Friday, 20 November 2009

Leaving for Dungavel

Am heading out to Dungavel shortly. It may be the last time I see Florence and Precious. I hope not. The response to my last minute plea to Phil Woolas yesterday was "you're not an MP, we won't talk to you" which is a story for another day. John Mason MP has also made urgent representations and they can't give him that response. And of course Michael Russell the Minister for External Affairs has instructed officials to make formal representations to the British Government. I will speak to Florence's lawyer before I leave - he spent all of yesterday working to find a judicial route for her. So everyone's doing everything they can but I will go in there today knowing as I said that it may be the last time. I am feeling bad enough about that and although I've spoken to Florence numerous times on the phone I've only actually met her 4 or 5 times. Imagine then how it must feel for their friends in Cranhill of which they have many. Think of the ten year olds in Precious' class at St Maria of Goretti Primary School in Cranhill. Suddenly she's gone AGAIN. And where is she going? What does she face in the country of her birth? How do you explain that to these children?

And think of Margaret (not her real name), the lovely woman who has befriended them, who has campaigned for them, who accompanied them every week to sign on at Brand Street - every week until a couple of weeks ago when she had a heart attack. She's only just recovering and when the news came through she was so upset she was talking to me about giving up her place for Precious, the wee girl Margaret describes as "Precious by name, precious by nature".How is she going to feel?

For everyone's sake we have to try whatever we can to keep Florence and Precious here in Scotland, their home where they are safe and surrounded by people who love them. Keep thinking of them.

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