Unite the Community Tayside plan on protesting the opening of the V and A Museum in Dundee on the 15th September.
The group argue that:
“Economics based on bars, restaurants, cafés, museums and visitor attractions are firmly based on low wages in Dundee and across the globe.
“It is not anticipated that wages and secure employment would suddenly be booming and this directly attacks the SNP council’s arguments for this form of economy.
I totally agree with their sentiment. Poverty, unemployment, drug and alcohol misuse, poor health outcomes, mental health and the rise in food banks blight the City of Dundee, as they do far too many cities across Scotland, but the V and A weekend shouldn’t be the target.
The V and A is not the answer to Dundee’s problems, most Dundonians know that and understand there is no magic wand here. But the V and A being in Dundee will bring some light into a City that has been shrouded in darkness for too long. I hope the museum is embraced by the folk of Dundee but it’s not really for us is it. It’s for the people from all over the world who may come and see it.
Will people get jobs if there is a tourist boom, yes they will. Will these be high paid, secure, career advancing jobs, no they won’t be. I would also bet that there are very few Dundonians in the leadership positions in the museum, if any at all, but I could be wrong.
The simple reality is manufacturing jobs are not returning to Dundee, or anywhere else in Scotland, in large numbers again. Those days are gone and they are not coming back. Does that leave a generation behind in Dundee, yes sadly it does. The simple fact is the many issues that Dundee face all add to things like low attainment and I suppose low aspiration in too many.
We should be fighting poverty, ill health, drug mis use, unemployment etc. But the protests should be aimed at those who helped cause these issues. Dundee has been failed for too long by Labour, Tory and Liberal governments and councils.
Dundee has been let down by an economic model that allows the wealthiest to avoid paying their taxes while supporting low poverty wages within a U.K. where no one wants to pay more tax for better outcomes. Greed is good, nothing has changed since my early teen years and Thatcher.
Dundee has its problems, the same problems it’s had for 30 years, if not longer. The V and A did not cause these problems and will not solve them. Some argue the money could be better spent, yes it could but it wouldn’t have been spent in Dundee it would have went somewhere else. The redevelopment of Dundee waterfront was long overdue and something both the SNP local Council and Scottish Government should be congratulated for.
I miss the old Olympia but not the old Tayside House. The V and A building looks amazing and I enjoy looking at it. I hope it’s filled with people from Dundee but it probably won’t and it won’t be free all the time but it’s better than not having it at all.
We should protest the injustices in Scotland, the disgusting levels of poverty, drug and alcohol mis use, food banks being a growth industry as I said but there are no easy fixes. We can start by being engaged, by voting, by campaigning, even by blogging. We can vent our anger where it deserves to be, at the politicians who let us down at every turn, mainly unionist. We can vent our anger at the media who don’t challenge and provide no balance. We can chose to not spend our money in the places that don’t pay tax.
Protesting the V and A will just leave a bad taste in the mouths of Dundonians who have had enough of that for too long. The weekend the museum opens should just be left alone, let the City have its day, I won’t be there as most people won’t. But I won’t begrudge it’s chance at success or the city to have the spotlight on it, even for one weekend.