OVER the past week the new council administrations have been forming. In Inverclyde the SNP have been locked into opposition for another five years as there wasn’t a single other political grouping willing to work with them to form an administration. We also lost the two Alba councillors and ended up with an extra Unionist Labour councillor instead.

We have seen the Unionists gang up in councils like Fife and South Lanarkshire to stop the SNP forming administrations even when they’ve been the largest party. In an single transferable vote (STV) system the chances of winning an outright majority are very slim. Only Dundee managed to pull this off, such was the size of the pro-independence support in the Yes City.

However, the only way that pro-independence majorities could have been formed across Scotland was if there were parties willing to work with the SNP, this is happening in Glasgow with the SNP/Green coalition.

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But why is it not happening across Scotland? Simple. The SNP leadership instructed its members and supporters not to vote for other pro-independence parties, even though this was an STV election and could have done no harm whatsoever to the independence cause.

The result? Unionist parties ganging up to seize control of councils across Scotland. Do we honestly think for a minute that without Boris Johnson agreeing to a Section 30 order, these Labour and Tory council leaders are going to sit back and play ball? They will exert all their pressure on their chief executives not to take part and they’ll have their chief legal officers say that council resources can’t be used to support something that’s not lawful. All they need to do is put a political vote through to say as much and our councils will be handcuffed by the Unionist instruction.

What on Earth was the SNP leadership thinking of with their decree? This has been such a gift to Westminster. The Scottish Government now not only have to face down Boris Johnson – if they wish to hold a referendum in 2023 without a Boris blessing, they’ll now need to face down Scotland’s councils too.

Frank Wood
Port Glasgow

AS the dust settles after May’s local elections, the news of backdoor/overt, formal/informal, squalid/forthright, and majority/minority political party coalitions continues apace. There is nothing new in this, as STV ensures proportional representation, which in turn is considered successful if notional party power-sharing is achieved.

Scotland’s four-party system – essentially SNP, Green Party, ConDemSlab, and independent – now has to deal with a UK-generated general austerity policy at a local level, as well as specific national UK Brexit austerity, a UK housing bubble, and a UK energy/cost-of-living crisis.

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Mr A Johnson (UK citizen), son of new French citizen Mr S Johnson, has now decided to further stir the pot from his criminal headquarters at Downing Street, and has expressed plans to cut some 90,000 UK civil service posts.

The impact on local service in Scotland, given Barnet consequentials, and given that 80% of local expenditure is centrally funded from the Scottish Government, will be an initial cut to local authority funding of the order of £400,000, probably in 2023. In addition, there are the required resultant pension funding arrangements which might cut funding for Scottish local authorities by a further £400,000 per annum for say 10 years, also starting in 2023.

ConDemSlab’s barely concealed position, albeit to different intensity, is that such devolved UK austerity is a price currently worth paying by the citizens of Scotland.

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So, as we approach YES2, and also beyond YES2, it is imperative that Cosla representation from local authorities does not accept/enable the Union dividend of UK austerity, so these posts will be rather crucial, and definitely need to be SNP/Green where practicable.

Of course, Mr A Johnson might be simply making up a lie of 90,000 redundancies for Thatcherite effect, and indeed he does lie on an incontinent basis. However, on the positive side, there would potentially be an available pool of civil servants, eschewing ministerial advice to work on the land/sea to fill Brexit labour shortages, available for a newly independent Scotland, subject to their acceptance of a new Scottish currency, and being new citizens of an independent EU nation state.

Stephen Tingle
Greater Glasgow

NO doubt all this “backroom” conniving after the local elections is only with the intention of improving services and generally “improving our lot”, despite the fact that it was not the administration we voted for (South Lanarkshire).

These normally rival groups will come together as one and make a name for themselves all in our interests, and will work hard together. This will be very difficult at all-party meetings (board room meetings) and it is probably fortunate that spare masks will always be available (surplus supply from the epidemic) – this will go a long way towards filtering out the odours generally pervading such “joint meetings”.

James Ahern
via email