Just for laughs: Here’s some fake news about Edinburgh Council’s coalition – John McLellan

Evening News columnist John McLellan imagines an email exchange that might have taken place between Edinburgh Council’s SNP leader Adam McVey and his coalition colleague Cammy Day of Labour in the aftermath of the general election.

Thursday, 26th December 2019, 6:00 am
Adam McVey (SNP, left) and Cammy Day (Labour, right) outside Edinburgh's City Chambers (Picture: Greg Macvean)

Happy Boxing Day, dear reader. ’Tis supposed to be the season to be jolly, but behind the scenes at the City Chambers good cheer has apparently been in short supply as another series of ‘leaked’ emails has shone a Hogmanay torch on the boxing match going on at the top of Edinburgh Council’s coalition administration.

From: Adam McVey

To: Cammy Day

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Subject: Election wash-up

Hope you had a good time in Taiwan and sorry we took so many of your votes while you were away. After all that moaning your lot did about what a crap deal we get from Derek Mackay, droves of people still switched from Labour to SNP. I mean, all that tub-thumping from Gordon Munro about how we’re strangling local services and we get a tenth of his vote. That worked well! Maybe you can talk some sense into them this year?

From: Cammy Day

To: Adam McVey

Taiwan was ok, thanks. Better not say too much in case I wreck that 5G deal between Edinburgh Uni and Huawei. Nicola would be on your case after she went to all that bother to meet the Chinese Communists earlier this year to get more moolah from them. And yes, we need to talk about Derek.

AM: Talking of Communists, has that Stalinist bloke Alex Halligan been in touch about Rebecca Long-Bailey’s leadership campaign? Munro and Mandy Watt will want you to sign up pronto. Corbyn certainly did us a favour, so more of the same will suit us just fine.

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CD: Never mind about all that, what are we going to do about the £150m your lot are expecting us to find in the budget? I mean I had barely got my tuxedo on for Friday night’s group party in the Chambers and Ricky Henderson was bending my ear about how dreadful things are in social care. That Integration Joint Board is a basket case and it’s driving the officers bonkers. I mean, Einstein, George Soros and Carol Vorderman together couldn’t make those sums add up so what chance have they got?

AM: Relax. Deek’s got it all under control. He told me so at the bus stop the other day. It’ll all be fine when we get the Tourist Tax and regulations to sort out short-term lets. Folk will love that. Oh and we’re going to bung up taxes as well. Most of your crew will like that, except Lezley Cameron, but we don’t listen to her anyway. Did you see my stuff in the Evening News this week? I was quite pleased with the line “In one of the richest cities in the UK, with a high disposable income we can make the right choices”. The right choice is to stiff the Tory voters. I mean if they back Johnson they deserve all they get and they’re never going to vote for us anyway.

CD: Yes I saw your column. Wasn’t “vacuous dishonesty” a contradiction? Means meaningless dishonesty... Anyway, it’s us that are getting stiffed and you need to get more loot out of Mackay.

AM: I said relax! The Tories are going to be spending millions which means Deek will have more money than he knows what to do with.

CD: Well they don’t know what to do with it all now, apart from blow it on bust shipyards and airports, which is why they keep sending back all those new welfare powers. We’re going to get a doing at the Holyrood elections and cop for it in 2022 if Mackay doesn’t chuck us a few bones. Either this is a partnership or it isn’t. And it was funny how you came up with a plan to bankroll the Corstorphine Community Centre when we’re supposed to be rooked. Were you worried Frank Ross was going to jump ship and try his luck with Gavin Barrie’s glee club, by any chance?

AM: Funny how you shot it down in a ward where you had no councillors.

CD: Get lost, there is a queue of places needing cash and they’re a lot worse off than Murrayfield. And what about Lothian Buses? We’ll all definitely need bikes because there will be no bus company left after you and the Greens have finished with your “We’ll solve the Climate Emergency single-handed” act and the city centre is shut for everything except cycles, skateboards and sandals.

AM: Look, if we can let Underbelly build the equivalent of an aircraft carrier in Princes Street Gardens and we still increase our vote, what’s the problem? And apart from anything else, all those trade union people in your party who tried to get rid of Ian Murray won’t let you do a deal with anyone else, so you might as well stop girning and get on with it. What did I say in the Evening News? Oh yes, people are choosing more honest, positive, ambitious and substantive options at the ballot box. Punchy, eh? No idea what it means but if your lot bale then I reckon that makes you dishonest and negative. Anyway, think about those special responsibility payments. Money doesn’t grow on trees.

CD: Oh sod it, I’m going back to Taiwan.

For the hard of humour, to understand the above exchange apply a pinch of seasonal seasoning. These emails aren’t real, they were invented for satirical purposes. John McLellan is a Conservative councillor.