Edinburgh Council's SNP-Green cabal seem determined to wreck economy so incensed are they by 'corporate greed' – John McLellan

An Edinburgh Council by-election is to be held after former Lord Provost Frank Ross's resignation (Picture: Scott Louden)An Edinburgh Council by-election is to be held after former Lord Provost Frank Ross's resignation (Picture: Scott Louden)
An Edinburgh Council by-election is to be held after former Lord Provost Frank Ross's resignation (Picture: Scott Louden)
It might be a new council but old habits die hard, and to the long list of disaffected Edinburgh SNP councillors can be added ex-Lord Provost Frank Ross, seemingly in protest at his party’s political decision to snub a Conservative-Lib Dem plan to compensate Roseburn traders.

Business owners are facing ruin because delayed construction of the new cycleway has wrecked trade, but Labour and the Greens opposed compensation at last week’s council meeting because of the precedent it might set, despite that having been established years ago for shops hit by tram work.

Representing Murrayfield, Councillor Ross proposed a scheme which the SNP backed, but when his motion lost out to a Conservative-Lib Dem alternative SNP councillors were instructed to abstain and the traders he supported were left empty-handed. There is nothing SNP leader Adam McVey does better than spite, so while he was happy to go to a Conservative Christmas party and drink their wine, he was not prepared to vote with them to give hard-pressed traders some festive hope.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The SNP and Green groups’ disdain, to put it mildly, of business of any sort is not news and tracks back to another controversy which pushed Councillor Ross close to resignation three years ago, when they conspired to destroy Marketing Edinburgh, of which he was a director.

The Greens make no secret of their opposition to economic growth, but hundreds of rank-and-file SNP members will have been aghast at their councillors voting against the Forth Green Freeport bid, which could bring 50,000 manufacturing jobs to the Forth estuary, 11,000 of them in Leith, working primarily on decarbonisation systems. Despite clear backing from the SNP Scottish Government, Edinburgh’s left-wingers found common cause purely, it appears, because it involves private businesses like Grangemouth operator Ineos, Babcock, Edinburgh Airport and Forth Ports itself.

No crazed hyperbole was too strong: parasitic, the epitome of green-washing, the altar of corporate greed, a drain on the public purse, a Conservative conspiracy to camouflage Brexit, a magnet for white-collar crime. Others stammered their way through what passed for speeches, vainly seeking logical justification.

It really does beggar belief that these people purport to be acting in the public interest, and to be parties of working people, but maybe because it’s Christmas it’s also the season for looking gift horses in the mouth.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The irony is that without manufacturing jobs, the gentrification of places like Leith will only accelerate because the only people who will be able to live there will be those who don’t have to travel for work, or by building tourism-related businesses, against which the local SNP-Green cabal is also opposed because it might encourage long-distance travel.

Maybe their vision is for everyone to scrape a living in communes selling artisan bread and pottery at cost, while children happily dance round maypoles, but in the real world prosperity is generated by private businesses bringing investment which sustains real jobs, providing services for which there is demand.

Fortunately, a majority of councillors voted to support the Forth Green Freeport application and hopes are still high it will be one of two selected to go forward from five Scottish bids, and an announcement is expected imminently. Frank Ross had left the chamber before the port vote, never to return. But his group left him years ago.

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.