Editorial: For Moray’s sake drop the national sabre-rattling

Sunday Supplement

A look back at events reported on the pages of insideMoray this week ……

Moray Council

If the evidence of insideMoray’s readership statistics are anything to go by I will not be thanked for producing this week’s Editorial on a political theme.

It does not escape me as editor that when I write a headline with a political theme the readership figures tend to be around 10% of those attracted to more sensational stories of fire, storm or crime.

And yet we should be paying far more attention to the antics of our politicians – at least of the local variety – when all is said and done these are the people who will have the greater impact on our lives than any other single group.

Take the mini-row that went on when SNP councillor Patsy Gowans, a long time defender of the rights of health and social care workers, called on the council to make it their policy when awarding contracts that the staff of firms benefiting receive at least the ‘living wage’.

Just 24 hours later arrives a press release from the leader of the Labour group at Moray Council, John Divers, agreeing that yes, this was something his party are 100% behind – alas, rather than simply backing the call the statement attacked the SNP party’s national policy on the subject.

Fast forward to ‘exchanges of views’ between members of the two parties attacking each other on historical grounds via our social media page.

In that yet again the story itself was forgotten as the politically-minded threw aside the real issue to ‘have a square go’ at each other.

I was, as most readers will be aware, a losing candidate for the SNP in a by-election – but then I grew up. What I now realise is that the state of local politics in Moray is just plain rotten.

I know and have met most if not all of the individuals representing us on a ‘party ticket’ in Moray, I know them to be kind, caring and above all community spirited individuals who went into the game with the best possible intentions.

Alas, they carry the baggage of the past with them – and frankly like many old things it stinks to the high heavens.

Here is an idea for members of political parties serving on our local authority. I know when you meet in private for the most part you get along swimmingly, indeed you even like each other (well, in most cases).

So how about your carry that over into your public statements? How about each of you stop blaming the other for every historical (and may I say often hysterical) mistake of the past, and instead come together for a better future?

And most of all, how about you stop trying to play national politics and stick to the local stage, representing local people on local issues.

Go on Cllrs Divers, Morton, Paul, Leadbitter, McConnachie, Coull, McDonald, Howe, Ross, Wright, Gowans, Shand, Allan, McLean –  how about it?

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