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The Glasgow Keelie


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The Evening Times might have bigger headlines but this doesn’t stop the Keelie being bold and lifting bits like this: ‘Glasgow will be rocked by the biggest bang in the city’s history this year.’


Glasgow will be filthy from them blowing up another highrise.

September the twelth is the latest date set for the demolition of the 23 year old Queen Elizabeth blocks in the Gorbals. Baseless to the end, Glasgow councillors, ably aided and abetted by the Evening Times, want to make a gala occasion of the whole shameful affair – celebrating the destruction of two miserable blocks of asbestos ridden concrete that stand as witness to the attitude of the city fathers throughout the generations – fuck the plebs. Even in destruction the blocks will breathe that attitude.

Bringing these blocks down will send huge amounts of dust over an area as large and widespread as the rain and wind want to choose. The Council want citizens, weans in tow, to attend the event; the Evening Times ran a competition, kids only could enter, the winner gets to ‘press the plunger.’ The explosion will create a massive cloud of asbestos impregnated dust. Anybody in the direct vicinity of the site will be directly under that cloud. Would it not be wiser to evacuate?

The date itself seems to have been decided to suit some dignitary or other. No thought given to the likely weather, air pressure, wind, rainfall. The dust should be doused by constant spraying with water. Will this happen? Of course not. Should someone not monitor the cloud? Our information is that the Environmental Health Department has not even been approached; City Building Control says it’s OK to go ahead so that’s that.

A day for celebration? A day for getting as far away as possible. A day for hoping that the councillors and their knob-end friends are the only attenders at this vile event. They’re the ones who are ‘sure’ it’s safe. They’re the same breed as the ones who were sure that the remedy for communities were blocks like the Queen Elizabeth - inside full, outside empty.

A load of rubbish about Paddy’s Market

Without Paddy’s Market, too many Glasgow families couldn’t survive. With such a high level of dependency on State benefit and the Government restlessly attacking the worst-off, basic welfare is deteriorating at an alarming rate.

Always the victims of a cynical, profit-motivated economy, ordinary folk often find it impossible to just get by. Not for them the shopping adventure to buy new shoes or school clothes for the weans, a winter overcoat or an outfit for special occasions like a job interview. High Street prices are not an option. Even second-hand/charity shops are often beyond their purses.

But Paddy’s Market being more of a recycling process and hand-me-down market, ‘where the poor sell to the poor’, is essential to the way of life for those most affected by unemployment. That it is also an enduring tourist attraction has little bearing on its importance to Glasgow’s victims of poverty. It should be valued more for its crucial economic function for ordinary folk than its tourist development potential. This is no sentimental gush for the bad old days, it is recognition that planners and developers would like to get their hands on it and turn it into upmarket units. About seven years ago, the Central Area Management Committee had a vision that ‘Paddy’s’ could become the Left Bank in Paris. A bohemian-yuppiedom to empty the pockets of visitors and tourists into the bank accounts of the landlords who would live off Glasgow’s art community.

The chief champions of this were Bailie John Moynes, Roy Jenkins MP and the Briggait Trust, backed by Glasgow District Council. You couldn’t trust any of these with your granny’s teeth never mind the oldest surviving market in Glasgow. There was a successful campaign by the traders and public alike which left no doubt as to the debt of support for the Market to remain as it was. Just after this, rather more than coincidentally, British Rail doubled the rent from £3,500 a year for each railway arch to £7,000. As landlord, they have continued to cash in on Paddy’s Market without doing a solitary thing for it. Instead they insist the traders are responsible for the up-keep of the arches yet they won’t give them anything more than a year-to-year lease. Nobody in their right mind would carry out the extensive repairs needed when they could be thrown out at 40 days notice whenever the landlord decides. Two years ago they raised the rents again to £11,000 while the arches crumbled around the traders who can’t afford to anything about it. Could this be to do with the threatened privatisation of BR; what for Paddy’s Market then? Finding it hard enough to deal with this, they are being continuously accused of making the place untidy with their rubbish. It is the Council’s responsibility to pick up rubbish at appropriate times and it’s because they deliberately do not, that Paddy’s Market and the Briggait are so often strewn with rubbish. As with all shops in the City Centre, rubbish has to be tied in bags exclusively bought from the City council and the traders have no choice but to comply.

However, unlike the High street shops whose rubbish is uplifted to suit trading hours, Paddy’s is not cleared until after midnight. It is while they are awaiting the Cleansing Dept that the bags are rummaged through by poor souls looking for left-overs or ripped apart by dogs and cats. By the time the nightshift comes around the wind has blown the rubbish all over the place. Most traders view this as a deliberate tactic to discredit the Market in lieu of some future plan. Considered along with the recent fencing-in of the spare ground just off Shipbank Lane, their worries seem to be well founded.

Demonstrations were held to stop the fences going up and the police were called to keep the peace. Money was seen to change hands between one contractor and a policeman at the site and there were threatened jailings as they put up the railings. To end the row, the City Planning Dept. gave assurances of the Market’s tenure and this was followed by a press release from Jimmy Wray MP. Avoiding their fins, he gave himself and City Councillors a slap on the back for their heroic support. Since then more fences have been put up with traders being harassed by the police and a number apprehended.

Mr Wray forgot to say that the imminent extension to the High Court will include a ‘new main entrance’ from St. Margaret’s Place with the necessary vehicular access and car-parking. This will be separated from the railway arches by the building of a twenty feet high wall. Are the developers going to stop there? Traders have been told that Paddy’s Market is safe for another hundred years but how can they be sure when the people that assured them don’t seem to know what’s happening tomorrow?

The New Gorbals

Eff you see kay eye en fuckin gee bee
eh ess tea eh are
fuckin dee ess so they urr always in a
hurry to tae press folk
that’re broken intae the grun an have
done wi them aw the
gether so shut the curtains and call in
the weans they’re
spurtin their poison again aw ower
the Gorbals jist like when

They lost their marbles over the Hutchie
‘E’ hooses remember
they sat in their chambers tellin us aw tae
stop breathin
so’s the damp ridden middens could dry
oot an they were seethin
an got their mohair suits in a ruffle when
they were caught
rotten for the whole kafuffle an promised
a new plan without
McCann an Lally so’s they could stay
pally wi the people an
build nae mair steeples a’ misery for them
tae waste away an
aws they’ve done is flatten the damp flats

An disturb the rats
that were camped there for aw they
years when the people’s
tears were totally ignored an noo
they’ve boarded up Queen
Elizabeth Square so’s it can be blown
up intae the air an leave
the whole soothside covered in dross
that’s totally rotten
wi asbestos so although it’s Basil’s
Queen Bet that bites the
dust it’s the people that’ll be het for the
poisonous crust
thats gonny cover the homeless camper
of the new Gorbals


One time Lord Provost and long time creep, Michael Kelly, has announced an easy-to-enter competition to get him in the papers and to celebrate his latest line in bedroom attire – wet suit pyjamas. He also hopes to get in the papers as well.

‘Flipper’ Kelly, whose PR firm services Celtic FC for an undisclosed sum, explains, I’ve got the staff at it, all day long, every day, while I myself am hard at it as well, posing with my snorkel, sorry, Cellnet phone.

The result is that barely two minutes goes by and I’m not in some publication or other. I’ve been in the Glaswegian for weeks!

Recent plans in the press include:

• Kelly putting the flipper into the ‘Glasgow’s Alive’ campaign because it’s just as much shite as my ‘Miles Better one.’;

• how he thinks Councils and Regions should do as he wants, such as building on contaminated land and covering Loch Lomondside in suburban sprawl;

• why he cracked up at only having one ex-lord provost lamppost outside his south side home instead of the regulation two. I’m sick of the dogs pissing on me, he raged

Readers spotting obvious Kelly planted stories should cut them out and post them without a stamp to: ‘Jacques Cousteau Competition’, Michael Kelly Associates, 95 Bothwell Street, Glasgow G2.

An open letter to Glasgow Labour Council

Why, oh why, don’t you stop hounding the good vendors of the world famous Paddy’s Market? The most recent occasion is about the eighth time in a century. The stall-holders are ninety-nine per cent citizens and rate-payers of Glasgow and certainly more beneficial to the poor of the city than Councillor Lally and his minions, Spalding and O’Neill of the Museums Department.

The excuse this time for your persecution is that your ugly premises in Jail Square is required to expand. Have you not enough cells in that other monstrosity of a Court House beside Victoria Bridge? Are you expecting a great upsurge in the crime rate as a result of the people’s impoverishment under a Capitalist system in its death throes. If so would it not be a sight more principled to stand up against the greedy monopolies and their Tory accomplices than to sacrifice the people who voted you into power.

The last occasion you tried to sabotage Paddy’s Market, you made the excuse that it was down-grading the yuppie appearance of the flashy Briggait Market. The Briggait was flashy all right – a flash-in-the-pan existence! Paddy’s Market did not bring about its collapse one bit. Its priciness did. Why got to the Briggait when Buchannan Street or St. Enoch’s sell similar goods at the same price? Finally, why neglect the ordinary conveniences of Paddy’s Market. Why not provide decent pavements and a proper paved land in the Briggait? If ever there is an extension of the Jail, I would like to suggest that the entire Glasgow Council be the first inmates for their gloss neglect of civic duty.

What ruse will they think up next?


The Glaswegian, the people’s newspaper of the Mirror Group, is finding it increasingly difficult to hide its snide selectiveness. Introduced as the free newspaper for all the people, it was always going to develop along cynical business lines that characterise its trashy tabloid ugly sisters the Daily Record and Daily Mirror.

It turns out that it is not really a free issue as it depends on the financial viability of the communities it is delivered to. Using a strict ‘mosaic’ system of distribution, areas of high unemployment and deprivation are avoided for their inability to respond to adverts which underwrite its costs. So, the very communities who would benefit more than most from the circulation of information are denied even that small luxury.

Obviously based on survey results, the prigs of prosaic have also become the middens of mosaic as they chart the ‘who cans’ and who cants’ of the free newspaper world. There can’t even be likened to that other right-wing waster Eddie Shah who at least was honest about his free newspaper being for the sole purpose of making money.

Those people of Glasgow whose letterboxes are poisoned every week by the Glaswegian should bin it or burn it. That would confuse the pathetic parentless poseurs.


Bobby Clarke died earlier this month after a long and painful fight against the big ‘C’. Being one of the old style ‘Industrial Gypsies’ who worked all over the country and further again, Bobby represented a time in working-class history which is dying with its stalwarts. Never again will we see the likes of the ‘Rigger Clarke’, comrade to all who worked and ran with him. He was diagnosed many years ago but in true ‘Clarkean’ fashion, refused treatment.

Many will remember Bobby just as the wee man with the gruff voice who spent most days beguiling the regulars around the Stockwell St. pubs. Many more, however, will remember him for his heroic work in the unions and among his political comrades on and off the planks and oil-rigs.

It was Bobby who suggested that we write to Pavarotti when he appeared in Glasgow during the Year of Culture, asking him to come back and sing for the people instead of the rich. Not for him an ordinary letter, it had to be in Italian. It caused an uproar that was more in humor than anger; just like he did himself. All we can say is so long Bobby it was good to know ya and as the other immortal song says, ‘if when we die we go somewhere I’ll be you a dollar he’ll be noising up everything there.’

Present Day Television

When one considers all the genius spent,
the years of labour and experiment,
John Logie Baird and others of his kind,
Exploring science with brilliance of the mind –
Should we not scoff with justified derision
Those pigmies who today run Television.
English bores and liars hold the screen
Bawdy Blackpool jokes, coarse and
Cockney ‘comics’ without a spark of wit
Spin corny yarns and win applause for it,
Chinless wonders and gobbing Oxford
Tory, ‘Labour’, Liberal, all Westminster
All we see at the turning of a switch
Is the idiot Major or Thatcher bitch.
Screeds of lies pour out the live-long day
And we’re the mugs who have to pay,
Pay through the nose for downright trash
Propaganda and balderdash,
Dreary cricket and silly Royal Fetes
Australian crap and endless screen repeats,
Sports wins for England by some favoured
“God Save Our Queen” and delirious Union
Rasp-voiced Coleman with his limey drawl
Mealy-mouthed ministers with their
“Morning Call”
Parkinson and Frost, Cilla Black and
Parade the screen, a clique of fawning
Loud-mouthed Anneka with her brassy
Invades the privacy of our living-room.
“Switch he off,” they say, “and then she won’t intrude!”
- Oh would I had the power, to switch her off for good.

Such is the motley crew of present day TV
And for such much we pay a license fee.
If Logie Baird had known he would enrich
these sots
He would have been forgiven for second


by Freddy Anderson