Showing the Union a real Glasgow effect

My grandfather never reached pension age, he wasn’t alone. It’s not uncommon for Glasgow men to die in their 40s or 50s. It’s called the Glasgow effect, the city’s residents have poorer health outcomes than can be predicted from statistics on unemployment or poverty. Other cities with similar problems to Glasgow have better health.

A new report explains the reasons, Scotland’s largest city is being killed by the policies of the Scottish Office and implemented by the Labour party, and the Tories when they controlled the city council. The United Kingdom is killing us. Thanks to decades of systematic under-investment, of a policy of malign neglect, Glasgow was to be managed to death. It was Westminster social engineering, and Glasgow was to be engineered into an early grave.

We pay the price of Union in ill-health, in disability, in lives cut short. The fit and healthy, the educated and the talented, were to be encouraged to leave to make their lives elsewhere, leaving behind a city whose services are doubly stretched, trying to cope with a higher proportion of people with illnesses and disabilities, with people who buckle under the strain of poverty and self medicate on drugs or alcohol, sooking up resources and locking us into a vicious spiral of decline and decay. Services stretch to breaking point so even those whose own lives are cushioned by a higher standard of living run into the brick wall of the Glasgow effect.

The Glasgow effect is a Union benefit. Vote to stay a part of the UK and your countrymen and women pay the price in shorter lives. Vote British, vote for mortality in Milton, vote for corpses in the Calton, vote for death in Dennistoun. That hacking cough you hear on the bus in Parkhead is the anthem of the Union.

It’s not that the Scottish Office and the Westminster parliament deliberately set out to shorten the lives of Glaswegians, to reduce their life expectancies, to make them live out curtailed lives blighted by disease. They just didn’t care. Our ill health is a price they were prepared to pay for their other priorities, priorities which don’t include providing a decent quality of life for the inhabitants of Scotland’s largest city, priorities which don’t include nuturing a city whose heart beats to a radical drum. The city was to be allowed to dwindle in a managed decline. Left to die in apathy and despair. Left to die in a quiet distant corner of the BBC weather map. That’s the price of Union. A city that the UK has written off doesn’t matter when it comes to decisions about where to site nuclear warheads. Glasgow doesn’t matter, Scotland doesn’t matter. We don’t matter. Your weans don’t matter.

The damp houses in a hillside scheme, the cooncil that destroys communities to build roads while the city with the highest proportion of homes without a car waits an hour in the bus stop in the rain for a privatised bus service that costs £2. The hollow eyes of the man who’s given up on the hope finds his solace in the bottom of a bottle. The mother whose best hopes for her weans is that they get as far away as possible. The curtains that never open because there’s nothing that can grow in the sunlight. That’s how a city dies, and it sings its swan song in a hacking cough. That’s the song of Union, that’s British phlegm.

When I was a wean I thought it was normal for kids to go to sleep with coats on their beds because warm blankets were unaffordable. The grim and dirt of Shettleston road was normal. It was just how life was, it was all we deserved, and all we could aspire to was to escape. But it’s not normal at all. In a normal country a people can aspire to a better life within their own community. But that wasn’t to be permitted to the people of Glasgow by the middle class Unionists in the Scottish Office. Glasgow was to be allowed to die, encouraged to die. Then Scotland would lose its radical soul, and the Union would be safe.

A smaller Glasgow is a safer Glasgow, just not safer for the people who live in it. Glasgow was to be allowed to die, but when you kill a city you kill the people who make their homes in it. The Union takes our skills, our talents, our children, and it repays us in heart disease, cancer, and type two diabetes. The ciggies and bevvy are locked away out of the reach of impressionable minds, but the pornography of Union is on open display in the racks of newspapers. The Glasgow effect is its abuse.

The pornmongers of Union blame the victims of Unionism for the diseases that the Union has inflicted upon them. If you struggle in poverty it’s your own fault. If you live on a low income and can’t afford healthy food it’s your own fault. When you live a life that knows no hope you self medicate on drugs or alcohol, you manage your frayed nerves with tobacco, and that’s your own fault. And when the poverty is perpetuated down the generations, that’s your own fault too. It’s not the fault of the Unionist establishment who are doing quite well out of the current settlement thank you very much.

The Union is killing us, and the Union doesn’t care. But we care. And we’re not going to go down quietly. No more a hacking cough, Glasgow rings with the death rattle of the Union. We’ve had enough of this crap. Last year we evicted the Labour MPs that have sat on their hands for generations, filling their pockets at our expense. This year we cleared out the MSPs. Next year it’s the council’s turn. We’re going to change this city. We’re going to change Scotland. We’re going to change the world. We’re going to show you a Glasgow effect that is going to ruin the Union’s health, we’ll take back the levers of power and control. And this time it’s not the people of Glasgow who will suffer from a short life expectancy, it’s the United Kingdom whose days are numbered. We’ll show the Union a real Glasgow effect.

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104 comments on “Showing the Union a real Glasgow effect

  1. […] Wee Ginger Dug Showing the Union a real Glasgow effect […]

  2. christopherreay says:


    • Saor Alba says:

      Explain yourself.

    • christopherreay says:

      three is little doubt that both the culture of Scotland and the failure of the Westminster government to deliver sufficient policy to Scotland has much to do with the ambient temperature here. sitting on the border line of survivability, a peculiar culture had Aiden, which blends a caring, sharing attitude with a die hard self sufficiency. it us this I believe that gives Scotland such a rich and globally effective culture.

      this article blends self inconsistency with hyperbole and victim mentality to orifice something rousing and empty. it’s a rant written by a relented journalist.

      the current systems are designed to engender the belief that we shouldn’t really have control over or environment. political, production, economic or even social, but these tools are not limited to a specific location or to any specific group. they are designed to promote affinity groups and a sense of dislocation between affinity groups, across the whole spectrum of society.

      this article does the same. it offers no justifications or solutions, only blame. silly.

    • christopherreay says:

      there is little doubt that both the culture of Scotland and the failure of the Westminster government to deliver sufficient policy to Scotland has much to do with the ambient temperature here. cold. sitting on the border line of survivability, a peculiar culture has arisen, which blends a caring, sharing attitude with a die hard self sufficiency. it is this I believe that gives Scotland such a rich and globally effective culture.

      this article blends self inconsistency with hyperbole and victim mentality to produce something rousing and empty. it’s a rant written by a talented journalist.

      the current systems are designed to engender the belief that we shouldn’t really have control over or environment. political, production, economic or even social, but these tools are not limited to a specific location or to any specific group. they are designed to promote affinity groups and a sense of dislocation between affinity groups, across the whole spectrum of society.

      this article does the same. it offers no justifications or solutions, only a narrative to raise the heart into blame. silly.

      • Macart says:

        Emotive and talented, yes absolutely. Hyperbole?

        Take a look at the posts here btl. I don’t think there’s much exaggeration on evidence.

        As for offering solutions? I’d say advocating bringing the full powers and systems of government into the Scottish parliament and within reach of the electorate is a good start. After that I’m not looking to writers for solutions, I’m looking at parliamentarians, business, civic groups.

        I see writers primary task as bringing to notice WHAT and WHO we should be looking at. Why would I expect a writer to solve socio economic issues? Surely we pay others to do that?

        • christopherreay says:

          what, exactly, does the article bring to your attention?

        • christopherreay says:

          looking to parliamentarians for solutions, I would agree, is the kind of response this article engenders

          • Macart says:

            That crippling levels of poverty exist in our country and that central govt., its economic policies and decades of systemic neglect are the chief issues involved.

            Perhaps you do not like the emotive style (shrugs), that is a personal choice. However, the author is well known and respected for his ability to convey such emotion in his posts and columns. As I posted above, clearly most folk below the line recognise and resonate with the subject matter. Its not a theoretical or philosophical exercise for us. Its our life experience and for some of us, not all in the past.

            I’m still not seeing why drawing notice to such poverty and its root cause, is silly.

            • christopherreay says:

              except what this article says is that Glasgow specifically has an unknown depth of this poverty, that there is no explanation why, and that Westmonster will soon feel the wrath of the truth behind such Glasgow effect. it creates a focus on Glasgow without giving the slightest reason why. it plays on people’s victimisation, well deserved, no doubt, by creating an artificial line between Glasgow as the rest.

              it incites a feeling of blame by generating lines in just the way Westmonster does. it’s pretty hateful imo

              • Macart says:

                Glasgow is the author’s experience. I don’t live there and quite a few others posting do not. I’m not feeling any artificial line being drawn, or exceptionalism. Only as I’ve noted already, empathy and resonance.

                With the exception of yourself, do you see many btl resentful that Glasgow is the subject matter?

              • Saor Alba says:

                I’m not convinced by your superior-sounding intonations christpherreay. As macart has pointed out very clearly, this is a life experience for us and it is ongoing. Involvement often means human emotion. You are entitled to your opinion, but I asked you to explain yourself and I have to say you have failed to explain yourself to me. Which ivory tower are you residents in?

              • Sorry christoperreay – there is a Glasgow effect and there is a difference between Glasgow (and west central Scotland) and the rest. Paul’s article is based on a report which I linked to below (but here is the link in case you missed it):


                Have you read the report? There is clearly a “Glasgow effect”. It is not “an artificial line”. It has been known about for a decade or more. The precise causes are not clear but the persisting and widening inequality gap is at the heart of it and this is almost entirely down to decisions taken at Westminster where this gap has been tolerated and accentuated for two generations at least.

                I grew up in west central Scotland and her fist hand knowledge of the experiences others have expressed in the comments.

              • christopherreay says:

                I don’t say it’s not accurate. I say is empty. a trumpet call over a battle field of veterans. I’ve been living in a refugee camp for the and a half months, right now I’m in Glasgow east end. you know what, there’s a similar feel to the place. peoplepurple making with what they have, a focus on friendship, well at least on the importance of social interactions, good or bad. I an age where people across the world are being brutally oppressed, and where the yes campaign weaves accurate and poignant, amid waves of tortuously bleak portraits of the “leadership” taking advantage of the industrial and IT revolutions to further entrench the haves and the have nots. where people literally sore you the bombing of their houses on Facebook whilst you show them the men responsible denying acknowledgement the legal human rights of their children.. I just think taking the Glasgow effect to Westmonster is a bit gimmicky for a rousing article to stir the old flames

      • Paul Wilson says:

        What on earth are you havering on about. If anything is “Silly it is your nonsense of a post.

        • christopherreay says:

          I think it’s pretty clear what I am saying. if you don’t agree, say so, if you have something to say about it, say something. if you don’t understand something, say so.

          • Saor Alba says:

            It is not actually clear.

            • Bamstick says:

              I agree with Saor Alba.

              This is for christopherreay:

              I don’t understand what you are trying to say. I was going to be polite by not mentioning this; but here goes.

              Please can you write your comments in a language that everyone can understand. English, Scots, Gaelic, French, German etc… are all ok, but the language that you use does not make any sense. Try to write in sentences and maybe some of us will understand your comments.

      • Illy says:

        You don’t need to be an automobile mechanic to know that the engine has fallen out of your car.

    • one word dismissive comment. Show`s ignorance n fear. b but probably more ignorance.
      Excellent article. n TRUE watch generations of Glaswegien`s die young. Many of may freinds didnt reach 60.. I`m 55. n pray i see Independence and the death of the UK union. Then i`ll die a happy man. Mind you . I`m not in any hurry.

  3. Campertess says:

    Reblogged this on campertess and commented:
    I can’t wait to get shot of those horrible greedy councils.

  4. Thomas Potter says:

    That’s what the people of Scotland and Glasgow need to hear.
    We’re getting into the quickening stage now so fasten your seatbelts and let’s gie it laldy.

    Priceless as usual Paul.
    Fair cheered me up.
    Time for a wee donation fur dog food.😁

  5. fin. says:

    well. you cant argue with that.
    excellent, if they could just listen and think about it for a while, it could very well make them relevant politicians again.

  6. Stephen OBrien says:

    I am an atheist but one word sums up my response AMEN!

    Sent from my iPad


  7. Still Positive. says:

    Wow, Paul!

    I taught in the East End for more than 10 years and I know first-hand of the poverty in Glasgow. It is not just monetary poverty but poverty of aspiration, hope and motivation.

    When you have a class of new S1 sitting in front of you and you see a lot of hopelessness in their eyes you know you have your work cut out – and it’s even worse when you get that bottom section in S5. You have to convince them they can do it despite the odds.

    Teachers in the East End, in particular, know they have to work on self esteem as well as teaching their subject.

    It was very rewarding though – especially when you get compliments like, “She’s on oor side.”

  8. Still Positive. says:

    The comment, “She’s on oor side.” was from one pupil to another who was attempting to disrupt the class with constant talking.

  9. Andimac says:

    No, WGD, it wasn’t that you thought it was normal for weans to go to sleep with coats instead of blankets on their beds, it WAS normal – I remember it well. My Da & Ma worked themselves to exhaustion to keep five of us: I’ve never forgotten it and never will. We owe it to them and thousands like them to change that – and someday we will.

    • Saor Alba says:

      You are so right Andimac. We ow so much to them.

    • dunroamin says:

      Very normal. You slept under a ton of clothes to protect you from the ice growing inside the windows. You all sat huddled around the coal fire trying to get a heat, but you couldn’t afford coal and we went to to woods every day to pick up branches to burn. Your mum made half a pound of mince do a whole family by bulking it out with bread. You dodged the rats in the back close going to the bin as the council didn’t maintain anything. Yet your mum and neighbours washed the stairs and polished the walls every week to try keep the place clean. My mum worked as a cleaner earning a pittance, she was practically crippled by the age of 50 such was the toll on her. My dad worked all hours in the yards and pounded the streets for days & weeks & months when made redundant to find another job. He handed every penny earned to my mum. No such thing as minimum wage then. I was “clever” and my teachers encouraged my parents to let me go to uni and when I got my first job after graduation as a clueless, skilless girl my first pay packet was 3 times that of my dad, my dad who was a time served welder and 50 years old. I will never forget the sacrifices made for us kids. My old dad died 4 years ago & us ‘kids” made sure he had a confortable life in his later years. My old mum is still with us and we take care of her in what she calls luxury . No ma, you’re living the way normal people do! Many of us recognise this in Glasgow as what was our norm and anyone who suggests we’re exagerating should consider themselves lucky their imagination canny take them there.

  10. Saor Alba says:

    Brilliant post Paul. It was heartfelt and one of your best.
    Unionists don’t give a shit, about Scotland and its people.

    The councils are next in line for change.

    Dugdale, Davidson, Rennie and all their compatriots in their so-called Scottish branch offices are totally culpable in this as they help their Masters in Wastemonster to perpetuate this neglect. Utterly shameful and contemptible.

  11. Inspiring, Paul.
    Now we set out sights on the wasters at City Hall.
    Next May we must weed out all the cronies, carpetbaggers and their Arms Length cons.
    Not just Glasgow, but all the Labour Tammany Hall crooks. And let’s not forget the local Tories and Lib dems.
    We must devote as much energy to kicking this lot out of Scottish politics completely as we did during the UK GE.
    Of course our Unionist MSM will do its best to prop up these crooks.
    Fat pot bellied men, and women living off the suffering of our citizens. No more.

  12. Albawoman says:

    Excellent WGD. It really is a total scandal. Overwhelming in its disrespect to Glasgow folk like my Mum and Dad. Salt of the earth folk.

    Looking forward to the battle to come in removing Labour from the Councils. Justice can be a long time coming but it’s a coming soon to council near you.

  13. Stirring stuff!

    And the unionist take – Revealed: ‘Glasgow effect’ mortality rate blamed on Westminster social engineering – Herald

    Blamed on -The Glasgow Centre for Population Health, University of the West of Scotland, NHS Scotland and University College of London spent years working on the project and examined 40 different theories, Blamed on?? They are so definitely on the wrong side.

    I hope you get this published in the National.

  14. Mammy Mammy Wullies’s pulled the sleeve aff the eiderdown 😉

  15. brianmchugheng says:

    Anger is a gift.

  16. scotsgeoff says:

    And it continues; and not just in Glasgow.

    I earn £730 for 4 weeks work, full time (5 days p/w) as a Pupil Support Assistant in
    a Fife school; last month I paid back 63.9% of my wage to Fife Council
    for rent & council tax (incl historic mistakes they have made).

    I earned more in my first full time job in 1987.

    I started in October after working voluntarily & then supply at another school and
    although I started with no debt I’m now over £1,000 in debt; each month I’m there
    adds another circa £150 debt. I can’t resign as to leave with no job lined up means
    no ‘benefits’ (I hate that word) for 6 weeks. I’m kept on 28.5 hrs so can’t claim
    Working Tax credits (30 hrs is required) so the answer from Citizen’s Advice is
    ‘foodbank referral’.

    The UK as driven by the Tories & Labour is a greed-driven playboy club for
    the rich that thrives with the backing of a right-wing media that is prepared to
    demonise the poor, unemployed & disabled and turn a blind eye to the corruption
    of those in power and with money.

    We had one chance, but hopefully the media will not be as powerful next time.

    • cluthab says:

      Thank you for sharing the details of your situation. I wish there were more ways to ram it down the throats of the self satisfied morons of the 55%.

  17. Bamstick says:

    Not just Glasgow though. I grew up near Edinburgh and it was the same. The house so cold in the winter that ice formed on the inside of the windows. Cooker oven on in the morning just to get a wee bit heat before you set off for school. And I was lucky. My parents had it far worse. My mum slept with her four other brothers and sisters in one bed and their parents in another in the same room. They shared a room and kitchen with another family of seven. My mum and dad worked all of their lives and still never got out of the bit. It’s the same now for young folk all over Scotland. Those who took the chance to go to University have massive overdrafts and loans to pay back. Those who didn’t go to University are stuck in either zero contract jobs or working 50 plus hours a week for minimum wage and still need to use their overdraft to survive.
    It has to stop.

    • Macart says:

      My God, that brings back a few memories.

      Some good and some bad.

      • Bamstick says:

        Do you remember those coal board towels? My dad worked in the pit and used to bring home towels. They were really hard, nobbly and stripey. They also added much needed warmth to a bed in the winter.

        • Macart says:

          Not so much, but I do remember my grandad not being allowed in the house till he’d had his bath. Some of the family lived in old miners rows, so no indoor amenities. When they finally moved to a cooncil hoose, they thought it was a palace.

          Fierce wee wummin my grannie. 😀

          • Bamstick says:

            My dad used to come home to have his bath so that’ll be why he had the towels. He hated the coal board showers. People scoff at council houses now. But when my parents got one they thought they had won the lottery. Before that they lived in a row. I was born in a row.

            • Saor Alba says:

              You are so right Bamstick.
              There are many of our fellow citizens who would prize good council housing at affordable rents. Instead they are being ripped off by greedy private landlords.

  18. Black Rab says:

    I was born in a Scottish town called Banff on the Moray Firth coast of Scotland, which incidentally is now one of the UK’s most desirable places to live. I am also a Glaswegian. I live in a top floor tenement flat in Riddrie.

    In the Moray Firth coast, Banff and Macduff, I witnessed a proud and positive community, proud also of their Scottish identity. I have come to compare it against the society of Glasgow.

    For many years I have been expressing what you have just described Paul. I have called Glasgow the toilet at the end of the british empire. Your posting has left me with tears streaming down my face. I am not one of the broken, I have lived many years in defiance of it, I refuse to be broken.

    That was an unexpected posting from you. I will read that many, many times. Fucking awesome.

  19. Black Rab says:

    Thanks for being out there Paul and doing what you do. I’m strong but you make me stronger.

  20. cluthab says:

    I recounted to an acquaintance of moving to a better Glasgow Corporation house back in the late 40’s when I was 3 years old. His response, “was your dad in the masons?” He wasn’t joking.

  21. diabloandco says:

    Glasgow – the second city of the Empire . Jings.

  22. says:

    Reblogged this on Bampots Utd.

  23. AAD says:

    I was trying to explain to a friend recently why poor people smoke as he had been complaining about seeing someone standing smoking outside a foodbank with bags of food at her feet. We all know that smoking is expensive in money and health but if you live in poverty and have no hope of anything getting better, I can see why someone grasps at anything which makes things better even if just for a few minutes. People who have been beaten down by a life of poverty need help in breaking the poverty cycle – and I don’t mean foodbanks.

    Labour and Tory politicians who condoned this life in Glasgow should be ashamed. Roll on the council elections.

    Off Post: Why is the BBC silent about the Labour councilor charged with fraud a few days ago?

  24. Macart says:

    That struck a familiar chord.

    I grew up just to the north east of Glasgow in a wee stretch of the coal belt.

    I don’t think we need to go over what happened there. The trajedy throughout the late seventies and eighties is well enough documented and the effects it had on every town and village that relied on the coal industry. Mass unemployment and mass exodus in search of jobs, the tale is in fact familiar wherever there was industry in Scotland. It doesn’t matter whether, it was steel, ships, cars, heavy engineering, coal. It was a fire sale and according to those and such as those in power at the time, ‘everything must go’.

    Working communities became sink communities where the greatest hope of families, their last hope, was that they could see their kids well enough educated and encourage them to seek a better life anywhere else than Scotland.

    How crap do you have to believe your country to be in order to reason that your children’s only hope for happiness lies anywhere else?

    THAT is the union dividend.

  25. Neil Anderson says:

    Coats oan the bed. Ice inside the windaes. The oven oan tae heat up the kitchen. Gaun tae school in the winter in a pair o holey green flash sanshoes. Holes in the elbas o yer jaikit, yer jumper, the knees o yer troosers, the taes o yer soacks. Remember it aw as clear as day. Baith ma Dad and ma Mum wur deed afore they wur sixty. Ah’ll be agitatin tae rid oor beautiful country o the vermin that huv presided ower aw this fur far too lang. Ah still love Glesca (even though Ah’m a Borrheed boay), let’s aw pull thegither an make it the brightest, cleanest, maist prosperous toon in the hale o Scotland.

  26. Jan Cowan says:

    Tears and a singing heart first thing in the morning. Great start to my day. A big, big thank you, Paul.

  27. Mike Annis says:

    One of your angriest yet and with good reason. If you’re not angry at this you must be heartless or a blue/red Tory, which is the same.

  28. You can read the full report here:

    It’s very interesting and well-worth the read – a lot of preconceptions challenged.

    • JGedd says:

      Thanks for that link, Steve Asaneilean. As you say in a comment up-thread, this seemingly intractable effect has been known about for some time, but this report is attempting to address the causes and you are right about preconceptions being challenged. Judging by Christopher Reay’s comment, there are people who obviously need to have their preconceptions challenged.

      I would also recommend Lesley Riddoch’s book ” Blossom ” in which she has a section looking into this deep-seated and complex matter and how it is manifested tragically in real lives.

    • Saor Alba says:

      Many thanks for the link Steve.
      I have save the report to the desktop.

  29. As a native Glasweigan, wow, just wow, Paul.

  30. Jim Graham says:

    I grew up in affluent tree lined Helensburgh between 1944 and 1969. My dad worked in a local fishmongers and my mum cleaned other peoples houses. My home from 1948 was a prefab, one of the coldest houses imaginable and I well remember my mother putting more clothes on us to go to bed than we wore during the day plus the coats on top of the bed. The ice inside the windows, the oven in the morning etc are part of my childhood memories too. We were poor and I knew it but all of my friends and school pals were too.

    Time passed. I served an apprenticeship and worked in shipyards and engineering companies and moved jobs as the industries disappeared. I married, had children. The Open University offered me an opportunity that I never grasped when I was at school. I graduated and went into teaching in a secondary school.

    I taught for 21 years in a Clydeside town that had died as the shipyards and other industries closed. The spectre of extreme poverty and deprivation was visited upon me again in the faces and lack of aspiration of the young people that sat in my classroom.

    The young girl who seldom completed a homework but when she did it was exemplary. When asked why she sometimes did not do the homework she replied “ It was not my night for the light bulb”.

    The young 2nd year pupil who when I was teaching how to wire a plug was astonished because he had never seen a plug. “We just use matches to push the wires in”.

    The third year pupil who lived in a street where nobody worked. Not a single man or woman worked in any way. He asked me “Why are you teaching me science? I can read and write so can sign on. I don’t need science”.

    The pupil who was allowed to play with her Christmas present for two days then it was taken and put away to be used next year for the brother/sister below her.

    The third year girl who was always late in the morning because her dad worked and it was her job to make sure that the other children were dressed, fed and out to school and that her mother was dressed and locked out of the house because she was an alcoholic and could not be trusted to be alone in the house.

    These are just a few examples that I witnessed and all of this was in the 1990s and early 21st century. Nothing had changed in the 40 years since I was a boy.

    We all know who was to blame. Now we must take control of this for ourselves. Independence is the only route.

    After retiring there were two things I wanted to see, independence and Andy Murray winning Wimbledon. One down, one to go but I am getting old and hope that I do see independence before I go.

    • pwest9 says:

      Raised in a prefab built with asbestos, I completely understand what you are saying. Retired from FE I hope to see independence and the destruction of the Tories for ever.

    • diabloandco says:

      Viewed similar and worse in my time in teaching .
      I too am knocking on and I too want to see an independent Scotland before kicking the bucket.

      Delighted for Andy Murray too.

    • Saor Alba says:

      In my teaching career, I came across similar experiences Jim.
      However, I sense that you had a great awareness of the pupils’ needs, so be assured you will have positively helped many in your care. In many cases, school would have been a comfort, as well as a learning environment.

  31. A child of 60,s Glasgow now lucky enough to live in a nice house in Stewarton.Seen my father go to an early grave came back from WW2 with his health and future ruined .How many peoples story is this ? Too many so glad you raised our heads with the last paragraph Paul .

  32. Tinto Chiel says:

    Controlled anger is usually effective, particularly, as here, when the victim is being blamed (a typical Tory tactic).

    We keep hearing from Union apologists that it has all been great and that we whinging Scots played our full part in it, but what we mainly seem to have got out of it were slum-filled cities, massive emigration and a disproportionate death rate while fighting in the British army.

    What WGD and Still Positive said reminded me that President LB Johnson started life as a teacher in a rural Texan school. He recounted in his autobiography how the poor kids (mainly African American/Hispanic) would start school with optimisism, but by the time they were ten you could see the light in their eyes go out. He was dreadfully wrong about Vietnam, but his pushing through of the Civil Rights Act and improved voter registration methods sprang from these experiences.

    Sad and bad enough in a state which was pretty racist, but why we accept such conditions here is hard to fathom. Of course, “We”, those wishing independence, don’t, it’s the Yoons who seem to think this is fine: some people are expendable so THEY can have more material goods. Or else they say, it’s always been this way, or we’re too poor to let go of Nanny England’s hand (the same the hand that picks our pockets). Stupidity? Greed? Both?

    And instead of playing a constructive part in Hollyrood to improve life in Scotland, Unionists continue with their petty, time wasting faux outrage about things like the MoA with China or the Football Act, which most fans actually support.

    I’m hoping MY rage will keep me going long enough to see a free, peaceful and hopeful Scotland.

  33. Jimbo says:

    Great, Paul. Sums it up perfectly.

    Glasgow – Reaping the Union dividend.

  34. liz says:

    That hit a raw nerve Paul as like many others my dad died before reaching pensionable age.

    We have been brainwashed and fooled by the media and SLAB keeping us in our place.

    Thank God most of us have our eyes wide open now and will never go back to sleep.

  35. Jim says:

    Beautiful and powerful writing. Keep telling it like it is, Paul.

  36. pwest9 says:

    I have enjoyed and respected all your previous posts and did not think you could improve on your oeuvre. I was wrong. This moves the debate onto a new level and one that has been sidelined by many over the years of Westminster rule. My grandparents escaped as you put it and increased their life chances unlike many that I know.
    This is the debate a progressive country should have, this is the debate that has the interests of the people at its core. Well done for putting it in such a strong and relevant manner.

  37. Tinto Chiel says:

    MoA? I meant MoU. Must be this crême de menthe…

    And, by the way, obay yure qwene and prepare to die for this Fabbiest, Glorious Union, Sweaties.

    Oh, you are already….

    Carry on!

    Great living in the Last Colony, isn’t it?

  38. Tedious Tantrums says:

    Thatcher exported skilled jobs and Blair imported call centre jobs. Why did the Labour Party just sit back and let it happen? Disgusting.

  39. I was in the pharmacist’s, prescription for chest infection.
    Three very fat ladies, and a dusty tousled hair toddler in a push buggy entered. The day was warm and sunny, and they were dressed accordingly in figure bulging bright T shirts and joggers, in highlighter pens luminous yellow, orange and pink.
    They too had called for prescribed medicines, knew the staff well, and left clutching god knows what bagsful of unction and pills and tonics for a range of life style induced ailments and conditions; obesity, HBP, diabetes, heart conditions, or whatever.
    Because of their quite enormous size, they could have been in any age range of early twenties, to late thirties.
    We share the same neighbourhood.
    I live in a 1906 sandstone terrace house, with a service lane and a letter box at the back door rather than the front.
    Back in the day these were the home of Ironmongers, teachers, and Town Clerks.
    The three ladies live(I’m assuming), quarter of a mile away, in post war tenements, built by the LA, initially for shipyard workers.
    Then came ‘deindustrialisation’. You may recall McCrone’s 1974 Report, warning that oil money should be spent retooling Scotland, particularly the West. Didn’t happen.
    Now we’ve had Labour at Local and National level Up here since Ravenscraig fell, Brown’s, UCS, and Kavaerner bombed, Singer’s shut, and ‘Linwood No More’, and so on.
    Labour’s answer to the rape of Scotland?
    The terrace of shops and outlets that house our local Chemist was their solution.
    Keep them drunk poor and happy.
    A hairdresser. An Indian restaurant and take away.
    A ‘convenience store’ which offers cheap booze, shag tobacco, ready meals for a pound, big bags of crisps, and litre bottles of fizzy pop; oh, and loads of chocolates and cheap sweeties for the weans.
    Then the ubiquitous corner site bookmakers. The an Off Sales, posters advertising cheap booze deals in the windows.
    Then a charity shop.
    Then a Sandwich shop doing great biz in Rolls ‘n’ Square Slice and big sticky gooey buns. The a gents’ hairdresser. Then a butcher; a real one. Sells a lot of Square slice. Then another ‘Convenience Store’ with cheap booze, fags, and so on. Then a fish ‘n chip shop, then a Credit Union, then a strange mix of a place that specialises in Hydroponics and signs (?).
    then a Chinese Carry Out.
    Off the main drag there is a handy supermarket which offers the usual sowbelly, cheap booze, and loads of cheap sweeties and ginger.
    Desolation Row, repeated many many times in former Working Class quartiers throughout Scotland.
    This is the Labour legacy.
    There’s no work to be had, so peddle the party as the Champions their benefits. Recruit loads of social workers and make sure they get their ‘entitlements’.
    Two or three generations down the line, and we can weigh the votes.
    Doesn’t seem to be working any more, does it?
    I am in a position in retirement where I still pay my full whack in Council Tax and so on.
    I am a social democrat, and have no problem that most of my local taxes go to fund the Education of my fellow citizens’ children, care for the elderly, and social services. I am proud of that solidarity that still exists in our battered and beleaguered society.
    Roughly 500,000 reportedly well off, ‘professionals’ and rentiers, ‘the Haves’, voted for Ruth Davidson and her I’m All Right, Jack, WATP Queen’s Eleven Party.
    Labour floundered and are dying rapidly as I type.
    Margaret Curran, Johann Lamont, Iain Davidson, Douglas Alexander, Jim Murphy, Lords John Reid, George Robertson, Dame Helen Liddell, Henry McLeish, Jack Mc Connell, and the rest of the sorry crew, this is your legacy to Scotland.

    I feel at one with these 3 sad ladies, and the poor tot in the pram.
    ‘Social engineering’ it undoubtedly is.
    Four drinks licences approved by GDC within a twenty yard radius?
    We must wrench Local Politics away from these cynical people, and start rebuilding Scotland upwards from local to national level again.
    It is the only chance for these women, and an estimated 500,000 of our fellow citizens who live below the poverty level, and whom Ruth, Jackson, WATP Tompkins, and Queen’s Eleven Murdo, are about to plunge more deeply into irreversible penury and enslavement.
    Labour, you have had your day.
    Shame on you all

  40. Davy says:

    Not just a good article but the comments are of the same high standard.

    The reason I want independence is that I want my son to have every chance of having a happy life. I want him and everyone else’s kids to have a future that involves satisfaction in all parts of their life’s.

    I want an independent country that puts fairness of its people first and foremost before any other factor.

    I want the world to speak about the Scotland effect and want to have it themselves.

    I have a lot of “wants”, and independence is how I will achieve them.

  41. handclapping says:

    Now that is worth reading; I’m so glad I did. Give Ginger a scratch behind the ears and tell him out loud that we are proud of you.

  42. benmadigan says:

    Excellent post Paul.

    I was appalled to hear the citizens of Glasgow had fared so much worse than people in other cities of this “happy realm”.

    Reading some of the very touching personal recollections from commentators above of poverty, hardship and living in a cold northern European country without adequate heating brought to mind a post I wrote some time ago about the same type of conditions in Ireland, north and South.

    All testimonies bear witness to the same deleterious effects of British Domination over the non-English parts of these British Isles.
    The evil that it did (and does) lives on with it.
    It’s long past its sell-by date!

  43. JGedd says:

    Eloquently expressed and justified anger, WGD. The tragic anecdotes contributed in many heartfelt comments above help illustrate the generational effects on populations of long-standing neglect and political indifference.

    Epigenetics has shown that environmental factors acting on one generation – such as nutritional deprivation – can have detrimental effects on the health of later generations, resulting in conditions such as diabetes or heart problems or even mental health issues. (One such study comes from the well-documented famine inflicted on the Dutch population by the Nazi occupation in 1944. This study found that malnutrition suffered by mothers pregnant at the time affected the later health outcomes of their children and even their grandchildren.)

    There were many famines in Scotland in the past, in fact, the population of Scotland suffered from this attrition over several centuries. The actress, Audrey Hepburn, was a child during the Dutch famine of 1944 and though success in adulthood made her a wealthy woman, her later health problems, including periods of depression, were linked to that experience of privation.

    The Glasgow effect is obviously due to many complicated causes but it really is time that these causes were addressed instead of the blame and vilification often heaped on these communities. There have been too many wasted lives.

  44. Albamac says:

    Another excellent piece, Paul. The history of Glasgow under Labour is the long, sad song that prompted me to write this many years ago.

    Birds Cannae Fly where Pigs Fill the Sky

    Ah belanged tae Glesga,
    Dear auld Glesga toon,
    ‘Fore the men it the tap,
    wi’ their heids full o’ crap,
    tore aw the hooses doon.

    They oaf’rt us dreams,
    When they pit us in ‘schemes’
    An’ telt us that we’d be free
    O’ the dirt an’ disease,
    the rats, lice an’ fleas
    that wur killin’ the likes o’ me.

    Aye, they freed us awright
    Fae oor common plight
    An’ the ties that held us thegither
    Fur they scattered us wide,
    Weakint oor pride
    An’ left us tae watch oor toon wither.

    Noo it’s junkies an’ drunks,
    An’ ignorant punks
    An’ we huv tae pass laws tae curb bigots.
    Geez a blaw it yer skunk
    An’ a pavement tae bunk
    An’ chib men ur poorin’ oot spigots.

    They gave us Youth Ops
    An’ the Enterprise Shops
    Tae paint us a future that’s sunny
    But, time efter time,
    The managin’ slime
    Were busily stealin’ oor money.

    Their latest illusion
    is social inclusion
    While honest folk hunger an’ sicken
    An’ the mighty an’ high
    Take their slice o’ the pie
    Fill’t wi’ fresh fruit that’s ripe fur the pickin’.

    Noo, the pride o’ oor youth
    Is nothin’ but mooth
    They’re no’ buildin’ locos or liners.
    They’re turned oot lik clones
    tae answer the phones
    or shovel oot burgers in diners.

    Politicians take pride
    when their heids they should hide
    in shame it the waste an’ the plunder.
    Pigs that cin fly
    Held aloft oan a lie
    While their betters ur trodden under.

    Aye, Glesga’s jist rerr
    Fur the folk who get mer
    Than the wans it the fit o’ the ladder.
    Hauf a century’s passed
    Still the people come last
    An’ their tale jist gets sicker an’ sadder.

    There’s still poverty here
    An’ the experts ur clear
    That weans ur gaun hungry among us.
    Noo, fifty years oan,
    Ur we ‘titelt tae moan
    Ower the buckets o’ bull that they slung us?

    Noo they still think they’re right
    Wi’ their brains made o’ shite,
    They’ll sell us the myth in a mall
    But whit good ur shoaps
    Tae folk wi’ scant hopes
    Who’ve already been sent tae the wall.

    It’s money they need,
    tae buy daily breid,
    No’ Gucci or Harrods, aw naw,
    But they’ll no’ beat the greed
    That deepens their need
    An’ leaves them wi’ sweet hee-haw.

    Aw these leaders o’ oors
    Ur the basest o’ hoors,
    Fur yer vote they will promise an’ pander
    But when aw’s said an’ done,
    When elections ur won,
    They’ll sell ye oot fur a backhander.

    So, who pide the price?
    No’ the fleas or the lice
    Or the parasites in the city.
    The rats dressed in suits
    still gnaw it the roots
    O’ a tree that they’ve stripped withoot pity.

    There’s a rank, fishy smell
    An’ the still silent bell
    Cannae ring oot an audible warnin’.
    So we jist staun an’ gape
    While the chancers gang-rape
    the city that we were born in.

  45. davidbsb says:

    Arguably the root of this goes back to the two great European wars, the period between those wars, and the post second war destruction of the Scottish economy brought about by nationalisation and centralisation in the south.

    We really need to understand our own nation’s history. We need to know about our place in the great scheme before, during and after the Imperial project and the Union.

    Labour have held our country back for decades. They have been the trojan horse of the destruction of our aspirations. But hey, like Anglicised 18th century aristocrats, a fair few of them have done all right personally. You can see it in their ermine robes.

    We still have time and talent to fix this place. It is so very important we get our independence sooner than later.

    Alba Gu Brath!

  46. Saor Alba says:

    A rivan for Margaret. Well done Albamac

  47. arthur thomson says:

    What kind of people can be in positions of power, be aware and yet not care that their citizens are dying prematurely?

    Slab politicians.

    It says it all.

    Slab politicians deceived a vulnerable people into believing the myth of ‘working class solidarity’ and when they were well and truly harnessed they used them unscrupulously. They fed them on threats of just how bad the only single possible alternative would be and told them tall tales of the windmills they had fought on their behalf – aided and abetted by the Daily Record and the Sunday Post.

    Most of the people of Glasgow have thrown off the yoke of Slab and its ideology of learned helplessness.

    I didn’t dare to believe that I would see the day. I am so happy that I have.

  48. Saor Alba says:

    Just had a wee thought as I got up this morning.

    In order to try keep their pathetic Union together, they divide the people.

  49. christopherreay says:

    this article is the flip side of project fear.

    it’s not biting it. it’s feeding it. there’s no Glasgow in the world today. ask a syrian, or Afghan or Eritrean or Libyan, or Greek. I live Glasgow with all my heart, it’s the best place I know, with the best culture. the independence movement is categorically not about British history, it’s global. it’s not England or the English, but global domination we fight. together is together. it’s every one, everywhere.

    this article feeds the fear. call it anger if you like.

  50. douglas clark says:

    Christopher Reay,

    The academic paper suggests that Glasgow continues to suffer higher negative outcomes than it’s peer cities in the UK. That alone justifies the article, and indeed the tone of it.

  51. Steve Asaneilean says:

    What is happening in the Levant or Africa or Afghanistan or Greece is nothing new.

    In each of these localities the troubles we see now – the violence, the massacres, the movement of vast numbers of refugees – are merely a continuum of what has been happening for three millenia.

    Of course they are all important in their own right but this article is about Glasgow – and quite rightly too.

    The Glasgow effect is a festering sore on our own doorstep that we can actually do something about and the origins of which lie in the hands of generations of Westminster politicians and Glasgow City councillors.

    I acknowledge things are worse elsewhere but I can’t sort those problems.

    But I can do something to try and address the Glasgow effect and the corrosive inequality that lies at the heart of it. Indeed I already have as long time readers of this blog may recall.

  52. jamsey says:

    Having lived in many places over the years, including more socially democratic countries and just obscenely rich parts of UK. I concur that Glasgow has been shafted sideways but more people are getting sick and tired of being sick and tired and are now fighting back.

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