John McLellan: The hills are alive with the sound of grumbling

You know there's trouble when politicians have to take the newspapers to communicate with their own party members, but that's for whom city Labour Group leader Cammy Day's justification for staying in coalition with the SNP in this week's Evening News was written.

Thursday, 22nd November 2018, 5:00 am
Cammy Day took to the pages of the Evening News to justify staying in coalition with the SNP. Picture: Ian Georgeson

Stung by accusations that he is rolling over and helping the SNP impose its cuts on local services, he wrote that “The SNP government makes its own choices . . . the Labour Group will continue to campaign against Holyrood and Westminster on reductions in local government funding”.

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Cammy Day: Why I'm proud to be part of the Edinburgh Council coalition

Tellingly, there was no criticism, despite adding that “I don’t want to sit on the side-lines.”

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Indeed, Cllr Day rarely criticises the SNP in the Council Chamber, and sitting on the side-lines is what some of his colleagues suggest he is doing; why else would local activists have to call on both sides of the coalition to campaign against austerity, as spelt out once again by Cllr Gordon Munro in the Evening News this week.

The unhappiness is spreading, with finance vice convener Marion Donaldson apparently taking flak from colleagues who feel she should be more vocal. This is not a problem for housing and economy vice convener Lezley Cameron, whose relationship with the SNP convener Kate Campbell shows no sign of improvement

And this week the planning vice-convener, Labour’s Maureen Child, didn’t take her usual place sitting next to the SNP convener Neil Gardiner.

This coalition makes the Conservative-Lib Dem government look as harmonious as the von Trapp family.

Two cheers for new brewery and distillery

Despite the relentless campaign to shame us all into drinking less, the prospect of new breweries and distilleries opening up in the city still generates more excitement than any tech start-up.