Don't get all excited! Sadly the BBC haven't seen sense and given me my own show. Lord knows why I'd love a show. I'm thinking of something along the lines of a chat show where I get to choose the guests. So instead of speaking to someone from Eastenders who has just released a fitness video I might have an expert on seahorses drop in with Barbara Windsor and someone I found on the bus. God I don't know why I'm bothering to go into all this. It isn't going to happen.
Instead I am merely going to be a star of CCTV. Our wonderful Labour council here in Glasgow have decided to splash out on £300,000 worth of CCTV coverage of my stamping ground. Of course my fantastic local councillor Gordon Matheson is quick to point out that 'The Merchant City is not a high crime area but the residential population is growing rapidly and there is a substantial night-time economy. This is why we are installing a network of CCTV cameras.'
I must say I'm somewhat puzzled by this because a few weeks Gordy boy was telling us that Paddy's Market was the cause of an unacceptably high level of crime and that the local residents were suffering as a result.
More peculiar still he describes the pubs in the area as the night-time economy and to be fair many of them aren't a problem but a fair number of them are. I have written to Mr Matheson to complain about the antics of the patrons of the night time economy on several occasions but have yet to receive a response or see any improvement in the situation. Only this evening I got home at 8pm to find the front door covered in sectarian graffiti and the entry panel ripped off the door. To get to this I had to walk through the carpet of fag butts that the night time economy seems to produce post-smoking ban and the pools of piss that folk too anti-social to use the toilet pop out the pub to decorate the the street with. I will also be woken up at least once tonight by the racket made by the night time economy as it retreats to the suburbs. I should point out that I'm a heavy sleeper, for example I once slept through the fire brigade evacuating the flats next door and was stunned to read about it the paper the following day.
I bought my house eight years ago for the princely sum of £46,000 so I'm well aware that I'm part of the scum element that Mr Matheson wishes would vanish. As I'm neither a big brewery or a landlord renting out luxury apartments my quality of life is an irrelevance. Funnily enough if I hadn't been aware Paddy's Market existed prior to buying my house I'd still be oblivious to it's existence. Yet that is Gordy's main issue. I expect that if the Paddy's traders could afford to make it worth Gordon's while to support them they'd be fine.
The Merchant City is by no means a crime blackspot but it is blighted by drunken anti-social behaviour of an evening. You might imagine that the council would seek to tackle this but instead every encouragement is given to big chain pubs to come here, let their customers get rat arsed and wash their hand of them. CCTV will change nothing. What disrupts the peace in these parts is provisional IRA obsessed piss heads roaring and singing. Are the council seriously asserting that the installation of cameras will shut these wankers up? Oh and no the the irony of such anti-social beasts being so in love with the provisionals has not escaped my notice given the IRA's knee-capping response to anti-social behaviour. In any case it is perfectly possible to support the IRA quietly -I did for years when I was the left wing equivalent of the Daily Mail, a dogmatic mental and fifteen years old.
It is clear to me that the council couldn't care less about crime which begs the question what do the want with the CCTV footage. My best guess is that the plan to flog footage of fit birds getting humped over the bins to the highest bidder. The notion that a city would continually elect halfwits who will devote twice the energy to being seen to be doing something as it actually takes to tackle the problem is too implausible to believe.