Comment on: Red Road flats demolition 'spectacle' scrapped
Eugenio... Speaking as one who grew up in the Red Road estate - and therefore has first-hand experience of these buildings in real-life operation - the mistakes made at Red Road were NOT "in architecture"...
Architecture and in particular Sam Bunton has been scapegoated here. The flats I lived in were spacious, well insulated, comfortable and generally good to live in.
The mistakes were of mis-management; in my view deliberate mismanagement - this in order to keep an endless and lucrative (for some) cycle of so-called 'regeneration' going... To the advantage of the city's 'fat cats' and the detriment of its ordinary citizens.
Nothing is being "corrected" here - it's simply the beginning of another cycle; and there is nothing to applaud or celebrate in that.
Comment on: Red Road flats demolition 'spectacle' scrapped
Grevemberg remains as contemptible as ever in defeat...
Deflection and projection is a common tactic used by rogues... Criminals under interrogation for instance often try to deflect blame for their crimes and project it onto others; very often those holding them to account. - How often have you heard Neds blaming the Polis for putting them in jail for instance!
I suggest he is being deeply dishonest in citing safety concerns for this climbdown. No more threats to safety exist now than did at the beginning of this farce! It's been a PR disaster! Simple as that! The proposals revelled in the misery inflicted on the people of Glasgow though decades of profligate mismanagement.
Grevemberg is, I'm sure, well-used to fooling some of the people all of the time. But over 16,000 people signed a petition to make it clear he wasn't fooling any of us for any of the time! - And he and his cronies simply lack the integrity to admit that!
Glasgow’s City Chambers is sometimes referred to as ‘Castle Greyskull’ by the people of the city. Do a little research into the history of the city and the various shady land deals and dodgy characters that go on to progress these grandiose projects – of which there have been many over the years.
This all works to the detriment of people and communities.
For instance, the area Red Road is in has been in constant transition since the 1950’s – Regeneration projects that never-quite get where they’re going. This is done entirely for political gain and the generation of fat contracts for the well-connected cronies behind what seems to be an endless cycle of ‘build it up, run it doon, build it up and run it doon again’ – with the ordinary folk of Glasgow caught up like rags in the spin cycle!
Sam Bunton’s generation actually came fairly close to building something good and something stable and progressive...
I recall as a toddler being hoisted by my Grandfather up to the window of our tenement flat in Bucksburn Road – not half-a-mile from the Red Road Flats. Our Tenement was one of the post-war ones. – Not damp or lacking a bathroom or any other facilities. “See the skyscraper son! Look!”. Papa had lived in America for a while as a youngster and was duly impressed by this latest sign of modernity in his post-war Glasgow. In fact the war was almost two-decades past. Like most parts of war-torn Britain, Glasgow was allegedly on a journey to becoming some sort of ideal.
We moved in to these symbols of modernity circa 1971... I was nine or ten when we moved into our clean, neat, warm, well-insulated flat in the Red Road. – We weren’t cleared from any slum or any such like. This was a move forward. - I went to the library and learned about Le Corbusier and the brave new world I was now a part of.
By the late 70’s the Caretakers that had stewarded the flats so well in the early days were eroded to just a few men for the whole scheme. And the city council had made a particular point of seeding the area with known criminals and anti-social types. – The flats you see had been too successful! - And with there being a lot of money in poverty, it suited them to drive the scheme down.
I was to serve most of my apprenticeship (as a TV news cameraman) in London, but when I returned to Glasgow in the mid 80s it was back –by choice - to The Red Road.
By this time the council had been ‘called out’ by tenants on their allocation policies. And events had conspired to open part of the place to a new social-housing experiment. One block was lease to the YMCA whilst another was taken completely out of mainstream housing stock...
A brief interview with a building manager saw me set up with a three-bedroom plus box-room flat in a building with private parking, carpeted foyer, full concierge service and CCTV-controlled access piped right to my telly! The Box-room became a darkroom. One bedroom an office and another an edit suite. From there was created what is now one of the longest-established video production companies in Scotland.
Yuppie towers it started to be called, and the waiting list grew...
Again; that experiment worked too well; services and the building itself was downgraded and the disrepute of the place created and managed...
There came a point of course where the mandarins had their way and the demolition of the scheme – to make room for the next project – became inevitable. Then it was time to write the history...
When I first heard of Red Road’s proposed demolition I - as a legitimate film maker and former resident – proposed to make a film about its demise. I required NOTHING by way of public funding, only a little co-operation and access from GHA, Safedem and the other relevant city bodies.
As I was at the time also a lecturer in one of the City’s colleges; I even offered to try and tie-in the project with the education of Glasgow’s latest generation of film makers...
At every turn I was either blocked or ignored. Why? Well the story I would tell you and please do remember I actually lived through it – is actually quite a positive one of a good, decent community laid-low by council mismanagement. –The deliberate seeding of the area with known criminals and anti-social tenants. The deliberate down-grading of facilities and neglect of the buildings etc...
And it would have closed with a question – why did this happen?
Such has been the paranoia of the Council that the last time I attempted to film – As, I stress I am legally entitled to do – from the public street, GHA/Safedem goons had no less than three Police cars despatched to interfere with me going about my legitimate business! Three! Lights flashing and horns blaring!
I’m not only a press-card holder, and a fully trained news-cameraman, but a former lecturer in TV production (ex-Stow College). One of my specialist subjects was media law; and I was very quickly able to send the Police on their way. – But we might reasonably ponder the level of paranoia, not to mention the willingness and ability to abuse hard-pressed public resource that drove such an action!
This is where I say the element of ‘ethnic cleansing’ come in...
Not only have the people of this area been physically displaced and this community abused for profit over a period of many decades; it’s to a carefully-chosen stadt-approved few that the victors are turning to have the history written...
The Commonwealth Games themselves are no more than a ‘Panem et Circences’ for the aggrandisement and benefit of the ‘naked emperors’ that lord it over the people of Glasgow - The Games have cost many a Glasgow East-Ender their homes and businesses, with no adequate compensation. It’s a spectacle that most won’t be able to access. And likewise the facilities left will be beyond the reach of many – more ‘ethnic cleansing’ and fat contracts for the boys in other words!
By creating the tie-in with another part of the city they have abused for their own ends the City fathers – spread across a raft of shill organisations and hidey-holes - are making the ultimate mockery, the ultimate disrespect and display of contempt for all those ordinary Glaswegians who lived and died in those buildings.
All it would take is for whoever presses the plunger to be wearing a toga and a laurel wreath quite frankly!
The Red Road's reputation for crime, disorder and deprivation was not quickly or naturally gained. Rather, it was the direct result of seeding the area with known anti-social types whilst simultaneously abdicating responsibility for proper stewardship and maintenance of the place; and it evolved over some two decades or more! - If there was social engineering at play, the physical buildings played little part in it. The scheme was deliberately mismanaged.
I know, for I was there! - From the age of 10 I enjoyed a good upbringing in a warm, comfortable flat in the scheme. And later - again from one of the flats in the scheme - starting what is now one of the longest-established video production companies in Scotland.
The decline of the Red Road past the point of no return has been carefully orchestrated. And it’s history written by those who brought it down to paint the pictures they require to justify their actions... Why for instance bring in a London-based Australian to write stories about the place? Or some guy from East Kilbride, now based in Blackpool, to take the ‘official’ photographs of its demise? Springburn is known for producing its own fair share of creatives! As is Glasgow generally!
I personally can tell you that attempts to tell a positive story of life in the Red Road have been obstructed. And offer the opinion that what has gone on amounts to almost an ‘ethnic cleansing’ of the Red Road community and its true story. This, entirely for political gain and the generation of fat contracts for the well-connected cronies behind what seems to be an endless cycle of ‘build it up, run it doon, build it up and run it doon again’ – with the ordinary folk of Glasgow caught up like rags in the spin cycle!
The commonwealth games have cost many a Glasgow East-Ender their homes and businesses, with no adequate compensation. It’s a spectacle that most won’t be able to access. And likewise the facilities left will be beyond the reach of many – more ‘ethnic cleansing’ and fat contracts for the boys in other words! - The demolition of the Red Road does NOT symbolise anything of the regeneration of Glasgow; for it’s been ‘regenerating’ for all of the 51 years I’ve been on the planet and never-quite got there! – Rather it’s just the click of the ratchet as the next spin-cycle kicks in!
And this is the ultimate mockery, the ultimate disrespect and display of contempt for all those ordinary Glaswegians who lived and died in those buildings. The ultimate display of ethnic cleansing. Sickening.