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> Glasgow: Is The Truth Still Too Painful?, New Thomas Cook guide book criticised
GG
post 19th Sep 2010, 12:45pm
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It's a city where the consequences of inequality are so extreme that it needs its own condition to explain them (The Glasgow Effect); where the city's Chief Constable is of the opinion that his officers are not safe on the streets unless they are armed with 50,000-volt stun guns; and where the licensing board has attempted to ban glass from all city pubs because it believes citizens cannot be trusted to use it properly.

Now, a new guide book by a leading travel company has apparently painted a more honest view of what visitors should expect on their trip to Glasgow, rather than espouse the traditional sugar-coated promotions touted by the city's marketing board.

The book, available in the UK and US, has come under fire after it warned visitors to avoid Old Firm supporters, bring a brolly, and watch out for drink-fuelled violence. On the subject of Glaswegians, the guide tells would-be visitors that they are incredibly friendly and are renowned for their sense of humour, but goes on to state that the city is blighted by deprivation, violence and unhealthy lifestyles.

Extracts from the Pocket Guide to Glasgow by Thomas Cook include:

On football:
QUOTE
"Rivalries between football teams are common in all sporting nations, but the contest between Rangers and Celtic is fiercely heartfelt.

In part this is due to religious sectarianism that remains strong throughout Glasgow – Celtic are a Catholic team; Rangers are Protestant.

Crowds of Rangers and Celtic supporters are probably best avoided on match days."

On the weather:
QUOTE
"With a climate that can turn wet and cold at any time, Glasgow’s lifestyle is an indoor one for much of the year.

The city’s rainy reputation is well founded and the likelihood is that you’ll experience more than a few showers, if not a full-on downpour.

Going without an umbrella or a hat is foolhardy to say the least."

On urban 'development' and lifesyles:
QUOTE
"Well-meant efforts to re-house the city’s workers in the 1950s and 1960s often backfired, with new housing estates such as Easterhouse displaying many of the same intractable social problems as the slums.

Drug and alcohol abuse and violent crime remain an issue in Glasgow’s deprived suburbs even today.

The traditional Glasgow lifestyle, with its high consumption of alcohol, tobacco, fried food, sugar and salt, is notoriously the least healthy in Europe."

Responding to the book, written by Edinburgh writer Zoe Ross, the chief executive of Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, Scott Taylor, reacted angrily, describing the city guide as "unbalanced" and "smug". Mr Taylor said:

QUOTE
"I think Glasgow has come a long way. It is now one of the world's leading tourist cities. It has an enormous amount of wealth and opportunity for tourists to come and see, so to describe places in Glasgow as 'rubbish' is just awful.

I think it is a parody of all the information that has been negatively written about Glasgow over the past 20 years. It talks about the Barras selling rubbish when in fact the Barras doesn't sell rubbish - it sells a lot of interesting things.

It talks about Easterhouse as a slum and Easterhouse clearly isn't a slum. I feel very angry that people in Easterhouse once again are being condemned by a tourist guide."

Commenting on the book, a spokesman for VisitScotland said:
QUOTE
"Anyone lucky enough to come to Glasgow will discover it is a world-class destination."

In response, Thomas Cook insisted its guidebooks were "painstakingly researched".

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GG.


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*Mark MacNicol*
post 19th Sep 2010, 02:33pm
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We set up a facebook group 'Glasgow boycott Thomas Cook' here:

coconutbadger.wordpress.com

Like every big city we have problems yes. But Thomas Cook don't highlight the negatives associated with the other UK cities. Just us. This from a company who expect Glaswegians to spend money in their Glasgow stores, of which there are quite a few. Not on my watch.
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GG
post 19th Sep 2010, 03:13pm
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Glasgow on YouTube:


Easterhouse on YouTube:


GG.


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Helpmaboab
post 19th Sep 2010, 03:23pm
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I don't think it's relevant to vote on whether or not it's a fair and accurate description, the point is that it is going in a travel guide. I travel to cities all over the world and the guide books don't tell me about shootings or drug dealers in larger cities, particularly in the good old USA. By all means advise folk to carry an umbrella for the dreich days but promoting it as a violent and slum-ridden city is just plain mental. Most thriving cities have their share of these things.


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Melody
post 19th Sep 2010, 03:47pm
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I agree Helpmaboab, all big cities have their deprived rundown side and it's unfair to single Glasgow out........as usual. I think that the first video is completely accurate in what Glasgow has to offer, sadly I also agree that the second video shows the side that they don't want to tourists to see. Just another vivid example of a divided society of the haves and the have nots. Like every other city in the world.
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gordonmarr
post 19th Sep 2010, 04:00pm
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This is exactly the description of Glasgow by Benjamin Franklin in 1759 nothing changes except they have added Easterhouse.
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clyderunner1
post 19th Sep 2010, 04:05pm
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Being a foreigner, Virginia is my home. I have seen Glasgow's transition steadily progress from the late 60's and on.

Living in Glasgow off and on, bad experiences were no exception then or now, but today's animosity is practically nil but there.

Hell, within my wife's family and circle of friends there are still those who
make it known, they are anti-American, but I feel they are anti-everything.

Glasgow gets a high mark for anyone who would like to visit there.

And I have enjoyed all of SCOTLAND, NORTH to SOUTH AND EAST TO WEST.

Ya'll get to Virginia if ya can. It's a good Scottish History State.

The virginian
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*Backcauseway*
post 19th Sep 2010, 05:52pm
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Just watched 3 so called football supporters beat up an old guy on a crowded train at Partick Railway station because the old guy would not give his seat up. The train got cancelled. At least 8 police arrived within minutes and shut the station down. Saw 3 guys getting arrested and an ambulance take the old guy to hospital. Now that was at about 4.45 pm on Sunday at a busy railway station. So much as it pains me I have to agree Glasgow is a violent city. Wonder if it will make even a footnote in tomorrows papers. I hope these so called football supporters get banned from football for life. Absoulutely shocking. In front of dozens of witness's and CCTV.
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*Ronnie Auld*
post 19th Sep 2010, 05:59pm
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I`ve been in alot of difrent city`s all over the world and they all have there good parts a not so good parts so GLASGOW is no diffrent from any where else in the world. A exsample is when i was in SAN Fransisco a few years back i was handed a map and on it was a area marked in red with a warning DO NOT GO HERE, trolley people can be a very dangerous place. Which i found not to be the case meet a lot of trolley people there and they were very friendly to me, when they heard my glesga voice, some even came from Glesga, so in conclusion no mater which country you stay in there always depravation.
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Lynne Fleming
post 19th Sep 2010, 06:10pm
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The truth is painful for us Scots , to those who live there today and to those who have lived there like myself in the past. Scotland is a wonderful place and we should all know as adults that every City has it's problems. Scotland is no different but I truely believe it should not be advertised as a City with many problems. When I enter Washington DC and Baltimore I am afraid that I will be shot at, robbed, raped or even killed. It doesn't stop me from doing my job or enjoying the nightlife that the cities bring. I am sure the millions of people who live in these cities don't want the world to know about what goes on around them. There was no need to bring down Glasgow without focusing in on all the other cities ALL over the world. I will always love bonnie Scotland!
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benny
post 19th Sep 2010, 06:39pm
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I think it's a fair assessment - there is violence and deprivation in Glesga - but whether it was fair to publish it in a tourist guide is another matter. As so many have commented, every city has its problems and Glesga is no exception, so why single it out? Does the guide mention Edinburgh's reputation for druggies? Having said that, it's a change from the anodyne pap handed out by Glasgow City Council and other such organisations telling us that everything is sweetness and light.


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norrie123
post 19th Sep 2010, 06:59pm
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So the book was written by someone from Edinburgh, now theres a surprise, guess they will expect to gain the tourists that Glasgow doesnt get, yes rip into Glasgow, we know things happen here but are we worse than others cities in the UK.

Thomas Cook should stand by for a backlash.

Bye for now, norrie
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Rob Rattray
post 19th Sep 2010, 07:20pm
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Whether this be the truth or no is still immaterial; there is no need, especially for a Travel Co. to 'run-down' a city as Cook's have endeavoured to do here. Let the visitors decide for themselves! One will probably find these described situations worldwide anyway and what's wrong about getting a wee bit damp - rain is only water, but thanks for the brolly advice!


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wellfield
post 19th Sep 2010, 07:40pm
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On my many visits to Glasgow through the decades I was always wary of what went on around me,being it in a Pub a Club or simply walking the streets as a tourist...Lets face it,Glaswegians are a tough lot and Glasgow is a tough City,and I think the rest of the British Isles would go along with that...I've found that if you have a Glaswegian as a friend,you have a friend for life,but woe-be-tide if the situation is reversed.
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Lyn McCulloch
post 19th Sep 2010, 08:03pm
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We took a group of friends to Glasgow for a weekend not long ago and they were all very impressed by the cultural venues, the restaurants and the Glasgow people in general. They all said they hoped to pay a return visit. It was October and the weather was good, too.
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