Glasgow remains one of my favourite cities in the whole world. It lacks the romance of Paris and the antiquity of Rome, but Glasgow is home. I didn’t grow up in Glasgow, and as a child in Ayrshire I didn’t really experience much of the city or its people, they remained just over the horizon of the Eaglesham Moor, but Glasgow was always present in our psyché as the cultural heart of Scotland’s west. During the 80s we knew Glasgow as a dangerous and violent place. Its reputation had been been dictated by the poverty that it was made to endure during the despotic reign of Margaret Thatcher, but by the mid-eighties we were being awoken to the beauty of the city by the Glasgow’s Miles Better campaign. For three and a half decades now the city of Glasgow has been emerging from the rubble de-industrialisation made of it to become again the soul of what it means to be a Scot from the west of Scotland. Glasgow remains for me one of my favourite cities because it is the home of my Scottishness. No matter where I go it is home because it is the hub of all the cultural bits and streams where alone I can be myself and be understood.
Ùr-Fhàsaidh (@UrFhasaidh) June 12, 2015
It’s no longer the eighties, and the whole of Scotland has moved on from the darker times, and now the city of Glasgow has moved on from improving its environment to celebrating its people. People Make Glasgow is the new slogan, and that it is the people who make the city is as true of Glasgow as it is of every city, but it will only ever be Glaswegians who can make Glasgow – and it is heart-warming to see this truth of the city at long last being acknowledged and celebrated. Right now the whole of Scotland is wrestling with the questions – big questions indeed – about its own future, and the people of Glasgow are leading these discussions by the sheer confidence they are displaying in their own self-awareness; as Scots and as Glaswegians. Having been away from the city for the better part of two decades it is wonderful to see the change that has happened all over the city. These last years have caused no small amount of worry but no Scot visiting Glasgow can fail to take heart at the scenes of this city living the reality of a courageous future in its every present moment.