Sunday 8 December 2013


BTW I had heard that Glasgee pubs could be a bit rough, but a helicopter in the heed is just taking the piss. Vincent
 1 December 2013 23:5


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, 
Donald Trump. 

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.        


Mike said...

Worked in Glasgow for a few weeks in the early 80s. There were no modern glass/concrete buildings I remember, but these modern structures could be located anywhere and don't define a city.

What I remember are many fine victorian buildings, a legacy of mercantilism and civic pride - though no doubt the former corn exchange is now a dole office.

However, the many fine buildings were in stark contrast to most of the population who seemed like extras from a Mad Max movie.

Liverpool was very similar. An alien race populating a once fine city.

Maybe this was a glimpse of the future?

DtP said...

The thought of being on 3rd or 4th generation Nesbits with all the deformed and mutated, chemically diminished and booze fuelled ravages that have come from their buckfast bonking kind of fills the void between reality and paranoia – it’s not nuts to be scared to hell. There was a spate of temazepam indulgence in my 2nd of college – went to Hull – but somehow I missed the start of it so just watched my mates completely lose a week – it was funny at the time but when they sobered up and genuinely had forgotten the whole week I think everyone realised – perhaps not, no, perhaps treat them as slightly different to your bog standard class A’s and B’s.

I think Hull’s got a similar problem to Glasgow – most definitely a sleeping giant – but they’ve segregated the town in extremis. Massive council estates set away from the rest of the town and largely ‘normal’ places elsewhere. I’m glad it’s been chosen as a city of culture – not much art deco there but the old town is awesome – loads better than poncey York or Chester – but you genuinely feel like you’ve wandered back in time somehow, wandered through the time tunnel where geography takes over as the estuary totally dominates everything – it’s fricking huge! It’s like the buildings have been formed to cope with the physics of using the river to trade with the rest of the world – totally utilitarian and yet built to the height of engineering skill as they could never envisage that the river would become redundant. I guess conceiving of oil tankers even 100 years ago was cuckoo land and freighters even more so.

My best chum from school went to Liverpool Uni and it amazed me that the 2 towns were so variant in their economics. Liverpool has always been slighted as being a sink hole but in comparison with Hull it was like Monaco or something. They really have traded on their famous bands and the proliferation of showbiz dudes whereas Hull’s got err..Larkin, The Beautiful South and The Fine Young Cannibals – hmm..

Yeah, should visit Glasgow. As you say about Edinburgh – it defo feels like a foreign town. One of my exes went to Glasgow Uni and she always said it was lovely. I went to Vatersay for a couple of years for A Level biology and have always had it in mind to retire up there. Someone’s just bought an island round there for £500,000 which, frankly, is a giveaway. If I lived in London and had bought a house 20+ years back – I’d have retired already. Mind you, I guess I’m totally biased in that if I’ve got an 8 iron and a hip flask of whisky – I’m good for hours.

3rd generation Nesbit – yeah, that’s gonna hang for a while - bbrrrrrrr

Anonymous said...

Why do you call her 'whisky Maggie' Mr Ishmael?

Did she drink a lot?


Mark said...

The jocks are their own worst enemy.
My father-in-law was a proud (aren't they all) Aberdonian and although he was emotionally right wing he slavishly voted Labour even though he knew it did him no good.
He was one of the trawler men who got screwed in the cod wars - he died before the government eventually decided that the workers deserved paying off as well as the fleet owners.
His widow lived long enough to be told that she would get some money but died before the cheque arrived.

Alphons said...

Well I used to be proud that I came from Bradford.
Now I am pleased I left it when I did.(65 years ago)

tober said...

That Kelvingrove museum is pretty amazing inside as well. I went to the Vetriano art exhibition last month and couldn't believe the splendour of the place.
The People's Palace has a good exhibit of the Red Row flats that were finally demolished. They started like most of the 60's and 70's tower blocks....modern and roomy compared to the slums of the gorbals etc but soon ran into problems when used as dumping grounds for druggies and life's flotsam.

blackholesunset said...

There was programme on BBC Four recently, about Glasgow, its architecture and town planning history: "The Bruce Plan for Glasgow".

It was very interesting but lead, on my part, to a bout of angry, TV directed shouting and fist waving.

A lot of apparently well-intentioned, Modernist drivel that called for the complete demolition and rebuilding of the entire city centre. Everything, even - and perhaps especially, who knows - those buildings for which it is now be best known and regarded.

I was left with the impression that, at the time, there was a kind of mystical belief amongst Modernists architects that building tall residential blocks would itself lead to cleanliness and social order.

lord low-rise (part one) said...
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lord low-rise (part two) said...
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Anonymous said...


It says 'Leave your comment', not 'Leave your faux-intellectual diatribe'.


lord low-rise said...
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heinrich bowl said...
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