Thursday, 18 August 2011

It's that 'community spirit' again!

They engaged with the vulnerable young man, apparently on friendly terms, but ended up rifling through his bag and eventually stole cash from him. No, not that now infamous footage from the England riots where the muggers feigned concern for the dazed student but used this as a pretext to rob him, instead this was early evening in Dundee city centre a couple of days ago, when a cerebral palsy sufferer was left "in tears" after a "despicable theft".

Must be that "community spirit" and "national pride" again, eh? But at least we didn't riot. So that's OK then.

In fact I was particularly annoyed because I walked past where the incident happened around half an hour or so after it took place, and indeed if I hadn't been faffing around earlier may well have witnessed the whole thing, and could have perhaps, er, done something.

And yesterday I heard a lot of banging in the block that houses the Planet Politics world headquarters, and was worried that it might be a rerun of Sunday's early morning incident, where someone tried to break a neighbour's door down over what seemed to be some kind of drugs debt. Luckily police arrived in the nick of time then and scared the perp off, but I'm sure I heard him say he'd be back.

But the more recent chapping was in fact someone covering up the glass panels in our communal close, which had been smashed years ago but had never been replaced, presumably on the basis that any replacement would just be broken again anyway.

So I was quite pleased when I ascended the stairs for one of my shopping trips - you know, walk several miles to save the environment, but come back with more plastic bags than if going by car because loading the bags up isn't really advisable if you're walking too far - and saw the nice new wooden panels at the end of the close rather than the neighbour's door kicked in.

There was a catch, however, because it seems that one of the wooden panels had, er, been kicked in. Already.

Oh well, at least some people are making a killing out of their dealings in property rather than having them slowly destroyed by that all encompassing "community spirit" and "national pride".

I refer of course to the SNP Government's finance secretary, who has reportedly pocketed a cool £57,000 profit on his taxpayer-funded second home. On Tuesday's Newsnicht John Swinney seemed to be using Alex Neil's crib sheet, hence employing the MPs expenses excuse: "I was just following the rules, guv, so it wasn't my fault my snout was in the trough".

And Mr Swinney just had to point out, à la Mr Neil, that he would be paying capital gains tax on his windfall. Er, no, Mr Swinney, no one was accusing you of tax evasion, so the relevance of that wasn't entirely clear. And he almost sounded hard done by, what with having to pay tax on his profit and all that.

But considering that he'd just spent the preceding five minutes or so totally failing to answer the questions being put to him on the SNP's proposal to reduce the corporation tax rate in Scotland, his evasive responses regarding his profiteering by virtue of taxpayers' largesse were hardly surprising.

However, at least Mr Swinney isn't proposing to reduce the tax rate on second homes or exempt them altogether. Must be that "community spirit" again!


Anonymous said...

Beware Community Control by the bigots.

Anonymous said...

Swinney could pay the taxi fares for that wee girl to her dance school. You know, the one the SNP councillor was up in arms about. Swinney's cost the taxpayer double that.

Stuart Winton said...

Cannae see it happening somehow, but it's nice to see that our housing minister and finance secretary have got their housing and financial priorities in order.