The Real Glasgow Conspiracy

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Postby Dexter St. Clair » Tue Sep 04, 2007 9:50 pm

It's been mentioned a couple of times mostly in the passing.

It's a phenomenon that's reflected in several organisations. COSLA which is basically funded by the four city authorities doesn't like having too many Glaswegians in positions of authority therefore the other three cities negotiate a slate of non Glaswegian candidates which they will vote for. Examine any Trade Union and the biggest chunk of membership will be in and around Glasgow. However the Glasgow membership will be slotted into a few large branches with one vote each in say executive elections. Whilst the small but politically adept Auchterfocall branch can combine with other smaller branches and trade aff votes in the various sections just to insure Glaswegians don't run everything.

Anytime the political map is redrawn Glasgow gets it. So Rutherglen is removed but Castlemilk is left in. Glasgow's business rates are shared with the rest of Scotland.

I could go on but one tends to end up sounding like a paranoid Old Firm Supporter. Then again they're they are the exception to the rule. Rangers and Celtic run the premier league because they pay for it. Everybody has a vote each but then votes are meaningless unless the old firm are in support.
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Postby crusty_bint » Wed Sep 05, 2007 10:21 am

I've heard many, maany stories about this over the years but no-ones ever been able to point to a source of confirmation. Fascinating stuff though and explains a LOT.
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Postby Socceroo » Wed Sep 05, 2007 11:04 am

I have read a bit of theory on it over the years. I understood it all stemmed from original concerns over Glasgow being the Red Clydeside around the time of the First World War and into the 1920's when guys like John MacLean, Willie Gallagher, Pat Dollan, Davie Kirkwood, Harry McShane and Manny Shinwell et al had a strong political influence in Glasgow, Lanarkshire and through to Fife etc.

Glasgow Council had for a period a number of Communists and ILP members within it although i think Pat Dollan like Davie Kirkwood and Manny Shinwell then became a bit more mainstream. (I am recalling from memory here instead of reading the books i have on it, so i could be wrong).

I thought the concerns over Glasgow were largely over by the 1950's when essentially it was a bit of an establishment / Tory stronghold politically.

Saying that a lot of the Plans for the New Towns were first conceived prior to WWII when establishment fears over Glasgow would still have been high.

An interesting topic.
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Postby hazy » Thu Sep 06, 2007 8:14 pm

Xnlt thread this. Good info. More of it please
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Postby Alex Glass » Fri Sep 07, 2007 8:46 pm

There was a week long article covered by the Evening Times a couple of years ago. Based on the release of Government documents under the 50 year rule.

I am sure it related to the Scottish Office civil servants taking decisions to withhold funding from Glasgow and was blamed for the population decline which was the intention anyway.

I am sure anyone interested will be able to search the Evening Times and Herald archives to find the articles.
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Postby HollowHorn » Fri Sep 07, 2007 9:21 pm

And so it goes:
That was until last weekend. While Labour at Holyrood accepted it, Prime Minister Gordon Brown responded that he intends to stick with "Scottish Executive", and the Scotland Office later clarified that Whitehall will continue to use the term, as the administration is a creature of statute and "Executive" is what the Scotland Act says.


http://www.theherald.co.uk/politics/new ... 58.0.0.php
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Postby Alex Glass » Sat Sep 15, 2007 9:02 pm

cochrane wrote:
Alex Glass wrote:I am sure anyone interested will be able to search the Evening Times and Herald archives to find the articles.


I dare say they could if they had ever heard anything about it.

No one I have mentioned this to had the slightest idea what I was referring to... the subject is virtually unknown.

That to me seems scandalous.


It was big news at the time and was covered by the tv news as well. Do the people you spoke to live in Glasgow? Or maybe they don't read newspapers like the Evening Times or the Herald.

It would have been scandalous if it actually happened the fact is it didn't. Mainly because Glasgow fought against it.
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Postby Socceroo » Sun Sep 16, 2007 12:01 am

cochrane wrote:It didn't happen? Not sure what you mean by that.


I don't know if it happened or not, but i have read quite a few sources stating that Glasgow was overlooked due to it's politics at certain times.

I don't know what Alex means by his comments also. I would be interested to hear why he was so sure that it did not happen.
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Postby Alex Glass » Sun Sep 16, 2007 12:06 am

Very sorry Cochrane

You are correct the policies did have an impact on Glasgow throughout that period. Higher unemployment the loss of population and less inward investment. These are all the points made in the Evening Times article.

It also points to the fact that during the the time of Strathclyde Regional Council more was spent in Glasgow to address the social problems that resulted in the policies to curtail Glasgow's strength.

Today we live in a much improved Glasgow. We have seen a decline in the population but in the last couple of years there has been a slight stabilization of the population and much more inward investment has taken place recently.

It was and is scandalous that these policies were carried out but Glasgow is a city of fighters in more ways than those who carried out these policies thought. We have rebuilt and re-branded the city more than once and will continue to fight our corner.
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Postby Alex Glass » Sun Sep 16, 2007 12:43 am

Again Cochrane you are right.

The whole point of creating the New Towns was to get Glasgow's Population down to a level that make it more of a town than a city.

I do think thou that rather than this policy being a secret the people running the city at that time may have been aware of what the intention was. It is easy to look at old documents and extract some information but they never give the whole picture. To analyse the subject you really need to look at what the reaction was to this policies implementation.

Maybe that is way it was no more that a one week wonder in the press and media. If it had succeeded we would have been living ia quite different Glasgow.
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Postby Alex Glass » Sun Sep 16, 2007 12:58 am

From Evening Times September/October 2002

Prescott

Glasgow Clearances

Secret Plot
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Postby Dexter St. Clair » Sun Sep 16, 2007 10:09 am

Where could all the money needed by SRC to undo the damage have gone instead?.


Things are never that simple but to put it simply it went to other parts of Strathclyde that were more inclined to vote Conservative. One has only to read the detailed boundaries of East Renfrewshire. More lines in the legislation were devoted to that district than Glasgow, and any other significantly larger authority. When the Tories broke the region up it was anticipated that the biggest losers would be Glasgow and Argyll. The latter was given Helensburgh to increase its local tax base and its conservative vote which was previously wasted in Dumbarton. It's complicated by the fact that a section of the then most parochial council on earth Glasgow District welcomed the region's demise. At last they could back to the glory days of the Corporation and run everything without of course nowhere near enough the amount of money required. They got Education back, Social work back and all the problems associated with them. Glasgow through SRC had been in receipt of 50% of improvement funds made available by the Government to Scotland. Michael Forsyth found new areas of deprivation in Stirling, Aberdeen , Ayrshire and any other authority that had a local conseravtive MP.

Anyway it's called politics and it goes on.

"AROUND 400 health jobs due to move to Glasgow under the Scottish Executive's controversial relocation policy are to stay in Edinburgh, it was announced today." Public Health Minister Shona Robison
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550 jobs moved from Glasgow

Postby Dexter St. Clair » Mon Oct 01, 2007 7:14 am

"I before E, except after C" works in most cases but there are exceptions.
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Re: The Real Glasgow Conspiracy

Postby escotregen » Wed Oct 03, 2007 9:01 pm

I think that we need to be careful of falling backwards into the trap of the tendency for some Glaswegians to play the victimhood card. The reason that the ‘conspiracy’ story petered out is because there is no evidence to support it. Earlier in the thread it was suggested there was evidence because:

“Prof Levitt...has uncovered a continuous effort to discourage economic development in the city. He believes these policies paved the way for the problems of unemployment, bad health and poverty which blight areas of the city today and place several constituencies among the poorest in Europe."

If the good prof Levitt ‘believes these policies paved the way for the problems… etc…’ then he was well over half a century out. Glasgow’s problems of bad health and poverty were already infamous by the time of the 1880s. (Unemployment was little recorded or analyzed until well into the 20th century).

In fact the so-called post WW2 conspiracy was part of a continued endeavor by many parts of society to deal with the internationally infamous problems of Glasgow. The immense geographical concentrations of population in appalling tenements were seen by politicians, planners and residents alike as the major cause of ill health and poverty to be eradicated. Slum clearance, depopulation and rebuilding were believed to be one part of the ‘solution’.

But of equal importance was seen to be the need to relocate the jobs and therefore entice the population away from the city. I well remember growing up in Glasgow at the time when for many working folk their dream was to move to the ‘new towns and a new job’.

Another well-intentioned aspect of this social engineering was to try to stem the loss of emigration from Scotland by providing would-be emigrants with an equally attractive ‘new start’ in Scotland. At the other end of the spectrum, economic planners concluded (still rightly in my view) that throughout the developed world old industrial centres like Glasgow would fare badly in the emerging competition for large scale inward investment for the new technological and service industries – the early experiments with Industrial Estates such as Hillington and Queenslie had met with very limited, and expensive, success.

I would agree that there was one period of outright blatant attack on Glasgow’s political base. That was the damnable gerrymandering by the 1980s Tories led by Michael Forsyth – a particularly repugnant Tory Secretary of State with the attitude of “abolish everything, the market will solve everything… err, except when we need to stitch things up for our own ends…”

As for the earlier stuff it could be easy in hindsight to cry ‘conspiracy’ and ‘they had it in for Glasgow’. But in fact the politicians. Planners, social engineers at the time with their ultimately futile grand plans and ideas, were in tune with the population; including the population in Glasgow. Unsurprisingly, there were no Prof Levitts around at the time campaigning to stop what was seen as enlightenment and progress by just about everyone at the time.

Today’s Glasgow and Glaswegians can do without the conspiracy stuff – they have done hugely well in reinventing the city to meet what the real world is like (and please, no crap about ‘aye but its no real jobs’). The acute and seemingly worsening problems of health and wealth inequalities are the immediate problems for Glasgow to tackle, not some conspiracy to do the city down; but even these inequalities are, to an extent, part of the costs of overall growing wealth. Another feature about these inequalities we could argue about is the extent to which they are self-generated by parts of the city community that long ago lost it cultural and social way in the period of de-industrialization.

Anyway, I’ll stop there as I think I better be brief :D
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Re: The Real Glasgow Conspiracy

Postby HollowHorn » Thu Oct 04, 2007 12:42 am

Excellent & rather courageous post there, Scotty. :wink:
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