Red Ross at his bonkers best - John McLellan

Councillor Ross McKenzieCouncillor Ross McKenzie
Councillor Ross McKenzie
Edinburgh Labour rebel Red Ross McKenzie was at his bonkers best this week after the ethical standards commissioner threw out a complaint against him for calling landlords parasites on social media.

He is entitled to his view and I’m glad the commissioner cleared him because how else would the rest of us know what elected representatives like Cllr McKenzie think if there was a crackdown on such views.

Energised by the decision, Cllr McKenzie went further, calling for state seizure of property and telling the Evening News that “Landlordism is inherently parasitic – landlords receive rent simply because they happen to own a piece of land and the rent they receive comes from the labour of their tenants”.

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Strictly speaking, that applies to all transactions, in which anyone selling anything “they happen to own” is, by Cllr McKenzie’s definition, a parasite. But then he probably doesn’t disagree. Isn’t all property theft, comrade?

In the same vein, Greens councillor Ben Parker this week suggested housebuilders shouldn’t make a profit. It was presumably in the spirit of reappropriation in the name of the revolution that Cllr McKenzie availed himself of free drink and party snacks at the Conservative group Christmas reception last week, in which refreshments were served by at least one person he will know from declarations of interest to be a “parasite”.

Know thine enemy? Well, he certainly seems to get along just fine with his Tory chums, but come the glorious day, comrade, those parasites will be first up against the wall.