I agree with that. Not just due to …

Comment posted Council statement on press staff suspensions and more leaked information by Integrity? Not in the ConDemAll.

I agree with that. Not just due to the possibility of compromising or prejudicing the case but also because of the right and proper concept of ‘innocent till proven guilty.’ The release of any details prior to a full review being completed can only lead to speculation and mud possibly sticking where none is due.

The more important question just now is why the investigation into the original Spygate issue seems to be dragging its feet for so long. The external ‘examiner’ was appointed a long time ago now and I would be willing to wager that the total time he charges to the Council for his review will be less than two FTE working weeks.

I wonder if the elections might be considered as a ‘good time to bury bad news’

Integrity? Not in the ConDemAll also commented

  • As we don’t know the exact details of the alleged joke we can’t comment on the specifics of this case, or speculate on whether it is an excessive reaction or not.

    However what I would say is that two A&B employees use e-mail to make a joke about a high ranking officer and they get suspended. An Executive Director uses e-mail to lie to a Councillor and he gets to meet the Princess Royal.

    As is sang in ‘Get a Blooming’ Move On’ ‘This is the self-preservation society’

Recent comments by Integrity? Not in the ConDemAll

  • Darling launching pro-union Tourism Together on Loch Lomond this morning
    In that ‘never trust a commie’ statement, for me, you have presented yourself as the No campaigns equivalent to No Cheese Here for the Yes campaign.
  • Darling launching pro-union Tourism Together on Loch Lomond this morning
    To be honest a No voter should be keen to encourage NCH to post as much as possible. There must by Yes campaigners who cringe at his ignorance and belligerent manner. Don’t knows will be swung by idiotic and aggressive posts.
  • Jamie Grigor gets answers on current cost of Argyll Ferries passenger ferry contract
    Jamie,

    Back at my PC now so easier to respond. I accept entirely that there are plus sides to the right to buy scheme. The massive discounts do let people get on the property ladder who would otherwise have struggled to and this provides a degree of security and an asset to act as a safety net if things go bad, or can be handed down to younger family members later in life to help them get a foot up in life.

    It certainly does provide greater independence in terms of life choices and I also accept the point about ownership often resulting in there being more pride and, consequently care of the home and surrounding area.

    So I do recognise there are positives – to be honest there are not many policies where there are not ‘for’ and ‘against’ arguments. I suppose everyone has to make an opinion on which outweighs the other.

    For me, right to buy is more negative than positive.

    It has created a massive hole in social housing. That is not entirely due to right to buy as successive governments have failed to build sufficiently however right to but contributed to it massively. In particular Thatcher’s policy to prevent councils reinvesting the receipts from right to buy into building new homes. The combination of these failings is now very apparent in the housing crisis and astronomical numbers of people in temporary housing. Rural communities in particular are hit hard due to reluctance of councils to build in rural areas. There are many instances of rural areas losing all their social housing through right to buy and now having no affordable homes whatsoever. The knock on effect of this is falling school rolls, diminishing facilities for young families etc etc – the potential endgame being the very sustainability of the area.

    There is also the very principle of social housing (which is what I touched on in my original post). The intention of social housing was to use public money to benefit the entire country, not to financially benefit individuals. I appreciate not everyone used right to buy to benefit financially (either through corrupt practices or entirely legal ones such as selling on for big profit or through renting them at market rates whilst having well below ‘market’ mortgages. This was an inevitable consequence of the policy which anyone could see coming. The public purse, in these cases, was being dipped into to return private profit.

    On the matter of ‘corruption’ it is certainly true that it wasn’t just people getting on the property ladder and enhancing their security and self-esteem. It was plagued with corruption and abuse by both individuals and companies who managed a plethora of former council houses. However I accept that shouldn’t be used to criticise people who did it in good faith.

    A further consequence is that the council stock which isn’t bought privately tends to be the worst of the stock. This means people moving into social housing thorough necessity are probably stigmatised more now than they ever were before. The result being quite the opposite of enhanced self-esteem.

    As I have said before I should say that I have no problem with people who took advantage of the right to buy – if an opportunity like that is provided by the Government it would be insane not took take advantage. My ‘beef’ is that the opportunity should never have been provided in the first place.

    Also as I have said before a staggering statistic is that the average discount awarded on right to buy properties is 47% (give or take a few decimal places) and as at the end of 2011 £45.5 billion of capital receipts for the Right-to-Buy scheme had been taken in. That means the value of assets given away by the public purse was (as at end of 2011) a staggering £40.4 billion! I just don’t believe for a second it, as a policy, has delivered either value for money or sufficiently enhanced quality of life for the country as a whole.

    Just my two cents (plus change!!)

  • Darling launching pro-union Tourism Together on Loch Lomond this morning
    One off polls are always marginally interesting in terms of sparking a bit of feel good factor for one camp or another however it is always a little pointless picking one poll and getting excited about it whilst ignoring a different one which tells a slightly different story.

    The BBC website’s poll tracker is a useful tool to get an idea of the movement over a 6 month period, across six different survey companies (Panelbase, YouGov, Survation, TNS BMRB, Ipsos Mori and ICM). I will grant you there are more poll providers than these six. It is the overall trend over the extended period which people should take more notice of.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/events/scotland-decides/poll-tracker

    It would be useful if the BBC combined all the results into one graph rather than just showing the individual ones however it isn’t too difficult to get a feel from quickly reviewing the six.

    Ignoring the Don’t Knows.’ Over the past six months two of the six show a small reduction for the NO vote and Survation showing a big reduction of 6%. The other three show a small increase for the NO vote. Meanwhile bar ICM they all show a gradual increase for the YES vote (Survation again the outlier as it shows a 9% increase).

    A slightly quick and dirty averaging of all six shows very marginal movement over 6 months. No down 1% and YES up 3%.

    The biggest variation across the pollers seems to be the number of ‘Don’t Knows’ ICM and TNS sometimes have it as high as 28% however the other four tend to have it fairly consistently in the 11-15% range.

  • Darling launching pro-union Tourism Together on Loch Lomond this morning
    I have to say that as an English person living in Scotland I don’t find the Snp or Yes campaign to be anti English. Sure there are some members and supporters who are but no more or less of a bigoted minority than you get in the vast majority of societies.

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22 Responses to I agree with that. Not just due to …

  1. If anyone in a senior position in an organisation lets a bruised ego get in the way of sensible management, and vindictiveness takes over, it’s the senior that should go; I saw a very good office manager hugely embarrassed when a juvenile email was seen by the director she was making fun of. The director was hurt by the remarks, but the dust settled and no lasting harm was done. The event at Kilmory may well be just the latest case of vindictive treatment of staff for minor – if stupid – misdemeanours.

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  2. Newsroom – do you know if the funnies were about the executive management as a group or were they about particular individuals in the executive?

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  3. Can we look forward to FA (or indeed the OT) putting in a FoI request for us to see these comments? They are definitely in the public interest as we could all do with a laugh after the last Westminster budget!

    I agree with Robert, senior management need to have thick skins and turn a blind eye to the disrespectful banter of their juniors. Anything else just makes them look stupid, vindictive and rather too full of themselves.

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  4. As we don’t know the exact details of the alleged joke we can’t comment on the specifics of this case, or speculate on whether it is an excessive reaction or not.

    However what I would say is that two A&B employees use e-mail to make a joke about a high ranking officer and they get suspended. An Executive Director uses e-mail to lie to a Councillor and he gets to meet the Princess Royal.

    As is sang in ‘Get a Blooming’ Move On’ ‘This is the self-preservation society’

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  5. Whilst we cannot know the exact situations that led to the suspensions and while we must bear in mind that suspension can be part of a disciplinary process and not the end, we are surely entitled to query whether there is any effective leadership of council staff. To have one staff member suspended over one issue might be unfortunate but to have 3 staff suspended over two different matters would appear to suggest a real lack of leadership and control.

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  6. It seems premature to comment on whether the suspensions are excessive or not – the council has to follow its own procedure for each and every issue that crops up on its own merits. If the accusations are serious enough then they should of course by suspended, and we do not yet know the entire extent of the accusations.

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  7. And therein lies the problem Dr McCoy… the complete lack of transparency within this council and in particular this investigation.

    Will we actually ever get the answers or is the delay in replying to FOIs on this matter and the length of time the investigation is taking all to give Sally bin Loudon time to cover up the damning evidence.

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  8. If the investigation is still ongoing, common sense dictates that the council can’t give out details for fear of compromising or prejudicing it. All this talk of conspiracy is only fit for the tinfoil hat brigade.

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    • I agree with that. Not just due to the possibility of compromising or prejudicing the case but also because of the right and proper concept of ‘innocent till proven guilty.’ The release of any details prior to a full review being completed can only lead to speculation and mud possibly sticking where none is due.

      The more important question just now is why the investigation into the original Spygate issue seems to be dragging its feet for so long. The external ‘examiner’ was appointed a long time ago now and I would be willing to wager that the total time he charges to the Council for his review will be less than two FTE working weeks.

      I wonder if the elections might be considered as a ‘good time to bury bad news’

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    • Dr L McCoy – ‘All this talk of conspiracy is only fit for the tinfoil hat brigade.’ An interesting comment.
      Of course, you were quite right in your first post, they do have to follow their own procedures and if Council Officers operated in a fair and just manner your comment would be very appropriate. Unfortunately in ABC, adherance and intepretation of the respective policies is strictly dependant on who and how they are applied.
      Small example – in difficult times you would hope that organisations would have in place policies aimed at keeping staff up-to-date with developments, which would offer staff the reassurance that everything was being done to minimse job losses etc. And to it’s credit, ABC has such a policy.
      For the past two or more years staff in the Council have been living in fear and uncertainty about their jobs. Has senior management recognised these fears and anxieties? Oh yes, they’ve unquestionably noticed the fear and anxiety in the staff. Has the policy on keeping staff up-to-date with developments been followed? Nope. Have they offered staff reassurance whenever they could???
      IF we assume there is some merit in this story, as reported in several different media sources, and if we assumed Senior Managers were being consistent in their application of policies, they would need to suspend the majority of their current workforce. Staff who were fearful for their jobs before will be absolutely terrified now. Or do you think this is maybe the message they were hoping to give out?
      In relation to the the on-going investgation on ‘spying’, people have every right to ask questions, not about particular details which may compromise or prejudice either parties involved, but to ask questions about what on earth is going on at ABC.
      There is a public interest factor in this case, a member of the Council’s staff has apparently openly acknowledged they set-up false accounts to ‘spy’ on members of the public who they percieved were involved in possible subservise activities against the Council. In other words they were possibly spying on parents during the schools closure programme. Now two further members of staff from the same department have apparently either resigned and/or been suspended.
      Of course people are going to ask questions and rightly so.

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  9. So two members of staff are suspended and the predictable, nay automatic, reaction from the infestation of snp apparatchiks on here is the Council is at fault! And this is based on Newise’s sensational “we have learned”.

    ‘We have learned’ is of course the new “we understand” – a term now largely discarded by Newsie following ‘exclusives’ like “we understand the Dunoon Observer is going bust….”

    Sheer speculation and utter tosh of cooiurse – but that doesn’t stop the slabbering sycophants attaching their coat tails to Newsie nonsense and telling us again what a dreadful Council this is.

    Grow up.

    What to see a poor Council? Take a look at SNP controlled Edinburgh City Council. Allegations of a £1.5 million fraud and so far 18 Council staff suspended…

    Have a nice day. :)

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    • Last time I looked, the Lib Dems were the largest party in Edinburgh and are the senior partners in coalition with the SNP (the Lib Dems have both the Provost and Council leader positions). Edinburgh certainly does have problems and those being suspended or sacked are being pursued for crimes rather more serious than laissez majeste.

      However, it would be churlish to let the facts stand in the way of a good old fashioned anti-Nat rant from the “Simon”!

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      • Simon -why does he hide?- correctly identifies that Edinburgh Council have considerable difficulties although some of those have been imposed by exterior influences-the tram project being a good example. It will be interesting to see which parties come out on top there in May.The SNP are the junior partner in this administration and Simon must know that, if he is anywhere as bright as he thinks he is.
        Why does he think it acceptable to cite “alleged” offences about unspecified individuals and yet take exception to unsourced reports from FA?
        I’ll get back to my slabbering now but it certainly makes a mess on the keyboard.

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    • Simon: I’m sometimes entertained by the abrasive tone of your comments, but what sort of sycophant is a slabbering one? Since a is nowhere near o on the keyboard, I’m concerned that it’s not a typo and there’s something I don’t know.

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  10. FOI requests? For goodness sake, get a grip, next you’ll be wanting to tap in to Council staff’s conversation on the phone and heaven forbid when they chat in their office, tearoom or toilet!

    If, there was dialogue as it suggests, then the staff involved should have had their wrists slapped. That’s good management. Seems management in the Council are keen to switch the spotlight to the poor cooncil staff when they should be looking on their own doorstep first! :-P

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  11. “Doc” it’s sad. You used to be much more objective and in fact I can remember you castigating Newsie for one of her frivilous (ie sheer conjecture) reports about the community council in Connel being too afraid of supposed Council repercussions to be actually quoted (three days before the Oban Times carried the full story quotes names and all) “hearsay” you described it as.

    Sad then that you’ve just swallowed Newsie’s ‘story’ hook, line and plonker….. :)

    Election time must be approaching….

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    • Not sure, “Simon” where you think I am demonstrating a lack of objectivity in my above posts. I haven’t commented on the story directly except to call for us all to see the alleged remarks as they might bring a smile to our faces. I have no idea about the veracity of Newsroom’s information and will save any heavy weight criticism until the truth outs (or what we mere mortals are allowed to see of it) before commenting further on the hapless press officers.

      I thank you for highlighting the fact that I previously picked Newsroom up on the definition of hearsay Again, I have no idea if this current story is hearsay or not as Newsroom has not revealed her source for the story. If it comes from any of the affected parties then it would not be hearsay. If it comes from a third party then it is hearsay. However, understand “Simon”, the fact that something is hearsay doesn’t make it false; it merely means that it cannot be used in evidence in a court.

      No apology from you over your attempt to mislead with your comments about Edinburgh Council being controlled by the SNP then?

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  12. Hmmmm, this story seems to be a good bit more solidly evidenced than you suggest though Simon. There’s even the “official” statement from Sally bin Loudon on the website, the story in the OT this week.

    Truth is that gossip will be flowing out of the council about this and it will actually be harder not to hear about it.

    The unsubstantated arguments you like to sling at newsie aren’t appropriate in this case.

    Allegedly :lol:

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  13. Well Newsie, after your “While they were working at some point, the two staff concerned were evidently exchanging some private jokes about executive staff – not scurrilous in any way but funny/silly – as you do.” the Oban Times is today quoting the Council “the decision to suspend was founded on strong evidence of potential serious and gross mis-conduct around wholly inappropriate and repetitive use of obscene and abusive communication messaging exchanges, deemed to be harsh and hurtful if read by the colleagues – mostly junior – being discussed. Not joke sharing about senior colleagues or anything close to it”.

    Beaten to the punch again by the OT – and certainly “obscene and abusive does not fit your description of “‘third form’ private jollity ” – will you now withdraw your comments?

    Will the posters above who queued up to rant again, about the Council no apologise??

    I ain’t holding my breath…. :)

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  14. Crazy ” [Simon] The unsubstantated arguments you like to sling at newsie aren’t appropriate in this case.” – Oh Yeah??? :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :)

    Have a nice evening ;)

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