Fortunately, I have no chance of voting this …

Comment posted on Voting by Karl Hughes

Fortunately, I have no chance of voting this time around…I say fortunately because I really do not know any of the individuals standing…and I do not trust any of the parties involved…I hate to waste a vote.
I would most probably have ended up voting for a couple of drams and the sunset.

Upon reflection 20 minutes later…I would vote for a person who has:

Climbed at least 20 Munros…Sailed from Oban to Soay in a yacht…has youngish children…rides a cycle, but owns a car…knows where a golden eagle nests…stood in the rain waiting for a bus…dagged ewes…enjoys the craic…invites friend to watch a sunset over the sea…buys a ‘Big Issue’…grows potatoes in their garden…and always answers an email…knows how to find Polaris…would help get rid of Trident and most of all admits when they are wrong…!

Karl Hughes also commented

  • whereas some candidates cannot differentiate their a**e from their elbow…

Recent comments by Karl Hughes

  • Scotland’s opportunity to be grown up in the interests of a Federal Union
    I hate to think of what the next round of campaign badges for a Federal United Kingdom, will be like…?
  • SNP irresponsibly fuelling dangerous inflammation when Scotland needs calm
    Mel Gibsons next movie no doubt :)
  • SNP irresponsibly fuelling dangerous inflammation when Scotland needs calm
    This is all getting a bit out of hand now…the people who govern us in Scotland are looking like a bunch of barnpots…

    Having poked around in twitter and some of the news feeds… a couple of point show fostering of rabble rousing within the SNP hierarchy, nothing remotely like reconcilliation.;

    Mr Salmond was the only Scottish parliamentary leader not to attend the service in Edinburgh , Swinney represent the SNP. The wee eck seems to be more interested in continuing to ferment more division and grievance within our country than national reconciliation…

    Willie Rennie has called on Salmond to “calm down” after the First minister claimed “No” voters were “tricked” into voting that way…something we were not…

    Salmond has also claimed party leaders were showing signs of” reneging on a last-minute further devolution vow”… they have not, and he currently has no rational basis to these remarks…other than to sow the seeds of discontent.

    On Friday the wee eck said he would “work constructively with other parties”. By the time he recorded an interview on Saturday he had changed his mind.

    As 1st Minister he has a real role to play in the process that is already underway… he must take some time for reflection and embrace the positive agenda for change rather than scrabbling round for a new grievance to nurse and thus foster further division…

    add to this

    A more worrying development is from the fruitcake 79er Sillars in comments on twitter…
    Sillars has called for “ Scottish independence to happen without the need for another referendum”….so much for democracy…and direct rabble rousing .

    Sillars said:” Let Yes assert new indy rule – no more ref – majority votes and seats at Holyrood 2016 are enough. What’s this about waiting a generation – indy remains on agenda now…Queenie intervened for No as she did in 1979…So no more softly-softly – we go for Republic…I’ll explain to all new #SNP recruits why the Independence Mandate matters at the next Party conference”.

    What a bunch of nuts….surely some of the 1.6m of Yes voters that manage to vote…understand the word DEMOCRACY….? all the other votes were NO….and we all understand.

  • SNP irresponsibly fuelling dangerous inflammation when Scotland needs calm
    Well if a US Navy website ” Naval History & Heritage Command” is not good enough for you I am
    done with History lessons for now. It’s actually one of the oldest surviving documents…be it 60 years out of date or whatever…

    (edit) Anyhow Mr Jones…my cause was accepted by an overwhelming majority of the Scottish people, accept it and move on…if there is in the future a real valid reason to vote yes…then logically I would vote yes…but unless I see JPJ in his full regalia steaming towards Scarinish with fire balls shooting out of his arse, and lightning bolts shooting out of his eyes…I doubt I will
    But this time around there was no rationale reason to vote YES, and there will be even less reason for independence within a devolved UK, federal Uk…or actually any other type of UK….

  • SNP irresponsibly fuelling dangerous inflammation when Scotland needs calm
    JPJ Pirate ? :) two thoughts for you and Scotland…

    First thought…the NO voters were not in general bothered about more powers…I feel there were enough, not utilised to the hilt by the SG…our votes were actually based on financial matters, uncertainty over these matters…answers never given by the YES campaign…the new powers that will be on offer were on offer two years ago…so that was already in the NO voters mind…

    Second thought:

    At the next General Election the Lib Dems will be virtually defunct… UKIP won’t play any major role…so we will have the prospect of Labour and the Conservatives holding the majority of seats in England and Wales (doubt either they will hold a majority in Scotland)

    If Scotland sent 50 SNP ( or rather social democrats, lose the SNP logo and rebrand) members to Westminster…they will almost certainly have the balance of power… and be in a very strong position to demand major policy changes for Scotland…and the entire UK…they could change the face of regional politics throughout the UK…drive de-centralisation throughout the Union…

    As the treacle tin says ” out of the bitter comes the sweet” I am not a nationalist and will never be a nationalist, however as a unionist I would be happy to see a federal UK if another layer of bureaucracy is not added and local councils are correctly utilised…

    Thoughts ?

    And a factual comment out of one of the papers that rings loud in the whole of the UK’s ears…”"A nation conversing with itself and about itself can be just as extraordinary as the decision it eventually makes. What Scotland has now bequeathed the UK is a fascinating demonstration of total political engagement in action.”
    Lets use this together and not lose the momentum…if we don’t all of the heart searching that as taken place over the last years will have been for nowt.

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34 Responses to Fortunately, I have no chance of voting this …

  1. Think you’ll find Dearest Dick wasnt the leader re Oban Airport and all the issues- this was Banks and MaCaskills baby which has burdened the people of Argyll for the next 30 years. Im somewhat surprised you failed to mention the SNP in your now somewhat tired but highly predictable Council Bash fest. Were they not in power as part of this and previous administrations therefore cupable for the list of “achievements” above? In fact I recall it was their petty squabbling that led to all 5 towns centres getting a CHORD monies, the original proposal was 10 million but they couldnt agree so lets just up the borrowing level so we can all have a marina and all weather pitch! Suppose that was all Dick’s fault too. Interested why there’s never any stories about our local NHS and the substandard services and HIGH profile bullying and serious mismanagement going on there? Oh that’s right, too many pals there. I sincerely hope the SNP do well as then there will be no hiding from the issues then, looking forward to seeing how you dress that up! When the SNP Holyrood government cut the A&B funding and reductions or cuts have to be made, who’s going to decide? There’s not a single Councillor who could lace Dick’s boots and they know it! Hence no opposition budget and a few petty opposition based on what? no more than oh my pals on Bute are losing their jobs, so a “strategic” not in my back yard, good thinking from the then leader of the opposition! Quality strategist! If every Councillor took the same attitude then no decisions will be made. I can’t wait for the 3 day twice fortnightly full council meetings to take place all via webcam (cure for insomnia just around the corner folks!) without any Cabinet type structure, the decision making will simply grind to a halt. I await with eager anticipation the minutes on the website – the honourable (used lightly) member for Cowal awoke from his/her coma and…….

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    • What happened with the first incarnation of what became CHORD is that it began as a competition with, as you say, a £10m prize pot. This was to go in major part to the winning proposal for a waterfront regeneration scheme, with a secondary amount to the next best entry.

      This was astonishingly sexy and innovative for a council – at the level of an idea.

      The trouble was that there was no ability to take it beyond an idea – to prepare the specification of practical guidelines to realise the idea. This was beyond the ability of the council – so they threw money at consultants whom they also did not know how to brief or monitor. The first set of proposals were too unable across the board to proceed so the timescale was extended and the consultants retained and tasked with helping the town teams to develop secure outline business cases.

      As matters progressed towards a conclusion, the penny belatedly dropped.

      A competition will produce a winner – but means losers and lost votes. Critically, the Dunoon bid was judged as the least capable so it was not going to win. Dunoon is of course Councillor Walsh’s own patch and that of his colleague James McQueen – there was no way lost votes were coming home to that particular roost.

      So the Council Leader stood up with a flourish at a full council meeting at which we were present and pulled a long chain of linked money out of his sleeve. He announced that all the entries were great. It was impossible to choose between them. So they were raiding the reserves to the tune of a further £20 million or so, making a pot of over £30 million. All five towns would get all get the money they had costed for their projects. Hip, Hip…

      We slammed that at the time for the fiscal irresponsibility, political cowardice and pork barrel lathering it was – and we were a lone voice amidst the universal celebrating of the prospect of the loot.

      And what has happened since?

      How many years is it exactly, from the start of the regeneration ‘competition’ to now: What has been produced in all that time? How much has this charade cost Argyll and Bute – and for exactly what – to date?

      And while the airport may have started under a previous administration, the mess that was made of it was ramped up under successive administrations led by the Alliance.

      Trying to spread blame around patently junior partners is itself an admission that blame is fully due.

      We are identifying the primary source of the canker in Argyll – and while we have said that the Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives have been greedy bottom feeders in supinely supporting Alliance decisions, we have said that they are not the primary predators.

      When the SNP were minority partners in power, they were clearly asleep on watch. But when they woke up to the reality of what was going on, they tried to persuade their senior partners of the wisdom of binning the Sneddon proposals to close 26 rural primaries.

      When they could not do so, they walked. They put the interests of rural communitiesm parents and children before their party’s role in power and before their own financial interest. In contrast, the LibDems and Conservatives have stayed in power and in the money at all costs – to others.

      We have challenged anyone to come up with a list of stellar achievements of the Alliance led administrations to counter their disasters.

      Let’s hear them. They are the only viable defence. So where are they?

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  2. I’ll be voting for candidates who will work hard for their constituents’ interests not ones intent on spending their time trying to wreck the United Kingdom

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  3. I have to agree with the majority of posters on here (never been able to say that before) Almost anyone but the ineffective and fairly talentless snp. :)

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  4. Aside from the specific failings of the current administration what Argyll & Bute also needs to rid itself of is the culture of protection that the Administration offer the CMT. Their abject failure to challenge fundamental failings in their performance and loyally push through reports which have been shown to be flawed is symptomatic of a collection of elected members who have either failed miserably to understand what their role is or are happy to support whatever rubbish is put in front of them as long as it serves their self interest.

    One of the key roles of a councillor is to challenge and scrutinise the work of the council. During the school closure farce not one of the current administration performed that role, in fact it would be easier to show that they, quite possibly deliberately, ignored it.

    Incompetent proposals, riddled with errors, without empirical evidence, legally deficient and what how did the administration deliver their role to challenge and scrutinise? They said ‘aargh bugger it, they’ll do – lets move on with it. 15 months later, after being publicly criticised by the Rural Education Commission, after Cleland Sneddon sat beside Alison Hay and was told that every main argument that was put to the Council, and rejected by the Council, was entirely valid, we are yet to hear a single member of the Administration admit they got it wrong or ask questions about why the Council CMT made such a balls up on the entire process. Hell we even have some of the Administration trying to take credit for saving specific schools.

    This administration is a made up of a number of self serving stronger personalities with the balance made up of spineless sheep. They have no moral compass and need to be purged.

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  5. Newsie – if as you say “When the SNP were minority partners in power, they were clearly asleep on watch.” Personally I think you are being very kind with your words – ‘incompotent’ and ‘way out of their depth’ might be a more apt description.

    But even if we accepted your description why on earth would anyone vote for these serial somnambulists?? Those who were asleep back then (claiming their cllrs allowance) are all back standing again!

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    • Documents – and many of them – obtained under Freedom of Information and published by us at the time, showed that the then Education Spokesperson, SNP Councillor Isobel Strong, was deliberately kept out of the loop on what was going on for a considerable time.
      This was done with the clear connivance of the Council Leader who was party to much of the correspondence in question. Had he been unaware of the manipulation, he would have expected to see the Education Spokesperson’s name on the circulation list and, properly, would have immediately insisted that she be party to the ongoing planning and discussion.
      The correspondence from which she was excluded was from sources including external ‘consultant’ Keir Bloomer, Education Director Cleland Sneddon – and more junior members of staff who obviously followed the lead given.
      This was disgracefully improper and undemocratic political manoeuvering.
      So there is nothing remotely ‘kind’ about the way we have judged the SNP – and Councillor Strong’s performance in this. Had she been proactive, present, controlling – it would have been more difficult for them to succeed in their evidenced objective of keeping her in the dark as to the closure plans – and on the discussions on how to cook the cases to be presented.
      And in case you object to that statement too, Simon – there is documentary evidence of it in the FoI documents.
      The external consultant advised the internal staff – who went on to take the advice, to suppress the fact that Minard School, one listed to close (and again in the second (Morton/Sneddon) attempt)had the third best HMIE report in Scotland.
      You may not like the picture you see above any more than we do – although for very different reasons – but it is the objective reality.
      We have asked for a counter-list of substantial achievements to match the level of these multiple failures.
      Perhaps you can produce something on that front?

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  6. Newsie – I’m not so obsessed with FA and the Council as you are – nor am I paid for my modest contributions !!!

    So I have neither the time, the staff, the records, nor the inclination to provide you with “a counter-list of substantial achievements”.

    However, if you are seriously looking for evidence of achievement – here is I think (and I know you do as well ;) ) the evidence you are looking for.

    Tricky Dicky has had his budgets passed almost unanimously every year. The raging but incompetent opposition, the same people that who rail and thunder on here and in the print media meekly vote for Tricky’s budgets – WHY?? Simply because they have neither the skill, intelligence nor ability to come up with their own alternative.

    The Council has had to make millions of pounds of savings because of decisions made by the SNP Govt. It is a tribute to Dick Walsh and his administration that they have achieved these draconian cuts.

    I have to say that that I feel that your obsession with rural primary schools has blinded you to the extent that you are actually almost unable now to make a reasonable judgement about anything that happens in the Council without you going for their jugular. Your cause-celebre has so blinded you that you will gleefully print any rubbish that seems to either blacken the Council’s name or fits-in with your view of reality – often with “we hear…” or “we understand…” as the introduction.

    As I said elsewhere on here recently it was Clinton who said “it’s the economy stupid” So, to get back to your point – the only objective reality you can use to judge is how well the administration is doing – is to ask how are they doing with their economy? Even you would have to admit they’re doing that very well indeed. C’mon even the opposition, that talentless bunch of ‘loud but dim-dunderheids’ recognise this as they all tamely troop in behind to vote, again, for the Administration’s budget.

    Have a nice day :)

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    • Newsroom asks for a list of achievements of the Council led by Cllr Walsh and all “Simon” can offer is the fact that the ruling group get their budget through??? Budgets which are only presented to the full Council on the day they have to be voted on so no time for the opposition to scrutinise them or offer alternatives (which would be voted down anyway).

      Sorry; not good enough.

      I very much hope that the electorate throughout Argyll join me in rejecting this incompetent administration and instead voting for a SNP led group. The SNP offer policies and a vision – something completely lacking in the non-independent independents.

      Time for a change

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      • Dr McKenzie: you have to make allowance for the facts that Simon is clearly quite a simple, naive and trusting fellow, so dedicated to the task of keeping us all on the straight and narrow that he frequently loses sleep worrying about our desperate state of political, intellectual and moral turpitude. Have pity, please.

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      • “The SNP offer policies and vision” and WIND TURBINES. MMmmmm – what’s up Doc – I thought you told me a few days ago on Karl’s forum that you were not tied to any political party. And Dear Robert – did you not say recently that you had Tory friends but were ‘programmed’ not to vote Conservative. Where did they stick the plug ?

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        • Malcolm: I’m not sure where you got that from. Perhaps when I commented that ARSN was not party political?

          I have been a supporter of the SNP since I was an undergraduate student at Glasgow University (a long time ago now). However, my views on renewables, climate change and energy in general has nothing to do with my view that Scotland would be better off independent or that the SNP represent the best option available for good government. My views are formed by my scientific background and my interest in ensuring that my children (and hopefully grandchildren one day) inherit a better world than the one I inherited from my parents’ generation (another thing I have been keen on since my undergraduate days).

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          • I think he may have read that you ‘…disagree with some aspects of the SNP Government’s energy policy” and assumed that meant you didn’t support them at all.

            I don’t know what he’s talking about in respect of ‘dear Robert’ – maybe it was a dream?

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        • Fortunately, I have no chance of voting this time around…I say fortunately because I really do not know any of the individuals standing…and I do not trust any of the parties involved…I hate to waste a vote.
          I would most probably have ended up voting for a couple of drams and the sunset.

          Upon reflection 20 minutes later…I would vote for a person who has:

          Climbed at least 20 Munros…Sailed from Oban to Soay in a yacht…has youngish children…rides a cycle, but owns a car…knows where a golden eagle nests…stood in the rain waiting for a bus…dagged ewes…enjoys the craic…invites friend to watch a sunset over the sea…buys a ‘Big Issue’…grows potatoes in their garden…and always answers an email…knows how to find Polaris…would help get rid of Trident and most of all admits when they are wrong…!

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  7. Six entirely negative, anonymous comtributions above, most from the exceptionally tedious Simple Simon.
    May we hope that the cloth will be over the parrot after today?

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  8. All one has to do to underlne the veracity of the main article is to check the national Audits of Scotland’s councils and note that Argyll and Bute, ruled by mainly “independent” coalitions for the vast majority of the last three decades, comes very close to the bottom all of the time.
    If one is to believe what insiders say this is a council run by intimidation and bullying in which a couple of bigwigs make all the decisions supported by a clueless selection of nonentities.

    Badly managed decline is what has happened here under successive administrations which have had no vision, no imagination and no ideas for what is undoubtedly Scotland’s most beautiful council area and an area of unlimited potential.

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    • Selective at the very least!! There are also numerous audits and league tables since the inception of Argyll and Bute Council showing individual Service areas as vastly improved or having best practice and in some case award winning!! Does this mean a jot to Joe Public? Nope because sadly Local Authorities deliver services for Auditors nowadays and not the public. The majority of Councillors are too interested in pet projects and petty squabbles and personal agenda’s to see the greater good for Argyll. The official line in terms of ABC is that it is improving however tell that to the public, so really who cares about the numerous audits – they mean he haw and our Elected representatives, like yourself, pick and choose which elements to promote. E.G. Argyll Ferries wonderful performance stats – 99.9% super smashing great but tell that to my daughter who missed college at least 5 days since January. Best result would for Argyll would be an SNP win, as I previously said then there would be no place to hide and squeaky bum time for those who think they are best placed to run an Authority. How will Mike cope, with his MSP duties, his Cabinet remit and running ABC, he only got two hands for his puppets! Upside of an SNP win is that Argyll and Bute would then have a Organised and Able OPPOSITION with Mr Walsh at the helm, something that’s currently sadly lacking! Anyway I’m off to vote SNP just for the pure fun of it!

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  9. After reading the above you are all obviously far more intelligent & competant than all of the candidates up for election today and have ALL the answers to ALL the problems at Argyll & Bute Council. Why don’t you all PUT UP OR SHUT UP! – so c’mon stop hiding behind your pc screens/silly names etc, and get off your a****s – go meet your newly elected Councillor and tell them EXACTLY how it should be done!And why are you ALL not Standing for election today?

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  10. The standard of contribution is steadily improving here.
    In particular I’m impressed by the wholehearted encouragment for us all to exchange views.
    For some people’s a**e to point downwards it would have to be under their chin.

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