‘It is too much to expect rivals to join forces’

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IT looks as if it will still take some time for a new administration to emerge in Edinburgh as talks between the parties continue following last week’s council elections.

Labour leader Andrew Burns’ vision of an all-party “coalition of all the talents” is a laudable attempt to forge a new politics for the Capital, but it appears unlikely to win the necessary backing from all the other groups.

Realistically, it is probably too much to expect politicians with clearly different beliefs and policies – and who have just been elected on different manifestos – suddenly to put all that to one side and join forces with their rivals.

There are also genuine concerns about whether such an arrangement would really be a good model of democracy. If all parties were in power together, who would be holding them to account on behalf of the public? And then it came to the next elections, how could voters choose between parties who all shared the same record?

However, there is a happy medium to be struck between an all-party alliance and raw party politics. It is to be hoped that whatever coalition eventually emerges from the current negotiations, the new administration will operate on a less partisan basis than has sometimes happened in the past. Edinburgh needs leaders who will put the interests of the city and its people ahead of narrow party advantage.

Prank patrol

The term sledge-hammer to crack a nut comes to mind.

Dalkeith High School staff are so terrified by the prospect of farewell pranks by senior pupils that the kids were ordered home two days early to begin their study leave.

Is this an over-reaction or should we be genuinely worried about children so out of control the only way to deal with them is to keep them as far away as possible?

The school insists the move was to protect other pupils - especially those sitting exams - from disruption. That may appear sensible, but the school is also in danger of unfairly tarring an entire year because of the misdeeds of their predecessors.

We don’t know what intelligence the school possessed on the nature of this year’s stunt and the rather extreme action may well turn out to be justified. But surely a quiet word with the ring-leaders would have been more appropriate.

It is understandable that some pupils are upset, although clearly others will welcome the instruction not to attend school. It’s also a fair bet that next year, the pranks will simply begin two days early.