Category Archives: Common Good

Common Good Victory

23rd January 2009: Glasgow City Council now has a a documented policy for the governance, budget and investment strategies of the Common Good Fund.
Thanks to work from Scottish land campaigner and author Andy Wightman, local governments across Scotland have been persuaded to set up proper controls over the common good funds and properties they manage.
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Ruchill Golf Course

You wonder if the overarching aim of Glasgow City Council is to abolish the right of its people to roam about at will and instead install a regime where your only right is to shop and spend.

In the last issue of The Burgh Angel we reported how the fancy Mondriaan estate in Ruchill had been fenced off on its east side thereby depriving locals of a precious public space they once enjoyed. Well we are happy to inform readers that someone has taken matters into their own hands and removed parts of the fence so once again children can take pleasure in the wholesome activities of exploring nature and fishing for tiddlers – how childhood should be.

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Common Good Games Comment

  • Jo // Mar 14th 2007 at 11:00 pm (edit)

    I’d like to replace the “common wealth games” with the common good games along the proposed route of the motorway where the cre8 garden used to be.
    We have two basket ball hoops and some astro turf to lay down we need some teams to create our own “COMMON GOOD GAMES” let me know if folk are up for it?

The Angel Comments :

Hi Jo.  That’s interesting.  Would you like to be interviewed for the Angel about it.  We have a number of questions we’d like to ask you, to tell our readers…

  • First off for those who don’t know what is the Cre8 garden?  What inspired this project?
  • Could you tell us a bit about yourself…  Where abouts do you stay, and what’s your job.  Also given the topic what’s your favourite sport?
  • Do you not think that the Commonwealth Games will encourage people to play sport?
  • What will the games mean for people in Maryhill?
  • What do you mean by the Common Good Games?  Why should people take part?
  • Is there a reason people should object to Glasgow’s bid for the Commonwealth Games in 2014?
  • Why do you think so many people have signed the petition to call for the Commonwealth Games?
  • What benefits or otherwise has hosting major sporting events brought to cities like Sydney, Barcelona etc?
  • Council Leader Stephen Purcell has said the Games will not be funded through taxpayers money.  The Angel has uncovered however that the Commonwealth Games is going to be funded by asset stripping of Glasgow City Council, which is to sell off huge portions of land (our “common good”) at rock bottom prices, which are earmarked as part of the bid and the infrastructure surrounding it, to developers.  What do you think that will mean for ordinary Glaswegians?
  • What can people do to challenge some of the negative impact that yourself and others think the Commonwealth Games will bring?
  • When is the Common Good Games to take place and how can people take part?

The Common Good – The assets of the city

Glasgow City Council are about to privatise what is known as the “Common Good” without any consultation with the public – who own the Common Good

Historically What’s the common good.

Well it can mean quite a few things, as it has been around for some time and comes in many forms and ideas. For instance: No one can own everything. The air you breath, The thoughts in you head, the knowledge you know and the skills you have. Sometimes we need to share things to make them possible. That is why most people like to live in communities – in order to share the Common Good. We have been doing this cooperatively for thousands of years

A lot has changed from those days but folk generally still carry the instinct of community living and socialising with each other. What we know as the “Common Good” is the legacy of our sociability and instinct to look after each other. It is testimony to our survival. The Common Good is a gift we give each other that has survived since we collectively roamed the earth looking for food and shelter and is the very essence of what community means.

What does the Common Good mean today

The Common Good physically consists of our art galleries, your libraries, public buildings, parks, public amenities and all manner of public owned institutions. The best way to think of the common good is to imagine. Paying money to get into the library, the art gallery, museums, winter gardens, the park, football pitches, community centre. Most of our public buildings are part of the Common Good. Things we take for granted that we really need to cherish.

The Glasgow City Council have taken their business underground, in order to sell off the Common Good. We need to tell them that the Common Good, belongs to us and is not up for sale

No Consultation why?

The probabilities are you will know nothing about this because it has been done in secret. What folk should be asking at this point is, why your local representative hasn’t told you. That what is known as the “Common Good” is being sold off into private hands.

We vote for and pay, public servants, to look after the public interests – not to sell our assets off to private interests – who will sell them back to us. (Like they have and are doing with council housing) The business of the council (our business) has gone underground and is being carried out without the least bit of public scrutiny.

You don’t know what you got until you lose it

This is one of the most important issues in the public sphere today and needs to be dealt with – not by councillors or other public representatives, who have proved themselves inept in this concern, but by the public themselves. The disconnection of the “Common Good” and all the assets it contains from public control will have a knock on effect throughout the city and will not only affect the poorest of our citizens, but the upper income bracket, as well.

It will leave the decisions concerning our cultural heritage in the hands of folk who see profit margins as the end goal in all the decisions they make. It will create needless unemployment as costs will be cut to make profit margins. (Private business will be accountable to shareholders not the public.) The public will gain nothing (and lose plenty) from this move. Nor will public and community facilities in general – as they will be rendered, to a dog-eats-dog, of competition for funding.

The freedom to have an opinion

The “Common Good is Paramount to our freedom of movement, our right to access and to question such things that concern us all. That is what Common Good represents. It represents freedom of speech. There is no freedom of speech in the private shopping Mall and there will be no freedom of speech in the privatised park. It represents our collective conscience and public spirit in what we bequeath and gift both culturally and materially to the “Common Good”. It is open and understandable to everyone and is exactly what it says on the box – “Common” and “Good”

It makes even the poor culturally rich and helps to alleviate the burden of modernised poverty, which we all suffer from to some degree – and to which the present city administration, offers the perfect example

It’s not even legal

So where are our law makers, our academics, our politicians, who deem to be upholders and some even paid servants of the pubic estate? Nowhere to be found. The defending of the Common Good will need to be done by those who created it and have most to lose. We the public. There has never been a clearer mandate for public action, nor clearer proof, that 1. We are being persistently and systematically lied to. 2. There has never been a more potent reason, since the pole tax for the public, no matter it’s political or cultural persuasion – to collectively fight back and ensure that our public assets remain under public control.

The city council are not waiting about – nor should we

The repercussions throughout our communities will be ten fold. If the city council can privatise something as fundamentally inherent of public accountability, as our museums and our parks, they will stop at nothing and a precedent will be set for any future council, no mater what their political, persuasion, to do the same.

What do you do?

Talk to your neighbour your workmates, show folk this leaflet, copy some, dish them out.

Write talk to your MP, councillor, ask them what’s going on. How do they stand on the issue. Why you have not been consulted. Why you haven’t had a say in this mater which concerns the shifting of control of our civic possessions

What ever you do, do something. When you do, you will find the strength to do more. Encourage others to help you. This is what created the “Common Good” in the first place. Don’t wait till the library starts to charge admission and your kids start to ask why.

If we do not want to hear from the children of the future the question “What was the common good dad” we need to act the same way that the common good was created – collectively and with the imagination that befits the culture of the Common Good.

Think. If you are doing nothing, who do you think is?