First Minister’s call for ‘grown up politics’ countered by order – from the top

On Radio Clyde News at 11.00am yesterday morning, 8th June, First Minister Alex Salmond said that ‘grown up politics is about working with opponents’.

Correct as this is, it indicates that the First Minister is asleep at the wheel. Mr Salmond can have no idea that, at the highest level within his own party, working with opponents has been expressly forbidden, with mass suspensions and overt threats of loss of party membership to support it.

An authoritative source in Edinburgh has, since the First Minister’s radio statement, confirmed to us that the decision to order SNP councillors in Argyll and Bute not to collaborate with Liberal Democrats and Conservatives was taken by a high level sub-group of the party’s National Executive Committee: Cabinet Secretary for Finance, John Swinney MSP; Communities Minister Derek Mackay MSP; and local MSP Michael Russell MSP.

This decision was taken on the basis of advice from Mr Russell to the other two – who have  no personal knowledge of the area and who rely on ‘the local man’ to inform them of opinions on the ground.

Mr Swinney and Mr Mackay were apparently advised that local SNP branch activists would not tolerate such collaboration and that their members would leave the party.

This advice given to Mr Swinney and Mr Mackay appears to have been the foundation for what is a wholly inconsistent ruling for Argyll and Bute, since, as we have shown, the SNP is in coalition with both Liberal Democrats and Conservatives in other councils across Scotland.

The advice is given the lie by the fact that, as we recently reported, five of the eight SNP branches – Oban, Mull, Helensburgh, Campbeltown and Dalriada – are offering support to their councillors to work with whoever they feel will assist them in producing the best governance for Argyll and Bute.

These five branches embrace three of the four administrative areas in Argyll and Bute, leaving only the three branches in Cowal and Bute, the fourth administrative area and the one where Mr Russell lives and holds sway.

The Cowal branches of Strachur, Bute & Cowal and Holy Loch continue alone to oppose SNP councillors wishing to work collaboratively with councillors in the Argyll, Lomond and the Isles group. Some but not all councillors in this group may personally vote Lib Dem or Conservative  but do not now organise in party-affiliated groups.

The local MSP and those influenced by him in Cowal and Bute have been working to get the SNP group out of office and into the calm waters of opposition. There, all they would have to do would be to criticise others rather than take responsibility for the government they sought at the last council election.

The objective is, at all costs, to protect the vote for independence in September 2014 from any adverse public reaction to necessary but unpopular decisions.

Many party activists now realise that this top-down driven strategy will make the party unelectable in Argyll and Bute next time around. Such awareness is fuelling the support for the nine out of eleven SNP councillors who wish to deliver responsible local government. The spread of this support has alarmed the Obergrupenfuhrers.

The result of this alarm is an extraordinary edict issued by the SNP Constituency Association Convener and the local MSP: that, without them being present, branch chairs may not meet.

This alone should make it clear to Mr Swinney and Mr Mackay exactly where the source of discord and opposition is coming from to the collaborative working the First Minister is on the record as wishing to see.

Mr Russell has previously denied having anything whatsoever to do with the specific forbidding of Argyll and Bute SNP councillors to collaborate with Liberal Democrats and Conservatives.

Only Mr Russell’s two colleagues in this daft proscription will know the extent to which they have been misinformed of the situation that has led to the meltdown of coherence in the party group in Argyll and Bute Council – and of Mr Russell’s own very active role in orchestrating the bitter internal divisions.

When Councillor James Robb was elected Council Leader in January 2013, Mr Russell, who is known to have a profound antipathy to Mr Robb, set out to undermine him and to inflame the public against the collective decisions of the administration Councillor Robb led.

The poisonousness of Mr Russell’s attitude to Councillor Robb was shown at the SNP Constituency Meeting last Sunday, 2nd June, when the MSP proposed a motion of no confidence in Mr Robb – who is now simply an SNP councillor for Helensburg Central – and who has had unwavering support from his constituents.

The motion was resoundingly defeated in a vote.

When we were first told of this incident we discounted it because we could see no reason why the MSP would continue to pursue a colleague whom he had already made sure was unhorsed as Council Leader. We have, however, had the incident confirmed to us, with the explanation that the rules allow for members to put motions of no confidence in individual councillors as well as in leaders.

The personal viciousness in this situation is not only distasteful but has been the driver of an extraordinarily prolonged period of self destruction within the SNP group at the council.

The majority of the group are currently doing all they can to hold things together and to build constructive collaborative working relationships – for the good of Argyll – under the naturally inclusive Councillor Roddy McCuish who, is again the elected Council Leader.

The party hierarchy should also be alerted to the reality of the situation here by the fact that this group of councillors includes all three who have led the group or SNP coalition administrations within the last year.

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91 Responses to First Minister’s call for ‘grown up politics’ countered by order – from the top

  1. No local authority should have its operations controlled by any political party. The extent to which the SNP centrally sees it as its role to dictate terms to local areas is frankly staggering. It’s undemocratic and deserves to be exposed as widely as possible. I’d expect all local and national papers to be relaying this story to their readers too.

    Now, the standard response from many SNP loyalists to this observation is to to cry “But Labour/ Tory/ Lib Dems [delete as appropriate] do this too”. Not only do I dispute that this is the case – and they need to provide evidence that it is – but it is infantile to argue that because another party behaves unacceptably it’s ok for them to do so too. That really would represent a fast race to the bottom, a secure way to the lowest of moral standards.

    Like the man in the dock saying to the judge “My crime was just the same as what I believe others have done”. Not a defence. He’d be rightly condemned.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 24 Thumb down 6

  2. And let us not forget the support that Mike Mackenzie MSP has also given to Mike Russell in this very sorry affair.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 27 Thumb down 7

  3. There’s only one answer – the ANP (Argyll National Party) – to challenge remote manipulation from a bunch of self-interested Edinburghers who couldn’t give a toss for the real concerns in this part of the world.
    With Islay’s revenue, and a reinvigoration of local politicians to winnow out the dead wood and crooks, we could make a go of it.
    Mind, we’d have to watch the rotting effect of ingrained cronyism in the civil service, but politicians committed to addressing the real issues could go a long way to nailing this in due course – and there’s the little matter of the infection of political rabies that seems to have the tail wagging the dog in some of the larger urban areas. Dump Helensburgh, maybe – or even consider abandoning Dunoon, which has been slowly drifting away from the rest of Argyll ever since the steamers made it an integral part of the Clyde conurbation?

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 9 Thumb down 11

    • So it’s a battle for the position of First Minister and Mikey Boy Russell is the challenger,blatently reversing Salmond’s edicts without let or hinderence. Truely the Captain has lost command of his ship, it’s time to breakout the cutlesses and small arms. Et tu Brute !!

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 19 Thumb down 8

  4. I hope that all the independents and Tories and labour councillors make sure that they Keep the SNP in administration as a lesson to everyone who wants a easy ride in power. This is what they fought for at the last election (we can do a better job of running the Area)?

    Okay if your found out that you actually don’t have the depth of experience to do that and need to run from that position, not able to take the strain then you have failed. Three leaders in one year is massive failure on a grand scale.

    Do the powers that be think that if they get out of power they will b anything but a failure. Do they actually think that the majority of Argyll voters would vote for independence based on this mess they have made in Argyll todate. This seems not to be a worry by Alex Salmond who obviously has no interest in Argyll and our lives here.

    If only we could express a no confidence vote in the SNP we really need a clear out

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 25 Thumb down 7

  5. Fair comment on the sorry state we have in Argyll at the moment and a fair amount of SNP supporters would surely agree as they will be bewildered at the almost daily nonsense that seems to surface.
    Sadly in my view the holy grail of the Referendum has been the catalyst for the mayhem and the stupid and unworkable idea not to take any unpopular decisions before the vote next year has put the SNP at each others throats.
    Nobody can suspend services or delay decisions which are vitally important and expect Argyll to roll over, these days are gone. The school closures should of been a wake up call for all of our politicians that you have to challenge the officers and their competence as a united force to save our communities and build and sustain Argyll for the future so our kids right through to our elderly have the best we can provide.
    Once the Referendum is out of the way we might have a chance of sanity returning and all sides will hopefully get round the table and work for everybody in Argyll especially without Big Brother watching us.
    Cheers Neil.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 8 Thumb down 10

    • Neil, who is not holding the officials to account and believing every thing they say? Your pal Roddy McCuish and prior to him James [I am the only one who knows the figures] Robb. Remember his diatribe in the QUEENS HALL IN DUNOON.
      “The Folks on the stage were all Liars.” His words not mine.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 2

  6. Good grief – I sincerely hope we don’t have to wait until after September 2014 before decisions are made! This must mean that the SNP knows that very difficult decisions have got to be made but don’t want to admit it.
    Don’t forget, Mike Russell supported the closure of some schools in Argyll before all the uproar broke out.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 16 Thumb down 7

  7. I deliberately do not visit this site given its obsessive personal malice towards me and its clear political prejudice against the SNP. However occasionally someone tells me of yet another nonsensical but offensive piece of misrepresentation perpetrated by Lynda Henderson under her wholly inaccurate nom de plume “newsroom”. I look at it and marvel that any individual is able to write so much that is wholly untrue.

    This “story” is another example of her shameless but shameful deliberate blending of very little fact with lashings of fiction. Some items are simply wrong whilst others are actually the opposite of what happened . One or two have the tiniest, minuscule grain of truth in them but then that is utterly mis-represented either deliberately because of the highly personal bias Lynda Henderson shows towards me in particular and the SNP in general in all that she writes and/or because she is as far from being a real journalist with professional standards as it is possible to get.

    I make these points simply to inform any impartial reader that they should always get corroboration before believing anything they read on this site . Had Lynda Henderson sought such corroboration from me – as someone named – she would not have been able to publish any of this farrago of rubbish.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 14 Thumb down 34

    • Ah – another desperate spinner singing my name.
      When one is serially critical of the evidenced performance of a senior public servant, it need not, as in this case it does not, mean personal bias.
      It means simply that there is a problem with serial failure, serial irresponsibility and serial bullying – as in the repeated calls for the scalps of those who have offended and the repeated attempts to destroy honourable councillors who are independent minded.
      Smearing by trying to personalise difficult issues – playing the man – is the prevalent modus operandi and I am mercifully so insignificant as to be impervious to it.
      I do not see the world remotely in personal terms. I see it in terms of where there is and is not integrity, capability, strategic intelligence, trustworthiness – and self interest.
      I am perfectly capable of keeping those issues apart from my personal attitude to anyone.
      I bear you personally no ill will whatsoever nor have I reason to do so.
      Politically, on your performance, I judge you to have signally failed Argyll.
      In coming to this conclusion I instance two major issues:
      - the part you have played in the collapse of your party in office and the consequent destabilisation of the governance of Argyll;
      - the unhelpful extent to which you have deliberately and serially encouraged Dunoon to see itself as entitled to expect to get what it wants at all times and without regard to the condition and needs of Argyll as a whole and of its other equally needy areas.
      This has done Dunoon no favours and has created unhelpful rivalries and divisions between the constituent areas of Argyll, where the imperative is for the four administrative areas to work together in collaboration and trust.
      I find this a deeply damaging legacy; and, ironically, there is no doubt whatsoever that the greatest damage of all has been done to your own party – of which so many of us, myself included, had such high hopes.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 30 Thumb down 11

      • Lynda Get off your high Horse Independent minded councillors shoul;d be independent not in a party where the party machinery gets them elected that goes for all of them not just the SNP. Don’t like the party LEAVE IT. That goes for all of them. Change your elected status go independent or better still resign and cause a bi-election. Never know we might get Neil Macintyre in the council

        Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 4 Thumb down 18

      • Hi Lynda how are are the resignations that you reported on fairingover the past 2 months?

        Can’t hear how many? — Zero

        How many apologies?—-zero

        Nuffield said

        Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 9 Thumb down 17

        • For those that tick thumbs down what part isn’t right!

          must be instinct to tick box without reading or understanding the point !,

          Thumbs up!

          Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 6 Thumb down 15

      • Lynda – your response is evasive, priggish nonsense which effectively proves my original point.

        If anyone wants any more evidence I would merely suggest that your readers go through each piece you have published concerning me , naming me, or covering the SNP in the last year and the proof will be self evident. Moreover in each of those pieces I could point out factual inaccuracies which are so serious that they completely invalidate your criticisms. That is not spin – that is provable fact.

        I work for the whole of my constituency and try to help every part of it. Your so called “journalism” now helps no one.

        In truth, Lynda, For Argyll has become all the things you disliked when you started it – vindictive, arrogant, divisive , sloppy, factually inaccurate , personally biased and deeply politically prejudiced. I feel sorry for you that you have failed so completely to achieve your original noble aim. But more sorry for this area which is being being served so badly by what was once such a bright hope.

        Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 17 Thumb down 27

        • A very simple point of fact:
          Our object in starting For Argyll had nothing to do with the characteristics you instance which we do not recognise as present in the major media outlets in Argyll, then or now.
          What you attribute to us has nothing to do with any thought we have ever had or with any statement we have ever made at any time – and therefore must be your own view. It appears to us to be an unfortunate defamation of the pre-existing media.
          Our purpose in starting For Argyll was singular – to work to share news and views across the territory in an effort to help to create a unitary identity for a place that did not have one identity but many – and which would clearly benefit from the cohesion that a single identity would bring.

          Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 25 Thumb down 7

          • Another smokescreen Lynda. You still haven’t defended your piece because you can’t. If those who comment here really want detail on the issue of accuracy, then here are just some of the proveable falsehoods in the item:

            Fact : I am not a member of any sub committee or sub group of the NEC nor am I a member of the NEC.

            Fact : Helensburgh Branch is not part of Argyll & Bute CA

            Fact : There is no “Bute & Cowal” Branch of the SNP

            Fact : The June 2nd Meeting of the CA voted without dissent to recommend to Councillors not to enter into any arrangement with Tory & Liberal Councillors. Amongst branches represented were Oban & Campbeltown.

            Fact : There is no edict from me regarding meetings of branch chairs

            Fact : I did not propose a motion of no confidence in anyone at the CA.

            Fact : No such motion was voted on so it could not have been ” resoundingly defeated”.

            It therefore follows that all the suppositions and inferences based on the falsehoods in the piece are wrong too. They are designed to paint me and the SNP in the worst light but they are constructed on shifting sand.

            I rarely comment on your so called stories – seeing your obfuscating and arrogant reaction there is not much point – but from time to time it is important to lay down a marker so that the casual reader – as opposed to those who are part of the political fray – can at least consider whether your pages contain news or mere malicious gossip.

            From accounts of meetings that never took place to false allegations about things I have meant to have said you have been proved wrong again and again but you have never apologised and never corrected your copy. That is shameful and very destructive – but to your reputation rather than mine.

            Once more today you ducked doing the right thing and setting the record straight.

            I am never afraid of debate or discussion. I welcome robust exchanges of views . But underpinning everything must be truth, seen often from different angles admittedly, but truth none the less. Mutual respect is also a pre- requisite for progress.

            That may appear to be “protesting too much”. But truth is worth protesting for.

            Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 16 Thumb down 15

          • This is largely playing with words and with different ways of describing roles, actions and procedures.
            We are content that the essence of what we have published reflects accurately the picture where external interventions, internal divisions and diverging views on elected responsibilities have left the governance of Argyll a matter of concern to its residents and to Audit Scotland.

            Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 16 Thumb down 8

          • Given that you are using shifts of fine description to allow you the decoy of denying the peripheral while being unable to deny the central thrust of your actions, it seems helpful to provide the details which reveal the lack of substance and the deceptions in your response above:

            ‘Fact : I am not a member of any sub committee or sub group of the NEC nor am I a member of the NEC.’
            While this is technically correct, you were consulted on the Argyll and Bute SNP councillors working with the Argyll, Lomond and the Isles Group and you scotched it. Mr Swinney and Mr Mackay are correctly identified by us in their involvement. The party hierarchy had generally been in favour of the SNP councillors’ collaboration until your intervention. This leaves you personally responsible for the embarrassment of their wildly inconsistent ruling in forbidding collaboration with LIberal Democrats and Conservatives in Argyll and Bute alone. This cavalier lack of even apparent consistency in political policy has damaged the credibility of the party as a whole.

            ‘Fact : Helensburgh Branch is not part of Argyll & Bute CA’
            Firstly, we did not describe the Helensburgh branch as being ‘part of the Argyll and Bute Constituency Association’. That is of no account to us. We described it as being one of the branches in Argyll and Bute council territory – which it is and which is wholly germane. While you are again technically correct in the most sterile fashion, the political impact of your position on this is extraordinarily cack handed. The Argyll and Bute local authority area includes part of the Holyrood constituency of Dumbarton but the political parties organise on Holyrood/Westminster lines. Adopting here an escape route for yourself as a denier of the irrelevant, makes public an attitude which is essentially dismissive of the right of the Helensburgh SNP branch to be heard in the actions of the SNP councillors the area has elected to represent it and to lead its governance. This bizarre stance bins the voice of a third of the population of Argyll and Bute and one of its four administrative areas – a totally unacceptable perspective, were democracy to be of any concern. We are aware that the boundary issue – an arcane matter that comes from what is now obviously a bad fit of party politics with local government responsibilities – has created, in the local SNP organisation, what is supposed to be a liaison committee. The Helensburgh branch sends a representative – but such meetings are rarely held. The reality is that you have personally held sway over the other party branches in Argyll and Bute, through your grip on the Constituency Association. There is now an expressed grass roots resistance to the CA line from all the branches other than those in Cowal.

            ‘Fact : There is no “Bute & Cowal” Branch of the SNP’
            If it were of any great account, this is technically correct since we called the fourth one Bute & Cowal instead of just ‘Bute’ – along with the three Cowal branches of Dunoon, Holy Loch and Strachur.

            ‘Fact : The June 2nd Meeting of the CA voted without dissent to recommend to Councillors not to enter into any arrangement with Tory & Liberal Councillors. Amongst branches represented were Oban & Campbeltown.’
            This is not correct. Attendance was very poor at that meeting and only a few of your own cohort supported the proscription. It was a fudged issue as it did not address the specific issue of a relationship with the new Argyll, Lomond and the Isles Group. Councillors present did not object because, knowing that there were no longer Lib Dem or Conservative groups in Argyll and Bute Council, they saw the recommendation as irrelevant. This showed a much more focused political intelligence than was evident in the proscription you persuaded your party’s hierarchy to adopt and which has done it a great deal of damage.

            ‘Fact : There is no edict from me regarding meetings of branch chairs’
            This is essentially incorrect as you have tried to stop the grass roots rebellion by suggesting that it is against the rules for branch conveners to talk to each other.

            ‘Fact : I did not propose a motion of no confidence in anyone at the CA.’
            This is also essentially incorrect. You suggested the motion but could find no seconder for it, so your move came to nothing – which is why we described is as having been ‘resoundingly defeated’.

            ‘Fact : No such motion was voted on so it could not have been ” resoundingly defeated” ‘
            Since there was no sustainable motion there was of course no vote and nothing will be minuted. The fact that you could not even get a seconder for your motion to get it off the ground is rightly described as a ‘resounding’ defeat. You didn’t even get this unpleasant little act of personal vindictivenessto the table.

            Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 19 Thumb down 6

        • I note with interest in your reply to Lynda in which you claim that “I work for the whole of my constituency and try to help every part of it.” Well then instead of suggesting that readers go back and check the facts for themselves, why not get off your backside and do as you claim “I could point out factual inaccuracies which are so serious that they completely invalidate your criticisms. That is not spin but provable fact.” Go on then do some honest work for the people of Argyll and prove to them that they are being led astray by that wicked witch The Very Competant Journalist Lynda Henderson.

          Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 24 Thumb down 11

        • Sorry, Mike Russell, but I believe you are now sounding desperate.
          For Argyll does a great job of promoting the whole of Argyll and Bute to those of us who live here and those who live elsewhere. We are pretty much kept up to date with most of the important issues and events taking place across the whole patch, which is some feat.
          Evidence shows that the website has a significant following, which suggests that, whether one agrees or disagrees with Lynda’s articles, there are many interested in what she says.
          Disappointingly, at the moment the SNP has proved a disaster for Argyll. We need a strong administration during these extremely difficult economic times and all we have had so far is a group of SNP councillors fighting between themselves. You have not denied your involvement and therefore we can assume that you have played your part in this causing this chaos.
          Clearly Lynda keeps her ears to the ground and hears a variety of views and opinions. Her view is quite clear: the people of Argyll and Bute should have access to information; be able to exchange information and debate topics; be able to express our own thoughts. In my opinion, the For Argyll website is an enormous asset for us all.
          Thank you Lynda. Please keep up the good work -you’ve obviously done something right with this topic!

          Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 31 Thumb down 11

        • What a vile, hateful response. That a senior government minister, instead of giving a detailed, measured response to the ‘inaccuracies’ he claims, would try to belittle and delegitimise a voter and taxpayer is almost unbelievable.

          Almost. Because this sort of play-the-man tantrum is what passes for our public discourse these days. It is as depressing as hell, and, such is the general talent, or lack thereof, of our political class, I cannot see it being fixed any time soon. And that can only point to a very bleak future for our society.

          Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 23 Thumb down 10

          • And this person is supposed to be the minister responsible for education in Scotland. It’s no wonder he’s having problems with the teaching union!

            Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 13 Thumb down 7

        • Can you give us your support to Help the Heroes and save Struan Lodge. No mention of it in your post
          This and the Kilmory power struggle caused by it. You alone, have intentionally have papered over the cracks. Give us practical support to protect elderly care and less of your back biting waffle.
          I post as an elderly SNP member. More power to the editor for exposing your charlatan behaviour and attacks on elderly care service provision

          Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 9 Thumb down 8

      • Newsie –you do not speak for Cowal or Dunoon as your previous guff comments over the past few months has shown–ask the residents of Struan Lodge of they think FOR ARGYLL (What a laugh)is impartial

        I keep asking this BUT YOU NEVER RESPOND–please try this time—

        Are you subject to the same rules as the written press i.e Press Commission–YES or No?

        Are you— sorry “For Argyll” subject to any other rules governing such items as

        makey up stories from a fermented imagination?
        Using Radio Clyde as you news source outwith Argyll?
        Acting in cahoots with Past Leaders of ABC in order to discredit others?

        As questions I hope you would be able to respond –if not –no change then.

        Your Editorial Policy states that
        “..We only sit on the fence when there is nowhere else to go. Our general policy is to back the case with the greatest merit, noting any significant contra-indications but not attempting to construct an artificial ‘balance’” I think you have forgotton the last bit.

        Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 12 Thumb down 18

    • MR RUSSEL ,
      Seems to me that the you have not made any point at all…simply squirmed your way into the political vacous speel that you and your ilk always revert to…Simply correct anything you see as subjective….Politics and politicians … your self included seem to have forgot you work for us…the folks who pay your wages…so earn your coffers and put some meat on the NEWSIE post……

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 26 Thumb down 9

    • “I make these points simply to inform any impartial reader that they should always get corroboration”

      Mikey, your more than a pixel short of the full picture. Impartial readers? Tell us who? lol

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 4

  8. What absolute nonsense! But you are doing a good job for the unionists. If all this were true there would be genuine cause for worry, but it’s almost a parallel universe on here.
    Most branches have passed no motion on the subject. Give them a phone. We’re not hard to find. Do the work and get the facts. Relying on some rambling informant does you no justice at all.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 12 Thumb down 16

  9. So only a few SNP members from the Bute, Dunoon, Holy Loch and Strachur branches now not supporting their SNP council group. Real hope now for good local government in Argyll and Bute. Please do give them a phone.
    Independence for Cowal and Bute with border controls!

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 2 Thumb down 13

    • You and Newsie belong to each other strangers to the truth, sanctimonious even delusional, did you really think that Ellen Morton James Robb and his buddy Gary Mulvaney the Helensburgh three are good for Argyll. get a life

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 11 Thumb down 9

  10. In his rant Michael Russell MSP does not actually say where the report is factually wrong. Good job newsie.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 23 Thumb down 7

    • If as you state that this is true, puts it along side the majority of what Newsie tries to imply is news. Ever thought why nobody from the nationals ever gives her any space?

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 6 Thumb down 11

    • See my post above where Newsie has factually got it all wrong. At least she is consistent

      Radio Clyde is her source of news !

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 11 Thumb down 19

    • j cloth

      where did this top notch investigative journalist base her fantasy stories on –a 2 minute broadcast on Radio Clyde !!!Ha Ha —she must be joking!! or I wish she was.
      Personally I read this stuff for a laugh then watch the ukip/tory/ liblab brigade respond.

      NEWSIE— have you any staff on FOR ARGYLL any more? –Personally I have heard on the grapevine from Oban/Helensburgh that they have all resigned —-or at least they should have if they have any integrity left—or since I think they should have resigned and they haven’t it just proves what cowards they are—

      Sorry for the rant—I have no idea were I could have got the idea from……………………………..

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 8 Thumb down 8

  11. Mr Russell says he could point out factual inaccuracies – please do so Mr Russell!

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 20 Thumb down 8

  12. If it wasn,t so sad it would be funny but to get an endorsement from short and sweet will obviously help my election chances and to be mentioned on this post alongside Michael Russell well the sky,s the limit.
    Just away for a wee nap the excitement is just to much to take.
    PS. It,s amazing how sometimes statements you put into the public domain can come back to haunt you.
    I don,t think you will be on his Christmas card list Lynda.
    Cheers Neil.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 8 Thumb down 7

  13. As with John Semple in an earlier post all we ever hear is “there’s nae truth in it” – now it’s our MSP. When are these politicians going to realise that it’s truth the electorate want not non-statements in John Semple’s case and bilious waffle in the case of Mike Russell. These guys expect our votes – unbelievable!

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 18 Thumb down 9

  14. Neil
    You will have to wait a few years Fred likes the money for nothing culture too much!

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 12 Thumb down 6

  15. Been out in the clear air of the Knapdale hills all afternoon and come back to all this.
    I wonder if there’s any chance that Mr Russell could issue a concise explanation of how he sees his role – as elected to represent us in the national government, and as a government minister – relating to the activities of members of the same party who’ve been elected to the local authority?

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 14 Thumb down 6

  16. No response from Mr Russell which can be taken as more empty bluster. H2O perhaps you can ask him if he still thinks the Council should stop running Struan Lodge. But only if you get a grown up’s permission first.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 12 Thumb down 6

    • j cloth

      Thanks I am certain you will find enough courage to speak to him yourself –if you haven’t already done so. Your patronising comment is very similar to others I have seen –surely you haven’t been using another alias?
      Nighty night

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 6

  17. You know something stinks when the high-heid-yins wade in to try and discredit this site from saying the things they don`t w ant heard.

    Want to know something? Newsnetscotland had an article recently about infighting at Glasgow City Council. They would not publish any of my comments comparing to A n B. Funny that.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 15 Thumb down 5

      • No need, they have a canned text ready to go. It`s the way they roll, no skin off my nose. Amazing how they screen post when they accuse the BBC of similar.

        Says it all really.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 5

  18. This is much like a Roman Amphitheatre. No requirement for evidence. Just a lot of thumbs down and some angry, self righteous yelling.

    I guess there’s no point in asking you to actually contact anyone to find out about the large areas of agreement and cooperation stretching from Campbeltown to Dunoon and through Dalriada to Oban? Or to get sight of our MSP’s crammed diary? Or ask about some of the great work done by our councillors?

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 9 Thumb down 18

    • This is no more than a ‘special pleading’ whinge, Anne.
      If you wish to elevate the mixture of reasoned critique and pretty mild responses you get here to the exaggerated status of gladiatorial sport, you might address the question of what protection was available to David Macbrayne Group CEO Archie Robertson, or to Kirk Ramsay Chair of Stow College, or to SNP Council Leader [first time round] Roddy McCuish, or to SNP Council Leader James Robb when Mr Russell called for their heads or decided he wanted them out? Each of these men was pressured from their job in a manner that was public bullying. That hardly equates to expressions of disapproval amounting to a few thumbs down.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 17 Thumb down 7

        • This is superficially correct but fundamentally in error,.
          Councillor McCuish chose to step down – but because of the pressure put on him, the interventions, the internal abuse and shenanigans.

          Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 9 Thumb down 7

          • And you know this how? Have you talked to Roddy McCuish about this in person? Has he published anything that supports this? Or is this more of the “reliable source” guff?

            Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 8 Thumb down 11

          • Ok Newsie and I suppose he was forced into taking up the leadership again. You must be on the drink. Every thought of interviewing Roddy?

            Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 8 Thumb down 7

          • and which he continued with on his return as leader !! because of the pressure put on him, the interventions, the internal abuse and shenanigans, ………..(that can’t be right?)……….on the other hand he still gets paid for running the council……

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 5

  19. “The objective is, at all costs, to protect the vote for independence in September 2014 from any adverse public reaction to necessary but unpopular decisions”
    It is, thanks to the Westminster politicians brokering the terms of the referendum there is no choice for the more devolutionists, it’s a straight YES or NO, not a vote for an eternal SNP governed Scotland or ‘NO’ option on the ballot come 2014.
    Yet again the deliberate misleading “Your voting for the SNP if choosing yes in 2014″
    I have absolutely no doubt Mike Russell, most decent minded responsible and morally directed SNP councillors and SNP branch members would vehemently oppose the despicable decision to uproot settled 90+ year olds from their council run home regardless of which part of Argyll & Bute it was in.
    All who have and still participate in exhausting all other avenues before taking what was initially an ill-informed decision are doing exactly what we voted them for. I question the integrity, motives, morals and intellect of those who persist with the axe sharpening.
    The witch hunt of Mike Russell and all things genuinely SNP related is clearly underpinned by an anti-independence agenda designed only to discredit and half-inform like a Pravdaesq “Truth” news site.
    As someone else said above, ForArgyll serves this region well with it’s on the whole wide ranging informative daily news which is why I continue to visit. Sadly it’s politics coverage, however accurate, lacks an even-handed impartial approach which is surely something we must all wish for regardless of our personal political affiliations.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 10 Thumb down 14

  20. It would be good if Mr Russell could explain the whole Argyll administration mess to his voters. If you could do that in straight forward English would help. Why after telling us you could run a administration better than the last administration you pulling every stroke to get your party out of administration, or is that not the case.

    As you asked for my vote based on this and many others, I feel very cheated as do many others in the area?

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 10 Thumb down 10

  21. Newsie, you don’t half print some rubbish – but THIS high moral tone takes the biscuit “You certainly get honesty from us”. :) :) :) :) :) :)

    If you were being even slightly honest you would admit when you are wrong. But you don’t you twist, deflect, whine, prevaricate, ignore- or dream up some pathetic excuse eg ‘ we were informed from a normally reliable source’.

    Your flexibility with truth actually forces reasonable people, like myself, into siding with Anne Baird and Mike Russell for G’awd’s sake!!!

    Why don’t you make a resolution – ‘in future when FA prints something that is incorrect we will let everyone know and apologise?’.

    That would be ever so much better than your blatantly fatuous claim that “You certainly get honesty from us”.

    ps Is what’s-his-name still chair of the constituency group? Has the Dunoon Observer closed yet?

    Have a nice day. ;)

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 14 Thumb down 4

      • Simon–I have usually found Anne Baird reasonable –I’ll keep my own council re Mr Russell

        Maybe you are having a road to Damascus moment and coming over to reasonable folk like us!!!

        ps –I hear a few Robbites are having similar experiences!!

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 3

    • ‘What’s-his-name’ – aka Robert Allan, was resigning and was persuaded not to do so after we had published. That’s life. It does not mean that we were wrong.
      And the remaining mishandling of a single issue – by me – as our total record of errors since we commenced publication, would be hard to beat.
      You are quite wrong to accuse us of spiritual meanness on the rare occasion we were wrong. We said very much more than we were asked to do in putting straight the mishandling of the Dunoon Observer situation – from an honest wish to make amends. If you then care to characterise this straightforwardness as resulting from fear of anything, this was far from the case. We were invited to contribute to solicitors costs and refrained from so doing because there were deficiencies on both sides of this matter.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 10 Thumb down 9

      • you are wrong !!

        In fairness in relation to 3 resignations that you boasted on you have been right on ZERO occasion’s.

        Or put another way you are 100% consistent.

        Has Robbo and McCuish not realised that the writing is on the wall in large black capitals!

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 4

  22. Will the First Minster in line with his public comments on political cooperation overrule Mr Russell? That would go a long way to restoring the SNP reputation in Argyll and Bute and give ordinary people the local government they want and deserve. Make the call newsie!

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 8 Thumb down 9

  23. Lynda,

    Bob Allan DID NOT express a desire to resign from his position as Convenor of the Argyll and Bute SNP Constituency Association. It therefore follows neither did he have to be persuaded not to do so.

    How do I know? I am his Deputy Convenor.

    So the question I need to put to you is, WHO is feeding you this fiction and more importantly WHY?

    Figure that one out, AND – - –


    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 12 Thumb down 7

  24. Can Bob Allan no speak for himself. That he didn’t even consider resigning considering the carnage he has caused is even worse.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 10

    • I am sure he did respond to For Argyll– but as usual NEWSIE told him that he was obviously wrong based on what he she had been told from the Oban/Helensburgh axis.

      Surely you know that already.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 5

      • H2O: I’m pretty sure he did but not under his own name. But anyone who know Bob would have recognised the name he did use as being him. For fairly obvious reason I cannot ay what name he did use (but it wasn’t FoS!).

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 6

  25. It is depressing to see internal SNP problem so accurately reported on this newssite.
    Most ordinary members are disgusted by what has happened to our SNP, the behaviour of the MSPs and the elected officials. It is time to take back our local party and restore its values.
    Only the First Minister seems capable of controlling Mr Russell’s dictatorial excesses. A little loss of face for Mr Russell is worth the longer term ambitions for an independent Scotland.
    Local government does matter so leave the elected councillors to sort it out themselves.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 9

    • Hi Anne,

      On a post last night it was stated that you were a previous councillor and a man–please confirm or deny or newsie will say you HAVE resigned from the snp as you promised a few months back.–

      As for accuracy go back on this site and you get such gems as this from “Independent Newsie”..

      “..James Robb has emerged from the meltdown of his party group with his status enhanced. He has shown genuine political courage – a commodity in short supply in the local SNP. …..He has shown that he understands the nature of responsibiilty. He has held steady to a decision others were bolting from in fear for their own political lives – without a care for his own.”

      NEWSIE —I think quotes such as this would be a bestseller for a stocking filler !! –Just acknowledge my input –and I won’t claim royalties! (free sick bowl and it’s a winner!)

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 9 Thumb down 6

  26. For Argyll’s report of the SNP’s latest constituency meeting is almost complete fiction.
    I took the minute of it.
    There is nothing which stops For Argyll checking, from entirely reliable sources, the accuracy of reports it seems to be in receipt of.
    This is not done I suspect because there is no intention of accurately reporting the SNP or Michael Russell.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 11 Thumb down 7

      • I think this is a great idea –plus print all other political parties, golf clubs, rotary etc!!

        Jamie if you are a member you will see a copy. If not then sorry you are not entitled.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

    • This too is a deceptive swerve. We have already noted that since the proposed motion of no confidence in Councillor Robb did not attract any seconder, it did not proceed and would therefore not normally have been minuted.
      No one expected it to be minuted – but to our certain knowledge, this unpleasant attempt did take place.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 3

  27. “This is not done I suspect because there is no intention of accurately reporting the SNP or Michael Russel”

    Dave, My membership of the SNP, is not a loyalty card for bad governance. Help the Heroes and save Struan Lodge.

    The SNP have sold out everybody’s Granma and Gandpa in Argyll and Bute. It is not about a correct record or minutes of a constituency meeting.
    It is about representation and the lack of it by the SNP. How many have left the party because of the latest attacks on the elderly?

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 10 Thumb down 10

  28. J cloth from Oban?

    Organisations always need such help compared to bag men for McCuish and Robb

    How are things going these days — any coalition in place? Anyone seen the light and resigning from the Tory coalition?

    I am sure Newsie will have the world exclusive.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 5

  29. “Dave Hill taking the minute – LOL!”

    I know. I know. What a hoot.
    Having been a graduate teacher or a lecturer for a lot of my working like and even a College Principal for soome of it I’m probably best described as functionally illiterate

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 9 Thumb down 6

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