Thompsons are Scotland's leading law firm helping those in our society who for whatever reason need help. It could be a problem with their boss at work. It could be they've been involved in an awful accident and they need lawyers like us on their side to help them win what's entitled to them under the law.
But there are some injustices in Scotland today that the law can’t help with and it needs proactive work by ordinary people to make a difference. At Thompsons we try to do that. We sponsor many charities throughout the country. And unlike other large law firms we do this not for the hope of some future financial gain but because there are some issues where the injustice deserves action and those affected need a strong voice speaking up for them.
One of the charities Thompsons back is Loaves And Fishes. They are a Glasgow based organisation that helps homeless people that for various reason have found themselves living on the streets or in temporary accommodation.
Just think for a second about what that means. No warm home to go home to after work. No opportunity to wash and clean yourself. No way to open a bank account or secure employment as you have no permanent address. In a country as rich as Scotland in the 21st century this is an affront.
I decided to write this blog after witnessing a scene outside the railway station close to the Thompsons Glasgow office. As I left the station on my way to work I saw a homeless man lying outside in a sleeping bag. There was no way to tell if he was asleep , unconscious or dead. I went straight back into the station to inform the staff.
Their attitude was they could not care less. After I insisted one man a ticket collector, appeared and proceeded to kick the homeless person. Thankfully he was alive he had just been sleeping but was obviously in a bad way. The chap from Scotrail said he would call the police to take him away.
It made me think. Would I be like this if I worked in the station and everyday another homeless person was sleeping outside? Perhaps. Would I be so casual about the fate of another human in such a poor way lying on the ground at my feet?
We all need to ask ourselves this question when we see our fellow citizens lying in doorways or outside stations. I have a 5 year old son and a 3 year old son. Many of you reading this blog are parents too. We all wish the best for our children. But some people's children for whatever reason have been left behind. Do we leave them sleeping in doorways? Do we allow people to kick them and assault them because they're a nuisance and an eye sore?
They answer is no we don't. Of course we can’t. In Scotland we are very good at talking about the various examples throughout history where we have shown the rest of the world the right way to get things done. Education and medicine spring to mind.
But why not the treatment of our homeless people? They are you and me. But for some bad fortune or some family tragedy that could be you and me lying in the doorway being kicked by a ticket inspector.
We all need to be outraged by the level of homeless in Scotland today. For us that work for Thompsons we can give our support to Loaves and Fishes and perhaps we should think about speaking to our politicians, local and national, and showing willingness to pay more tax so that this huge injustice in our country is brought to an end.