What makes you hate a system? I suppose we all come at it in our own way. I took to anarchism at the age of 17 as a apprentice in the shipyards, these views were reinforced after I left the yards and became a door to door salesman. Below I will relate very briefly some of the experiences that hardened that hatred of the system and done much to strengthen my love of anarchism. They are not in any chronological order, just as they come to mind. Nor are they limited to Glasgow, these scenes were repeated in other districts where I knocked on doors for a living, Coatbridge, Airdrie, Port Glasgow, Greenock, and so the dreadful scenes kept repeating themselves.
1. Entering the "single end", I found myself in a square room with no furniture except for a wooden kitchen chair, where the woman sat tearing up waxcloth to throw on the fire to try and heat the place. I then became aware of a bundle of coats lying on the floor in the corner and noticed to little heads sleeping huddled beneath the coats.
2. As I entered the house a voice said, "watch your feet" and I noticed that there were hardly any floorboards in the hallway, and a young boy was in the kitchen chopping them up to burn to keep warm. In the living room with a couple of chairs, there was a wire coming in the window from the house above. The electricity had been cut off and they paid the woman above a few shillings every week so that they could have some light and the radio.
3. A house I entered and stood in the hall while the man, trousers down below his navel, and a t-shirt well above it, displaying a blackened stomach where you could see the cleaner lines where the sweat had created little rivers. As he looked for some documentation, which was never forthcoming, my attention was drawn to a kitchen cabinet in the hall, the type with glass doors and a drop-down front. The glass had long gone, and the front was open, while looking at the bits and pieces of food lying there I also noticed maggots crawling among the scraps. Then a little white face appear looking in a puzzled manner at me, it wore nothing but a very short vest, was filthy and pale white, obviously had never seen the outside.
My memory is filled with such visions of abject poverty and deprivation I witnessed on a daily basis. This while Glasgow was a bustling industrial city, with wealth pouring into the coffers of our lords and masters. Our politicians preaching about eliminating child poverty, all those years ago, and here we are in the 21st. century with approximately 25% of our child population living below the poverty line. Talk about hypocrisy and empty promises. When will we ever learn.
Visit ann arky's home at https://radicalglasgow.me.uk