NOTEBOOK by BILL HEANEY
It seems that in West Dunbartonshire we are not alone in having a madcap council leader who makes outrageous statements.
Fife Council’s SNP co-leader David Alexander has been accused of being as ‘wilfully ignorant of the facts’ after he declared “there’s not a cat in hell’s chance” of a second wave of the coronavirus hitting Scotland.
Cllr Alexander’s comments came in response to proposals put forward by Scottish Liberal Democrat councillor Tim Brett asking for a “rapid inquiry” into Scotland’s response to Covid-19.
Responding to Mr Alexander’s comments, LibDem leader Willie Rennie said: “David Alexander has his fingers in his ears, a blindfold over his eyes and his head in the sand if he thinks there is no chance of a second wave.
“His own party in government recognises the risks across Scotland.
“To not see the very clear and present risk of the virus is to be wilfully ignorant of the facts.
“We should expect more from a co-leader of Fife Council. It is imperative that Nicola Sturgeon contact David Alexander to advise him on what the real picture is across the country.”
Perhaps Cllr Alexander should form an orderly queue behind Derek Mackay, the FM’s former finance leader, who was widely tipped to succeed her in Bute House, and who recently picked up a stonking £44,000 of taxpayers’ money for doing nothing.
Mackay, who left his family and now lives in a large house in Bishopton, was embarrassed into resigning (but not quitting as an MSP) after pestering a 16-year-old boy.
He has been succeeded by Kate Forbes, who got the job after getting pass marks for reading out the Budget that Mackay called off from after sloping away into the dark the previous evening.
Kate comes from a really nice part of Skye, so there were no points deducted from her score for that task, although the Cambridge graduate failed to distinguish later between £30 million and £21 million. What’s a few million between friends, especially if you’re dealing with the country’s finance chief?
And then there is sombre John Swinney, Sturgeon’s Education Secretary, who presided over the exam shambles which dismayed and disadvantaged thousands of school pupils by agreeing to their results being marked down if they were educated at poor and deprived schools.
Poor Swinney. A decent fellow who appears to be being pushed ever closer to the Holyrood door. Sturgeon seems to line him up for one hospital pass after another for him.
Just to prove incompetence is not just a man thing, step forward Health Secretary Jeane Freeman, whose department have created a shambles out of corona virus.
And don’t mention hospitals and health boards to Bonnie Jeane.
The lass from Burns Country has rather more than she is likely to be able to cope with in regard to the shambles in our two “showpiece” hospitals in Glasgow and Edinburgh, about which a major judge-led inquiry is currently taking place.
Mention not dirty water or poisonous pigeon droppings in connection with deaths at the QE2 University Hospital and the Royal Children’s Hospital.
The SNP appear to be taking Scotland on the Road to Ruin.
Argyll and Bute Council and West Dunbartonshire have had to put up with the scandal of the A82 and A83 roads to the West Highlands.
Roadworks have been going on at Pulpit Rock on the A82 Loch Lomondside road and most recently at the Rest and Be Thankful – again.
Figures of up to £100 million have been thrown into this money pit full of mud, rocks and slurry, but with no success.
Even that normally shy, self-effacing and quietly retiring A&B council leader, Helensburgh woman Aileen Morton, has been forced into an angry outburst calling on the government to stop “shilly shallying” and get on with having the road fixed properly (that means permanently) says it all.
Meanwhile, Cllr Jonathan McColl has said a big, fat nothing. Sturgeon has him marked down as a possible candidate for her communications team in the new Secret Scotland.
Take care if you are heading for Oban or Inverary this weekend or any weekend for that matter. You could be faced with a 60-mile detour if the forecast thunder and lightning storms materialise.
Meanwhile, simmering away in the background is the prospect of a whole troop of monkeys falling out of the Holyrood inquiry into the Sex and Salmond affair in which the former First Minister has accused members of his party of attempting to stitch him up.
There was a touch of what is going on at Bute House in the new Sunday night TV series The Harlot during the High Court trial in which Alex Salmond was acquitted of what he called a number of scurrilous accusations against him.
If Alex Salmond comes out to be the winner of the Holyrood inquiry then that could turn out to be the cherry on the cake for the former SNP leader and his many supporters.
But that’s another story for another time.