Ruth Davidson – her Tory councillors are running the show in SNP-controlled West Dunbartonshire Council.
By Bill Heaney
Confusion reigns yet again in the political bubble that is West Dunbartonshire. What really is the relationship between the Tories and the SNP?
I think we should be told since a letter from Ruth Davidson popped through my letterbox this morning.
It stated unequivocally: “As the second largest party in Scotland at both Holyrood and Westminster, the Scottish Conservatives are leading the fightback against the SNP.”
Well, not here you are not, Ruth – not in West Dunbartonshire.
As Ruth and other politicians are wont to say, let me be very clear about this. But it’s usually as clear as mud.
Down at the Burgh Hall, in the splendid new council chambers there, the SNP are in power thanks only to the CONSERVATIVES.
Ruth’s letter states: “We’re speaking up for communities that the SNP have taken for granted for far too long and fighting to make sure that the issues that matter most to those communities are heard loud and clear by the Scottish Government.”
Come off it Ruth. Edinburgh’s not so far away that you wouldn’t have heard that Labour have been in control here for years.
And it was only when their councillors lost the plot, turning down the street lights and buildings schools they didn’t need, that the SNP got a foothold here.
Had it not been for Jackie Baillie, the MSP for Dumbarton and Lomond, Labour would have been wiped off the map.
She has done so much for local people that Richard Leonard, Lord help us, pictured right, considered her such a danger to his position as Labour leader in Scotland that he sacked her from the shadow cabinet.
Strange game politics. Brutal in some cases, as Theresa May will soon find out, but for Baillie being bumped by Leonard must have been like being savaged by a dead sheep.
Davidson’s misleading missive boasts about a “major breakthrough” that was “only possible because people here who wanted to beat the SNP threw their support behind the Scottish Conservatives. They understood that, even if it only meant loaning their vote to my party, that was the best way to beat Nicola Sturgeon’s candidate”.
Don’t think so, Ruth. Perhaps you had better check the figures.
Only two Conservatives were returned here and they haven’t made much of an impact apart from disregarding your message to work hard to keep the SNP out of office.
They have been doing the exact opposite. Sally Page, who represents Balloch, and Brian Walker, who won the Dumbarton seat, have been toiling away assiduously on behalf of your Nationalist enemies.
They are hand in glove with the SNP. Their hands go up in support of every detested and contested austerity cut SNP leader Jonathan McColl and his colleagues choose to foist on the people of this, one of the most deprived part of Scotland.
Has it conveniently escaped their attention that they are Unionists and that they are keeping Nationalists in power here?
We still have people using food banks here – and scavenging skips behind supermarkets looking for food to feed their children.
And then we have the sword of Damocles in the form of Universal Credit hanging over our poorest families who can’t afford their living expenses despite the fact that many of them are in work.
Cllrs Walker, McColl, Agnew and Page, implementing Tory cuts in Dunbartonshire.
The Conservatives are assisted in what they do by Bailie Denis Agnew, who was given his gold chain of office after a questionable piece of political horse trading which saw him receive a special rate of pay for selling his political soul to the SNP.
It wasn’t illegal – but it was immoral.
Mind you, Labour had done something similar with the same man when they agreed to burnish his ego and made him Provost in the administration before this one when Dumbarton and Vale of Leven Labour were engaged in an ongoing fight with Clydebank Labour.
Some would say they still are still fighting. Or even that they always have been.
Anyway, Ruth, you are wrong. Your claim that the Tories are fighting the SNP is disingenuous.
Ruth Davidson says she is very keen to hear from the electorate here “on a number of issues” which she has chosen not to name.
How about the Tory backed decision to halt the maintenance of our parks, cemeteries and open spaces?
What about Tory efforts to emasculate our trade council trade unions?
Answers on a letter please to:
Freepost Pus RSHZ-LLJT-UCEJ
Ruth Davidson MSP
Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party
67 Northumberland Street
Edinburgh EH 3 6JG