_ Mailshot across the bow
Freedom of the City is a new pressure group formed to oppose Glasgow's licensing curfew which has caused the Mayfair and lndustria to close. The campaign is circulating pre-printed postcards, which begin ‘Dear Councillor. . . ’ and threaten to vote council representatives out of ofﬁce if they don‘t oppose the curfew. This will be followed by an evening demonstration in George Square with a guest appearance by The Shamen.
The non-political collective. which is supported by NVA’s Angus Farquhar and ex-Bluebell and Volcano DJ Robert Hodgens, criticises what it regards as the licensing board’s Victorian attitude
._ Birthday blues
Th 40th annive in e
Samaritans was marked by the release oi some grim statistics which showed its style oi crisis counselling is needed more than ever - especially in Scotland.
last year 568 Scots committed suicide, eight per cent more than in 1991 and a much bigger increase than tor the UK as a whole. However that iigure could have been much higher it over 140,000 hadn’t used its helplines last year, according to The Samaritans.
‘We want people to call us beiore they get so desperate that suicide is the only way out,’ says Betty Haggart, chairman oi Edinburgh and lothians Samaritans.
The suicide rate has steadily increased over the last ten years, with men nearly three times as likely to kill themselves as women. ‘The economic climate doesn’t help and it’s particularly rough on youngsters,’ ilaggart says. ‘But a lot oi it boils down to relationships.’
The 40th anniversary is being celebrated in Edinburgh with a concert by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra because the lothian branch was the ilrst to be set up outside London. (Eddie Gibb)
The Sanaritans Anniversary Concert is at the Ilsher liall on 7 November at 7pm. Details on 2281155. The Samaritans 24 hour helpline number is 0345 909090.
4 The List 5—18 November 1993
.. . p , - o N Lion’s
’1. i to nightlife and calls for a return to the liberal opening hours of l990 when late ! pub and club licences were granted I during one of the city‘s most trouble- ' free years. . ‘This is a fundamental battle for what ‘- Glasgow will become in the future.’ f Farquhar maintains. ‘There are those ‘ who see Glasgow as a city of the future . and there is an old guard who want to entrench it in the past.‘
Speaking at a press conference last week. Farquhar accused Councillor James Coleman, the licensing board chairman. of manipulating crime ﬁgures to justify the curfew. He spoke
Do. i Y SA ., ':
of the ‘hidden agendas‘ behind the restriction, claiming that the real reason behind the restrictions was a misguided attempt to preserve limited police resources. ‘lf you have night-time activity, you have less crime because people are not on the streets.‘ Farquhar argued. He also called for the late-night opening of cafes and record shops.
The board‘s plans to maintain the midnight club curfew while extending pub hours to lam over Christmas were
that pe0ple can be on the streets drunk at one o’clock but not get into a club?‘ Freedom of the City hopes to build on
i . . .
3 given short shnft. ‘ls it a sensible move 3
The response to an emergency
phoneline set up to help homeless
people iind a bed ior the night has
exceeded expectations in the ilrst | week oi operation.
The Edinburgh Council for Single Homeless launched the helpline at a time when pressure on hostel spaces increases as the temperature drops. ECSII assistant director John Evans admits the phoneline won’t increase the number oi bed spaces this winter but says it will ensure each hostel bed
‘5 g is filled every night.
‘le to something like iour years ago i we could guarantee that ii you came ’; to the advice centre we could iind you j somewhere to stay,’ Evans says. ' ‘That’s no longer the case. Last winter
3 we exhausted all the possibilites and
. we expect that to be repeated this year.’
ECSli blames two main factors ior the g increase in homelessness: people 3 under eighteen can no longer claim benefit so have no means oi support it they are iorced to leave home; and the care in the community programme is pushing increasing numbers oi people with mental health problems on to the street.
‘What’s really needed is a coherent plan oi emegency beds, haliway places and permanent accommodation which allows people to change as their needs change,’ Evans says. (E0) The EOSII emergency number is 0800 318629 and the line is staffed on 1 weekdays irom Sam-4.30pm.
the public feeling demonstrated by the June petition which gathered 40,000 signatures in opposition to the curfew. The strongly-worded postcards are being distributed to pubs. clubs and shops for signing. then collected and forwarded to the relevant councillors.
The campaign has already won a victory in securing George Square as the site for their first major demonstration. The council vetoed the original application for the event to take place on 5 November. offering Glasgow Green as an alternative location. However Freedom of the City held out and in an encouraging volte- face. the Parks and Recreation Department has now approved the application and recognised the organisation’s right to hold the demonstration in the city centre.
The licensing board will review the curfew after it has been in operation for six months in January when it will consider the impact on crime figures for the city. (Fiona Shepherd)
The Freedom of the C it)‘ demonstration is on [9 November in George Square.
is cycling really good for your health? Should you wear a mask to cycle in the city? Do the beneﬁts outweigh the risks? These are some of the questions that two public health specialists will be trying to answer at a meeting organised by Spokes, the Edinburgh cycling pressure group.
The experts are Dr Helen Zealley, director of public health at Lothian Health Board and environmental services director Richard Carson from Edinburgh District Council.
Cycling and Health is on 16 November at 7.30pm in the Friends Meeting House. Victoria Street.
i_ 3 Campus conformists
The expansion of the higher education
l system, which could lead to as many as T
1 one in three school leavers becoming
1 students next century. is the 90s
‘ equivalent ofthe Youth Training
' Scheme. And the students themselves are turning into the new conformists
2 who prefer to get their heads down to
than entertain an original thought. in a nutshell, this is the argument put 3 forward by the organisers of next .‘ week‘s conference ‘Engineering 1 Conformity?‘ at Glasgow University. The conference, sponsored by Living i Marxism magazine, aims to offer an 15 alternative view of the Govemment’s encouragement to educational l institutions to cater for ever more students. ‘The Government wants to increase numbers in higher education, which 3 sounds good and egalitarian, but it has
secure a vocational qualification rather
1 according to writer Elle Dashwood who
i will speak at the conference. ‘We are
! trying to challenge the cynical and passive culture within universities.’
i Students are no longer prepared to question establishment views because
l there is more pressure to secure a
i qualification which will lead to a job.‘
I she believes.
A wave of politicer correctness sweeping across campuses has been identified as one of the symptoms of this ‘new conformity' by Living Marxism book editor James Heartfreld. ‘PC is a special code for people who don't want to think,‘ he says. ‘It is a
moral code of etiquette about what you 7
can and can‘t say which is the enemy of
Unsurprisingly this view is not shared f
by senior academics at Glasgow University. ‘The interesting thing is to look seriously at what the people scrutinising universities have come up with.’ says Professor Andrew Skinner, vice principal for the arts. ‘I didn't read anything to suggest a lack of commitment from students.’
However Professor Skinner accepts that universities and colleges are under pressure to introduce more vocational courses to deliver more employable graduates. ‘Personally I don't see any harm in that as long as academic standards are maintained,‘ he says. (Eddie Gibb)
Engineering Conformity? is at Glasgow University on 5 and 6 November. Details from Sally Goble on 031 556 4873.