Covid, Councils and Competing Demands
Keith Brown, the SNP MSP and Scotland's justice minister, is isolating after testing positive for Covid.
In his absence Keith's Office Manager, Cllr Ellen Forson, will no doubt step up to the plate while continuing in her day job as SNP Leader of Clackmannanshire Council - a post held previously by Keith, if I remember correctly.
Are they having a laugh?
It's A Fair Question, Keith! (February 28, 2022)
Clackmannanshire may be Scotland's smallest mainland council, but it's up there with Glasgow as an example of how to bring local government and local democracy into disrepute.
The role of council leader is designated as a full-time job, but incredibly the SNP leader of Clackmannanshire Council, Cllr Ellen Forson, also acts as the Office Manager to the local SNP MSP - Keith Brown who also happens to be the Scottish Government's justice minister.
So we now have three senior Scottish Ministers (Nicola Sturgeon, Humza Yousaf and Keith Brown) all using public money to employ local SNP councillors in their local constituency offices.
Despite the fact that their employees were also carrying out full-time roles and being paid full-time salaries for their respective councils.
Now if something walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, I tend to call it a duck and in this case all the evidence says that SNP MSPs have been misusing public money, as part of a well organised racket, to employ friends and political allies.
The SNP has also conveniently abolished the independent watchdog SLARC (Scottish Local Authorities Remuneration Committee) which worked with Scotland's councils and provided Scottish Ministers with independent advice on councillors' pay and expenses.
Here's a letter I've sent to the Leader of Clackmannanshire Council which refers to the Nolan principles on standards in public life.
Dear Cllr Forson
to the post of Office Manager?