Sunday, July 13, 2008

Getting what you deserve

Via The Englishman, The Times has an article about what an utterly fucking shit place Glasgow East is.
Glasgow East is a hard place to live, and a grotesquely easy place to die. In parts of the constituency, male life expectancy is 54, lower than The Gambia, nearly a decade lower than Bangladesh, and about 24 years below the national average. Move just a few miles to leafy Bearsden and you will live, on average, 30 years longer. Despite this, people here do not and cannot leave. For all Ms Livingston's lament, her kids are stuck in a ghetto ringed by some of the saddest statistics in Britain. Glasgow East has the highest proportion of voters on incapacity benefit or disability allowance and the fewest qualifications in higher education; nearly half the constituency's homes are social housing; and, in parts, unemployment has reached 50 per cent.

Pretty grim, eh? What do the voters think?
“I've always voted Labour. Always will. Just like my father did,” said Douglas Connor, heading to the shops in Easterhouse. “None of youse is going to tell me how to vote.”

Far be it for me to point out that if you live in shit and continue to elect the people who keep you in shit simply because, historically, your family has always voted for shit, then possibly all you are going to get is... well... shit.

30 comments:

Old Holborn said...

Who cares?

Not me. If people want to drink themselves to death, beat their wives, inject heroin, steal, mug, be pyscho violent and generally be Scottish, the East end of Glasgow is the perfect place to do it.

Vindico said...

DK, don't baffle the poor Glaswegians with probability.

Anonymous said...

One of the things barely touched upon in the article is the great elephant in the room of politics in the west of Scotland: poverty, crime, violence and drug addiction are all disproportionately present in Catholic areas.

The higher the Catholic population of a given area, the greater the criminality and drug use, the higher the dependence on benefits and state housing, the lower the educational attainment.

It has been deliberate Labour policy in Scotland to nurse imaginary grievances amongst the country's Catholic minority while simultaneously robbing the productive parts of Scotland blind in order to pay for the endless list of benefits.

The question that no-one wants to address is: what is to be done to vanquish the ills of dependence, entitlement and perpetual grievance from the Catholics of the west of Scotland?

(And before the "OMG U R SEKTARIAN" kicks is, I was myself raised a Catholic on the southside of Glasgow so I know whereof I speak.)

Sir Henry Morgan said...

" ...if you live in shit and continue to elect the people who keep you in shit simply because, historically, your family has always voted for shit, then possibly all you are going to get is... well... shit. "

Yup. Exactly. And Tories and Liberals are exactly the same. I'm nearly 56, pity it took me more than 45 years to learn that for myself.

I bitterly regret the day I first picked up a copy of the Guardian; and the same for the day I first watched the beeb. Long time ago now.

Too late for me ... but I've taken to talking to gangs of youngsters when I come across them hanging around on street corners. I was shocked (really) when I first discovered that almost none of them even know the names of any political party other than Labour (really). Shocked to discover that none knew anything at all of our pathetic electoral processes. Don't you learn Civics in school? Politics? No. Don't you do Citizenship classes? Yes. What do you do in them? Islam. Yes, seriously - I've been told exactly this. And I do not ask leading questions.

Then they start asking me questions, always questions. And naturally enough, I give them answers :). I've been as long as an hour trying to get away to get back home - but there's always one more question.

These kids aren't stupid. They KNOW that something's wrong in their lives, but they don't know enough to know what it is. No adult ever takes them seriously, and when someone like me comes along and does take them seriously then they start asking their serious questions - give them straight unpatronising answers and they can't get enough of it - every answer leads to more questions.

They aren't thick - they've just been kept deliberately ignorant. And they know it.

BrianSJ said...

All you have been reading is biased right-wing neo-con stories about Glasgow East. When Polly Toynbee goes to live there for the week before the by-election, you will get a more balanced report on what a great job Labour has done since Thatcher ruined the garden of Eden. I'm sure she'd be happy to fly in from her villa to do that?

nightjack said...

Its the old old story. He beats me, he hurts me, he cheats on me but I still love him.

Kinderling said...

Hope is a rope to string you up on.

Patrick said...

Sir henry,

Your point is very clear... The gulags (called schools) that they are sent to... teach them nothing, other than theyre stupid and should claim JSA..

Labour love to keep people poor... As it gives them a reason to be.. However Tory Cameron is the same..

Its a sorry state of affairs, for which these kids bear no blame...

the a&e charge nurse said...

Devil - isn't the libertarian ethos synonymous with the freedom to exercise choice, providing nobody else is harmed as a result of these choices, no matter how ill considered they might be ?

Following this logic surely the denizens from the seedy quarter of Glasgee are perfectly entitled to express their ancient preference for smack, fags, booze and deep fried mars bars - or any of the other risky behaviours affecting longevity: after all they are harming nobody apart from themselves ?

In fact, it could be argued that these hedonistic clans are the ultimate libertarians, since most are far too drug addled to understand Marx, let alone Mao, or even the post-war labour party ?

cookie said...

@the a&e charge nurse:

Did the Devil argue that they shouldn't be allowed to continue to exercise these freedoms?

Also, I'm not quite clear how being too drug addled to understand Marx et al qualifies one to be an 'ultimate libertarian'.

the a&e charge nurse said...

Surely the link is no more tenuous than the relationship between putting an 'X' on a piece of paper every four years, and how long you live ?

leg-iron said...

An acquaintance with a daughter at school asked what she was studying in her history class. At that time, they were studying the history of the Labour party.

They were not studying, and did not intend to study, the history of any other party.

So much for choice.

Anonymous said...

Glasgow East was a fucking shit place long before the Labour Party was founded.

Anonymous said...

An acquaintance with a daughter at school asked what she was studying in her history class. At that time, they were studying the history of the Labour party.
They were not studying, and did not intend to study, the history of any other party.
So much for choice.


::rollseyes::

Might they perhaps have been studying the history of the labour movement (which is actually on the national curriculum) rather than the history of the Labour Party (which is not)?

cookie said...

@the a&e charge nurse:

If you wish to explain why there is no causation between which Party a constituency elects and the life-quality indicators in the same constituency, then go ahead. You can definitely 'make a case'. I'm not sure that this will help to further my understanding with regards to the points I made in my previous post, but I could well have misunderstood the aim of your original post.

cookie said...

Silly boy, leg-iron. Your post implies that you suspect that the political Left is given favouritism in the curriculum offered by British schools. I hope anonymous 10:10 has put you right.

the a&e charge nurse said...

Let me try again, cookie.

Socialism is synonymous with nannying, while libertariansim is usually equated with personal freedom, and choice.

The Neds reject nannying, certainly when it comes to following sensible health advice, prefering, instead the free wheeling sensibilities of the solipsistic libertarians.

Perhaps I am reading too much into the situation, cookie, by suggesting the Neds are born risk takers.
But I can't help think that East Glasgee must be all too familiar with it's reputation for an early bath, yet, amazingly, its citizens continue to exercise libertarian tendencies rather than succumb to attempts at social engineering by the controlling nannys ?

cookie said...

@the a&e charge nurse:
'Let me try again, cookie.

Socialism is synonymous with nannying, while libertariansim is usually equated with personal freedom, and choice.'

Agreed.

'The Neds reject nannying, certainly when it comes to following sensible health advice, prefering, instead the free wheeling sensibilities of the solipsistic libertarians.

Perhaps I am reading too much into the situation, cookie, by suggesting the Neds are born risk takers.'

I think you are.

'But I can't help think that East Glasgee must be all too familiar with it's reputation for an early bath, yet, amazingly, its citizens continue to exercise libertarian tendencies rather than succumb to attempts at social engineering by the controlling nannys ?'

They don't 'continue to exercise libertarian tendencies'. They continue to get pissed, take drugs, commit crimes etc etc. This reduces their life expectancy. I think that the majority of individuals, whether they consider themselves to be relatively libertarian or authoritarian consider this to be a bad thing.

But now then, 'rather than succumb to attempts at social engineering by the controlling nannys'. In other words, huge 'investments' in attempting to change people's behaviour has little or no effect if they don't see the light themselves and if the measures put in place create perverse incentives: who ever would have thunk it?

leg-iron said...

Anonymous (aren't they always?), keep those eyes rolling. She was studying the labour party and knew the names of all the labour PM's. In between was just, well, blank. The country was apparently under crazed dictators or anarchy in between saviour Labour PM's.

Although I suspect you knew that already.

TheFatBigot said...

It is plain nonsense to say that Glasgow East is an unpleasant place to live. It can't be. They have social workers and "support" coming out of their ears. We know that "support" is not a blank cheque but a systematic programme of assistance to ensure that the oppressed and socially excluded gain their fair share of Porsches and City bonuses. We know this because the government tells us so, social workers tell us so and sociologists tell us so; there is a clear consensus of experts.

It is only social work deniers who say otherwise and they should be tried for crimes against humanity.

Now let's have an end to this nonsense chaps and rally behind Gordon and his fellow heroes.

BenSix said...

"An acquaintance with a daughter at school asked what she was studying in her history class. At that time, they were studying the history of the Labour party."

Was it for AS exams?

I've just completed a (staggeringly tedious) course on New Liberalism and the rise of the Labour Party, and if the daughter-of-aquaintance was on the same course and has only studied the latter she's doomed to failure.

the a&e charge nurse said...

"They continue to get pissed, take drugs, commit crimes, etc, etc".

Exactly my point cookie, solipsism writ large, or the irreducible end point of freedom of choice.

I suspect there are very few socialists amongst certain communities in East Glasgee - they simply loathe labour slightly less than they loathe the tories, or did until fairly recently.

Remember Glasgow had population densities near that of Calcutta after the war - the new builds in the North East of the city were badly hampered by an impoverished Glasgow corporation.

In the 1960's Easterhouse had 40,000 people serviced by x3 doctors and just one dentist - it wasn't until the 1990's that they introduced a cash machine [just one, mind].

If I was living in a community with x1 GP per 13,000 patients I would definitely be blaming the socialists.

Devil's Kitchen said...

"The Neds reject nannying, certainly when it comes to following sensible health advice, prefering, instead the free wheeling sensibilities of the solipsistic libertarians."

Oh, A&E, we're just not convincing you, are we? The behaviour that you are describing, of course, is the behaviour of libertines.

The Neds are indulging their pleasures whilst not considering any of their responsibilities.

And, as a matter of fact, they are harming others.

For starters, the vast majority have very little money and so their lifestyles are largely supported by the state. The state, of course, has no money but what it extorts from taxpayers.

If you subscribe to the idea that tax is theft, then simply by going about their daily lives, even those who are not actively stealing to feed a drug habit, etc., are, in fact, harming other people.

However, leaving aside the philosophy, just on a practical level, a great many of these Neds do commit crimes, etc.

But you are completely correct, A&E, I have no problem with the early death of these people (having worked as an Aux, I don't happen to believe that longevity is automatically good). They have chosen to go to hell in their own particular handcart.

DK

the a&e charge nurse said...

Semantics, Devil, pure semantics.

Burgess dealt with this very conundrum in "Clockwork Orange".

A man who is not free to choose, even if his choices are morally reprehensible, is not fully a man......he is instead a sort of clockwork orange.

Ultimately, Burgess feared the machinations of the state rather more than Alex's predilection for rape, drug taking, violent crime and ultimately murder.

I suspect Burgess had libertine tendencies [at least judging by his behaviour in Malaysia] but I'm sure even he would have recognised that libertarianism, while attractive on a theoretical level is unlikely to transcend the cognoscenti into a populist political creed ?

Rightly or wrongly a significant percentage of the population would fear the publics insatiable appetite for greed and stupidity if left to their own devices ?

Easterhouse typifies these dangers, socialism is merely a red herring.

leg-iron said...

Bensix - it was for Highers (Sctoland). I don't know the details of the course, all I know is that the module on political history was completely Labour-specific.

There was a considerable amount on the two world wars also. I'll see if I can find out whether Churchill was portrayed with horns.

V said...

I like Churchill's lesser known ideas from before he was a war hero.

He was suggesting that these types should be sterilised.

Seems like a fair swap - all that booze paid for by benefits, and all you pay is the lack of a future generation!

Works for them, works for everyone else!

Chris Snowdon said...

the a&e charge nurse said...

'A man who is not free to choose, even if his choices are morally reprehensible, is not fully a man......he is instead a sort of clockwork orange. Ultimately, Burgess feared the machinations of the state rather more than Alex's predilection for rape, drug taking, violent crime and ultimately murder.'

No one is saying that you should be free to 'choose' rape, violence and murder. The reason is (one more time for the world) these activities directly harm others. Commit these crimes and you go inside. No sympathy.
But if you want to drink, smoke, take drugs you can, but not at the expense of others. You have a right to get pissed and a right to get stoned but no right to expect me to pay for either. But then I suppose a life-time of welfare addiction tends to blur this distinction.

Glasgow Cinemas said...

Thank you great read. I agree storngly.

The Amazing Toad said...

Here are two of the candidates who are contesting Glasgow East next week;

CURRAN, Frances
Party Name: Scottish Socialist Party
Candidate Address: Flat 3/2, 12 Crow Road, Glasgow G11 7RT

CURRAN, Margaret
Party Name: Scottish Labour Party
Candidate Address: 75 Langside Drive, Glasgow G43 2ST

http://www.glasgow.gov.uk/en/YourCouncil/Elections_Voting/GlasgowEast_ByElection_2008/NoticeofPoll/

Now, cast your minds back to the Scottish election last year, where the poor, drunken Scots couldn't work out the "complicated election ballots". Now look at the similarity between the two candidates above. Both have the same surname. Both have "Scottish" and "Party" in the title of their respective parties. The only difference being "Labour" and "Socialist" and they both mean the same thing - "handout".

So, there's a contest between the Scottish Handout Party and the Scottish Handout Party and their candidates; Wee Hen Curran and Wee Hen Curran. And that's before we consider the third Scottish Handout Party - the Scottish National Party.

Polling stations will be open from 11.00am to 11.00pm. I shouldn't imagine they'll see much action before 2pm on account of most of Glasgow East's electors not being, ahem..."early risers". I would imagine that most electors will call in, after having had "the hair of the dog" in some dreadful, grey, box-shaped, pebble-dashed pub, with formica tables and a plywood bar-top upon which stand a depressing array of gas-charged taps advertising Messers McEwans' and Tenants' various carbonated piss.

What a headache for Labour's planners! It conjures up an image of Labour's proposed army of canvassers going from door to door, armed with graphic signs with which to persuade voters;

"Mr McAlchy?"

"Aye...whose fukkin' askin'?"

"Mr McAlchy, I'm from the Labour Party in London and we're here to make sure you continue to recieve money without having to work for it"

"Oooah.....fuken magic! Weer issit, then...thish moneh??"

"Mr McAlchy, first you have to do something for us"

"Errr wadu ye mean...."do sommin" "

"We need you to tick a box on a piece of paper"

"Soonds easy enough!...gimme the paper, cos ah wunt money fur som swally, y'ken"

Canvasser reaches into pocket and produces long plastic-coated sign depicting three symbols, from left to right; a tick, a red rose and a twenty pound note.

"Mr McAlchy, if you put one of these next to the box with one of these in it, then you'll continue to get these"

"Aye, OK....gimme it..."

"No, no, Mr. McAlchy, you have to do this next Thursday at the Polling Station....on the day of the election.....err, next week??"

"Yah fuken Inlish BASTAD ye!!!! Weers ma fucken moneh ye cunt ye???!!"

........sound of clenched fist on cheek, followed by groaning and sirens.

Hugo said...

(scene: Easterhouse estate, Edinburgh)

Local: Who are ye ?
IDS: I'm Iain Duncan Smith, the Leader of the Tory Party.
L: What ye doin' here, it's all Labour round here!
IDS: Yes, and look at it!