Wednesday, 30 October 2019

The Dear Green Place, Mired In Poverty.

      I was born in the slum of Garngad in Glasow in 1934, "The dear green place" and have lived in the city for most of my life. During that quite long spell I have seen a lot of changes in this city. However, one thing that persists is Glasgow's poverty. The once "Second City of the Empire" has known poverty from its inception right up to today. For a large part of my life I lived in Springburn, once known as a railway town in its own right, and for a while it held the dubious prize of having more children living in poverty than any other ward in Scotland, 52%. It has now lost that accolade and the prize now moves to Calton. One reason why the percentage has fallen in Springburn, is probably due to the inclusion of Robroyston a developing slightly more affluent area, not that the circumstances of the poor have changed dramatically.  
       Within the city as a whole the child poverty rate is approximately a 37% of all children, this is a crime against a vast section of the population, stunting health and potential. What makes this an even more devastating crime is the fact that the number of children living in poverty, in the city, is expected to rise by roughly, 50,000 over the next two years. Saying more than a third of children in Glasgow are living in poverty does not highlight the vast differences between one district and another, some districts are above that 37% figure.
      This chart from  Evening Times shows the disparity as you move from district to district in the city:

       Glasgow holds lots of prizes, some we can be very proud of, some that should have its citizens rising up in anger. Glasgow, Scotland's largest city, hosts the highest rates of poverty in Scotland, why?
        Chart from Understanding Glasgow:

    Aberdeen is the only city in Scotland that has shown a decrease in child poverty over this period. But we are told our GDP is growing, another crime against the system. Another damning statistic is that Edinburgh is the only city in Scotland where child poverty is below the national average, again Glasgow is top of the list.
      Chart from Understanding Glasgow:

     The number of millionaires in the country is growing, the number of children in poverty is growing, surely this must call into question the basic structure of our economic system. Every child in poverty is a life of stunted growth in health and a lost opportunity for a child to blossom to its full potential. These are unforgivable crimes in a very rich country where a pampered few live a life of opulence at the expense of the many. Where is your righteous anger?
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1 comment:

  1. This is the chilling moment soprano Ayleen Jovita Romero defies the silence curfew, imposed under martial law by the government of Sebastián Piñera in Chile and sings the song “El derecho de vivir en paz”, (The right to live in peace) by Victor Jara.

    Such is the silence because of the martial law, that her voice echoes through the buildings, while people from their windows and balconies are “holding their breath” to the words of her song, until the moment she hits the final note and a wave of applause by dozens of people fills the night and space of a neighborhood under police siege.

    The video consists of two scenes of the moment from different angles, one of them being the point of view next to the singer's window.

    The soprano is singing a song from a guitar artist called Victor Jara, he was killed by the Pinochet dictatorship (imposed by the CIA back coup). Jara was taken prisoner along with thousands of others in the Chile Stadium, where guards tortured him, smashing his hands and fingers and then told to try playing his guitar. He was then shot over 40 times and killed. The song is called “The right to live in peace”.