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

  • Anas Sarwar: on the indyref bus with Labour on the move
    There is very little difference between any form of extremism and Facism…

    The Kurds will get their nation…they have heaps of Oil…more on the way.

    Iraq can’t manage them, Syria has basically said …yes go ahead…the Tiurks will allow a pipeline and charge them to export…whatsmore is they are opening their arm’s to displaced persons..whatever their cultural background.

    By all accounts Kurdistan is quite a different place, the people are organized and determined…well armed…the terrain is mountainous…vegetated ( green even) and has plenty of water…I sincerely wish them well.
    Anyhow…I need to switch off and watch something a bit happier before I sleep…Monty Python and the Life of Brian methinks….then dream about Family and Tiree… we are blessed to live where we live…truely blessed.

  • Anas Sarwar: on the indyref bus with Labour on the move
    You right Richard…I would be interested to know who you think the major two players are…for myself, Iran aka China…Saudia aka USA…two different branches of Islam…two different empires, one on the rise one on the wane..

    Seriously in the middle east Israel/ Palestine is a bit of a side show…a catalyst but not the main event…the Shia/ Sunni war here on the brew in Iraq will be the big one.

    The lines on the map are been re-written…from my perception of things here we are firstly seeing a religious war…but on the back of this is Oil and also not so far down the road water…it would be wrong to think that oil is the driver of this discontent, its simply a means to an end.

    And lets throw one other firework into the networking, instant communication, or if you prefer, instant misinformation…the new hearts and mind tool.

    “We are heading towards the end of the holy month of Ramadan and eidh follows…the weather starts to cool in September…the proverbial will start hitting the fan in the next 6 months” basically the words of a work friend who I called in Bagdad today…an Iraqi Shia, whom I respect and call a dear friend…he also told me he plans to move his family to Basrah…there is a food shortage in Baghdad…not because of the trouble up north…but because there are around 1 million new Shia who have moved to fight if ISIS try to attack Bagdhad in force..70% of the 7.5 million population of Baghdad is Shia…and who is arming the Shia…Iran…and who is arming Sunii..Saudia in general…

    Hayder told me on the phone that Bagdhad was quiet…only a few bombs this week ( what a way to live ) Hayder also provided me with a VPN for next time the social media gets shut down…LOL…he’s a star…
    Anyhow, its all messed up…!
    Icing on the cake:

  • Anas Sarwar: on the indyref bus with Labour on the move
    Palestine is a ghetto…not unlike Wasaw in 1940 (?) unfortunatelly, poverty supresses education and free thought is lost. We an others created this problem in 47 (?) we suffered from mass guilt over the treatment of jews in the camps…sponsored and still sponsor ( US especially ) a displaced nomadic people in a land we took them back to called Israel…just happened there was already a nomadic people there…the palestinians.

    I dare say I would strike out at Israel if I was in Gaza…but I cannot put myself in that mind set…I live on another planet…and I come from a differnt culture…I was not taught from birth to hate Israel, neither were my parents or their parents… the only way to move forward is a two state solution, it has to be a two way and the end of radicalisation of children…the chances of that given the evolving stage that islam is going through in some quarters is very, slim…education takes investment…maybe if we ( the west) invested the same in Palestine as we do in Israel…peace would find a way (?)

    In regards to ISIS here in Iraq…well the extreme elements of sunni militants all went off for jihad in Syria once the US pulled out of here nearly 3 years ago…jumped on the media invented ” arab spring” and entered the urban battle fields of Syria…Assad warned of the concequences ( did he not)…anyways, We know what the outcome of a sunni uprising was in Syria…strange it does not get more than a line in a news paper nowadays, yet thousands are dead, millions displaced….ISIS and all of there spin offs are been chased out of Syria…and are now up north and N west of Iraq….killing shia, killing christians…killing moderate sunni.
    The majority of the Iraqi army ran off…why ? because they are underpaid and sunni.
    The militia ( tribes) run Bagdad and everything south…Shia, 25 million of them, they are the army in Shia Iraq…

    Going deeper the water is now finding its own level once again…Back to the days prior to Laurence of Arabia, Gertrude Bell…and Churchills WW1second choice second front ( after Gallipolli) back to the Shia/ sunni / kurd caliphate….back even beyond the Ottoman….Libya is going back to its tribal areas too… as are so many Islamic areas.

    We drew all the lines on the map way back when without thinking about the social and cultural implications…our near ancestors have a lot to answer for.

    Anyways…back to Gaza…whats going on is terrible…but its far more complex than a few missles…you can’t have a one way peace…it has to be a two way peace. I hope for change…but cannot see change…. the planet is going bonkers.

  • Darling launching pro-union Tourism Together on Loch Lomond this morning
    Well John…extremist actions based on some sort of bastardisation or weird misinterpretation of any religion does nobody any favours…QED

    World arm trade is I am affraid outside of my remit…

    As for 3 day week…LOL…doubt I will ever be around to see that….

  • Anas Sarwar: on the indyref bus with Labour on the move
    Errrr? what on earth could be construde as been a reason is beyond me…they are not even targeted at anything other than towns and kibutzz. Hamas ramped up the problem…baited the bull etc…

    If criminal acts are a reason to launch rockets at another country…then we best build shelters now.
    Just check what is happening to the scum that killed the Israeli lads…and what is happening to the scum that killed the Palestinian lad…one is based on law, the other is based on war !

    Normal humans do not launch rockets into a country because of a criminal act caused by a few criminals.
    I like everybody else feel Israels is going OTT…but when do they not ? surely by now the Islamic extremists know the reaction that will happen ? their innocents will be caught in the cross fire….do they really care ? the extremists do not care…

    Anyhow…we agree the reaction is as ever OTT…what would be an acceptable reaction ? beats me. The world is not such a nice place at the moment…and I cant see it getting any better can you ?
    Anyhow…this blog isn’t large enough to go into the history of conflict between these two peoples…the cultural differences, religious and otherwise…the socio economics caused by politicians to suppress and manipulate the masses….

    Only option is a two state option…until then ( don’t hold your breath) the death of innocents will continue…poor people.
    Hammas are the scum of the earth…like you say…they are happy to be martyrs…and happy to take innocents with them.

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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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