Thomas Kerr: SNP and Labor despise working-class communities


I USED my column from last week to highlight the latest in a series of car crash interviews given by Glasgow City Council SNP chief Susan Aitken.

She continued to downplay the waste crisis in Glasgow and blamed the city’s graffiti epidemic on ‘a bug with a spray can’. Ned, as I wrote last week, is a term of derision for working class communities in Scotland.

You will notice that this insult is never hurled at those from the kind of middle class backgrounds who are overwhelmingly represented on the SNP and Greens benches in Holyrood and Glasgow City Council.

The truth is, people who grew up like me are tired of being preached to the top of morals by Champagne socialists whose first hardship experience is fighting for the last bottle of pinot grigio in Waitrose.

Susan Aitken’s recent speech at the 23rd City State Economics Conference embodied just how out of touch her SNP administration is.

The people of Glasgow are fed up with the SNP’s empty rhetoric about supporting small businesses, the city’s environment and our cultural assets.

Evidence of their contempt for the basics of daily work is written all over our streets.

This contempt is testament to an underlying contempt for working class communities that Councilor Aitken betrayed through her derogatory comments about “uneducated delinquents.”

While delegates to the upcoming COP26 conference might see the benefits of its so-called ‘uplifting’, I suspect residents of Easterhouse, Drumchapel and Shettleston will not receive the same VIP treatment.

Their roads will continue to be littered with potholes and garbage; their bins will continue to overflow and under-collect; and fly spills in their communities will continue to tarnish their living environment.

It’s not just Susan Aitken whose comments betrayed a deep antipathy towards working class communities.

Labor deputy leader Angela Rayner insulted hundreds of thousands of Tory voters in Scotland and across the UK when she called the Tories ‘scum’.

The excuse advanced by his allies for this disgusting language was that it mirrored the way working-class people speak.

How revealing that Labor and SNP politicians have such an outdated and offensive caricature of the working class that they believe we are walking around with a spray can spewing profanity.

The truth is, working class Britons are more concerned with trying to get to work, despite the SNP’s anti-car agenda. We are concerned about the quality of our schools, despite the decimation of the Scottish education system by the SNP.

We are concerned about ensuring the safety of the streets, despite the SNP’s soft approach to criminal justice.

We’re keen to make sure the NHS is there for us when we need it, despite the SNP asking us to ‘think twice’ before calling an ambulance.

As someone who has lived in Glasgow’s East End my entire life, I can categorically inform Susan Aitken and Angela Rayner that these are the concerns I encounter on a daily basis and that the failure of the SNP and Labor parties to respond to these concerns is exactly why working-class communities no longer believe their empty promises.

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