Paul Edie: Politicians must be guided by spirit of co-operation

Donald Trump has so far not displayed any true statesmanship. Picture: AP

Donald Trump has so far not displayed any true statesmanship. Picture: AP

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Now Christmas is out of the way thoughts turn to 2017 and what that might have in store.

We will see progress towards Brexit and so far it doesn’t look like it will be pretty.

Lib Dem councillor Paul Edie

Lib Dem councillor Paul Edie

President Trump will have actual power and the signals from his transition do not bode well for the responsible exercise of that power.

In the wake of the Russian ambassador’s assassination and the German market killings we need statesmen and women who can diffuse situations not inflame them. Trump is not such a person.

We will also see council elections in May and for the first time in 27 years I will not be a candidate in those.

There will be many aspects of the council I will miss terribly but I know now is the right time to move on and to make way for new blood and new ideas.

I am not alone in deciding to step down. The council stands to lose many experienced members, which may present a problem.

Few really appreciate what a sprawling beast our councils are.

They regulate all sorts of things ranging from planning to hypnotherapists and provide services from roads and housing to schools and social work.

My advice for the incoming crop is to take your time and get to know the council properly.

Park your political prejudices at the door and try not to take the rabid attack dog approach.

The diverse representation in the chambers doesn’t lend its self to that. The best way to really get things done is by co-operation and you need to build relationships across party lines to do that.

Paul Edie is Lib Dem councillor in Corstorphine/Murrayfield ward