Thursday, April 10, 2008

What about the indigenous homeless?

I don't really buy the Big Issue unless I'm absolutely desperate for something to read, but I've noticed something strange occuring with the vendors in recent months. For those that don't know the Big Issue is a magazine that the 'homeless' sell. I use quotes around homeless because there have been cases of vendors actually making a fortune and living very good lives, but I digress.

The trend I've noticed recently, at least in the places I go around London, is an increasing number of Eastern European people selling the magazine (that's based purely on the accent I should add). Now, I guess if they're homeless they can sell it as per the scheme, but I just can't help finding it odd that someone would migrate from their home country - for presumably a better life - and then become a Big Issue seller.

Were I to get all 'Daily Mail-esque', I might even suggest that they were all coming over here and stealing our homeless peoples jobs, but I shan't accept to do so with deliberately ironic undertones.

23 comments:

Southpaw Grammar said...

Anecdotal it maybe, but the big issue sellers in the english/welsh border town where i work has purely eastern european BI sellers...

Anonymous said...

In the big scheme of things it's a great idea that the peoples of Europe can travel and work freely in the EU area.
I can't believe however that anyone envisaged eastern Europeans selling Big Issuea in the UK. I post from Scotland where it appears that every small town has its BI seller,with little or no English.
I'm not an expert on the subject, but I understand that the EEs band together to buy the BI in bulk quantities, and therefore get a bigger dicount.

Blue Eyes said...

How very enterprising of them! Viva la free market!

Croydonian said...

There was a headscarfed woman (Roma? Albanian?) who sold the BI in Croydon, and I could not help but wonder whether it was very poor planning on her part that she travelled from the other end of Europe to a position outside a supermarket imploring folk to buy the mag. She's vanished,so maybe she has been one of - deported (yeah, right), improved her job or found a better pitch.

Ronald McDonald said...

I'm glad someone picked up on that. All the big issue sellers in Belfast are Eastern European too. Aren't there enough prawns to shell or something?

tory boys never grow up said...

There may be an issue in respect of organised crime trying to muscle in on selling the Big Issue.

But before you start taking the piss has it occurred to you that those involved may have come from Eastern Europe and have then possibly not wanted to work/fallen out with notoriously corrupt gang masters - and so have no job, no money and no entitlement to benefits, despite having come here for a better life. So they try to do something about it - just so they can fall victim to your irony. You and others may not like the government's policies in respect of immigration - but that is no reason not to show compassion to these people who may have some very genuine hard luck stories.

Anonymous said...

Well I give as much as practical every week...and the gentleman who sells it is filipino..and very pleasant!

I don't consider their origin important at all...

Cinnamon said...

If you don't see a mix of sellers as you move down the street, then that means that the pitches have been sown up and will most likely be protected with violence from the competition. If there is no such problem then you'll see multiple (and mixed) sellers at short distances.

If you're on the dole, you really don't need the extra headache, even if the most likely take per hour is about 10-20 quid clear profit it's not worth it to get your head kicked in or to get robbed at the end of the day of your takings.

Our indigenous beggars have all been made 'redundant' thus.

judith said...

Yup, we had an EE lady in ethnic dress trying to sell the BI down our E London suburban High Street recently - she tried it for a maximum of about 3 weeks, got nowhere, disappeared.

Me, I prefer giving practical assistance to our local Shelter for the Homeless.

Newmania said...

You are good at innuendo Dizzy but how much would you actually like to cut immigration by , if at all? Personally I think it has reached plague proportions and forms part of a deliberate strategy by Labour to turn the South into a Multicultural slum that will vote Labour.The Eco ( Greenwashed ) new slums will mostly house immigrants as Govt. figures show.

Kent is well on the way.

Semaj Mahgih said...

It's an excellent point, Dizzy. What effect tdoes the influx of the immigrant poor have on the native?

Anonymous said...

People get very worried about foreign Flora and Forna coming over and giving the local wildlife shit. Why can't the same apply to humans?

JuliaM said...

"But before you start taking the piss has it occurred to you that those involved may have come from Eastern Europe and have then possibly not wanted to work/fallen out with notoriously corrupt gang masters - and so have no job, no money and no entitlement to benefits..."

So they can go home, then.

"...that is no reason not to show compassion to these people who may have some very genuine hard luck stories."

I don't have much compassion to spare ('no, really?', I hear you say) but what I do have, I'll reserve for the UK's homeless, thanks.

Anonymous said...

you are Daily Mail-esque. Nowt wrong with that, don't be such a snob

Travis Bickle said...

I think the EU is great, giving citizens the free right to be homeless in any of the member states they want.

Seriously though fair play to anyone who stands outside in all weathers trying to honestly earn a crust. Meanwhile their indigenous brethren only venture out to stand and queue outside jobcentre plus once a week to do the minimum they have to do to claim their next giro. Almost always standing with booze and fags in hand to keep them warm.

tory boys never grow up said...

Juliam

And how would you propose that they return home (and they are returning home in ever increasing numbers) without any money to pay for their trip back. Swim the Channel and walk - and any other compassionate ways you may think of??

JuliaM said...

"And how would you propose that they return home (and they are returning home in ever increasing numbers) without any money to pay for their trip back."

Remind me again how it's suddenly MY problem that these people can't seem to plan ahead for unforeseen consequences...?

It's hammering down here, should I nip out to the shops and buy umbrellas for all the people that left home without one?

tory boys never grow up said...

For those with a heart the attached link might add some background. Juliam and the other bad Samaritans are of course free to cross to the other side of the road.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2006/sep/10/homelessness.asylum

JuliaM said...

....

Hear that, 'tory boy'..? It was the world's smallest violin playing for Jozef Bubak and his fellow compatriots.

"One London council is so concerned by the increase that it has paid for more than 250 Poles to return home."

That's nice. It has paid. Whith who's money, I wonder...?

Anonymous said...

Our local "Big Issuer" in Enfield recently died, poor chap, and has been replaced by a Romany Lady who speaks little English. But Enfield is no different to the rest of London "Whites" are in the minority (only 47% of Primary School Children in London are "White")so I thought little of it. It is too late - a disasterous lack of immigration policy means that England is changed for ever withot anyone voting on the matter.

Anonymous said...

It's certainly very obvious in Glasgow that the (by and large) cheerful Scottish lads who used to sell the BI all disappeared about a year ago, to be replaced by obvious Eastern European migrants, mostly of poverty-stricken appearance and mostly with next to no English (and no Weegie at all :-).

I took this as a signal that gangsters had taken over the distribution chain, and I haven't bought the magazine since, my assumption being that the money will go to the gangsters.

Little Black Sambo said...

We could at least give them all mosquito nets.

Shug Niggurath said...

It's pretty much Romanians selling the Big Issue everywhere these days. And there is no way that these people have fallen on hard times here - if we din't have the BI they'd be playing bad accordian, guitar or simply sitting begging.