Thursday, May 31, 2012
Braveheart SNP Councillor Graeme Hendry promises to hold Glasgow Labour Council to account, two weeks later promise already broken, Freedom!
One of life’s events that make your heart sink is being stuck behind an Orange Order parade.
I have absolutely no time for these guys, however in a democracy you have to set aside your personal dislike for what they represent and recognise their legal right to hold their marches.
More than 20 Orange Order parades will be staged in Glasgow this weekend.
The reason for this amount is to allow the Orange Order and its members across the city commemorate the Queen's 60 years on the throne.
Pretty much they are covering every direction of the city, so no matter where you go you will bump into them especially on main roads.
In all, there will be 20 separate processions coming into and leaving the city across late morning and afternoon so we are stuck.
As well as the marching, there will be a service at the Evangelical Church in Cathedral Square on High Street as part of the annual County Church Parade.
Around 1500 members of the organisation will be out banging the big drum and taking part in the parades, and where there is marching, you can expect their followers, possibly thousands who trail behind them.
To give the Orange Order credit, it is my understanding that they do charity work raising funds for worthwhile causes.
There are no police objections to the timings or the routes of the parades since Strathclyde Police is pretty much use to overseeing these parades.
Expect noise and expect people who follow this, some of whom will get plastered.
The Labour Party has come in for some criticism from opposition politicians in Glasgow who are boycotting taking seats on a body that decides on controversial marches over plans to overhaul the city's approach to parades.
The SNP's boycott is another example of stupidity and proof if it is further needed that new leadership is required at Glasgow SNP.
The previous leadership by SNP leader and Councillor Allison Hunter was so weak I rated it utterly pathetic. And I am being kind about that opinion.
If I was the SNP Group leader I would appoint SNP Councillors from the allocation given by Labour to every position in every committee.
Part of the problem that Glasgow SNP had going into the council election was an appalling record of crap rather like Labour had at the Holyrood Parliament.
Labour got stuffed at 2011 election, Glasgow SNP got stuffed 2012.
As well as opposition members acting up some of the members of the Labour administration have been reluctant to take seats on the public processions committee.
One bright spark claimed:
"It's a committee to avoid at all costs."
It isn’t one of life’s trendy committees but it has to be done and it has to be done fairly and professionally, because it is about allowing people to express their views even if you strongly disagree with them.
I wouldn’t have a problem myself because defending people’s right to protest or support their cause isn’t anything to be ashamed of.
In election mode and on the campaign trail leader of the city council, Gordon ‘free dinners’ Matheson, told a pre-election meeting with the Orange Order that his authority's landmark policy on limiting the number, routes and timings of parades was "wrong" and promised to overhaul it.
In politics it is called responding to voters concerns or simply buying votes with goodies.
The SNP Group in pure ‘fighting for Scotland’ mode has decided not to work, who is going to notice?
Graeme Hendry, leader of the council's SNP group, said:
"At the moment, following councillor Matheson's comments, the parades' policy is up in the air. SNP councillors are more than happy to play a full part in the running of all council committees but we cannot do that on this occasion until we know what it is we're implementing."
You just stick to implementing the ‘good’ policies Graeme and leave the running of the council to those who are prepared to tackle all the issues that the voters want resolved.
You just do the good stuff!
That will win you the council in 2017…. Just kidding, no, I am just kidding, no seriously, really just kidding.
Co-leader of the Greens, Nina Baker said that if offered her party would have taken a seat on the committee but would want further reductions in the number of parades.
"If there is a review in the offing we absolutely want to have our views known."
What difference does it make to her? A protest is a protest and a march is a march and to the public, they generally don’t care, they are more concerned how to body swerve them to get where they are going.
The public processions committee as I understand it only meets when the police lodge objections to routes, the timing or nature of a parade, with the council then deciding how to act on the concerns.
And surely Graeme Hendry can find at least one SNP Councillor who understands free speech.
Recently Hendry was elected leader of Glasgow SNP Group speaking soon after the SNP AGM Hendry boldly declared he was looking forward to holding Labour to account.
“Our work begins now to put in place a team of spokespeople from this talented group which will continue to hold Labour to account and start the process of developing ideas that will help this great city.”
That was about two weeks ago and already that promise is being broken!
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University