Edinburgh’s Lord Provost Donald Wilson is a hard-working and respected councillor who has attended hundreds of functions in the past year.
He is also keen to expand the influence of his department, and it’s difficult to criticise an individual who wants to do more for the people of Scotland’s capital.
However, given a backdrop of spending cuts in which the council is having to make tough decisions (even considering cuts to school librarians), every penny must be accounted for.
If there are changes to staffing and budgets within the department then these should be made public at the earliest opportunity to ensure transparency, explanation and proper debate.
Otherwise, it looks like there’s something to hide.
As for Councillor Wilson’s kilt, we don’t doubt that he intended to pay the money back.
But after the MPs’ expenses scandal why even allow taxpayers to pick up the bill for this? It’s just inviting your political opponents to have a go.
Walk the walk
When under-fire councillor David Walker threw down the gauntlet to his critics, the next step was predictable.
Someone was only too ready – from Councillor Walker’s point of view at least – to take him up on his challenge to lodge a formal complaint about his behaviour.
Now the Labour councillor faces an investigation by the watchdog for standards in public life.
But why did none of his 57 fellow councillors make that complaint?
It took a member of the public to ensure that the questions everyone else is asking will finally get answered.
What possible justification could there be for pleading for leniency for a torturer?