Thursday Feb 12 20 15 09.30 am The Renfrewshire annual budget meeting was convened, as is often the case on these show piece occasions there are protests and demonstrations from fringe groups and minor fringe political Parties. On this occasion there were no fringe groups and the minor fringe parties were represented by Cllr. MacLaren of the Tories, Cllr. Eileen McCartin of the Libdems and Cllr. Paul Mack of The Paul Mack Party, all 3 parties have 1 member each, ergo all 3 are party leaders, this is one of the delightful eccentricities of politics, indeed 2 of the three are well established eccentrics, though “lovable” does not apply to them. The sensible 1 of the 3 being the Tory James MacLaren about whom it is said that he was just pipped for the part of Private Godfrey by Michael Gambon in the new version of Dad’s Army. There was also one member of The Scottish Socialist Party who sat quietly and well behaved in the public gallery, ‘what are things coming to I hear you ask’?. An element of tension pervaded the opposition benches as the snp’s truly awful new leadership team of Cllrs. Nicolson and Cameron took their places with the recently suspended ‘gang of four’ arsonists seated behind them with their eyes watching and 'burning' in to them with undisguised contempt. Having shown themselves as true bravehearts by torching a bin they have been betrayed and ousted, help ma boab the ill feeling was tangible ‘so it wis’ this bad feeling will ‘burn’ slowly as the gang of 4 clearly see themselves a the keepers of the independence ‘flame’ and see the members of the coup as traitors.
The usual appeals for good behaviour were made by the chair Provost Anne hall who reminded us all that we were being filmed. Budget day is always predictable in that the administration’s budget will always get a majority and today was no exception. Given that historical context it would be reasonable to expect that the meeting would be brief but, remember this is Renfrewshire and, sitting there in opposition across the chamber are the most disreputable and badly behaved snp group in Scotland plus the two aforementioned “unlovable eccentrics” McCartin and Mack who sound like a wretched end of the pier comedy duo in a grubby seaside backwater town.
For those readers of a strong disposition this meeting can be seen on the council’s website, throughout the meeting viewers will be aware of a low rumbling noise in the background which they cannot explain. The explanation for this is that the policy is only to show the head and shoulders of the person speaking who is the only one on the microphone, this is a precautionary measure designed to mitigate the embarrassment to Renfrewshire Council regularly caused by some of the people mentioned above. For your information I can advise you that when you hear the clearly exasperated Provost Hall pleading with Cllrs. Audrey Doig, Andy Doig, Lorraine Cameron and Brian Lawson to behave and stop disrupting the meeting she is addressing snp Councillors, the dark mysterious snp Cllr. Mags Maclaren continues to fascinate as she diligently keeps herself hunched over her desk while continuing to heckle, all we see is the top of her head and we hear her high pitched squeak constantly, when she leaves her chair the heckling stops, oh well I suppose it takes all kinds. Then we have the famously arrogant bully ‘Big Mac’ McCartin Libdem, not to be confused with ‘Wee Mack’ independent, she who continues to contribute to every subject from dog fouling to brain surgery, there are very few nasty, ugly situations that the arrival of this charlatan cannot make worse.
At the end of the meeting I was left considering 2 main points. 1/ the cost to the tax payer of the behavior of these people which caused the meeting to overrun by approximately 3 hours which is about £5,000 paid for by you and me folks and 2/ Audrey and Andy Doig of the snp are man and wife and I was wondering again if this was the way they usually behave and if so are their neighbours entitled to any recompense for having to live next door to them?. I urge everyone once again to get along to witness this at the next full council meeting.