Robert Lynn

Do It Yourself

The leader of Glasgow District Council, Pat Lally, in his defence against the critics of the “Year of Culture” has stated: “What the critics have ignored is the fact that culture money could not be spent on housing. If we spent not one penny on culture, that money could not be spent on housing because that's the way housing finance and local government finance is organised. We are prohibited by central government from doing so.” (Glasgow Evening Times, 6 September 1990).

Let this sink in, you potential voters and perhaps you will give a “do it yourself” movement some thought. Witness the present “anti poll tax” movement. Politicians can wail about the infringement of law till the cows come home. The people’s common sense will prevail. Laws are changed whenever it is necessary to safeguard the status quo. When the people take action laws can be relegated to the wastepaper basket - as will soon be the case with the poll tax.

Jimmy Reid (the “champion of the working man” according to Marion Pallister in the Evening Times, 6 September 1990) is double dealing as usual. After his phoney criticism of Culture City on TV, he was quick to agree with Lally that the tens of millions of pounds spent on culture could not have been spent improving the housing stock and getting rid of dampness, etc. But what he doesn’t say is why the people of Glasgow were not consulted before their money was put into culture. He doesn't question the secrecy of the City Fathers who are supposed to be acting in the interests of the electorate.

In effect Lally says: “You sheep may bleat, but we must act responsibly.” It’s a nice excuse. The more they rob us, the more responsible they become. These political manoeuvres by tricksters like Lally are not confined to Glasgow. They pertain throughout the whole country. When have the people ever been consulted about how public money - yours and mine - should be spent? Whoever heard of an MP making such a proposal? MPs are just tails wagged by the dogs of the civil service top brass who run the country on behalf of big business. Double book-keeping is as rampant as it is in industry. In 1953 the Post Office was presented with £75 million for capital expenditure on telephone, telegraphy and postal services. This sum included £25 million which was finally admitted under pressure to be part of the rearmament programme. Mr Gammons, the then Postmaster General, revealed that this had been the practice for many years.

The Poll Tax was the brainchild of a Mr Douglas Mason. He has now quit the Tory Party and left us with the monstrosity. The Poll Tax was designed to give an extra boost to the policy of centralisation - more centralisation, more remote control is fascism creeping in with its slippers on.

It must be resisted. We must no longer rely on politicians. We must organise ourselves into “Do It Yourself” movements with the spokespersons being subject to immediate recall.

Between now and the next election think deeply about the system and how it works. Does it work for you or against you? What good has your MP ever done you?

Think of D.I.Y. It works.