The Committee Of 100

The campaign to hold Glasgow Labour to their 100 Promises made to the people of Glasgow during the May '12 local elections.

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It has become popular in recent times to say "all politicians are @&!"(&(," and to leave any explanation for a lack of political integrity with a kind of 'plague on all their houses' mentality.

Many people thought that Labour would lose control of Glasgow during the local elections, this May. They didn't. Part of the reason was that Labour was able to win the support of different interest groups and communities with a range of promises contained in a manifesto document, called Labour's 100 Promises. The early indications are not convincing. Six of these promises have already been broken.

During the election community leaders from across the city launched a campaign, to win commitments from each of the political parties standing for election, on what they would do if they were elected. This was an expressly non-party political campaign, aimed solely at winning commitments on a range of community issues.

Many councillors who were later elected committed to meet with community leaders to discuss their concerns, but one commitment which stood out at this time was Labour Councillor Mohammed Razaq's promise to up the number of socially rented homes at Maryhill Locks from 143 to over 400. He was re-elected.

So Labour won the election, and its 100 Promises now comprise its mandate for action. Too bad then the party chose to celebrate its victory by breaking six promises in six months. A councillor is an illegal landlord, a councillor has breached licensing laws designed to tackle problem drinking, the council is actually sacking hundreds of people, and all the while it has been taking part in the work programme attacking the unemployed. ATOS - the company widely credited with killing disabled people by removing their benefits in punitive assessments - is chosen as the Commonwealth Games sponsor. The party has abandonned the council tax freeze. A high profile new 'combined heat and power' gasification plant is instead to be simply a privatised power station, spilling toxic chemicals out into a poor community. There is something wrong with Glasgow politics. The rot has set in again already.

"I recall Glasgow Labour saying that Glasgow children were exceptional. I remember it. I think it typifies everything you need to know about Glasgow politics," Community Organiser Nick Durie explains. "Unlike weans in other parts of the world apparently Glasgow's bairns learn better in class sizes over 35." The anecdote tells the story of how the council explained its plans to cut over a dozen schools - the second such closure programme in the years of the previous Labour administration. "People in this city are treated with contempt and taken for fools. That's why we have to preserve and extend the changes we have started to see in Glasgow politics."

Nick is helping to organise a campaign - which has been given the working title of the "Committee of 100." The fledgling coalition met on the day of US President Barack Obama's re-election in the Quaker Meeting House in the city centre. A smaller affair, the launch was nonetheless attended by four of the city's commmunity councils, as well as dozens of concerned citizens.

Community leaders have now formed the "Committee of 100", aimed at campaigning for accountability and for The Council to enact its promises.

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