The Common Sense of the Common Good

Glasgow City Council faced the age old problem as both Aristotle and George Bush did. Regarding the public’s affairs, there are two ways of dealing with public accountability and the public’s happiness. One is reducing poverty. The other is reducing democracy.

Parallel universes

On the one hand we have the young, who are still baring much of the brunt of “vandalism” And on the other the cost of vandalism in economic and social terms as perpetrated by corporate business.

Economics for the real world

We need to disband the rentier society

When he discussed the origins of ‘the inequality’ of humankind, Rousseau wrote: The first man who enclosed a piece of ground, bethought himself of saying ‘This is mine’, and found people simple enough to believe him, was the real founder of civil society. From how many crimes and murders, from how many horrors and misfortunes might not anyone have saved mankind, by pulling up the stakes, or filling up the ditch, and crying to his fellows, ‘Beware of listening to this impostor, you are undone if you once forget that the fruits of the earth belong to us all, and the earth itself to nobody.’


Have you ever wondered what all this development is really about. How our city park is under threat, our educational facilities from nursery to university, our environment, our rights and our liberty

Beware the Trojan Horse of cuddly capitalism

The business people, aided by public servants, have a pit of money (including ours) and manpower and also the business media, to push through any capital making, strategy they feel like and dress it up in any touchy feely gloss they care for – to shield them from public scrutiny.

Connections – Sports greed and colonisation

What happened in Athens, converting the city to world cup splendor “…In the last push of round the clock preparation alone, 13 laborers were killed at the service of making Athens, in the words of one Olympic official, ‘habitable for a global audience’ “.

A few words on the need for old fashioned community

I remember talking with my peers at the time, of how, “It would be good to know now, what you would know, when you were 50”. “How cool would that be” But it never works out that way. Things change, people change – that is I suppose, what makes life so infinitely interesting

An opportunity needs to be identified to inform the public of what exactly is happening to their public assets. Business and the business of parks

Is it time for a “real” public debate on Glasgow parks. Not a debate on the question. Are our parks being privatised? But one on the fact: Our parks are being privatised. What do we do about it!

Social Housing Privatisation

The mantra of the politicians was ‘the tenants will decide’, but how can a voter deprived of knowledge make an informed decision?

Class and the technique of racism (try-triangulation)

The term “class war” may seem to some, moribund or redundant, to others, quaint and of a past epoch, and others still the collected ravings of a chaotic rabble. Class war, is non of these – but the class war, is as virulent through out our society as it has ever been.

Beginners guide to propaganda

The problem with propaganda is, it is so embedded into our day to day life, it has become so normalised, we fail to notice it, never mind attempt to analyse how it affects us.

We all kind of know we are being lied to, what is less understood, is the extent to which we are being lied to and for how long.

Save us from the educated (try triangulation)

You can always recognise the educated, they float on a kind of mist that detaches them from the ground. They have that condescending look on their face when anything you say threatens to reconnect them with the floor…

Looting the Commons

What is it that the United States can export easily? Other than weapons, our major export is intellectual property. We’re demanding countries around the world pay royalties for intellectual property. We’re exporting music, films, and software. Virtually everything that we are developing a comparative advantage in is heavily dependent on intellectual property. So, it becomes very important for the United States to be able to trade, in effect, intellectual property for things like oil. An interview with Michael Perelman By Pierre Loiselle

What Glasgow City Council do not wish to hear.

Displaced communities are a ploy to ease the developers work. Who is going to worry about the private development up the road, when you are at the verge of becoming homeless, being sent someplace else, or your flat is miserable for want of repair.

A Greek fantasy

While we have plenty money in the public coffers to accommodate the car, having a few nice old buildings around – that other municipals could only hope for – seems again, such a trial for the council. There is no room in Glasgow for history for its own sake only buildings that “earn there keep”. Hope the council remember this when the bottom falls out of the market and we are left with all their dull developments, to compete for tourists with.

Don’t forget to breathe

Irony is long dead and buried in the advertising industry, apart from the irony of of its existence and its insulting and arrogant infringement on peoples lives.” Don’t forget to breath” the car ad says. A hundred yards from the M8, which is in full capacity and jammed with trucks and cars all day, along with most of the other roads in and out of Glasgow, a city near the top of the list in car ownership in Europe. So “Don’t forget to breath”, it is saying. Buy another car!

Hold on, maybe you should “hold your breath” instead.

Glasgow City User Manual

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a booklet that told you interesting things about the communities in our city.

What happens when we all stand up

It is easy to test the situation: Suggest to someone in employment, that – workers in this day and age of automation, should be working not an eight hour, but a four hour day. They may, as a first option look at you as if you are daft

Coffee with the riff raff

“People are just to dangerous when they get together” because then “they can have thoughts and ideas, and put them forth in the public arena, and they begin to enter that area where they don’t belong, namely influencing public affairs” Noam Chomsky

Urban Angst – Young team

Your parents can’t do it for you. The education board, the jobs market, or even the lifestyle advisors, charismatic heroes and media icons. The angst is. The awareness, that your future is not determined – but must be freely chosen.

Rebirth of the cool

What are we going to do with all these young folk. What if they start asking questions. What if they start realising what is going on. What if they figure out, we are invoking the real big brother, as we spoon feed them the game.

Historical contexts

If we think for a minute of the meaning of colonisation, we can interpret colonisation, not only the Global sense, but also in the local sense. For instance we could compare the colonisation of a whole country, with the colonisation of a local area of land, say in the form of a public park.

Part 1 Good grounds for belief..

In the end what has changed of any use, that people did not change themselves. How long will we put up with the world of fantasy served up by state tyrants, the Blair Broadcasting Corporation and those wishing to lead us, If only we would give them power. Working people are being used by both ends of the political spectrum.

Part 2 Reasons for belief

The following are excerpts are from an article by Chris Marsden and Julie Hyland These points should be of concern to voters, who may be tempted to put their faith in the advice of the coordinator classes , rather than their own instincts and judgments, to lead them toward a happier life and a fairer society.

Part 3 Good grounds for belief

It is in the interest of the coordinators that you should feel powerless and that you cannot operate without them. It is of prime importance that the citizen – does things through the proper channels – ie the ones that the coordinator controls.

Movements for change and the alienation of working people:

We need to share the vision of a better world with the people who will populate it. We in this case means anyone involved, or who puts themselves forward in the struggle against oppression

Science for the Million

Fruitful intellectual activity of the cleverest people draws its strength from the common knowledge which all of us share. Beyond a certain point clever people can never transcend the limitations of the social culture they inherit.

Lines on a page – Los sabores de Glasgow

Robinson is a sculptor from Chile. It is the first time he has traveled to Europe. I asked him to write something about his visit. He wrote the piece in Spanish, as he doesn’t speak much English. There are a few gaps in the translation. Feel free to send me fillers. However at that, the poignancy of his writing still shines through

Don’t follow leaders

Someone gave me Dude where’s my Country, for christmas, 2004, which I read and I also watched Bowling for Columbine on DVD

Dude where’s my country, is a snappy easy read and lays it on the line in a language people can understand. How corporations through miscreants like Bush and Blair are taking us all for idiots. So in this respect it is good that the information contained in this book is reaching a wide audience. On the other hand.

Is intelligence cost effective?

It is interesting that the worker, technician, intellectual thinker in the hard sciences has no problem in dealing with information, data, facts and techniques that rely on precision and order. It is very difficult or near impossible to lie or falsify data in the hard sciences. There is no room for failure to analyze or a lack of precision here. Checking and rechecking is important if results are to be used sensibly. Careful examination engenders experience and common sense


Reading between the lines

The following are some snippets gleamed from “The magazine for the people of Glasgow.” distributed By the City Council, to keep Glaswegian’s informed and have a say (so long as it backs up council agenda of corporate takeover of our institutions or, is limited and narrow enough not to make any difference)

Ideas for democracy

We will never find salvation in any one idea, principal, institution, leader, authority, party, religion. Progression in anything we value is caused by the creativity we apply to the problem, idea or situation. The above ideas were transposed from Alcoholics Anonymous’s “Twelve Traditions.“

Ideas for democracy II

You may have or have not heard of the above women. They are a handful plucked from the history list on the internet.

Same old song

While the families of the victims of the bombings in Madrid bury their dead

Glasgow Style

“It is indeed a great delight to oppose an all powerful enemy, and this is precisely the reason why Charles Rennie Mackintosh is working in Glasgow.”

The qualified mind

I know two people, one in their 40s, and one in their 50s. One has just finished, and the other is in the process, of teacher training. A two year, part time course, and, if successful, will result in a certificate to teach. You might think that it is good for people at that age, who are still keen to apply themselves, to pursue educational studies. But the thing is, they have both been teaching for around twenty years.

Where did all this art come from

Thirty years ago the arts took up half a page in the broadsheets, if it was a big story, today it’s in your face from all directions. What I want to look at here is: Why does so much art , mean so little.

Rentier Society

Rentier 1. a person whose income consists primarily of fixed unearned amounts, such as rent or bond interests : the rentier class

Parks red alert on open space

The idea of the Victorian park was to allow the public to escape the pollution of the city’s factories. Today we need our parks to escape the pollution and vagaries of the consumer society. There is no pressure to buy in a park, which makes them very dangerous place


If we think for a minute of the meaning of colonisation, we can interpret colonisation, not only the Global sense, but also in the local sense. For instance we could compare the colonisation of a whole country, with the colonisation of a local area of land, say in the form of a public park. Sure there are differences in scale and the application of force and coercion inflicted by the colonising power, in order that their demands be met, but the techniques used in forming a consensus have much in common, in both the local and global experience.