Forget the leak of confidential cables from the UK’s ambassador in Washington, a series of private emails from senior Edinburgh Council figures has been divulged in a breach of security which will rock the City Chambers to its foundations.
They surround the panic which ensued after the last full council meeting in which the SNP-Labour coalition lost five votes, including the rejection of their Commitments Progress report, which has forced chief executive Andrew Kerr to produce a new paper which more accurately reflects the council’s performance over the past two years.
Such correspondence is usually bound by standards regulations as they are part of preparations for official documents and leaks can have serious consequences, or at least a visit from the heavies in the compliance department.
But revealing these exchanges between Mr Kerr, council leader Adam McVey and his Labour deputy Cammy Day is, in my view, very much in the interests of open democracy and accountability and it is my duty as a councillor to make the information public ...
AK: Adam, Cammy, I told you that Coalition Commitments Progress Update report was a pile of nonsense and you made me look like a complete fud at the last full council. All it needed was a line about tractor production and it would have been the full Soviet nine yards. No wonder old Dobbie Aldridge had a pop at me and we had to feel his collar at lunchtime to rein him in.
AM: Andrew, Thanks for the email. We’ve went to a lot of trouble to produce a vibrant report which reflects the amazing and vibrant city and all the things we’ve done have made it more amazing and vibrant. Relax, just knock a few of those “on track” marks down to “in hand” and it’ll be fine. I’ve went to Derek Mckay [sic] and he says we’re doing a great job.
CD: Yes, what Adam said. Chill, Andrew. Anyway, I need to talk to you about special responsibility payments for vice conveners.
AK: Adam, Cammy. I don’t think you get this. We can’t go on claiming everything is hunky-dory when the dogs in the street know it isn’t. I mean, the tram being on track when we’d already announced it was going to be late? The only thing on track is the bill and you’re already in a hole about that.
AM: Andrew, you just don’t get this politics thing do you? You spent too long in Newcastle with those Labour nodding dogs signing everything off. Sorry Cammy, you know what I mean. We only lost those votes because the Greens lost their bottle. Kate Campbell will square it all off with Clare Miller and Mary Campbell. I mean did you see the looks on their faces when Beardie Booth got them to vote with the Tories?
CD: Aye, like a row of smacked arses. Oops, that’s going to be illegal, isn’t it? Mind you, he went to Loretto didn’t he? Jason Rust said his dad was a Tory... Anyway about those responsibility payments, it’s the holidays and a couple of the guys have been saying how short they are.
AK: Andrew, Cammy. Thanks for your replies. This is more problematic than you think. We can’t guarantee the Greens will drop their opposition, no matter how uncomfortable they might be voting with the Tories so the next reports need to be credible. I’m working on it, but you’ll need to drop all that propaganda if it’s going to be in an official paper. And please stop going on about responsibility payments, Cammy.
AM: As long as it’s still vibrant. I’ve went to some amazing events on the Open Streets Days and we’ve got to show how vibrant that’s making the city. While I think on, we should be developing an alternative city vocabulary strategy to come up with alternatives to vibrant and amazing, otherwise people might not think Edinburgh is so vibrant and amazing as we say it is.
AK: Thanks Adam. Another strategy? I’m trying to save 30 million quid here without anyone noticing and you want another strategy? Anyone would think you were in the Green Party. I’ll get back to you both in August.
CD: I agree with Adam. Oh, a couple of the guys have been asking about their expenses...
Editor’s note: Just in case anyone thinks these emails are real, they are not, this is satirical fiction