Fiona Duff: Taxpayers pay price of rot at council

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Well, well well. Who would have guessed it – some Edinburgh council workers have been caught taking bribes. To be honest, the only thing I was surprised about is that there are only two of them doing porridge (James Costello and Charles Owenson, below).

Over the years I have heard appalling stories about councillors and the civil servants employed courtesy of our hard-earned money via the ridiculous levels of council tax in this fair city. There are those who ask for tables at events, stuff themselves full of food and drink (I know, I am sitting in a glass house on this one) and then brush away anyone who comes near them with a bill. The idea of coughing up for something seems alien to the people who would chase me all the way to court if I stopped paying for them.

Once, during the Fringe, a performer told me that he had met one of our elected members (ahem) in a foreign country. He was happy to tell all and sundry that he loved visiting this particular place as he really rated the ladies of the night. I can only hope for their sake that he didn’t switch the lights on – that physog would put anyone off their Ovaltine or whatever they have of an evening.

Of course the problem is that the rot goes deep in any organisation such as a local council. I’m not for a minute saying that one rotten apple should spoil the whole barrel, but it is almost impossible to get rid of these lazy scoundrels. The council doesn’t want the bad publicity, so keeping it out of the public eye is important. I have never been employed in the public sector – although I have to admit that as retirement age draws ever nearer I wish I had considered it when choosing a career – but I believe that rather nice redundancy payments are given when it is felt that someone is better not doing the job for which they were being paid.

Sorry about the lack of jokes – I just don’t find this funny.