22nd February 2018
Established 1872. Online since 1996.

Of course it’s political (Ian Scott)

I must say I was quietly tickled when listening to BBC Radio Shetland’s hearty endorsement of Drew Ratter’s declaration that he was standing as a candidate in the May elections.

I was even more tickled when I saw our own Shetland Times adding to his profile by giving him a handsome half-page advert. As someone who was centre stage during the truly great years of SIC lunacy, he may well fit in comfortably again.

I also read of a prominent Liberal declaring his candidacy, casually stating that the council is not a political council. With this level of understanding, I am sure he too will fit in well, but these kind of comments should not be allowed to go unchallenged.

With the greatest social crisis in living memory facing us, with our Tory/Liberal government giving tax cuts to its millionaire chums, and our aspiring politicians denying the political nature of local government, where on earth does this leave us? Not one word of protest from any of our councillors concerning the cuts, perhaps though a few crocodile tears for those who are about to suffer.

How on earth is it not a political council? When the Royal Mail is privatised, and our mail is delivered once a week, we will see then what is political and what is not. We also have the ridiculous situation where we have two council leaders, one incidentally called the political leader. It is fairly obvious to all why our Liberal friends are a bit shy at declaring their political colours, but to patronise the electorate by regurgitating the old chestnut of political neutrality surely does them a grave disservice.

Of course our council is political. That is why it is following enthusiastically and cheering on the government’s policies. The simple truth of the matter is that the political hue of the council reflects exactly that of our Westminster government. There is absolutely no problem with recognising this, but there appears to be a huge problem in accepting it. This council is as political as any that Strathclyde has produced over the years, it is just that there is a reluctance to admit it.

Obviously we will be subjected to the usual platitudes about working together, listening to the people, and of course putting Shetland first. What a load of old twaddle. The reality is that all this guff merely serves to cloud and obfuscate any debate that dares arise. All we have to do is listen to American politicians with their drivel to get a taste of the real thing. I do not expect the media to be making the trek to my door asking for my ideas and promoting my profile, although …

I remain prospective councillor and yours against the cuts.

Ian Scott
Scalloway.

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