In May 2017, political hack Mhairi Hunter used her well-oiled publicity machine to proudly boast that the decline of Govanhill was at an end. As Chair of the Govanhill Regeneration Group she was masterminding a plan intended to rescue Govanhill from the brink.
One year later, Govanhill is still on the brink and local residents fear that nothing can stop her well-oiled PR machine churning out spin intended to contradict and deflect from the evident demise of Govanhill.
An ever deepening chasm now exists between the reality of local residents forced to endure the crime, filth and squalor versus Hunter’s PR machine that is spinning out of control.
This PR machine set up by political hack Hunter to protect her boss Sturgeon from any direct scrutiny or accountability for the squalid conditions in her Govanhill constituency continues unabated. Only positive good news stories are permitted by Hunter and her PR machine and any locals’ opinions or evidence to the contrary is swiftly and harshly refuted as unfounded allegations and urban myth.
Last week favoured media outlets were instructed to report on the five rogue landlords banned in a Glasgow sting. Hunter as Chair of the Govanhill Regeneration Group said “I am very pleased a total of 26 landlords have now been removed from the register”. Hunter knows that striking them off a register is meaningless and that next day they will simply re –register the slum property using another name in order to continue business as usual in Govanhill.
Both Sturgeon and Hunter know these Rachman type rogue landlords have raked in millions renting out squalid slums in Govanhill and will continue to do so until the rogue landlords have their slum properties confiscated from them and harsh fines imposed.
However, as the Scottish Government continues to pursue a policy of providing millions of pounds in grant funding to Govanhill Housing Association in an attempt to buy up these slum properties, alarm bells are ringing for existing Govanhill Housing Association tenants.
Now that Govanhill Housing Association have added hundreds of decaying slum properties to their housing stock, who will foot the bill for the extensive refurbishment required? Sturgeon may have given them the millions to buy up the slums, but not the hundreds of millions of pounds now required to make them habitable.
Last month Govanhill Housing Association tenants mounted a protest against exorbitant rent hikes about to be imposed on them. Will they be the ones expected to meet the refurbishment costs of the slum properties whilst the rogue landlords laughingly take their money all the way to the bank?
Govanhill residents claim that to date there has been no improvement in the sanitation problems which blight the Govanhill landscape, but Hunter’s PR machine soon rubbished those claims as spiteful rumours intended to discredit Hunter and her Govanhill plan.
As Chair of the Govanhill Regeneration Group, Hunter continues to feed the Scottish media via her PR machine with only positive stories and glowing reports about improvements in Govanhill. She has declared the vermin epidemic in Govanhill costing a whopping £204,000 per annum as finally under control.
She further announced that Govanhill has never looked so clean since she brought Mitie, a facilities management company that cleans Kensington Palace for Prince Harry into Govanhill.
Over a three year period 7,180 domestic dwellings and business properties are being treated for vermin infestations in Govanhill. Increasing numbers of residents are no longer preparing food in their kitchens or sleeping in their bedrooms because of the rats, mice, bedbugs and cockroaches that have invaded their homes. Talk to any local resident and they will tell you that they have neither seen nor heard of Mitie, cleaner to Prince Harry, yet Hunter insists the place looks cleaner because of their deep cleaning of tenement blocks.
Not to be left out of the ‘good news stories’ Police Scotland reported to the Govanhill Regeneration Group that Operation Mighty had mightily reduced crime in the Govanhill area. No reference was made to the statistics which show that Govanhill has a 52% higher incidence rate for violent crime compared to Glasgow as a whole and a 117% higher incidence rate for anti-social behaviour compared to Glasgow as a whole.
There are live criminal prosecutions for sex slave trafficking rings in Govanhill. In addition Police Scotland has yet to conclude its investigation into serious allegations of child sexual exploitation within the Govanhill area. Hunter has rigidly stuck to the mantra repeated by her boss Sturgeon that ‘sex slave trafficking rings and child sexual exploitation is a worldwide problem and not unique to Govanhill’.
Any local resident who dares to challenge Hunter’s mantra and demands to know the truth about Govanhill specifically, could find themselves on the receiving end of a visit by Sturgeon’s boys in blue. The only prior notice given for the visits coming from Hunter on her much loved social media platforms.
Last November, Hunter was outraged by reports that Immigration Compliance and Enforcement Scotland had deported or detained more than 100 Roma EU nationals in Govanhill. They had also identified fraudulent benefit claims potentially in excess of 1 million pounds per month.
Hunter as Chair of the Govanhill Regeneration Group announced it would be her priority to support those detrimentally impacted by the efficiency of the Immigration Compliance and Enforcement Scotland Team. She instructed her assistants to seek out these Roma EU nationals and their families in order to offer them her personal apologies and support for being treated so awfully and inhumanely by a nasty Tory led U.K. Government.
This apology and offer of personal support left many of her constituents in a state of dumbfounded shock. Hunter has yet to apologise and offer personal support to the many local Govanhill victims of crime, filth and squalor brought on in part by the dereliction of duty by herself and her boss Sturgeon.
This deepening chasm between the realities of local Govanhill residents forced to endure the crime, filth and squalor in Govanhill versus hack Hunter’s well-oiled PR machine should serve as a warning to be heeded by all of Scotland.
Govanhill is still on the brink and local residents fear that nothing can stop her churning out spin intended to contradict and deflect from the evident demise of Govanhill.