Scottish Local Government Councillors
That they did wilfully and systematically bring into disrepute the name of local democracy through the pursuance of vainglorious self-gratification; further that they did allow the pompous, egotistical and disrespectful amongst their number to dominate to the detriment of the constituents whom they are elected to serve and the officers who are charged to implement their half-witted, lamebrained policies; thirdly that they did, and continue to, routinely abuse the position of their office by making brutish and unreasonable demands backed by imperious and bullying behaviour, clodhopping ignorance on a scale that could scarcely be imagined by Professor Stephen Hawking on mind-expanding drugs and provincial, roughneck philistinism that would not be out of place in the more unpolished parts of the Southern states of America.
The Case for the Prosecution
Many great men have lived, fought and died for democracy. George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Che Guevara, Leon Trotsky and Aneurin Bevan all shared a common dream and a common aim: government of the people, for the people by the people. Each man believed that it was a privilege to be elected into office by the people to represent their views, share their aims and aspirations and fight for what they believed was right and true. Each man embodied and exemplified moral and ethical fortitude along with a fierce pride in his position and duties. And each man was prepared to die for the principles he held so true.
How sad it is then that I have to stand here today pursuing a group of these privileged few: a group which has taken the very name of democracy and besmirched and befouled it; a group which is not fit to lace the boots of the people who never passed the interview for the job of making toilet paper for democracy’s founding fathers; a group which should hold its collective head in shame, boil it and make daft soup. I am talking, of course, about Scottish local government councillors. Such a band of asinine, quarrelsome, ineffectual, inadequate, mean, nasty, petty, obtuse, domineering, witless, trivial, uneducated, vulgar, ostentatious, conceited, inarticulate, inflated, narcissistic, crass and bombastic imbeciles as has rarely been witnessed on these or any other shores.
Fuelled by a misplaced sense of power and greed, puffed up with a misplaced sense of their own importance and blessed with no sense whatsoever, these blundering, belligerent, bellicose boneheads march and trample their way over the very people who are trying to deliver what the Councillors themselves clearly can not – services to the electorate. Pushing their way into issues they could never understand even if they were wearing Joe90 glasses, these boorish, bird-brained, bloated buffoons think they know better, think they can always get what they want when they want it regardless of whether what they want is available, reasonable or even physically possible and think they can do all of this because of who and what they are.
That, Ladies and Gentlemen of the Jury, is their first mistake.
Perhaps that is an activity best left to those of us with a properly functioning brain.
Whether looking for the latest technology toy (all at the taxpayer’s expense), massaging Council tax debt figures, interfering in housing allocations, railroading through planning permission for their friends or for companies in which they have a vested interest, there is no new low to which they will not stoop and no vice or crime of which they are not capable. All while claiming expenses of course.
Let us stop, for a moment, and ponder these Scottish local government councillors. Let us prod the soft underbelly of corruption, pomposity and half-wittedness that is their very hallmark. Let us look underneath the hood of their stupidity and see what makes them tick.
They are essentially a simple people but come from once noble stock. Unfortunately, this once noble stock has moved on to pastures new in Edinburgh, leaving their less-talented brethren, sometimes called “numpties” behind. Lacking in any formal education they communicate using a primitive language consisting almost entirely of grunts and Anglo-Saxon obscenities. They are very small in stature with the tallest measuring no more than 4 feet 11 inches. Yet their hands and fingers are monstrously enlarged making any delicate movement such as the use of a mobile telephone virtually impossible. Their complexion is uncannily ruddy due to an unending diet of free Chamber of Commerce lunches and visits to whisky distilleries.
Do not be fooled by this apparently bucolic exterior, though. Behind it lurks a massive, and justified, inferiority complex. In normal circumstances, these brutes are content to manifest this inferiority complex by bludgeoning their own kind in a regular Friday night rough-and-tumble. When they are elected to office however, it takes a more sinister turn. Constrained by their proximity to decent people, local government Councillors find that society has little time for explicit violence. The physical has to give way to mental abuse with bullying, sexism, disrespect, obscenity and bad manners at the core.
And abuse is the appropriate and condign word here. Abuse of power. Abuse of position. Abuse of those who actually do the work.
Edmund Burke once said that all it takes for evil to flourish is for good men to stand and do nothing. And it is precisely through other people (I am loth to brand them good men) doing nothing that these self-centered, lubberly louts have been allowed to gain ascendancy. When the spanking, brand-new Scottish Parliament building opened last week the occasion was correctly marked by quiet Scottish dignity. Edwin Morgan wrote a poem to celebrate the occasion. In what is admittedly not one of his finer works, he warns the new incumbents about the Scottish people’s desires for the new parliament:
A nest of fearties is what they do not want
A symposium of procrastinators is what they do not want
A phalanx of forelock-tuggers is what they do not want
And perhaps above all the droopy mantra of ‘it wizny me’ is
what they do not want
Well, I’m afraid the phalanx of forelock-tuggers and nest of fearties are alive and well in Scottish local government, pandering to the very whim of these knuckleheaded nitwits for fear that the doors of their own careers are swiftly and permanently shut. A blind eye is turned. Mrs McGlumphy gets her house. The Scottish Rural Housing Association gets its planning permission despite local objections. And honourable Council officers are forced to fall upon their sword to maintain the face, and career, of their own managers. It goes on every day up and down the land.
So let’s take our cue from the Scottish poet laureate. Let’s rid our country once and for all of the small-time, small-minded small-fry who do such a disservice to the very name of local democracy.
The Case for the Defence
Dimished stature and lack of education should be no barriers to the proper exercise of the democratic process and it is probable that only a small number of bad apples are present in the barrel that is local democracy.
The prosecution has articulately and persuasively laid out the full enormity of this case and the sentence I intend to levy upon the perpetrators is not a light one. Had the normal course of action been allowed to prevail then the electoral process would have consigned these overbearing, truculent and cantankerous numskulls forever to the dustbin of local history. Their subsequent undoubted replacement by an equally fatheaded, presumptuous and puffed up bunch of knuckleheads, dimwits and simpletons is not within the ambit of this case or pronouncement.
Sad to say, a combination of bullying and threatening behaviour by the accused and a failure to act by those feckless lackeys who could and should have reported this behaviour when the opportunity presented itself merely engendered an environment where this tin-pot sexist, ill-mannered, monomaniacal malfeasance was allowed to flourish.
It is my grave duty, therefore, to impose a sentence that will serve both as a timely warning to all those who decide to follow the political path and a stark reminder to those who stray from it in the pursuit of greed and personal gratification. Let it also stand as a warning to those who stand by and do nothing. It was not a reasonable defence at Nuremberg and it is not a reasonable defence in my courtroom.
I hereby sentence all local government councillors to be suspended by their feet, their heads resting in a bucket of corpulent Welsh Darts legend Leighton Rees’ diahorrea until it pleases me to release them. I would further say that those representatives in the West of Scotland who are affected by this judgement should hold no hope of an early reprieve.