Go for it, Catherine. Burn all the ears. …

Comment posted SNP’s Coalition for Progress now has a majority – 19 councillors by newsroom.

Go for it, Catherine. Burn all the ears. This issue needs a lightening strike – to be the best.

newsroom also commented

  • The example of the Alliance should never be forgotten in terms of a descent into ‘anything goes’ that should never be replicated.
    The best guarantee is Roddy McCuish’s nature which has been steadfastly honest. The challenge for him will be to hang on to that in the face of anything – and that is bound at some point to bring its difficulties.
    We have all seen politicians who have become little more than holograms after selling off any semblance of integrity. It is hard – now – to imagine the straightforward Roddy McCuish committing or permitting any departure in that direction.
    We will be as much on watch with this administration as with any other. And, as we have said, the presence of the Argyll First group is both reassurance and canary.
    It is not the number of bodies in the coalition that matters, it is the substance of those bodies.

Recent comments by newsroom

  • Can anything address the disease in Argyll and Bute Council?
    That ‘ultimate authority’, Steve, is more apparent than real.
    The majority of councillors have little idea of the detail of any issue.
    They are low paid, part timers. Many glaze over at the sight of numbers rather than words; and officers make sure to give them brick sized blocks of papers to read – and frequently at the last minute before a meeting – to keep them as uninformed as possible.
    Papers presented to council meetings carry – helpfully upfront, the officers’ recommendations on the actions to be taken – and funnily enough, those recommendations are usually nodded through by the woodentops.
    The very occasional independent minded spirit is bullied by being told serially that their motions are incompetent. They also find direct questions unable to dig out straight answers. They are forbidden to speak directly to staff on the groun but are directed to put questions to the relevant executive – who knows just how to deal with them.
    Confident and capable councillors can and do override these obstructions and insist on the authority they possess. But to make a difference you need the majority of elected members of a council to be of this calibre and self-confidence – which is rare. In general, there aren’t too many of these`; some are brand new to the job and can be easily fooled; and others have been burned off quickly by these deliberately neutralising and intimidating tactics.
    The balance of power between councillors and officers is a bit like the bad old joke: ‘What’s the difference between true love and herpes?’ Answer: ‘Herpes is for ever.’
    Councillor face regular re-election with the membership of the chamber changing from one election to the other. Officers can generally stay put, play the game, creep their way up the ladder and hang on there like a limpet.
    Time is always on the officers’ side and time is what shapes any culture.
    We are not saying a change of culture is impossible but it is very hard indeed to bring about – which is why we made this ‘emergency response to formal failure’ proposition. It’s the most effective – and achievable – approach we can think of.
  • Castle Toward decision cannot be acceptable to South Cowal community
    Most wretched of all is the fact that Castle Toward in its present state clearly is not worth more on the market than the community were able to pay for it.
    If the council were now to go on to sell it at some stage for no substantial amount more than £750k at today’s prices, having continued to pay £22.5k to £25k per month to insure and secure it while they watch its deterioration continue and accelerate – how will they account for having chosen yesterday to prevent it being sold for £750k to one if their own communities?
    And how will they account for what will inevitably be a declining population and a declining local economy in Cowal and in South Cowal?
    One thing is certain.
    It is now incumbent on this council administration to dispose of Castle Toward in very short order and for a sum very considerably in excess of what the community were able to pay.
    Councillors supporting SCCDC should now make a ritual point of formally asking the Council Leader every month, in writing, for information on the progress of disposing off Castle Toward; for information on the current marketing and sales strategy being used; and for information on the additional cost of re-marketing the property – and publish each response.
  • Too little to late – ADP extends local service providers contracts by a month
    Absolutely correct.
  • Too little to late – ADP extends local service providers contracts by a month
    They were deaf to all requests until the volume got too high.
    This is no concession. It is a desperate attempt to play a ‘Get out of jail free’ card.
    There is a lot more to come.
  • Too little to late – ADP extends local service providers contracts by a month
    There was a tendering process and an award of contract.
    The question here is whether the tendering and contract award processes were compromised in a way that would seem to indicate the possibility of a predetermined outcome. We have already published on this and will shortly be adding to that in a second piece.

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39 Responses to Go for it, Catherine. Burn all the ears. …

  1. A new dawn – I just hope that the SNP group don’t ever forget that once upon a time they were in bed with Walsh & co, and resist any future temptations to make inappropriate pacts with unsuitable partners – or their past will come back to haunt them.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • The example of the Alliance should never be forgotten in terms of a descent into ‘anything goes’ that should never be replicated.
      The best guarantee is Roddy McCuish’s nature which has been steadfastly honest. The challenge for him will be to hang on to that in the face of anything – and that is bound at some point to bring its difficulties.
      We have all seen politicians who have become little more than holograms after selling off any semblance of integrity. It is hard – now – to imagine the straightforward Roddy McCuish committing or permitting any departure in that direction.
      We will be as much on watch with this administration as with any other. And, as we have said, the presence of the Argyll First group is both reassurance and canary.
      It is not the number of bodies in the coalition that matters, it is the substance of those bodies.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  2. Crazy; Hope you’ve got your tin hat on for when the surfers and trolls start throwing their toys out of their cots!!
    Voters in Dunoon have a clear choice now, conflict or Coalition for Progress.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  3. No fair!!
    There goes my hope of a SUPER School based in H’burgh which can accomodate 199000 children from sunday evening to friday afternoon.
    Mortons? are you reading this??

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  4. Hooray for the coalition and the honest-as-the-day-is-long postie McCuish. Looking round the virtual room containing them all I see so many people I trust. I can’t remember when we last had a council ruling group I could say that about! Now I am going to burn their ears off about protecting our amazing heritage and celebrating our astounding culture. Who will they get to lead that particular charge?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • you will not be alone Catherine… there was plenty of support for what we have in the landscape around us this weekend by the Scottish Place Names Society conference.
      Some of us may only be small voices but together we have the most vital message to shout about.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  5. To quote Private Fraser,”We’re doomed”.

    I predict that turnout in Cowal will be very low. The exercise will be largely pointless.

    It certainly raises the question of whether in the case of the death of a candidate the whole council election should be postponed and not just the ward.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  6. OK, wishlist time! Who do we want in the leadership roles?

    I think George Freeman should definitely get some kind of leaders post back for all that he lost and gave up.

    We need able people to deal with the Officers who unexplicably think they are in charge – hahaha – to be a fly on the Kilmory walls this morning!

    Answers on a postcard

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  7. Friday evening I was feeling a bit deflated with the results. Come Monday and I am euphoric. Same results but a different outcome. I am so glad that Cllr Elaine Robertson has joined the Coalition (the good one that is!). She is held in great respect in North Argyll but her membership of the Alliance was straining relationships. Early signs that Roddy is going to make an excellent leader of the Council.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  8. What a breath of fresh air we now have to get the good guys back in Cowal on Thursday and really give Dick Welsh the message closed door nepotism in our council is finished

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  9. Great news. Hope they put James Robb in charge of the Helensburgh and Lomond Area Committee.

    Small point: Rosneath’s Robert McIntyre is not new to local politics. He represented Rosneath and Clynder on a previous local authority.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  10. Good morning folks how about some predictions.
    Dick Walsh will pull out of the election on Thursday as he would rather do the garden now.
    Duncan MacIntyre will retire and buy a boat to tour the west coast looking for potential pontoon sites.
    By election in the North and with the backing of Lowry and JayC, Donald Melville will sail in with the help of his new kayak.
    Or will Easdale go for Independence and elect Duncan as El Presidentee? Who said life in Argyll was quiet, all we need now is Trump moving to Tiree to build a new golf course and Murdock to buy the Oban Times and we have the lot.
    Power to the People.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • Awww thanks for thinking of me but alas I’m in the wrong ward for my vote to count. Power to the people, well 93% of them anyway! Have a nice day.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  11. I would not be so hasty. Mr Walsh has, in the past, shown himself to be a very shrewd operator. And it is not unheard of for people who did think they would go with one grouping to then change their minds.

    So while this McCuish coalition looks *probable*, I would wait until after the Dunoon count before cracking open the bubbly.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  12. For Neil MacIntyre and Mairi, there are some members of the Alliance who are “person non grata” and who would not be welcomed into the new coalition. Prior to Friday there were six. That has now reduced to four. It does not take a genious to work out who they are.

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  13. Hi DB, your “drunken lecture” and the advice from other community contacts on Friday and Saturday would have helped. I did spend some time on the phone late on Saturday night and standing on Peaton Hill on Sunday morning explaining the various options to Robert. I have no doubt that along with me, he has taken the best decision as far as his constituents are concerned. After all, it is our communities and our constituents who are the most important people.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  14. Well, well – it looks like a new administration in Kilmory. The best of luck to them – given the challenges the area faces – they’ll certainly need it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  15. I hope the new coalition brings the new approach that Kilmory needs and the correct persons are given the jobs that will turn round Argyll and Bute and help people who elected this new grouping

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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