Bidding war

Mike Fleury loves Scots.

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If you’re from Glasgow. If you know someone from Glasgow. If your parents are from Glasgow. If you’re going there for a visit. If you’re going there for forever. If you find a way to post this column on a Glasgow message board.

If you have any kind of Glaswegian connection—any at all—please pass along this message: Glasgow, we don’t hate you. We’ve never hated you. That’s crazy talk. We admit, recently, things have been said, documentaries have been made; but let’s not do this to each other. We’re better than this. No more tears.

On Sunday, the CBC aired a documentary called The Feral Boys of Glasgow, which shone a light on the rowdy, violent, seedy and territorial young lads who roam the streets of the city looking for a good punch-up (oi! oi! oi!). The doc also cited a United Nations declaration that named Glasgow as “The most violent city in the developed world”—which, as UN declarations go, really sucks.

Since it aired, some members of the Scottish media have suggested the documentary may be somehow connected to the city’s 2014 Commonwealth Games bid (scandalous!) and that some scheming Halifax no-gooders may be at least partially responsible for the damaging doc. Scotland’s Sunday Observer reported the country was seething over the Halifax bid team’s “dirty tricks,” and the Scottish Sunday Herald suggested that in a perfect world, BBC Scotland would already be “making a retaliatory programme showing what a hellhole Halifax is.”

Whoa, whoa, whoa! Whoa there! Hey now! Let’s all calm down a minute! Nobody here wants to be calling anyone else an ellhole-hay. Let’s keep our heads. And let’s not tailspin into an argument about which city’s young people are more feral. (The Sunday Herald story went on to talk about Halifax’s own crime problems and how we have similar issues with restless, wandering and violent youth. Can’t we both come together to agree that all young people are crazy?)

The Halifax bid team has already stated that they had no hand in creating, producing or encouraging the documentary. And, to their credit, the response from Glasgow’s bid team has been quite classy. The respective bid teams are not the ones slinging the insults here.

And we won’t either. All this fuss over some silly sporting dooey? Come now. We’re bigger than this. On behalf of the people of Halifax, we hereby extend the olive branch, Glasgow. May our friendship be long and fruitful and ocean-spanning. And may we both take pleasure in each other’s cute little accents.

Provincial vice roundup

The provincial government spent much of the week thinking about the little indulgences that consume us, apparently. Proposed legislation changes included a ban on in-store cigarette advertising and visible displays of cigarette packaging, while another provincial initiative called for public input on allowing restaurant patrons to take home half-consumed and re-corked bottles of wine—good news for those who aren’t able to polish off an entire bottle in one sitting. Send your thoughts to policy@gov.ns.ca before December 1. (Neither are bad ideas, we think.)

So, the government has drinking and smoking on the brain. No new sex laws, though. Maybe next week?

Smoke ’em if ya got ’em. Email: mikef@thecoast.ca

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