A question of power. Who wielded axe to Maryhill’s homes?
There is a big discussion going on around the country about which parliament, Scotland or UK, should hold what power. Politics at a Glasgow level has become a backdrop to this argument as there seems a real possibility that Labour will lose in the council elections here, allowing the SNP to take control of the umbrella body of Scottish councils (known as CoSLA): Glasgow is the most powerful Council that Labour still controls, and the elections for Councils are in May. Everyone is talking about power – who has it, why this or that body should have more or less power.
Nobody is talking about what they would do with this power. There is in fact a ‘crisis of power’ in this country. It seems that while for the first time we are to be given a choice on the constitution of our country, we in Maryhill are to be given no choice over the major direction of our community. We were not consulted on whether we wanted social home cuts, by either the (Labour controlled) Council or the (SNP controlled) Scottish Government who both made the decision. We were ignored over the schools issue in the past. Nationally if we Scots are to have more power in our Parliament, it has to be power that it is used to the service of our communities. Just as if we are to have”reindustrialisation,” then the ‘Green Revolution’ has to be about bringing working class communities
and Scotland’s poorer folk up: not just about jobs for those in the know, or for those from the right background. It is time for real power in our communities.
We heard this month from the Association of Scottish Community Councils that they will be ‘winding up,’ because the Scottish Government did not provide them
enough grant to continue to exist. There is no point in “devolving” power, or Scotland becoming independent, if Scottish communities are to be left with less
control over their own destiny than ever before. The Association – the umbrella body for Community Councils – made it clear that they believe many Community Councils are in crisis because they are not granted any real decision making power, and so many local people believe them to be irrelevant. The Angel understands two Community Councils in Maryhill are now considering merger. Community Councils need to be given the powers to act, if we are to have real local democracy at a community level. But Community Councils and residents groups often do not have a deep enough base in their communities, or a tradition of mass community action that would force government to take them
Scottish communities need to organise to assert their right to control their own destiny, and for the people of Scotland to lead the debate on what we in our
communities and in the workplace believe any new powers should be used for. It is time that Scotland’s citizens led the debate. It is time that we ensured any changes and improvements to the economy sought by Government are used to
raise people up. Together. That would be real democracy.
The Burgh Angel will be giving extensive coverage to the “Social Home Swick” throughout the local election, to see if justice can be done by Maryhill.