Backstage manoeuvres make Council’s Short Life Working Group redundant

Argyll and Bute Council’s Short Life Working Group on Political Management Arrangements met yesterday, 12th September, for the second time.

It is to report progress to the Council at the August meeting later in the month and will meet again in early September to continue its work.

However, a meeting taking place today is likely to make the all-party Short Life Working Group’s work redundant.

At 13.00 today, 13th August, SNP group ‘negotiators’ are meeting with the Argyll and Bute for Change Alliance, led by Councillor Duncan Macintyre.

Having voted on the matter by 6-1 [with the current SNP Leader of the Council, Councillor Roddy McCuish, the single objector] the group’s aim is to ‘negotiate’ joining the Argyll and Bute for Change Alliance, putting former Council Leader Dick Walsh back into office.

The one objective is to remove the SNP from the frontline power position they were elected to deliver and see it become no more than a junior member of a rainbow coalition.

That has been the long determination of the SNP party hierarchy, including its current constituency MSP who has been active in much of the upheaval in the local party that has seen its credibility plummet in Argyll and Bute.

The gutless Party central is terrified that their own troops on the ground may make locally unpopular decisions before the Independence Referendum in September 2014.

The word ‘negotiate’ used to describe today’s meeting is an overstatement. The SNP group, ‘led’ by newbie Councillor Sandy Taylor, a man who takes dictation faultlessly, is desperate to do as it has been instructed and get out of any semblance of power.

The longed-for backwater beckons – a berth the party will now find to hard to emerge from in this part of the world, anytime in the future.

They have themselves now written their ally-to-be, Councillor Walsh’s manifesto for the next local authority elections:

‘They don’t want power.They can’t handle power. They destroyed each other in the scramble to get out of power. They betrayed those who voted for them to put them into power. They are terrified of responsibility. Why would you elect them again? They’ll cut and run as soon as it gets difficult, They’ve now done that twice.’

Every voter knows that every word of this is accurate. For Argyll has published much of the documented evidence of the connivings, the threats and the external interventions.

No opposition forced any of this. It was entirely self-generated – and entirely unnecessary.  All they had to do was get down to work and deliver the local government they had campaigned to be given and had been elected to lead.

The meeting today may well see new political management arrangements come into place at the August council meeting.

This will have come – not from the cross-chamber collaboration Audit Scotland and the electorate have been led to expect – but from a backstairs agreement which has excluded the most constructive group in the entire morass – Argyll, Lomond and the Isles.

Looking forwards…

The papers presented to the Short Life Working Group yesterday by some of its members, each proposing versions of new political management arrangements, make interesting reading.

Residents of Argyll’s five major towns will not be enchanted to see that the group they are shortly to see take power in Argyll, put there by the SNP group, chose, unlike other submissions, to make no mention whatsoever in its management proposals of the CHORD regeneration project for those very towns.

Argyll and Bute for Change is led by a group of independent councillors who have been responsible from the outset for the joke CHORD has become – spending a fortune on consultants and getting virtually nowhere after – how many years now?

Their own proposals to the Short Life Working Group indicate that Argyll and Bute for Change is seeking to distance itself from CHORD and to background rather than accelerate its work.

The proposals submitted to the Short Life Working Group for yesterday’s meeting are online here.

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28 Responses to Backstage manoeuvres make Council’s Short Life Working Group redundant

  1. This is vitriol filled junk. ‘Every reader knows’? That’s just tosh. Much if what you have published has been idle speculation and misinformation.
    Are you so far out the loop that you have to stoop to this level of desperation?

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 17 Thumb down 19

        • I suspect it’s a case of trying to hide major embarrassment. Newsie has exposed the SNP strategy to withdraw from running the council, on several occasions, despite the fact that, apparently, quite a few folk voted for them so to do (run the council, that is).

          For those of us looking on, their actions have been completely farcical and hilariously funny but there seems to be a very sinister side to all this.

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

        • We will see but given you haven’t been right about anything so far why do you think anyone should believe your fantasies? They are amusing though.

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

  2. Having voted on the matter by 6-1 [with the current SNP Leader of the Council, Councillor Roddy McCuish, the single objector]

    Who voted For who made excuses and didn’t turn up to vote?

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 19 Thumb down 2

    • I heard Mary Jean is in hospital and Louise has her head below the parapets. I hear she is looking for a journo post in the Oban Times.

      This is not the first time Roddy McCuish been isolated by his own troops, left alone with only his own view.

      Last week he abstained because Mary Jean and Louise have not turned up. We in the party deserve better representation at local level.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 4

  3. I think your going to be right newsie, the only funnier thing that happens is that the opposition just keep you in power for a bit longer, to show how useless you really are?

    The short working group was nothing more than a smoke screen to go on holiday and let us think they were still interested in Argyll. In fact I said that when it was announced. So transparent really

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

  4. Thanks for the update but what has CHORD got to do with naked greed and ambition? How many SNP councillors have been bought by Dick Walsh? Has any other political group, and the largest in the council, ever given up influence so easily. The SNP thinks it has no better leader than Dick Walsh. This will do serious danmage to the SNP referendum campaign. Well done Mr Russell!God Save the Queen and the Union!

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

  5. NEWSIE you state above that “The papers presented to the Short Life Working Group yesterday by some of its members, each proposing versions of new political management arrangements, make interesting reading”.

    OK, assuming it wasn’t the six or Cllr McCuish then your copy is one of the missing councillors?
    Getting close ?

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 12 Thumb down 5

  6. Its great to see them back we all need a laugh now that the nights are getting shorter.
    Duncan dropped in to see Roddy last week to discuss the future as he didn,t get the Doctor Who job and with TIF and Chord still on the agenda in Oban we should have plenty of fun over the winter.
    Even better how about the ex worker who left in MARCH still being paid as payroll hadn,t been told he had left, nice wee earner if you can get it.
    Economic Director Robert Pollock has not delivered anything with Chord over a number of years but is secure in his job until that culture changes to cover all departments and senior posts we will never move forward.
    If I didn,t sweep the street properly I would be sacked why are these Directors untouchable?
    Its great to be back keep up the good work newsroom
    Cheers Neil.

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

    • Why are any of them ‘untouchable’ – Councillors, Council Officers, the whole lot.
      To up date info I posted last week – I am in the process of questioning the principals and standards of the Mid Argyll Planning Dept based on several very questionable decisions they have made regarding neighbouring houses.
      To that end I emailed all 35 councillors with my concerns – no acknowledgment from any of them. I re-emailed them all again – no acknowledgment. These first two emails included the local Planning committee members of course. I then emailed the planning committee themselves – no acknowledgment. I re-emailed the planning committee – no acknowledgment. I emailed the chair of the planning committee and our local councillor – just the two of them – no acknowledgment.
      My wife even has emailed these two asking why they are ‘ no spekin’ to her husband – no acknowledgment. I have emailed Michael Russell MSP – yep – you guessed it – no acknowledgment. I have emailed our local Westminster MP Allan Ried who is in the area at the moment – no acknowledgment.
      If I was reading this post from someone else I would be rollin about in the aisles laughing by now – so please feel free.
      And yes – my email system is working perfectly. Even an automated reply would imply there is a councillor out there somewhere !
      To quote ForArgyll above ” They betrayed those that voted for them to put them into power. They are terrified of responsibility “

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

  7. I admire your stamina, Malcolm. I could tell quite a few stories about the planning department myself along with the shenanigans of a certain builder.

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

    • Are you in the Mid Argyll area or Oban ? Whichever, I have started a new website at http://www.midargyllplanners.com/index.html which I hope to extend to include other complaints about local Planning decisions – so bring ‘em on ! I have just added ‘The Craignish Community Plan’ . I just need others to feel as I do about paying people to do a responsible job on our behalf and who appear to fail to do just that.
      They claim in there response to the recent ‘Commendation’ from the SG to prefer to ” work within a culture of negotiation” Well I’ll remember that if I ever knock down an internal wall and ‘negotiate’ with Building Control that a bit of 2 x 2 will suffice in its place. Or maybe I could’ negotiate with a policeman that the 50mph I was doing in the 30 mile limit was only 35 mph etc etc.
      I have to say that the applicants attached to the houses I am specifying are very sharp – talk rings round the average planner – negotiation ?

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

  8. “This will do serious damage to the SNP referendum campaign. Well done Mr Russell! God Save the Queen and the Union!”

    Shreik thinks voters are stupid and will have forgotten all this by next year. I have no doubt the ConDem cuckolds will remind us.
    Neil – did Roddy count his fingers after his meeting with the new Oban Chair?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 8

      • I’m sure most do take FA with a Glensanda size dump truck load of salt in any political items … which are typically ever so slightly less accurate than stuff in Scotsman … may well be a little truth here & there but it’s difficult to tell!
        (should add – what brought me to this site was the traffic reports which I check any time I head in Glasgow direction)

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

  9. Nice one NoCheeseHere but I am sure Roddy can handle Duncan he is well aware what game is being played.
    When the SNP finally bail out it should be interesting to hear what Duncan and his troops will do.
    My understanding of the gossip if it stacks up should make for a good old battle in the next few weeks.
    Cheers Neil.

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

    • Hi Neil,

      What game is Roddy playing still chatting with the Helensburgh mob?
      His support has dwindled or has jumped ship. Not entirely his own fault but tells you what company he has been keeping recently. Shame as I am sure he is decent at heart. Why not produce the emails you have spoken about for months. I am sure you will agree that Russell has played a cute game with his YES man lead Breslin. Odds on he will be back in the fold in due course. In fairness our MSP had a great birthday party but some strange bedfellows as I am sure you will agree.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

    • The battle is over. The new rabble has won.

      It is clear the dodgy four have been swept aside in ignominy.
      Jim Robb and Louise Glen Lee have kept their heads below the parapet, leaving Roddy McCuish fielding for himself.

      The electorate is the only loser as any new administration will be more of the same self serving apoliticals.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

  10. Ahhh Malcom, I think FA actually is the council, it’s the only place you can find out what’s going on in Argyll these days. I wrote once to all my councilors and managed to get zero responses too, I only wrote as I thought that all the “how much I care about you and the people of Argyll” per vote for me in this election was true. What a idiot I am. Add up all the salaries and put that against what’s been done, massive waste of money spend on inflating EGO’s

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 6

  11. H20.
    Certainly agree about Breslin but he will be great for some fun when he gets back in.
    Roddy just has to wait till the decision is made for him then he can get on with his work in the town. Really looking forward to see how the SNP locally operate without him as he has been there main public face for quite a while.
    What with Fred gone Louise standing down and Roddy going the SNP will need some new faces to stand locally.
    Interesting times ahead.
    Cheers Neil.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

    • New faces Neil? How about Noddy? The Flowerpot Men? Wallace and Gromit? They’d probably do as well as the lot that were voted in at the last election – and they might even hold on to power for a bit longer.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

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