The Patch

April 4, 2007

So, it’s been a while.

Filed under: Miscellany,Politics — freshlysqueezedcynic @ 7:03 pm

This is largely because I’ve been moving; I no longer live in the hell-hole that is Ralston, and actually live somewhere with some actual character. I despise suburbs. They are mere spaces for living, with no soul, no differentiation, cookie-cutter houses based upon a defined plan, “living boxes” more than homes. The mere semblance of individuality only peeking out because one person used Begonias in their borders and the other used Magnolias (and didn’t they just love Gardener’s World for it), slowly dying a lingering death brought on by endless television repeats and a curious dismissal of the energy of the world outside these stagnant pools of humanity. Scots author Christopher Brookmyre calls them “SSCs” or “Suburban Sad Cunts” in his book A Big Boy Did It And Ran Away, and I’m inclined to agree. Although the character who says that is somewhat sociopathically imbalanced, so I don’t know what that says about me, except that I probably shouldn’t buy a crossbow.

So now I live in the West End of Glasgow. At the moment I’m a Hall of Residence (Alice, you may be familiar with Cairncross House?) because I made a deal with a mate of mine to take over the remainder of his contract, but I’m sure that won’t last for long, since I’m actively looking for somewhere else, and not just pretending like I normally do. And it feels good. Not only is there that gorgeous feeling of nascent independance that makes you feel like suddenly you’re in control of your life and it is you who has to make the decisions, a feeling of comforting confidence in your ability to decide for yourself with just a hint of bracing fear in case you can’t. (“What now?” is the question I most think about, having both of those elements buried within it.)

 Most of all, I enjoy Glasgow. I always have; I like its’ distinct air of grittiness which hasn’t subsided despite numerous attempts at gentrification (what happens when the SSCs get their hands on the inner cities), its’ distinct mocking of pretentions of heirarchy, and the egalitarian feel that comes from over a century of long-fought battles of industrial militancy and socialist politics, and there’s a distinct pride in the city (tempered of course with a deep cynicism about the guardians of said city. I have a theory that this is partly because the City Chambers, our council building, is perhaps the grandest and most ostentatious building in the whole of Glasgow. It’s all marble staircases and gigantic pillars, like some past Weegie nicked a wing of a Florentine palace and set it down there. It makes Holyrood look like a fucking shed.). Most of all, I love the fact that comedy, in any form, but at its’ best black as hell and bloody-minded, seems to be central to the Glaswegian mindset. Not having at least some patter is a cardinal sin, y’ken. There’s an old joke that 30% of Glaswegians think they’re as funny as Billy Connelly, and 50% think they’re funnier than Billy Connelly. The other 20%, of course, think they are Billy Connelly.

I’ve not forgotten about the politics, obviously. The Scottish election campaign kicked off for real this week, and the SNP continue to open up a big lead over Labour. Labour, realising they are, in the immortal words of Aristotle, “fuckin’ scunnered”, have started going into all out Mutually Assured Destruction mode against Salmond and co, realising that if they’re going to go down to a massive defeat, they might as well try and take some of the Nats down with them, even if it makes them look like a load of hysterical tosspots in the meantime. Ergo, we get the suggestion on yesterday’s Newsnight Scotland from my local MSP and all round eejit, Wendy “even more irritating than my brother Douglas” Alexander that the SNP’s financial plans would cost 11 billion 12 billion 13 billion ONE HUNDRED SQUILLION pounds. Wendy also achieved the twin feats of managing to make former SNP leader John Swinney not look like a smarmy git, and delivering the stupidest answer yet to any question ever; when asked about the problems concerning the current pensions row engulfing the Government (and specifically Gordon Brown), Wendy replied, blithely, “What problems?” Oh, that Wendy, she’s a classy gal.

You’ll be hearing a lot from me about this election, because I’ll be deeply involved in it, of course, trying to help my party, the SSP survive after le affaire Sheridan. (Amusingly for a partisan bastard like me, Sheridan’s new party, (a distinct lack of) Solidarity, doesn’t register at all in the polls. At all. Ever. Sheridan might squeeze back in because of his name recognition, but his party’s fucked.)

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