Councillor to stand down in Lochaber
Sir, There’s an end point for everyone in politics. Everyone, irrespective of their politics, has a shelf-life.
Having been involved in politics since my teens, I knew what was ahead when I was first elected. Human nature is no different in politics than in the legal profession, business or in any organisation which has winners and losers.
Having fought three elections since 2003, I’ve decided it is time to leave representation to a younger candidate in the May 2017 council election.
It has been a privilege working as an elected member over the past 14 years and I am sure the new representative in ward 12 will join other Lochaber councillors in fighting Lochaber’s corner.
Over the past three years, Lochaber councillors have found common purpose irrespective of party affiliation and a rapport I hope is carried forward into the next five years.
However, I would advise any candidate to remember that without differences of opinion, there would be no democracy. It is only right to note that, irrespective of one’s views, there will always be others who will disagree.
So, if you can’t stand the sight of your own blood, don’t run for political office.
With four of the seven Lochaber councillors standing down, the opportunity is open to anyone with strong political views to put themselves forward for election.
The actions of some politicians can take your breath away. It’s not unlike respectable people attending a football match and saying and doing things that would be unthinkable in their everyday lives.
In politics, similar situations arise when some politicians overstep the mark. They normally do so as a group and refer to it as being ‘political’ believing this should exonerate their actions. Blaming others and gaining believers is in their eyes commendable.
There is no doubt that many politicians exaggerate their claims to sainthood while dishing out vitriol to opponents and at times to members within their own party. The blame game is rife in politics.
You can’t argue with someone who has made up their mind. As Johnathan Swift said a few centuries ago: ‘ Party is the madness of many for the gain of a few.’
Politics is the science of who gets what, when and why. When it comes to saving money, the most vulnerable have always been easy targets. Anyone can make decisions to save money by making people redundant and cutting services.
Another example of money- saving measures is to reduce salaries through a job evaluation process. Unfortunately, this has a major impact on lower-paid staff who can least afford any pay cut while those on higher salaries can well afford a cut which many would barely notice.
In the past, this process has been recommended by officers in those high level posts.
Very soon, we expect to face a second independence referendum. We can either vote for Westminster and Brexit, which makes us Unionists, or we vote to make our own decisions in Scotland.
At the next independence referendum, we vote for an independent Scotland or for the status quo. There is no third choice on the table.
Councillor Bill Clark, The Highland Council.