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Showing posts with label The Siege of Ardenlea Street. Show all posts
Showing posts with label The Siege of Ardenlea Street. Show all posts

Saturday, 26 March 2011

The desperation of Glasgow City Council’s shills

One factoid stands out from all the others in the distortions, spin and outright lies that have characterised the anti-Jaconelli media coverage for most of the life of this sad case - the alleged £360,000 ‘demand’ for the Ardenlea Street flat.

I have explained this on numberless occasions, as have the Jaconelli’s and their lawyer, but it keeps rising to the surface, like a turd in a pond, because it serves the purpose of Glasgow City Council and those who post anonymously on their behalf.

So let me say this as clearly as I can, in the almost certainly vain hope that it will penetrate the minds of those shallow, hostile posters who cannot see beyond it - Margaret Jaconelli never asked for £360,000, never authorised such a claim, and has made it abundantly clear that it did not represent her expectations of compensation for the loss of her home.

What happened was that an illustrative figure was used to show the gross disparity between what she had been offered and the settlement made with one developer in relation to his investment. The Jaconellis invested £30k in her home, a buy-back in 1998 based on a 1990 valuation, and a developer invested £45k .

The developer accepted £5.5 million pounds - yes, million pounds - and proportionate to investment, this represented £3.5 million, and for example if the Jaconellis had got even a tenth or so of this, a figure of around £350,000 was theoretically relevant. No one for a moment intended to make such a claim, but the Sun ran a headline £3.5m Gran. Some confusion existed after this calculation was mentioned to Glasgow City Council, a confusion that they and their compliant media partners have exploited ever since.

Had they ever negotiated with Margaret Jaconelli - as they did with the developers - the true gap between the parties could easily have been identified.

Had mediation (ADR) been accepted by GCC, the realistic gap to be bridged would quickly have been brought out by the mediator. But Glasgow City Council were now determined to bludgeon the Jaconellis into submission by legal processes where there was, to quote Mike Dailly’s legal term “a gross inequality of arms”, i.e. GCC were represented by expensive and heavyweight lawyers and a QC, including during a critical court appearance where Margaret was unrepresented.

They rejected Margaret’s formal written request for mediation: they rejected two offers of mediation by the Scottish Government. Finally they tried to bully Margaret at the 11th hour by an offer of mediation only if she first gave up her flat, an ultimatum which she rejected.

The anonymous posters who for reasons best known to themselves have aligned with GCC against the Jaconellis on this dispute keep asking What about all the others?

The answer to that is that, far from going meekly and amicably, others have been equally badly treated, including tenants, house owners and the owners of small businesses. Many have understandably given up the unequal battle, but others have not. Most of them were among those forcibly cleared from the street by heavy-handed  policing in the dawn raid on Ardenlea Street, some sleeping in their cars overnight in the hope of  offering some kind of moral support to the woman who has become their champion.

So to those posters such as ‘observer’, who keeps coming back with his or her bad song and tired factoids, I have this to say -

If you are too numerically challenged to understand the fact of this case as set  out by me and others, or too verbally challenged to read and understand a complex argument, or too devoid of a social conscience or common humanity to recognise where the right lies, then please don’t take up my time with the same same tired old rubbish.

To the people of Glasgow East

An attempt to say something in verse, especially when it carries a political and social message, is challenging even for those with infinitely more talent and skill than I can muster. And the spectre of  McGonagall hovers beside me as I struggle …

But sometimes, only verse will serve the emotions.

(I shrink from calling it a poem but hope that it is more than doggerel)

So here goes -

The spirit of Ardenlea Street

Mungo came to a dear, green place

where Fergus chose to die

He built a church near a sylvan stream

where Fergus chose to lie

The Molendinar ran beneath

the hard grey rock above

And a great cathedral - stone by stone -

was built by men, with love

And from this place, a city grew

from the grove of the Lady Well

Some say that Wallace was betrayed

by men in this leafy dell

A child of the East, I knew this place

I played in light and dark

in the waters foul that the stream became

below the old fir park

The City now - a giant place

A second war has come

with death and devastation, yet

a spark of hope for some

In the East end of the City

In tenements dark and grey

lived a great, resilient people

And they live there to this day

But the wealth and power shifted

to the centre, west and south

and the great betrayal started

from the People's Party's mouth

So these ordinary people

must be broken on the wheel

And the things that they most value

must be ground beneath the heel

Of politicians venal

and the men that fund their greed

And while the riches flow to some

The Glesca people bleed

Among this devastation

A woman held her ground

She tried to fight for all she loved

in the wasteland all around

The brutal heart of power

to its eternal shame

has used the force that it commands

to play its dirty game

The men who fund their party

are on the inside track

and they become obscenely rich because

the poor are on the rack

And all the rich Glaswegians

believe the Council's claims

They're dazzled by the PR spin

and the promise of great Games

But back in Ardenlea Street

the doors are battered in

Unequal force has forced them out

The Party has to win

Now, for the Jaconellis,

a life begins anew

They're out, but not defeated

Although a great wind blew

And there are those among us

Who'll never let this rest

A great injustice has been done

and now begins a quest ...

To find the truth for Glasgow

and bring a cleansing rain

Then Mungo's spirit may return

to Glaschu once again