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  • The Rent Strike is a method of protest commonly employed against large landlords. Generally a group of tenants come together and refuse payment until a specific demand is met. It an be a useful tactic as a last resort. In 1915 there was a massive rent strike in Glasgow. One of the leaders was Mary Barbour. She and an "army" of supporters pelted bailiffs trying to enter tenements with flour bombs. In the end the Government relented and on 27 November 1915 legislation was introduced restricting rents to the pre-war level. Sean Damer (1996) compares the 1915 rent strikes to the struggles in the late 1980s and early 1990's against the poll tax. Both are depicted as popular movements championing justice.
  • A Citizens' Incoem is an "unconditional, automatic and non-withdrawable payment to each individual as a right of citizenship" (Cunningham 2015). The advantages of a CI are that it helps ameliorate "poverty and unemployment traps", it provides a safety net for all and that it contributes to social cohesion. Plus, based as it is on citizenship, it is simpler and easier to administer than means tested systems. Cunningham (2015) argues that a CI could be financed by "removing tax allowances and reducing means testing and most contributory benefits." Funding could also come courtesy of for instance a land value tax, a carbon tax and/or a "Tobin Tax." The idea is that there would be three levels of CI -a children's level, standard adult level and a retiree's level. People with a disability would receive a supplement and there would have to be a London weighting. More information can be found at www.citizenincome.org
  • Tom Leonard was born in Glasgow on 22 August 1944. His father was a train driver from Dublin who came to Scotland in 1916 in search of work. His mother -of Irish descent- was from Saltcoats and had worked in the Nobel dynamite factory at Ardeer before getting married. After leaving school Tom worked as a bus driver and university bookshop assistant. He also went to night school and then to Glasgow University when he was 23. There he edited the student magazine. He left after two years but went back in the 1970s to finish his degree. Since then he has made his living as a writer. He ha had Scottish Arts Council Bursaries and was Writer in Residence at Renfrewshire libraries. Whilst there he completed an anthology of local poets called RADICAL RENFREW. In 2001 together with Alisdair Gray and James Kelman he was appointed Joint Professor in Creative Writing back at Glasgow University. He retired in 2009. Tom has written plays, poetry and political polemic and also a biography PLACES OF THE MIND about James "B.V. Thomson." Where poetry is concerned Tom is best known for writing in the "phonetically transcribed urban Glasgow dialect." In doing this he has sought to challenge "deeply held prejudices against the urban vernacular" (Broom 2006). He has previously said he'd "like a Scottish independent socialist republic" and spoke out against both the Gulf and Iraq wars. would thi prisoner in thi bar please stand ..... I hearby sentence you tay six munth hard labour doon nthi poetry section uv yir local library coontn thi fuckin metaphors (From Leonard's poem "Ghostie Men").