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

  • SNP Chairs and Members of Westminster Committees
    I don’t have a problem with someone of Mhairi Black’s age being elected. I don’t think it can do politics any harm whatsoever to have some elected members who can better represent the aspirations of a more youthful section of society. I would have concerns if there was an excessive number of younger of politicians say in their twenties but it is highly unlikely that will ever be the case.

    Would she have been elected if the SNP were not on such an upswing nationally? Probably not but you could say that about a lot of the other SNP MPs elected (and also of a lot of Labour ones in the past when Labour were the dominant party in Scotland).

    She was heavily criticised during the campaign for some of the remarks he made about drinking (was it alcopops?) but that never really bothered me. She was still a student and if there two things that tend to happen at university it is drinking and hangovers! I also think too much was made of her remarks about Celtic – it wasn’t sectarianism if I recall correctly – it was just a few choice words on twitter – what percentage of people in the world use that sort of language from time to time, especially in their youth!

    The head-butt remark was stupid and I doubt she will make that mistake again. It was borne out of frustration and naivety and she didn’t help herself by going on about No voters being selfish and gullible. However there are plenty of more experienced politicians who have mad similar remarks about No voters – not to mention posters on here who seem to think being a No voter makes you less Scottish, a very childish position to take.

    However I wouldn’t want to put young people off an interest in becoming a politician by their mistakes when they are in their late teens or early twenties being used as a club to beat them with.

    I do think her position on the Work & Pensions Select Committee is odd and maybe ill advised. I think, there are other committees where an inexperienced politician and person (and I mean that purely in terms of her age, not as a statement on her potential ability) might be better placed initially.

  • Motion sends Scottish Parliament’s condolences on death of Sir Nicholas Winton, the British Schindler
    It is quite amazing that he never made his actions public – they were only discovered by chance by his wife about 25 years ago. A remarkable man. Very fitting and just that he got to live a very long and full life.
  • SNP Chairs and Members of Westminster Committees
    There is a chuckle to be allowed at the fact that Jim Murphy was regularly criticised by SNP supporters for being a career politician who had no experience of working and now we have an SNP MP with no experience of working sitting on the ‘Work & Pensions Committee!

    No criticism of Mhairi Black intended and I hope she does a great job. Just highlighting yet another case of total hypocrisy amongst ardent political party supporters.

  • SNP alerts infantry to prepare to hunt out Carmichael
    I tend to agree with JB on this. Alastair Carmichael did wrong, of that there is no doubt. I personally think he should stand down (but there are a few other politicians in all parties who should have done the same in the past and haven’t). However I just don’t see how pushing for this court case is merited given the other much more important priorities in Scotland right now.

    The crowd fund is sitting at round about £60k just now (which was the target) – if this goes to full trial then that isn’t going to touch the sides of the total bill – it would surprise me greatly if the total bill (for both sides added together) ended up being south of £300k. Where that money is going to come from I am don’t know. The Lib Dems are refusing to comment on whether they are picking up Alastair Carmichael’s bill, who is going to be picking up the ‘people’s final bill if it does go to a full and length trial?

    Yes we want fair and honest politics and yes we are not getting it. We didn’t get it from Carmichael but we also don’t get it from Tories, Labour or the SNP (and you can add other parties to the list at will). There are liars and cheats in every party, some on ‘lesser’ issues, some on greater issues. Those pushing for this wearing their SNP badges, including the main petition leaders, are blinded by party loyalty and the stench of hypocrisy is quite foul. All parties need to clean their act up but the ‘outrage’ at this particular incident whilst whistling innocently with a ‘nothing to see here’ attitude to their own ‘houses’ is a bit pathetic.

  • Council cuts teacher numbers – without consultation – at Sandbank Gaelic Medium Unit
    Whether it is in ‘crisis’ is debatable and is possibly overly dramatic language however Angela Constance herself has admitted that standards in literacy and numeracy are falling and Nicola Sturgeon whilst denying the Scottish education system is failing has admitted it isn’t doing well enough.

    I think we can all acknowledge that politicians (of all parties) exaggerate their successes and downplay their failings so you can consider what Constance and Sturgeon are ‘admitting’ within that context.

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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’

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  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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