There's a by-election happening in Glasgow next month, so every word every candidate utters is being analysed and critised.
Today in the press it's David Kerr's turn to be pilloried.
During a radio debate he said, "After 74 years, for all the huff and puff, nothing has been achieved.
"We created ghettos of social housing and, by dint, ghettos of poverty as well."
Labour candidate said, "He'd rather talk our area down than solve the problems we have. Calling our area a ghetto is a disgusting slur to local people."
Labour MSP Paul Martin added, "Like Willie, I have lived in this constituency all my life and know how offensive this kind of sneering comment is. He is talking down at people."
While I think 'ghetto' is perhaps a poor choice of word because of certain connotations, I understand perfectly what David Kerr means. During the Glasgow East by-election I canvassed in the area and the main complaints were:
It's all very well to build new houses but there aren't any shops or other amenities. They're closing the school and have built a bigger school, but that's quite a walk away. Health facilities are also not within walking distance. We were promised all these things but, said one woman, I've been here 7 years now and nothing has happened.
To many the heart had been ripped out of the community particularly with the school being moved so far.
Yes, the new houses did look good but most new houses had transport sitting outside. Many people can't afford cars so rely on local services or buses to go about their business. The size of some council estates is vast in cities like Glasgow but planners lack the skill of ensuring the balance of new housing is appropriate to the developer's plans.
It's not only council estates which are affected in this way. When I returned to Scotland I lived in a small village outside Perth. This village was ripe for development and the plans included a pub, shops and community centre. In the years I lived there none of these promises came to fruition and the small local shop struggled to serve a growing community. Incomers had no choice but to use Perth as their local centre, but the one thing which did keep the community together was the village school. It expanded and cope with the influx of young families and with an excellent Head, it became the focus of the community.
The die was cast years ago when the developers were too interested in only building houses instead of communities and I think many areas of Scotland suffered in the same manner. Planning departments passed proposals for village styled estates which looked paradise on paper, but the councils allowed builders to concentrate purely on housing.
I'm quite sure the people of Glasgow North East understand what David Kerr meant when he said what he did. What labour forget is that when housing is built without appropriate local services, this does create poverty - not necessarily financial poverty, but the poverty of loneliness and isolation. That kills too.