I am hugely disappointed by Dundee City Council leader John Alexander’s “explanation” of the Olympia debacle.
It wasn’t an explanation. It was an attempt to make the smokescreen wider and more opaque.
This was a politician under pressure, doing what modern politicians under pressure do.
Opposition councillors have repeatedly called for an investigation.
MSPs and other public figures are doing the same. Local newspapers have called for the truth time and again, and will continue to do so.
In time-honoured fashion the politician attempts to say something about it – to look like he is facing up to questions – but spews out a word salad that is not designed to impart truth, it is designed to say nothing using lots of words.
This gives the opportunity, in future, to claim: “I have given a wide-ranging interview on that subject and accepted mistakes were made. I now consider it closed”.
Except we can see you didn’t actually say anything John. We’re not mugs.
You attempted to deflect the blame in any direction – but not a specific direction.
Anyone with common sense or life experience can see the whole sorry saga stinks like a blocked cundie. It is never going to fade.
We can all see that the facts just don’t add up.
Olympia needed £6m repairs and 27-month closure
“No skeletons in the closet” (John’s previous stance) was ridiculous when there were £6 million of repairs required, a 27-month closure, and embarrassing details like the fire damper failures kept surfacing.
So he’s changed it to: “lots of skeletons in lots of closets”. But doesn’t name any closets.
What is the difference in the two stances?
He cites failings in “everything from location, to maintenance, to design and construction quality”. And claims “several people must take responsibility”.
But he doesn’t say what that responsibility is. Or who is to take responsibility. Or why.
One interview, vaguely blaming unnamed people, isn’t going to fool Dundee, John.
How can you expect us to believe lessons will be learned if you don’t divulge what the lessons are?
The actions of the rest of the council’s SNP group should also be noted.
Sometimes you can tell an awful lot by people choosing to not say anything.
Not one of them ever went public to back the “nothing to see here” position. Clearly, they didn’t want to be splattered when the brown stuff hit the fan.
Equally, none will admit: “I agree with what’s been said now”.
To have no opinion, to say nothing, is moral cowardice. Their first duty should be what’s right for the city, not to protect a leader who has painted himself into a corner.
Will they speak up now? Is there a shred of integrity there? Will they suggest who should take responsibility?
Lastly, let’s look at the bigger picture. After telling us one thing for years, then telling us something else, can we now believe the council on any subject?
Everything this administration does from now on should be scrutinised intensely.