Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Is Glasgow being mugged by ANOTHER sporting event?

I’m currently not in the best of moods, having noted that ONCE AGAIN Glasgow’s (city centre) streets are to be closed for a sporting event.

I’m not supposed to complain though, as it’s for a ‘Good Cause’ – “The annual Men’s 10k will arrive on June 16 and thousands of athletes from across the country are expected to get set and go.”

Great – if it’s so good, why not hold it on quiet road just outside the city, through some of Glasgow really BIG parks?

Instead, those of us not interested now seem to be expected to put up with this regular road closure disruption, and not say a thing.


I was really wondering about this advance publicity I spotted recently:

EUFA EURO 2020 Alert

EUFA EURO 2020 Alert

I don’t know anything about this, am not interested in it so won’t be wasting any of my time researching it, but wonder if it follows a similar swindle to the other large sporting events which cities are supposedly ‘honoured’ by being granted the privilege of hosting.

The event organisers (such as those being the Commonwealth Games and the Olympics) don’t have to raise a penny for them – the cities that host them have to cough up the money to run them, provide thousands of unpaid volunteers, and fund the building of new event spaces and stadiums.


No wonder Glasgow’s attractions, such as Tollcross Park’s sad winter garden, and now the People’s Palace winter garden are lying in ruins – when the council has to drop over £300 million on the Commonwealth Games, and recently settled an equal pay dispute (created by its predecessor) for £500 million. That’s just two obvious drains, if I actually looked, I could probably raise that to a loss of £1 billion that could have been better spent.

I always liken this sort of thing to the coercion, or just straight blackmail, of those involved in sales, marketing, and advertising.

When you turn them (and their fees down), they look at you through the narrow slits of their beady little eyes and say something like “If you don’t do this, we’ll take our service to your competitors, and make them a better offer. Can you afford to let that happen?

I’d say host cities are given a similar ultimatum by those event organisers, and told they’ll lose the money that visitors to their event will (supposedly) spend.


There was an interesting article that could be viewed in a sort of ‘Compare & Contrast’ way, as Edinburgh resident (or at least some of the mouthy ones) see, to be rebelling against the very thing that is keeping that city solvent.

And they’re certainly (apparently) more hostile to their tourists and events than Glaswegians seem to be their similar benefactors.

I don’t think I could easily lay hands on any published material where any  Glasgwegians (other than me of course) have made any negative comments about the disruption events cause.

Oh, that’s no longer true!

I just spotted this about Zippo’s Circus in Victoria Park:

They will put on two performances a day for the six day period.

Representations were received by Whiteinch Community Council and Jordanhill Community Council, with issues included the use of generators on the site.

“We welcome the coming of the circus, we just want to ask for conditions to mitigate the negative impact on surrounding houses,” a representative from Whiteinch Community Council said.

She requested noise was kept to an adequate level, parking restrictions were put in place and the use of generators and diesel vehicles were kept to a minimum.

Glasgow council grants circus licence despite worries over ‘intolerable’ noise

I don’t know how loud Zippo’s was, but I doubt it reached the levels of ‘Big Top’ shows taking place during the Fringe.

However, this reaction may be telegraphing Glasgow’s future reaction to tourists and events, IF it can stomach copying Edinburgh!

Edinburgh is at risk of being seen as ‘anti-tourist’ in the wake of campaigners raising concerns about the impact of festivals and events on the city, the chief executive of the Fringe Society has warned.

Shona McCarthy hit back at critics of what is claimed to be a growing “festivalisation” and “exploitation” of the city centre for major events, describing some of the criticisms that had been raised as “a bit weird”.

She insisted the Fringe should not be held responsible for the management of tourism numbers in the city centre, but warned the city’s welcoming reputation was “seriously in danger” due to an ongoing debate about the impact of the industry.

Edinburgh is in danger of becoming an ‘anti-tourist’ city, Fringe chief warns


Noisy performer

05/06/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography, Transport | , , , , | Leave a comment

Glasgow – Mugged into hosting yet another sporting event

A classic radio comedy series was broadcast by the BBC between 1962 and 1977, about two lazy, bungling, incompetent civil servants, “Number One” – Roland Hamilton-Jones (Wilfrid Hyde-White) and later Deryck Lennox-Brown (Deryck Guyler), “Number Two” – Richard Lamb (Richard Murdoch).

The 8th Series (1972) began with an episode called ‘The Conference Trick’

Lennox-Brown and Lamb gets the job of representing Great Britain at a conference which will divide the surface of planet Venus between the countries of the world. They were chosen especially to fail, since Great Britain doesn’t have funds for the colonization of Venus. Yet, they somehow failed to fail… and instead of coming back with nothing, came back with rights to the whole planet!

I tend to think of all the other host countries breathing a sigh of relief every time Glasgow wins the right to host (and PAY for) yet another period of upheaval and disruption for its citizens.

The other host cities managed to make it LOOK as if they wanted to win, but were really playing their cards carefully, knowing Glasgow has some sort of mental failure when it comes to seeing the true cost of hosting all this nonsense, and every time Gasgow wins ANOTHER of these events, they all head home, laughing.

Glasgow will become the first city to host the inaugural combined World Championships in 2023, cycling’s world governing body the UCI has announced.

The event will bring together 13 existing World Championships for the first time, including road, track, BMX and mountain biking, turning the host city “into a true world cycling capital” according to UCI president David Lappartient.

Last month, Glasgow Live reported that Glasgow City Council and EventScotland approached the UCI about hosting the event .

In a report to the city administration committee, Deputy Leader of the council, David McDonald, said: “This will be the biggest cycling event in the world with over 100 countries represented and over 200 world champions being crowned during the course of the championships.

“The huge media interest will guarantee worldwide broadcast coverage delivering massive international profile for both Glasgow and Scotland.

Glasgow set to host first ever UCI World Cycling Championships event

Aye, Right!

If you say so.

I’m not wasting time commenting again.

Stop! It's a money pit

08/02/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council | , , | Leave a comment

Time to stop throwing council/tax millions at sporting events

Ever since a close watch of the spending reports on the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games stupidity, and learning that the organisers are NOT the ones who fund their fun, but the poor mugs of the host city who foot the bill, I’ve been amazed that few realise this, and even fewer object to having their money (taxes) squandered on the promised/claimed benefits they supposedly bring.

A few days ago it was revealed that Glasgow was being coerced into pouring some £15 million into another ‘Sport Black Hole’, to host the first World Cycling Championships in 2023.

Guess what?

That initial £15 million has already grown by £40 million (so that’s already £55 million, to be blackmailed from partners and the Scottish Government, on the basis that we simply HAVE to host this.

This when the council needs to find £500 million for its recent equal pay settlement, and more importantly, £7.5 million to renovate the Winter Garden of the People’s Palace.

Those behind this money grab MAY just be beginning to realise the people might not be fooled for much longer.

Amidst fears public libraries and swimming pools could close through lack of funding, Glasgow councillors will bid to host a £50 million cycling event.

Glasgow City Council has one week left to convince the Union Cyclist International (UCI) to allow the area to present the inaugural World Cycling Championships in 2023.

The local authority would spend £15 million on the tournament and have to secure the remaining £35 to £40 million from partners and the Scottish Government.

Councillors agreed it would add to the “legacy” of the city but some raised concerns that residents might not be so welcoming with budget cuts looming.

Councillor Archie Graham said: “It is unfortunate congress is next week. This means the council will only have a week to speak to funding partners and the Scottish Government to confirm they will fund the rest of the event.

“We already have challenging budget pressures. I do worry that people will be unimpressed to see the council spending £15 million on a large scale event when their libraries and swimming pools are under threat.

“We need to have a good communication strategy otherwise we will receive a lot of criticism.”

Councillor Elaine McDougall added: “I think this is a flimsy proposal and we need something more concrete.

“I would like more information. I know it will benefit the city overall but will it benefit the public purse?”

Depute Leader of the Council councillor David McDonald said: “It will benefit the social aspect of the city as well as the economy. The council has been asked to fund £12 million of the event, which is costing £45-50 million overall.

“The local authority will then spend a further £3 million engaging with tourists and locals who want to get involved in the games.

Councillor Matt Kerr said: “This is a legacy. Glasgow has undertaken a long journey to get here and to be able to host these events.

“We have developed a very positive relationship with the UCI and as a former road racer I am looking forward to 2023 and the opportunity to take part.

“I have four years to get my act together.”

Glasgow councillors raise budget concerns about World Cycling Championships bid

You have to love that last quote.

You’d never guess the speaker had any self-interest in the proposal…

So should recuse themselves!

Stop! It's a money pit

26/01/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council | , , | Leave a comment

More sporty types hold their hands out for Glasgow’s money?

As usual, I can only wonder at the reality of the claims made about this (sport) being ‘Good’ for Glasgow, and how I feel like I’m being treated like an idiot when I read some news.

Or how many people realise that the organisers behind these sporting jamborees don’t have to pay the host city for the privilege of disrupting it, and its residents, for weeks/months/years as it makes ready for them to have a whole week or two of fun at the host city’s expense.

The host coughs up the funding to attract them, and then pays for new venues, modifications to existing venues, any new things (like athletes’ villages), and all the organisation and management – THEN has to supply mindless ranks of thousands of unpaid VOLUNTEERS to staff them for the duration, and they’re daft enough to do it for expenses (maybe).

Are these numbers produced by people/organisations promoting this stuff (and recipients of work/cash), or are they independently audited figures which take into account ALL the costs?

A TRUE reckoning might be enlightening (and maybe shocking).

Seems ‘we’ can always find hundreds of millions for sport promotions…

But can’t find less than £10 million to preserve our own assets, such as Winter Gardens. And one actually right beside a holy sporting venue.

In the last decade Glasgow has invested more than £200m in its sporting venues attracting world-class athletes and international supporters and spectators.

Since 2009, attendances at Glasgow Club sports facilities have increased by more than 50%, meaning more and more adults are taking positive steps to improve their health and wellbeing.

In addition, the number of junior members attending sports clubs across the city has more than quadrupled, demonstrating children are increasingly becoming active in sport at an earlier age.

Sport also adds huge value to the city’s economy contributing approximately £367m and employing around 10,000 people across the sector.

Glasgow bids for European capital of sport title

After all the self-praise these things generate, and all the patting of backs for those involved, we get all those apparently wonderful numbers.

Financial number (claims) which are put into stark perspective when we read that…

Celtic contribute around £165m to Scotland’s economy annually – more than the 2014 Commonwealth Games – according to a report commissioned by the club.

Let me repeat that…

more than the 2014 Commonwealth Games

I should add I don’t care about sport/Celtic/events, BUT I do care when I read stuff that makes me feel as if I am being treated like an idiot, which I do whenever I read about these endless bids for sporting events, and the ‘magic’ numbers relating to their finances and after effects.

Maybe I should be indulging in some of the Buckfast seen below when reading those figures.


25/01/2019 Posted by | council | , | Leave a comment

The Adventure Game may wear out the country

mountain bikeYour scribe doesn’t hide the fact that he likes to feature news stories that warn about the once unstoppable march of the Wind Farm across the country, ruining the land and the view, both irreplaceable assets that the country has become dependent on to attract tourists and their wallets.

It seems that the Scottish countryside is under threat from another quarter, namely the boom in adventure pursuits, which is now booming in the north, and said to be worth some £187 million per annum, and more than £25 million to the economy of the Highlands and Islands. Organisations such as VisitScotland are actively promoting events, and activities such as mountain-biking, together with public access events, intended to bring in spectators, with crowds of perhaps 40,000 attending. One project mentioned is the Wilderness Adventure Racing Championship, missing from Scotland last year, it looks set to return to Lochaber in 2008, bringing 60 teams from 22 countries. Organisers allocate funds to clear up litter, with budgets of £5,000 being typical.

Erosion and Waste

The upsurge in activities may be a cause for concern, while conservationists are busy maintaining the flora and fauna, and the land they depend on, growing numbers of visitor’s feet are straying from the paths provided, and damaging the softer, natural ground.

Human waste, as opposed to simple litter, also become a significant problem as visitor numbers increase. Ben Nevis is quoted as one example, where such waste can remain frozen for years if left there, rather than being broken down naturally. Already implemented in the Cairngorms are so-called Poo Chutes in car parking areas, where visitors are encouraged to deposit bagged and bottled ‘waste’.

Used with care, the Scottish countryside can be enjoyed by all (even if that means it gets busy, and loses the ‘isolation’ factor), and visitors can do worse than take a moment to familiarise themselves with both the Rights, and the Responsibilities, that the Scottish Outdoor Access Code provides.

21/03/2008 Posted by | Civilian | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments


%d bloggers like this: