Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Another News Day; Another Report About the Epidemic State of Glasgow

It's a wonder I made it to work alive this morning! According to a report released today, Glasgow's gang levels are on par with London's.

The report warned that there were 170 teenage gangs in Glasgow - the same number as in London, despite it having just a sixth of the population of the English capital. Nevermind that the report does not define what a "gang" exactly is. And where does that number of 170 come from? An indepth study on poverty perhaps? No. Rather, this new report cites this article from 4 June 2006 of The Independent. And where does the journalist get those numbers from? Who knows because there is no footnote or citation?!

It should also be noted that the "think tank" that released this report is the right-leaning Centre for Social Justice - an organisation that was set up by the former Conservative leader Iain Duncan Smith. In his introduction, Iain Duncan Smith even name drops David Cameron. Sorry but I don't trust politicians - especially Conservative ones. Nor do I trust that this report is especially non-partisan.

I'm not denying that Glasgow has its fair share of social problems - obviously it does, like any major city - but sometimes folks need to read beyond the bold print headlines. Frankly, this new report from the Centre for Social Justice sounds dodgy.

Steven Purcell, leader of Glasgow City Council, said, more tactfully: "It's well-documented that Glasgow still has a major challenge in terms of our long-standing and deep-rooted social problems. It's almost every six months that we get another one of these reports that highlights the challenge that we face."

"Ten years ago when Labour came to power, 40% of school leavers in this city went straight into unemployment - that has now halved - and in some schools in the east end it's been reduced to 10%."

Bet the Centre for Social Justice didn't put that in their report.


Danielle Batist said...

Hi Jennifer,
I've been reading your blog for a couple of months now, came across it more or less 'by accident' and found it really interesting for several reasons (my very own Glaswegian boyfriend being one of them;). I'm doing an international Masters in Journalism in Denmark, The Netherlands and Wales at the moment and used your blog as an example in one of my exam papers. As I found it quite weird you wouldn't even be aware of that, I wanted to send you a copy, but couldn't find your email address here. If you like, you could send me an email (daniellebatist@gmail.com), so that I can reply to that and send you the paper & some background.

Greets from rainy (yep, we've got that too) Holland,


Jennifer said...

Woah, weird.

What did you use this blog as an example for? Dodgy blogging!?

Danielle Batist said...

Haha, nope, it was about the mixing of and/ or adaptation to cultures as a result of media globalisation and migration (sorry for the academic language: I didn't come up with it..) I used different examples and experiences (from different continents), yours being one of them.

Unknown said...

See Jenny, you are more popular than you know.

About that business with the gangstas...yesterday's Ottawa Citizen came up with "there are 600 serious gang members in Ottawa". And the general reaction here is "says who?" Nobody can seem to come up with the source of these numbers....but I suspect it is somebody who is getting paid for a) coming up with scary statistics like reporters, or b) somebody who gets a budget increase if they can prove that public safety needs it.

Same old story..."consider the source".

Jennifer said...

For fucks sake, my name is Jennifer - NOT Jenny.