Showing posts from November, 2021

Scotland's Politicians and Standards In Public Life

In my experience of dealing with them over many years, politicians are always very keen that the members of other political parties (ie other than their own) should abide by the key principles of public life. Here's a timely reminder of 'Nolan principles' which apply the all holders of public office - including Ministers, MSPs, MPs and local councillors. 1Selflessness Holders of public office should act solely in terms of the public interest. 2 Integrity Holders of public office must avoid placing themselves under any obligation to people or organisations that might try inappropriately to influence them in their work. They should not act or take decisions in order to gain financial or other material benefits for themselves, their family, or their friends. They must declare and resolve any interests and relationships. 3 Objectivity Holders of public office must act and take decisions impartially, fairly and on merit, using the best evidence and without discrimination or bias

Gaming the System and Public Money

I've written again to the Deputy First Minister, John Swinney drawing his attention to another example of  politicians 'gaming the system' over councillors' pay. In my experience all politicians love to pontificate about standards in public life especially when the finger is pointed at members of other parties. So the test here is whether the Scottish Government will act without fear or favour over an issue that's about probity and the proper use of public money - which really ought to transcend the usual partisan party politics.  Dear Mr Swinney Gaming the System on  Councillors'  Salaries I refer to my letter dated 15 November 2021 and the Scottish Government regulations governing the payment of councillors' salaries in Scotland (Your Reference: 202100255417). A further example of politicians 'gaming the system' has come to light recently involving the Leader of Clackmannanshire Council, Cllr Ellen Forson, who has a second job acting as Office Mana

Brass Necks, Public Money and Councillors' Pay

I've written to all elected members of Glasgow City Council regarding the use of public money to boost the pay of councillors who already have senior council roles, responsibilities and full-time salaries. Now this is a clear breach of the national scheme covering councillors' salaries in Scotland. So I'll be interested to see if any of the politicians involved have the brass neck to try and justify these payments as an appropriate use of public money. Dear Glasgow Councillor Public Money and Councillors Pay I wrote to the Deputy First Minister, John Swinney, recently and a copy of my letter is attached for your information. As a member of SLARC in 2011, I was involved in drawing John Swinney's attention to the scam of 'top up' payments being made to elected councillors in Glasgow, who sat on various council ALEOs. The situation in Glasgow in 2021 is that some councillors with senior roles, responsibilities and full-time salaries also have paid second jobs outsi

COP26, Travel and Photo Shoots

Nicola Sturgeon has called for tougher Covid travel rules which will see anyone arriving in Scotland from overseas being required to self-isolate for eight days. — STV News (@STVNews) November 29, 2021 COP26 did not require vaccine passports for the 30,000 or so delegates who descended on Glasgow in November - nor did they have to isolate for 8/10 days. For the most part they didn't even wear face masks - yet now that the politicians have got their selfies and photo shoots out the way, they waste no time calling for the travel industry to shut down once again. 

Oil, Gas and Inconvenient Truths

“That doesn’t mean we throw the people who currently work in the oil and gas industry on the scrap heap” @NicolaSturgeon rejects criticism from @AlexSalmond and others of her objections to new oil and gas fields, like #Cambo — Glenn Campbell (@GlennBBC) November 27, 2021 What sense does it make for SNP Ministers to close down oil and gas production in Scotland if we continue to import oil and gas from abroad - aren't we just cutting off our noses to spite our face?  

ScotGov Energy Policy - Nose, Spite, Face?

Alf Young assesses the Scottish Government's energy policy and the financial impact of shutting down further gas and oil exploration. We know she and her party want no new nuclear power stations on Scottish soil, once Torness stops generating base load electricity in 2030. But on the fate of oil and gas exploration and production, which played such a central role in the fiscal case for a Yes vote in 2014, there is no equivalent clarity. Will any government she leads give the Cambo field west of Shetland a green light?  And if not, would an independent Scotland be prepared to continue with an energy supply system increasingly interconnected with not just England but with European landmass states from Norway to France? Is it OK to draw your energy supplies from nuclear or hydrocarbon sources if they are generated anywhere but Scotland? But if the Cambo oil field does not go ahead, are we just cutting off out noses to spite our faces by continuing to import energy supplies from abroad

Hare-Brained Boasts and Scottish Ministers

Lorna Slater is proving to be an embarrassment as a newly promoted minister in Nicola Sturgeon's government. In her latest hare-brained boast on social media Lorna, who became an MSP by default in May 2021, claims to have set the oil and gas industry straight over climate change and Scotland's move towards a carbon zero economy.