Robust meeting of SNP Group sees growing resistance to ‘Edinburgh’ influence

A meeting of the SNP Group of Councillors in Inveraray last night is being described as ‘robust’.

The key issue is that the SNP’s NEC has flatly ordered the group not to collaborate in any way with Liberal Democrats or Conservatives – failing to understand that it is the SNP itself that has made itself the toxic brand in Argyll, with its hugely destructive in-fighting, orchestrated by its party hierarchy.

The SNP is now the single party-based group of councillors in Argyll and Bute. There no longer are Liberal Democrat or Conservative groupings.

This means that the SNP NEC’s primitive tribalist dictat effectively removes party approval for any cooperation of any kind between the SNP group and any member of either of the Argyll and Bute for Change or Argyll, Lomond and the Isles groups who privately may choose to vote Lib Dem or Conservative.

Former members of the Lib Dem [4] and Conservative [3] groups and two resignees from the SNP group may be assumed  – not necessarily correctly – to be likely to vote accordingly. There are, however, 14 other non-party councillors whose private voting preferences may now have to be declared to make them acceptable as partners with the SNP group.

In a nation which prides itself on the individual’s right to keep their voting preferences private, this is a profoundly anti-democratic situation – and a fully absurd one.

We are unaware of any constitutional validation for a position where a person’s private voting preference is a formal obstruction to their playing a part in government at any level.

The desperate irrationality of the SNP NEC position is highlighted by the fact that it has, apparently without difficulty, accepted that the SNP are in sole coalition with Conservatives to lead two other local authorities  – Dumfries and Galloway and East Ayrshire; and are in three-way coalitions with Liberal Democrat groups in two more, Highland and Scottish Borders.

There is no demonstrable reason  – in logic or precedent – for the SNP NEC’s instructions to its councillors here in Argyll and Bute. There is also no concern whatsoever for the greater good of the area itself – which every single councillor is primarily elected to serve.

How the cards fell last night

Inexplicably, Councillors Robert E MacIntyre [Bute] and Gordon Blair are still counted as members of the SNP group, although they left it to become members of the opposing Argyll and Bute for Change group – to which they remain committed.

Moreover, last night one of these two councillors made a desperate effort to co-opt a group of independent councillors to the Argyll and Bute for Change group – against the interests of the official SNP group. He met an unequivocal rejection.

However, the fact that conduct subversive of the official SNP group is sanctioned as in line with NEC wishes could not show more clearly just what absurd contortions the SNP party has got itself into in Argyll and  Bute.

Last night’s meeting saw a proposal that the SNP group of councillors should join with the Argyll and Bute for Change group, led by Councillor Dick Walsh with Councillor Duncan MacIntyre.

That proposal was voted down by 8-2, with the two voting in favour of it being the two whose legitimate membership of the SNP group is highly questionable – Robert E MacIntyre and Gordon Blair, who are already members of the Argyll and Bute for Change group.

The eight who voted against were the current group leader, Sandy Taylor; the two former group leaders, Roddy McCuish – also the current Leader of the Council and James Robb; with John Semple, Anne Horn, Richard Trail, Louise Glen-Lee and Mary Jean Devon.

With the situation made clear, that collaboration of any kind with the Liberal Democrats and Conservatives would mean expulsion from the party, four of the eight who voted to retain their sole membership of the SNP group made it clear that they would bow under threat of expulsion.

We know who they are and are surprised and disappointed by the positions of two of these four.

The remaining four will accept expulsion, feeling that the interests of Argyll and Bute must come first and that a team of the best talents across the chamber, regardless of party or group affiliation, is the best way to serve the area.

They also feel that the SNP is out of touch with reality and has no idea how deeply damaging to the public credibility of the party has been the managed internal divisions of the past year.

Growing resistance to ‘Edinburgh’

Three Constituency Association leaders , including the Convener, chose, as is their right, to attend last night’s meeting.

It has always been publicly claimed that ‘the grassroots’ are with the NEC’s position rather than that of the leading group of SNP councillors.

But at last night’s meeting two Branch leaders said that their members are not universally supportive of the NEC position. That indicates a reality check taking place amongst grassroots activists that the party would be ill-advised to ignore.

It is also now known that Councillor Isobel Strong, who is recovering from major surgery, wishes to remain Provost of Argyll and Bute and has not joined Argyll and Bute for Change.

The last meeting of Argyll and Bute Council before the July recess – still not scheduled on the Council website’s Calendar of meetings – ought to be on Thursday 27th June.

That may see some clarity – and may  not – but there is over three weeks of manoeuvres and shifting sands to be got through before then.


An indication of just how astray from normal representative politics is the management of the SNP in Argyll and Bute is the handling of invitations to the reception in the ferry terminal at Campbeltown on the first service from the new Ardrossan ferry on 23rd May.

South Kintyre Councillors Rory Colville [Liberal Democrat} and Donald Kelly [Argyll First]  were invited only at 7pm that evening. Their names were excluded from the main list of invitees – although Argyll and Bute for Change councillor,  Donnie McMillan, representing Mid Argyll, was officially invited. We understand that he attended and that Councillor Colville scrambled quickly and got there.

The event was apparently regarded as ‘an SNP do’ – although it is public money that is paying for a ferry service that is a purely political ploy and very unlikely to show commercial success; and although the ferry is supposed to be for the benefit of Campbeltown and Kintyre, not simply for SNP voters in the area.

It is worth noting that political representation in the three wards involved – South Kintyre, Kintyre and the Islands and Mid Argyll [the most northerly] is exactly evenly split between the Liberal Democrats [3], Argyll First [3] and the SNP [3]. The distribution of seats is also even – with each of the three wards having one councillor from each of these three groups.

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73 Responses to Robust meeting of SNP Group sees growing resistance to ‘Edinburgh’ influence

  1. So, for clarification, does this now mean that, according to the NEC, none of the SNP councillors can join any other group because those [other] councillors could potentially vote for another party?

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 15 Thumb down 7

    • Lowry: do you also believe in the tooth fairy? This is just more tosh from Lynda Henderson and not really worthwhile commenting on. Why don’t we just wait until the dust settles and we can see what transpires?

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 17 Thumb down 25

        • I’m not sure why you would object to me using your name. It is hardly an insult. Most commentators sign their own names to articles and if they comment in the discussions that their articles provoke then again they do so under their own names. I don’t see why you feel the need to do differently. For my own part I would prefer if it if you were to see “Fletcher” rather than the diminutive “Fletch” as the latter brings to mind the 70′s TV comedy “Porridge. But perhaps that is your intention.

          Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 17 Thumb down 13

          • Fletch, from one using an alias, I assume you are having multiple jokes at your own expense in that post?

            Cheers for sorting my posts on newsnetscotland…miraculously, virtually all are published now. Just fancy that!

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

          • Jamie: I have no link with NNS (not my favourite site I have to confess). I think the tradition in the press is that news articles are either signed or are anonymous but commentary is always signed (except for editorial as that is supposed represent the paper’s position whereas commentary represents the views of the commentator.

            Admittedly this becomes difficult for FA as the same person does all of the above but I am neither alone nor the first to suggest that Lynda Henderson produces some division between what is news reporting and what is commentary.

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

    • Lowry –
      Since there is now neither a Liberal Democrat nor a Conservative party group of councillors in Argyll and Bute, this is the only logical force of the SNP NEC’s proscription that SNP councillors may not work together in any way whatsoever – in Argyll and Bute – with Liberal Democrats or Conservatives.
      Otherwise it would be permissible for SNP councillors even to JOIN the Argyll and Bute for Change group – which does contain people known personally to vote for those parties – but not to work in any collaboration with the Argyll, Lomond and the Isles group, which has members in the same position.
      The SNP NEC has made so many ad hoc decisions to enforce its will not to see the SNP leading any administration in Argyll and Bute, that any semblance of logic or consistency has been lost in the morass.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 15 Thumb down 9

  2. “the SNP itself that has made itself the toxic brand in Argyll”
    Ooooooooh !
    Good thing Webcraft aka Fletcher aka ScotsRenewables is away sailing this week or you would be for it !
    …….spoke too soon; looks like he’s got wifi connection

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 15 Thumb down 8

  3. If this bunch ie Roddy McCuish,James Robb,Louise GlennLee,sandy Taylor ,Mary Jean Devon,Richard Trail Anne Horne and John Semple hate the SNP so much then why don’t they leave?
    Oh wait could money be involved if they leave? There are other councils in Scotland that have Lib dem/ Tory SNP but these were formed under totally different circumstances and the SNP were in the minority.We have 16 months to the most important Referendum in Scotland and this bunch want to join together at this crucial time with people who are campaigning in the streets of Helensburgh for a NO vote Do they not get it ?? Or do they have a different agenda? And where did Newsie get her information was one of these a leak?

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 17 Thumb down 4

  4. NEWSIE you state that “…there is now neither a Liberal Democrat nor a Conservative party group of councillors in Argyll and Bute”
    Yes there is
    —as they meet together as Liberal Democrats and Conservatives –and your good pal Cllr McCuish is meeting with them to dish up the honours.
    If the tories and lib/dems don’t exist who did people in Helensburgh vote for?
    If I can paraphrase Baldrick from Blackadder “..We have a cunning plan…” “..we can fool the electorate by saying we don’t exist— now Cllr McCuish can be in a coalition with us !!”
    I bet they stiil have their hands outstretched “”..please Sir may we have some more”
    In the beginning………….

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 14 Thumb down 5

    • Who did the people in Campbeltown vote for when they voted for Donald Kelly? Was he not a Tory candidate? As he is now part of the Argyll & Bute for Change Group, I assume that the SNP councillors will be barred from working with him or that Group?
      Short and Sweet forgets that the SNP in Argyll & Bute are in the minority!! Short and Sweet also forgets that folk are campaigning in every community across Scotland for a NO vote. Helensburgh is no different.
      It appears that nothing else matters as far as the SNP is concerned apart from the 2014 referendum. At least we know that those campaigning for a Yes vote are wasting theri time now. The bookies are now offering odds of 100 – 1 on a yes result. They know what Short and Sweet and H20 are feerd to admit.

      Why are Robert MacIntyre and Gordon Blair allowed to work in a Group with a Tory like Donald Kelly yet the other SNP councillors are barred from working with them or the Lib Dems!! SNP (Russell) crazy rules I suppose

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

  5. Why don’t the SNP Councillors who are obviously not happy ,do what the Lib/dems and the Cons have done and make a non SNP grouping?

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 17 Thumb down 2

    • The SNP had 13 councillors in May 2012. They now have 11 and within a week or so, they will be down to seven maximum with more to go. A sad story when life long nationalists are turning their back on the party because of folk like Russell, Breslin and Hall etc.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 15 Thumb down 10

    • I’m no feert of anything except my mother in law!

      Re Donald Kelly is he a Tory or is he not that is a question. If he stood as an independent he is not. Is Robb a Tory?

      Clearly based on the post above McCuish Robb Devon etc wish to keep their promoted posts and monies but with the assistance of the Morton’s etc who are no longer lib dems or Tories. Maybe this is the biggest turnaround in history if they join the SNP.

      Only joking life couldn’t be that cruel.

      Short n sweet is right of course if Semple Robb etc were honourable they would resign their seats and stand on their own as ……………..candidates. Please include your own theories…how about Igam2p?

      I’ve got a mortgage 2 pay

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 4

    • If you mean McCuish, Semple, Devon and Robb who would deliver their leaflets during election campaigns?
      They need the background support but don’t seem to care that the Branch members are disgusted with them.

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

  6. On a positive note – at least they are giving us all a chance to witness their lack of ability to run anything, including their own group, before September 2014.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 22 Thumb down 6

    • Lowry — same old story on your part. Unfortunately the problem seems to be Argyll on how it organises itself over the years.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 8 Thumb down 14

  7. They cannot run a council never mind a nation. How many administrations will we have before September 2014. They are a tedious lot.

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

    • Eh ! They are running a country Just don’t have the power to do more..

      How about a few questions in Westminster any good contacts? How much? Can I be a lord?

      To the authorities – my comments are for illustrative purposes only

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 11 Thumb down 16

  8. H2O, There is more than one fruit. And this jaded administration are a soar and are an unpalatable lot. They will make anyone vomit at their granny attacks.

    Over 100 days since concerns about the scandalous decision to close Struan Lodge by a shameful SNP administration. Yes, a SNP one, of which I am a member.

    It is criminal the way the elderly in Argyll are treated in all this. They fought world wars, build our country and are the parents of our future. The majority of councillors are seen not wanting to “Help The Heroes”

    It is complete dross to me and those families and communities involved that are expected to pick up the financial tab.

    It is also a real disgrace and an affront to nectar quality members such as convenor Bob Allan who will no doubt be squeezed out by this rotten core.

    H2O look closer at home for bad politics and the ignorance of the contribution the elderly have positively made for you and me. “Help the Heroes”

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 16 Thumb down 5

  9. If the SNP bosses are willing to expel four of there councillors will the branches support that action or will they fight to keep there own councillors?
    What is the reason why Argyll is being treated differently in the refusal to sanction this SNP,Tory\Lib grouping?
    Whether they are in the minority or majority you will still be working alongside the other parties so what is the stumbling block or is it the actual people involved in these parties.
    I am sure we still have some interesting surprises to come but this farce has to be brought to an end quickly as there are many important decisions still to be taken.
    The SNP might not want to make any hard decisions before next years referendum vote but the rest of Argyll needs to push on.
    Cheers Neil.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 6

    • Sigh. Have you not twigged on yet that the SNP “hierarchy” are just not particularly bothered by what is going on here. They would like the SNP councillors to get their act together and deliver the sort of local government that Argyll deserves (as would we all) but if anyone seriously thinks that senior parliamentarians give much thought to this minor stooshie then they should book into the Lynda Henderson School for deluded self-importance. There is a country to run, a referendum to win and a future nation to plan. The fragile egos of a few wayward councillors who will never see high office is nothing but the stoor on the pages of history: soon blown off and forgotten.

      June in Argyll when the sun is shining. Now THERE is a subject worthy of contemplation.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 4 Thumb down 11

    • Very philosophical Neil what party are you batting for now you have had a go at most.?Oh and I thought you had a short inside route to all things SNP so should know the answers.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

    • So Neil, you would support people who are hell bent in showning own elderly care homes. That is the central issue here. I never took you to be a wannabes posh boy. You are on your on the road to perdition.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

    • Certainly secret taks with the Tories & lib dems haven’t helped and the vendetta against others who disagreed about Struan and the dodgy figures showed a complete lack of Leadership.

      Turn the clock back and I am sure that folk would have behaved differently If they see the mess that has been created..

      The bottom line is that either you comply with the SNP HQ rules, you leave of your own fruition or you are removed.

      Hopefully some of the councillors will reconsider and remain with the SNP rather than join with the Tories and Lib dems.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  10. Who can explain the crazy thinking of the SNP bosses in Edinburgh who say that the Argyll & Bute SNP councillors cannot work with the Conservative or Lib Dem councillors who are part of the new Argyll, Lomond and the Islands group in the Council, yet they allow Gordon Blair from Dunoon and Robert MacIntyre and Isobel Strong from Bute to work with the Argyll and Bute for Change Group that also has Conservative membership?

    Donald Kelly, who was elected as a Conservative councillor and who is still a member of the Conservative Party is a member of the Argyll and Bute For Change Group. Even as a member of the Argyll First group, he was still listed as a Conservative councillor.

    Why has the SNP bosses in Edinburgh got one rule for those SNP councillors from Bute and Cowal and a different rule for SNP councillors from all other parts of Argyll & Bute? Could it be that the three Bute and Cowal SNP councillors who are working with the Argyll and Bute for Change conservative councillor are from Michael Russell’s neck of the woods in Bute and Cowal and he can tell them what to do? Russell is obviously happy for his local SNP councillors who he controls to work with Tories but not for others to do that.

    It has been suggested that Michael Russell was not consulted by the NEC in Edinburgh before they took the decision that SNP councillors could not work with those Conservative, Lib Dem and Independent councillors in the new Argyll, Lomond and the Islands Group. TOSH. They must think that folk from Argyll and Bute came up the Clyde in a banana boat. At least we now know what the SNP in Edinburgh think of the folk in Argyll and Bute.

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

    • If the SNP councillors are so unhappy with the Party why remain in it. Do what their allies in the LIBDEMS and the Tories have done, remove the party identification and join A.L..I. then we can see effective local Government, or have they not got the moral fibre?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  11. Lorne One, it is wise to research the subject before issuing opinions. The SNP’s NEC is not in Edinburgh. It’s an elected body of people from across the length and breadth of Scotland. Its membership is composed of those who party members feel have the experience and wisdom to make decisions about complex matters.

    Decisions about coalitions are based on a range of factors and don’t rely on the arbitrary opinion of one person. Each coalition will have different dynamics so straight comparison on the back of a single measure is not useful

    We may agree or disagree on a decision but making it into a contest between Edinburgh and Argyll isn’t likely to be helpful, especially if the decision makers happen to be based elsewhere.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 11 Thumb down 12

    • You do make me sick with your hypocrisy .
      “The SNP’s NEC is not in Edinburgh . It’s an elected body of people from across the length and breadth of Scotland…”
      This from a nationalist whose party cry is Westminster this and Westminster that , as if our United Kingdom Parliament was not composed of Members of Parliament elected by the people from constituencies in every corner of our United Kingdom .

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 2

  12. All very well, Anne but you cybernats were constantly bleeting about local democracy. I see no local, or any other, democracy in your bleet above. The councillors are elected by the people and not by some party Quango.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 7

  13. Jim, No doubt you’d be the first to complain if an SNP councillor was implementing policies opposite to the ones he or she had stood on. I prefer candidates with a clear manifesto and I expect them to stick to it. You may have a different view and that’s fine. But if you’re in a party you’re expected to follow its rules. If you don’t like those rules maybe you should be independent. Each councillors must choose for themselves bit there’s no point in joining a party then ignoring everything you signed up to.

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

  14. If you are in a party usually your reason is to follow it’s Ideals, Aims and Beliefs. If for whatever reasons you are elected on a party ticket, and then refuse or are unable to follow the party you should just leave it and do your own thing. To do anything else is down right Hypocracy

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  15. Anne, “candidates with a clear manifesto and… there’s no point in joining a party then ignoring everything you signed up to”.

    I actually agree 100%.

    So, how come the SNP locally have been engaging in their civil war? How come the solid backing from the SNP group to Robb’s budget was opposed very publicly by local branches? How come the constituency chairman intervened ‘inviting’ members of the SNP group to oppose this budget? How come words like “duplicitous” and “traitors” were used to describe SNP members by SNP members?

    Where was the party discipline, unity and collective voice in this SNP omnishambles?

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 11 Thumb down 5

    • Simon you seem to have no understanding of the difference between advice and instruction. The issue is if the S.N.P. councillors think for good reasons they should be in a group with the Libs and Tories do what they have done and leave the party. This would take party politics out of the council. Or as stated previously do the lack they moral fibre?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

  16. Short and sweet – whether you judge it to be advice or instruction is purely a matter of perspective. What is more enlightening however is your next comment on ‘loyal’ SNP Cllrs and then pointing the finger at Robb andor McCuish.

    Good to see that the SNP (un)civil war continues unabated. :)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 6

  17. Sorry Anne but your argument does,nt stack up as we will soon find out.Interesting times ahead so we will wait for the latest turn to become public knowledge.
    But I do respect the moral fibre you show by putting your name to everything you say.
    All the best Neil.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 4

    • Neil I also agree with your comment Anne Baird has moral fibre shame it does not apply to some of the councillors in the party she so admirably supports. Also Your usual SNP sources did not tell you about this one?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  18. Using the word (Loyal) was intended irony. What makes you think that i support the SNP? I support any actions that have the best intentions without any self interest and have enough understanding that if somebody in SNP HQ sent an email to the Council group leader, then i would expect that his fellow councillors would have been the first to know. I have no more knowledge than what is in the Cowal Courier,but do understand what is going on in the background.Struan Lodge is in peril if any coalition with James Robb ,Roddy McCuish and Ellen Morton are in it and i fear for the elderly residents and staff at this first class facility .Sorry this is not as short and sweet as i usually am but please do not label or pigeon hole me.You dont know me!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

    • Your comment about Struan Lodge just highlights the dreadful state of uncertainties that these chaotic power games, played out by the SNP, are causing the decent folk of Argyll. But hey – apparently, according to Fletch – the Holyrood SNP folk don’t give a damn.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 3

  19. I might be wrong but surely if Russell,s SNP councillors join up with Duncan MacIntyre and co. they will be joining Duncan and the No campaign which he supports in Oban.
    If that is correct it seems to be a very strange alliance but what with everything that is going on with the SNP should we be surprised.
    Duncan has never been so popular could he be the next convert to the cause of Independence and repent all his past sins.
    I have been out in the sun this morning but I will get down to ladbrokes to see what the odds are for Duncan joining the SNP.
    Cheers Neil.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 7

    • Duncan Macintyre is only 1 man where as the others are 7 in total and in the council 10. If they are in a mix with the SNP they would have far more power as a group than Macintyre who is unable to even count on the others for support as far as I understand. Anyway if they are so principled why do they not throw off the SNP mantle and join the real world.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

    • Oh nearly forgot Neil which side of the line are you on.? Are you together with Macintyre or do you swing with your buddy Roddy Mccuish and are a closet nationalist?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  20. A lot of people i talk to think Roddy McCuish is a traitor to the Nationalist Cause.They think James Robb is soley out for himself and uses anybody including Roddy McCuish to obtain what he desires.He continues to meet with Morton and Mulveney and plot together to try to get him back into the front line of the council. People in Cowal and the rest of Argyll should be well aware of this unholy Trinity. Robb uses the SNP rule book when it suits him and avoids it when it does not. (Ask Blair ,Robert MacIntyre,Michael Breslin and Fed Hall) The Helensburgh trio have no respect for the people of Cowal let alone the residents of Struan Lodge.We dont need Argyll and Bute ruled from Helensburgh.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 3

  21. If it wasn’t close to the truth, John, I’m sure you’d be giving us the facts. Why don’t/can’t you tell us how it is?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 2

  22. Now short and sweet all these SNP people you speak to in Cowal will I am sure make themselves heard at the branch meetings so they can voice their support for the expulsion of the councillors like Roddy. Obviously H2O and the Dunoon branch will be in full support of that action but will the other branches across Argyll follow the same course ?
    As for being a closet nationalist well I can understand why people like yourself are ashamed to come clean who wouldn’t,t the way the SNP operate in Argyll but I must admit I prefer to post under my own name that way anyone can challenge my views in private or in public which ever way they want to take it.
    As for some of your fellow members who are putting out the leaflets it must be very hard to talk about the referendum when the SNP are in such a mess locally but I wonder who they will blame when Roddy goes.Should be interesting in Oban especially when everyone gets the full details.
    Cheers Neil.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 4

  23. Islay, I have always thought that Westminster did what it ought to: look after the majority of the people of the UK. So no hard feelings from me, just the realisation that we’re outvoted three times over by London and as a minority we might be better looking after our own affairs.

    Read the McCrone report. It explains the angst that some people feel. I’d love to hear your take on that bit of sharing.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 7

    • This seems a particularly foolish whinge and one which appears to be trickllng down from party central where it began.
      It ought not to be forgotten that England is the most disenfranchised of the four home nations – the only one to have no devolved powers.
      Capital cities pull centralisation to themselves in the natural order of things. The BBC is being notably unsuccessful in getting many of its staff to transfer from London to Manchester – because the capital, by its very nature, is the centre of so much.
      Scotland, within itself, is no different. A few years ago, one of a number of furious media companies in the Highlands and Islands, unable to get anywhere near major advertising contracts, said: ‘What do we have to do? Send a trade delegation to the Central Belt’?
      If Scotland is outvoted by the greater population of London – what do you think it feels like for Tiree, with its tiny population, faced with a government located in the Central Belt and determined to inflict upon the tiny Atlantic island an offshore wind farm over four times the size of the island itself?

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 10 Thumb down 6

      • Regions of England voted NO to more independence from Westminster. I bet now they wished they had said YES as Londoncentric and SE England draws their resources away from NE England for example.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3

  24. Actually, can anyone remember when John Simple had anything useful, positive or constructive to add to the debate? It’s always “there’s nae truth in it”. Well come on then, bright boy, you’re at the heart of it, tell us (and the people who voted for you) what the truth is.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 1

  25. I take your point about Tiree. The current system of governance has an inherent centrifugal force. Hollywood is,however, already far more accessible than Westminster and an independent Scotland would have the power to make government even more so for our remote and island communities. Quite apart from the debate about the facts and figures, which is the crucial one, I’m enthused about the potential of an independent Scotland to shake off the worst of the status quo and create a system that’s fairer across the whole of Scotland.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 5

    • We think you mean centripetal force – which, in city terms, is an irresitible and inevitable one.
      It is flatly not the case that Edinburgh is as accessible to Tiree as London is to Edinburgh.
      Comparing the quickest time and the lowest cost from Tiree to Edinburgh with the same from Edinburgh to London:
      A Tirisdeach would fly to Glasgow, exit the airport, take the shuttle into Glasgow and then the train to Edinburgh Waverley, taking a minimum of 2hours 45minutes at a return cost of £151.17 – and would pay that cost themselves.
      A civil servant or minister would take a flight from Edinburgh straight to London Heathrow in 1hour 30 minutes and at a cost of £110.67, Virgin economy, which would be paid for by the taxpayer.
      A Tirisdeach has the alternative of an 8hour 15 minutes journey – a 4hour ferry journey to Oban, a minimum of 4hours 15 minutes onward train journey via Glasgow Queen Street to Edinburgh Waverley, costing, return, £70.30. It is impossible for a Tirisdeach taking this route to arrive in Edinburgh Waverley before 22.22, which means a night in Edinburgh.
      A Holyrood civil servant or minister has the alternative of a direct train, no changes, from Edinburgh to London, taking 4hours 20 minutes at a cost of £126.70, paid by the taxpayer.
      And in examining the accessibility of Edinburgh, we’ve taken an Argyll example and have not considered the time and cost of travel from Sumburgh or Lerwick to Edinburgh.
      This ‘issue’ is no more than an empty diversionary whinge to appeal to the tribe who question nothing. It is not an intelligent argument and suggests a degree of desperation.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 6

  26. And just look at how the current SNP administration in Holyrood treats Argyll!
    As stated by Fletcher above:
    “Have you not twigged on yet that the SNP “hierarchy” are just not particularly bothered by what is going on here. They would like the SNP councillors to get their act together and deliver the sort of local government that Argyll deserves (as would we all) but if anyone seriously thinks that senior parliamentarians give much thought to this minor stooshie then they should book into the Lynda Henderson School for deluded self-importance. There is a country to run, a referendum to win and a future nation to plan. The fragile egos of a few wayward councillors who will never see high office is nothing but the stoor on the pages of history: soon blown off and forgotten.”

    Then there’s the A 83…
    Holyrood has no interest in Argyll – unless it’s for votes: then watch the activity nearer an election.

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

  27. Is there anybody out there who really understands this bourrach and explain why it is that in the Scottish Parliament the SNP sit in committees with members of other parties perfectly successfully. This also happens in other councils of Scotland. Why is Argyll and Bute becoming the laughing stock of this country? It would appear that the SNP are shooting their councillors in both feet and hands and are now aiming for their temples taking the credibility of the SNP in Argyll and Bute out through Slaty Farlan!
    Despite their own political affiliations they were elected to represent the good people of Argyll and Bute.
    Is there any sanity out there?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 2

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