Saturday, August 26, 2006

When an advertisement doesn't mean what it says ... ?

Since it's a Saturday - one of those "London Bus discovered on the moon" headline kind of days , I will take the opportunity to respond to the comments of Mr Kennedy Stewart, who replied in the comments box, to an article I wrote, on diminishing values in Scotland, here :

My response :
Dear Mark Kennedy-Stewart,

I appreciate the time you took to comment on my remarks on your advertisesment.

The wording in your advertisement was your own choice, and a person's words or actions, often reflect the type of person they are. That is a widely held notion, I believe to be true.

If you want my advice, and you probably don't, be more circumspect on the wording you use in advertisements and publicly available material - if you ever get it wrong, as I think you did in what you said in your advertisement, the press will eat you alive, as they did. A lesson learned ?

I've dealt with Scottish Borders Council before, as a property owner and in other roles. You should not take what they say as being verbatim - to you, or the media.

I've frequently heard Council officials giving quotes to the press, issuing press releases, giving briefings against people concerned with news reports, then saying the exact opposite to those concerned in meetings. Even on matters where criminal charges had resulted, the Council or it's officials have either contradicted their own comments or even, in some cases, sought to prevent officials being called before Parliamentary Committees investigating their conduct.

Go into the Scotsman archives to read plenty about how SBC handle things, or just ask anyone from the Borders on how they performed when they lost over 4 million in their education department, or how they managed the countless other scandals which have hit SBC over the years, from letting cases of known abuse run for 10 years plus, to giving away common good land ..etc.

I find Scotland to be a great place too. I was born here. I love my country. I have served my community, in many more ways than anyone will ever know, and I have put myself at risk in some cases, to counter things, where many in my Borders town were too cowardly, too chicken, even, to act to put things right.

I am not a negative person. I expose that which should not be. I know there are plenty honest hard working people in Scotland, I am one of them. If you want to find a hard working honest person in Scotland, there are many. Don't run our own people down. It seems sometimes though, the honest are ultimately controlled or at least, outnumbered, by the dishonest.

This blog isn't about the positive things in Scotland, that's why it's titled, "A Diary of Injustice in Scotland". Injustice, is something which should not happen, not, therefore a very positive subject, unless, the injustice is remedied, which of course, I will report. I write about the positive things of Scotland, somewhere else.

I have to say, my own stance on property and housing is well known, and conflicts with any notion of land &houses being used as a profit model.

I do not have any time for such a thing as 'property as a speculative business', or money making venture, whether that comes from local councils selling their housing stock to (what turn out to be crooked housing associations giving empty promises to their tennants), local lawyers, builders, and real estate agents manipulating land & private housing sales, along with the banks to make huge profits on mortgages and unwarranted house price rises which bear no relation to increases in wages or the cost of living, or investment companies buying up many properties to rent as a business.

From what I've seen, experienced and learned over the years, a place to live, should be a right for all, not a commodity to be traded for profit, speculation, or be the subject of mass marketing to drive up prices, and price locals & just about anyone else, out of their own communities, and certainly without threat of a mother and child being kicked out on the street at 2am by some heartless person lacking any humanity.

It is true that imigration has brought many people to Scotland (some more hardworking than others), and many people in the third world would and do give everything they have to come here. I've been to the third world, and seen it for myself, so I know this to be true.

It's a pity though, that some immigrants (many of whom want to work, some even who are highly educated and more capable, honest & moral than others) are exploited, discriminated against because of their race, colour, or religion, or are even dragged out of their homes at 3am in handcuffs along with their children and babies, then held in confinement, sometimes for years, and then deported - in our country which they idolised so much to get to in the first place. How does that reflect on negativity ? I'd say it reflects reality.

If someone wants to talk about the third world in comparison to our own country, I would advise them to go there, and live with the people for a few years at their level, no quick holidays, posh $400 a night hotels or big houses & fancy cars to make a pleasant stay. Make some friends, and learn about life, about the haves, and have nots.

Standing among heavy traffic for 12 hours a day, choking on car exhaust fumes, selling sweets with the local children might give some commentators a better perspective of how others in the world live & have to make money to feed their families and keep a small tin shack of a house on a sandy hill, while we merrily debate our own behaviour on the internet.

I digress a little, but I remember being with a quite well known lawyer in his car, in Chambers Street, Edinburgh, late on a cold dark day in November 1999, prior to a meeting with senior Counsel. We were parking to go to a shop I wanted to visit.

I forgot to lock his passenger car door when I got out, thinking it had 'central locking'. When I asked - the [nameless] lawyer responded, saying something to the eftect that it was more important for a few people in the third world to be fed than for his car to have central locking". He was, and is, correct. I was impressed with the man's values, because I knew he mean't what he said.

I had never heard that from a lawyer before, at least, from a lawyer who actually meant it - but then again, the lawyer who said it, is actually, a hard worker, family man, and to my knowledge, not a crook - unlike some in his profession I know. I wonder what that lawyer would think of the wording of such an advertisement to recruit someone with the lack of tact to chuck out a family onto the street at 2am...

I appreciate the time you took to comment, Mr Kennedy Stewart. I hope your issues are cleared up and you got the staff you wanted. I hope there are no mothers kicked out with children through the night in any part of Scotland, and, for my way of thinking, the best way you can establish how a person can cope with aspects of a job, which is what you originally sought, is to interview them face to face, in perhaps, a more diplomatic manner.

Peter Cherbi


Bert said...

admirable reply to the rental guy.

I like what you said here "From what I've seen, experienced and learned over the years, a place to live, should be a right for all, not a commodity to be traded for profit, speculation, or be the subject of mass marketing to drive up prices, and price locals & just about anyone else, out of their own communities, and certainly without threat of a mother and child being kicked out on the street at 2am by some heartless person lacking any humanity."

Politics next ?

Frank said...

nice speech, wasted on this lot sadly

Archie said...

negative ? WTF ??? and look at his job ad !

Bulldog said...

I wonder how those people who are in rent arrears feel about being named on the internet.K-S does't give any details about their cases, only their names.

I wouldn't be recommending property rentals from K-S, on the basis of his response to you !

a fan said...

Peter, your honesty + determination on these issues is to be admired, but your values are sadly out of date in today's corrupt world.

Good luck to your and your folks in Scotland.

MarkKS said...

Bulldog - you should do your research a little better. I do not publish their name, I do it for the full history with all legal documents etc. And I do not do it for just rent arrears, I do it for people who seriously try to damage property, commit identity theft which has been done to me many times, or vandalize the property. I have even photos posted of the damage if appropriate.

Mark Kennedy-Stewart