<So how do you think Pollokshaws compares with the rest of Glasgow?> Sssss- too many people in too small an area noo. Th- the density of multi-stories is unbelievable. While other places have only two or three they’ve got… what is it? Eight in one street? Could do with cutting them doon a bit and… padding the place oot a wee bit. Keep the grass, keep the the parks, they were surrounded by parks so as long as we can keep them it’ll- gies you a wee bit of, eh, thought that maybe you are in the countryside. And Pollok Estate’s right next door tae us. We’ve got the Burrell Collection, the big… the biggest museum ever tae happen and we’re staying in slums next tae it. Y’know it’s. Pollokshaws has been sadly neglected for over the past maybe ten, fifteen years. And what’s happening is that more and more houses that are getting sold off, in the city, there’s less and less houses becoming available for rent. And these areas are becoming… smaller and smaller. And it’s places like Pollokshaws: big high density of multi-storey flats that’s gonnae end up with the… what is it the Americans have got a word for it? It’s like people on benefit that’ll be in there more than anything else. You know because they cannae afford to pay for hooses , <right>, that’s or they’re too old or they’re ill or. And we’re gonnae end up with a sort of welfare, welfare village if you like <mmhm> unless something’s done tae stop it.
I mean that’s government policy, sell the hooses. And obviously you’re no gonnae buy a house in a multi-storey. So it’s a de- demolishing more houses that are council houses that are bought up, the less the fewer council houses there are available for rent. And the fewer houses available’ll be. Fewer and fewer people being allowed into them. So we could have a welfare state in Pollokshaws within uh five years. Unless somebody somewhere stops and says ‘woah’. <Now do you think that’s something that needs to come from inside the community?> It’s already started from inside a community. They’re very much aware of that. But where can they go because of the government legislation at the moment there’s, there’s no much they can do in this government. Even tae an American you must feel that they’re very uncaring, unsympahetic. Particularly tae Scotland. The same thing’s happening in other places: in Lo- Liverpool, London aw the big cities, as their fancy housing estates are going away. So something’ll have to be done eventually along the lines. Or we’re gonnae end up with, as I say, I don’t know where the senior citizens the pensioners. I don’t know where they’re gonnae go in the future. But…
<So what do you think about Glasgow’s bid to become a… a tourist mecca?> Would help if they’d clean it up first. <laughter> Huh? City of litter. It is filthy, I don’t understand. I think there’s concentrating an awful lot in the city centre. We’re gonnae end up with the nicest village… in Europe, within about a mile radius of George’s Square. It’ll be lovely, you know. Street theatre, no traffic, no congestion, lovely li- lovely buildings aw polished. And then you walk two hundred yards away and you’re back into the slums again. I mean the the city fathers are burying their head in the sand if they think the Polloks and Easterhouses and Drumchapels are all of a sudden just gonnae disappear. And they’ll have to they’ll have tae address they problems. Well I would like tae see some demolition of hooses. And start bui- rebuilding back intae the city. And split their schemes up a bit. Like Drumchapel’s split and you’ve got four schemes. With fields in between there. So as the people maybe, be able tae get an identity. You go intae these places and you don’t know what, Ruchazie, Garthamlock, Easterhoose; they’re aw just running in. Whereas before when they used to have that wee bit of space, people could identify with their ain area. And I would like tae see them keeping that. Cutting places off. Like Castlemilk’s an enormous. I mean that’s a toon in its own. With what? One swimming bath, nae picture house. Go intae the city centre you’ve got everything. I mean they’re boasting we’ve got this we’ve got that. When they built the Burrell there oh God almighty. And I bet you ninety percent of the people in Pollokshaws havenae been tae it. In f- the very, very few people actually go and see it.
<Why do you think that is?> We can go and see broken tiles and… old bits of glass anywhere I mean it’s just– Have you been in? <heh> Doesnae appeal to me. I was at the new Stirling one, that was better. Probably more visual. But likes of the People’s Palace, that sort of thing mair appeals to me more than <mmhm> the Burrell.