Comment posted Porkwatch: Why is Connel to get ‘a big new school’ or is the election bacon in the pan? by newsroom.
For Simon: The facts in the report on the £200 million for health projects across Scotland came direct from the government information service.
This does not necessarily say they are correct – but it is reasonable to assume, for the time being anyway, that they are reliable.
When we use the ‘We understand…’ formula, we know exactly who are sources are. They have disclosed themselves to us or they are people whom we have approached directly.
In each of these cases,for reasons we understand, they wish not to be attributed. In each case we are satisfied that the sources are authoritative.
In the bullying culture many work and live in, the release of important information in strict confidence is the only way the public are ever going to learn a lot of what they need to know. And there are no circumstances in which we would betray a source.
newsroom also commented
- We’d have thought it obvious that a part of any decent news service’s primary job is to make points no one else raises and to ask and answer questions no one else asked.
And there are some tracks that have to be replayed so that no one forgets the rap.
- Achaleven School has not reopened by the agency of the present council administration and its officers.
Cleland Sneddon did not even claim this to be the case.
He made it clear that the school has reopened only because the parents of Connell asked for this – a request which procedurally must be granted provided they could deliver a viable minimum starter pack of pupils – which they have done and with more in the pipeline.
Achaleven was only closed because of the utter failure of the council even to attempt to address a serious failure in relations between its head teacher and the local community. The result of this was that all of the parents chose to send their substantial total number of children elsewhere.
This administration was very happy to let Achaleven School die, a school which needs relatively little to bring it back up to decent operational standards.
This article is headed ‘Porkwatch’. The relevance of that heading remains the central issue. It can be no coincidence that this decision has been processed at this stage, within days of the election – which will be the reason why Cleland Sneddon was so uncharacteristically careful to claim no credit for himself and his bosses.
Councillor Macintyre attempted to deceive the local community on the issue of their school, as this article records.
He is now fighting for fourth preference votes in this very constituency, in an attempt to survive the election on 3rd May.
‘Porkwatch’ is the name of the game, keeping an eye open for ‘pork barrel politics’ – the game of favours, promises and treats that traditionally keeps poor council administrations in power.
- For Interested Bystander and Dr Douglas Mackenzie:
This is not hearsay. we have confirmed that this is what Councillor Macintyre said at the meeting.
When we use the formula: ‘We understand…’ it means we have authoritative sources who do not wish to be quoted.
This relates centrally to the culture of retribution this council administration has bred. It is profoundly unhealthy and it is very powerful.
It is pointless to enquire of Councillor Macintyre since, as was shown during the school closures saga, he has a pragmatic relationship with the facts.
In that case, in attempting to persuade his colleague, Councillor Devon, to vote FOR the closure proposals, he offered her ‘information;’ he knew to be false, namely that the schools in her area had asked to go to consultation. This could not have been further from the truth.Fortunately he was overheard by the representative of one of the schools in question, who immediately put Councillor Devon straight.
Councillor Macintyre’s conduct in the ‘consideration of the Oban Bay Transit Marina proposal bears equally little scrutiny.
However, as with anyone, Councillor Macintyre, if he wishes to claim he did not give this information to the Connel meeting, is welcome to do so here.
Recent comments by newsroom
- Iain McCallum: the human bridge between Campbeltown and Heroes Challenge UK
Alan – we’ll try to get a message to the team for you – and will pass on your email to them for dir3ect contact.
The communications side of things is a weak link – not just with wifi and mobile signal problems but with accurate information on ETAs and even destinations.
We spent the afternoon today chasing around unsuccessfully to find them at their stated destination in Campbeltown – confirmed before we set off to drive – when in fact they finished at The Putechan Hotel, which is on the west coast of Kintyre and well short of Campbeltown. Very frustrating.
We did see the team doing the hard stuff though – passing them on the way south. They were cycling in two clusters, impressively easily and very disciplined in the way they were dealing with traffic streams behind them.
You should know that we now understand that they will row tomorrow from Campbeltown to Glenarm and not to Ballycastle; and that it looks as if they will row back not form Newcastle but from Bangor to Portpatrick.
They’ll be delighted to see you mi-channel. Great idea.
- Argyll and Bute Council: Where are we now?
The difference is that the new ferry to Campbeltown had an arrival time and actually arrived.
A major part of what we work to do is to support initiatives at all levels that are focused on regeneration and are driven by positive, creative energies that make things happen.
Campbeltown wins hands down over Kilmory any minute of any day on these criteria – and we never spare ourselves travelling and hard work on a cause that has some hope of going somewhere.
And just in case you are implying that this was a jolly – which we never do: I myself drove to Campbeltown – 1 hr 30m – did the work and drove back again immediately.
- Argyll and Bute Council: Where are we now?
This amusing spin disguises the fact that there was no political ‘speculation’.
There was formally recorded political realignment and manoeuvering by all councillors – which was done in some urgency before the council meeting, yet appears to have stalled – for some reason and for the time time being at least.
Councillors do not seem to realise that this adds to the alienation of voters rather than assuage concerns.
- Big welcome at Campbeltown for new Ardrossan ferry
We understand she carried about 60 passengers and although, flying around to catch as much as possible, we didn’t have time to count the cars coming off, we did look out for this and there were a respectable number of them.
- Argyll and Bute Council: Councillor McCuish leads again
We appreciate that it is inconvenient for a light to be shone on doings your party would prefer to keep hidden in shady places from those it asks to vote for it.
That is a dishonourable contract.
As the former Alliance of Independent Councillors [which had nothing at all do with Michael Russell ] knows very well, when it was damaging Argyll and Bute by its conduct during the 2010-11 schools closure wars, we were even more vigilant in keeping them under scrutiny and publishing on their manoeuvres.
We had to be even more vigilant because they were skilled at keeping things under wraps – where the SNP has conducted its acts of political genocide en plein air. All anyone has had to do is draw up a chair.
It should be obvious from our stance in recent weeks that we have no ‘vendetta’ against Councillor Dick Walsh, whom we dealt with arguably more harshly than we have done with Mr Russell.
A central function of our role is to contribute to the holding to account of those elected to serve the people. We do our best to fulfil this fairly – and hard. But we have no vendetta against anyone.
In Mr Russell’s case we simply feel he is a hot air balloon who has imploded over Argyll and done a great deal of harm – profoundly so to his own party, which we used to support. The evidence for our view is in the public domain.
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