Ignoring SNP wreckage of Argyll and Bute, Salmond attacks Labours’s Aberdeen City Council for ‘reputational risks’

In further evidence of the First Minister’s declining grasp of the big picture, he has just offered an unnecessary and fat hostage to fortune in an attacking letter he has written to the CEO of Aberdeen City Council.

Mr Salmond’s letter is quoted as saying: ‘I have been first minister for over six years. During that time I have dealt with all 32 local authorities, of all political persuasions and none.

‘No other council behaves in the extreme manner of Aberdeen City Council over a range of issues.

‘I would suggest that the majority group are now in danger of bringing the council into total disrepute with the knock on reputational risks that that has for the great city of Aberdeen and its fine people.’

It would in fact be hard to find a local authority that ‘behaves in the extreme manner’ of the SNP-led Argyll and Bute.

We have seen a party group elected to lead local government here – and then bullied into serial changes of leadership by external and senior party figures focused, by whatever means, onĀ  getting their own party out of the power they had fought the local elections to gain – just over a year ago.

We have witnessed the local SNP party group in the council riven by the pressure of this external intervention: breaking into factions, with members in mass suspension by their party hierarchy and losing some by resignation.

We have even had hard written evidence [published here] of the local SNP Constituency Chair instructing SNP councillors to vote against their own local leadership.

SNP councillors have also been given dispensation to join groups other than the SNP group – and some have done so.

The irony is that in this mad scenario the ‘renegade’ group the party is working to isolate is of SNP councillors who feel strongly that they have a duty to their electorate to deliver on local governance and have been fighting to resist all the party has thrown at them to force them to walk our of power.

This bizarre and dysfunctional situation in Argyl and Bute has been wholly generated from without, by a party hierarchy anxious to avoid at all costs any loss to the September 2014 independence vote from having to take unpopular decisions in local government.

In this case the cost paid has been the profound destruction of party credibility in local government in Argyll,

This situation – which has reasonably made the area the butt of comedy in the national media – has attracted the concerned attention of Audit Scotland.

The Commissioners have recently spent a period of residence in Argyll and Bute Council’s HQ, observing meetings of various kinds, interviewing officers and elected members. They are to report on their conclusions in September.

We are unaware of Aberdeen City Council being in receipt of any like treatment by the national media; and we can find no suggestion that Audit Scotland have any interest in Aberdeen comparable with their concerns over Argyll and Bute.

This would suggest that the manner of the SNP’s ‘political leadership’ in Argyll and Bute is even more ‘extreme’ than whatever it is that has provoked this astonishing outburst aimed at Aberdeen by a nervy First Minister.

The First Minister is talking of reputational risks’ to Aberdeen City.

He should look at the reputational tsunami his own party has swept over Argyll and Bute and which has torn itself from its roots.

‘And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?’

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10 Responses to Ignoring SNP wreckage of Argyll and Bute, Salmond attacks Labours’s Aberdeen City Council for ‘reputational risks’

  1. Bravo Newsie! Another excellent piece exposing the naivity (to put it politely) of the SNP leadership and desperate attempts at trying to gain support.

    I guess all the SNP supporters will now rush to his defence and attack your article. Waiting with a cuppa and feet up…

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 30 Thumb down 18

  2. I couldn’t believe it when I read about this. Absolute embarrasment. I expect most SNP members on here will keep quiet, as there is little defence.

    I wonder if the folks of Aberdeen know about the Argyll shambles? ‘It’s high time they were told’ as Johann would say!

    In all seriousness, this is unashamed hypocrisy. I am waiting on the only possible defense – ‘he never said it, it’s a ploy by the MSM’.

    I eagerly await newsnetscotland’s spin, and rejection of my post highlighting Argyll and Bute.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 28 Thumb down 15

  3. And here’s me thinking that it was the previous administration at Aberdeen City Council that seemed to operate outside the usual bounds of probity, from flogging council buildings to developers at less than their market value to pulling the rug from under a brilliant, approved and funded competition winning scheme to revitalise Union Terrace Gardens because an eminent local businessman offered them lotsa money to do a much more ambitious redevelopment of the Gardens that would have utterly destroyed their character.
    Latest word is that the council might revive the proposals that the previous administration wrecked – but whether the promoters (Peacock Visual Arts) and the designers (Brisac Gonzalez) are prepared to again put their trust in Aberdeen politicians is another matter.
    Add this to the debacle over the remarkably grubby behaviour of the leader of Glasgow City Council in manipulating the design competition for his pet project to ‘upgrade’ George Square, and an outside observer might well suspect that Scottish politicians are less than wonderful well beyond the bounds of Argyll & Bute.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 21 Thumb down 1

    • Quite; A&B are amateurs compared to the burgomeisters of Glasgow, Aberdeen and Edinburgh(trams anyone?) when it comes to incompetence, graft or (lack of)probity.

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

  4. Although not quite on track – I emailed all 36 Argyll and Bute Councillors last Friday with a concern about the Mid Argyll Planning Dept. Not one replied. I further sent the email to the same number earlier this week but asked for one of them to acknowledge receipt – no answer. Yesterday I sent an email on the same subject to specifically the Planning Committee – again no reply from anyone. Today I sent a report to Michael Russell MSPs email address and explained the negativity from the above. No reply.
    When asking a friend who is an ex councillor on his view he said – ‘ unfortunately you will get the same negativity from them all – basically they hate getting involved”.
    Is the SNP creating an East German State with total political control in Argyll? Is free and democratic speech being suppressed by the SNP ?

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

  5. To be fair there will be those who don’t like getting involved, there will be others who will not have the capability to get involved. Sadly that is politics in Argyll and Bute Council.

    As for creating an East German State! Why bring them into it? The blame for the state of the political farce that is Argyll and Bute Council lies fairly and squarely with the Snp.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 13 Thumb down 3

    • In the long run, any blame ultimately lies with the people of A&B themselves. If they won’t fully engage with the process of running their own local council, then they get the councillors they deserve. Same across most of Scotland, sorry to say.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

      • Unfortunately too many of the people of A&B and as you say most areas of Scotland, take little or no interest between elections.
        Elected Councillors are then left to wander around purposeless from one election to the next. Only when their next leaflet is due for publication do they start to scratch their heads to recall something they might have done so can claim some of the credit.
        It’s not only the voters who should engage more in local decisions, Councillors should also try to engage more with the voters.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  6. The “Scottish” Labour Party overturned a democratic vote in favour of a new central project in Aberdeen-by diktat.

    That and other Labour nonsense was effectively commented on by the electorate with the SNP victory in the Aberdeen Donside by-election.

    Newsroom is living in a dreamworld where the SNP and Salmond have supposedly been rumbled by the electorate, instead of enjoying support in excess of that achieved even in the 2011 Holyrood triumph.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 11 Thumb down 10

  7. Having served on a few committees in my distant past I have always had the view that to put your hand up and volunteer for club committee or County Council was an acceptance that you were being sent to the cellar to stoke the boilers on behalf of those people who voted for you. In other words, you had offered your own personal time and enthusiasm to take on extra responsibilities – sometimes weighty – but you had put your hand up – remember !
    This new position in society however doesn’t mean that you are some sort of superior being – which is why I like the ‘cellar’ analogy. But also – as with everyone who works hard you deserve the respect of others for volunteering in the first place.
    But – going back to my post 4 above – I would have expected my local Ward councillors Philand /Macmillan and Taylor to at least acknowledge these emails from their constituent.
    However there may be another reason – all of them know of my complaints about the Mid Argyll Planning Dept as the subject came up before but is now all collated at my new website http://www.midargyllplanners.com/index.html – maybe my email address is permanently on their SPAM list – Oooopps!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 2

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