They do not and should never mix. We can engage with our politicians to ensure that the things we care about, whether it be knife crime or the environment, for example, but Party Politics are off limits.
The Scout Association have got it right in the past by getting Scouts to talk to the politicians on things they care about, but they have done it by talking to each of the major political parties.
It is also not on for political parties to use Scouts to make cheap political points.
I am a member of the UNISON union and today I got their quarterly magazine. With it came the magazine that members who donate money to Labour party via the union get. I don’t normally get this as I pay into an apolitical fund. However, it has gone to all members of the union as they want to make some point or other. Yawn, I’m not really bothered!
What does bother me was this cartoon (click on it to see the larger version) –
In it you can see the Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, asking a man for money, while the Leader of the Opposition, David Cameron, picks his pocket. They are clearly dressed as Scouts.
You will pardon my language, but this makes me bloody furious! How dare they use the image of Scouts in a bad light to score cheap political points and make them look like thieves?
I rang the union to complain and the lady I spoke to wasn’t sure who I needed to speak to, but she has said she will let me know.
I then gave the Scout Association a bell as I thought they wouldn’t be too impressed and I was told to get in touch with the Assistant Director Marketing and Communications. I was right and he isn’t very pleased and will be complaining to the union as well.
UNISON should know better than this. They go to great lengths to ensure they are ‘correct’ in every way (over the top sometimes if you ask me!) and yet they let this slip through. The union I belong to and pay money to for the privilege, is having a laugh at my expense and the expense of all the Scouts in the country and indeed the world. As usual it doesn’t matter what good Scouting does, they must feel we are an organisation to be mocked and portrayed in a negative image.
I’m waiting to see what they have to say for themselves and also what the SA has to say. I’ll keep you posted!
I’m now going to lie down and think calming thoughts…………