The blog of Councillor Ewan Aitken, Labour Member for ward 14, Craigentinny/Duddingston, City of Edinburgh Council
Where we are and where we will be
The idea of Edinburgh is a combination of place, soul and symbolic leadership of a nation
Wednesday, 14 November 2007
A piece of paper that signs away our democracy
The sight of John Swinneydoing his "peace in our time act " with the CoSLA Concordat in Debating Chamber of the Scottish Parliament was a sad day for Scottish democracy. As a former CoSLA spokesperson myself I an devastated that the organisation I was proud to represent has sold us down the SNP river. Not withstanding the fact that despite the still wet signatures of the president and his vice presidents were on the paper Swinney was waving about its not been agreed by CoSLA leaders and is valueless without their agreement. And if they do agree it, they will be signing away all that autonomy we in local Government have fought to protect for so long. Phrases including turkeys and Christmas spring to mind. The crux of the matter is the fact that we only get the cash to freeze council tax if we agree to deliver the SNP manifesto. I am not even sure that that is legal far less morally or democratically acceptable.
The trouble is, the Council Tax is such an unpopular tax that arguments about the sanctity of local democracy will be lost in the roar of its demise. The SNP understand populism to premier division standard but this will one day be seen as an astonishing own goal by CoSLA, or it will be if we can't save it in the extra time that is Friday's Leaders meeting.
All 7:15pm -7:45pm and the last Sat. Lochend YWCA, 198 Restalrig Road South 12noon -1pm (no appointment needed, all during school terms)
Printed and Published by Ewan Aitken on behalf of the Edinburgh Labour Party, 78 Buccleuch Street, Edinburgh, EH8 9NH
email Ewan at email@example.com
I was elected to the City of Edinburgh Council in 1999. After 7 years of being very heavily involved in Education, I was elected Council Leader in August 2006 and from May 2007 until June 2008 was Labour Group leader when I returned to the backbenches
I am ordained in the Church of Scotland but I don't have a parish. Instead I am the Secretary of the Church of Scotland's Church and Society Council.
I am an Honorary Research Fellow of the University of Glasgow and an Honorary Fellow of Edinburgh University. I am married with two children, I am a member of the Iona Community and I enjoy sports though mostly as an armchair critic.
I welcome strong opinions strongly expressed, but please don't use this blog if you intend to be abusive or intend to use offensive language. The public conversation that I want to encourage must be based on mutual respect and common courtesy.