I thought after the elections that things would quieten down that I would be able to check Twitter in the morning and not start the day with “FFS”.
How wrong can you be? Yes I know I should stop checking so early on in the day (and looking for a picture of Mundell didn’t improve my mood either.)
This morning I was greeted with this gem for the Scotland Office
You can imagine the reaction it got.
It’s as bad as the bloody Lego figure they inflicted on us during the referendum. Remember them? How far does £1,400 go for Scots?
The free hugs after staying in the UK seems particularly ironic remembering the scenes of “celebrating unionists.”
That had cross-government approval from the Cabinet Office, Treasury and other departments, which just shows the quality of government under the Coalition. Unfortunately it seems the Tories either haven’t learnt their lesson or, as I suspect, just don’t care if they come across as patronising.
I will not be the first or last to ask “Just what is the Scotland Office for?” It sure as hell doesn’t represent Scotland in Westminster. It feels like it and Governor General Mundell pop up every few months to sneer at the locals and then disappear again.
I think I would have just written it off as general trolling by the Government if it wasn’t for the fact that “Revealed: ‘Glasgow effect’ mortality rate blamed on Westminster social engineering” from the Herald (archived link) appeared in my TL within the next few seconds.
A report is to be launched this week from the Glasgow Centre for Population Health, University of the West of Scotland, NHS Scotland and University College of London claims that the ‘Glasgow effect’ (that comparatively more people die prematurely in Glasgow than the rest of the UK than can be accounted for by poverty alone) is due to social engineering policies implemented by the Scotland Office despite them knowing they would damage the long-term health of the population.
Scottish Office documents – released under the 30 year rule – show that the new towns which housed the city’s skilled workforce and young families meant that only “the old, the very poor and the almost unemployable” were left behind.
The break up of communities has been highlighted often as a contributing factor to the decline of healthand a document ‘The Glasgow Crisis’ in 1971 stated the city was in a socially and economically “dangerous” position as a result which equated to “a very powerful case for drastic action to reverse present trends within the city.” Despite this warning the policy was continued and further communities destroyed.
David Walsh, of the Glasgow Centre for Population Health stated “The Scottish Office embarked on a series of policies that effectively wrote off the city – they designated it a ‘declining city’ and their plans focused on economic growth elsewhere. This was a policy that went on for decades despite an awareness that this was having a massively negative impact in socio-economic terms and therefore on health.”
Glasgow was falling behind similar cities such as Liverpool and Manchester, mainly due to overcrowding and local governments prioritising regeneration of the city centre over housing schemes, far less was spent on housing or repairs in schemes such as Easterhouse, Drumchapel and Castlemilk, leaving people’s homes poorly maintained and subject to damp.
YES I’M LOOKING AT YOU GLASGOW LABOUR, 70 years in control. This has happened under YOUR watch!
These situation made Glasgow more vulnerable to the policies introduced by the Thatcher Government after 1979, which left the city with weakened industry, loss of skilled labour and very large numbers of problematic council houses in peripheral estates and high rises.
Chik Collins, University of the West of Scotland, claimed Glasgow city and regional council responses further impacted on health. “It was a Scottish variant of trickle-down economics that focussed on retail and tourism, ultimately at the expense of other parts of the community which did not benefit and which did not get the help they needed from elsewhere.”
“Glasgow got a double-dose of neoliberalism – the UK Thatcherite version, and the more local version led by the Scottish Development Agency and the Council.
What can I say, we had and have a Tory Government that don’t care about Scotland (apart from what they can squeeze out of it – remember Johnson wanting Scottish water piped to London which we would have had to contribute to the cost) plus a local Labour administration who was out for all they could get. As an aside I see another one has been arrested.
I make no attempt to hide I love this city and it angers me on how badly its people have been cared for. We are stuck with the Tories and their Scotland Office but next year I hope to see the parasites in Glasgow City Council removed.
I don’t expect things to change overnight, so many years of waste and neglect will take time to overcome, but I hope the new administration will show it intends to work for its people and not to line their own back pockets.
UPDATE: Link to report