Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

When polls aren’t conducted using unbiased data – things like Glasgow’s 2014 Commonwealth Games win them

I’ve come to realise few people have much of a clue when it comes to understanding the results of polls and votes on subjects where the sampling pool is not formed by a large enough sample to approach statistical neutrality, or simply be unbiased.

These days, the first thing I look at when someone shoves a survey or poll under my nose is the source of the voting.

If it comes from a organisation that can demonstrate the population sample was selected randomly, and was large enough to minimise any potential bias, I’ll consider the result seriously.

However, if it comes from a source where the participants were not random, were self-selected, too few, or suffered some other sort of bias, then I move on, and don’t take the published/claimed result seriously.

With that in mind, I managed to avoid a panic attack when I read a headline proclaiming…

Glasgow 2014 voted greatest moment for tourism in 50 years

It sounds good (or disturbing) until you look close at the voting and the result.

It wasn’t a random sample, only people who were interested voted (meaning those who didn’t like the games didn’t vote  the even down), and ‘the greatest moment’ didn’t poll more than 50% of the votes, but just the largest fraction, only 20%.

People voted Glasgow Commonwealth games as the biggest draw for tourists. Runners up included the release of Braveheart in 1995.

I’m not a great film fan, but I do seem to remember the release of Braveheart – wasn’t it seen as a joke citing Mel Gibson’s attempt at a Scottish accent, and some questionable portrayal of Scottish history?

Looking at some of the results, I don’t think I have to add anything.

To be fair (and I freely admit my bias because of the ‘Games’), but for the weird event at the top of the list, I’d probably not have any issues with this list, or the way it was created.

See the whole fantasy poll here: 50 years of great tourism moments

Greatest Scottish Poll

Greatest Scottish Poll

Now…

Let me see…

What cute graphic could I finish this fun with?

Myth Reality

Myth Reality

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11/08/2019 Posted by | Civilian, Surveillance | , , , | Leave a comment

Shocking reminder of Glasgow’s dystopian Commonwealth Games of 2014

I wonder if I could sue Glasgow City Council for not ensuring that all reminders of the days when Glaswegian were not allowed free access to their own streets and buildings?

Even parts of the Clyde walkway were closed and fenced off, so you had to find your way back to the surface streets, and detour around the closed off parts of the River Clyde, and find your way back down the river. But by then, you’d have walked so far… you’d have lost interest in carrying on.

I really should be able to get some cash for the mental pain and suffering this reminder caused when I came across it unexpectedly.

Glasgow 2014 Restrictions

Glasgow 2014 Restrictions

Found blowing around the wastelands created in Dalmarnock, after loads of fuss and bother to raze existing buildings to make way for?

For what?

I don’t know, four years after this stupidity, many of the cleared areas are STILL clear, just open ground where there used to be houses, shops, and community centres.

They’ll probably tell ‘we’ got some new houses.

I suggest not listening too closely, and looking at the aerial view of the area on Google Earth.

Then think about how much of the cleared land has houses, and how much is left unused.

It looks to me as if the builders just decided to give and leave one day, as if the stuff they had built wasn’t selling fast enough, and there weren’t enough takers to make it worth carrying on.

Even an old people’s home which was built back them had to stay locked and unused for years after it was completed, because the plan was flawed.

It was fenced off and secured until earlier this year (2018) when it was finally opened, and might even have occupants (I didn’t get that close – they’d probably lock me in if I did). I saw a few cars, but no bodies.

Glasgow 2018 European Championships

Four years later, it’s no better, as Glasgow sees fit to shut down its own citizens to make way for the ‘sporting elite’ of Europe to take over the city.

RESIDENTS claim they will (be) left trapped in their homes as hundreds of major roads are closed for the upcoming European Championship Games.

Parts of Kirkintilloch Road, Torrance Road and Springburn Road in East Dunbartonshire are among almost 100 road closures which will hit the city on August 8 for the men and women cycling trial – leaving residents clueless as to how they’ll enter or exit the area.

Some roads will have parking restrictions in place as early as August 6.

The upheaval has left residents fearing for the safety of elderly family members and worried they’ll be forced to book hotel accommodation to arrive at work on time.

READ MORE: Here are ALL the Glasgow road closures over the 2018 European Championships
One resident said: “The main road I stay on is closed from midnight the night before and with no buses running I have no way of getting to my work.”

While another added: “They are shutting our road on the Wednesday, we got notification which said that if you had to make a critical journey to phone them.

“So I did and they were worse than useless. No help at all. Told them that I had to be at work for 6.30am making and public transport wasn’t an option at that time and was basically told tough.”

Residents left ‘trapped in their homes’ due to Glasgow 2018 road closures

Seriously?

Somebody needs to learn that this sort of elitist tripe does not belong anywhere near a city centre.

After the misery of 2014, and its apparent repeat in 2018, those in control should lose their jobs, somebody smart enough to spread this sort of nonsense around the outskirts and away from ordinary people, to avoid disrupting their lives, should be put in their place.

Just look at this RIDICULOUS list…

Here are ALL the Glasgow road closures over the 2018 European Championships

And even that is not complete.

It mentions Wellshot Road (southbound), between Tollcross Road and Fairburn Street.

But fails to mention that access to Tollcross Park has been closed there, so you have to detour around the park, which you could previously walk through.

This is inside the park.

Tollcross Park Access Closed For Glasgow 2018

Tollcross Park Access Closed For Glasgow 2018

Since I took that pic, a return trip yesterday revealed a small ‘portacabin’ planted to the right, with one bored guy sitting at a window, apparently watching the path.

And there was a road team digging up the surface of Wellshot Road, presumably removing potholes, and laying nice bits of smooth tarmac.

For whom?

The locals, the tourists, or the elite European athletes, lest they stub a toe and sue the City of Glasgow?

01/08/2018 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography | , , , , | Leave a comment

More scandal with Tax Break offer to 2014 Commonwealth Games athletes

Money grabWhile you or I get fined automatically if we happen to file a late tax return – and we have just seen a news item about those in the Armed Services who are currently serving abroad and file late still being fined regardless – it seems that the élite ‘Celebrity’ class still lives a life apart from normal people.

Athletes who attend the few days of the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, for which we are footing a bill of millions and suffering disruption for, and having our intelligence insulted on a regular basis by being told these games will leave a ‘Lasting Legacy’ (lasting bills more likely), are now to escape income tax.

Not for any good reason, but simply because they might not come if they are made to pay their dues – and we can’t upset celebrities these days, can we?

I might not have mentioned this if the move had been aimed at up-and coming athletes who may not be making a penny (yet), but they made the mistake of naming Usain Bolt in the news about this tax evasion, and I doubt if he is short of a penny or two.

(Even I , who care not one jot about him, know he has a sponsorship deal with Puma, and has already done a lucrative deal for his autobiography, so his pension is in the bank.)

Athletes from outside the UK who compete in the 2014 Commonwealth Games are to be given an income tax exemption.

The Treasury has decided to grant the incentive to encourage top international competitors to attend the Glasgow event.

Chief Secretary Danny Alexander is expected to confirm the move during a visit to the west of Scotland.

A similar measure has been put in place for the London 2012 Olympics.

Any athlete not normally resident in the UK is subject to UK income tax on any payment for performing in the country.

‘Memorable Games’

This can include a proportion of worldwide endorsement income.

The exemption could be particularly valuable to top stars such as sprinter Usain Bolt.

In the draft text of a speech Mr Alexander intends to make during a visit to the Commonwealth Sports Arena and Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome in Glasgow, released to the media, he explained the move.

Mr Alexander said: “With six months tomorrow to go until London 2012, I’m pleased to announce this special exemption for Glasgow 2014 which will prolong the Olympic legacy and help spread the long-term benefits into Scotland.

“Everyone wants to see the best athletes compete at Glasgow 2014 and this exemption will make that more likely.”

via BBC News – Tax break offer to 2014 Commonwealth Games athletes.

26/01/2012 Posted by | Civilian | , , , , | Leave a comment

Police asked to probe Commonwealth Games land deals

Commonwealth Games signI really wish I had the time and inclination to use the Blog to mount some sort of anti-Commonwealth Games (I prefer Commonwealth Shames) campaign. The lies and waste of time and money surrounding this insane event, which only serves to pay for a few folk who stand to gain some career publicity to run around for a few days is incomprehensible.

There is also some insanity referred to as ‘Lasting Legacy’, supposedly set to bring pots of cash into Glasgow after the event, but I invite readers to read reports written 10-20 years after similar events and claims – IT DOESN’T HAPPEN!

History tells us this in the shape of abandoned and derelict stadium sites around the world, and financial windfalls that never… fell.

The ‘Lasting Legacy’ is nothing more than a dream of the promoters, a fantasy, and is a carrot on a stick, held out to convince investors to part with their cash to finance the games money-pit.

We’ve already seen the Commonwealth Games chief breaking the rules and leaving his post in disgrace:

BBC News – Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games chief John Scott quits

Glasgow Commonwealth Games chief resigns after breaking gift rules | Glasgow and West | STV News

Only thing that comes to my mind about this single resignation is the warning that “Where there’s one mouse, there’s usually more“.

Now we have allegations of millions being paid out by Glasgow City Council for land which was purchased not all that long before it was known that it would need to be purchased for games’ use, or could have been acquired for significantly less if compulsory purchase powers has been exercised:

Multi-million pound land deals linked to the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow are to be looked at by police.

The move follows a complaint by SNP MSP James Dornan, who represents the city’s Cathcart constituency.

He wants to establish whether public money was misused in some deals.

In one case a property developer was paid £17m for land which cost him £8m. Another saw former Rangers owner David Murray’s company paid £5.1m for land it bought for £375,000 a few years before.

Via: – BBC News – Police asked to probe Commonwealth Games land deals.

I wonder what else will come to light before we get to 2014?

04/01/2012 Posted by | Civilian, council | , , , , , | 1 Comment

The ‘Lasting Legacy’ of Glasgow’s Commonwealth Shames

Money changing handsI have referred to the Glasgow 2014 money pit as The Commonwealth Shames, but such wit grows tiresome if overplayed, so I have not pursued the metaphor too often.

However, it looks as if I was right, and Glasgow’s reputation now does have the Lasting Legacy that the games’ organisers promised – but probably not the one they wanted to be found out for:

Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games chief John Scott quits

John Scott John Scott has stepped down as chief executive of the Glasgow 2014 organising committee

John Scott stepped down after admitting breaking rules over accepting gifts and hospitality from a potential supplier.

A statement from the organising committee, said Mr Scott deeply regretted his mistake.

David Grevemberg, the chief operating officer, will take charge of the organising committee until a permanent chief executive appointment is made.

Lord Smith, chairman of Glasgow 2014, said: “John Scott has made an important contribution to the planning of what we believe will be an outstanding Games.

“The board has accepted his resignation for an error of judgement he made in accepting, and not declaring, an offer from one of Glasgow 2014’s potential suppliers, in breach of the organising committee’s strict gifts and gratuities policy.

“I know he deeply regrets this mistake and this was a job that he loved. It is a measure of the man that he has put the values and reputation of the OC ahead of his own at this time.”

He said that because Mr Scott was was (sic) largely responsible for setting the committee’s standards of governance he felt he could not continue in his role as chief executive under the circumstances.

BBC News – Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games chief John Scott quits

Glasgow Commonwealth Games chief resigns after breaking gift rules | Glasgow and West | STV News

Thanks very much John Scott – you’re just the advert Glasgow needs.

27/06/2011 Posted by | Civilian, council | , , , , , | Leave a comment

£1.2 million blown on Commonwealth Games consultancy and PR

Commonwealth Games signA Freedom of Information enquiry has revealed that Glasgow City Council and the Scottish government have each spent about £600,000 on consultancy and PR for the Commonwealth Games over the past two years.

While the rest of us have to economise in time of recession, these organisations seem to think the Commonwealth Shames are little more than an opportunity to throw money away at time-wasters, which is in all honesty what most consultants and PR people are.

While  a little consultancy and PR can go a long way, there can be little doubt that this is a ridiculous amount of money to have thrown away on this event, which is clearly becoming something that those involved with think is great and wonderful, but is really just a few days celebrating a few elites people running and jumping, which the rest of us have to finance, regardless of choice or interest.

Dalmarnock street battle death

Dalmarnock, which happens to lie beside the sign shown above, for the site of the Athletes’ Village, has unfortunately featured in the news over Christmas, with the police confirming that a 23-year-old man died and two people were injured in a large disturbance in this part of the east end of Glasgow.

Police later announced that the victim came from Springfield Road (where the above pic was actually taken) and have appealed for any information. A 21-year-old man was released after treatment while a 35-year-old man is in a stable condition in hospital.

The BBC continued to report the story as Christmas street fight murder probe continues

27/12/2009 Posted by | Civilian | , , | Leave a comment

Commonwealth Games opens Money Pit as costs soar

Commonwealth Games signI make no secret of having absolutely no interest in the forthcoming 2014 Commonwealth Games. The event is already ruining the east end of the city of Glasgow, where I happen to live, with wide areas of land already being razed, houses (possibly of historic interest) demolished, housing developments starting and stopping, and numerous sporting facilities to be shoehorned into place. These, we are told, will remain as lasting legacies to the games, and bring new opportunities to the communities they lie within. I suspect I may be writing of their closure or redevelopment in later years. We can only wait and see.

I happened to mention a nearby sports and recreation facility online a few years ago, only to be told by the locals that it was one of the greatest jokes held up as a success by the developers. According to those who live near it, the main users are from outlying areas, and block the streets with their cars. The local youth can’t use it, because local gangs loiter around the gates, and see off any that try. I can’t verify these claims one one way or the other, only repeat what I have been told as I don’t live in that particular spot, and don’t know anyone well enough to gain further insight.

When the great announcement was made that Glasgow had “won” the prize (and all the others probably breathed a sigh of relief at having avoid this booby prize) all I saw was the creation of a money pit, into which millions would be poured on a promise, with no guarantees but one – that whatever cost was announced would be sure to increase. If they are still looking, the people of Abuja, Nigeria (which was the rival bidder) will be breathing a sigh of relief, and wishing a big “Thank You” to Glasgow for sparing them the future soaring cost of hosting this pit.

With five years left for more of the same, it comes as no surprise that the first announcement has been made regarding the spiralling cost of winning this booby prize. The original budget was given as £373 million, but with cries of “Global Economic Recession”, this is to be increased by more than 20% and raised to £453 million – a further £80 million.

I don’t really care why, but if the recession is the cause, then I’d rather hear that something had been cut from the circus to reduce its cost, not that the Scottish Government, and more importantly Glasgow City Council, will provide the bulk of the additional funding demand.

Just as the council continues to announce various local funding cuts, and has succeeded in maintaining the level of Council Tax demand constant for some years, with no increase in the dip made into my pocket.

Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond hailed Glasgow’s victory back in November 2007. “We will make these Games the greatest sporting event our country has ever seen. They will be our chance to show the whole world the very best of Scotland.”

At a guess, he doesn’t live in the city that will foot the bill.

The really interesting part of the games will come in the following years, as the pro-games camp publishes its analysis of the financial impact of the event, and tells of all the business and opportunities they brought to the area, while there will be another camp quietly revealing the true costs after everything – not just the cherries- are taken into account. The second report will be dismissed as negative and ill-informed.

I wonder who will report on the crime that accompanies the staging of this event, as the cities that have hosted similar events in recent years have warned that an event of this size brings in prostitution, vice, drugs, and any number of organised criminal activities, travelling from abroad and keen to exploit both locals and visitors to the area.

Congratulations Abuja, and well done on a successful campaign.

15/11/2009 Posted by | council | , , | 1 Comment

Let the games begin!

Commonwealth signAnd they certainly have!

Despite living in the area that’s supposed to be going to see magical benefits from the arrival of the Commonwealth games in six years (you’d think it was next week the way some folk are going on), I remain to be convinced that any good, or lasting good will come from them.

So far, I see places becoming derelict as land is cleared (now I see why some houses and families disappeared awhile ago), and I hear lots of promises about how the area will be so much better after the games leave – it all sounds just like the promises made about the Garden Festival site in the years running up to 1988, and see what that area looked like in the years after the site was cleared.

Commonwealth games certainly means wealth to someone, but I suspect it will be the big names and sponsors that ultimately benefit, not the locals.

I’m certainly not going to see any advantages, have no interest in the event, nor in any of the stadiums, arenas, or sports facilities that are to be built, and don’t need to buy any of the new houses being thrown up on that cleared land.

In previous weeks, we have received dire warnings from other cities that have hosted the same or similar events, telling of upsurges in crime and prostitution that accompany such events as so many people, strangers to the area, bring with them. I don’t need any of that criminal stuff either, thank you very much.

This week, there’s the news that things will be getting better as new laws are approved by MSPs to clamp down on ticket touts and unauthorised advertising – these weren’t illegal before? Had no-one thought of laws to allow these to be tackled, and we need more so that the immediate vicinity of the venue can be tackled?

Now, street traders near sports venues would be banned and ticket touts could face £5,000 fines.Trading standards officers are to be given powers to seize offending merchandise, cover billboards and signs and, under warrant, search premises where they suspect offences are being committed.

What were they doing before the new laws

Sports Minister Stewart Maxwell said work to stop ticket touts would ensure that “everyone in Scotland can enjoy the events at a fair price. The Games will be commercially attractive, but won’t be cluttered by unofficial or unsuitable trading and advertising.”

No, I guess they’ll just be cluttered by official advertising and trading, with stuff carrying logos and sponsors names being flogged at grossly inflated prices after being manufactured in the east for pennies.

I’m not going to drop a single name in here, but we’ve all seen the documentaries about a number of sports goods manufacturers who swear on the one hand that they don’t employ children in sweatshops in the Far East, then are found chasing reporters away and refusing to comment when they’re found to be using near anonymous sub-contractors who are filmed using… (fill this in  yourself).

I always hope I’m wrong, but decades of travelling on the bus through the east end, mindful of the council’s great promises that clearing the houses would mean development and prosperity as the land was used for business, makes me think only of a broken record playing the same old song over and over again.

That bus journey used to take place through streets full of people, shops, and houses. Now it goes through grassy areas (which should be nice, but isn’t) and piles of rubble and dust that used to be tenements with shops below. And if you walk through the same area, you can’t help but keep one eye looking over your shoulder.

01/05/2008 Posted by | Civilian | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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