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> Tories Can't Find Glasgow North East, A photo exclusive not from Springburn
post 6th Nov 2011, 02:13pm
Post #46

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Here's a part of the new Scottish Tory leaders's victory speech:
... That commitment to opportunity for all is at the heart of my vision for the modern Scottish Conservative & Unionist Party.

At the last election, the constituency in which I stood contained parts of Hyndland and Springburn in Glasgow. These two areas might be close together geographically, but those who live there might as well be worlds apart. There is a seven-year difference in life expectancy across our largest city.

That is because a corrosive combination of crime, unemployment, ill health and poverty stands as a barrier to equal opportunity.

We must not fall into the trap of believing this cannot change. We should not stand idly by and concentrate our efforts only in those places where there is already strong Conservative support.

I will lead a party that reaches out to all Scots, young and old, and from all backgrounds. And we will get to grips with those barriers to equal opportunity and find radical and creative ways of knocking them down. We will bring forward ideas and policies that will ensure every child gets the best education possible.

In particular, we will develop the tools we need to fight youth unemployment, which has hit record levels. Young people face a dearth of opportunity. I will help change that. I will lead a party committed to ensuring everyone gets the start in life they deserve. ...

Like an increasing number of Labour politicians in the city, Ms Davidson is simply blaming the plight of poor Glaswegians on the personal choices they make in life.

Perhaps the new Scottish Tory leader should read this article from 2008:
It's time to explode the victim-blaming myth around poverty; they deflect attention from the real causes

... Lenzie has been in the news this week. Few, if any, of the town's prosperous burghers are likely to have been overjoyed at the spotlight the World Health Organisation's report into life expectancy shone on their semi-rural idyll, where the town's menfolk live on average until the ripe old age of 82. Normally such longevity would be a cause for celebration were it not for the grotesque comparison with Calton – eight miles down the road but a world away – where male residents can expect to expire an incredible 28 years earlier, at just 54 years of age.

Having got the measure of Lenzie, I pointed my bike towards Glasgow's East End and my final destination, Calton. As you leave Lenzie, just before the Auchinloch Road leads you towards Stepps and then Glasgow, you can look across the fields and see the Red Road tower blocks in Springburn in the distance. From there on it is downhill all the way, both metaphorically and geographically. ...

If few dispute the scale of the problems Calton [and Springburn] faces, there is little consensus on solutions. Many, including John Dickie of the Child Poverty Action Group, see the remedy in primarily financial terms. "Poverty and inequality damage children's life chances," he said. "It's time to explode the victim-blaming myth around poverty and challenge the idea that families need to be pushed into work, change their lifestyles or take responsibility for their poverty. Such myths only serve to deflect attention away from the real causes of poverty and the stunted life chances that go with it – the low pay and lack of childcare that characterise our labour market; the unfair tax system that disproportionately takes more from those in poverty than those who can afford it, and the hopelessly inadequate benefits and tax credits safety net that leaves too many children impoverished. ...

Calton: 28 years later


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