YOU can't please all of the people all of the time, right?

No truer words ever spoken. But are there people who will simply never be pleased?

Last week saw the Govanhill International Festival and Carnival, a week-long series of more than 50 events from themed walking tours of the area to history talks and, a highlight every year, the carnival parade.

Dozens of groups come together to form the parade. There are pipers and drummers, I spotted the odd trombone, dancers, colourful costumes, marchers – it's an incredible spectacle of light and sound and joy.

For an area much beleaguered and blighted, a week dedicated to celebrating the highlights of Govanhill, the hard work of its volunteers, the lesser known positives and the spirit of the place should be something that every single resident can be proud of and enjoy.


Housebreaking in Govanhill is 'infectious'

You have to think of the hours and hours of time given by people to make it happen and be grateful to live in a community where people care so much and where there are so many active organisations vying to create change: Rags To Riches, Govanhill Baths, Govanhill Community Development Trust.

It was the third year of the festival and, for the first time this year, there was an accompanying book festival.

Personally, I love reading and some of the best moments of my life have been spent in libraries.

I appreciate books aren't for everyone but how offended can you be by a celebration of literature?

Quite, would be the answer.

On Friday I hosted a panel event to launch the start of the first Govanhill Book Festival. I was joined by Rahela Cippraci, of the Roma charity Romano Lav; Raza Sadiq of Active Life Club; and Marian McSeveney, who runs the Govanhill Go! social media pages.

The topic of the event - an hour long chat - was Govanhill: More United than Divided?

I hoped it would be interesting and fun, and kick the book festival off to a decent start.

"Delusional b*****", said someone from the local campaign group.

"Will we have to bring a Koran to the event or will there books in English," said someone else from the same group.

Less offensively but just as frustratingly, there were incorrect complaints about how accessible the event was, about the venue, about who was taking part.

There were threats to hold a protest outside the event and threats to disrupt it.

Can I just say again - a book festival launch.

And we discussed the central question of the night. Rahela spoke about how we help the newest members of the community, the Roma population, to fit in and feel welcome in the area.

She teaches Romanes at the Govanhill Swap Market on Victoria Road. Imagine the positive impact of that, being in a new country, struggling to communicate and a stranger says hello in your own tongue.

Raza spoke of how people shouldn't be forced to integrate and shouldn't have to - but that everyone must still be good to their neighbours.

Yet the question remains: for the people who are unhappy with Govanhill no matter what, can they ever be reached?

Not everything in the South Side community is rosey - far from it.


Scenes in Italy with the Roma should be warning to Govanhill

People feel miserable when there is fly tipping or rubbish dumped on the streets and walking past it is grim.

Despite being presented with the facts of crime numbers, residents still feel intimidated when they walk around – that's an unpleasant way to live.

Dealing with pest infestations is awful, dealing with anti-social behaviour is hard.

But it must be possible to accept thee is good in the area as well as bad. Without that, no one can move forward.

In the end, after threats by email and on social media, no one turned up to disrupt the event.

At one point a man stood up to ask a question and my heart stopped, thinking this was it. It wasn't, it was just a reasonable question.

If I ever feel fear walking around Govanhill it is fear of bumping into the more aggressive people I know from social media.

I wonder if people could stop and consider how absolute relentless negativity, no matter what the topic or event, makes their argument less credible.

Having opposing voices is absolutely vital to make sure there is representation from all perspectives. If you can't see the joy in a carnival parade then is your judgement trustworthy?

I believe Govanhill is more united than divided and I used to believe it was vital that everyone was united.

I increasingly feel that's impossible – and that it's becoming less important.