Who will run Town House show after next May?
Leader has hard task ahead Hoping staff strikes don’t take flight
CALLUM McCaig has 10 difficult months ahead to establish himself as the leader of Aberdeen City Council. For, in May next year the electorate of the Granite City will go to the polls – those of them who can be bothered – to decide whether the SNP, with the 26-year-old in charge, should continue to run the Town House show. There are, understandably, misgivings about Councillor McCaig's experience, or lack of it, to shoulder such responsibility, conferred on him this week after two successive by-election wins for the nationalists. But, perhaps a more important issue, certainly for many outwith the strange world of politics, is that this is a man who cannot claim to have had a “real” job, though he presumably did something reasonably useful with his time during breaks from Edinburgh University. Of course, politics is brimming over with MPs, MSPs and councillors unacquainted with the world most of us inhabit. You have to look only at some of the puzzling decisions they make to understand such a claim. Councillor McCaig has been swept along with the SNP wave and has been thrust into a job which even he may consider has come too soon for him. From school in Aberdeen to a university degree followed by work for an MSP and then, in his early twenties, a council seat, this is a young man some will point to as being cocooned in the ambitious world of politics. He now has to turn his attention to sorting out the financial mess in which the city council finds itself, where tens of millions of pounds worth of savings have to be found. The jury has just gone out on Callum McCaig. They will deliver their verdict in May 2012. I WRITE this on the eve of my return to Britain, concerned that I may have to wait in long, strength-sapping queues at Heathrow and Aberdeen airports. I have had scary thoughts of management fumbling their way through millions of passports and not quite knowing what to do should the public service workers’ strike go ahead. I hope my fears are unfounded.
NEW BOY: Callum McCaig is one of the youngest council leaders in Britain.