Today’s Paisley Daily Express carries a barefaced example of a politician abusing his position of power for private political gain. That politician is the increasingly more and more distressed SNP candidate for Holyrood, SNP Council Leader Derek Mackay. It has become clear that the SNP group and Cllr. Mackay have seized on the SPT to pick a fight with and give Derek a much needed cause to champion, watch as he portrays himself as the Renfrewshire David against the Strathclyde Passenger Transport Goliath it should be good for a laugh notwithstanding the cynicism of it all. But: you should remember as the bogus causes are highlighted by him and the SNP that he and they are prepared to risk the benefits that people need get their own ends.
In his column he portrays himself as the man to fight Renfrewshire’s corner and represent the local community: the parents of children now walking 3 miles to school where their children are suffering the worst pupil teacher ratios in Scotland, the elderly who now don’t have wardens and the student teachers who can’t get a job as well as those who are about to take the brunt of the savage Tory/ Libdem Govt. cuts. Cuts which he and the Renfrewshire SNP/Libdem coalition administration supported will no doubt be glad to hear it. I can’t say it often enough and I intend to keep repeating it, he has no place to hide. In a debate at the last full council he Derek Mackay said “The government cuts are about right” A wee while ago he awarded senior officers of Rengrewshire Council, some already earning 70, 80 90, £100,000 a year raises of 23%, the people’s champion right enough!
In his column he tried to big himself up by saying the Labour Councillors on the Scrutiny Board which is investigating STP and its dealings with Renfrewshire Council tried to prevent him from speaking, a load of bull. I am one of those councillors and what we did was ask him what he was doing there as he had no expertise or experience of the subject. Anyone who is asked to address the Scrutiny Board is invited because they have a degree of knowledge or experience of the subject under examination, hence road engineers, bus company’s user groups etc. were asked to contribute, he Mackay has none of these things.
Make no mistake about this he was there for 2 reasons 1/ because being Council leader got him in and 2/ because he is campaigning for a seat in Holyrood. He saw the chance of some good publicity as you can see from today’s turgid Mackay column imaginatively called “the real MacKay” perhaps a career in literature awaits him if he doesn’t get to Holyrood? His lack of knowledge and his attempts to sound important were so wretched that despite being given a 20 minute slot on the agenda he only managed to speak for a pathetic 5 minutes where he seemed to get smaller by the second, he then bolted out and refused to take questions, despite my Labour comrade Jim Sharkey and me entreating him to stay.
Cllr. Mackay will no doubt be trying similar stunts and we will continue to expose him for the dissembling political charlatan that he is.