GLC solicitor advocate Mike Dailly is proud to be a Glasgow Evening Times weekly columnist.
Mike writes about our campaigns, social justice and community rights in: “the best community paper ever”. Mike endeavours to represent all voices from across our city. His focus is on solutions not just problems.
Meet the top Glasgow lawyer who is a new columnist at The Evening Times: https://www.glasgowtimes.co.uk/news/18027891.meet-top-glasgow-lawyer-new-columnist-evening-times/
The Glasgow Times — NEW research on foodbank use has provided powerful evidence that a small increase in weekly income can help thousands of households in Glasgow avoid the need to rely on foodbanks. The research by Castlemilk Law Centre, Glasgow Community Food Network and Glasgow University law students looked at foodbank use in Glasgow’s South East before and during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Glasgow Times — FREE legal advice and support services have provided a lifeline for thousands of vulnerable people in Govanhill for almost 15 years. The decision by the Scottish Government to abandon community-based organisations like Govanhill Law Centre (GhLC), Positive Action in Housing (PAiH) and Path Scotland (PS) as we come out of the pandemic makes no sense. Arguably, it’s reckless and a strategic disaster.
The Glasgow Times — THE Coronavirus (Extension and Expiry) (Scotland) Bill is expected to receive Royal Assent this month. In a nutshell, it extends many of the Covid-19 measures that were introduced last year at the height of the pandemic until next March. It’s fair to say many of the UK and Scottish government actions over the past 18 months have been effective in preventing a massive increase in evictions, homelessness and financial destitution.
The Glasgow Times — ONE of the striking aspects of the Covid-19 pandemic has been a dramatic rise in the need for good employment law advice and representation. Concerns over the fairness of proposed redundancies, harassment or discrimination at work, the need to self-isolate, problems with sick pay and accessing the furlough scheme made up a quarter of 4,500 cases at Govan Law Centre (GLC) in 2020/21.
The Glasgow Times — DECIDING whether someone has to move into a residential care or nursing home is a very difficult and distressing life event. It’s generally the last option to consider when living independently and safely in your own home is no longer possible. Sometimes this can arise because of severe illness, frailty or dementia where care support in your own home is impractical or unable to meet care or medical needs on a 24/7 basis.
The Glasgow Times — LAST month Scotland’s supreme court, the Court of Session held that Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) was wrong to refuse a claim for backdated child tax credits for asylum seekers who had been granted refugee status. Tomorrow, HMRC will lodge a reclaiming motion in the case of Adnan Petitioners. In effect, this is an appeal to Scotland’s highest appellate court, the Inner House of the Court of Session. Every litigant has the right to pursue an appeal.
The Glasgow Times — COMMUNITIES across Glasgow have been treated appallingly over the fate of their local libraries, sport facilities and community centres. The leadership of Glasgow City Council (GCC) has oscillated like a badly tuned set of wind chimes when asked about opening dates. From claims of local services being closed permanently to only just indefinitely to not being scheduled to re-open anytime soon.
The Glasgow Times — HOW did Scotland come to have the highest death rate from drug overdoses of any European country? Our annual death rate from drug overdoses is three and a half times that of the UK as a whole – and even higher in comparison to other European countries. Our relative drug death numbers exceed that of the United States. In 2007, 455 people died from drug overdoses in Scotland. In 2019 the number of deaths was 1,264 – a rise of 6% from the year before.
The Glasgow Times — The elderly, frail and infirm. Those with cancer waiting on life saving treatment. Asylum seekers. Women in abusive relationships. Children and young people. Those with severe mental illness. Too many statutory services ground to a halt when lockdown first struck last March. Bad decisions were made by our political leaders who didn’t take the threat seriously enough.
The Glasgow Times — SECTARIANISM is defined by the Oxford English dictionary as “strong support for one particular religious or political group, especially when this leads to violence between different groups”. In Glasgow and the West of Scotland, sectarianism has been used as a palatable euphemism for racism. What we’ve seen on our streets over the last weeks and months is racism against Catholics and people of Irish decent. This form of racism has been tolerated for far too long in Scotland.
BUT for a last-minute decision to keep Glasgow in level 3 lockdown last week, the eviction and removal of homeowners and tenants from their homes would be happening across the city this week.
SUSAN Aitken wrote in these pages last week that “the closure of services is not on our agenda, politically or operationally”.
PEOPLE across Glasgow have rightly refused to accept the loss of their local libraries, sports facilities, and community centres.
JUSTICE is rarely served by political populism. If it was, we’d never have abolished hanging in murder trials in 1965. Scottish attitude surveys repeatedly reveal if you held a referendum tomorrow on whether to bring back the death penalty it would be a vote winner.
If a parking notice isn’t paid promptly many companies will add on £50 in “administration charges”, resulting in a total daily charge of £150. Motorists who are ticketed may have stayed a relatively short time over the free stay of one or two hours.
WHILE Glasgow City Council (GCC) has recently promised to fix more potholes across our city, seeing is believing. Until the lunar surfaces of many of our roads are smoothed over what happens if you drive through a crater and have to replace a tyre or fork out hundreds of pounds for garage repairs?
glasgowtimes.co.uk — IT wasn’t just the flowers left for Sarah Everard that were trampled on by the Metropolitan Police at Clapham Common on Saturday. Our human rights to peacefully protest – a fundamental principle of any democracy – were shamefully trampled. This was a peaceful vigil to honour the memory of a young woman murdered while simply walking through a park in South London as she returned home from a pal’s flat. Women gathered to pay their respects to Sarah Everard.
glasgowtimes.co.uk — LAST week I gave evidence to the Parliament’s local government committee on the Fair Rents (Scotland) Bill alongside Pauline McNeill MSP and the minister for local government and housing, Kevin Stewart MSP. While the minister signalled his support for the good intent of the Bill, he went on to argue we couldn’t really do anything for fear of this or that. It was too complicated to collect real time data on the level of rents landlords collect across Scotland.
glasgowtimes.co.uk — AROUND the globe March is women’s history month. Next Monday is International Women’s Day. The theme is #ChooseToChallenge. Campaigners are highlighting the need to call out gender-based bias and inequality against women whenever it occurs. The Scottish Government has a debate in Parliament this Thursday to examine these issues. Yet, more significant is the fact the Domestic Abuse (Protection) (Scotland) Bill will undergo final consideration by the Scottish Parliament this month.
glasgowtimes.co.uk — SMART phone technology has provided consumers with greater choice, convenience and value for money. The ability to shop from an “app” on your phone and arrange for groceries and take-aways to be delivered within minutes, or to book a taxi, has never been easier. While new tech empowers all of us as consumers, it comes at a cost. Not a cost to big business, but to the human beings who perform the actual work. The person who performs the job for you will often have no employment rights.
glasgowtimes.co.uk — TWENTY years ago, I presented a BBC Radio Scotland series called “Buy Now, Pay Later”. The premise of the show was to understand why so many of us now used credit to satisfy our need to buy consumer goods. Traditionally, we would wait and save the money to buy a dream holiday, car or must-have fashion item. Then came a cultural and behavioural shift in society. Retailers working with advertising agencies and credit providers told us we no longer had to wait to buy something.
glasgowtimes.co.uk — LAST week the Advertising Standards Agency banned a series of misleading adverts from commercial debt advice companies. The online ads exaggerated the speed and ease that debts could be reduced. They used misleading reviews and didn’t explain the risks that came with certain solutions. They made misleading claims of associations with debt charities or endorsements by government.
glasgowtimes.co.uk — IF something looks too good to be true, generally speaking, it won’t be true. Financial crime relies upon our innate desire to find bargains and amazing deals. Double your money by investing in “low-risk” overseas fancy hotels, renewable energy bonds or “super-safe” forestry. And that will be the last you ever see of your hard-earned dosh. Fraudsters now use the internet and social media like pirates used the oceans to find ships to ransack and plunder.
glasgowtimes.co.uk — WHILE the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted on so many things we used to take for granted, life must go on. For many, that means finding a new job or starting out on a first or different career path. If you’re a young person from a background without advantage or someone who missed out on learning opportunities at school because of childhood trauma, how do you get a break in life? Maybe you got off to a bad start when you were younger; how do you get on a better track? This much we know.
glasgowtimes.co.uk — FROM next Monday, Scotland’s statutory debt arrangement scheme (DAS) will be relaxed. For those struggling with unmanageable debt because of the pandemic it will now be possible to make minimum or token payments through DAS. The new procedure is called the “low and grow debt payment plan” and it’s designed to run over six months or so. For many, this will provide a vital breathing space and a powerful opportunity to take control of household finances.
glasgowtimes.co.uk — MANY will be glad to see the back of 2020. It holds painful memories for so many. For those who’ve been unable to see family and friends since March. Then there’s the staggering number of people who’ve lost their livelihoods due to lockdown in 2020. If we had the benefit of hindsight, we would surely have handled this pandemic differently. The coronavirus could and should have been treated with greater urgency and action from the beginning of the year.
glasgowtimes.co.uk — WE are about to face our toughest challenges as a nation in recent peacetime history. A no-deal Brexit will see our economy dive and the price of food and essential goods rise. That in itself would be enough to throw a tidal wave over the fortunes of most countries. But it’s worse than that. Leaving the European Union without a trade deal during a global pandemic is the perfect storm for economic and social chaos. It’s a storm that can sink any government and cause untold misery for its people.
glasgowtimes.co.uk — DECADES have passed since I was at primary school, but I remember clearly how pupils were treated as “remedial” if they had difficulty in reading, writing, counting or speech. Children were put in special classes and the social stigma from such labelling was writ large. We now understand dyslexia or dyscalculia and how people’s brains process words and numbers in different ways. Strategies and tools can be put in place to overcome learning challenges.
glasgowtimes.co.uk — EVICTION looms for a mother and her disabled son in West Lothian. Lorraine Robinson-Moseley has occupied her private sector home for nine years, but her landlord wanted to sell the property and secured an order from the first-tier tribunal to The case demonstrates worrying problems. Why are people being evicted at all in parts of Scotland during Level Four lockdown? All Ms Robinson-Moseley needs is a few weeks before a social rented tenancy becomes available in January.
glasgowtimes.co.uk — HOME secretary Priti Patel was found to have bullied civil servants by the Prime Minister’s independent advisor to the ministerial code, Sir Alex Allan. Despite an independent Cabinet Office investigation finding evidence of bullying, the Prime Minister chose to clear her last week and found no breach of the code. Patel issued a “non-apology” refusing to acknowledge any wrongdoing while Allan threw himself on his sword, resigning after his job was fossilised by the PM.
glasgowtimes.co.uk — MARCUS Rashford’s campaign to extend free school meals to low-income pupils over school holidays in England has been remarkable. Free school meal extensions have already been implemented in Scotland and Wales through good leadership from devolved governments. Marcus Rashford has secured the support of many English councils and businesses for his call to tackle food poverty – but last week more than 300 Tory MPs voted down a proposal from Labour to extend free school meal schemes across England.
glasgowtimes.co.uk — ACCOUNTABLE, open, power-sharing and equal opportunities. These are the four bedrock principles from the Shaping Scotland’s Parliament report in 1998. The report was developed after a wide public consultation on how the Parliament should work for the people it serves. Some 20 years later, how well does it live up to its founding principles? Last week, the Scottish Parliament did a U-turn and decided to take evidence on the Fair Rents (Scotland) Bill.
glasgowtimes.co.uk — The job support scheme that replaces it pays much less for workers and employers, even with the Chancellor’s announcement of new help for businesses forced to close from “circuit breaker” lockdowns. All of this makes for grim tidings as we approach a Dickensian winter with the possibility of a dystopian hard Brexit in the New Year. The official figures record that a quarter of a million people were made redundant in the UK in the first six months of this year.
glasgowtimes.co.uk — UNIVERSITIES and colleges spent months drawing up their plans for the safe return of students to campuses for the start of the new academic year. With the mass outbreak of Covid-19 clusters at so many student halls of residence across the UK, it’s not unreasonable to ask: where did it all go wrong? As September began, the tone from Universities Scotland was upbeat and optimistic.
glasgowtimes.co.uk — LAST month Scotland’s highest civil court ruled that Glasgow’s charging policy for community care services did not discriminate against people who were disabled. If you’re disabled in Glasgow, you will have to pay around £30 each week from social security benefits towards the cost of non-residential social care. Why is this an issue? It’s more expensive to achieve the same basic quality of life as anyone else if you’re severely disabled.
glasgowtimes.co.uk — GALILEO Galilei spent many years under house arrest in the 17th century when he explained how the Earth wasn’t at the centre of the universe `with heavenly bodies orbiting around it. He was forced to recant his correct theory that the Earth moved around the sun. He was regarded as the “father of modern physics – indeed, of modern science altogether” said Albert Einstein. Yet almost 400 years after Galileo, we still have people who don’t believe in science.
glasgowtimes.co.uk — THIS Thursday, Glasgow City Council (GCC) will vote to cut over £2m each year from its funding to Glasgow’s community law centres, citizen advice bureaux (CABx) and local money advice agencies. Glasgow’s free advice sector over the next two and half years. Such a savage axe wielding may force the closure of Castlemilk Law Centre – the oldest law centre in Scotland – and five CABx in Glasgow’s East End and South East.
glasgowtimes.co.uk — EXTENDING the notice period before a landlord can raise eviction proceedings against tenants during the pandemic has been both necessary and essential in the public health interest. Providing statutory homeless services during Covid-19 has not been easy for local authorities. Likewise, housing associations have had to overcome the logistical challenges of letting homes to homeless persons during peak lockdown.
glasgowtimes.co.uk — DESTITUTION, poverty, discrimination, inadequate housing and unemployment are not accidental. They are the product of political choices. One of the most gruesome examples of political vindictiveness against vulnerable people in the UK is social security law. Social security law has been used to punish people with nasty Dickensian sanctions designed to facilitate destitution and misery.
MORE ARTICLES FROM MIKE DAILLY:
It’s not fair for councils to charge disabled people: https://www.glasgowtimes.co.uk/news/18030018.mike-dailly-not-fair-councils-charge-disabled-people/
Mike Dailly: Glasgow City Council’s hands are not tied on lock changes: https://www.glasgowtimes.co.uk/news/18059713.mike-dailly-glasgow-city-councils-hands-not-tied-lock-changes/
Mike Dailly: Don’t get ripped off. Seek advice on money trouble: https://www.glasgowtimes.co.uk/news/18044690.mike-dailly-dont-get-ripped-off-seek-advice-money-trouble/
Glasgow has lost magic and charm of Christmas: https://www.glasgowtimes.co.uk/news/18090621.glasgow-lost-magic-charm-christmas/
Here’s what’s on my mind as Govan Law Centre turns 25: https://www.glasgowtimes.co.uk/news/18075191.mike-dailly-mind-govan-law-centre-turns-25/
We need spirit of Mary Barbour to reform rents: https://www.glasgowtimes.co.uk/news/18129393.need-spirit-mary-barbour-reform-rents/
Tackling zombie credit after festive season gift splurge: https://www.glasgowtimes.co.uk/news/18141314.tackling-credit-debt-festive-season-gift-splurge/
Victory over landlord last week was a crucial start: https://www.glasgowtimes.co.uk/news/18157735.mike-dailly-victory-landlord-last-week-crucial-start/
This new scheme will improve our financial wellbeing: https://www.glasgowtimes.co.uk/news/18173988.mike-dailly-new-scheme-will-improve-financial-wellbeing/
Joined-up approach can help to cut reoffending: https://www.glasgowtimes.co.uk/news/18190982.mike-dailly-joined-up-approach-can-help-cut-reoffending/
Audrey’s inspiration can give hope on any rainy day: https://www.glasgowtimes.co.uk/news/18208134.mike-dailly-audreys-inspiration-can-give-hope-rainy-day/
Glaswegians are paying for equal pay claims case: https://www.glasgowtimes.co.uk/news/18225395.mike-dailly-glaswegians-paying-equal-pay-claims-case/
Here’s how we ensure all in Glasgow have voice heard: https://www.glasgowtimes.co.uk/news/18242112.mike-dailly-ensure-glasgow-voice-heard/
How to get on top of money worries before it’s too late: https://www.glasgowtimes.co.uk/news/18258270.mike-dailly-get-top-money-worries-late/
Dignity must be restored to welfare rights system: https://www.glasgowtimes.co.uk/news/18610858.mike-dailly-dignity-must-restored-welfare-rights-system/