18 months of effort and personal loss just …

Comment posted SNP’s Coalition for Progress now has a majority – 19 councillors by Integrity? Not in the Condemall.

18 months of effort and personal loss just became worthwhile. My kids have a better future and I look forward to them enjoying it.

Recent comments by Integrity? Not in the Condemall

  • Jackie Baillie to lead Holyrood Labour group for the time being
    The same can be said for just about all political parties.

    lets look at the SNP as there really are only two parties of note in Scotland just now.

    Salmond stands down – there only ever was one potential replacement. Sturgeon was a shoeing for the job because nobody had a hope of beating her. Not because she is outstanding and the rest only great. But because she is good and the rest either average or poor.

    Equally about being challenged from within. Don’t tell me for one second that Salmond stood for being challenged from within. He probably tolerated it less than any other leader in the country.

    You are simply describing all parties there, not just Labour.

  • So who’s in the SNP Council Group today – and should they be?
    I am not a fan of the multi member ward system. However whilst I would welcome it being abandoned I tend to think that is simply papering over the cracks. Local Government in Scotland needs a far more dramatic overhaul than that.

    32 local authorities is a ridiculous number to have for a country with a population only just exceeding 5 million. There are over 1,200 councillors in Scotland with the geographical area for local authorities ranging from about 25 square miles to about 12,500 square miles! Similarly the population ranges from about 20,000 to well over half a million.

    Cutting the number of councillors is going to make an insignificant impact to costs in the grand scheme of things. For example the total cost of councillors to A&B in 2013/14 made up about 0.7% of total employee costs. So yes there are some savings that could be made but they are not going to deliver radical savings or a material reinvestment in service delivery.

    I would kick start a major overhaul of local government by reducing the number of councils in Scotland from 32 to maybe between 15 or 20. Once we have a more manageable number of local authorities then proper consideration can be given to devolving power to them, and reintroducing more fiscal control at a local level (which should begin with abandoning the council tax freeze and reversing the centralisation of policy making that is associated with the freeze). Councils should be given the appropriate levers to determine what is strategically best for their area, reflecting local needs, in terms of increasing or decreasing taxation (and not just council tax).

    Having less councils wouldn’t totally rid us of the issue of some councils having relatively small populations compared to others (due to the geography of Scotland) but it would mean there is less power hoarded by the two big city councils. Hopefully this would result in more meaningful efforts at partnership working and shared services without the ‘little guys’ being muscled out by overpowering large councils.

    It always seemed strange to me that Scotland was moving toward being an independent country at the same time as there being ongoing centralisation of power within Scotland itself. It is a contradiction in democratic will.

  • When is Argyll and Bute going to publish its mini-count breakdown of the indy referendum vote here?
    I can understand why some people would be interested in seeing a breakdown however I personally fail to see any great value in it. We don’t need to encourage further division, quite the opposite. It was a national vote where every vote carried equal weight, I think it’s better leaving it as a national result.
  • Lifeline for wildlife – 5p per carrier bag in Scotland from today
    I have no problem with this law. If anything I don’t think it is steep enough. I was amazed at the 80% statistic and find myself questioning it’s credibility as I wouldn’t expect 5p to be much of a deterrent. I would have preferred total removal of plastic bags and the adoption of something more in.line with French supermarkets.
  • For Argyll challenge to candidates for Thursday’s Oban North & Lorn by-election
    That’s right, never mind promoting the credentials of the candidate – as long as they have the same gender!

    I don’t know Stephanie Irvine and am not for a second suggesting she is or isn’t a credible candidate. However I would wager if she is credible she would prefer for people to vote for her on the basis of what she can bring to the post rather than simply because of ‘women supporting women’

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39 Responses to 18 months of effort and personal loss just …

  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.

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    • 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.

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  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.

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  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??

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  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?

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    • 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.

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  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.

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  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

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  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.

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  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

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  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.

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  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.

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    • 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.

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  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.

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  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.

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  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.

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  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

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