SINCE my last column just over a month ago, the most right-wing UK Government since the height of Thatcherism has taken the reins of power at Westminster.

That late summer slight nip in the air threatens to become a bitter blast real quick as Boris Johnson and his Hard Brexit ideologues prepare to foist further misery and hardship on Glasgow and its communities.

This isn’t a game. Glaswegians are not pawns to be discarded as the Tories lurch further to the right. Nor are we a backdrop to some gimmicky promise or other from our new Prime Minister.

Our city has a growing number of pressing concerns where the responsibility rests with the UK Government or where only Westminster can give us the powers to do something about them.

As Leader of the City Council it was incumbent upon me to write to Mr Johnson and his ministers immediately after their appointment, urging them, at the very least, to begin discussions with us on those issues.

Drug death rates are nearly three times that of the UK average and we need an open and honest discussion in which no potential solution is off the table. There is much we can do with the powers we have to address drug dependency. But international evidence points to safe consumption facilities as being the single most effective intervention to reduce drug fatalities. The lives of thousands of people in Glasgow depend on finding sustainable and practical solutions to this crisis. The UK Government hold the keys to that solution.

We face significant challenges as a city in relation to levels of worklessness, poor physical and mental health, and in-work poverty and those who need assistance most are the very individuals and families being systematically and ideologically hammered worst by welfare reform.

Glasgow City Council continues to spend millions of pounds mitigating against some of the impact of welfare reforms. Just last week I visited one of the many programmes running throughout the school holidays providing nutritional food for children of all ages - a necessary intervention from the Council but one that we should not be having to make.

Meanwhile, asylum seekers who have reached the end of the process are being evicted from their homes and left destitute on our streets, whilst promises of financial assistance made to this city from our former Secretary of State for Scotland following the Sauchiehall Street fires have never been fulfilled.

And any kind of Brexit, let alone the No Deal Mr Johnson is gearing up for, will inflict untold damage on this strong Remain voting city: on our economic and social well-being, our reputation, and the thousands of jobs dependent on the EU.

To date, we have had only a response from the Work and Pensions Secretary, Amber Rudd, defending her welfare reforms and refusing our invite to Glasgow.

Frankly, the tired and hollow Tory catcalls about “the day job” are now so threadbare as to be offensive. These issues, the lives of our citizens, are the day job. And as we concentrate our efforts and energies on improving those lives it often feels we do so with both hands tied behind our collective backs.

During his party’s leadership race, one of the City’s Conservative councillors said the gauge for choosing his preferred candidate was whether they would be well received in Glasgow’s east end.

Some of those on the Council’s Conservative benches represent the communities impacted the most by drug deaths, worklessness and poor health. Their constituents, their neighbours, may well be affected.

Perhaps if they were to ask the new PM and his top team to visit the east end and act upon our challenges Glasgow might get a better response.

Unless, of course their leadership would rather do anything else than come face to face with the real life impacts of their disastrous policies.

Or that they’re ashamed of their party colleagues and the damage they inflict upon our city and its citizens.