Friday 3 September 2010

Councillor Dawe - just not worthy

There was a wee story in Edinburgh's Evening News recently. The gist is that Edinburgh Council paid out £6,000 to a company involved in the Gathering and no-one had told Council Leader Jenny Dawe who had told other councillors that no money had been paid, she instituted some kind of inquiry to get to the root of it all and that report has indicated a series of events which resulted in the money being paid out and it was, of course, all the fault of a senior council officer.

At first I regarded this as being a bit of a waste of public money and just a bit snide on the part of Cllr Dawe, seeking to shuck off responsibility but thinking about it now, I'm thinking that it's indicative of a deeper malaise, leading the council carries a responsibility similar to the leader of any other organisation - your desk is where the buck stops whether you ordered the action or not. Tony Hayward never ordered the rig explosion or the oil slick but he took the rap; Dugdale resigned in spite of not being responsible for the Crichel Down Affair; Carrington resigned because the FCO had failed over the Falklands in spite of not being personally responsible; and if memory serves there was even a Minister in Blair's Government who resigned over exam marking even though she was not personally responsible. Being at the top of the tree means you have to be prepared to accept responsibility for the organisation you lead. Slippy shoulders when it comes to responsibility (aye, and the blame) are not acceptable.

I laughed at the irony a while back when I saw a leaflet from an Edinburgh SNP councillor which stated that the Lib Dems now only stand for hypocrisy; now I wonder whether he was being too kind. When you're in a position of privilege and responsibility like the leader of the council in Scotland's capital city you have a duty to strive always to be worthy of the office, you should always be asking whether when all is said and done you will have said more than you've done or done more than you've said. Cllr Dawe doesn't match that specification, she is just not worthy.


James Mackenzie said...

And your colleagues are keeping them in power why exactly?

Calum Cashley said...

Sorry James, meant to answer you earlier than this. I considered that question at some length a long time ago and came to this conclusion:

The Conservatives on the council are too disparate and most of them still bear the horrible twitches of disdain for the ordinary people of this fine city.

It was Labour's appaling mismanagement of the city's affairs that got Edinburgh into such a mess and they have to be kept out of office until they learn.

The Green councillors appear to have taken the Labour whip in the council chambers and so have to stand in the corner with them.

That leaves just the Lib Dems who are terrible.

The only solution would seem to be - elect more SNP councillors!