ON Question Time last week we heard actor Brian Cox describe the developing waste crisis in Glasgow as “that’s life” for our citizens, at the time there was silence from those in the SNP administration in our city. 

There was no attempt to stand up for Glasgow, no willingness to tackle the idea that the overflowing bins and the rubbish-filled streets shouldn’t be the norm for those who call our city their home, instead there was nothing.

And just days later, we found out why Susan Aitken, the SNP leader of the council, doubled down on the narrative that everything in Glasgow is fine, that the cleansing issues have been blown out of proportion by politicians, and she even attempted to downplay incidents which saw workers attacked by rats, describing the attacks as “minor contact”. 

READ MORE: Susan Aitken told she 'should be embarrassed' by comments on city's rats

There was no attempt by Susan Aitken to show concern about these issues, no support for our cleansing workers or reassurance that they shouldn’t have to fear being involved in a health and safety incident whilst they’re doing their job. No leadership shown once again from Susan Aitken, just a weak argument of it’s not just us and “all cities have rats”.

I don’t think anyone can deny or argue that it’s true, all cities may have rats but in Glasgow the lack of action to deal with them by Susan Aitken and her SNP administration is the real scandal.

The unwillingness to listen to workers who are working on the ground every single day crying out for extra resources – the very same people who the SNP were happy to applaud during the pandemic because they went above and beyond to keep our city running; the quick dismissal by those currently in charge of the city to any opposition politician who chooses to raise the concerns of their constituents – accusing us of simply attempting to political point score; and the failing strategy by the SNP in Glasgow to just continue with the line that there’s nothing wrong with the state of our city and that Glaswegians should just get on with it, it’s on them to tidy our city if they think there’s an issue.

Glasgow deserves better than the current leadership, we deserve a leader willing to acknowledge the issues our city faces and works to tackle them, a leader who fights for our city to get the deal it deserves – not just settle for whatever scraps those in Holyrood will give us, and a leader who when the world’s eyes are on us, stands with Glaswegians and doesn’t attempt to sweep their legitimate concerns under the carpet for two weeks.

Glasgow Times: Brian Cox was also criticised for his comments Brian Cox was also criticised for his comments

In recent months Susan Aitken has dismissed graffiti problems in our city as just “wee neds with a spray can”,  accused cleansing workers of exaggerating when speaking of their experiences, compared trade unionists to the far right and lost the confidence of communities across our city as we continue to see mixed messages and no progress when it comes to vital local services. 

Brian Cox may glibly reference Frank Sinatra’s That’s Life, but there really is no denying that Glasgow is in the midst of a crisis. And we need a leadership that will stand up for our city. It’s about time.