FORGIVE me if I don’t share the apparent excitement of some of of our Aberdeenshire councillors who seem to think that creating a new town near Newtonhill is an occasion for joyous celebrations.
Excuse me, but am I not right in saying that all the major new towns created in Scotland since 1945 have turned out to be drab, unimaginative, and ultimately failed centres of population.
Not that Chapelton of Elsick is likely to become as big as say Glenrothes or Livingston, two new towns which are well known to me.
The new settlement will, nevertheless, be big enough and like the two aforementioned towns will soon swamp the existing, small pockets of population to in my opinion the detriment of the quality of life they currently enjoy.
My own experience of living in Livingston was initially a good one, as we actually believed the propaganda we were fed by the planners, until we witnessed for ourselves the drabness of surrounds, the lack of facilities we had until then taken for granted, including dare I say an established public-house.
I suppose Matt McGinn said it all in his song about the frenzy of placing Glasgow families in the new towns of Cumbernauld, East Kilbride and Irvine during the 1960’s. “Their taking us to green belts, trees and flo’rs, but we do want to go, and we daily tell them so,” he sang, and while no one is likely to be forced to live in Elsick, you’ll get the drift.
Community life is very precious, and not created overnight, so curb the celebrations until such times when we have a better idea of what Elsick’s going to be like in the future, not that the very name is exactly inspiring, even before a brick is laid.
On an altogether different tack I am seriously bothered that in the run-up to the independence referendum that we are not exactly enjoying a level playing field when it comes to promoting a debate.
The no lobby is winning the so-called discussion by a country mile, which given their domination of the popular press is not surprising. They actually own most of the papers who are bothering to report the action, leading to a great imbalance in the facts, if indeed that’s what they are.
So how then does the yes faction get onto the front foot given this blatant bias?
Worse still are they even aware that they are being taken for a ride?
In fairness to the SNP they deserve better, for in the end of the day we will only get one bite at this hugely important cake. It would be a shame to see it being shamelessly exploited by a biased English press who have no other aim but to ensure we are all on the same ship when it sinks as it undoubtedly will under this inept Westminster Government.