Monday, April 22, 2013

The Battle of George Square, SNP Leader Graeme Hendry calls on Labour leader Gordon ‘free dinners’ Matheson to resign over Square redesign fiasco, toothless Celtic tiger uses ‘dead sheep’ attack to little effect

Dear All

Glasgow City Council had a contest to redesign George Square; this attracted a number of entries.

One thing you would expect that the contest would be fair, open and honest.

Everyone entered in good faith and it isn’t unreasonable to expect the competition to be run in that manner.

However, it appears questions have been asked about the running of this contest which has ended up with Glasgow Council Leader; ­Gordon Matheson taking the huff that his preferred design wasn't being chosen.

Now, Gordon ‘free dinners’ Matheson has been reported to ethics watchdog with allegations that he breached of the code of conduct as a councilor.

The SNP is calling for his resignation and asked that Matheson to “do the honourable thing” by considering his position, and accused him of “damaging” the city’s reputation.

Maybe the SNP should put its own house in order before trying to tackle the problem of George Square.

So, what is Matheson facing?

Well, the claims are attempting to coerce staff, improper bias, interfering in a legally defined procurement process, and trying to be “directly involved” in the local council’s operational management.

The competition collapsed in January, when the judging panel selected a blueprint from John McAslan & Partners from six shortlisted entries, only for Mr Matheson to announce the council had scrapped the initiative.

In layman’s terms that is called a ‘bad loser’.

The complaint sent to the Public Standards Commissioner includes a statement from Kerr Robertson, until recently the council’s lead architect and projects ­director.

He alleges, he was told six weeks before the final judging process began that “Gordon Matheson [would] be allowed to choose the winning design”, and that he was asked to ensure “other jury members would fall in line with this”.

Straightaway, we have council sources suggesting Mr Robertson may have had a grudge against Mr Matheson.

This is pretty standard stuff, someone makes a comment or complaint and then they get attacked, it is a tactic well known in the Scottish National Party.

This attack was countered by someone close to the project who said:

“The suggestion he might have a grudge against Cllr Matheson is absolutely ­absurd. He had always been the most supportive, diligent, and hugely professional employee of Glasgow City Council.”

A spokesman for Mr Matheson said:

“Even the RIAS make it clear in the complaint that they can’t find a rule they think has been broken and they acknowledge that the competition was well run. They are also clear that they have no evidence of ­anyone attempting to improperly ­influence the jury.”

So, it seems that Gordon ‘free dinners’ Matheson according to reports has nothing to fear, as much as the SNP try to take Matheson out, he keeps slipping the jab, bobbing and weaving.

Gordon Matheson crushed Scotland’s unpopular Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s dream of Team Sturgeon taking over Glasgow City Council.

The then SNP leader Allison Hunter was genuinely pathetic as a leader, she led that campaign into ‘the shitter’ and the Labour Party pulled the chain and flushed them away.

In truth, Sturgeon’s cronies weren’t up to the task even with the Glasgow Labour Party on its knees, bad council management, Labour councilors in scandal after scandal.

Allison Hunter also secured Labour victory in the 2017 council election which given current trends will see Gordon ‘free dinners’ Matheson walk it, there is a genuine lack of talent in the SNP.

So, will Graeme Hendry, the part time SNP leader’s attack have much effect?

About as much as Nicola Sturgeon’s ‘popularity’ is driving the indy debate ‘forward’ for the independence camp.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

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