Tuesday, 23 October 2012

STUC March Against Public Spending Cuts

Welcome to my wee photoblog on Glasgow, where we feature the  joys and unjoys of walking and cycling through a fascinating, beautiful and often badly run city. For the blog's origin and a  list of all posts see the  'Introduction' post  -


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Today is Saturday 20 October 2012,  and we are heading down to George Square for the STUC March  against public spending  cuts and the coalition government's austerity measures.

From the BBC report on the march -

'About 5,000 people have attended a march in Glasgow over public spending cuts. It coincided with marches in London and Belfast, where thousands gathered to call for an end to austerity measures.

Protesters called on the government to focus instead on creating policies which they said could create growth. The rally in Scotland, which was organised by the Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC), began in George Square and ended at Glasgow Green.

It was led by former Remploy workers who lost their jobs when the government-owned factories were closed. Disability activists, community groups and public sector workers were joined on the platform by organisations including the National Union of Students, the Church of Scotland and the Hardest Hit Coalition.'

In Bath St. . .

. . .we spot a wee shop not seen by us before. . .

. . lovely things reduced. I am reminded of Howard Carter's words on gazing into Tutankhamum's tomb - 'wonderful things'

North part of Queen St there (you can just see station). Not that upmarket

Looking in the kebab shop

'LOSE' - well that's a  cheerful message

Helicopter above watching over George Square

Roof of Queen St station

Oh, let's press on

Looking back

Now in North Hanover St looking down on George Square

For more on George Square,  the 'Occupy' moment,  and the Orange Order laying a wreath, see

George Square
George Square 2 July 2011: the Orange Order lays a wreath at the Cenotaph
George Square 3: 'Occupy Glasgow' October/November 2011

Outer security rim

Note green Solidarity banner. That's the Tommy Sheridan groupuscle. For the Sheridan trial and the fracturing of the Scottish Left, see
Swingergate Day 2: Tommy and Gail Sheridan on Trial
Swingergate Day 11: 'How's He No' Gettin' Drapped Aff?'
Swingergate Day 28: A Large Pinch of Salt
Swingergate Day 37: Andy Coulson doesn't slip up
Swingergate Day 45: Waiting for the Verdict
Swingergate Day 46: the Last Day
Swingergate: Sentenced

The march is heading east towards the High St, then down to Glasgow Green

Passing the City Chambers

Note Unison poster

Bit blurred but thought the about-readable inscription worth noting

The inevitable armfuls of Socialist  Workers - 'OUT! OUT! OUT!' Am not really up to speed with the latest fallings out but think they don't get on with any of the Scottish socialist parties

Aberdeen Trades Union Council

Montrose St is on our right here. . .

. . .which we have dashed up to get some views of the march from the Rottenrow. 'Dashed' in a manner of speaking - it is about the steepest street in Glasgow I believe

The saved entrance to the old Maternity - my brother and sister were born there, as were my  daughters

Looking down -can't see much damn it

We press on through Strathclyde Uni buildings

Ah that's a bit better

The march turning into the High St

'NO RIGHT TURN' - I should think not!

We'll head down and join the march

Disagree with the BBC's estimate of 5000. I make it closer to double that. In the old days, a useful thumb rule was to take the police estimate and the Morning Star estimate, add together and divide by two. The Police Federation have sent their best wishes to the marchers today. Changed  times.

Wee dog gets a carry

Help for Heroes

Love the pose of the young woman with the camera - pure gallus,  reminiscent of  Gozzoli's Salome -


Glasgow Cross and the Tollbooth coming up

A rare moment of dissonance -a driver has shouted 'arseholes' at the marchers. The cop has already warned him

At the Cross now

Think that's the fist kilt I've seen

The tall boy second from right looks as if he has come from an early 60s Aldermaston march

Ah here comes Helen with placard and Ali pushing their wee Calum in pram.

Hi guys!

Note helicopter in distance. . .

. . .a shower of red rose petals would be nice

Here and in next pic I have decided to delve into  the 'Devil's Toolbox' of Photoshop Elements and erase the two marchers holding the banner. . .

. . . Sorry about that guys you looked great - and fab banner! - but maybe for the best

Paul Holleran of the NUJ holding the flag and Jim McNally with the wee brown bag - two of the best union officials  to have on your side in a dispute!  We get a wave from Paul, Jim misses us

A gap in the march coming up

Crop of the above

These marchers have decided to pause and sit down - for effect one supposes rather than a wee rest

Think there mat be some debate as to the wisdom of the halt - the cops are not happy for a start

Crop of above

These ladies passing through are amused. Some other pedestrians are not so amused

On we go

Big gap now

Glasgow anarchists coming up. Over on the right is the Gallowgate - go back 50 years and you would have seen me pass here every Wednesday with the war pension from my father who worked in the Saracen Head just down the road a bit.  See


I have a memory - maybe faulty - that the anarchist Stuart Christie was an occasional regular. Christie was of course  jailed in 1964 for trying to blow up Franco. Anarchists really did stuff in those days.

Marianne over there - Hi Marianne!

Am a cat person really, but love the quiet patience of dogs. See http://parkeddogs.blogspot.com/

That fine Labour MP Margaret Curran there

Scottish Socialist Party contingent coming up.  They used to have 7 MSPs I think. For their fall, see the refs to the Sheridan trial earlier on. They are mostly ordinary decent, concerned people, and their absence from Holyrood - where, with the Greens, they pushed through significant legislation -  is unfortunate

My favourite pic - at the end of the march.

Govan Community Council bring the march to a close. For Govan see


The cavalry arrive

A siren is heard

Ambulance arriving

A 'We Belong to Glasgow' poster. See

Ambulance heads off down Argyle St

Some sort of dispute breaks out between traffic cop and pedestrians. Not sure what's going on but cop seems a bit heated to me

Sometimes Glasgow gets like a Bud Neill cartoon

Thank you for browsing, dear visitor. My other wee blogs are



Reviews of Scotland: 1000 Things You Need to Know


'I love it - I'm giving this copy to a friend and buying another for myself' - Darren Adam, Presenter, Radio Forth, 17 November 2008

‘It’s a great wee book’ – Stephen Jardine, introducing Edwin Moore on Scottish Television’s Five-Thirty Show

'A fantastic book' - Scott Wilson , talk 107 Breakfast Show host

'A great read' - Dougie Jackson, Drivetime host, Smooth Radio 105.2


'Despite its apparently humorous format, this is a serious and extensive dictionary on all things Scottish; from Jean Redpath to Lorne sausage, from Flodden to the Corries. Is particularly good on history and minutiae. There's a useful chapter on famous Scottish legal cases and another on literature. Excellent' - Royal Scottish Legion, Feb 2009

'This is the ultimate Scottish reference book' - Waterstones Christmas catalogue, 2008

'This is a fascinating look at the history of Scotland: its languages, politics and great achievements, from its origins in the ancient landmass of Laurentia 400 million years ago, to devolution and Billy Connolly. Edwin Moore has collected a thousand important facts about this beautiful country, covering Scottish history and culture, correcting misconceptions, and examining the mysteries of haggis and bagpipes with insight, warmth and impressive attention to detail' - The Good Book Guide, November 2008

'This is a recipe for revealing how horribly ill informed you are about your country. Although, if you are skillful, you can nod sagely as you read some new fact and mutter 'Ah, yes!' as if recalling the information from your excellent schooling. Where else will you find a real recipe for making haggis from scratch side by side with a potted biography of David Hume; a section of the Declaration of Arbroath and the curiously touching fact that Lulu was only 15 when she had a hit with 'Shout'? The whole thing is of course, silly - but oh so addictive.' - Matthew Perren, i-on Glasgow, December 2008

'. . . well crafted and witty' - Bill Howatson, Aberdeen Press and Journal, 18 October 2008

‘While most of Edwin’s entries are entertaining and scholarly – he writes like a Scottish Bill Bryson – it is when he takes an interest in the backwaters of history, the details lost down the back of the sofa, that he is at his best’ – Jack McKeown, The Courier, 27 October 2008

'History, it is said, is written by the victors. Trivia, meanwhile, is written by the guys with the smeared spectacles and the breathable rainwear. The first discipline is linear and causal; to quote from Alan Bennett’s play The History Boys, history is “just one f****** thing after another”. Things look different, though, when viewed through the prism of trivia. The past is reduced to one big coleslaw of fascinating facts that in their randomness tell a more mixed-up tale entirely.
The first approach leads to big, frowning books by the likes of Tom Devine and Michael Fry. The latter results in small, cheerful books such as Scotland: 1,000 Things You Need to Know, Edwin Moore’s valiant attempt to navigate the more trivial contours of enlightenment and clearances, crown and parliament, dirt and deity.
Moore proceeds from a sincere and controversial first principle: Scotland is really a rather pleasant and interesting place. . .As a work of popular scholarship, though, it’s in a different league to the Scottish novelty titles that get stocked next to the bookstore tills as potential impulse purchases, those little handbooks of parliamo Caledonia and regional braggadocio, such as Weegies vs Edinbuggers.' - Allan Brown The Sunday Times, 21 September 2008

'In his book, Scotland: 1000 Things You Need to Know, Edwin celebrates all that sets us Scots as a race apart - our language, law, flora, food, and of course, our people. From our poets, architects and inventors, to our artists, entertainers and fighters. But he doesn't shy away from the more unpleasant aspects of our history. . .' - Robert Wight, Sunday Post, 14 September 2008

‘We think we know all about William Wallace, Robert the Bruce and the Union of the Crowms. However, according to Edwin Moore, author of , Scotland: 1000 Things You Need to Know, we’re still in the dark about many aspects of our history and culture. . . The Big Issue looks at 20 of the most astonishing examples of secret Scotland.’ – The Big Issue, 18-24 September 2008

'What's the connection between Homer Simpson and Larbert, and why are generations of lawyers grateful to a Paisley snail? Need to know more? Author Edwin Moore has gathered 1000 facts like these about Scotland in a quirky new book. Brian Swanson selects a few favourites. . .' - Scottish Daily Express, 13 September 2008

'The palm for Christmas-stocking books seems to have passed recently to popular science, with best selling titles every year such as Why Don’t Penguins’ Feet Freeze? This year there has been a gallant attempt at a historical fight back. Scotland: 1,000 Things You Need to Know(Atlantic Books, £12.99) asks (and answers) such post-turkey questions as ‘How many kings of Scotland died in their beds?’, ‘Who on earth decided that the Declaration of Arbroath was the cornerstone of modern democracy?’ or ‘Why is iron brew spelled Irn-Bru?’ Mark Mazower,History Today; The Best of History in 2008, December 2008

'A real treat for the serendipitous Scotophile' - Reginald Hill


www.Booksfromscotland.com (on the new paperback edition)
Book of the Month, May 2010
'Whether it's Scottish lochs or Enlightenment philosophers, the facts of the devolution referendums or the mysteries of Irn-Bru, myths will be debunked and truths revealed in this light-hearted but rigorous overview of Scottish history and culture.'

Also available for download on Amazon's e-book store is my 100 Brief Encounters (only £3.06!)


Here are some reviews of the print edition (published by  Chambers in 2007) -

Edwin Moore's quirky collection of a hundred encounters between (mostly) important historical figures is a gem of a book. Where else could you get concise enlightening accounts of Henry VIII wrestling with Francis I, Geronimo surrendering to General Miles, Ernest Hemingway presenting Fidle Castro with a fishing trophy or (as seen on the books cover) a baby faced Bill Clinton shaking hands with John F Kennedy. A marvelous 'little window on human history. ' - Dominic Kennerk, Waterstone's Product Planning and Promotions Co-ordinator (From the Waterstone's 'We Recommend' list for 2008)

Witty, light and packed with information -- The Sunday Herald

In 1936, in the wake of winning a clutch of gold medals at the Berlin Olympics, the great athlete Jesse Owens was snubbed by an imperious leader, on racial grounds. Popular belief would have it that the leader was Hitler, who is said to have stormed off, furious to see a black man beating European athletes. In fact the man in question was President Roosevelt, who worried that paying attention to Owens' triumphs might be a vote loser. Although Owens and the German Chancellor never talked, Owens claimed that Hitler greeted him with an enthusiastic wave. Such near-misses, shakings of hands and ships-in-the-night meetings are the subject of Brief Encounters – Meetings between mostly remarkable people, a likeable new book by Edwin Moore (Chambers £7.99). Flicking through the index, you will find some expected encounters (Dante stares at Beatrice, Corday stabs Marat, The Beatles strum along to a Charlie Rich record round at Elvis's house), and the book's intriguing and memorable cover shows a baby-faced Bill Clinton manfully gripping the hand of JFK. But Moore has navigated past some of the more obvious collisions, collusions and confrontations of history (there is no Dr Livingstone, I presume) and much of the book's pleasure derives from lesser known incidents.

Inevitably, some of the accounts of earlier meetings are somewhat sketchy but Moore offers some piquant speculation, laced with humour (the book is tagged Reference / Humour, rather than History and this feels right, but the book, though wry and opinionated, never stoops to wackiness). I was intrigued to discover that, though Attila the Hun did die on his wedding night, it was not in drunken and lecherous debauchery, as his enemies maintained, but supposedly because he was generally a simple and clean-living man who had a few too many which brought on a particularly bad nosebleed.

Moore's book is full of such tales – it would be wrong of me to steal the tastiest morsels of his research and pepper this article with them, but look out for a subsidiary reason for the Gunpowder Plot (too many dour and powerful Scots in Parliament); a great meeting of great beards, as Castro wins the Hemingway prize for sea-fishing; Dali bringing a skeptical Freud round to the art of the surrealists; Buffalo Bill's wife claiming an aged Queen Victoria had propositioned him; Oscar Wilde getting a kiss from Walt Whitman, while Walter Scott was more taken with Burns's charismatic eyes. This is an enjoyable and vigorous rattle through some fascinating and believable yarns. My only quibble is that it's a little on the short side – let's have Volume 2 please Chambers! - Roddy Lumsden, www.Books from Scotland.com

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