Search topics on this blog

Google+ Badge

Showing posts with label local government corruption. Show all posts
Showing posts with label local government corruption. Show all posts

Friday, 1 April 2011

Rotten boroughs - Glasgow City Council

Private Eye runs a feature called rotten boroughs. Quite how Glasgow City Council has escaped its notice of late is puzzling. Or maybe I missed it.

This Labour-controlled council has gone through scandal after scandal in the last couple of years, of which I need only mention Purcell, the ALEOs, the PTA, the Ccommonwealth Games clearances and the Jaconelli outrage.

A quivering, noxious, sticky web of questionable relationships and behaviour that embraced drug dealers, media, gangsters, PR firms, property developers, etc. has been regularly probed by those media channels who were not themselves enmeshed in it in one way or another, but to little avail.

Are there honest men and women in Glasgow City Council and the Glasgow Labour Party? Of course there are, and in significant numbers. But they are either impotent or timid - or downright afraid, with honourable exceptions.

I despaired of Glasgow Labour a long, long time ago but retained a blind loyalty to the Party until Iraq and all that followed. That kind of blind loyalty was challenged by what can now be seen as the false dawn of the Glasgow East by-election, when for a brief moment the voters of Glasgow East took the blinkers off and rejected the party that had crushed the heart and soul out of them, only to revert to the reflex Labour vote at the 2010 general election.

The Glasgow North East (Springburn) by-election was the most obvious example of this kind of voting-against-reality syndrome, when, following the ignominious resignation the the Speaker of the House of Commons - their MP Michael Martin - and the unfolding criminal behaviour of Labour MPs and Lords, they returned yet another Labour MP to Westminster.

Labour, especially Glasgow Labour, has systematically betrayed the interests of trades unions, their main party funders. To be more accurate, they have betrayed the interests of trade union members, but advanced the interests and political ambitions of  some trades union officials, who have never doubted where their unswerving loyalty lay - not to their members, but to the Labour Party machine that was going advance their ambitions.

Today, we have the latest manifestation of this in a Herald story, headlined Council chief under fire for perks as staff lose their jobs.

Even the unions found this a bitter pill to swallow - although swallow it they will as the Glasgow Tammany Hall persuaders and patronage promisers do their rounds. But the acceptance of lavish hospitality from the successful bidders for lucrative council contracts and sub-contracts that the unions claim are at the expense of in-house council workers, by the man at the eye of the storm, Robert Booth, head of GCC’s roads, parks and environmental health , will not easily be explained away by full-time union officials to their members.

Glasgow City Council’s feeble explanations for this are too laughable to repeat here. Even Eddie Izzard, an English comedian who chose to make a celebrity intervention in the Springburn by-election might find difficulty with them.

But this latest debacle, which will be speedily ended by George Square if they can get away with it, is only the tip of a big iceberg floating unstoppably towards the golden brown marble staircases of the City Chambers, and may even cause some of those on the lower decks of this Titanic to stop singing Rule Brittannia and voting for the Unionist Nuclear WMD Labour Party in Scotland.

Who knows, even the trades union officials may be roused from their torpor and actually act in the interests of their members.