Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Cold inequality

As I sit in the corner of one of our eponymous coffee chains I am surrounded by commuters in suits buying overly expensive drinks and unnecessary treats to ease them into their day. Outside the window is a man trying to do his job. He is poorly dressed for the bitter wind, layers of t shirts and a thin branded waterproof, trainers dirty and one split accross the toe. He looks tired. All he is trying to do is give away a free newspaper. Few accept it. Minimum wage in action, no doubt. 

It is the stark contrast of the smartly dressed bankers and lawyers making their way to our captial's financial district with their expensive coffee and this thin cold man that bothers me.

Today I am one of those commuters. At least, dressing like I belong to the game, on the way to ask for financial support for my charity from one of those institutions. 

I hate this division. How can we ever justify it? 

As we head towards a referendum on Scotland's future, it is this inequity that will confirm my decision. Surely there is a different way? And we have a chance to break a system that just doesn't work. 

To me, it's not about Scotland. It's not about independence. It's not even about cultural identity. It's about equality. 

I wonder, as I watch the hundreds of people walking past, how many of them think these thoughts? How many of them notice or care about this man and what he to me, today, represents? I hope they do.