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GG
In possibly the most ill-thought-out decision ever made by Glasgow City Council, the remaining blocks of the Red Road flats are set to be demolished in a hugely-expensive publicity stunt to coincide with the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games on 23rd July this year.

The penultimate act of a 15million demolition programme will see five of the remaining six blocks in the north-east of Glasgow brought down in just 15 seconds so that the spectacle can be broadcast to privileged games' spectators sitting comfortably at Celtic Park a few miles away. The synchronised demolition of the five 30-storey blocks will be relayed live to a 350-foot screen in the stadium in the east end of Glasgow.

The expensive stunt will effectively mark the end of a failed social engineering experiment that condemned tens of thousands of Glaswegians to, as author William McIlvanney put it, "live lives bleaker than anyone should live – and die deaths bleaker than anyone should die". Average life expectancy of residents was tragically short.

Click to view attachment
A security guard walks through the debris of the first two demolished blocks

During the (in today's money) 100million construction programme to build the flats, 1000 'white mice' workmen – nicknamed because they went home pink-eyed and covered in white asbestos dust – laboured for the Labour council to build a towering disaster. In 1984, following a huge rise in death rates amongst the former Red Road workers, a local action group traced 180 of the workmen, of whom 60 were already dead just a dozen years after construction was completed. Of those 60 brave men, 87% had died from cancers associated with asbestos. The average age of the men when they died was just 51 years old.
Click to view attachment
Four of the blocks to be demolished. Only a block for asylum seekers will remain.

Speaking about the stunt, Gordon Matheson, leader of the council, said:
QUOTE
"We are going to wow the world, with the demolition of the Red Road flats set to play a starring role. Red Road has an iconic place in Glasgow's history, having been home to thousands of families and dominating the city's skyline for decades. Their demolition will all but mark the end of high-rise living in the area and is symbolic of the changing face of Glasgow, not least in terms of our preparations for the Games."

Early reader comments on newspaper sites reporting the farce included:
QUOTE
Congratulations Glasgow City Council - this has to be the dumbest idea I have ever heard.

QUOTE
There are are three core values at the heart of the Commonwealth Games: Humanity, Equality and Destiny – what the blowing up the tallest slums in Europe has to do with these fine values is completely beyond me.

QUOTE
Glasgow 2014, Glasgow City Council and GHA should be embarrassed. As a city resident for 40 years from birth, this is the craziest idea yet! Has anyone in that shambles of a Council forgotten these flats became notorious for their poor design, deprivation and high crime? Senior City Council Director says it will be "fun and their centre piece". OMG! How do we put a stop to this idiotic idea?


GG.
Old Sailor
Glasgow continues to entertain and the clowns are in the centre ring of the big top. The events is characterized by the venue City Chambers.
ktv
A new low for Glasgow city council.

The area was ignored for decades now its to go out in a blaze of glory for the world to see how good it all is/was.

Tourists come before communities.
Guest
THIS EVENT SHOULD NEVER HAVE BEEN CONSIDERED AND MUST BE STOPPED NOW!
Tarbet
I'm trying to figure out where they think all that asbestos is going to go if they implode! Oh, wait, into the air for those miles around to breathe it in. What an asshat idea!
wellfield
C'mon folks!!......What's the story on these people that run Glasgow.....are these people voted in by the people of Glasgow????.....are the common folks of the city allowed in that big palace in George Square or are the doors padlocked.....I can't fathom the thinking of this and many other councils of the past that determine the **FATE** of this city!!...why do they get away with this!!!
Gallusbisom
Words fail me just now, and that does not happen very often, as y'all know but Martin can you give us any more info. on this? I will call the relies at first light their time to get their input but this is an unacceptable occurrence .
Catarina
Well though I no longer live in Glasgow,but being Glasgow born and raised,I still consider it home.

I cannot find the words to describe this proposed event. People should
take to the streets in protest. It is just absolutely the stupidest, detestful,
inappropriate, mad crazy idea ever. What a black eye for Glasgow to
showcase this to no doubt the world.

The whole Council should be fired.
ARu-999
I did volunteer to be a helper at the CG, but work commitments, and the fact that all the CG people wanted me to do was taxi people to and fro from Glasgow airport ... for two weeks! stopped me being part of this celebration. When I hear about this stunt, I am now relieved I have no connection with the games.

I wonder when the Glasgow City Fathers will realise that this is a bad, bad idea? Only when the news coverage pillories the town yet again?

Then these city fathers will slither under the nearest stone to sit out the bad publicity fallout. Foresight and imagination is something these buffoons simply don't have.
Gues Donald Anderso
America was blowing up these flats in the 60's as a failed social experiment when Glasgow stated building them in their failed "Scheme" mentality with low amenities. Glasgow would just not listen to the opposition. They had to be built with enough space apart to allow light and they became wind tunnels gathering litter.

They were doomed to failure because of their single class mentality, ending up in a poor, benefits, drug problems ghetto.

When they blew up their mushroom factory flats in the notorious Glasgow Hutchie E they also managed to blow up some of the spectators. They were told by the builders that the flats were designed for the Mediterranean and not a wet northern climate and insisted on going ahead without air conditioning, etc, anyway.

Red Road, like Sighthill flats, is to be used as a dumping ground for asylum seekers, which shows what they think of them anyway.
Tommy Kinvig
QUOTE (ktv @ 3rd Apr 2014, 11:59pm) *
a new low for Glasgow city council.

the area was ignored for decades now its to go out in a blaze of glory for the world to see how good it all is/was.

tourists come before communities

The opening of the Games should be a triumphal experience and not what is planned - its like going back to the days of the tramcars 50 years ago rather than looking forward to the further development of the modernity of the east end of the city.
zascot
Even here in South Africa when we got the world cup we did not stoop that low.
Dave Grieve
QUOTE (zascot @ 4th Apr 2014, 08:25am) *
Even here in South Africa when we got the world cup we did not stoop that low.


Only because the ANC government couldn't figure out how to steal money from it. laugh.gif
GG
Sent by BillyK via the report button:
QUOTE
If as has been said in earlier posts asbestos is in the fabric of the flats I am sure it would be illegal to bring them down in this fashion and so could be stopped very simply by the threat of legal action against the council proposing this fiasco.

GG.
GG
QUOTE
Former MSP protests Red Road demolition plans

[...] Leckie’s petition, however, claims that “there will not be universal joy as [the flats] come down” and that “the image of tower blocks coming down is not a positive international spectacle”.

The petition does not suggest that the flats continue standing, but that GHA should not “[contradict] previous policy of not making a spectacle of the demolition of high-rise flats”.

On Twitter, Leckie – a socialist who sat in the Scottish Parliament between 2003 and 2007 – said she wanted “to ensure Red Road is demolished with dignity, not as entertainment”, and questioned whether there had been any consultation with residents and ex-residents.

She also posed questions about the demolition’s impact on asylum seekers in the last flat, suggesting that it would convey “that the flats are an eyesore, unfit for ‘human’ habitation and that ‘human’ doesn’t include them”.

Update: Please sign the online petition here to have this stopped.

GG.
Mathieson
Hugely, hugely embarrassing for the city and for Scotland as a whole. Whoever thought this crass stunt up should be thrown from the roof of one of the buildings.

Any past efforts to improve the image of the city will surely be in ruins if this crackpot idea goes ahead.
snarler63
It really is becoming time that we make our public officials fully accountable. An immediate inquiry should be made to identify whatever graduate from the University of Bollocks came up with this piece of nonsense and they should be given an hour to clear out their desk, and bus fare to the local job centre.

Surely no-one in their right mind could suggest exploding buildings with asbestos in their matrix and depending what way the wind is blowing contaminating God only knows how big an area.

Or is it that they are trying to cure any homesickness being felt by asylum seekers from Beirut and parts of Syria etc. by letting them live somewhere that looks like home.
pumps100
When I read about this I thought it was a late April Fools' joke. It is totally crazy.

Glasgow City Council should be ashamed of themselves. It is like something you'd expect to see being discussed in something like the BBC's comedy shows 20/20 or W1A. They need to take a step back and take some reality pills.

I understand the 'champion' for the crazy idea is Eileen Gallagher who is an independent director for the games. So that I won't be accused of lacking detail, I better give her full title:

"Eileen Gallagher - Independent Director Glasgow 2014 Board and Chair of the Ceremonies, Culture and Queen’s Baton Relay Committee"

I think the title says it all. Totally mad and hair-brained.

Regards

Ian
Guest
Glasgow council should hang their heads in shame...
Dylan
I also thought it was an April Fool joke.

How crass , how embarrassing .!
*carabella*
I heard this last night on Scotland tonight, couldn't believe it ! What a sick depraved idea ! We have to stop this going ahead.Surely there are other ideas that Glasgow City Council could come up with as an opening ceremony. There are a lot of people going to be watching their past being demolished on worldwide TV. They will think it's a terrorist attack !like the twin towers and probably think that Glasgow people are completely off their trolley!! Glasgow city council should be ashamed of themselves for this totally ludicrous idea.
Gordon MacNiven
My old mum lived in such a high rise at Knightswood. It was a miserable place, several stories up and should have been demolished. My last visit there 25 years ago was depressing. Her balcony was home to thousands of squealing pigeons which had turned the balcony into a guano cave. I tried to bring her to Australia but the then Labor Govt. wouldn't allow her in because she wasn't Asian. Nevertheless, turning the demolition into a rich man's circus seems to be what governments of all stripes do when they need to create massive sports arenas.
greta
Crazy idea, not surprised where it came from, am surprised that even they thought of it.
Lochlassie
I was in Dundee last summer when they demolished the flats in Hilltown, I was at Morrisons off Forfar road, probably about 2 miles from the site. I stepped outside and the dust and grit and smell was just horrendous. Everyone got covered in it, the cars in the carpark were covered in it. This was the aftermath of just two blocks being imploded.

I am embarrassed at the government's decision to use this as a gimmick at what should be Scotlands proudest day this year.

I fully agree they need to be demolished as they are not a petty sight as they stand just now but why oh why would anyone suggest it be done in this fashion.

I spent a lot of my childhood in the flats as my gran lived there and I find this disrespectful.
Melody
My response to this news was WHAT!!!!! angry.gif I just don't know what to make of it. Other than the fools have taken over the asylum. A bit like the UK Government..
Maribo
I've always been proud to be a Glaswegian, but I think I'll be keeping my head down from now on. Don't they realise this will be seen all over the world? It must be the worst idea they have ever had. OK they have to come down, and it will save them spending money on entertainment, but why not just show scenes of the Scottish Highlands, I'm sure that would be much more entertaining and a lot cheaper.
gardenqueen
I have signed the petition. Although I haven't lived in Glasgow for many years, I fail to see the connection between these "events". A bit of dignity, please.
ashfield
I doubt there is any asbestos in these buildings as they have long since been stripped out to a bare shell.

Notwithstanding that, I am at a loss to understand how these two events could logically be put together. Who in their right mind would think that anyone outside Glasgow would have any interest in the demolition of the Red Road flats, or that the event is in any way a cause for celebration.

I keep thinking the council has run out of ways to embarrass us, and they keep proving me wrong.
Scotsman
Shameful.... absolutely shameful!! Do these people have no shame.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JQ_saFL4d-g

How can this be allowed to happen increased 5 times??
Jupiter
What I would like to know,what I would pay money to know is WHAT is the name of the person who put up this proposal in the first place.Let that person show him/herself and we the citizens of Glasgow will know who is responsible for bringing ridicule on this great city and who has single handedly turned the whole Commonwealth Games scenario into a farce.
After the Olympics and the soccer World Cup the Commonwealth Games is censored.png the biggest worldwide sports event and this is the best they can come up with.Proprietary stops me using stronger language.
Dylan
It reminds me of something out of The Simpsons. !
Macas1954
It is bloody disgraceful putting this forward as a centre attraction for these sports events what HAS this got to do with sport. The amount of people who have died that helped to build these horrible flats through asbestos (mostly some kind of CANCER) only a an idiot sitting in a wee office with nothing better to do than think this will be great, have they asked the people who stayed there, NO AND I HAVE A GOOD IDEA THAT EVEN THEY WILL BE DISGUSTED AS WELL.
Heather
When I heard this on the News last night, I thought it was a joke, I sat there waiting for the punch line.

A group of wee lassies doing the Highland Fling in the street, would be more entertaining that watching those flats being demolished as part of the opening ceremony.
Guest
QUOTE (GG @ 4th Apr 2014, 07:10am) *
Update: Please sign the online petition here to have this stopped.

GG.

Please keep signing everyone. We have 1000+ signatures already!
Mathieson
QUOTE (Jupiter @ 4th Apr 2014, 09:56am) *
What I would like to know,what I would pay money to know is WHAT is the name of the person who put up this proposal in the first place.Let that person show him/herself and we the citizens of Glasgow will know who is responsible for bringing ridicule on this great city and who has single handedly turned the whole Commonwealth Games scenario into a farce.
After the Olympics and the soccer World Cup the Commonwealth Games is censored.png the biggest worldwide sports event and this is the best they can come up with.Proprietary stops me using stronger language.

See post #18 from Pumps100 above for the name of the genius in question, mate. No doubt this lady will be "earning" an obscene amount of money for capers like this.

No wonder large areas of Glasgow are a right bloody mess when much-needed money is squandered in paying eye-watering amounts to clowns to come up with garbage like this.
Dylan
QUOTE (Guest @ 4th Apr 2014, 10:52am) *
Please keep signing everyone. We have 1000+ signatures already!

Signed.
ktv
QUOTE (GG @ 4th Apr 2014, 07:32am) *
Sent by BillyK via the report button:

GG.

All the asbestos has been removed from the flats.

Still a disgrace though.
Maribo
Thought of another reason why this shouldn't be done, other than it is a disgusting idea. Many people who will be watching throughout the world could be traumatised, as the last time buildings came down on public TV was 9/11. Surely this can't be allowed to happen.
carmella
I'm utterly disgusted at how low GCC could stoop. I'll be honest, when I first heard this I wondered if this was GCC's April Fool, not for a second did I think they were serious about this.

It's a disgrace that they would even put this forward for consideration, given its awful history. Men died prematurely because of asbestos, from working and building these, and I agree with William McIlvanney totally.

Oh please don't let them profit from this. I have signed the online petition - hopefully, it will go some way to showing disgust.

I have never lived in anything higher than two storeys but I have often wondered what it would be like to live in a high rise flat, and I just can't imagine it.

The only thing good about high rise in my opinion regardless of where they are, is the obvious view you must get from them.

I believe the views from the Red Road flats was fantastic - but people still had to live there. I am so angered about all of this. Watching a BBC interview with absolutely excited and elated Council Member of Glasgow City, made me sick to my stomach - they think they're doing a wonderful thing, what plant do these people live on?
Lobey Dosser
This angers and disgusts me on so many levels that I am not sure where to start. But lets be very clear here what the pinstripe ponces who run George Square are doing here, they are sticking two fingers up at ordinary Glaswegians and saying "HA-HA to youse" because we've destroyed 60,000 social houses in the city in the last 20 years and there's absolutely nothing you can do about it.

Such nasty crassness is to be expected from these muppets but now they are so confident that they will get away with it that they think they can do anything, all the time rubbing the noses of ordinary people in the dirt. In the latest batch of ethnic cleansing of white working classes focused on the East End of Glasgow the council has destroyed 11,000 GHA homes, letting private developers step in to create 6,500 private properties with sky-high rents and then built just 500 social housing properties. Net loss to the people: 10,500 homes.
ktv
And not to mention all the locals who cant afford to go to the opening ceremony wont even be able to watch it in the house now as theyl all be evacuated.
Guest - MurdoR
As the last Chairman of the Red Road Tenants' Association, I don't think I'll ever forgive Glasgow City Council and the Glasgow Housing Association for the way they stigmatised tenants living in tower during the Stock Transfer process.

The transfer process masked the so-called Multi-Story Review process with many tenants unaware they were being mobilised to pressure others out of their homes.

In the early nineties, enormous sums were spent to improve these flats, and introduce a Concierge system that was, on the whole, enormously successful.. They could have become a model for public housing.

The flats were used, at short notice, to house refugees from the wars in the former Yugoslavia and later from other conflicts. These were a massive improvement on the conditions that Chilean refugees were forced to live in the seventies and eighties. They were structurally the most sound buildings in the city and were designed so that their use could be amended. They would have addressed the need for one-bedroom accommodation that places people undergoing the Housing Benefit cuts that the so-called Bedroom Tax now affects

But for politicians and planners desperate to manufacture new media images of Glasgow they have to come down. It is appropriate that they will be inked to the Commonwealth Games because they show the city's rulers are more interested in media constructed stunts while ignoring the real needs of the citizens.
exglaswegian
The first thing my wife said on seeing this on the news was that all it would do would look like and remind people of the twin towers terrorist attack. I just don't see this as being an appropriate spectacle to open the games.
macjackb
As someone has already said, I thought when I first read this that I was just a bit late catching up with some of the April Fool stories. I really hoped that the Games would at best be an incredibly expensive way of bringing about small, lasting, sustainable and realistic improvements to a part of town that's become scarred by emptiness, facelessness and general population cleansing. The worst I expected was that they would pass off fairly peacefully without any feelings of real shame and embarrassment. How wrong I was.

No one on here needs reminding of the problems associated with these flats, and I don't disagree. But they were a creature of their times. They were what was at the time regarded as one pf the principle solutions to an urgent need. After my Dad helped to build them, my grandparents were among the first tenants on one of the thirtieth storeys, and as with many such housing solutions that eventually went wrong, enjoyed living there with the neighbours around them. The fact that they became so synonymous with negativity as the years progressed says as much about how society itself changed as it does about the flats themselves. To me, the point is that they were built, for all their faults, for reasons of good. The last Tenants Association chairman has written about the force for good that they became for people fleeing from harm elsewhere. Their time may now be up, but their story should be included with that of the city. To see that history mocked and insulted like this is an act of shame that could have been concocted only by minds bordering on misanthropic, and certainly so clueless about what they city is about that they should be nowhere near positions of power.
angel
Is the " Glasgow City Council / Funny Farm " charging for this grand event .
droschke7
I was talking to an acquaintance yesterday who used to work in the office that made that decision, he's no longer working due to ill health, according to him this was signed off on 5 years ago without any thought of the Commonwealth games.
Billbhein
When I first heard this story I wondered how they were going to tie this event into the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games? I could imagine the massed Pipers being pushed aside by the orchestra from the Last Night of the Proms playing the 1812 Overture, with the Red Road Flats collapsing to the booms of the finale! Totally mad, as is the person who thought this was a good way to present Glasgow to the world.

This idea should be quietly forgotten, but the flats still have to come down. It would be better picking a wet drizzly night, well before the opening ceremony. Bring them down at around midnight, let the rain deal with the dust cloud whilst most people will be in bed. The Glasgow District Councillor's should be forced to standby with brushes to help with the clean-up as community payback!

Bill
Guvin Wullie
QUOTE (Gues Donald Anderso @ 4th Apr 2014, 03:20am) *
America was blowing up these flats in the 60's as a failed social experiment when Glasgow stated building them in their failed "Scheme" mentality with low amenities. Glasgow would just not listen to the opposition. They had to be built with enough space apart to allow light and they became wind tunnels gathering litter.

They were doomed to failure because of their single class mentality, ending up in a poor, benefits, drug problems ghetto.

When they blew up their mushroom factory flats in the notorious Glasgow Hutchie E they also managed to blow up some of the spectators. They were told by the builders that the flats were designed for the Mediterranean and not a wet northern climate and insisted on going ahead without air conditioning, etc, anyway.

Red Road, like Sighthill flats, is to be used as a dumping ground for asylum seekers, which shows what they think of them anyway.

These ready made slums were never more than a "committee" inspired solution to create ghettos where they would never dream of living. They are an eyesore and an embarrasement. They were pulled down in Melbourne the remainder left for "asylum seekers etc". They are, these souless monoliths, and always will be a place of social dysfunctionality. For those voices decrying their timely destruction I would say this "Would you want to live in them? Would you want your sons and daughters, grand children to live in them. Cities are always developing, changing and growing. There was a television program recently on how the ancient Romans lived. There were tenaments still on display built 2000 odd years ago. They were regarded as slums even then and as undesireable places to live. They were preserved for posterity but unlike the devoid of character and inspiration they served a function. There is nothing to merit the continuing"preservation of these obnoxious failed experiments in communal living.
Guest
This absurd nonsense typifies the mentality of the current administration in Glasgow. As many people who have a sense of what is right and wrong have posted there is something seriously wrong with the mindset of the persons who seriously thought this was a way to promote the financial disaster of the Commonwealth Games. Large swathes of property have been destroyed and the long term self interest of some individuals and their organizations has been pandered to at great cost to the people of Glasgow. We should remember who was the council leader at the time that this nonsense was foisted on the city and what his weaknesses were. Future generations will still be paying for this nonsense when the much vaunted rebuilding programme is once more a collections of slums.
Guest
QUOTE (Gordon MacNiven @ 4th Apr 2014, 08:01am) *
My old mum lived in such a high rise at Knightswood. It was a miserable place, several stories up and should have been demolished. My last visit there 25 years ago was depressing. Her balcony was home to thousands of squealing pigeons which had turned the balcony into a guano cave. I tried to bring her to Australia but the then Labor Govt. wouldn't allow her in because she wasn't Asian. Nevertheless, turning the demolition into a rich man's circus seems to be what governments of all stripes do when they need to create massive sports arenas.

"This is an act of terrorism perpetrated by the Council and should be treated as such."
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