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What do local working class people in Edinburgh think of the demonstration yesterday?

category international | summit mobilisations | news report author Wednesday July 06, 2005 00:42author by IMC Éire foreign correspondent Report this post to the editors

Some pix of Muirhouse, one of Edinburgh's most economically depressed suburbs, and a summary of the brief vox pops given to me outside the shopping centre this afternoon.

Muirhouse Parkway.
Muirhouse Parkway.

After yesterday's messing, some of the talk this morning in the centre and the Forest Cafe (unofficial social hotspot centre for G8 Edinburgh activities) seemed to be hinting towards some sort of mass social revolution on the brink of erupting in working class suburbs of the city. I was knackered and didnt hang around very long, I couldnt face the idea of more time in front of a computer so early so I left and headed back to Muirhouse.

The Geography Department in the University of Edinburgh gives a description of Muirhouse as such... "Lying to the north of Ferry Road in Edinburgh and to the west of Pilton, Muirhouse is a public housing estate begun in 1953. It takes its name from the Tudor-Gothic mansion built on Marine Drive in 1832 for the Davidson family, who were wealthy merchants trading in Rotterdam. The estate was built in mixed housing styles, include regular white boxes, with low-pitched roofs, and large tower blocks, mostly constructed in the 1960s. The area has suffered from significant social problems. From the mid-1980s Muirhouse, together with the neighbouring West Pilton have been undergoing significant renewal, with many of the tired and vandalised council-owned blocks being replaced by private housing. Muirhouse suffers unemployment rates of more than three times the average for Edinburgh, with a larger proportion of long-term unemployment."

I brought out the MD and the camera with me and went down to the local shops to gather some local opinions on yesterday and the G8 in general. I enjoyed cycling around Muirhouse, it reminded me a lot of Ballymun before it turned into a permanent building site. There is a bizarre mix of public housing, from simple two storey gafs (much nicer than standard council housing in Dublin), to four/five storey blocks down near the north end of Pennywell Road, to the imposing fourteen storey towers, including a couple in neighbouring West Pilton, and the centrepiece of it all, the 22-storey redbrick Martello Court, standing above everything else in the area.

What was my general impression about Muirhouse? Hard to say when you dont know much about the area and its history. Cycling through it last Saturday morning, there were groups of 'neds' congregating already near the shops, already letting the fizz out of their cans, while up at the Drylaw Centre, a group of approximately 20 junkies were hovering outside a Pharmacy, animated and socialising, at 8:30 in the morning. I guess some people would instantly dismiss an entire neighbourhood as gone to the dogs upon seeing this. Yet the gardens in Muirhouse are tidy, the streets are clean, there are community and arts centres. It is quiet (very quiet) and there is a distinct lack of graffitti on walls near public spaces. And no horses! There seems to be some sort of civic pride/"tidy towns" ethics in effect. Yet there are many, many boarded up units, especially at the north end of the suburb. Its depressing seeing the steel shutters over here too.

The people I spoke to admittedly were not pleased about yesterday. I only spoke to about six or seven people (mostly elderly) with the MD & mic but all were not happy with the situation. The general consensus was that Saturday was good, Monday was bad. One guy, Andy (there seems to be a lot of people called Andy in Edinburgh) said that there were way too many police in Edinburgh, and that this was only causing more tension among local people. Most did not think that people should come to Edinburgh if they were "jis gonnae cause trouble for the polis". One person who did not wish to be named worked in the local West Pilton Neighbourhood Centre, and said that the area was rife with poverty. He thought that it was good that people were protesting against poverty, but that it should be peaceful. He also said that there had been improvements over time in the area, with money given for community projects, but this was a bit pointless if people could not find work or were being paid crap wages; what was the point of having an arts centre if people couldnt buy decent food.

Against repeated advice, I went to the local pub, the Gunner (I was told "you're gunner home in an Ambulance if you go in there"). I thought the place was quiet every night I passed it, but then I realise everyone is actually inside and not out on the doorstep shivering and sucking on nicotine. When I went in today I ordered a bottle rather than a pint. It was your average dodgy scruffy as shite pub. Not too many punters in at 2pm, but there were a few who were already well on the way...

My accent pricked up a few ears and I started up a couple of conversations with some barstool philosophers. I didnt take out the MD or the camera in here though. The first question I was asked after my nationality was confirmed was "which fitba team do ye support?" Now I dont support any football team, but my heart skipped a beat as I considered my answer. There arent any Union Jacks on this guys arm, are there? I told them I only played poker and chess, not football. They all laughed, not sure why... but the ice was broken anyway and we got talking.

Scottish people definitely have an affinity/warmth towards Irish people. Most locals I talked to will tell you some story of a cousin/brother/sister/parent either living there or from there, dropping the surname as proof. To be honest I think they get slightly jealous that we're independent from Britain and they arent... Anyway the two lads asked me why I was over and I told them. They talked a bit about how the government had been continually fucking people over with the new Parliament Building in Holyrood. It had been projected to cost x million, and had gone repeatedly over cost, and longer and longer to complete. All paid by the tax payer. This was the sort of thing that the politicians felt they could do to people and nobody could do anything about it. We talked for a while, and I think when Scottish people talk to Irish people they're keen to air their anti-English sentiments (as did a taxi driver the other night - surely the only true authentic voice of the working classes!) I stayed for about 20 minutes and finished my beer, and hit the road.

So overall I cant say that I got a very representative sample of the working class population of Edinburgh, but on my brief encounters I could say that people are very conscious of poverty and exploitation. Yet they do not tie it in to things like the Carnival for Full Enjoyment, or link the ideas of activist radicals with their own situation. When they see images in the news of people in black masks, they only associate it with fighting rather than an ideology.

Later on I met some non-political people in town for pints. [Pints, always, ALWAYS a bad idea the night before... Must. Not. Sleep. In.] I would have been quite flippant about yesterdays events, seeing it more as a laugh than anything else. There wasnt much of a riot at all, yet from reading the dailies up here ("G Hate" "Live Hate" "Anarchy on our streets" "The Battle of Princes St" "The nightmare comes true" and so on...) you'd swear the city had been torn apart limb from limb rather than a bit of confrontation (handbag clashes in most cases). Yet the people I talked to today were disgusted by it all, saying that the trouble was all 'pissed up neds'. I had no idea what 'neds' were up until today, apparently they're just like buzzies or chavs, they're a distinct subcultural group up here. I'll leave it to you as homework to find out more, but you can probably guess. It still kicks me now and again when you drop out of the usual spots like the IMC Centre and back into civilian land how much people disagree with what happened, and the planned stuff for tomorrow.

OK its late and time for bed. Getting up early. Not sure whats going to happen tomorrow. Because of the decentralised and closed nature of things, it seems like there is no overall plan for actions... which could get messy. There was a meeting earlier in the IMC Centre to co-ordinate coverage but I am too wrecked now to summarise it. I will try and file another report (my last) tomorrow night if all goes alright.

Until then.

Newer housing at Pennywell roundabout.
Newer housing at Pennywell roundabout.

mmm skyscaper i love you...
mmm skyscaper i love you...

Boarded up... depressingly familiar to back home.
Boarded up... depressingly familiar to back home.

Nearly all boarded up in some 5-storey blocks.
Nearly all boarded up in some 5-storey blocks.

author by IMC Éire foreign correspondentpublication date Wed Jul 06, 2005 00:47Report this post to the editors

Five more.

Lots of ground floor units boarded up.
Lots of ground floor units boarded up.

untitled7.jpg

Vandalism.
Vandalism.

100% occupancy rate in this block.
100% occupancy rate in this block.

untitled10.jpg

author by IMC Éire foreign correspondentpublication date Wed Jul 06, 2005 00:48Report this post to the editors

Five more...

untitled11.jpg

untitled12.jpg

Martello Court... sticks out a mile.
Martello Court... sticks out a mile.

Nice social housing.
Nice social housing.

Big prairies but no horses!
Big prairies but no horses!

author by IMC Éire foreign correspondentpublication date Wed Jul 06, 2005 00:51Report this post to the editors

Last two. Good night.

New social housing construction.
New social housing construction.

The Gunner. Local, friendly, windowless, "monitored by CCTV" public house.
The Gunner. Local, friendly, windowless, "monitored by CCTV" public house.

author by Johnpublication date Wed Jul 06, 2005 01:42Report this post to the editors

A most interesting report. But, you do seem a little condescending towards the Scots. Thats always a danger when people from a successful country visit a country that is failing. Americans used to act like that when they visited Ireland, but no longer. It is not at all surprising that Scottish people are (as you say) rather envious of the Irish. The Irish have followed the path of capitalism, free enterprise, a relatively small public sector and low taxation. In contrast, the Scots still cling to a primitive belief in socialism and their economy has the largest public sector of any EU country. In Ireland the Left gets under 20 per cent of the vote. In Scotand it gets over 80 per cent of the vote. The result: in the past decade Ireland has had the highest growth rate in Europe, over 8 per cent annually, while Scotland has had the lowest, barely 1 per cent. Scotland is still crippled by unemployment and emigration, things now banished from Ireland. The population of Scotland is currently in decline in the same way that the population of Ireland was in decline in the 1950s. In contrast, 80,000 immigrants a year come to live and work in Ireland. In 1960 the population of the Republic of Ireland was barely half that of Scotland. By 2015 the population of the Republic alone will exceed that of Scotland. In 2004 Ireland built 80,000 new houses. Scotland built 20,000. While Dublin is literally blowing up its handful of Ballymuns and replacing them with top-quality modern housing, Glasgow and other Scottish cities have a hundred Ballymuns. Scotland has a totally-socialised health service, while Ireland has a mixed public/private health service. The result: life expectancy in Ireland is now 2 years greater than in Scotland. No wonder you seem so smug and condescending towards the poor Scots. But, I hope you enjoy your few days in Scotland. I'm sure it will do you good. If anything can cure an Irish socialist, its a trip to Scotland and seeing first-hand the state that socialism has left that once-proudl country in.

author by Redbhoypublication date Wed Jul 06, 2005 10:32Report this post to the editors

Who's interest is it in to have Scotland in the state that it is? The establishment!
Would they allow a Socialist Scotland to thrive un -hampered?? I doubt it.

author by another Johnpublication date Wed Jul 06, 2005 11:26Report this post to the editors

John who built Ballymun? 'Socialist' Berties party. Your little rant is full of holes. Scotland has consistantly voted Labour (who are not not remotely socialist, or even social democratic at this stage) but even so, in UK elections were Scotland was for many years out of sinc with English voters who put Thatcher in.

BTW its early days yet in Ballymun. I can't see much progress vis-a-vis peoples lives and already some of the new estates are starting to look run down (potential slums) also the social mix targets that the Council set have been a complete failure. The (tax relief saturated-money that could have been used for other necessary infrastructure) sale of apartments to speculators to ensure a social balance has nose dived and actually caused the opposite effect. The majority in private (landlord owned) apartments are receipents of Health Board subsidised payments, not the young yuppies the council had hoped for, to the extent that the health board responsible for Ballymun are refusing to provide any more rent relief!

Ballymun will not suddenly loose its deep problems because the people are now living in houses instad of high rise flats.

It will take more than that to erase fourty years of neglect by Fianna Fail Capitalists

author by Ciaránpublication date Wed Jul 06, 2005 11:31Report this post to the editors

I'm sure you believe your critique of socialism is a wonder to behold but you're seriously mistaken in almost all your points.

One good reason why Scotland is not as prosperous as it perhaps should be is the fact that it is completely crushed with the so-called "United Kingdom". North Sea Oil, a Scottish resource, generates revenue not for Scotland but for Britain. In short, if Scotland were independent, like us, they would, at the very least, be able to exercise complete ownership over their natural resources. Moreover, and this is where the strong Socialist sentiment in Scotland would be of benefit, were the Scots to be independent they would not, unlike us, allow multinationals exclusive rights to exploit natural resources in exchange for a few shillings of licence fees.

Swings and roundabouts John. In the post war period Red Clydeside was an immensely productive area - because of its strong Communist and socialist traditions. Its no coincidence that since the destruction of these traditions by Thatcherism Scotland's prosperity has suffered. Our "wealth", of which you seem so proud, is for majority of people merely colossal debt in the form of mortgages, loans, etc. When there's another serious economic crisis huge swathes of Irish people would be well and truly fucked.

A more realistic assesment of Ireland's well being would be healthy for you and the country at large. We are in no position to lecture others about socialism. But, as you admirably demostrate, right wingers in this country have let our fickle, essentially feeble "prosperity" go to their head and are/will be useless when it comes to picking up the pieces after the multinationals find somewhere more rewarding to invest.

author by Johnpublication date Wed Jul 06, 2005 15:56Report this post to the editors

Redbhoy says: "Would they allow a Socialist Scotland to thrive?". What on earth is he talking about? Has any Socialist State ever thriven? Please name one. Ciaran prattles on about the fickleness of our economy. What's fickle about it? Its based on the production of goods and services sold in the international market-place, exactly the same as any other country. Leftists like Ciaran have been predicting and desperately hoping for the end of prosperity in Ireland ever since the Celtic Tiger started. They await the Big Economic Crisis that will prove they were right all along in much the same way that religious fanatics await the End of the World. No sign of either yet. The World Bank recently made growth forecasts for the next 20 years. They probably know a lot more about likely economic trends than Irish leftists. They predicted that in 2020 Ireland's GDP per capita will be second highest in the world, second only to the USA, another country which has never taken much to socialism. Poor Scotland, its all downhill for its diminishing number of people I'm afraid unless they get their act together and follow Ireland's example.

author by By Any Means Necessarypublication date Wed Jul 06, 2005 17:18Report this post to the editors

The economy in Ireland is based on a falsehood and fiscal policy has not allowed wealth to trickle down to those who produce the wealth, as any surplus is taken up by taxes.

As a consequence the gap between rich and poor is growing wider and society's bonds have broken.

Your assault on Scotland is ill informed and your libertarian approach to economics is sad and predictable.

The only solution to the economic problems is economic democracy..which you obviously are against.

Each according to their ability, each according to their need.

author by Ciaranpublication date Wed Jul 06, 2005 17:23Report this post to the editors

John says: The World Bank recently made growth forecasts for the next 20 years. They probably know a lot more about likely economic trends than Irish leftists. They predicted that in 2020 Ireland's GDP per capita will be second highest in the world, second only to the USA,

That's reasonable enough, but do they know with absolute, absolute certainty that there won't be, for instance, an oil crisis, a crisis for the EURO, the collapse of the US economy as a result of the current account deficit, when China will dump its US dollar bonds, or even what investment/divestment decisions executives of Intel, Dell, Pfizer etc will make over the next twenty years? Can they read the minds of those who make investment decisions in multinationals, that is, those who control the economic destiny of Ireland?

What we do know with absolute certainty is that all those financial institutions who lent billions to Irish people over the past few years will want their money back... And if they don't get it back they'll want control of every piece of brick and mortar.

A question John: did the world bank predict in 1985 that Ireland would be where it is in 2005? Not likely. Their predictions can't form the basis of an argument that everything will be hunky dory for the next 20 years. Nobody,not even, strangely enough, right-wing neo-liberal economists, can predict economic outcomes. If we even began incorporating some elements of socialist economic thinking, such as renationalising our shipping and telecoms industries, we may be able to ride out any serious downturn. But as the capitalists in Ireland - the media, government, and business - will resist any suggestion of this, we'll have to take our chances....

So, as for "leftists" wishing for the inevitable economic meltdown: well most "leftists" in Ireland would be fucked like everyone else so there is no pleasure in contemplating it.

We're integrated far too much into the global economy to escape the consequences of a serious downturn. Thinking that we can is naive and potentially disastrous.

author by Phuq Heddpublication date Wed Jul 06, 2005 18:57Report this post to the editors

QUOTE: "They predicted that in 2020 Ireland's GDP per capita will be second highest in the world, second only to the USA, "

RESPONSE: Theoretically I'm earning more than my parents ever did, but in terms of my level of debt (housing and educational) and my need to feather my own nest for the future through investment (can't rely on the pension or VHI now) I'm working harder and longer. Yes, I can have more iPods but I don't want them - I want spare time and security for the future.

GDP, as I'm sure you know, is a meaningless statistic when applied to what we're all interested in: quality of life. This has been pointed out to you many times before when you made the potted post above on other threads. It has also been pointed out to you that a huge amount of this GDP is the result of foreign corporations pushing money through Ireland. Even if Shell/Statoil pay next to nothing in terms of taxes here (contributing to the infrastructure that I want to use) their economic activities show up as part of the GDP.

author by Johnpublication date Wed Jul 06, 2005 18:58Report this post to the editors

What hogwash. Which part of my assault on Scotland is ill-informed? The bit about emigration? The figures for economic growth? The figures for the number of new houses? You can't deny that in all these areas, Ireland is totally outperforming Scotland. I notice you didn't contradict my figures. As for predictions about the future, Ciaran is correct up to a point. Nobody can be totally certain about the future. The best thing we have to rely on is past experience. Up to now low-tax free-enterprise economies have totally outperformed high-tax socialist economies. You may believe, if you wish, that at some point in the not-too-distant future this will be totally reversed, that low-tax free enterprise economies like America and Ireland will suddenly go down the plughole and that socialist economies will come up trumps. No one can disprove a prediction about the future
until the future arrives. All one can say is that (a) there is not a sign of this happening and (b) socialists have been predicting it for a hundred years. So, I'm losing no sleep over it.

author by Danpublication date Thu Jul 07, 2005 02:34Report this post to the editors

John, you are a joke. At least some right wingers are able to construct plausible arguments that don´t fall apart instantly on examination. But your claim that Scotland has suffered the dire consequences of socialist rule is laughable. Scotland, like the rest of the UK, was ruled by the Tories from 1979 to 1997, when the policies you adore were given their most influential test-run. Since then it has been ruled by Blair's Labour, who have abandoned any form of socialism, however moderate. So the Scots have had twenty years of Thatcherism - which certainly goes a long way towards explaining their current predicament.

The fact that you can peddle this gibberish with such inexplicable arrogance does not say much for your intelligence I'm afraid.

(Unless you are just parodying the libertarian right, in which case ignore the above...)

author by KingGhidrapublication date Thu Jul 07, 2005 02:53Report this post to the editors

"Has any Socialist State ever thriven?"

of course no socialist state will ever appear to you to thrive if you judge them by right-wing capitalist values...

author by Johnpublication date Thu Jul 07, 2005 19:08Report this post to the editors

My Dear Dan, blaming Thatcherism for Scotland's economic ills is a cop-out. Thatcherism was applied in England to a far greater extent than in Scotland. But England's economy has boomed, As the Irish Left never tires of pointing out, the economic policies applied in Ireland in the past decade are pure Thatcherism. But, Ireland's economy has boomed. So, why is Scotland so stagnant? A recent economic report put the blame for Scotland's relative stagnation on the fact that it has a vast bloated public sector. In Scotland the public sector accounts for over 50 per cent of GDP, compared with about 30 per cent in Ireland. Any country in which the public sector accounts for more than 50 per cent of GDP can fairly be described as 'socialist' in my book. Still, I'm glad to note that, although we may differ on the reasons for it, we are both agreed that the Scottish economy had been crap in recent years when compared to Ireland's. That's progress.

author by another Johnpublication date Thu Jul 07, 2005 19:56Report this post to the editors

in your imaginary crown.......Ballymun. You haven't made comment on any of my observations.


BTW if capitalism works sooooo well answer me this- why are there 10,000 polish workers from capitalist Poland living/working here?

Why is there 100,000+ British workers here from capitalist Britan???

author by Chekovpublication date Fri Jul 08, 2005 01:16Report this post to the editors

It's great to have such theories john - you can just write generic articles and fill in the details as needed. Socialism is always the problem. fundamentalist exploitation of the poor always the solution. In this case though, I fear that your crap is just a little bit too obvsiously stupid.

" Thatcherism was applied in England to a far greater extent than in Scotland. "

Evidence? Why then was the poll tax (perhaps the defining event of thatcherism) imposed in scotland a full year before England?

You say Scotland's problems are down to socialism, when it is pointed out that it has been under a Thatcherite government for 26 years, you say that the problem is that they weren't Thatcherite enough (so Thatcher was a socialist in scotland eh?) you are a complete and utter joke.

author by Johnpublication date Sat Jul 09, 2005 02:13Report this post to the editors

Nonsense. The defining characteristic of Thatcherism was a reduction in public expenditure as a proportion of GDP. Such a reduction was implemented in England, but never in Scotland. In Scotland today public expenditure as a proportion of GDP is at an all-time high at over 50 per cent, compared with 40 per cent in England and 30 per cent in Ireland. Its this which is crippling the Scottish economy and preventing it matching Ireland's super-growth. By the way, the Scots have had home rule since 1998 and a left-wing coalition in power in Edinburgh since then. So, why you are attributing the blame for Scotland's current woeful state to Thatcher is a mystery.

author by Mepublication date Sat Aug 12, 2006 00:26Report this post to the editors

I was raised with middle-class sensibilities and have found myself living in Muirhouse. Initially I thought, with prejudice, that I would be living under siege from vandals and junkies but nothing could be further from the truth. My neighbours are quiet, considerate and friendly. There is little vandalism apart from stone-throwing kiddies. The only blight is that the area is strewn with broken glass and litter. Most of this could be solved with the simple provision of litter bins. The nearest playpark near me is well-equipped for the area's teeming youngsters but has no bins. There are no bins at the shops and none at the bus stops. Consequently there is litter everywhere.

author by Edinburgh residentpublication date Tue Sep 12, 2006 23:29Report this post to the editors

Regardless of the drivel that the author of this whole piece seems to be spilling ( I note he uses Glasgow as an example for his figures and not Edinburgh - because they would not stand up in the context of Edinburgh - a city with a booming population!).

Anyway aside from all that - it might have helped if you had did some RESEARCH into the area you photgraphed rather than GUESSING what the area was all about. A few pointers

1) See the blockes that are all boarded up - they are being demolished. They are due to be demolished next summer and that is why so many are lying vacant, the residents are being moved out! It's not because the council have just left them to rot as you seem to imply, but rather the tenants are being given new homes and being compensated to move so that they can be pulled down.

2) That lovely picture of terraced houses you show and describe as lovely social housing is actually a private estate that has been built right next to Muirhouse, to break up the council estate.

3) That lovely big block you show called Martello Court is also private and was sold by the local authority to private developers a decade ago. A glowing success of how a private developer can come in and provide high class affordable housing.

So maybe you want to do some research before spouting off. Might also want to check out the Granton Waterside developement in the North area of the city, right next to Muirhouse - 6,5000 new homes being built on the area alone. Not to mention the ones being built where the demolished stock is - hmmmm but that contradicts your argument about our house building doesn't it!

Do your research - then you might have an argument. I notice you failed to credit the EU with any of Ireland's success - most subsidied country after Portugal is it not - or was it Greece. Well guess us tax payers were of assistance to our Celtic cousins anyway - where do you think those subsidies came from?

author by Kate MacLean - Freelancepublication date Thu Sep 17, 2009 14:46Report this post to the editors

Im very disappointed at the whole tone of this piece, and the cycling through the 'Jungle' message it really is pathetic. I wonder why the Author didn't go and approach the young people waiting outside the shops or the 'Junkies' in the chemist. How dare you describe these PEOPLE in these terms. I as a Scot would most certainly not go to Ireland and make such a superficial weak kneed assessment of the inhabitants. Shame on you what a coward.

author by muirhouserpublication date Sun Dec 27, 2009 22:24Report this post to the editors

going on what edinburgh resident and kate maclean stated..

id jus like to add that maybe the publisher of this article could have spoke to a few more of the residents of the place iv lived and was raised my whole life...

you make the gunner out to be the a pub in its lowest form...ill admit the decor isnt the best but thats not testiment to the people in there... you went at 2pm in the afternoon, who did you really expect to meet in a pub at 2pm on a council estate? it was the place i literally spent my early teenage years outside each day and night because the steps outside offered an excellent skateboarding spot... and i have never had any trouble there as any result of the pub itself

i did enjoy the photographs however... i could trace his route thorugh each picture with specific detail and it shows a limited view of muirhouse... it offers i think two of the images of Muirhouse Housing Associations housing and bar tower blocks the rest are either pilton (a different housing estate altogether) or ones that have been demolished as edinburgh resident rightly pointed out... he did not point out that the destruction of hundreds of homes was to make way for the new craigroysten school being built by private building firm.. PPP i think it is referred to and they ave been responsible for most of new schols in edinburgh now. and the old criagroysten school which takes up a a lot of land at the south end of the same road is being demolished for homes for private contractors.

Those 'junkies' your referring to i think ul find are mostly made up people of an older generation... who became addicted durin the 80's when it was in a bundance and littlewas known about it... i happen to know now from knowing people from many backgrounds that drugs are just as popular if not more so than with the upper classes. its just the nature of the drugs have changed

all in all... an inaccurate view of muirhouse,

author by ex-Edinburgerpublication date Sat Nov 26, 2011 19:40Report this post to the editors

I have just found this article by accident while trying to remember the name of the Muirhouse pub that I frequented for a couple of years in the late '70s.  All I can say is that Ciarán got it spot on in 2006 when he said that, in another economic crisis, the wealthy Irish would be well and truly fucked! Meanwhile we Scots are still plodding on.

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