IT seems like an uneven contest – corporate power versus Maryhill. In the blue corner, a huge company which counts its profits in the billions, lines up against a red corner of people to whom every pound is precious.

But I’m still forecasting a second win for David over Goliath.

In this case, the people with the slingshots are the residents of 1800 houses in Maryhill’s Wyndford development, while this time Goliath comes in the shape of power giant SSE. The reason for the contest is soaring energy bills but the story is an object lesson in what happens when public assets are allowed to fall into private hands.

The Wyndford was developed more than a decade ago and was the recipient of grants from the Scottish Government and British Gas to build a district heating system powered by a 1.2MW gas-fired power station. The aim and intention was that the 1200 Glasgow Housing Association/Wheatley Homes would be supplied by combined heat and hot water.

READ MORE: Indyref2: The best reader responses to Nicola Sturgeon's announcement

It was an adventurous proposal and was opened by the then housing minister, Alex Neil. It should have been the shape of things to come for many areas to combat fuel poverty in Scotland.

Although the power and heating infrastructure is owned by the housing association, it was leased to SSE, which has been able not only to supply the homes but also to generate electricity for the grid. Not unreasonably, the Wyndford residents are tired of their power supplier keeping all the cream from a public investment while they can’t afford their heating bills.

Few of the benefits were passed on to the local residents, who have found that a system designed to combat fuel poverty was actually making it worse. Twice SSE have been forced by determined local campaigning to negotiate on their unreasonable tariffs The trouble is, now that gas prices are soaring and SSE has hiked already high prices by a further 50%, the Wyndford Residents Union says enough is enough.

Speaking earlier this month at a demonstration outside the SSE offices in Glasgow’s Waterloo Street, protest organiser Nick Durie declared: “SSE are still refusing to negotiate, they are stonewalling us, and that’s why we’re here today and we’re not going away. They’ve got headquarters in Perth, so perhaps we’ll see them there if they don’t come and see us soon.”

READ MORE: Ghislaine Maxwell sentence: Socialite sentenced to 20 years in prison for sex trafficking

With corporate profits inflated and SSE chief executive Alistair Phillips-Davies handed a 47% pay rise last year to reach a package of £4.5 million, this energy titan may think it can comfortably see off this local protest in Glasgow.

However, I would not be so sure for three reasons. Firstly, there is the question of history. SSE was born to bring power to the people as the Hydro Electric Board. The great Tom Johnston established the company to bring power and prosperity to the people and a hydro endowment to its customers. No company, no matter how prosperous, can afford to traduce its own traditions.

Secondly, there is the general political environment. The train workers on strike, and who would probably settle for a 5% rise, earn on average each year what Alistair Phillips-Davies clocks up in two days. He hates windfall taxes but his 47% salary rise, his £4.5m package and SSE’s huge profits are an advert for why they are necessary and popular. The public will want to cut him and his company down to size.

Thirdly, we are in high summer but more energy protests will come this autumn. The handful of Maryhill residents outside the SSE offices are merely the shape of things to come. SSE would be wise to settle with the Wyndford before they become merely the vanguard of a more general protest movement.

The National: National Extra Scottish politics newsletter banner

What is the essential lesson from this local battle? Scotland is a country overflowing with energy resources. For reasons known to ourselves, we have allowed them to be ransacked by Westminster government and international capital.

Now the Scottish Government is proposing to repeat the exercise by the great giveaway of our offshore wind resources for a mere fraction of what they are worth.

If we are going to stop the scandal of mass fuel poverty in our land of extraordinary energy plenty, we cannot rely on corporate giants whether they be headquartered in Perth, London or New York.

We will require a public share in our own resources and a public energy company to ensure that the people benefit from the national bounty.

The Wyndford is built on the site of the old Maryhill Barracks. Just over a century ago, a panicked war cabinet, fearing that the huge crowds gathering in support of strikers in George Square, represented a “Bolshevist rising” dispatched 10,000 troops and tanks to these very Barracks.

This time round the revolution is starting in Maryhill, and more power to their elbow.