Community Councils – The Estates of the Kingdom of Scotland
The Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973 effectively reconstituted the “Estates of the Kingdom of Scotland” with the introduction of community councils. These were to represent grass roots opinion, rather than discharge functions and be called a tier of local government. Their role was defined as “to ascertain, co-ordinate and express to the local authorities for its area, and to public authorities, the views of the community which it represents.”
But even this limited role was undermined by the Local Government (Scotland) Act 2003 which empowered local authorities to take the lead in consulting communities directly as part of the process of ‘community planning’, in which the “Estates of Scotland” were reduced to mere consultees with no higher status than any other community group.
As of 2012–3, there were 1,369 community council areas in Scotland, of which 1,129 (82%) have active community councils. There are also 3 Neighbourhood Representative Structures established in Dundee as alternatives to community councils.
Since the 1990s there has been a recognition that Scotland’s communities need more powers to govern themselves. However the actions that have been taken to achieve this have been characterised by vagueness that has made them ineffective. For example section 23 of the Local Government etc (Scotland) Act 1994 required local authorities to institute a scheme of decentralisation. However the Act failed to explain what this should mean in practice, with the result that many local authorities did little more than carry out a few consultation exercises.
It is time the Scottish government restored the full powers of the “Estates of Scotland” to Community Councils in line with the wishes of the people of Scotland as set out in the aims and ambitions of “Salvo”. Full details at “https://salvo.scot/claim-of-right/”.
The John Smith Centre’s Director Kezia Dugdale is set to take on additional responsibilities at the University of Glasgow as its newly appointed Professor of Practice in Public Service.
Working with colleagues in the College of Social Science, she’ll undertake a senior leadership role enhancing connections with political and public policy figures, government departments and organisations to develop and support the growth of applied research, engagement and impact rooted in the School of Social and Political Science’s world-class research.
Dugdale launched her “Fifi La Bonbon” political career as an online abuser and troll in the Scotsman whilst working, at the public expense for the Labour Lord Laird Foulkes.
2 Aug 2008: The Evening News’ Save our School Dinners campaign recently got hot meals back on the menu for the city’s toddlers.
Fifi la Bonbon attacked:
So you’ve completed your degree, post graduate qualification and got yourself a job as a teacher. Then toon cooncil wants you to serve up school dinners? That will be right. The SNP and Lib Dems have been found out and now they’re acting all indignant, but they can’t resist that last wee insult to the teaching staff.
27 Dec 2008: The Scotsman. Fears over paedophiles could scupper plans to give 16 and 17-year-olds the right to vote in elections
Fifi la Bonbon attacked:
I oppose giving the vote to 16 year old children, but not because of paedophile hysteria, but because they’re too daft to vote. How would publishing younger people’s details on the electoral register be of any benefit to paedophile ? What is the paedophile “danger” these “experts” are exercising their gums about? Would a paedophile look up the details of someone apparently aged 15, and then write to them to ask if they would like to see some puppies?
7 Jan 2009: A £2m appeal is being made to rehouse the UK’s leading Braille printing press and protect its long-term future
The Royal Blind, Scottish Braille Press was built in the 1960s and needs to be rebuilt and fitted with state-of-the-art printing equipment. The press is a leading provider of the UK’s Braille books, magazines and other printed materials. Best-selling author Ian Rankin, whose son goes to the Royal Blind School, is giving his backing to the campaign. (BBC News)
Fifi la Bonbon attacked:
This arrogant, wicked man Rankin is just promoting himself. How dare he do this so-called thing, and how dare he campaign for the Braille Press. It’s just a cheap publicity stunt. It’s the same with all these so-called achievers” – anyone could have written a string of so-called internationally renowned bestselling novels and so-called TV films – he was just lucky, so he was. There’s nothing special about him. It’s doomed to crash and burn, to be able to play some records you need to have been doing it for at least 30 years, rank amateurs are taking over. ” Fifi la Bonbon, channelling the voice of real Edinburghers.
12 Jan 2009: The Scotsman. A lot of anger over nursery plot
Attached to Mrs McLeod’s nursery is a small allotment, which she uses to introduce the toddlers to horticulture expanding their knowledge and understanding of the environment. But not for much longer, the council recently served a “notice of intent to evict” barring nursery age children from the allotment.
Fifi la Bonbon attacked:
It’s a £33 a day private nursery run for profit in a relatively well-heeled area. Presumably only those children whose parents pay Mrs McLeod fees to attend get to play, and local kids whose parents don’t pay are barred. Allotments aren’t there to make businesses like hers more profitable. If she wants to establish a garden for the inmates of her nursery, she should buy some more land herself.
Mrs Mac responded:
My daughter goes to a private nursery, I’m not well off, but I have no choice in the matter because I have to work, and I cannot get a state nursery place for her until she is three. I get no help at all with the fees and I think that your comments are very uneducated. So what if the parents are well off (which I bet most of them are not)! This project has been an educational tool in a time when learning about where food comes from is a government target to cut obesity rates. Perhaps instead of taking the land away from people who were using it for good, they should make more provision for programmes for both fee-paying and state nurseries to run these schemes.
2 Aug 2009: From 2006, the Labour government spent £473m stockpiling the untested antiviral drug Tamiflu, in preparation for flu pandemics
The drug was subsequently prescribed during the swine flu outbreak in 2009. But reports soon surfaced claiming that the drug had a number of side-effects, including nausea, headaches, psychiatric events, kidney problems and hyperglycaemia. The Labour government subjected the public to a costly and sustained propaganda onslaught, anticipating an improved level of take-up of the vaccination programme. But to no avail. The public did not trust the Labour government to tell the truth. and the drug was withdrawn from use.
The £473,000,000 stock of Tamiflu was off loaded to third world countries and the cost written off.
Epidemiologist expert advice was commissioned and a report named the “Cochrane Collaboration was submitted to government.
Carl Heneghan, Professor of Evidence-Based Medicine at the University of Oxford and one of the report’s authors, told the BBC, “I think the whole £500m has not benefited human health in any way and we may have harmed people. The system that exists for producing evidence on drugs is so flawed and open to misuse that the public has been misled.”
Dr Tom Jefferson, a clinical epidemiologist and former GP, said: “I wouldn’t give it for symptom relief, I’d give paracetamol.”
The Cochrane Collaboration researchers did not placed the blame on any individual or organisation, instead saying there had been failings at every step from the manufacturers to the regulators and government.
Between 2006-07 and 2012-13, the Department of Health purchased just under 40 million units of Tamiflu.
Only 2.4 million units were administered .
6.5m units had to be discarded before their shelf lives had run out because poor record-keeping by the NHS meant it was impossible to tell if they had been stored correctly and were still useable.
The Public Accounts committee concluded that taxpayers’ money had been squandered and that there was “simply no excuse for the waste.”
Fifi la Bonbon attacked:
The taxpayer at large is paying for people to get the jags – we shouldn’t have to pay out damages for people unlucky enough to suffer bad side-effects. Anyone getting the vaccine courtesy of the taxpayer should be made to sign a waiver supported by statute waiving the right to sue the NHS. If they won’t sign, let them do without. They’ll still get free NHS treatment if they fall ill.
21 Nov 2009: The Scotsman. Many school children are not being provided with a balanced diet and the council decided to heavily subsidise meals so that the health of children would be improved
Fifi la Bonbon attacked:
“I completely disagree with this. It is parents’ responsibility to look after their children, not that of the local authority. Far from paying for meals for all schoolchildren, we should withdraw the free meals already given to some kids, and make parents pay for the lot. The money involved just goes to paying for mobile phones, expensive sandshoes, and iPods anyway. The taxpayer pays for their education, and gives generous benefits to parents who are disabled and cannot work, as well as to widows and to mothers who have been abandoned by feckless fathers. But it is not our responsibility to feed their children at lunchtime. If parents are too neglectful to do this properly, they need to be punished not rewarded.”
26 Apr 2010: General Election ‘debate’ appeal answered by ordinary Scots
The SNP have reached the target of £50,000 needed to fund the court action aimed at fighting their exclusion from Thursday’s leader’s debate:
Fifi la Bonbon attacked:
“The money was raised by cybernat fanatics and dubious foreign interests”:
31 May 2010: The Scotsman. Grand plans have been announced for a new luxury retail store in a new tourist village on the outskirts of Dalkeith – Will our readers be rushing to snap up its offerings?
Fifi La Bonbon Gushed:
Well I for one cannot wait. Quite frankly I am tired of travelling between the Borders and the city without a designer shopping experience and fine dining opportunity to break my journey. I demand nothing but the best in luxury clothing and Scottish produce, and of course Midlothian has been crying out for a gateway for centuries. Ikea and Costco just don’t cut it, I’m afraid. So this is all good news for me, and literally dozens like me.
26 Jun 2010: Robina Addison, a Scottish dance teacher and philanthropist, brought a young girl to Scotland for reconstruction surgery.
Fifteen-year old Kade, had been born in Trinidad and Tobago without ears and missing part of her ear canal, a condition known as bilateral microtia. This had rendered her partially deaf and according to her benefactor: “facing a future begging for a living.”
Ms Addison explained that because Kade had been born without ears, she couldn’t go to mainstream school and was attending a badly run down day care sanitorium for mentally handicapped children
The cost of the operations and treatment was expected to be around £50,000. Fortunately for Kade, who was not entitled to free health care in Scotland, the Spire Murrayfield hospital offered its facilities and the surgical team worked for free.
Her foster parents themselves contributed £10,000 for a hearing aid implant that will allow her to hear. Robina said “She is very intelligent but there is no special needs system in Trinidad. I came home and I was quite upset to think that’s where she was. After making several return trips. we eventually got permission to take Kade to Scotland. Although the surgery appears to have been successful, there is a continuing struggle with immigration since Kade entered on a visitor’s visa instead of the required medical visa. At one point Kade faced the possibility of deportation.
Robina added “We do not intend to formally adopt Kade, but hope to help her with her health and education enough to allow her to make a success of her life back home on Trinidad…We want her to get a job and help people in a similar situation. If she does not get this opportunity, her future will be working on the streets or, stealing. It’s the difference between the chance of a lifetime and nothing, and she has got so much to offer.”
Fifi La Bonbon attacked:
These people are willing to pay all the costs themselves and the girl isn’t going to be getting to stay here permanently, so there oughtn’t to have been a problem if they’d made the proper arrangements. Very neglectful not to check properly whether the girl needed a visa. She does if the stay is for more than six months. There are particular rules for visitors from Trinidad wanting to receive private medical treatment – very clear. It took me less than five minutes to find and check the rules on the internet – it’s all on the UK Border Agency website. If this “high profile couple” had bothered to check with a lawyer in Trinidad or over here they would have known what to do. We only have the woman’s word that she was misled. Anyway I hope it all turns out well but there’s no excuse for failing to get proper advice in such circumstances and them blaming the government.
Brodric challenged FiFi:
For goodness sake Fifi la Bonbon – don’t be so pompous. They obviously asked a jobsworth who gave them the wrong advice. And you can’t blame them for believing an official. If we listened to everything we heard, or believed everything we see in black and white, no matter how careful we are, we can still end up with problems. I hope that common sense prevails
Fifi la Bonbon responded:
I don’t disagree about the girl being allowed to stay to get her treatment. My point is that anyone who fails to get legal advice on such matters or at least to make their own proper enquiries is being negligent. There’s more to this than meets the eye, anyway. The report says the girl is fostered. That would involve contact and negotiation with authorities in Trinidad and Tobago, and certainly with social workers here. I am surprised that the question of her legal ability to remain here was not picked up somewhere in the process. What is the social work department’s view about the case?
Follow-up: 12 Oct 2012: Surgeons create new ears for girl from Trinidad
Kade was born without ears and missing part of her ear canal, leaving her partially deaf and facing a future begging for a living. The medical team from the Spire Murrayfield hospital in Edinburgh gave its time and expertise for free to construct new ears so that she faces a brighter future. She hopes to return to Trinidad soon. (BBC News)
10 Oct 2010: Cybernats – a Scottish political phenomenon – David Torrance releases yet another book
It was, I think, the noble Lord Foulkes who coined the memorable term ‘cybernats’. Then the Scotsman’s David Maddox likened them to an army who ‘launch daily, sustained attacks on journalists, politicians and anybody else perceived to stand in the way of their cherished aim of independence, or who raises even the mildest criticism of Alex Salmond or the SNP.
Fifi la Bonbon commented:
Mr Torrance is a long established, serious and distinguished writer who has published books on Margaret Thatcher, Harold MacMillan and the Secretaries of State for Scotland, and this is just the latest of these. He doesn’t usually write hagiographies but here’s a starter;
Once upon a time, in a humble cottage in Linlithgow, Alex Salmond, the greatest living Scotsman was born.A strange golden light shone out of his nappy, bathing the faces of his proud parents with a warm glow…
15 Jun 2012: Andrew Whitaker’s observations on First Minister’s questions:
Alex Salmond pulled himself back up off the political canvas at First Minister’s questions yesterday after weeks on the ropes with a heavyweight performance at the dispatch box. But those who witnessed Mr Salmond’s tirade at Ms Dugdale, it was hard not to say that the SNP leader was back to his most bombastic.” (The Scotsman)
The Famous 15 commented:
Kezia Dugdale was not bullied. Her pretended innocence hid a disgusting disreputable distortion of events. The irony is the system was in place back in the days of Lab/Lib government but the SNP now do so much better…… Dugdale learned her craft at the feet of Lord Fffoulkes and we saw that when she posted as Fifi la Bonbon. Day and night she posted the best distortions witnessed by mankind.
She sees herself as a fantasy champion of the British Empire and will have no concern about truth and justice in her frantic, desire to do down the SNP. She loves the game and that is the main thing to her, not people’s welfare, just the point scoring.