Front Cover

The Glasgow Keelie

Number 7 March 1991

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After the Gulf war...


Councillor Pat Lally must be thanking his lucky stars that Saddam Hussein has pushed him off the front pages as Public Enemy No.1. We have news for Lally, however, if he intends to force through his Tory-inspired plans for the privatisation of Glasgow Green while media attention is focussed elsewhere. The Keelie has its eye on him and his ragbag crew in the council and we’ll be ready to confront and expose whatever manoeuvre he may try to pull.

On the following linked issues the Glasgow public has made its voice heard:




None of these issues will be allowed to fade from public awareness.

Nor will we allow capitalist wars abroad to blind us to the war here at home - the war waged by the British government on its own working-class population. Let’s keep in mind what this home war means: the wholesale privatisation of publicly-owned amenities: the gradual dismemberment of the National Health Service: the violent onslaught on public education: the creation of widespread DSS poverty and homelessness in the midst of soaring prices, poll tax bills and benefit cuts: and the sure and certain promise of more than three million unemployed before the year is out.

In this home war, thanks to Lally and his spineless administration who willingly implement Tory policies, Glasgow has already suffered enough.

We are not prepared to take it any longer. The people of Glasgow say NO!

NO! to all capitalist wars. NO! to the corrupt Lally and his toadying council. NO! to the pollution of Westminster politics and the parliamentary con game played by Major, Kinnock, Sillars and the rest.

They may have ended one war but the war they wage against the working class continues. The working class in Glasgow will not surrender.


At December’s meeting of the Hutchesontown Labour Party Branch seventy seven (!) new members joined the party. Initiated by Councillor James Mutter the 77 were proposed by Sadie Robertson (38 people) and John MacPherson (39 people). MacPherson was Mr Mutter’s agent at the last election.

The new 77 members all had their dues paid in two lump sums by the proposers! And lo and behold, Councillor Mutter himself paid the dues of other Labour Party members just in time for last month’s AGM.

On the same night the 77 were elected, one of them was John Doran, put through by Mr Mutter as “unemployed”. The truth is Mr Doran is co-proprietor of the Granite City Inn and McNee’s pub at Eglinton Toll.

Other applicants where signatures were a wee bit “iffy” somehow got defaced or else managed to get “torn off”. Councillor Mutter also proposed his son as an “unemployed” member whereas he is actually living and working in Jersey.

The hard core Labour Party membership were so affronted by this “scam” that they didn’t select any delegates at the AGM.

Although employed by Weir’s Councillor Mutter was unfortunate enough to be on the “sick” for eight months. Fortunately he still managed to do his paid council work in the evening.

Then as a member of the Unemployed Workers Centre committee he condoned the sacking of two employees who were themselves on the sick for genuine work-related accidents.

Councillor Mutter’s strange ideas of justice was what probably won him a place on Councillor Lally’s Personnel Committee where he participated in the “Kangaroo Court” that sacked Michael Donnelly.

For a man whose only income is “£90” a week, according to local sources James “Flash” Mutter manages to run a swell limousine and his freshly-laundered designer suits are a byword in the Continental Bistros of Florence Street. Maybe his extra lolly comes from regular attendance at all these City Chambers freeby committee meetings!

Incidentally, Sadie Robertson and John MacPherson run two separate community centres in the Gorbals. “Ladie” Sadie has now over-run her community centre AGM by six months while “lucky” John has got himself elected onto the management committee during that time. Okay, all kidding aside, the people of the Gorbals must have their “house” put in order. The best people to do that are the people living in the Gorbals themselves.

By the way the latest rumour circulating among insiders suggests Mutter’s in line for a new job with the SDA. He’s definitely got the right credentials. In Glasgow, post-1990 the reward for what amounts to petty corruption is promotion.

Anyone in Glasgow, or elsewhere in Scotland, with information on local dirty dealings must come forward. The fight begins on your own doorstep. Contact your Keelie distributor and we’ll try and make these things known to the public. The last thing the Lally’s, Mutters and Nolans of this world want is publicity.

The Transport Revolution -

During the 19th century in the UK there was a transport revolution without which the Industrial Revolution would not have happened.

As the 20th century progressed the level of commercial and private development responded accordingly. By the end of the 1970s Glasgow, despite having the lowest car ownership ratio had more urban motorway than anywhere in the country.

Much of its inner-city was sacrificed in the process.

Today Glasgow is nothing more than a throughway for commercial transport and a car park for out of towners. No one stops anymore except tourists yet the road building goes on. Having completed the west and northern motorway links they now want to complete the “motorway box” envisaged by the “Bruce Plan” in 1945, bringing the east and south into the motorway plan.

The Townhead to London road link will continue south at Glasgow Green and join the M74 extension from Rutherglen to the proposed low twin bridges, next to the Kingston Bridge. These will cut off any kind of up-river navigation and cause serious flooding as it rules out all dredging for Glasgow.

The campaigning group “Glasgow for People” are determined to stop this and are taking the Regional Council to the Court of Session for failing to consult the people. This is commanded by the Town and Country Planning Act.

Irrespective of the verdict the campaign goes on. So get involved to save your city from cynical planners.

Let us begin the Transport Revolution of the 1990s and put the red-light on these developments!


An Iranian family with young children, living in Pollokshields have fallen victim to a hate campaign.

They’ve received through their door a calendar with most of the year’s months ripped out. This death threat is just one result of the racist jingoist circulation ‘war’ being waged by the gutterpress.

* * *


During these hard times, amid the war in the Gulf and wars at home over cuts and poll tax and other iniquities isn’t it nice to know that our Crowned Head of State - or is she only ‘nominally’ the Head - the Queen, had her personal wealth increased by 25 % last year?

She now earns £1.8 million pounds PER DAY and is undisputed champion millionaire woman of the world. And the rest of her family’s Crown assets and incomes didn’t even enter into the calculations!

Isn’t that simply wonderful! And aren’t we simply proud of that super super woman! What a beautifully free democratic system we have here in Britain. And isn’t it simply worth fighting for? This Keelies just about to go and jump off a fucking roof. Sorry, you mustn’t say fuck in a newspaper.


During the past decade tens of billions of dollars were given to Saddam Hussein by Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and other Middle Eastern US client states. The biggest state-owned bank in Italy, Banca Nazionale del Lavorois, gave him a secret $3 billion dollar loan (the money went via Atlanta, Georgia, also home of CNN news). The US Eximbank approved $200 million loan guarantees to the same person. He bought weapons, poison gas and the sort of technology that makes the production of nuclear warheads available.

Saddam bought from wherever he could, and that meant just about everywhere, from the Soviet Union, from Britain, Germany, Italy, Spain, the US and so on. The countries mentioned supplied this money in the full knowledge that Saddam was not simply waging war on Iran but on the citizens of his own country.

The atrocities perpetrated on the Kurdish people are well documented but hardly ever referred to by our wonderful media. After one such poison gas attack more than 5000 people in the town of Halabja drowned in their own blood because ‘the lining of their lungs had dissolved’. In fact not content with subsidising such horrors the US increased its loan credits to Saddam. What did Britain do? It doubled them.

This war has always been about money, about private profit and public loss, the private control of oil and the public loss not only of material resources but of human lives. By the time it ends hundreds of thousands of ordinary people are likely to be dead, all to safeguard the financial interests of a tiny elite group. The vast majority of those being killed are those who were forced to exist in Saddam’s hell-on-earth, that hell-on-earth which we helped subsidise. And the Iraqi soldiers exterminated by the heroic US and allied military comprised a vast proportionate majority of Kurdish and also Shia Muslim people; the very groups Saddam has tried to exterminate or otherwise dispose of beyond the Iraqi border.

All along the corporate US and allied financial interests have controlled the emergence of Saddam as the contemporary Middle Eastern dictator. Of course Britain created ‘Iraq’ itself back in 1919, when the ‘winners’ of the First World War were carving up the Middle East and we needed a Client State to help us steal the oilfields of Southern Kurdistan.


There is no question that Saddam Hussein is an evil monster. He always was, and we knew it. But still we subsidised and supported him for eight long years during the war with Iran. This was when we were fighting that other ‘evil monster’, the Ayatollah Khomeini. At that time, while subsidising the war against Iran, we were also sending huge sums of money into Iran. Let us repeat that, while we were attacking Iran we were supporting Iran. Or to put it another way while we were attacking Iran we were supporting Iran. Or to put it another way, we were arming factions within Iran. Just as throughout the war we were funding factions within Iraq.

In 1979 we lost control of Iran. While getting Thatcher into power here in Britain we lost the Shah in the Middle East. This is why we channelled that secret money into Tehran, to fund Khomeini’s domestic enemies. This is what lay at the root of the Noriega and Ronald Reagan, Contra-CIA drugs fiasco, sometime known as the ‘Oliver North’ affair. We were preparing the ground for a Saddam-Ied Iraqi victory followed by the restoration of the old murderous regime in Iran. Or a more up-to-date version of it. What we wanted was another Client State.

Just as now we don’t simply want Saddam out of Kuwait, we want to crush and annihilate both him and any continuing national Iraqi interest. Especially an Iraqi national interest that is truly democratic and thus threatens our stranglehold on global oil control.

And if ‘evil monster’ Saddam had been overthrown by the Iraqi people a year ago he would no doubt have gained political asylum in ‘the sunshine state’ of Florida, alongside the rest of the ex-leading members of the most brutal and terror and torture regimes in the world, maybe in the same mansion-fortress they gave mass murderers like the ex-Shah of Iran (still portrayed by our wonderful media as a cross between Omar Sharif and Errol Flynn).

The hypocrisy, the humbug and the lies. The genocide of ordinary people all over the globe. Atrocity after atrocity. All in the name of ‘our’ interest, i.e. the continued well-being of monsters like Saddam Hussein and the brutal Middle East monarchs and dictators who prop up western capital, spearheaded by oilman cum ex-CIA Chief George Bush, the only real difference is strategic. If this war in the eyes of some is not a total and absolute obscenity it is only because of what lurks beneath: the logic of greed, of absolute power, exercised with absolute ruthlessness. It is Britain’s disgrace to have played an active and leading role.


• Strathclyde Region blew £20 million on GIasgow’s Year of Culture. This year it’s cutting £45 million off its budget, £22 million from education.

Of course these two facts are not connected; it’s all the fault of those poll tax non payers, don’t you know.

Those who are being made to pay for last year’s splurge and for the Government cuts in Revenue Support Grant are the Region’s workers and those who depend on their services.

300 YTS Trainee Supervisors and over 100 Community Education workers are being sacked by the Region.

Scheduled for closure are Maryhill Community Resource Centre, Priesthill Youth Leisure and Recreation Project, Bellarmine Arts Centre, Visual Arts Workshop and many others.

So much for culture.

Deals are being done which worsen the provision of teacher absence cover and up to 100 more schools could close. The NALGO strike on 27th February was well supported by workers throughout the Region with some 8,000 attending the rally in George Square.

But the union fightback has been left very late because of Labour Party tie-ups between the Region and full time officials on the Strathclyde Joint Trade Union Council. What’s needed is a united campaign of all those communities and workers being hit by the cuts together with the trade unions and anti poll tax groups.

• Strathclyde and Lothian Regional Councils are the first local authorities ever to impound their employees wages for nonpayment of the poll tax or any other tax.

It is sickening that the low paid cleaners were the first to have their wages docked, along with the social workers who are at the sharp end of this attack on the poorer sections of the working class.

We should remember it is a fundamental human and democratic right for all people to oppose an unjust law. What worries our establishment at local and national level is the working class might begin to understand that the only place where real democracy can function is at street level.

It happened in 1926 during the General Strike when the strike committee in Fife had to give permission to the police and authorities before any traffic in and out of the area could pass.

Arch traitor of the working class Phillip Snowden cried out, “They are setting up alternative forms of government”.

While in Edinburgh...

• The latest news from Edinburgh makes sorry reading. Labour-controlled Lothian Regional Council is to close both the Unemployed Workers Centre and Citizens Rights Office in Broughton Street. A saving of a paltry few thousand pounds.

The cut was proposed by Labour Councillor Paul Nolan, already notorious in the area for a variety of dirty practices, including certain “financial dealings”. Here we go again. Instead of attacking the National Government these cowards, elected by the people to form some sort of socialist resistance at local level to the most reactionary Tory leadership of recent times turn round and launch their most violent attack on the victims of Tory policy, the people at the lowest rung of society. It is absolutely disgraceful. Of course the decision was political. Unemployed Centres and Citizens’ Rights Offices are places where people gather together and discuss their grievances. Those currently in control of Labour policy want to do away with such places. Why is free speech so dangerous...?