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Pat's Guide to Glasgow West End

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  1. Yesterday
  2. Imagine that. I used to think it was pretty rough but then discovered The Hidden Lane – that was almost two decades ago. Still love a wander round there. You should definitely try to visit Ireland, Tam. Completely different culture from Scotland. You would enjoy the craic.
  3. What a cheek. Think this will be great. Hope that's the winter weather finished.
  4. Canada

    So Pat you're in Canada now? Its freezing over there...what about the road conditions?
  5. Absolutely right Pat. Kelvinbridge and Hyndland Sreet are great places to just spend your day strolling, snacking and shopping. Finnieston has been a favourite of mine since my childhood days.
  6. This is what a real hero looks like

    Thanks Pat.
  7. Last week
  8. Monte Carlo Car Rally in Paisley

    hope the cars have locking wheel nuts ................. only kidding Paisley
  9. This is what a real hero looks like

    Just to put things in perspective, the average fat cat CEO will have already earned more money this year than two fire and rescue people will do in the entire 2018
  10. Carillion - another private sector failure

    yeah, well that much a client we are starting to see the cozy deals unravel. Seems the banks that loaned all the billions to Carillion and who would have been part of its business planning which included screwing creditors, mainly SMEs, by extending payment terms to 120 days. Of course those SMEs will then have cash flow issues so they get offered a special invoice factoring deal (advanced payment based on invoiced sale to carillion) by the very banks who were party to the extended payment terms. Of course this was supported by Government. Another shocking scandal.
  11. Been thinking mibbe in March, still dithering, never been to The Republic but I feel the urge, actually, at this time I am/was trying for the fifth time to read Finnegans Wake, will settle for the introduction. A part of the intro does make me wonder, writer says that writers must pay attention to the market place; the context was in regards to making enough money to live on. Joyce, however, had a patron, not one to make him rich but one who did support him and his family.....oh dear, if I keep on the same path I will be completely off topic,,,,anyway, Ireland perhaps for a week before a couple of weeks in and about Perth. A word about Glasgow: I was in the Perth Library some years ago, got into a conversation we a lady and Glasgow was talked aboot. The lady had a faraway look in her eye, said that she loved Glasgow, "it's the sort of place you can never be lonely in"....reasonably sure that is a direct quote.....ay tae that, a couple of people showed me around, a wonderful time, good memories and without a doubt I should have given my camera to Robert, he had an eye.
  12. I agree, Brian. Even living in the city, you can enjoy going out exploring. I love a wander around the West End and among my favourite places are Kelvinbridge and Hyndland Sreet going down to Partick, wandering past Cottiers and then at the bottom you can enjoy a browse in Celino's deli and catch a coffee or some lunch. And I've definitely not seen enough of Finnieston, which has got a real feel good vibe going on. Right now we have three fantastic festivals coming up in Glasgow: Celtic Connections, Glasgow Film Festival and Aye Write! It's an exciting place to e and people, in general, are pretty friendly.
  13. This is what a real hero looks like

    Well said, Brian.
  14. This is what a real hero looks like

    These men always put their life at risk and do something that we can't even think of. Sincerely salute these guys and well done to them wherever they are at different corners of the world.
  15. Wow, that's something to cheer about this morning. It feels great when you read such news and I think definitely more visitors should be welcome here as it is indeed a great place to stay and spend your vacations.
  16. Dramas

    Almost too many dramas to keep up with but good to see some of our outstanding female actresses on the box – Sarah Lancaster in Kiri and Phyllis Logan, Zoe Wannamaker and Miranda Richardson in Girlfriends. Two great shows – although if Girlfriends is actually about midlife crisis then life expectancy must now be about 120.
  17. Carillion - another private sector failure

    Unbelievable. To keep giving contracts when warnings had been flagged up. Ir was astonishing watching this being discussed on Prime Ministers QuestionTime – not a single Tory head hanging in shame – just all the usual smirks and guffaws.They actually don't give a damn. Now trotting out the story that Carillion is 'a client'. What the heck is that supposed to mean?
  18. George Monbiot When contracts fail, the legal priority is still to pay firms like Carillion. Money is officially more valuable than lifeTue 16 Jan 2018 18.45 GMT Last modified on Tue 16 Jan 2018 20.01 GMTAgain the “inefficient” state mops up the disasters caused by “efficient” private companies. Just as the army had to step in when G4S failed to provide security for the London 2012 Olympics, and the Treasury had to rescue the banks, the collapse of Carillion means that the fire service must stand by to deliver school meals.Two hospitals, both urgently needed, that Carillion was supposed to be constructing, the Midland Metropolitan and the Royal Liverpool, are left in half-built limbo, awaiting state intervention. Another 450 contracts between Carillion and the state must be untangled, resolved and perhaps rescued by the government.When you examine the claims made for the efficiency of the private sector, you soon discover that they boil down to the transfer of risk. Value for money hangs on the idea that companies shoulder risks the state would otherwise carry. But in cases like this, even when the company takes the first hit, the risk ultimately returns to the government. In these situations, the very notion of risk transfer is questionable.Nowhere is it more dubious than when applied to the private finance initiative projects in which Carillion specialised. The PFI was invented by John Major’s Conservative government, but greatly expanded by Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. Private companies finance and deliver public services that governments would otherwise have provided.The government claimed that the private sector, being more efficient, would provide services more cheaply than the private sector. PFI projects, Blair and Brown promised, would go ahead only if they proved to be cheaper than the “public sector comparator”.But at the same time, the government told public bodies that state money was not an option: if they wanted new facilities, they would have to use the private finance initiative. In the words of the then health secretary, Alan Milburn: “It’s PFI or bust”. So, if you wanted a new hospital or bridge or classroomor army barracks, you had to demonstrate that PFI offered the best value for money. Otherwise, there would be no project. Public bodies immediately discovered a way to make the numbers add up: risk transfer.The costing of risk is notoriously subjective. Because it involves the passage of a fiendishly complex contract through an unknowable future, you can make a case for almost any value. A study published in the British Medical Journal revealed that, before the risk was costed, every hospital scheme it investigated would have been built much more cheaply with public funds. But once the notional financial risks had been added, building them through PFI came out cheaper in every case, although sometimes by less than 0.1%.Not only was this exercise (as some prominent civil servants warned) bogus, but the entire concept is negated by the fact that if collapse occurs, the risk ripples through the private sector and into the public. Companies like Carillion might not be too big to fail, but the services they deliver are. You cannot, in a nominal democracy, suddenly close a public hospital, let a bridge collapse, or fail to deliver school meals.Partly for this reason, and partly because of the inordinate political power of corporations and the people who run them, governments seek to insulate these companies from the very risks they claim to have transferred to them. This could explain why Theresa May’s administration continued to award contracts to Carillion after it had issued a series of profit warnings. Was this an attempt to keep the company in business?If so, it was one of a long list of measures designed to privatise profit and socialise risk. PFI contracts specify that if there is a conflict between paying the private provider and delivering public services, the payments must come first. However deep the crisis in the NHS becomes, however many people must have their cancer operations postponed or be left to rot on trolleys, the legal priority is still to pay the contractor. Money is officially more valuable than life.If a PFI consortium is contracted to deliver maintenance and ancillary services, these non-clinical functions are ringfenced, while the clinical services delivered by the public sector must be cut to make room for them. This forces public bodies to respond perversely to a funding crisis: nurses might be laid off, but the walls will still be painted. Many of the contracts cannot be broken for 25 or 30 years, regardless of whether or not they still meet real needs: again, this insulates the private sector from hazard, leaving it with the public. The risk lands not only on the state but also on the people. Carillion leaves behind a series of scandals, such as the food hygiene failure at Swindon’s Great Western Hospital, and the failings at the Surgicentre clinic it ran in Hertfordshire, revealed in a horrifying report in the Observer. Similar crises have attended many other deals with private providers: operating theatres flooded with sewage, power cuts which have left nurses to ventilate patients on life support by hand, school buildings falling apart, useless services continuing to be delivered while essential services are cut.None of this was unforeseen. Some of us warned again and again during the New Labour years that this programme would prove to be an expensive fiasco. Even the Banker magazine predicted, in 2002, that “eventually an Enron-style disaster will be re-run on a sovereign balance sheet”. But the government didn’t want to know. Nor did the Conservative opposition, whose idea it was in the first place. Nor did the other newspapers, now apparently scratching their heads and wondering how this happened. There is no joy in being proved right, just immense frustration.Risk to a company is not the same as risk to those who own and run it. The executives keep their payoffs. The shareholders take a hit on part of their portfolios, but limited liability ensures they can walk away from any debts. The company might disappear, but ultimately it’s just a name and some paperwork. But the risks imposed on the people – including the company’s workers – are real. We pay for these risks twice: first, when they are nominally transferred to corporations; then again, when they are returned to us. The word used to describe this process is efficiency.
  19. Earlier
  20. Fabulous day out. The kids will love this – and car enthusiasts. http://www.glasgowwestend.co.uk/monte-carlo-classic-rally-paisley-31-january-2018/
  21. The New York Times has published a list of places to go in 2018, with 52 suggestions. Number 1 is New Orleans and Glasgow is number 10. The only other UK place on the list is Bristol at number 51. Hope we'll be getting lots of visitors. http://www.glasgowist.com/glasgow-lands-high-on-new-york-times-52-places-to-go-in-2018-list/
  22. Canada

    Very chilly in Canada right now with temperatures in Toronto dropping to -23. Brrrrr.
  23. bliadhna Mhath Ùr

    Smashing. Celtic Connections getting into full swing this month.
  24. bliadhna Mhath Ùr

    Great video.
  25. Happy New Year

    Happy new year to all......received e-mail with Sissal (Norwegian) singing Auld Lang Syne, again, first time was a few years ago when I could hear the magnificent voice. Mibee be hame in March, a look at Kinnoull Hill and though i'm not thinking of dying any time soon it is where (might) my ashes will be sprinkled...snowing this evening, must have had two or three inches just in the past three hours....huge flakes and if you get out of the wind the flakes are dropping in slow motion.
  26. So many different options for celebrating the Bard. http://www.glasgowwestend.co.uk/category/whatson/burns-events/
  27. Happy New Year

    Happy New Year y'all
  28. Scotland voted most beautiful country

    So happy and proud.
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