West Dunbartonshire’s SNP opposition councillors appear to have suffered serious memory loss, writes Bill Heaney
They are claiming that Scottish Labour, who won the local election hands down on May 5, have “deliberately disenfranchised” local voters … “in a clear move to avoid scrutiny for the coming five year term”.
Additionally, they are claiming the SNP will deliver truth, openness, democratic accountability and maybe even bacon rolls and coffee for everyone at their Church Street headquarters. Have they forgotten already how they operated as part of Nicola Sturgeon’s Secret Scotland last time round and were enthusiastic participants in her strategy of Cover Up.
Anyone who follows – or who tries to follow local politics when cover-ups are not put in their way – knows this is pure and simply poppycock.
The SNP are claiming that Labour “loaded the Education Committee and several other bodies with a disproportionate number of Labour councillors”.
And that they have blocked the Community Party and Scottish National Party from representing the people who voted for them.
The SNP are being more arrogant than Boris Johnston. Hubris exits from every orifice.
And every bit as economical with the truth.
It is remarkable that they are saying more time in debate should be given to Cllr Jim Bollan of the Community Party.
Have they forgotten that Cllr Bollan is the person they tried to silence and took sanctions against when he called the SNP administration to account over alleged corrupt practices in procurement?
Why have they taken such a shine to him? Do they think he could be doing with some supping champagne and wine and fine dining on double portions of fish with council contractors in fancy hotels and restaurants?
The SNP have no one in the same political league as Cllr Bollan.
Labour have taken ten of the fourteen seats on the Education Committee, all three seats on the Community Alliance, all three seats on Community Planning, all three seats on the Dumbarton Educational Trust, all four seats on the Shared Services Joint Committee, all three seats on the Health and Social Care Partnership and both seats on Lomond and Clyde Care and Repair.
Good luck to them, I say. The Health and Social Care Committee was the worst I had ever seen since taking up local government reporting 50 odd years ago.
The SNP claim Labour have broken COSLA (Convention of Local Authority) rules on political balance, when they were told clearly that this was something that would be looked at again in the autumn.
“In an even more dangerous move,” the SNP say “Labour have failed to give the Opposition a majority on the Audit Committee, the body responsible for scrutinising financial management, complaints and risks to the Council.”
That would be like giving the fox the key to the hen house.
A consignment of Brasso would be appropriate for SNP necks who came up the Clyde on a mystery tour and found Dumbarton with its guard down against impostors.
The SNP’s new leader, Cllr Karen Conaghan who, Lord help her, has to step into the shoes of her predecessor the odious Cllr Jonathan McColl, said Labour have given themselves “an absolute mandate” in all the committees and public bodies that have significant power.
They have “specifically chosen these bodies to keep the SNP away,” she says.
Well, if you won in similar circumstances, I don’t think you would give that hard won power away lightly.
The SNP’s local website is filled with gobbledeygook and tired cliches such as one from SNP deputy leader Cllr Gordon Scanlan which says ”parents, pupils and teaching rep’s now count for nothing” with the Education Committee.
The least you would expect from a members of the education committee is that they would know, when writing about education, where to put the apostrophe in a word such as reps.
The football on TV is almost over for this season. There is just one big match to come, Scotland versus Ukraine on Wednesday night.
Can we win and march on to the World Cup in Quatar? Do we really want to be in the World Cup in Quatar, which will be a moneyfest on a scale such as as we have never seen before?
Put that aside for a moment. Last season was disappointing for Rangers who failed to win a European trophy in Seville. It was disappointing too for Liverpool who failed to beat Real Madrid in a dreary, disappointing European Cup Final.
I am far from xenophobic, but I feel that British football supporters are being conned rotten and ripped off by the big clubs.
John O’Hare, Stevie Murray, Ally McCoist and Murdo MacLeod – great players for Scotland.
That’s because, in truth, the players who turn out for the likes of Liverpool and Rangers and Celtic are not true representatives of Merseyside or Clydeside.
We used to be able to go to a match and shout on lads from our own community, people like John O’Hare from Renton and Stevie Murray from Bellsmyre.
These days, however, there are hardly any recognisable names on the team sheets. I have said before that there are not many Bolongolis from Brucehill or Mo Salahs from Silverton.
We will have one local lad to cheer on come Wednesday, however. John McGinn, pictured left, whose parents are from Dumbarton.
Let’s settle down in front of the telly and cheer for John and his team mates come Wednesday. It’s a pity they are playing against long-suffering Ukraine in this match.
In different circumstances, we might be shouting for them. The Quatar Question won’t go away soon We can deal with when we get there.
Local supporters who went to see their fellow Dumbartonians play in big matches back in the day — John McCann, John McIntosh, Peter McCutcheon, Andy Mallan and Bill Heaney.