This email has just been sent by Robert Allan, Convenor of the SNP’s Argyll and Bute Constituency Association to all SNP councillors in the current coalition administration at Argyll and Bute Council.
The email urges SNP councillors to a particular action at tomorrow’s council meeting.
The Constituency Association Convenor’s email
I am taking the unusual step of writing to you in my capacity as Convener of the SNP Argyll & Bute Constituency, to urge you to support the motion regarding Struan Lodge in Dunoon. This has been tabled for the Council meeting on Thursday by Michael Breslin and Gordon Blair,. The constituency is offering its full backing to all SNP or Administration councillors who support the motion being taken for debate and who then support the motion itself and we would urge you to do so and not to support any amendment which weakens or contradicts the principles and objectives within the motion.
There appears to have been some misunderstanding in recent days regarding the views of the SNP Constituency Association – that is the local SNP membership – and I would not wish these to be misrepresented in the run up to such a crucial Council meeting. We have backed the general policy that the administration has taken with regard to elderly care and the changes that will need to be made in the coming years. However we remain overwhelmingly opposed to the closure of Struan Lodge and the way the matter has been handled so far.
As you will know, the closure of Struan Lodge is opposed by all parties in Cowal and across the constituency and the campaign to retain it, includes many independent councillors.
The resolution passed by the public meeting in Dunoon on 15th March (which is, substantively, the resolution tabled for the Council meeting) has virtually universal backing in Dunoon and the surrounding area and we believe it would be a major mistake if the Administration was to continue with the closure in the light of such widespread, clear and public rejection of the plan.
There is an alternative way forward for the administration which would keep Struan Lodge open whilst real work was done in the community (supported by the Council) to find a means of retaining it under a different business model.
I do hope you will consider this appeal seriously and as a result vote to keep Struan Lodge open and admitting new residents as required.
I will be at the Council meeting with SNP colleagues as part of the demonstration against the closure of Struan Lodge and I would be happy to explain the SNP position further to you on Thursday should that be helpful.
So who IS the SNP?
The Constituency Association Convenor here speaks of ‘the SNP position’ and offers to explain the SNP to recipients of his email position tomorrow.
He is talking to councillors, who happen to be SNP councillors, elected by the rest of us to govern Argyll in Argyll‘s interests – to SNP councillors leading an SNP coalition administration, to SNP councillors who, we would have assumed, are the ones who create ‘the SNP position’ in the council.
But here we have an elected and largely unknown local SNP party panjandrum calling elected councillors to order, virtually instructing them on their actions tomorrow and offering to explain to them beforehand ‘the SNP position’.
So who did we actually elect?
This mess gets worse by the minute.
Party politics, as well as the SNP, is now dead as far as Argyll and Bute is concerned. Perhaps this is no bad thing. It has certainly been distinguished only by its wholly destructive impact on local government here, throughout the short reign of this virgin SNP administration in Argyll.
And what is ‘the SNP position’ to be explained to ignorant councillors tomorrow?
It hardly needs explanation.
‘The SNP position’ in the run up to 18th September 2013, is to give the loudest shouters whatever they want. So you all know what to do now. And what Dunoon does, Islay can do in spades. Then there’s Oban. And…
This is an SNP constituency association advising SNP councillors, put in position by the general electorate for local government, to vote against an SNP administration decision to which many agreed and for which all were collectively responsible. He is also asking them to vote for a motion proposed by someone who either resigned from or was formally expelled from the party – or both; a motion seeking to overturn a policy decision agreed by a majority of councillors and proposed by an SNP administration, again by majority vote.
Where is there integrity, propriety or probity in any of this?
It is simply insane, an upside-down world, without precedent.
As a former Irish Taoiseach was wont to say – in what Dublin journalists shortened to GUBU – it is ‘grotesque, unbelievable, bizarre and unacceptable’.
But it IS the SNP.