I returned from holiday recently to read in the Advertiser that one of our council representatives had been urinating in public and another singing during a speech by a female councillor in the chamber.
Such carry on style councillors need to be brought to heel. It’s been an interesting eight months in the politics of Midlothian since the historic local council elections last May. We have seen the local demise of the most conservative party in Scotland, the Labour party.
We have witnessed the election of the first ever SNP administration and the subsequent election and demise of the first female leader of Midlothian council. Was endemic sexism to blame for Lisa Beattie’s fall from grace?
I have observed from afar the dodgey dealings and petty internal politics inherent in local government throughout Scotland. The Labour party’s dwindling credibility, lack of new ideas and lack of vision for improving the lives of Midlothian residents and their families is, in my view, a reflection of where the Labour party stands nationally which contributed to their downfall.
Real people have become increasingly disengaged from politics because we hear, read and witness how local and national politicians behave professionally and privately and we don’t like it.
We don’t like it because we believe that we are better than such adolescent prejudices and petty bi-partisan rivalry and what’s more, we believe we deserve better.
Midlothian is currently mired in its inheritance of a dominant patronising patriarchal style of politics from the traditional, conservative Labour party and it will take time for such dominance to evolve and change.
Hypocrisy in Government is unfortunately inevitable, however it’s the amount that matters and in my view, it can only be managed through openness, transparency and democracy.
We can continue in the same old social, political, economic and ideological mire and mindsets that maintain the status quo of power, decision making and petty politics in this country or we can dare to be imaginative, creative and enthusiastic about our future and our children’s future.
Honesty, Integrity, Wisdom and Justice are the words engraved on the mace that sits open in the Debating Chamber when the Scottish parliament is in session.
All politicians, locally and nationally, should have these words tattooed on a prominent part of their anatomy as a constant reminder to themselves of the privileged position they hold by representing the voting public.
It’s a New year and a good time for new beginnings.
Rosewell Road, Bonnyrigg
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