Comment posted Council Elections: The count by newsroom.
Sorry Paula. That is flatly incorrect and you cannot therefore have any evidence for it whatsoever.
In our entire lifespan we have blocked fewer than 10 comments – and that’s allowing for memory loss. They have been blocked because they were fully actionable, scatological or smearing for political advantage.
We have also banned one person permanently because he persisted in clear libel in what was clearly a personal obsession that had nothing to do with anyone else.
We sin-binned another for a period for an instance of outrageously poisonous manipulation.
If anything, we should arguably have blocked a lot more comments, not in our own interests – it is patently obvious that we let anyone say what they like about us – but to offer more protection to some individuals than we have done.
We have perhaps been overly tolerant in such cases because we prefer contributors to self-edit in the interests of observing a basic standard of civility and we believe that most people will do so.
newsroom also commented
- Thank you. It can, of course, be added at any time.
- All that we can think of here is that any comment you are aware of as unpublished may have been written without the ‘Post comment’ button being properly activated.
Two of us have been sharing the monitoring of comments over the life of this article and neither of us has blocked a single comment – something we have almost never had to do.
- Simon – just lose the blinkers and read what’s being said. There was no suggestion that there is anything wrong with ‘urban based’ anythings.
This was a serious response to your comment. It’s important to try the ‘what ifs?’ What if this is a serious matter and not a squib?
If it wasn’t a serious point but merely another squib through our letter box, then there is no use trying to engage. Email your address and we’ll send you a box of Bengal matches to play with.
- And we don’t bother so much here about the state Iraq has been left in by our illegal intervention.
It’s a matter of scale, Simon but it’s the same thing.
We have all to try to understand the condition of the other.
If one is a townie or a teuchter – to use the pejoratives for both – one cannot ‘know’ what it is to be the other; but one can ask, discover and intuit.
The problem with the school closures was driven, in part, by the phenomenon you identify: urban-based councillors adopting a position on rurality with no experience or understanding of rural communities, the way they work and they way they can fail.
It was the complacent assumption that a position of ignorance was somehow a qualification for superior wisdom that was the can of petrol in this inflammation.
In this case, as you rightly say, the people of Helensburgh didn’t and don’t think rural schools lke Luss and Kilcreggan matter much. Campbeltown cared as much for Southend; Oban for Barcaldine; Rothesay for North Bute; and Dunoon for Toward.
Why should they. It’s not their experience.
But that cannot be the basis for deciding, uninformed, on other people’s lives – or for ganging up on them.
Yet each of these places unknown to townsfolk is a rich and individual culture, a living organism that keeps alive much of the country. If these places die, then alternative means and values for living die too.
It’s not straightforward but it matters.
- We will publish an article on some of these issues later this evening.
The election is also not fully over yet. The Dunoon contest had to be postponed because of the recent death of Councillor Alister McAlistrer, who was due to stabnd in Dunoon.
That vote is being held on Thursday 10th May and Dick Walsh is one of the candidates. The overall picture will not be clear until that ward election is completed.
Recent comments by newsroom
- Supposing CalMac lost the Clyde and Hebridean ferries contract…
Argyll Ferries is a subsidiary company of Caledonian Macbrayne Ltd, whose parent company is David MacBrayne Limited.
The brand name’Caledonian MacBrayne’ is owned by CMAL. Apologies for using the shortened version.
However, we will find out if CalMac is also a registered brand owned by CMAL and will add the answer to that when we get it.
- The Carmichael lie: another grubby pot condemns the leaking kettle
The issue at the time was addressing what one could call a persistent local persecution of some ferrymen – and the council’s failure to offer robust protection to their employees.
The conduct of the abusers was such as to fall clearly within the council’s own criterion of vexatious complainant. They had a written protocol for dealing with such complainants yet had never employed it in relation to these behaviours designed to harrass and damage their employees. On some occasions these behaviours were very much in the extreme, like pack animals ganging up on an individual.
Several Easdale ferrymen treated in this way developed stress symptoms and had periods where they were unable to work.
We were anxious to keep readers’ attention focused on what was an issue of serious importance.
We felt that were we to identify this particular participant, whose behaviours were worryingly threatening, that could have become the main issue; and the less high profile issues of the undefended ferrymen could have got buried.
The harrassment and abuse that went on, delivered by a specific group – much of which we published – was utterly unprincipled and calculated to be as personally damaging as possible. That was the heart of the matter and that was what we wanted to keep in focus.
That was the judgment behind the anonymity used at that time.
That need no longer exists; and the deliberate predation of Carmichael is unpleasant, self-serving and hypocritical.
- Is David MacBrayne’s Solent enterprise the signal for the end of Calmac?
Agreed on all points.
- Is David MacBrayne’s Solent enterprise the signal for the end of Calmac?
We can’t see that port management expertise can be present in David MacBrayne or in Calmac at any level at the moment – because the two companies remaining in the group are ferry operators and have no port management to do – so why would they have staff with unusable expertise?
CMAL has been the port manager now for a considerable time.
So DML would have to buy in specialist expertise while retaining their most senior staff to run the non-technical aspects of the operation – of which there will be many.
Top level staff are not normal TUPE transfers since new companies generally prefer to put in their own appointments.
If CalMac retain the Clyde and Hebridean Ferries contract, they will not be able to run Marchwood as well – because they won’t have top management staff to spare and will have to hire in even more.
This just doesn’t fit with a state owned company because they don’t exist to make money but to provide services.
The scenario we propose is the only one we can see making any sense.
- Weak, nervous and unsearching: Audit Scotland report into Argyll and Bute Council ADP procurement
This is a finely balanced point.
What the report has said is contradictory in spirit because what they said on the lack of correspondence [implicitly of complaint] was intended to exonerate a process in dispute.
The two third sector organisations that were unable even to bid – because of the same eccentric process that might have disadvantaged actual bidders – had been equally disadvantaged by being misled into thinking they could not responsibly bid.
Therefore the experience of the two third sector groups provides evidence which contradicts the exoneration of the process founded on the fact that no disappointed bidder had complained to the audit team.
Beyond that and on a different aspect of this matter – no one is entitled to assume that the lack of complaint and/or correspondence can safely be read as contentment with process.
Given the performance of Audit Scotland in this review, there will be those who will see no point in bothering with the Commission.
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