The editor voices his views on Moray’s most topical events of the past week…..
I have a very strong hunch that I’m not alone in becoming thoroughly and completely fed up with politicians.
Sure there is a general election on the offing this week – and I’ll be there at the count in Moray, as anxious as anyone to find out who is representing us for the next five years.
I have very little doubt that after the results are known most of the promises, accusations and yes, downright threats will be forgotten, each side will pat the other on the back saying “good fight” with the losers acting like they don’t care.
The winners will then get on with running the country exactly the way they want to, brushing aside the odd challenge on why they are not doing what they said they would do or, crucially, doing some very unpopular things that they conveniently failed to mention over the last few months.
Then again we all fully expect all this in our national political games, we remain cynical and just accept it. On the local stage though – are we prepared to accept much of the same?
Once again this week the public who bothered to take an interest could see for themselves the acrimony and bitterness that does exist between our opposing local council representatives.
I’m sure when the era of ‘openness’ saw our local authority broadcast all their meetings live, allowing us not only to hear what they are saying to each other but to see them doing it – that they never intended it to be akin to regular shows of “my ego is bigger than yours”.
Pretty much how things came over at Full Council as some in the chamber sneered and snarled and could barely conceal their personal animosity towards each other.
One of the major achievements of Moray Council in recent months has been agreement to spend some time and money on eradicating a culture of bullying that might well still exist amongst council staff.
I would suggest that the next target they set their joint sights on is eradicating the ill-feeling and lack of willingness to cooperate not only with the people of Moray but with each other.
When the dust settles on Thursday’s general election, people in Moray are hoping for changes on a national level that will improve their lives, but will not be very surprised if they don’t actually get any.
What they are also hoping for is that their own local politicians put away their swords and do much the same.
I’ve rattled on about this often enough in the past – but while national politicians can be forgiven for not fully delivering on local issues and not listening to their constituents, local politicians have no excuse or reason to do the same.
The current council has failed to meet local hopes and expectations on far too many issues.
They now face a couple more years when cuts will be required that will bite deep into all our lives, so for all our sakes they have to change their ways – stop beating each other up, stop delivering snide comments at each other – get over the past and do something about our future.
Above all, if you have to take unpopular decisions fine – but don’t do so without explaining in much greater detail why it is better, for example, to deny one community £20k for a health-benefiting community-led hydrotherapy pool while granting another over quarter of a million pounds for an ice rink.