To my absolute astonishment and disbelief the Labour group have refused my request for access to the chamber and my right to ask questions of their press officers.
Or even to take a seat during meetings with other journalists at the press bench – if only they had one.
It seems that like the Tories who run the BBC, they want to have control of what I write and where I gather the news I print in The Dumbarton Democrat.
Now I’m no Gary Lineker. In football terms, I was never good enough to lace that man’s boots.
But as a journalist I have a trophy cabinet of my own which I have built up over my nearly 60 years in newspapers and other media.
And I have scored a hat-trick of wins in the Scottish Press Awards.
So, when the Labour Group at West Dunbartonshire Council showed me the red card, I was dismayed.
I never expected them to be as small-minded as the basket case SNP in Dumbarton or the Tories at Westminster, but they have been.
So far as Labour in West Dunbartonshire is concerned it seems I can rot in the sin bin since there is little prospect of me getting back on the park.
I have wondered often what the likes of Jackie Baillie MSP and Sir Keir Starmer, Leader of the Labour Opposition, would do if they knew about my situation.
The truth is that I am not guilty of having interrupted a council meeting. I asked for the sound to be turned up during a comfort break.
But I did tell a press officer to ‘bugger off’ when she took my arm and attempted with about six other suits and skirts to escort me out the door.
So, here’s what Sir Keir had to ask Prime Minister Rishi Sunak about Freedom of Speech during questions at Westminster on Wednesday.
Sir Keir added: “Conservative Members are calling for more from a Prime Minister who does not understand that we can disagree with what someone says while still defending their right to say it.
“If he does not understand that, we have a real problem. Does he accept that people’s concerns about the BBC have been made worse because the Government chose to put a Tory donor with no broadcasting experience in charge of the BBC?
“There was a rigorous, independent and long-established process. The appointment was supported by expert panel members, as well as by the cross-party Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee. That process is being independently reviewed by the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments, and we should allow the review to conclude.”
Then it got dirty. Sir Keir said: “The chair of the BBC is no ordinary Tory donor. He is so close to the Prime Minister that he has been described as the Prime Minister’s mentor. He helped to arrange an £800,000 credit line for the former Prime Minister—a minor detail he forgot to tell the Select Committee that scrutinised his appointment. Does the Prime Minister think his friend’s position is still tenable?”
No one was sent out or sanctioned, but then Sir Lindsay is a true democrat, not a trumped up one like his party colleagues on West Dunbartonshire Council.
Yes, only if you stay on message.