[Updated below] Local MSP, Michael Russell – in a press release issued this morning, is calling for the CEO of Argyll and Bute Council to see to the he removal of a Better Together [pro UK] banner from ‘a prominent position at a roundabout opposite Dunoon’s Queen’s Hall’.
Horrified by the barefaced cheek of this, the famously modest and self-effacing MSP is exercised by a meticulous care for the proprieties.
Drawing attention to the apparent lack of official consent for the banner – tied to ‘Council owned property’, the MSP notes that: ‘There are rules about this kind of thing.’
Markedly pained by this breach of protocol, Mr Russell goes on: ‘The fact is that the No campaigners have to live by the same rules as everyone else, to do differently would be sheer arrogance on their part.’
Indeed it would. Mr Russell is a legendary upholder of the ‘one rule for all’ mantra and ‘arrogance’ is known to be completely foreign to his conduct.
He finishes by saying: ‘I may stand to be corrected but I can’t imagine that Argyll and Bute Council would have given prior written permission, if they had that would be a whole other debate.’
The fascinating, one might say ironic, aspect of this is that it has emerged that Mr Russell himself neglected to ask for permission or even to inform Argyll and Bute Council of his intent, when he went in to the ‘Council owned property’ of Struan Lodge care home in Dunoon on Monday morning, 25th November, in campaign mode.
He talked there with council staff – again without the prior permission whose lack in the matter of the banner so distresses him.
This is a rather more serious breach of protocol than tying a banner in a public place; and we understand that the MSP’s ‘arrogance’? – surely not – has raised concern within the council. Internal complaints are said to be in offing.
It would seem that only some of us ‘have to live by the same rules as everyone else’.
Amusingly, the press release promises the attachment of a photograph of the offending banner – a less than politically astute move, had it, in fact, materialised.
Update 15.15: We have just heard from Mr Russell’s office that Counckil CEO, Sally Loudon, has just been in touch to say that she has ‘instructed roads staff to remove the banner’.