Marshall: Understanding Glasgow's Psyche

ATCA Briefings

London, UK - 11 July 2007, 08:48 GMT - We are grateful to Elizabeth Marshall, born in Glasgow, Scotland, for "Understanding Glasgow's Psyche;" Dr Deepak Chopra, based in California and New York, USA, for "Case of the Evil Doctors: Changing Perception;" Aurora Carlson, based on the West Coast, Sweden for "The Other and Me;" Michael Ward, based in Mumbai, India, for "Remembering 7th July 05, London, and 11th July 06, Mumbai -- The Far Pavilions of a shared Imperial Past & Present;" Prof Jean Pierre Lehmann, Founder Director, Evian Group, based at IMD Lausanne, Switzerland, for "Crossing the Chasm: Evolution Towards a Liberal Society;" HE Basil Eastwood, former British Ambassador to Switzerland & Liechtenstein and Syria, for "Role of Islam in Politics" and Florian Lennert, Director, Corporate Relations, LSE, from Kigali, Rwanda, for "Avoiding Human Catastrophe" in response to The Lord Desai of St Clement Danes, based at the Palace of Westminster, London, for his submission to ATCA, "The Roots of Terror: Islam or Islamism? Distinguishing between Religion and Ideology."

intentBlog: Marshall: Understanding Glasgow's Psyche

Dear ATCA Colleagues

[Please note that the views presented by individual contributors are not necessarily representative of the views of ATCA, which is neutral. ATCA conducts collective Socratic dialogue on global opportunities and threats.]

Elizabeth Marshall is a Fellow of The Energy Institute in London and Member of the Ad Hoc Expert Group on Energy convened by United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), based in Geneva, Switzerland, since 1992. Elizabeth is a former director of the British Institute of Energy Economics and a member of The Windsor Energy Group of which The Lord Howell, a long standing ATCA contributor, is Chairman. She is based in the extreme North of the United Kingdom in Wick, Caithness, and is a member of the Institute of Directors in London and The Reform Club. She writes:

Dear DK and Colleagues

Re: Understanding Glasgow's Psyche

Whilst I accept the basis of the views of Dr Chopra and Aurora Carlson that every man is my brother, coming as I do from the land of Robert Burns and 'A man is a man for a' that', I also happen to have been born in Glasgow.

I therefore entirely expected that my fellow citizens would race to the assistance of the police and help arrest the two suicide bombers at Glasgow airport who were attacking them in what was a violent struggle, even to the extent that one of the citizen helpers was himself injured, sustaining a broken leg and two broken teeth.

Glasgow is not generally a place of bystanders and people were naturally outraged when they saw an attempt to inflict firebombing and murder on their airport where excited children and their parents were queuing for flights on the first day of school summer holidays.

Glasgow has traditionally been a recruiting ground for the SAS and paratroop regiments of the British army as it has had a rather robust street-fighting culture which tends to disregard personal safety when roused.

Having said all that, one has to admit that there is doubtless what might be seen as a certain level of ignorance and prejudice in Glasgow. This is regrettable when some of Glasgow's finer sons and daughters have made no small contribution to western civilisation and culture including presenting originality of thought and inventions in economics, mathematics, science, engineering, philosophy and medicine.

The Glasgow man in the street could be described as lacking in sophistication in that he tends not to discern the difference between those who follow the ways of Islam and those who perpetrate atrocities in the name of Islam. He is not into understanding the power struggles within Islam and the rationale behind Al-Qaeda and the radicals who want to take leadership within the Islamic world. In Glasgow street parlance, such a situation would simply not be understood. The ordinary Glasgow man in the street, if he happened to be a follower of Islam and was challenged by another wanting to take control and commit atrocities in the name of his religion, would not sit back and let this happen. He would attack him and have him kicked out of the Islamic society.

I would therefore argue that what we are seeing in Glasgow now where followers of Islam have been attacked since the airport outrage is not simply racialism, it represents a profound difference in culture and in understanding. In effect, in the eyes of the Glasgow man in the street, if one is part of Islamic society and condones murderous outrage and suicide bombings carried out in the name of Islam because one does not 'sort it out' and expose and outlaw the perpetrators, then one must be part of it.

I trust this clarifies the understanding from the other side.

Kind regards

Elizabeth Marshall


We look forward to your further thoughts, observations and views. Thank you.

Best wishes

For and on behalf of DK Matai, Chairman, Asymmetric Threats Contingency Alliance (ATCA)

ATCA: The Asymmetric Threats Contingency Alliance is a philanthropic expert initiative founded in 2001 to resolve complex global challenges through collective Socratic dialogue and joint executive action to build a wisdom based global economy. Adhering to the doctrine of non-violence, ATCA addresses asymmetric threats and social opportunities arising from climate chaos and the environment; radical poverty and microfinance; geo-politics and energy; organised crime & extremism; advanced technologies -- bio, info, nano, robo & AI; demographic skews and resource shortages; pandemics; financial systems and systemic risk; as well as transhumanism and ethics. Present membership of ATCA is by invitation only and has over 5,000 distinguished members from over 100 countries: including several from the House of Lords, House of Commons, EU Parliament, US Congress & Senate, G10's Senior Government officials and over 1,500 CEOs from financial institutions, scientific corporates and voluntary organisations as well as over 750 Professors from academic centres of excellence worldwide.

The views presented by individual contributors are not necessarily representative of the views of ATCA, which is neutral. Please do not forward or use the material circulated without permission and full attribution.

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