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One has to ask where the LibDems are …

Comment posted Argyll and Bute Council: the empire strikes back with Argyll facing worst of all options by Bob Chicken.

One has to ask where the LibDems are in this piece. They say that they are a “progressive” party yet don’t want to take part in a “progressive” alliance.

Surely after their experience with the previous “regressive” alliance they would jump at the chance of supporting the progressive alternative.

They are working with SNP and Scottish Labour led administrations (e.g.Highland Council) the length and breadth of Scotland yet don’t seem to want to work with the SNP here. Surely compromise is in the nature of local politics – get the best deal for your constituents and fight their corner for them without compromising your core principles.

So, are they progressive or are they just Tories in sheep’s clothing?

I haven’t seen any statement from them or the Tories saying which core principles would be compromised by working with the Progressive Alliance.

Perhaps they and the Tories are concerned that the, no doubt, passionate and hard fought referendum debate over the next two and a bit years could sour working relationships. If so they should say so.

Perhaps it is the SNP or their partners that are uncompromising and getting in the way of a deal?

Surely it is better to either thrash out a deal with the largest group and rule out the uncertainty or make a clear statement as to why you can’t achieve a deal so that we all understand why?

Recent comments by Bob Chicken

  • Transport Minister answers Russell questions on CMAL’s management of maritime assets
    I note that, in the reply to question 1, Derek MacKay avoids any mention of community consultation. To date,community consultation seems to be notably absent from the tendering process.
  • 13th April Poll of Polls shows rise in anticipated SNP seats at Westminster
    Clearly you have a set of values that should stand you in good stead. Debate as hard as you like,just remember to try and avoid collateral damage when you do so.
  • 13th April Poll of Polls shows rise in anticipated SNP seats at Westminster
    I am not trying to make any political point. I work with vulnerable adults and see, on a daily basis, how these sort of comments just reinforce people’s prejudices and make life more difficult for those who already have more problems than most of us would care to imagine.

    I am sorry to see that you take this as a party political comment on my behalf. It was not meant that way. It is a huge issue for me – above party politics.

    In this election I am aware that most parties (including the SNP) have recognised that Mental Health is an area where much improvement is needed and I am delighted to see that it is getting much needed publicity (and, hopefully, funding) as a result.

    Perhaps I was rather harsh in the way I commented on your piece. Before I worked in this field I was as likely as anyone else to make similar ‘clever’ comments to yours. I hope I have learned my lesson. I also hope that you can find it in yourself to do the same.

  • 13th April Poll of Polls shows rise in anticipated SNP seats at Westminster
    Your ‘clever’ wee jibe employing stereotyped images of vulnerable people does neither your arguments, nor your party any favours at all.

    All it does is to increase the stigma that these folk suffer every day of their lives.

    Can I suggest that you refrain from such cheap jibes in future!

  • Labour in helpless self-harm over Blair money
    John, I’m not quite sure what your faux smear campaign on Mary Galbraith’s reputation is trying to achieve.

    She is, quite rightly, proud of her record of public service. Just as Argyll and Bute Labour are proud to have a woman who values social justice; whose roots are deeply embedded in Kintyre; is a highly qualified economist of considerable national and international experience of the public and private sectors, standing as a candidate here.

    You are quite right in one sense, Mary Galbraith does have a record with the UK government – an honourable one. She served as a member of the Senior Salary Review Body (SSRB) for 6 years. Her selection and appointment were done by an independent body, working to the Nolan Principles, to ensure that merit was what qualified applicants for the role.

    She was the sole Scottish person on the SSRB at the time. This ensured that it maintained a pan-UK perspective. Initially the post was an unpaid one but in the first year attracted a fee of £300.00 per day. This rate remained static throughout the time she served on it. As you kindly pointed out this is all a matter of public record.

    John, you and I both practised as consultants/advisors in the early 2000s and worked together quite effectively,on occasion. The going rate for public sector consultancy work locally was about the rate Mary was paid for advising on the pay and conditions of the most senior public employees in the UK. Indeed, I can remember paying a chef consultant £350 per day to train staff and advise on menus.

    Forgive me if you think I am impugning your reputation as a consultant ( I’m not – you really knew your stuff) but I think that Mary was much better value for money to the public purse than either you or I were!

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