While Europe sees two of its hottest months on record and we continue to tip further
into the climatecrisis, companies such as British Gas have raked in nearly a billion
in profit. All that when we’re worrying about paying our energy bills.
And it is not just temperatures that have been climbing, across Scotland rents have
continued to skyrocket with new rents in Edinburgh and Glasgow having the top three
sharpest rent increases in the UK over the last year. Though the rent freeze has
been extended until March 2024, rents are already too high and we need proper
government action to bring them down.
With this as a backdrop, the need for organising to gain power in our communities is
clear. And in these last two months, members have been doing just that.
“The housing crises is an active agent of repression and as been since Thatchers time. Where the working class activities that couldn’t be suppressed were commercialised.” Stefan Szczelkum.
Part of that he is talking about is the present obsession of owning a house. And the entrenchment of many in the working classes to become a cog in the commercialisation process. Rather than becoming part of a movement working to curb Thatchers neoliberal legacy. Instead many are inadvertently working to maintain it. By placing their future and trust in the hands of banks.
When people lived in council houses with controlled rent. One of the lesser things they worried about was being evicted or being made homeless. How many can say that today, particularly when they are paying a mortgage in a housing market that’s prices have gone through the roof.
Back in the day your secured tenancy in a council home was much the same as everyone else’s. Your problems were much the same as your neighbours. That is until the arrival of Margaret Thatcher and the neoliberal project. Which basically meant. Forget your solidarity, and sticking together. Now we live, she could have suggested under the neoliberal motto of. “Everything is for us and nothing for you.” Continue reading →
The course of the industrial revolution should have taught us how materially finite the worlds resources are. The information revolution should have helped us to relieve the pressure on these resources. Instead it is been used to squeeze the last wee bit of toothpaste from the tube, till all we are left with is the plastic. But one of the things we do have in abundance is imagination. We can either use it, as up to now, in imagining a technological savour is going to appear and tell us everything will be ok, and carry on regardless. Or we can use it as part of a human plan in endeavours that we know are right, achievable and on our own doorstep. Continue reading →
In answer to the kind of stupid and irresponsible Yes/no questionnaires such as the one relating to demolition and regeneration in the Wyndford estate Maryhill Glasgow
The beast here refers to any kind of agency private or otherwise that is a threat to public agency and the common good. The common good being that which we own, institutions and assets in the collective public interest. Continue reading →
The place known as the valley in Maryhill was an area of council housing that was demolished and lay vacant for many years. At present it serves as a dynamic open space with an excellent views all round. The council have now decided, without consultation to sell it off for private development. We believe the site should be used for affordable social housing of which the city is badly in need off. This privatisation is part of a process being carried out all over the city, and accelerated during a pandemic in the rush to push these kinds of developments through. The “Still Game For The Valley” campaign was set up by Living Rent to challenge this proposal and to halt this sale of public land till proper consultation, and alternative plans can be heard.
More details an be found on Still Game For The Valley Facebook page. The following statements are from the recent vigil in the valley
The 1970s Neoliberal’s unleashed growth, promised a reduction in the gap between rich and poor. The little boats would rise in the tide with the bigger boats. (Thatcher) It would widen democracy, destroy violent and vicious nationalism–a new renaissance. We are now in the most negative nationalist period since the 1930s with all the danger that goes with it. Our shores are littered with pollution and the wreckage of little boats that did not rise in the tide with the big boats but were destroyed in the wake of the ever rising tide of neoliberalism. (Analysis news) Continue reading →
Capitalist money making factories like Govanhill generating wealth at the cost of the health of tenants who have a single focus of paying rent to keep a roof over their head at the cost of disengagement from public life and sustainability of their own lives.
These are the abstractions people are living within. There can be no creativity, innovation, sense of agency nor vision of a happy future when being forced to live under the yoke of indentured neoliberal policy. These processes under the neoliberal project become international.
The combined legacy of Reagan and Thatcher has a counter weight in the struggle of those who have been fighting the effects of their“special relationship” for a long time. The same ‘special relationship” we see in Trump and May. Maybe time to renew our own special relationships with our brothers and sisters abroad in the Struggle for A Just Economy and in creating a wider solidarity.
Andrea Gibbons is a writer, academic and activist, Who has spent many years of activism in Los Angeles, London, Manchester and for a time in Glasgow, around housing campaigns and racism.
As well as her written work she is a full time activist, and has much to say about strategy and organising to win things. What has Glasgow to learn from L.A? Come along and find out. We will have the pleasure of her company and experience in a talk/workshop
‘I lived in Glasgow for a year. I was thinking a focus on the civil rights campaigns and housing struggle would be most useful, drawing out lessons for the UK.”
Kinning Park on Friday May the 3rd at 7:00 – 9:00 Free