By a Newsnet reporter

The new Labour-Tory administration in East Lothian is to try and reintroduce Margaret Thatcher's Right-to-Buy policy, despite it having been abolished under the Housing (Scotland) Act in 2010.

On Monday, the new administration voted on its priorities for the next five years, the priorities included a commitment to "reintroduce a 'modernised right to buy', giving people a greater stake in their community through home ownership".

However, modernised Right-to-Buy for new-build social housing was abolished in the Housing (Scotland) Act 2010, after the policy had caused council housebuilding in Scotland to dry up completely and had led to housing shortages and long waiting lists for council tenants.  The Act permits existing council tenants to retain the right to buy, but removed it from new tenants and from those living in new-build social housing.

In East Lothian, the Tory Right-to-Buy policy had been so damaging that the previous SNP administration were in the process of buying back 200 houses in order to compensate for the policy's legacy of affordable housing shortages.

It is understood that the Labour group on the council agreed to the new policy as a way of securing the support of the three Conservative councillors on the council.  The Conservative led Coalition government in Westminster recently announced plans to extend the Right-to-Buy.  The housing group Shelter criticised the plans, saying that the net result will be a reduction in the number of genuinely affordable homes for families on modest incomes.

The Thatcherite policy transformed the Scottish housing sector during the 80s and 90s, as thousands of tenants in better quality council houses took advantage of the scheme while councils faced severe restrictions on their ability to replace lost housing stock.  The policy transformed Scotland from a nation where most people lived in rented properties into a country where the majority are home owners.  

Critics allege that this shift has deformed the Scottish housing sector and has led to many people who would otherwise have rented, getting into unsustainable debt in order to obtain mortgages.  According to figures from Shelter, statistically, right-to-buy mortgage holders are far more likely than other purchasers to have their homes repossessed.

SNP MSP Paul Wheelhouse has laid down a motion condemning the East Lothian administration for pursuing a policy which flies in the face of the Housing (Scotland) Act and will be a disaster for housing in the county, and called on Labour to distance themselves nationally from this discredited Tory policy.

Commenting, the South Scotland MSP said:

"This is an inexplicably bad decision from the new Labour-Tory administration.  Not only does it fly in the face of the Housing (Scotland) Act - it will undo all of the good work that has been done to tackling the affordable housing shortage.

"Right-to-Buy left a dreadful legacy of affordable housing shortages all over the country – it was only when the Scottish Government indicated it was planning to abolish it that councils started building houses again.

"Along with the generous financial support given to us by the Scottish Government, it helped East Lothian build the first council houses in decades, and the SNP were planning to build 500 more over the next term.

"But now Labour and the Tories want to turn the clock back and put all of this under threat – with a Thatcherite policy which has already been abolished by the Scottish Parliament.

"For the new Labour administration to try and get round national legislation so soon sets a terrible precedent for how they intend to run the council.
"Johann Lamont and her parliamentary colleagues must intervene and put a stop to this madness – in East Lothian and anywhere else in Scotland."


# scottish_skier 2012-05-17 06:39
Poll tax anyone?

Sell, sell, sell. That's how Tory governments fund themselves; selling everything. Of course, having sold just about everything they could last time, making ~97 billion by 1997 (at 1997 prices, where did all that go? In the bank for a rainy day along with all the windfall oil revenues?), they're down to education, the NHS and the police now.

Social housing serves a purpose and that purpose is not to fuel waves of fantasy money property booms that Blue Labour love to ride.
# G. P. Walrus 2012-05-17 07:04
I don't understand how a council can reverse an Act of Parliament.
# davemsc 2012-05-17 07:45
They have the power to do so under the existing legislation, as we were told in the article ;)
# fynesider 2012-05-18 11:04
Oh really? Where in the article does it state this?
# Barontorc 2012-05-17 08:16
Snap - how can a loose canon council over-ride an Act?

This is on-going anarchy and led in by Labour bending to the wishes of three Tory councillors to keep the SNP away from looking after the East Lothian people best.

What a shower of bampots!
# tartanfever 2012-05-17 08:37
Please let them start making noises about raising council,tax - that would give the electorate a shock !
# sneckedagain 2012-05-17 08:40
The "Right To Buy" is the major reason for today's shortage of affordable rented accommodation.
# mealer 2012-05-17 09:21
Quoting sneckedagain:
The "Right To Buy" is the major reason for today's shortage of affordable rented accommodation.

We also need to ask why there is such a big need for "affordable housing"
# cjmjr 2012-05-17 09:04
I think the Snp Goverment did the right thing in scraping the right to buy, its the main cause councils stopped building as they had to sell new builds off at discounted prices and it became unaffordable.
Revenues from council house rents should be used to refurbish and build new houses for rent,they should also set up a team to bring derelict properties into use,useing the compulsory purchase order system if need be to keep costs down.
# Saltire Groppenslosh 2012-05-17 09:07
Labour really have reached the bottom, haven't they?

A once proud party with a fantastic history (if we forget the lies told by their leadership to the Scottish people) and a duty of care to look out for the interests of ordinary people.

This really is a "moment" that they'll never live down. They called us the "Tartan Tories" for years but never once did we siddle up to the Tory Party as these numpties have. In doing a deal with the Conservatives just to keep the SNP from forming the administration in these councils, they have signed their own death certificate as a party. I sincerely hope that the folk in the areas covered by these councils have the gumption to openly protest against this abuse of their vote and that cracks begin to appear in teh newly formed administrations as quickly as possible.

This is not a situation that can be allowed to be repeated in future elections. I expect this to be on the first page of items to change after Scotland is declared independent. The Party with the most councillors forms the administration and deals with the voting intent of all the other parties just like the minority government formed by the SNP in 2007.
# edinburgh quine 2012-05-17 10:27
Saltire - you're forgetting 1979. That's when, according to labour, the SNP was to blame for the years of Thatcherism. The SNP vbted with the Tories and brought down the Callaghan government Thatch was the result.

Of course their memories are selective. They choose to forget the referendum which was germimandered by them, with it's infamous 40% rule.
# govanite 2012-05-17 10:52
the SNP voted for 'no confidence' in Callaghan [a moot point as an election was due anyway, but it was done on principle] - it was the electorate that voted in the tories
# edinburgh quine 2012-05-17 14:08
Absolutely Govanite, but listening to the Labour groupies (still banging on about it too) it was all the fault of the 'tartan tory SNP'. I remember all through the 80's this was flung at the heads of Nationalists on TV debates.

But as someone else said in another post, who are the tories now but 'blue labour'.
# Holebender 2012-05-17 13:17
Quoting Saltire Groppenslosh:
A once proud party with a fantastic history

Really? Apart from the 1945-50 government, what has Labour ever done that they can be proud of? Does compulsory wage restraint and near 100% taxation sound like a fantastic history to you? That was standard practice for 1960s/70s Labour.

How about their "fantastic history" of running councils in west central Scotland? If Labour's history is so fantastic, why is life expectancy so low in some parts where Labour have been in charge throughout living memory?
# richardcain2 2012-05-18 06:11
Quoting Saltire Groppenslosh:
Labour really have reached the bottom, haven't they?

Ooooh, careful - you're tempting fate there!
# X_Sticks 2012-05-17 09:11
Sort of on topic, another interesting story from the north east:

"THE new Labour-led administration took control of Aberdeen City Council yesterday – and immediately sparked a row by awarding senior councillors a pay rise."

How like Labour is that then?!

Do they "get it" at all???
# Caadfael 2012-05-17 10:09
Sploosh! Snouts straight into the trough!
Just have to hope the guid fowk raise HELL!!
I certainly would, in no uncertain terms!
# Saltire Groppenslosh 2012-05-17 09:15
# Marga B 2012-05-17 09:16
OT but a quite alarming map of use of news websites, apparently showing a unionist media monopoly in Scotland compared to a much more plural situation in England and Wales:

Don't really understand tech things like this, any views out there?

Added: This is fascinating, click on the map and see the top e-story for each local authority over a period - not necessarily today.
# bigbuachaille 2012-05-17 09:39
This is equally interesting from an independence and #indyref point of view. Sorry for being so techy today. #voteaye
# rapid 2012-05-17 13:25
It's interesting - but not alarming.

My analysis would conclude that most of the clickthrough's are from readers 2nd or 3rd priority news websites - i.e. why would they click on a tweet if they've already read the website? what do you think?

e.g. whilst I listen out for @nnsfollowers tweets on my phone, I never click through because I navigate directly here in my computer browser. However, I don't read The Guardian - but may click through on an interesting tweet to their website.

Note: The Times is not featured (when you would think it should be) because their website is behind a paywall and most phones can't access it from a tweet.
# Marga B 2012-05-17 15:24
But why is Scotland so different from the rest of the UK (apparently) - I admit to being tweet challenged ..
# SEUMAS31 2012-05-17 09:41
FM'S Questions should be interesting today, how will the tartan labour respond?
# pa_broon74 2012-05-17 10:40
This is typical of an area were a lot of political parties have come together; an indebted society is a compliant society (I may have paraphrased.)

I know that sounds totally paranoid but the ramifications of right-to-buy are plain for everyone to see these days.

Specifically, it also underlines the stark hypocrisy of Labour, I was going to say at least this renders the term 'tartan tory' when regarding the SNP redundant but I think we all know this won't stop Lamont, Curran etc wheeling it out for an airing in the future.

Atleast the tories wear their policies and aims on their sleeve, Labour however, are responsible for the cynicisation of an entire country with their lies and subterfuge (especially during the 'new labour' years.) People think the tories or libdems are the worst, they aren't; its Labour.
# Dundonian West 2012-05-17 10:42
OT.HATE crimes RISE again.This is Scotland's disgrace,and I really don't know what we can do about it.I'm one of the minorities but thankfully have never experienced this first hand.
Education in schools perhaps would be a partial answer?
# Independista 2012-05-17 10:51
OT. Clackmannanshir e Council has been taken by an SNP minority administration.They succeeded in gaining support from a single independent to make up the council as follows. SNP and independent 9. Labour 8. Tory 1
# westie7 2012-05-17 11:01
Council news - leader of "Independents" in Aberdeenshire just been made deputy provost, this is the 11 independents who joined the 26 ConLibs instead of the 28 SNP.

Bought and sold!
# Holebender 2012-05-17 13:27
When they act in concert and have a leader they are not independents, they are a party. Aberdeenshire's "independents" have defrauded the electorate twice; when they misrepresented themselves as independents to gain election, and when they threw their collective lot in with the Tories and LibDems to form an administration and freeze out the SNP (who have over 40% of the seats on the council).
# xyz 2012-05-17 12:03
OT on FMQs today .. BBC bias naturally when they cut FMQs short just he took some eejit MSP to task on the lies of the scotsman newspaper which were the basis for the question ....

BBC knew AS would make jovial mincemeat of the questioner and cut to London Daily politics.

Anyone know the details? .. who was the eejit and what were the lies in the Scotsman newspaper?
# xyz 2012-05-17 12:10
Found it here:


Tory John Lamont on PR firms allegedly being used to promote Scottish government activities.

FM says the PR firm claims are inaccurate and points out an apology published in today's Scotsman newspaper.

Mark Baillie tweets: Pretty embarrasing for John Lamont there... Prob should have checked his facts first, total car crash of a question... #fmq"
# Dundonian West 2012-05-17 12:11
From BBC Scotland "As-it-happened":-
1229: Tory John Lamont on PR firms allegedly being used to promote Scottish government activities.
1230: FM says the PR firm claims are inaccurate and points out an apology published in today's Scotsman newspaper.

Mark Baillie tweets: Pretty embarrasing
for John Lamont there... Prob should have checked his facts first, total car crash of a question... #fmq

1230: Mr Lamont thanks the FM for "that very helpful response". He goes on to ask, should mechanisms be put in place to make sure that the government does the work it should and not promote the SNP's separatist agenda?

The FM comes back and further derides the Conservative MSPs questioning.
# scottish_skier 2012-05-17 12:42
Was just listening to that in the radio in the car. Was funny as hell. FM read out a bit of the Scotsman's apology for getting in wrong and how they were a 'quality' paper etc to howls of laughter from the public gallery.
# Independista 2012-05-17 13:25
I never watch FMQs on telly. Far better to watch it live(or later if you so wish) on Democracy Live. You can also view Committees live. All without any biased commentary!
Bookmark it!
# McHaggis 2012-05-17 15:35
Quoting scottish_skier:
Was just listening to that in the radio in the car. Was funny as hell. FM read out a bit of the Scotsman's apology for getting in wrong and how they were a 'quality' paper etc to howls of laughter from the public gallery.

Funniest thing I have seen in ages!

Is there any way to capture and youtube just the John Lamont section of FM's questions? Its an absolute belter!

(made even better by the FM's acerbic description of 'The Scotsman's 'high standards'... hohoho!)
# tartanfever 2012-05-17 13:45
One point I would like to make is in regard to the Declan Hainey case which lamont is often heard to use. Whilst this is a tragic case, there's a question I have regarding it's reporting and subsequent political usage by labour.

We all know of lamont's use of highly publicised media stories in her attempts to gain popular support and to use as a beating stick with which to attack the SNP. The 'fake rape' incident reported in the Glasgow Evening Times was of course a complete embarrassment to lamont but one that she managed to escape any widespread criticism from due to a lack of reporting on the case in the MSM.

During the Hainey case, photographs taken of the flat and of the toddler were used in court to demonstrate the appalling levels of neglect. The BBC applied for release of these photographs and at first that request was rejected, however, on further appeal the BBC won it's case and many of the photographs were released, not only to be used by the BBC, but by a wider press also. In particular, photographs of the toddler taken at various stages of his short life were deemed to not infringe on copyright law that Declan Hainey's mother would have as the 'author' and owner of the photographs.

The photographs were duly released , not only pictures of the toddler, but 'vivid' images of the flat in which he had died. Personally I found those particular images to be nothing more than 'unhealthy' voyeurism and could not see how these images being broadcast could be regarded as 'in the public interest'

Of course, the story became the main news topic for days, and the repeated display of images taken in the flat were burned into our memory banks by the ever dutiful BBC Scotland.
When someone mentions that case, the first memory for many people will be a visual one. That stirs up all kinds of emotion and truly reinforces the old saying ' a picture can speak a thousand words.' When faced with such overpowering images, our rationale can be swayed and somewhat taken over by an emotional response.

This undoubtedly was the effect that BBC Scotland desired when it broadcast the images.

So today during FMQ's we have questions from Lamont on childcare provision in Scotland and once again a mention of Declan Hainey as a case to, as far as lamont is concerned, provide evidence for a systemic failure in childcare provision.

This was duly reported by the BBC on their 'live text feed' accompanied with (surprise, surprise) an image of the toddler, which no doubt they just happened to have on hand.

Ultimately, what i would like to know, is how many times has BBC Scotland applied to a court for permission to release images of a crime scene, been denied, then after repeated attempts finally been given permission to put those images used specifically in a court case into the public domain ?

Does this regularly occur ? Has it happened since that case ? Are the BBC always so robust in such attempts to win court cases to have images from case files released ?

To me there is no question that in the cold light of day, these tragic events will continue to happen. Any degree of rationality will surely make you realise that you cannot monitor 100% of the population all the time, This case is an isolated incident, the statistics prove that. However, these images are proving to be a very useful tool in 'fogging' the clarity of any debate and encouraging emotional responses - and because they are emotional responses, people tend to want to point the finger of blame at someone, to make someone accountable.

Of course, in this case that finger should be pointed at the perpetrator of the crime, and not as lamont is trying to do, the SNP government.
# Diabloandco 2012-05-17 16:40
Found this on allmedia site,
"The correction on page two reads: "On Saturday May 6, The Scotsman carried an article concerning the Scottish Government inviting firms to bid for a contract to provide PR support services under the headline, '"Independence spin doctors"to cost £3,000 a day'. Following a complaint by the Scottish Government we accept that the headline did not accurately reflect the facts and fell short of our usual high standards. We apologise for the error and happy to set the record straight."

makes you smirk - the bit about high standards I mean!
# balgayboy 2012-05-17 12:24
Nice to see the labour leader wearing a Thatcher like blue colour today at FMQ. Talk about showing one's true colours!
# daveniz 2012-05-17 12:59
bbc website first minister questions!

what I have notice is finishes the report within the first minute

quote "first minister back from Norway and announces £10 million ............."

does the bbc not like to report good news? £10 million what?
# .Scot 2012-05-17 13:26
This is bizarre. Loony Labour councillors are introducing policies on behalf of three Tory councillors that will cut the number of Labour voters living in the East Lothian area? Turkeys do vote for Christmas. David Berry must wetting himself as that very narrow in 151 vote difference last May's Scottish general election is wiped out by by Iain Gray's own councillors. Good luck Dave.
# border reiver 2012-05-17 13:31
Labour needs to be very carefull when siding up to this lot, the Tories simply cannot be trusted, if you look at the link and article below it shows how much the Tories will spin things to suit their own adgenda and pacify their back benchers Osborne and Cameron are suggesting that another £25 billion can be cut from the welfare budget however the treasuries own figures as shown demonstrate it is virtualy imposible to achieve.
# daveniz 2012-05-17 13:46
o/t great news for the people who voted labour for aberdeen city council!

the very first thing labour did was vote for themselves to have a pay rise!

this demonstrates that its not about local issues for labour It's how much money is in there pockets!
# tartanfever 2012-05-17 13:50
Can't wait until they start moaning to the SNP govt that they want to raise council tax. People in Aberdeen must be shaking their heads.
# exel 2012-05-17 14:14
Getting ahead of yourself Newsnet reporter?
# McHaggis 2012-05-17 15:19
sorry for O/T but just how 'tabloid' has BBC Scotland news output become?

Sure, Ms McAlpine should be rebuked but honestly, what is with the description of what she is understood to have eaten for lunch?

I mean, who cares what she allegedly ate for lunch, but given this is the BBC its transparently a case of trying to present her in the worst possible light.

What a joke and I pay for that nonsense.
# Training Day 2012-05-17 15:26
'SNP live high on hog at YOUR expense except for First Minister who had asparagus and soup cos like he needs to diet anyway'

Stay tuned for a full report from our correspondent Glenn Campbell, followed by analysis of the lunch by John Curtice and Lorraine Davidson..
# bigbuachaille 2012-05-17 15:29
Agreed. Just what is the reason for "reporting" this drivel? New depths of journalistic twaddle have been plumbed here.
For lunch in the parliamentary restaurant, Ms McAlpine was understood to have had smoked venison with Strathdon blue cheese dressing and poached red wine pear, followed by breast of Scottish chicken with grilled asparagus chorizo, olives and parma ham.

The first minister had asparagus and soup.

In the interest of balance and impartiality we really have to know now who ate all the pies.
# Taighnamona 2012-05-17 20:04
I am disappointed in Joan McAlpine as I understand this is not the first time it has happened. Our politicians need to be a cut above the rest and stop giving the opposition opportunities to throw mud.
Re Reporting Scotland and the issue of shipbuilding. This negativity needs to be hammered by either press releases from the Scottish Government and/or a demand from the First Minister to address the unbalanced reporting. I know the yes campaign is due to start but we need pro-active rebuttals hard and fast as these incidents happen.
# sneckedagain 2012-05-17 15:51
edinburgh quine

They also forget to mention that very large LibDem group voted against Callaghan as did virtually all other members of all other parties in the Commons at the time.
Didn't appear to give them any problem when they went into coalition with the Libdems. To put things in context the SNP group at Westminster told Callaghan if he didn't legislate for a devolved Scottish parliament (which was a manifesto promise) they would withdraw support for him
He reneged
We did not.
Actually the ascent of the blessed Margaret Thatcher was the best thing that ever happened for the SNP
# bigbuachaille 2012-05-17 16:00
Scare stories abound. Douglas Fraser reports that
Motor Sports Assoc: #Indyref having "a destabilising effect on planning and uncertainty affecting decisions about Scottish investment"
Skids under them? In a spin? Can't find the right gear? Pain in the big end, mair like!!!
# Gogoh 2012-05-17 16:38
Scottish Labour really plumbing the depths now. A pity the FM didn't get an opportunity to hurl this back at that woman. The cynicism and hypocrisy of ScotLab is even more breathtaking following the local elections. They are an utter disgrace.
# Diabloandco 2012-05-17 16:42
# bigbuachaille 2012-05-17 17:07
Broadcasting in an independent Scotland. Have your say.
# xyz 2012-05-17 17:38
OT more BBC bias .. Jackie Bird in a 'taster' for upcoming news report said: "No more MOD ships will be built in Scotland after independence"

No attribution as I heard it so .. .. Jackie Bird says? BBC says? Westminster says? Labour says?

Some people who saw this 'taster' as I call it, will not necessarily see the report .. but there's no doubt about the BBC anti-indy propaganda value of dropping this kind of 'bomb' on viewers. .. What a bunch ...... :(( ..
# Old Smokey 2012-05-17 17:53
Saw that on dis reporting Scotland. Disgraceful one sided and highly bias
Kept refering to 'UK MOD' conveniently forgetting that Scotland already contributes and is a part owner of 'UK MOD'
# aiberdeen sheep 2012-05-17 17:46
The McAlpine story has just been reported just now on BBC Labour TV.

Very snide, these cretins pay lip service to the views of a large part of Scotland with their turgid bias.
# snowthistle 2012-05-17 19:56
You have to ask though, what on earth is she playing at? She kind of left herself open to that one and while the BBCs reaction is not right or just it is entirely predictable
# lumilumi 2012-05-17 19:05
I apologise for not having read all the comments above.

However, the reaction to any council deals here serves to remind me that the Scots haven't quite learned their new political system, yet.

PR almost always produces 'hung' councils (or Parliaments), and thereafter coalitions. I come from a country where we think coalitions are a good thing, more voices being heard, not one-party-dictatorship (like Westminster... oh, but the Tories didn't actually get a majority this time, they needed their human shields, the LibDems).

All the wrangling about who won... Being a PR person, I'd say the SNP clearly won. They increased their popular vote and their number of councillors. Labour 'won' because they didn't do as bad as they'd feared, actually gained a few councillors and lost only one in Glasgow.

Interesting to see how SNP/Lab play out.

And interesting to see the vote on indy ref. It's not in the bag, there are still lots of Scots to convert.

Comment edited by NNS Mod Team
# bigbuachaille 2012-05-17 19:10
Glenn Campbell's Twitter record: 6 tweets on Joan Macalpine in 1 hour. 4 tweets from 11th to 16th May. Is he a gossip columnist? #voteaye for balance and impartiality.
# ramstam 2012-05-17 20:04
As a council tenant in East Lothian I am furious at Labour's decision to bring the Tories back from the political wilderness, and to back the so-called "Right to buy" as a price of Labour's return to power on the council. The people who will ultimately pay the price of this will be the young families denied the right to a decent home. Under the previous SNP/LD Council we saw a return to building council housing and affordable homes. I have to say that the collapse of the Lib Dems locally which benefited SNP, Labour and Tory alike, produced an opportunity for the two London rule parties to exclude the SNP from the administration. Allowing the Tories back in East Lothian was an easy choice for Labour to make. The price of this betrayal will be paid for by the many people on the council waiting list who were heartened by the radical policies of the previous SNP led council.
# peter,aberdeenshire 2012-05-17 20:05
Couple of off topic points here, all the gloomy unionists protest that the independence issue is causing uncertainty to potential investment in Scotland.
As for the new Aberdeen council giving senior councilors a pay rise, yea well done you parasites, all in it together ??
And as for my own council Aberdeenshire, who the **** gave the Tories a mandate?
Vote Tory, get Tory, vote Labour get Tory, vote Lib Dem get Tory!
Vote SNP get SNP!!
# Wee-Scamp 2012-05-17 20:46
I've just been told that in Aberdeenshire the Tory led coalition of losers has even appointed the two Labour councillors to jobs rather than any of the SNP group. One Labour Cllr will be representing Aberdeenshire on COSLA (yes honestly) and the other will be on the Police board.

I assume the COSLA appointment may be to try to ensure an anti SNP majority.
# peter,aberdeenshire 2012-05-17 20:52
If so then that is an ffin disgrace. Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire have been relatively prosperous in recent years, I truly fear the influence of the dead hand of Labour and their new best buds the Tories.
# snowthistle 2012-05-17 21:14
In East Dunbartonshire there were 8 labour councilors, 8 SNP, 3 LibDems, 2 Tories and 2 Independents.
They get 4 seats on COSLA convention - 1 Lab, 1 SNP, 1 LibDem, 1 Tory
# Wee-Scamp 2012-05-18 08:11
Aberdeenshire should have five places and proportionally that would mean the SNP should get three places. Eventually they ended up with one whilst Labour - who have two councillors - also got one.
# flying haggis 2012-05-17 20:47
This is the area where Labour MP Fiona O'Donnell was voted in and made the statement:

"The communities of East Lothian won't forget how the Tories treated them"

It appears her party have!
# curley bill 2012-05-17 21:11
Apologies if this has been posted before -
East Ayrshire Council is in now run by an SNP/Tory formal coalition.

(If Labour is unprincipled by joining with the Tories then so are we - you can't have it both ways).

Before the last election the SNP group had the council due to an informal alliance with the Tories, thus freezing out the majority Labour group - what goes around...
# snowthistle 2012-05-18 07:40
Indeed curley, I am appalled by this. It is wrong when other parties do this and it is wrong when the SNP do it. They had the moral high ground on this issue, it was an open goal and I wonder if these councils understand the full gravity of what they've done?
I think that the voters should decide who goes into coalition not the parties. The party that comes first should be obliged to form a coalition with the party that came second. If either party cannot work with the other they should stand aside and let the third placed party take their place
# Holebender 2012-05-18 14:03
If the 1st and 2nd placed parties are in coalition how are we going to get any kind of effective opposition?
# snowthistle 2012-05-18 14:22
The second party doesn't guarantee effective opposition, look at Holyrood.
# Holebender 2012-05-18 15:45
True, but if the two biggest parties are obliged to form an administration that doesn't leave much to form an opposition.

The largest party should be free to negotiate with ideologically similar parties or to form a minority administration if it chooses, it shouldn't be forced into trying to form an administration with the second party no matter their differences.
# snowthistle 2012-05-18 15:56
If that is what their electorate voted then they should at least try, or form a minority administration. They serve the people and if enough people vote for the 2nd party then the first should not be able to say "well we know you voted for them but we don't like them so we'll form an administration with the party that got hardly any votes"
The wishes of the electorate should not be swept aside in such a cavalier fashion.
# Holebender 2012-05-18 16:02
Do you think it would have been best if the Tory and Labour parties had formed a coalition in Westminster in 2010? It's more likely than not that the two largest parties will be rivals and hardly best suited to forming a coalition.
# snowthistle 2012-05-18 18:23
FPTP doesn't throw up nearly as many coalitions as STV does and when it does the lesser party in the coalition suffers severely, look at the LibDems.
# Holebender 2012-05-18 19:48
The point is, though, whichever system is used the likeliest outcome is that the two largest parties will be strong rivals and hardly likely to be willing to go into coalition with each other. I know it sounds all fair and democratic to say the two biggest winners should be obliged to form a coalition, but I don't see it happening very often in the real world.
# osbourne 2012-05-17 21:50
BBC not giving much coverage on East Lothian 'Right to Buy'. Nice to be kept up to date with 'celebrity' provost news in Fife though.
# brh206 2012-05-18 08:09
I actually have little issue with various forms of coalition as long as the parties concerned stick to their pledges and follow through on what they say they will do. My problems start when huge sways of the electorate are not represented because of coalition and it is a deliberate political move that does not serve the local electorate. STV is going to throw up weird and awful things, I would much rather have a straight PR system to be honest in local elections as a starting point. At the end of the day the local electorate will decide if their council works or not, doesn't make it any easier when you see the damage being done to Glasgow and how helpless you feel to actually put a stop to it but you get who you elect. I suppose I am lucky that I live in Dundee and the fact that so far the SNP have done well in trying to move the city forward. I suppose for me I wish that local politics did not reflect national politics, local people deserve better from all the parties.

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