Boris Johnson is the Prime Minister of England, and, if you believe in democracy, it is right and fitting that he should be. In England his popularity, and that of his party, is six points ahead of the party led by Keir Starmer that no longer has any connection to its name.
There can be no democratic argument that Johnson does not represent England. The majority of English voters want him, and they have him.
The majority of Scottish voters do not want him, and we have him. And, as he continues to treat Scotland with contempt, he is proving that, until Scotland is independent, our votes do not matter. In May, Scottish people will overwhelmingly vote for Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP — and we will continue to get what England votes for. Anyone in Scotland who opposes independence opposes their own right to vote.
I have written previously about activist organisations whose (in)activity is mostly, if not entirely, confined to social media/surveillance capitalism.
Online campaigning is of limited effectiveness, as it allows people to click “like” and feel they have done something. So today members of Wyndford Tenants' Union were on the streets, asking tenants to sign our petition against Cube Housing Association's planned rent increase. Talking with people, it was clear that there are many who not only are not on social media, but do not even have email. To exclude such people when campaigning is to naively fail to build a broad base, and, worse, it is classist.
A week after I asked Cube Housing Assocation about rumours from within that Managing Director Laura Henderson was to be laid off from her job, I received a response from Linzi Heggie, the organisation's Head of Housing Services. “In relation to your question about Laura Henderson, I can confirm that this information is false.”
Cube Housing Assocation has a poster with the slogan Put Rent First. This inspired Wyndford Tenants' Union to create a poster of our own. Martin Armstrong, chief executive of the Wheatley Group, which owns Glasgow Housing Association, which Cube is now part of, isn't having to choose between rent, electricity, or food.
Rumours from inside the organisation suggest why Laura Henderson has not responded to my recent questions; it may not be her concern anymore, as she, and the rest of Cube Housing Association's management, is said to be getting laid off as the organisation becomes part of Glasgow Housing Association.
“She's getting a golden handshake along with the rest of the managment there,” I was told.
I have emailed Ms Henderson to ask for confirmation, but previous form suggests a reply is unlikely. On the bright side, if she is no longer there, she will be no less answerable to Cube tenants than she has been for the past year.
I remarked today to a fellow tenant (or “customer,” as you call us) that communicating with Cube is a bit like praying. But then I corrected myself, because when praying we do not know for certain that no one is listening or that our supplications will be ignored — which we can be certain of when communicating with you.
A week after I posted this, the stairwells and lifts in the high flats on Wyndford Road are no less manky. I sent the link to Laura Henderson, Cube's Managing Director, right after I posted it, but I have had no reply from her, or anyone else at Cube. I did not expect one, but I hoped to be wrong.
But at least one tenant (or, as Cube calls us, “customers”) has a sense of humour, as evidenced by this in a stairwell: