Good luck to all 10 SIC candidates in the upcoming council elections; you will need more than luck when you’re elected than in the election itself, as the lucky ones will be joining a pretty politically sterile and strategically vague group of folk.
The vision and strategy of a non politically aligned council has blighted Shetland for many years now, resulting in a situation that sees senior council officials more in control than the elected members (tail wagging the dog).
You also get 22 individual manifestos, which have some great and laudable aspects but by virtue that you have so many, its almost impossible for the SIC to have a clear path or direction of travel.
When folk stand for a political party they stand on that party’s manifesto which sets out their ideas for all to see, it sets out that party’s aims and objectives for the council over the coming term and beyond. If you don’t like a party’s particular stance, you can choose another at the next election but at least you get to see where they are coming from and where they are trying to go.
If you have a few folk in the same political persuasion and singing the same song then things can be done and if they fail you can boot them out at the next election.
With 22 individuals you get 22 different manifestos all competing with their 22 little voices, with the result that there is a lot of chatter in the chamber and no clear direction.
This historic nonsense has necessitated senior council officials taking over to provide the leadership which elected members should provide. It beggars belief that there is only one and possibly two folk that are not afraid to show their allegiance to a political party.
There is no justification or common sense in having a totally independent council for so long; it is high time this inhibiting situation changes and we get some co-ordinated thinking to start.
Scottish Greens party member