Comment: ‘It’s good to hear Maggie’s common sense’

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There are times in life for sweet words and times for calling a spade a spade.

Watching the response of councillors to senior Tory Jeremy Balfour being caught playing solitaire in the middle of an important meeting has been curious. Some have been reluctant to criticise and there has even been a bizarre attempt to defend his electronic card game as a way of “aiding his concentration”. That’s just plain daft.

Thankfully, someone at the City Chambers knows something’s off when an elected representative plays games on a taxpayer-funded iPad during a meeting at which we are paying him to work.

Step forward Green Party councillor and petitions committee convener Maggie Chapman with some welcome straight talking and clear thinking. “We need to remember why we are here,” she has warned her fellow councillors today.

Cllr Chapman is on the money when it comes to the reasons why this is important, not just some silly storm in a teacup.

The trams debacle has badly damaged the reputation of the city council. The statutory repairs scandal has compounded the problem.

This newspaper has largely been supportive of the new council administration as it has made progress in turning around such a terrible mess.

But the last thing which the city council needs is to give the impression that no-one cares when someone is not doing their job properly.

No-one is calling for the head of a decent man like Cllr Balfour, just some plain talking common sense. Good on you, Maggie.

Having our day

And good on Margo MacDonald today for her Edinburgh Day idea. What a fantastic way to let us all celebrate the best things about living in such a fantastic city. We hope it is supported.