Thursday, 25 December 2008

Bah Humbug

Well, Sentamu's prodigy has given his first Xmas sermon (see ), and as you'd expect it got prime coverage on a radio station where the news staff were at home instead of in the newsroom.
As he highlights 'the Island’s growing problem of homelessness, and criticises what he calls the “I want” culture', so will I.
I was talking to a volunteer at Kemmyrk (the local homelessness charity) recently. On one of the coldest nights of the year just three people stayed either there or with Graigh , the rival service also getting public money run by Broadway Baptists. That's approximately ten down on the known users even in mid-summer last year, before either service got government backing and extensive publicity. Meanwhile I know of two pensioners trudging the Douglas streets each night with sandwiches and coffee for an average of 30 street sleepers in that town alone.
In other words, since the Social Services and local evangelists combined to close down the Island's only alcohol treatment centre and hand it over to an 'independent' housing charity set up according to private instructions from civil servants at the DSS, politicians and church leaders (who also collaborated to keep any member of the public off the management committee) more people are sleeping in the street. This tells me the homeless know they're safer sleeping in a doorway, squat or even a skip than a warm building funded by government and staffed by biblebashers.
The Manx public have shown interest in dealing with the issue, but been prevented from even expressing an opinion by churches. In my book, that makes the churches directly responsible. All they have done is manipulate a growing crisis to get public money which is used for evangelising, not to solve the problem.
Then, if we want to talk about 'the “I want” culture', there's a beauty at To learn more about the apparent background, see previous publicity for this at and
The things to note are it's Xmas Eve, a time when there's panic buying, and the only car-parking for this event is down the road at Stepford Central. Curious that evangelicals put on a public show and to get to your car afterwards you have to walk through the most expensive shopping centre on the island, which is owned by....... oh, another evangelical.
Obviously a complete coincidence, Stepford hosting all those government conferences at special rates, two of their management committee being on all the police bodies you'd have to liase with to arrange public order and all.
Coincidence. Complete. Really.
Scrooge is alive and well. He's probably just left a church near you.

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