Ronald Reagan, US president from 1981-89, was nicknamed The Great Communicator and explained his success with just two sentences.
Number one: Be honest in what you are saying. And number two: Be in touch with your audience.
Dundee city councillors would do well to listen.
When there is a contentious issue swirling around town they aren’t remotely in touch with their voters.
If they thought Dundee deserved investment zone status ahead of Aberdeen or Glasgow it was their duty to shout it loud.
Councillor Mark Flynn, I’m using you as an example.
On April 10, as head of the city’s development committee, you said: “It’s something we would be interested in looking into, and seeing what the feasibility would be.” You sounded rather positive.
On June 30, when Dundee was snubbed for an investment zone, over Aberdeen and Glasgow, your response was . . . well, what was it?
No politician of any party can expect to retain credibility if you talk up having “interest” but ignore this refusal by the SNP and Tories to help our city.
Investment zone silence reflects poorly on Dundee councillors
The SNP group’s collective excuse: “John Alexander speaks for all of us” is (to give it a fancy name) an abrogation of responsibility.
To be less fancy: it is cowardice.
To all of Dundee’s SNP politicians, don’t hide behind Mr Alexander, speak for yourselves. Be a chorus of voices saying the same thing.
When Humza Yousaf complains about a Westminster decision he is backed by dozens of other voices from within the SNP. The power is in the breadth of the criticism.
Why aren’t you following that model?
You shouldn’t be too frightened to say – to any person on earth – that you want the best for Dundee. And to complain if you don’t get it
When you say nothing, you look like you think nothing. Or worse, you don’t care. Or worst of all, that you’re too frightened to say anything.
You were not elected to cower away as frightened people.
Surely you stood for office because you believe you have something to contribute, you want to make a difference, you care about your city.
You shouldn’t be too frightened to say – to any person on earth – that you want the best for Dundee. And to complain if you don’t get it.
Here’s what councillors should be doing
So I ask again, what are you collectively doing about this investment zone snub?
Apart from a few hand-wringing words from John Alexander, what’s your plan?
How are you taking this forward?
And Dundee’s other councillors, why are you sitting back?
Why haven’t you suggested an all-party motion of condemnation that every member of the council could put their name to?
Write to Holyrood and Westminster and share the letter on social media or the pages of The Tele or Courier.
Get on your feet in chambers and vent.
Pace the city square with a megaphone and drown out Fast Eddie.
We will admire your bravery. We will think of you as street fighters. And we will respect you.
To all of you, of all parties, having the courage to speak up for the city is what gets you votes.
Or am I wrong about all of this? Explain why I’m wrong. Are you frightened of me too?