What you are about to read below has been published, voluntarily, if too freely, by the Leader of Angus Council, Councillor Iain Gaul, on his Facebook page – as a councillor. [If you cannot believe this, you can check it on his site here.]
This bizarre and incoherent outburst – you tell us what it means – follows and refers to Councillor Gaul’s SNP group at Angus Council losing Councillor Ewan Smith, the respected schools campaigner elected to the council as an SNP member in May 2012. Councillor Smith resigned the SNP whip last week, after his group went back on election promises on the school estate made to voters in Angus in those elections.
Ewan Smith was elected as a man of obvious principle and his action last week showed that his fidelity remains to those who elected him to look after their interests.
However, for the party whose internal manoeuverings let him down as well as their electorate, Councillor Smith’s resignation from the party group lost them their 15-14 majority. Their continuation as an administration is now a hostage to Team Angus, a cross-faction intermediary initiative intended to ensure that the best decisions for Angus are the ones that get made.
Other dramatis personae in the Gaul script below can be decoded as follows:
- ‘Bob Myles’ is the former leader of Angus Council, whose coalition of everything-but-the-SNP was deposed by Councillor Gaul’s SNP group in May 2012.
- ‘Mark Salmond’ is a councillor and member of the former ‘Angus Alliance’ coalition administration led by Councillor Myles.
- ‘David Fairweather’ is a fellow councillor and long time friend and supporter of former Councillor Peter Nield, the Education Convenor in Councllor Myles’s administration. Mr Nield’s personal vanity project of a daft new build primary school, fronting on the most dangerous road in Arbroath and which was to see the merger of Muirfield and Timmergreens schools, was defeated by the campaign led by Ewan Smith. Mr Nield himself then lost his seat to Ewan Smith.
- ‘Hospitalfield’ was the site of the proposed merged school – a merger we understand is now on the agenda of the administration of the SNP group who had previously opposed it. The site has changed from the then proposed new build at Hospitalfield to a merger on the Muirfield school site – and, either way, 232 Timmergreens tinies will be crossing the dangerous Westway bypass to get to it. It is this volte face that has driven Councillor Smith to resign the SNP whip in Angus council.
We’ll have more tomorrow on this proof of bad faith that makes a nonsense of the campaign victory Ewan Smith helped to bring about in the school closures conflict in 2011. But this is enough background detail for now, to give you the same chance as we had of making sense of this stream of consciousness upheaval on Facebook, reproduced verbatim below, from – a council leader.
Councillor Iain Gaul’s Facebook entry published 14 hours ago
‘It has been some week. Cllr Smith resigns and then all sorts of things start coming out of left field. never attack when you have a point only when you think somebody is weakened
David Fairweather reckons team Angus is dead as does Bob Myles, strange that the team Angus critics are the ones that don’t want join in for the betterment of Angus.
Bob Myles also feels completely vindicated!!! If education committee and remeber SNP do not have a majority decide not to have a super school at Hospitalfield he is going to feel and look a right eejit.
Had the Courier on Mark Salmond wants to have a rotating provost and a non administration member as depute leader all in the interest of team Angus this from a guy who hardly ever turns up I suspect his idea is more to do with team Salmond! shame its no Alex’s team. Canny wait for mair sh*te to start this week’
And that’s it.
This is a council leader speaking to his public – and a council leader who sees nothing wrong with letting loose in this manner.
What on earth is one supposed to make of this?