Hall of Shame

Research for my previous post (Oxter Award) exposed some pretty dubious council fauna in dark corners, especially in and around wur Dear Green Place. The broad range of accusations makes some form of ranking necessary and so I have awarded ‘black marks’. NOTE: those exonerated by either the courts or Audit Scotland (an astonishing 15 each in Glasgow and South Lanarkshire by the latter) are zero-rated.

  1. ☁ Apparent lack of judgement or momentary lapse deserving admonition only
  2. ☁☁ Abusive behaviour or systemic incompetence but little moral turpitude
  3. ☁☁☁ Dishonesty for minor personal gain or non-moral conviction (e.g DUI)
  4. ☁☁☁☁ Substantial or systemic abuse of position or dishonesty conviction
  5. ☁☁☁☁☁ Wholesale corruption or court conviction involving jury trial

Within our present system, 1-3 black marks do not result in automatic disqualification from holding office as a councillor; 4 or 5 do. As these ‘grades’ are all my own invention, I deducted a black mark for those with the grace to admit their error publicly and resign altogether. Few did. I do subscribe to the principle that there is no moral latitude when it comes to representing the public. Nonetheless, just as punishment should fit the crime, the scale of moral turpitude does have a place in considering the seriousness of any lapse of judgement leading to betrayal of public trust. Those inducted and their classes are:

The pretty mixed bag in this category were all explicable as human error or political harassment and not considered worth detailing, especially as they came from all corners of the country, representing the spectrum of political parties.
More reading: Paisley Daily Express Oct 20th 2010

p.s. Not to be confused, despite appearances, with Dinsdale Pirana.

It was with some relief that I could find none to place in this category, not least because I’d rather not fund the ensuing legal action if I did. Nonetheless, such wholesale abuse of public trust has occurred elsewhere and vigilance against it—not least by all of us taking the more ‘minor’ categories seriously—is our principal defence against erosion of public trust, without which councillors have no legitimacy.
Taken over all, 2010 especially tarnished the probity of Scottish councillors. Whether behaviour of the baker’s dozen inductees above were material in May’s landslide election result, I leave the reader to decide. Jack did:
“We had many successes in government, but on too many occasions, I have been embarrassed by our conduct. The greed of individuals, party centralisation and inconsistent policy on the hoof have been damaging, and at times indefensible. And we failed to adapt to the new political landscape of Britain.”
     —Jack McConnell, former First Minister, The Scotsman, 8th September 2010

About davidsberry

Local ex-councillor, tour guide and database designer. Keen on wildlife, history, boats and music. Retired in 2017.
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