Monday, August 13, 2012

Glasgow SNP calls for inquiry over Glasgow City Council job held by ‘Slayer of the Nats’ Tom McCabe, petty politics verging on harassment?

Dear All

No one likes sour grapes from someone, especially when it makes them look petty and squalid.

Awhile ago ex Labour MSP Tom McCabe helped masterminded the epic and historic Labour Party victory in the Glasgow City Council election.

Labour won a majority of the seats despite a terrible record by some of its councillors who were deselected and replaced.

It was an ideal opportunity for the Scottish National Party to present a strong case for why the city should replace the Labour Party.

But things went wrong as Team Sturgeon had in place Councillor Allison Hunter who was totally out of her depth, as her gaffes mounted; she was seen and held up as an example of inept leadership by the Labour Party.

Hunter wasn’t a strong ‘leader of men’ or anyone else in my opinion, at the Sunny Govan radio hustings, she looked defeated as she slummed in her chair, looking very much not like leader in waiting of a council or anything else.

Team Sturgeon had put a lightweight into a heavyweight contest who couldn't even flick the political jab or had the ability to finish.

If Gordon 'free dinners' Matheson had been tied to a political chair both hands behind his back, Allison Hunter still couldn't have put him down, he on the other hand was able to land power shots to the body of the SNP after his initial shaky start.

Gordon ‘free dinners’ Matheson went on asked the now famous question at another hustings:

“Why, why, why won’t Allison stand up for Glasgow?”

Then there was the Nationalist manifesto, the content was poor, in fact when I read a copy of it, there wasn’t even a front cover and an index!

8 pages of double sided A4 held together with a staple, how utterly unprofessional and tacky, this was the Manifesto of Destiny?

The presentation of that manifesto at the GRA, the umbrella group of SNP branches was a strangely underwhelming affair.

While reading the manifesto I had to stop and look up as Allison Hunter’s daughter did the presentation, it was shockingly bad, the thought that immediately ran through my head was, had I stumbled into an 8 year old reading class?

And of course when it came to explaining what the content was, both Allison Hunter and her daughter came up with the immortal line in answer to questions.

‘I’ll get back to you’.

It was an election that the Nationalists thought would be a cakewalk, they boasted they would win the Council, they then boasted when things started to slip they would win the largest number of seats.

In the end, the people took a look at Team Sturgeon, the candidates and manifesto and decided that as bad as Labour were, they were still miles better than the Nationalists.

I bumped into an unhappy Nicola Sturgeon outside the count at the SECC, the look on her face told the story of the event.


After the debacle at the Chambers, Allison Hunter was replaced as SNP leader by Graeme Hendry, like Hunter, Hendry is seen by some in the SNP as a caretaker leader, he does the role part time as he works elsewhere.

Glasgow needs a full time SNP leader to hold the Labour administration to account, Hendry was quick to promise that he would do so, the soundbyte, the reality was that promise was quickly broken as SNP councillors refused to serve on certain committees.

People call that a broken promise.

The sour grapes of the May election haven’t gone away for the SNP, for Labour, it was back to business, the glory, the power and keys to city back in their hands.

We are now treated to what must be a rather squalid piece of Nationalist politics as they demand an independent inquiry into the appointment of a former Labour minister Tom McCabe to a top post at Labour-run Glasgow City Council.

Grudge, grievance and malcontent politics spring immediately to mind, but the party leadership are strangely silent on SNP Councillors who get effectively paid twice for representing people in the same area.

That is a scandal.

Checking the Glasgow Council Website recently I also noticed that some of the ‘two jobbers’ don’t even post their surgery times on their pages.

That is a scandal.

So, to return to part time leader Graeme Hendry, leader of the SNP opposition at the authority, he had a reputation for FOI at the council which I dubbed him the ‘King of FOI’, a one trick pony.

He says that there maybe a case for Audit Scotland to look into the selection of former finance minister Tom McCabe.

Then again there maybe not!

Last month, Tom McCabe fresh from the laurels of victory placed on him as the ‘Slayer of the Nats’ was made a policy advisor to the land and environmental services department ahead of 53 other applications.

The post was fully advertised and a candidate appointed after “competitive interview”.

Glasgow Labour Party aren’t stupid, they will be fireproof, because selection is based on subjective opinion of the panel.

Mr Hendry said:

“There are serious questions to be answered by Glasgow Labour.”


Someone wake me up when Glasgow SNP get a better leader.

Maybe Hendry should be campaigning for the SNP to get its own house in order before going around shouting the odds.

It doesn’t take SNP councillors nearly 4 months to post surgery times on the council website.

Pot calling the kettle black springs to mind.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

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