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Emma B BS: No longer Great Britain? (220* d) RE: BS: No longer Great Britain? 14 Aug 10

Gaint, you write about Glasgow - here are the words of a son of Govan

"Society and its prevailing sense of values leads to another form of alienation. It alienates some from humanity.

It partially de-humanises some people, makes them insensitive, ruthless in their handling of fellow human beings, self-centred and grasping.

The irony is, they are often considered normal and well-adjusted.
It is my sincere contention that anyone who can be totally adjusted to our society is in greater need of psychiatric analysis and treatment than anyone else.

They remind me of the character in the novel, Catch 22, the father of Major Major. He was a farmer in the American Mid-West.
He hated suggestions for things like medi-care, social services, unemployment benefits or civil rights. He was, however, an enthusiast for the agricultural policies that paid farmers for not bringing their fields under cultivation. From the money he got for not growing alfalfa he bought more land in order not to grow alfalfa. He became rich. Pilgrims came from all over the state to sit at his feet and learn how to be a successful non-grower of alfalfa.
His philosophy was simple.
The poor didn't work hard enough and so they were poor.
He believed that the good Lord gave him two strong hands to grab as much as he could for himself.

He is a comic figure.

But think have you not met his like here in Britain?

Here in Scotland? I have.

It is easy and tempting to hate such people. However, it is wrong.

They are as much products of society, and of a consequence of that society, human alienation, as the poor drop-out.

They are losers.

They have lost the essential elements of our common humanity.

Man is a social being. Real fulfilment for any person lies in service to his fellow men and women.

To the students [of Glasgow University] I address this appeal. Reject these attitudes. Reject the values and false morality that underlie these attitudes.
A rat race is for rats.
We're not rats.
We're human beings"

extracts from the archive of the University of Glasgow

Jimmy Reid who died this week delivered this speech on his inauguration as rector of Glasgow University in 1972
Sadly, it has lost little of its relevance since.

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