Wednesday, 28 October 2009

The Title Track, Courtesy of Sandy Stoddart

One of the main reasons why this blog is called Dispatches From Paisley is because I stay in one of Paisley's sink estate's which have become infected like some sort of cancerous growth by the effects of too much drink & drugs. Whether they are a by-product of poverty is an argument for another post. Throw in the feral young adults which stalk our street's attacking innocent by-standers, and you will get the impression that it is not a nice place out there.

For the most part it's not, but Paisley and in particular it's sink estates have been served poorly by it's political leaders, for the most part Labour ones but in recent years the SNP have struggled with the poisoned chalice bequeathed to them by New Labour in 2007. It's a war out there, against the onslaught of ned culture, and the front line feels very close.

This brings us to the most recent recipient of the Freedom of Renfrewshire, the famous sculptor Sandy Stoddart. In an interview at the weekend Stoddart used his platform to criticise Gerard Butler and Paolo Nutini who had in turn criticised Paisley.
In turn Stoddart said "Telling the story of this town as a drug-infested hell-hole is an absolute lie… They do this because it is chic to appear to have come out of a battle zone. The modern culture valorises all these dysfunctionalities. These people could just as well have mentioned the friendliness of the people in Paisley or the architecture that is being brought back from ruin. We have a university with a crack physics department with time booked in CERN [the European Organisation for Nuclear Research]. The point is, why is it that what we hear is all the negative? It's because the negative is easy and glamorous."

Hmmm… not quite sure the negative is that easy and glamourous, as the pictures of a heavily vandalised close near to where I stay can testify. Round the corner from where I stay looked more like a war zone 5 years ago, before some enterprising ned's decided to set fire to the empty tenements. I could go on and mention the man killed because he tried to move some young adults away from his property, or the repeated spitting that goes on by people, alongside the vile language.

The thing is though, the factors mentioned above do happen in other places. Paisley's problem though is that it is no longer an attractive commuter town, and as a result there is a rise in the level of the uneducated, low earning/benefits dependent class of the population. Not all of these people create the problems for Paisley, but there are problems which need to be tackled that the council are not dealing with. Paisley is not a bad place, it's just that it's wrong to gloss over the bad bits and only talk up the good bits.

I'm now off to see what a "superannuated demagogue with no talent" looks like.


subrosa said...

Isn't it such a shame that children are taught about all kinds of sex yet they're not taught how to respect the property and lives of themselves and others.

That's what our modern education system has managed.

Allan said...

I kind of agree... but i think that a lot of the fault lies with the parents. Quite a lot of whom might have been still children (by which i mean yound adults but still too imature to think about sex, or haven't quite grown up) when they has their own offspring. By my reckoning the current generation is the 3rd generation of Benefits dependency/low wage class which ther rest of "society" has tried to leave behind.

You are perfectly correct in what you say about our education, but in a sense you can only work with what you are given to work with.