Category Archives: Uncategorized

SOSGlasgow bog – 2011 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 6,200 times in 2011. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 5 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Steven Purcell will not be taken to court

So Steven Purcell and his pal Ruth Black escape a spell in the dock. STV News

Purcell was supposed to have been worried that Glasgow gansters had footage of him snorting cocaine. I’m not sure why he thought it was a good idea  to be hanging around with gangsters in the first place. Maybe that’s normal practice for Glasgow city councillors?

There was also concern over the £50,000  of council money he tried to funnel into Ruth Black’s new LGBT centre. The worry being that the last one she helped run went bust owing thousands.

She also forgot to pay the tax and national insurance of the employees. Oh they managed to deducted the money from people wages, yeah that bit was fine, it was the passing it on to the tax office that seemed to be the tricky part. Labour ended up suspending Black.

And then there was the allegations that Black was supplying Purcell with drugs. (half way through)

 

 

If you don’t laugh you cry.

 

Council rivals unite to stop school closing

Evening Times
THREE Labour councillors have struck an alliance with SNP rivals in an attempt to overturn a decision by the city council on the closure of a special needs school in Glasgow.

The move sees three members of the ruling administration in the north of the city join forces with two Nationalists to use city council procedures to thwart the plans to integrate children at the Gadburn school into a nearby mainstream primary.

The Labour councillors, including Gerry Leonard, a major party figure in the Springburn area, and their SNP rivals are upset that the head of education, Cllr Jean McFadden, is alleged to have said only a Nationalist elected member raised an objection to the plans.

Mr Leonard and colleagues Gilbert Davidson and Catherine McMaster dispute this and have signed up to the SNP plan to have last month’s decision revisited.

They claim the education department has been too hasty in its plans to shut Gadburn and that most parents are fearful of the impact of integration with a mainstream primary on their children.

We have been talking to parents to get a workable plan
Instead, they have been championing a joint campus with Barmulloch Primary.

Under council rules, five elected members are required to sign a “call-in” notice to have the decision revisited.

It is understood this is the first time there has been a clear bipartisan strategy involving Labour members to undo an administration decision.

Councillor Grant Thoms, who instigated the call-in, said: “The education department is being too hasty at attempting to close Gadburn Special School.

“Councillors have been talking to parents to get a workable plan so the two schools could share the same building in Germiston but keep their separate identities.

“I have no doubt co-location is the way forward to give parents and pupils time to adjust to such a drastic change.

A council spokeswoman said: “A call-in allows scrutiny and enables local elected members to support their constituents.”

Big companies being let off with £25BN in tax while the rest of us are being squeezed dry

A UK wide campaign called UK Uncut has been working hard over the last 14 months to expose tax dodging companies like  Vodafone and Sir Philip Green‘s Topshop, among many others. It’s been estimated that Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has been going soft of their unpaid bills to the tune of £25 BILLION. After along hard slog, today the subject has made it to the top of the news.

Channel 4 News: HMRC ‘bent rules’ for big firms

BBC News: HMRC criticised for ‘cosy’ deals by committee of MPs

These are not struggling companies, and in the case of Vodafone one year’s profit would comfortably clear it’s outstanding tax debt.  The government says we need to slash public spending to balance the books, so why are profit rich companies being allowed to dodge billions in tax? 

There’s been a number of protests in Glasgow over the past year. To get involved and help get the money back we’re all due, keep an eye on UK Uncut’s Action List.

Topshop Protest - Argyle Street last week (17/12/11)

Store security seemed to mostly ignore the protesters, focusing more on the press photographers, preventing them from taking any pictures.

See also Twitter & facebook

Glasgow photos (bottom two) by Frank Martin – blog twitter facebook - feel free to use and share. No need to credit source.

Save the Accord Centre

Lifted from their facebook page.

Demanding a replacement for soon to close Accord day care centre for people with learning disabilities

For over 20 years the Accord Centre has been a well loved day care centre for people with learning disabilities in the East End of Glasgow. Due to the Commonwealth Games the Accord Centre, situated in Dalmarnock is to make way for a new road to the Games site. We are told that due to the ‘economic climate’ there will be no new day care centre and instead we are being offered a hired room in the Bambury community centre (which was recently in financial difficulty).

“The Accord centre means everything to me, all my friends are there, we get a good laugh there…I don’t want to be in a community centre…I don’t know who will be coming in or out…I want a safe environment” ..Cheryl McArthur, service user

We feel very strongly that this is completely unaccaptable and demand that from the millions being invested into these Games a new day centre is the minimum that the people of Dalmarnock and the East End deserve from these Games, otherwise what is the benefit of this big international spectacle to the people of Glasgow?

Please help us spread the word and raise awareness of this fight. The Accord Day Care Centre, it is more than just a ‘centre’, this is where people go to meet up with there friends, get support doing activities which they enjoy, gaining easy access to health care facilities…

We are fighting hard for our loved ones, and we will not give up.

If you would like to support us in anyway, please get in contact via facebook, twitter or email ( savetheaccord[at]hotmail.co.uk )

School axe battle blow as MSPs back closure

From the Evening Times

A long-running campaign to save the East Renfrewshire school gathered huge support

1 Sep 2011

Parents’ hopes of saving a closure-threatened school have been dashed after Scottish ministers backed a decision to shut the primary.

Hundreds of parents demonstrated against the closure of Robslee Primary School in Giffnock after East Renfrewshire Council unveiled a plan to merge it with Giffnock Primary School.

Education chiefs put forward the proposal in December last year but after consultation with parents and pupils the Scottish Government ‘called in’ the education consultation.

University of Glasgow protest: Police chief defends response

From STV News (video at link)

Click image for article on Glasgow Uni Climbdown.

The man in charge of the police response at the University of Glasgow protest has defended his officers after politicians and a student group criticised them for their ‘heavy handed’ response.

Superintendent Nelson Telfer made the comments to STV News following criticism from a former MSP, a Glasgow councillor and the Glasgow Student Representative Council over Tuesday’s protests.

Police were first called at around 10.30am by members of staff at the university. Staff there were dealing with the eviction of students who had been inside the Hetherington club for the past seven weeks. Over the next few hours, as the protesters left the inside of the building, the numbers of protesters outside swelled to around 150.

When asked if the police response – which is thought to have included around 80 officers, support vehicles and a helicopter – was disproportionate, Superintendent Telfer commented: “I would have to refute that in the strongest terms. Our officers’ response was proportionate to the situation and severe provocation that they sometimes faced today.

“I think it is of note there was only one arrest and that was after the incident. No people injured. No officers injured. In the strongest terms, I would say allegations of police brutality are absolute nonsense.”

Frances Curran, a former Scottish Socialist MSP, criticised the response. She said: “The deployment of at least 12 police vans, a force helicopter and large numbers of officers to enforce the cuts agenda of university principal Anton Muscatelli is scandalous misuse of police resources.

“This is surely a clear indication of the determination of the university and principal Muscatelli to bulldoze through his cuts agenda at any cost.”

Another to criticise was Martha Wardrop, a green councillor on Glasgow City Council. Backed up by party leader, Patrick Harvie MSP, she said: “Students occupying the Free Hetherington are taking part in a vital protest. I was disturbed to see police taking an active role in the attempted eviction, which served to inflame a volatile situation. I telephoned principal Muscatelli’s office to convey my views and explain that heavy-handed eviction attempts will only worsen relations between university management and the student body.”

The Glasgow Student Representative Council claimed that 80 police officers, 18 police vehicles and a police helicopter were at the scene.

‘Unacceptable’

Tommy Gore, president of the student group, said the presence of so many officers outside a university-owned property was “unacceptable”.

He added: “Whilst we support the university’s goal of turning the previously empty building into learning and teaching space, we cannot, in any way, see the justification for allowing such a disproportionally large amount of police onto our university campus.”

The protesters who had been inside the Hetherington club had been protesting against university principal Professor Muscatelli and proposed cuts of £20m at the university.

Postgraduate student Alice Coy was one of them. She said: “We’ve been occupying the building for seven weeks as part of an anti-cuts protest. We chose this building on purpose so that it was not an inconvenience to students as it closed a year ago.

“The security officers came in this morning to evict us, we’ve been given no warning. It’s very distressing and the university have been incredibly obstructive and refused to negotiate with us.”

The University of Glasgow, in a statement, said its security officers and Strathclyde Police were involved in evicting the students inside, as the building was due for refurbishment.

However, the university later retracted this statement, and police stressed they were not involved in any evictions.

A Glasgow University spokesperson said: “The University had previously written to the last remaining students occupying the Hetherington Building asking them to bring their protest to a peaceful conclusion. Since then, many students had left the occupation. But the continuing presence of occupiers in No 13 University Gardens was putting at risk plans the University has to refurbish the accommodation and to develop it for academic use.

“University staff entered 13 University Gardens this morning and asked the remaining occupiers to leave. The Police were then asked to attend when a group of protestors gathered outside. The occupiers left the building peacefully, and there were no serious incidents.

“In the afternoon a group of protestors has gathered in the vicinity of the University Senate Room. University staff are currently in discussion with them.”

Facebook Group

Billy Bragg joins Glasgow student occupation after gig

From the BBC

Billy Bragg had been performing at the Arches in Glasgow before he went to meet the students

Singer and activist Billy Bragg joined a student occupation at Glasgow University in protest over plans to cut or merge courses.

Mr Bragg headed to The Hetherington Research Club after a performance at The Arches in Glasgow on Friday.

He said on his website he took the students some beer and they chatted and debated until after midnight.

The university is currently seeking ways to address a funding deficit of £20m over the next three years.

Critics have accused management of trying to reshape the institution into a smaller money-making enterprise at the expense of academic quality.

The university has said it needed to respond to “unprecedented financial pressures”.

Mr Bragg told the BBC Scotland news website that the students at Glasgow University were not just campaigning about cuts but also about the “programme of trying to introduce the free market into education to the detriment of people who want to study humanities”.

“By making higher education only about things like business, we’re stifling those creative urges that have saved the economy in the past,” he said.

He told the students that he had been doing this type of resistance in the 1980′s.

He said this generation, by standing up for what matters, was showing the potential that people like him had waited a long time for.

Red Clydeside

One of the student occupiers said about 80 or 90 people had been at the club during Mr Bragg’s visit.

He said the singer turned up at about 2230 GMT and chatted for almost two hours to the students.

“He sang a song, chatted about his perspective and where he was coming from,” he said.

“It was mostly a friendly chat, but he wasn’t given an easy time of it – he had to give a robust analysis of his political stance.”

Mr Bragg who revised the words of the British version of The Internationale, an “anthem” of socialism, said he often stood up and sang the song at similar events.

“Usually people just listen to it, but last night when I stood on a table to sing it all these people sang along. They actually knew all the words,” he said.

“That was a new experience for me, so something’s changed.

“It reminded me of the great radical tradition in Glasgow. It plugged into the old Red Clydeside days. It gave me such a buzz.”

You must do better

From the Evening Times

Education bosses have promised to continue to support a failing Glasgow primary school criticised by inspectors.

Glasgow City Council spent £6.6million setting up Miller Primary, Castlemilk, three years ago.

Despite repeated criticism, teachers and administrators have failed to make improvements to bring the school up to standard.

A new report, based on an inspection carried out last November, contains further criticism.

It says that while attainment in writing has been boosted slightly, attendance is below average, pupils’ attainment in reading and maths is poor, and the school lacks direction.

Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Education praised Glasgow City Council for giving “considerable support” to the school, but said this support is not being used effectively.

The curriculum was criticised and the inspectors said the school still lacked a sense of direction while the head teacher was criticised for not providing clear leadership to staff.

Miller Primary was first put under the microscope by experts in 2009 and rated “unsatisfactory” and “weak”.

Inspectors said they would revisit the school to ensure improvements were being made, but these have not been forthcoming.

Glasgow education bosses said today they would continue to monitor Miller Primary.

And in a letter to head teacher Linda Sommerville, seen by the Evening Times, head of education Maureen McKenna said she would be keeping a close eye on the school.

The letter said: “As you know, I am disappointed by this report. I had expected more progress by this stage. I will be closely monitoring your progress.”

The school’s first report, released in January 2009, gave Miller four “weak” ratings and one “unsatisfactory” rating – the lowest possible.

Inspectors were so concerned they arranged a follow-up inspection, but the results of that investigation showed Miller had failed to improve.

The school, which is a merger between Tormusk and Windlaw primaries, is on the same campus as Castlemilk Family Learning Centre.

 

Register your hard won right to vote

A women is arrested in Dundee, 1910, for demanding the right to vote.

To vote in the Scottish elections on May 5th 2011 you must be 18 years old and a registered voter.

Registering to vote is the first part of the process of exercising your democratic rights.

If you filled out the form that was delivered between August and November by your local Electoral Registration Office you should be registered to vote.

If this was not done by you or other household member on your behalf you can still register to vote for the May 5th election. You can use the About My Vote website to register online.

Some people may have worries about going on the voters roll, possibly they have concerns about being harassed by debt collectors or other people who they don’t want to find out where they live.

There are two versions of the electoral register – the full version and the edited version. The full register is used only for elections, preventing and detecting crime and checking applications for credit. The edited register is available for general sale and can be used by other organisations for commercial activities such as marketing.
You can choose on your registration form whether or not to appear on the edited register.

You have two votes, one for a constituency MSP and another, often referred to as the “second vote”, to vote for a list, or regional, MSP.

Two ballot papers are issued, one for the constituency and one for the list vote, you use a single cross to mark your choice, one on each ballot.

How the right to vote was won

Your right to vote in the United Kingdom has been hard earned through militant campaigns to give the people the right to choose their political representatives.

It was only in 1928 that all women finally won the right to vote after a titanic battle with the British state in which many forms of direct action were pioneered; chaining themselves to railings, setting fire to mailbox contents and smashing windows.

One suffragette, Emily Davison, died after she stepped out in front of the King’s horse, Anmer, at the Epsom Derby of 1913. Many of her fellow suffragettes were imprisoned and went on hunger strikes, during which they were restrained and forcibly fed.

Chartists

Mass meeting of Chartists on Kennington Common in 1848

Previously it had been the world’s first working class organisation, the Chartists, who had fought for the extension of the franchise from landowners and property holders to the working man.

In a period of historical turmoil between 1838 and 1850, England, Scotland and Wales were convulsed by uprisings of workers, agricultural labourers and the liberal middle classes demanding the right to vote.

The Chartists linked their demands for universal suffrage to the economic demands of the working class. Chartists were in the leadership of a series of strikes that swept 14 English and 8 Scottish counties, principally in the Midlands, Lancashire, Cheshire, Yorkshire, and the Strathclyde region of Scotland. Typically strikers resolved to cease work until wages were increased and ‘until the People’s charter becomes the Law of the Land’.