glasgow council

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Part of Limmy’s thread on the Orange Order march in Glasgow over the weekend.

He retweeted a video of the marchers and crowds singing ‘The famine is over, why don’t you go home?’. Glasgow City Council consented to this disgusting sectarianism, additionally police officers were standing by allowing this to go on but that really doesn’t surprise me anyway.
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July 17th 1652 saw the Great Fire of Glasgow, destroying nearly one third of the city.

I have differing dates for this, one source tells me it happened on June 17th, another July, since I didn’t pick it up in June, I’ll go for today!

There is a surprising amount known about the fire, starting in the house of Mr James Hamilton above the Cross, the breezy conditions helped it to spread to dwellings, shops and warehouses throughout the Saltmarket, Briggait, Gallowgate and Trongate.

This partial devastation of Glasgow was enabled by the flammable material of the buildings themselves. Buildings of this period were roofed with thatch and had wooden fronts, which provided convenient and plentiful fuel to the flames. The town’s primary means of extinguishing fires – leather buckets to carry water from wells and burns – was ineffective against such a large-scale disaster.

Stirlings archives mention the fire and give the date as June but I found this quote in the excellent Mark Jardine’s book of Martyrs

‘There followed [the Mirk Mounday Total Eclipse] a great heat that summer, and in July of that yeir was Glasgow brunt, the whole Salt-Mercat, and a great part of the town; the fire on the one syde of the street fyred the other syde; I observed myself the wind to have changed the tyme of the burning five or six tymes, which occasioned the burning of severall parts of the city.’

BUT!! We have evidence from Glasgow Town Council minutes on June 22nd on (a) “Suddent Fyre” which records that they appointed quartermasters for every street in the town. These officials had the authority to inventory the houses and goods of those unaffected by the fire and use them for the benefit of those who needed help.

In another council minute, eight months after the fire, it is recorded that all the leather buckets owned by Glasgow are either stoline away or brockine. In order to ensure that more buckets could be purchased, the council arranged for every new burgess of Glasgow to make an additional payment of five pounds upon entry. This tradition continued into the nineteenth century and was split equally between the Merchants and Trades Houses.

The map shows how Glasgow looked in the 17th century, the other two pics are grabs from the Glasgow Council minutes. 

Govanhill

For those of you that stay up-to-date with Scottish and Glaswegian politics, you’ll probably have noticed that The Times ran a piece today regarding lurid claims about the Roma communities in Govanhill.

1) Racialising issues surrounding child protection is extremely unhelpful.

2) Any evidence of this, if it exists, should be given to the police, rather than reporters. And especially not reporters from the Murdoch press.

3) The sources for this article are from one anonymous social worker and a handful of local residents? That’s it? “We asked a bunch of racists in the pub what they thought about Roma children. Their responses will SHOCK you.” Hardly in-depth investigative journalism. Shouldn’t the police have been spoken to?

4) These allegations are not new, they’ve been reported as far back as twelve years ago, and yet when evidence is asked for, it is never produced. The reason for this article is designed to provoke.

5) “Govanhill is in Nicola Sturgeon’s constituency! This is what Scotland would look like if it became independent!” Hmm, now, I’m no expert but I’d have said that this is more a council issue with regards to social services and housing. And who ran Glasgow City Council up until six months ago? Ah, yeah, that would be Labour. They ran Glasgow for eighty years. EIGHTY YEARS! So don’t expect decades of Labour neglect in Glasgow to be fixed overnight.

6) One of the issues is to do with rogue landlords allowing their properties to become unfit for habitation. Some of the state of the tenements that are being rented out are disgusting. But again, this is a council issue. Send in the authorities, fine the landlords responsible, and ban them from being able to rent out properties again, and issue a compulsory purchase order and make it a council house.

7) Police Scotland have said they have “no current intelligence to substantiate concerns reported in The Times…but will conduct a full investigation and interview every named person in the story.”

8) As a southsider who has lived on the edge of Queens Park for years, and walked on Victoria Road at night, I’ve never had any problems being in Govanhill. Other than that time when I dropped my ice cream on the street just after I came out of the Queens Cafe. Whyyyyy.

Remember back when the then head of UKIP in Scotland posted on facebook something about Glasgow City Council and got in a bit of bother because he put “GCC - Gays, Catholics, Communists”?

That will stay with me forever.