Underneath the Arches – Paddy’s Market
Could the model for the ‘regeneration’ of the Barras Market be the closure of Paddy’s Market? Stigmatisation, as we suggest in the prevous article, is often the first stage of gentrification, and the article reproduced here by Gordon MacGregor in the Scottish Review shows how it functions to help clear unwanted people from ‘development’ areas – even if there is little or no truth behind the smears.
Paddy’s Market and the Barras market have important differences and we’re not suggesting the same process is inevitable, but we agree with MacGregor that we’re seeing an increasingly polarised city as wealth is increasingly extracted from social services and amenities in order to subsidise property development for the wealthy. In that context, the Barras as it currently stands may well be under threat from property development and gentrification.
“Sadly, it seems that there are now two Glasgows: there is the Glasgow in which ‘regeneration grants’ are handed out to the council’s café-owning cronies. Then there is ghetto Glasgow, bereft of resources, where it is barely possible to get a bus from Duke Street to the Merchant City. Not only are the two Glasgows exclusive, one actively works to the detriment of the other. The abstraction of scarce resources to the council’s private-sector partners, associates and golfing buddies has a direct and palpable effect on the quality of life of Merchant City’s poorer neighbours. No more so than in the business of regeneration, where opportunity and hope are zero-sum commodities”.