'˜No reason why voters can't decide'

Let he who is without sin cast the first stone. Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future.

Thursday, 15th December 2016, 11:50 am
Brian Weddell aims to leave the past behind as he bids to return to frontline politics

There is no shortage of words of wisdom - like those above from the Bible and Oscar Wilde - when it comes to the question of people trying to escape an incident in their past that they would rather we all forgot.

Today we report on two contrasting examples of this from the world’s of sport and local politics. Both Malky Mackay and Brian Weddell are men of talent with expertise in their fields. And both have “baggage” which calls their judgement into question and invites criticism of anyone seeking to appoint them.

The case of Mackay, who is expected to be confirmed as the SFA’s performance director, is naturally far more high profile. The private texts he sent a colleague while manager of Cardiff City were extremely damaging. They portrayed a man with views straight out of the 1970s, sexist, homophobic, racist and anti-semitic.

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Football has changed an awful lot in recent years and it will continue to do so as, for example, more and more women get involved as players, fans and in running clubs, such as Hearts and Hibs.

Mackay has admitted his error and undertaken diversity training. Does he deserve to be banned from ever working in the sport again? Of course not. But appointing him to such a high profile role reflects poorly on Scottish football.

The case of Mr Weddell who was identified as the author of ‘poison pen’ letters making unfounded claims about his then council colleagues is straight forward. He offended no one - apart from those former colleagues - but displayed poor judgement to say the least.

Twenty years have now past. There is no reason why he shouldn’t now make his pitch to the voters of East Lothian and let them decide his credentials.