Brian Monteith: Frank’s own trumpet blowing is way off key

Picture: Jane Barlow

Picture: Jane Barlow

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Just imagine you are a candidate for the council elections in May, leading a group of councillors seeking re-election with the prospect of running the City of Edinburgh Council.

How good is that? You will be able to make all sorts of changes to the way things are done in Edinburgh, sort all those problems that only your council can sort – the bin collections, the traffic congestion, the speed limits, the litter, the potholes, the planning, the cracked pavements, oh and the litter.

Just imagine then, that you are so brimming-over with ideas to help one of the most wonderful cities in the world recover its beauty after decades of council neglect and mismanagement that you can’t wait to tell all the Edinburgh voters. You are bursting to get those good ideas out.

Then, like a Fairy Godmother, along comes the Evening News and offers you the golden opportunity of 500 words to tell the readers what a marvellous council leader you will be. Just imagine.

This is as good as it gets. Readers of the Evening News care about their city, they want to be informed, they want things to be better – they wouldn’t read the paper if they didn’t. They are therefore not just concerned – but concerned and likely to vote.

What an opportunity. There is a God!

So what do you do? Do you write about all those plans you have for improving the local amenities, helping Princes Street recover its former glory, giving the public a real say over any tram extension? Edinburgh is your oyster!

No, your name is Frank Ross, you are leader of the Edinburgh’s SNP councillors and your mission is not to improve Edinburgh but to drag the city out of the United Kingdom against its will.

Being Frank Ross you remember Edinburgh voted in 2014 to stay in the UK and you don’t want to talk about that – especially as Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon signed the ‘Edinburgh Agreement’ that declared the vote would be respected.

No, you want to distract the public away from nationalists having only one goal – Scottish independence at any cost – no matter the damage to Edinburgh and Scotland.

You certainly don’t want to explain how a nationalist can offer anything different to make Edinburgh great. Don’t mention the state of the roads, the 20mph limit, the bins, the litter or anything local.

Instead you decide to attack the opposition over how Scottish they are.

After all, who could be more Scottish than someone who would put Scotland’s freeee-dum before paying OAPs their pensions in a country that would face austerity max to fund Scotland’s £15 billion deficit – and before the devastation it would cause Edinburgh.

Frank Ross and the SNP. So full of good ideas for Edinburgh that he could only attack his opponents for not being Scottish enough.

That’s a dog whistle from thirties Germany and offers nothing but pain for Edinburgh – and Scotland.

Imagine that.