openDemocracyUK

Murk and Media in Glasgow's government

Hello, hello, Glasgow should be news
Mike Small
2 April 2010

Can you imagine the Labour leader of - say Manchester - getting caught being involved with Class A drugs, organised crime and being admitted to a rehab unit before fleeing the country for Australia, and it having no significant media profile?

Yet that's the sort of shenanigans the former leader of Glasgow City Council Steven Purcell has been involved in, yet with scarce coverage in the London press. How so? Further sign of diverging political realities and interests between the nations no doubt. But there are other less ordinary reasons why you won't have heard about the case 'down south'. An SNP motion on the Glasgow Council asking for an independent investigation into "the practices and recent decisions of the council" failed to win enough support.  Instead, the Labour majority backed an amendment which said there was no need for an inquiry.

As the facts emerge they should alarm to democrats anywhere with connections between senior media editors and the Purcell  leadership are being exposed that could explain the veil of silence that is woven by treating the case as 'a private matter'.

It was up to Mandy Rhodes, the editor of Holyrood Magazine to finally write:

"Did a misguided loyalty to a regular Friday afternoon drinking date, dubbed ‘The Ritz Club’, which included the editors of rival
red tops, the Herald’s departing editor-in-chief  and Purcell himself, influence reporting of the unravelling scandal?”

It's one of a series of scandals and accusations that may form the Scottish conext for a messy election campaign. More on 'Huckster Nation' at Bella Caledonia,

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Is this an opportunity for a realignment around a green democratic transformation?

Join us for a free live discussion on Thursday 22 October, 5pm UK time/12pm EDT.

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Paolo Gerbaudo Sociologist and political theorist, director of the Centre for Digital Culture at King’s College London and author of ‘The Mask and the Flag: Populism and Global Protest’ and ‘The Digital Party: Political Organisation and Online Democracy’, and of the forthcoming ‘The Great Recoil: Politics After Populism and Pandemic’.

Chantal Mouffe Emeritus Professor of Political Theory at the University of Westminster in London. Her most recent books are ‘Agonistics. Thinking the World Politically’, ‘Podemos. In the Name of the People’ and ‘For a Left Populism’.

Spyros A. Sofos Researcher and research coordinator at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Lund University and author of ‘Nation and Identity in Contemporary Europe’, ‘Tormented by History’ and ‘Islam in Europe: Public Spaces and Civic Networks'.

Chair: Walid el Houri Researcher, journalist and filmmaker based between Berlin and Beirut. He is partnerships editor at openDemocracy and lead editor of its North Africa, West Asia project.

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