GLASGOW City Council may be expected by law to facilitate these sectarian marches, but as a Glasgow resident and council tax payer, I too have an expectation. I expect them to manage them.

The AUOB marches have an exemplary reputation. They have been joyous, family, dog friendly affairs. Well managed and organised, as these marches have been throughout Scotland, they have passed without incident.

However, on the lead-up to the most recent AUOB march through Glasgow there was confusion, delay and obstruction from the council. As a participant on the day, they left me with the clear impression that my peaceful presence on my own city’s streets was largely unwelcome.

Their last-minute demands and restrictions introduced a very negative vibe into what otherwise should only have been a great and heartwarming event.

Therefore, to read the “it wasnae our fault” response from the council about Saturday’s marches leaves me utterly raging, to use the local vernacular.

I’m still reeling in disbelief that the problematic march which took place two weeks ago was given permission to route through Govan. That particular march? Through GOVAN!

I am now at a loss as to why two other contentious (in Glasgow) marches were allowed to take place on the same day. Stretching our police force beyond what was reasonable.

Do our councillors know nothing about Glasgow? Did they attempt to disrupt these events with the same vigour extended to AUOB?

Glasgow has now had two reported incidents of “running” police within a two week period. The council’s job is to keep the city residents safe, regardless of belief or conviction. Theirs is the job to facilitate lawful, democratic protest (regardless of how they, or I, might feel about it) Theirs is the job to MANAGE.

With the glib response that “the city has too many marches”, it seems that they all too easily absolve themselves of their responsibilities.

Their inept planning and oversight will not be so easily forgiven.

Iona Easton


PRISONER voting is on the

agenda again at Holyrood with

the Scottish Elections (Franchise and Representation) Bill. The Bill enfranchises some convicted prisoners in order to comply with the European Convention on Human Rights. It is vehemently opposed by the Scottish Conservatives.

For years, criminologists,

Howard League Scotland and the Prison Reform Trust have maintained that prisoners should not be barred from voting. The current blanket ban is antiquated and arbitrary. It does not necessarily deter crime, nor aid public protection, and it can hinder rehabilitation.

Intransigence and populist politicisation of this human rights issue have meant we lag behind many European counterparts, our blanket ban putting us with Russia, Bulgaria and Hungary. Whereas Finland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Ireland have no electoral ban on prisoner voting – a progressive Nordic and Celtic arc of nations Scotland should join, now the power to enfranchise is devolved to Holyrood.

Ironically, a century ago, suffragettes were imprisoned in Calton Jail, which is now St Andrew’s House, the seat of Scottish Government, with their campaigning and women’s suffrage feted by a female First Minister. Yet women and men in prison today still cannot vote, even though government and parliament policies affect them and their families.

I hope the Scottish Elections Bill passes to finally bring change for constituents with convictions. This isn’t so much about criminal records disqualifying them from voting in prison, so much as it is about our democratic record as a rights-respecting nation.

Dr Hannah Graham

Senior Lecturer in Criminology, University of Stirling

A SPONSORED post titled the UK Government Getting Ready for Brexit has just popped up on my Facebook time line. Among the many hundreds of comments, including the predictable racist ones, are the odd gems of humour including: “Hi, can you help please? I’m looking for the section on what to do with my new found wealth once we have left. I also cannot find the section that guides me on how to live in a society of greater prosperity, as I think I may find that transition difficult. I’m also having difficulty finding the ‘tax haven’ section so I know where to get my wages paid in order to avoid paying as much tax as I do now.”

Others include “I bought a lot

of food, and I am ready to stay indoors for few years” and “We

have ploughed up the garden, planting turnips, and are fattening up our pet cats and dogs in case we need to eat them.”

However the best one of all was; “Why do we have to get ready and prepare for something good?

Brian Lawson