BTW I had heard that Glasgee pubs could be a bit rough, but a helicopter in the heed is just taking the piss. Vincent
It is a strange, beautiful, eery sort of place, Glasgow. I first visited shortly after the Year of Culture in 1990 and was knocked-out; as a Victorian city it made Birmingham look like a slum, yet the grand, 19th century civic and commercial buildings, classical and gothic, were cheek by jowl with turn of the century Glasgow School creations
and with elegant, soaring, modern - post-modern? -
almost futuristic structures;
if you haven't been, do go and have a look,
the drive through the city on the M8 could be a Computer Generated Image from a Hollywood blockbuster, so dramatic, it looks as though it can't possibly be real.
On other occasions and in other parts of the city, as I've mentioned before, I have been too fearful to leave the dogs unaccompanied in the car, lest they be stolen by the shuffling groups of shell-suited, tomazepamed NEDS,
wasted and wounded, pale, skeletal, the walking dead, with tattooed faces and lips, lest my little warm, brown friends be stolen and tortured. It's just my imagination, running away with me. I recognise an infinity of paranoid possibilities only because it exists; this skin-prickling, hair-standing, premonitory uneasiness, this para-awareness is a sixth, seventh and eighth sense, the detection and anticipation of Danger, it explains how we have survived to run the world, despite it's other inhabitants being lethal to us. By the pricking of my thumbs, something Glasgow this way comes.
For pressure on my spinal cord, my secondary GP, Dr Rolex - he wears a gaudy one - has just prescribed Gabapentin, an anti-convulsant used as an analgesic. I'm not mad or anything, don't have fits. Not a nutter. The 300mg ones are very popular on the Glasgow Street, Doc attested, like a potent form of cannabis. Don't know what he meant, I always though any kind of cannabis pretty potent.
So maybe my caution does not relate to a race-memorised, imaginary beast, to a subconsciously lurking Beowulf; maybe these ersatz zombies, off their heads on unemployment, Buckfast tonic wine and cocktails of prescription drugs really are a real life nightmare menace; the pallid, emaciated grandsons of Rab C Nesbitt,
lacking even a flicker of his wit, his pathos, his tumultuous, runaway, strangled, furious eloquence; just half-alive werewolves prowling, with intent. To know, know, know them, is to fear, fear, fear them; these are the children of darkness
I think it's widespread, classless, this guzzling of pharmaceuticals; some local social workerettes of my passing acquaintance, on a Friday night swapping prescription anti-depressants, anorexics, analgesics, sedatives and anything else and washing them down with - I think - a JaegerBlaster, a shot glass filled with some Devil's liqueur, set inside a glass of white wine or cider and knocked back in one, on top of the pills. Give proper junkies the horrors, they would, and on Monday morning they're back in charge of the vulnerable. These are desperate times; people don't even know how to do drugs any more.
I don't know the city at all well, I can just about find my way around it; stops there have generally been overnighters, heading South or homeward bound but there have been a few weekends during which I have always found it to be a fantastical sort of place, foreign, an abroad sort of place, Scotland is another country, as are Wales and Northern Ireland. Glasgow, with its tenements and temples, bawdy drinking dens, arborealised college campuses
and it's re-invented riversides, creates a vague sense of Greatness dormant. If only the tribesmen would celebrate, re-awaken this slumbering potential, you'd have to love them for it; instead, their bitter sermon is one of rank, fathomless Grievance, Nicola Sturgeon
gibbering an unstoppable cascade of contemptuous complaint; the bogus statesman, Salmond, generally tucked-in behind her,
out of his cheesy soundbiting depth,
Aye, city states, too, maybe it's the way to go. It's the way of the future, more borders, more bureaucrats and best of all, more o' they politicians.
netting himself in his own lies,
the greasy, fat oaf hooked on his own, risible distortions and blustering misrepresentations, his parliamentary opponents
Labour capo, Johann Lamont,
Would you just look at her?
lacking the grubby, bullying skills he learnt over decades in the bars and knocking shops of Westminster,
all too stupid, too tongue-tied, too cack-handed to even land a blow on him.
Salmond with one of his many paymasters, the great Scot,
If you take a mooch around Glasgow, it's mysteries, its stolidness, its bulging past, you are bound to think, as I do, that Scotland deserves better than the despicable riff-raff in Holyrood - bandits, drunks, thieves, bullies, Masons, ponces, green fairies, hard-faced, jive-talking, lesbian ghouls and blustering bigboy liars.
There are Glasgow corners of despair, it is true, and decay. Have mercy, I cry, City. This is the way cities are, the way they have become; the rich live in the country, the poor and the plutocrooks live in the town, up in the air. The Kelvingrove Museum,
on the other hand,
with Dali's St. John of the Cross,
is a series of dreams, glimpses - artistic, mechanical,
scientific, architectural - of what we all could be.
The shockingly low life expectancy in parts of Glasgow - that aspect of the city which fuels so many acerbic and derogatory comments - reveals the sustained, selfish, preening, malevolence of Scottish Labour. No use blaming Whisky Maggie, she spread her poison all over the UK not just over Scotland. But as with Diane Abbott in Tower Hamlets, Jock Labour has had not decades but over a century to help make it's constituents prosperous and healthy; would they do that? Would they fuck. They operate to mr jgm2's theorem, throwing down to their victims enough crumbs to persuade them to continue voting Labour, yet never providing them with a hand-up.
The betrayal of labour by Labour is not unique to Scotland, fuck, no, but it has been more entrenched, its bitter jigs and reels of deceit more compellingly danced, reinforced by the hand-clapping rhetoric of scoundrels. Scotland, short-sightedly, if understandably, used to love Labour but it's all over now, Labour's operatives scarecrow men and women, stuffed into cheap suits, fitted with a repetitive, useless bird scarer whose batteries flatten further with leader, Johann Lamont's, every dismal, contradictory utterance, an opposition more ornamental, more ceremonial than challenging. If Salmond and Sturgeon simply did what for them is unthinkable and for the next year shut the fuck up, Labour's Lamont and her band of sweaty, stuttering idiots would deliver them an overwhelming vote for independence.
Glasgow, anyway, is a different place. Edinburgh is a fine, big posh place, but its like a tart's boudoir, crawling with MacMediaMinster pimps, hacks, writers and upper crust, estate agent and banker type crooks; crawling with snooty whores in Crombie overcoats, their gross, Kirsty Wark noses in the air. Not for me, although the Royal Mile is well worth an open topped 'bus ride. Glasgow seems honest by comparison and seems much more.