Leader: ‘Inertia adds weight to argument for mayor’

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IF Britain’s Olympians were as leaden footed as our city leaders, then they wouldn’t have collected a single medal at London 2012.

From Belfast to Southampton, Leeds to Weymouth, people have taken to the streets in their thousands to welcome their 
heroes home.

But here in Edinburgh the dithering and foot-dragging has been of a world-class standard. Ten days after a Murrayfield lad became the greatest British Olympian of all-time nothing has yet been decided.

The obvious thing to do is to organise a public parade in Edinburgh for our athletes as soon as possible. There is an overwhelming public appetite for it.

In a few weeks’ time there will not be the same level of interest, even now the Olympic “buzz” is beginning to fade a little.

We talk so often about inspiring the next generation to take up sport, but here we are facing an open goal – and we are not even ready to take a shot.

Assuming our politicians are aware of the massive 
interest in the Olympics in Edinburgh, there are two plausible explanations for the inertia that has gripped the City Chambers.

One is that our council leaders are too indecisive and lack the wherewithal to deliver what the people of the Capital want.

That might be a result of cumbersome decision making processes, things might need to go through too many committees before anything can be agreed, or the Labour-SNP coalition may be pulling in different directions. “Big tent” politics where different sides are listened to is all very well, but swift decisions still need to be made.

If this is the problem, then it certainly adds weight to the argument for an elected mayor in Edinburgh like London’s Boris Johnson.

The other explanation is that the interests of the SNP Government are being allowed too much sway at the city council.

The Scottish Government, with its desire to stage a distinctly Scottish event, rather than one involving too much Team GB flag-waving, is the only party with an interest in delaying 
Edinburgh’s celebrations. It is perhaps time for 
Edinburgh to assert its own independence.