The complete inability of Labour in Falkirk to recognise the level of rejection at the hands of the electorate just a few weeks ago became clear on Wednesday when despite being a minority party within Falkirk Council Labour grabbed all three places on the influential Service Integration Board that will administer the merged Home and Healthcare Services but not before there was high farce in the vote.
Just as happened when the board was first established Labour nominated Alyson Black, Linda Gow and Dennis Goldie while the SNP put forward group leader, Cecil Meiklejohn for one of the places set aside for elected local politicians.
After around 30 minutes of indecision on how the vote was to be taken Falkirk Provost Pat Reid ruled that a roll call was to be called for each of the candidates, for or against.
Labour, SNP, Tory and 1 Independent Councillor all supported the nominations of Councillors Black and Gow resulting in a 29 votes to 1 election to the board. Labour and the Tories then voted for the election of Dennis Goldie against the SNP and both non aligned Independents who opposed his nomination resulting in a 16 – 14 majority for Goldie’s appointment.
That should have resulted in the election of the 3 Labour members but when votes were cast for Councillor Meiklejohn the two Tories amazingly also voted for the SNP leader giving her a 16 – 14 vote majority and tying the vote for the third place.
Due to the two Tories voting for all four candidates for only three places a pack of cards was produced to separate the tied candidates. Cecil Meiklejohn drew a Jack from the pack and Dennis Goldie drew an ace ending the high farce and thus denying any opposition representation on the board.
SNP Depute Leader, Steven Jackson said,
“With Labour all but being wiped out in May’s General Election you would think that some humility and common decency would have been on show but not a bit of it. The same arrogance as we saw from the former Labour MPs is alive and well in the Labour Group within Falkirk Council.
If ever a political party appears hell bent on destroying itself then there can be no clearer example than Labour in Falkirk. As was well documented in the recent BBC programme, the Labour Party is at war with not only itself but also the voters.
An Administration that is afraid to allow itself to be scrutinised is doomed to fail but in Labour’s case they are failing the people of Falkirk.”