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  • Not many people these days will remember or even have heard of the name "Red Clydeside". In a nutshell it was the name given to the staunch militant unionisation of Glasgow's shipbuilders and coal miners who stood united as one people, so strongly, so tightly, so bravely together, that it scared the British government!

    As a result, they put in place a fifty year 'secret' plan to decimate and destroy the Red Clydeside, the city of Glasgow, because they could not bear having people actually having such power, such courage to stand against them and not simply doff their cap in reverence. Look at Glasgow then and look at Glasgow now and you can see how effective their plan has been!

    They moved the city away from the working class place that is has always been (and always will be, despite them!) to market it as an upmarket cultural place of wine bars, art, tourism and pavement cafes. Pavement cafes! In Glasgow! Anyone who knows even a little about Scottish weather and the propensity for drunks and yobs to accost innocent passers by on the city streets would know without a doubt how ludicrous pavement cafe's are!

    Glasgow has been the 'city of culture' and had a garden festival. It has had numerous logo's and marketing plans put in place to try and 'sell' it to both business and tourists. To a certain extent it has worked but much of the new Glasgow is little more than window dressing. It is a false image of what the city is, rather than what some would like it to be. Glasgow and it's citizens (Glaswegians) have always dealt with the realities of life though - a product of being raised, living and working in a tough working class city!

    At one time, the river was busy with the sound of ship building and the ship builders yards lined both sides of the river, producing mighty ships that sailed off to all corners of the globe. Until they closed them down and sent the work abroad, that is, throwing thousands of tradesmen on to the scrap heap!

    There were sit in's, strikes and other industrial actions but all to no avail. The shipyards closed for good and the river fell silent. Where once stood bustling shipyards, now stands either waste ground breeding weeds and rats or new riverside development flats (damp and mouldy).

    The Red Clydesiders may now have passed into history and local folklore but their Spirit lives on in the heart of every decent person across the globe, Scottish or not. For it is a spirit that states we do have the courage to stand up against corruption and tyranny where'er it may be. That is something that can never be legislated against, regardless of any secret plans or not.

    The crane seen in the photo stands now alongside the river in mute testimony to what once was, a monument to the great days of ship building, when a man could expect a fair days wage for a fair days work. It also shows the Iron will of the justly defiant, of course.
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