact for every young person from the ages of zero to eighteen so if ever that young person requires support from services or a welfare issue is raised by professionals, these organisations are operating in tandem rather than working in isolation. This will operate in a similar manner as health visitors supporting mothers and infants. For the vast majority of young people the named person will be a midwife then a health visitor followed by their primary school headteacher and finally their secondary guidance teacher.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , , and | 14 Comments

Opinion: Back Liberal Youth Scotland’s campaign to end gay conversion therapies in the UK

This year Liberal Youth Scotland decided to choose an issue which is relatively unknown  or underestimated in British public life for one of its campaigns. Gay cure therapies (or to give them their proper name reparative therapies) are when a psychiatrist attempts to alter a patients sexuality. This can be incredibly damaging to the “patient” as many are either pressured by family members into accepting “treatment” or see it as a last resort. When it becomes obvious that no “cure” is possible many become depressed and even suicidal. Substance abuse, self harming, depression and homelessness are all far more prevalent …

Posted in News | Tagged and | 10 Comments

Opinion: Ban barbaric, unnecessary snaring

One of Liberal Youth Scotland’s campaigns this year has concentrated on encouraging the Scottish Liberal Democrats to adopt a policy to ban snaring. We believe that this practice is barbaric, cruel, indiscriminate and unnecessary.

On Saturday 16th March, Scottish Liberal Democrat conference will debate an LYS motion calling for a ban on snaring. Scotland has led the way on this issue with the Scottish Government adopting new guidelines in 2008. However research undertaken by the Scottish Society for the Prevention of cruelty to Animals (SSPCA) has shown that 85% of the public are in favour of an outright ban.

One Aberdeenshire Vet …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , , , and | 7 Comments
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