Maryhill Library is a life-saver for some people in this community, one of the city’s most deprived. Children benefitted from story time and homework club. There is a writing group. The library is not a luxury, it is a necessity for so many of us: unemployed people, pensioners, young people, those who cannot afford to buy books and newspapers, people who do not own computers, people who just need a quiet, warm place where they can go to read, write or think. The staff are compassionate and supportive.
Maryhill Library has served the community for more than a century, and it must not be allowed to close now. Please sign this petition. And, if a petition is not enough, I suggest we take non-violent direct action and occupy the library to prevent it being used for any other purpose.
In the last few weeks, quite a few supermarket trolleys have been strewn around the Wyndford scheme, some arranged so artfully it might be worth applying to Creative Scotland for an award. Presumably they are being taken from the nearby Tesco, but what are those who liberate them doing to bypass the automatic locking of the wheels?
I live near a bar that is a notorious stab inn. A few years ago, there was talk that it might close, and I overheard someone walking by it say, “If they close it, where are the nutters supposed to go?”
This can be taken two ways. One is a typical Glaswegian compassion for “the nutters,” an understanding that even the most antisocial and violent people need community. The other, more practical, point is that if their hangout closes, they will migrate to other bars and make them less pleasant, safe and sane.
In the politics of Scottish independence, Alex Salmond’s new Alba party might serve the same function as the bar I shall not name. The worst bigots and other reactionaries — “the nutters” — now have a party to join, a community of their own, leaving the SNP a more pleasant, safe and sane place. The worst of the worst will join Alba, while the good and the merely bad will stay with the SNP.
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.”
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.