THE DEMOCRAT EDITORIAL

Cllr Jonathan McColl; Martin Docherty Hughes MP and millionaire Gordon Gibb.

Mr Bumble and the Meerkat have a hard neck on them, accusing the millionaire boss of Flamingo Land of hypocrisy.

Mr Bumble (Cllr Jonathan McColl, West Dunbartonshire Council’s answer to US President Donald Trump and Boris Johnston) and the Meerkat (pint-sized, pompous, pop up SNP politician Martin Docherty Hughes MP) have colluded in a dirty tricks-type fit up of Gordon Gibb and branded him as a hypocrite.

The Nats’ finest have accused him of double standards for saying that the land near his £1 million Yorkshire mansion was a haven of peace and quiet because it was part of a national park.

This was spun-out by these frequently economical with the truth, anti-democratic SNP politicians to some gullible journalists as a current affair.

It wasn’t of course. The truth of the matter is that the “news” was about two years old.

What Gordon Gibb was doing at the time was gilding the lily a little to sell his house – who doesn’t? –  by saying it was close to the national park in Yorkshire, which is a haven of peace and beauty.

His house is (was) about as close to the national park as Dumbarton is to Balloch, a distance of 4k away, which is not exactly over the garden wall.

There are plenty of reasons why Flamingo Land should never be allowed to desecrate the Bonnie Banks of Loch Lomond with their planned project, but this is hardly one of them.

So, we should keep the party clean, free from fake news.

The Dumbarton Democrat fully supports the Save Loch Lomond campaign to persuade the Loch Lomond National Park Authority to refuse planning permission to Flamingo Land for their leisure park venture at Drumkinnon Bay.

Scottish Enterprise, his co-applicant, should never have given Mr Gibb’s company encouragement to embark on this in the first place. It was a waste of public money and a poor attempt cloaked in an intention to attract jobs to this area.

And Mr Gibb, who is so proud of his Scottish heritage that he got married in a kilt and then had a traditional Scottish reception, where “guests dined on Aberdeen Angus beef, Scottish salmon, haggis and neeps and tatties,” should have known better than to mess with the only part of Loch Lomondside with free, unhindered access for ordinary, working folk.

He is probably more Scottish than many of his SNP opponents.

You won’t hear me say this often, but I feel sorry for Gordon Gibb for falling foul of the duplicitous SNP council leader McColl, who initially portrayed himself as his friend and an enthusiastic supporter of this unwelcome business venture.

Yes, it was Jonathan McColl who told all and sundry that he was in favour of encouraging Flamingo Land to come into Balloch.

And who, in the manner we have come to expect from him, changed his tune and did a U-turn when he saw the community – and the country – was massively opposed to this.

It became very clear that the re-election jacket in his Balloch ward was on an extremely shaky nail.

What a thin-skinned, autocratic, unscrupulous individual we have in charge of our once proud Council, but it is often said the public gets the politicians it deserves.

We imagine the well-heeled Mr Gibb is not in the least discomfited by these latest expressions of outrage and anger.

He must, however, be disappointed as he watches his chance to gain a £2 million piece of land for nothing on a prime site such as Loch Lomondside gradually disappear from his grasp into an ever thickening Scotch Mist.

His company, recently re-named Lomond Banks in a series of enigmatic moves, had this to say:  “We are promising to enhance a national park. That’s the big picture here.

“We are going to invest £30 million in Balloch, create over 200 jobs, improve amenities for local people and make the place more attractive to tourists who will come here to seek adventure and experiences in and around the town.

“Local businesses are going to benefit hugely from this. That’s what the focus should be on and not on an old quote that was printed out of context.

“Gordon was misquoted in an article relating to the sale of his house in Ebberston.

“The house itself is not in a National Park, and is 4km away from the National Park boundary where Gordon likes to go running.

“What he said was that the house is in a great location, close to the National Park. And the area in which he goes running is not earmarked for development.

“To claim Gordon is a hypocrite is really clutching at straws in a desperate attempt to make him look bad.

“The Lomond Banks proposal is to enhance an area that has been earmarked for tourism for years.

“To draw a comparison between a home in Ebberston to an area that has been earmarked for tourism development in Balloch is quite frankly ridiculous.”

Yes, ridiculous.

The people who run this community seem to believe we all came up the River Leven in a banana boat.

We owe it to ourselves and to future generations to send them homeward to think again.

And to take Mr Gibb an d Flamingo Land with them.


One thought on “THE DEMOCRAT EDITORIAL

  1. Bill, in my opinion Flamingo Land got what they came to Balloch for, The Woodbank site, discussions and negotiations were ongoing with the planners and Scottish Development who for years tried to flog Pier Road unsuccessfully, they saw this as a golden opportunity and Flamingo Land played ball, why not, several surveys were carried out at the expense of Scottish Development, then low and behold planning was granted for The Woodbank site, where I understand the existing building has only to have facade treatment. Meantime things were moving along, where even our C.C at the very outset gave their unreserved support without consulting the community they supposedly represent, sham on them.

    Like

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