It is said that when Margaret Thatcher learned that she was still despised in Scotland, after the implementation of her key policy to try and turn a predominantly left-wing nation into Tory voters, she felt deeply betrayed.
That’s a good enough reason, even after all of this time, to remember the one year anniversary of the end of the Right to Buy Scheme, a policy which created a dire shortage of social housing, increased homelessness, elevated poverty and lined the pockets of private landlords (again), the ending of which is an example of the Scottish Parliament in action, and the Scottish government ‘getting on with the day job.’
As someone who had a great childhood growing up in a council housing scheme the following is a personal reflection…..
Before the fences replaced nicely trimmed hedges between properties, and then got higher, and higher, and topped with glass shards, before B&Q did stone chippings in various shades of ‘Green Monmouth,’ before half a roof of a four in a block got replaced and UPVC windows, mixing in a patchwork, interfered with symmetry, before the double-glazing and central heating salesmen moved in, before the financial planners and bank customer service consultants arrived, before the endowment mortgage scam… and before the compensation, before cars, cars, cars, car-parking, get off my verge, I’ll lift the grass and pave the front garden, put a sign up, five home security cameras are as cheap as four, before ASBO’s, before Sitex security shutters, before ‘Carbunkle of the Year’ Awards, before property cherry-picking, before ‘it disnae belong to me to so why should I care”, before they stopped maintaining the parks and public areas well. filled in the flower beds, overgrown trees and vegetation hides a lot of sins, financial cutbacks, irregular hedge cutbacks, before they did away with the weans paddling pools citing low revenue and health and safety, before Big Brother started watching you on CCTV, before satellite dishes and right wing Sky News told us what to think, on repeat every fifteen minutes, before the BBC overtly told us how dependent we are, and how we should be grateful for that, before the explosion of Food-banks, Clothes banks, School Clothes bank, before record-breaking homelessness, when ‘sanctions’ were something a government did to a foreign government it disagreed with rather than a punishment inflicted on the vulnerable ………………………….before all of that, even looking back wearing rose tinted glasses,there was more of a focus in communities on looking after those who lived there.
The death of Right to Buy in Scotland……..31 July 2016 (minus 494,000 social housing properties) .
The modern Tory of the Scottish variety tries to disassociate themselves from all things Thatcher, she was ‘before they were born’, any mention of her name is scorned as holding a living-in-the -past grudge.
There is only one difference between Ruth Davidson of the Ruth Davidson Party and Thatcher, the Iron Tyrant didn’t pretend that she was anything else other than the British nationalist narcissist right wing promoter of greed and destroyer of communities, unions and public services that she was.