Folk are always asking how it happened. How did a city with the worst record for everything in the world, turn itsel round in such a short time? How did Glasgow become the hottest tour destination ever? Let’s start at the beginning. Ten year ago, when Edinburgh looked set tae take over the world and Glasgow was appearing bottom of every league table under the sun (except for membership of Gamblers Anonymous) there we were, clocked in the middle of wanny they endless meetings, throwing ideas around. Might as well chuck a ball about for all the good they done. Ah hated it. After a lifetime in the Parks Department, when they’d finally built over hauf the parks and computerised everything, ah’d been shunted intae some Micky Mouse organisation whose mission statement was improving quality of life for the socially challenged (i.e. neds). Funny, ah thought growing plants and trees was improving the quality of life, but naw, ah was surplus tae requirements, and had tae put up and shut up tae get my enhanced pension. Which meant sitting in a windowless room wi Archie, who’d been sumpn tae dae wi a Heiland Dancing Roadshow, and Shug, a retired plumber who’d run his ain business for years and couldnae staund being idle so he’d got hissel on the Regenerate Glasgow Committee. We were supposed tae be finding some way tae put Glasgow back on the map, some new slogan or theme that would have everybody and his auntie flocking here. But everything we came up with was a no-no. Glasgow – Green City? No since they built hooses on hauf the parks and ran a motorway through what was left. Glasgow – Clean City? Graffiti City mibbe. Or Chuggie City. Aye you cannae walk doon a street wioot gettin it stuck tae yer shoes. How come folk don’t just chuck it in a bin or stick it on their mobile for later? Let’s face it, said Archie, Glasgow’s pants. That’s it. Shug’s eyes were shining. What? Pants. Aye but you can hardly attract tourists by telling them Glasgow’s pants. Naw, but you can get them tae buy Glasgow’s pants. Shug leaned his elbows on the table, looked round us. Look, it’s a waste of time trying tae get folk tae come here by kidding on we’re like Edinburgh. Everybody knows it’s got a castle, a festival, all that stuff. Archie bristled. We’ve got festivals too. Hunners of them – Jazz, Celtic Connections, the River Festival … Aye but Edinburgh’s got it sorted; three weeks during the English school holidays, when all the Scottish scruffbag weans are back at school so they won’t annoy anybody Archie still looked pissed aff but said nothing. All the media types fly up fae London in a wanner – for three weeks they review everything in the Telegraph and BBC2 and you cannae get a cubbyhole tae stay in for love nor money. Edinburgh folk make a fortune then sit back on their arses for the resty the year while the tourists dauner round the castle and buy Scottie dug brooches and tartan scarfs. Ah thought ah’d better move things on a bit so ah dug out sumpn I’d been taught in the ‘Reflective Skills for Committee Personnel’ course last year. So you don’t like Edinburgh, Shug. But perhaps there’s something we can learn from them. It’s no a question of liking or no liking. Ah’m just saying it’s a waste of time for us tae compete wi them on culture.