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The truths they don't want you to read....

Sunday, October 08, 2006

It's fun being a Councillor ...

<irony>Being a Councillor is a series of jollies, interspersed with dull meetings, and the chance to be seen shaking hands with the latest worthy.</irony>

Yesterday, I received yet another offensive and threatening message from opponents of windfarms, which I am going to pass to the Police.

What I find saddest is that MWT and it's adherents cannot accept the democratic decision of the Comhairle. Instead of focusing on the Scottish Executive - who will take the final decision - they seem to believe that trying to intimidate the Chair of the Committee will somehow change the decision. Not so.

There is obviously a total lack of understanding about the process, and a desperate resorting to threats of violence in the absence of any rational debate.


machaseo said...

I wonder how you can be so sure that this message comes from MWT? Maybe it was from someone at BT! Why not put the details of the message on the blog, as you're so eager to criticise? Still, unless I'm very much mistaken, I'm sure we'll hear about it soon in the press, eh? That toilet paper the WHFP will jump on a story like this: they're very {sarcasm}democratic{/sarcasm}. It's already done the rounds on Gaelic radio.

Has it occurred to you that this message may have been sent by a supporter of the windfarms, to discredit MWT and/or objectors in general? Handy timing as well, just before another application is about to be discussed by Scottish ministers down south. No, perish the thought! (and it is just a thought, I have no more proof of that supposition than you have of the message being sent by MWT).

While moaning on about some threats issued by whoever (I thought your skin was 'bloody elephantine'?), you simultaneously criticise the people here for their 'total lack of understanding of the process'. Presumably by this you mean the ordinary people of the island outwith MWT, whose members you would surely admit will have more of a grip of what's going on with these applications than those who sit back and say nothing, either through apathy or for other reasons which I'm sure we're both aware of. This again makes me wonder where you think the local support for these schemes is actually coming from?

Your last phrase about an 'absence of any rational debate' is a cracker. I've noticed a very rational (well, mostly) debate going on over the past four/five years in the local paper, and only a truly tiny proportion of these hundreds of letters concerning the windfarms have come from councillors (mostly yourself). An even tinier number of letters actually support the proposals. Lately there has been no input at all from the council to the press debate, except to journalists and when it suits them, not when they're asked.

Angus said...

Let's start with the "Are you now, or have you ever been a supporter/activist with MWT?" question.

I'm not going to post the message contents until the Police have had an opportunity to deal with this and fingerprint the MWT poster.

If it were someone trying to discredit MWT, they wouldn't have written the message they did - which looks suspiciously like another message pinned to my office door previously.

Perhaps MWT would like to talk to their two supporters who have verbally threatened me - I'll provide them with details - as it seems to be a nasty habit

I can take the flak - but why should my family be caught in the crossfire? Or do MWT think this is "friendly fire".

machaseo said...

"I am not now and have never been a member of the Communist Party" (oops, I mean MWT). Next thing you know Angus, you'll be chairing a Committee on Un-Amec Activities :-)

But putting the subject of MWT and threatening messages aside for a moment, this result from Marvig (how many Noes is that now?) must surely give the council yet another clear message. I look forward to seeing how the council 'spokesperson' spins on this one!

Angus said...

LOL, it's good to retain a sense of humour, and it was ROTFLMAO my new Committee responsibilities. I must be able to find a position that doesn't upset everyone!

The Marvig result was an extremely well constructed poll, and I don't doubt the results.

But, the Comhairle take a decision based on the best interest of the Western Isles, and that means some communities may suffer, in the short term.

When it comes to primary school closures in two/three years time, will any community volunteer? No, but the Comhairle will have to impose them, or cut other services. That is the responsibility of office.

Did anyone read Lesley Riddoch in the Scotsman today? It explains the debate in a lucid and unemotional way, and show how we came to our view.

machaseo said...

Nope, missed that article and can't find it online. Probably just as well: Lesley Riddoch makes my teeth grate at the best of times.

I still disagree that the best interests of the Western Isles are being served through building these windfarms, especially the Amec one, and I think there will never be contentment in the communities (which are already split) if these things are built on this scale against the wishes of the majority of the population.

What is the point of using these windfarm schemes to bring the young back to the islands, or trying to make those here stay instead of leaving, if there will always be these undercurrents of resentment which are present now and will surely get worse if these plans are passed by the executive?

I think it quite feasible that the council's plans may backfire so badly that the situation will be worse than it was before.

machaseo said...

I can to some extent sympathise with your position of taking decisions based on the "best interests of the Western Isles" (as you see it) but surely the best decision to take would be one in agreement with the majority of the people actually living here, rather than entertaining some idealised notion of hundreds of young ex-pats with families actually moving back here and living happily ever after? That's just not going to happen, is it?

And what if they did come back: what exactly is going to keep them in employment after the short-lived windfarm boom is over? The decimated tourist industry?

I heard the Lochs councillor's defence of her position on Gaelic radio today: it was frankly embarrassing. After stating that she had consulted with and sought the views of her electorate, and saying that she knew 'years ago' that the Marvig people etc. were against the proposals, she then said in answer to the question 'Isn't it possible that the other villages in your area could be against these windfarm proposals?' that 'they might be, but they might also be in favour of it'!! So much for ascertaining the views of the electorate! Why doesn't she know the majority view in her area?

Anonymous said...

Has it ever occured to you that they may have a point. You went behind peoples backs and totally disregarded what the Lewis public wanted.As a councillor, if I am not mistaken, you are elected to represent the people's views and as the chair of the environmental services you are meant to carry through their views. Not listen to their views and back-stab them by doing what they don't want. I am also lead to believe that you recieved a contract that resulted from your decision on the committee. So Mr Nicolson, sounds like that decision was made for your benefit. Cna we blame them, I think not. You blatantly ignored joe public and people are bound to be hacked off at you. Ask me and i would say you b***dy well deserve to be threatened.