Comment: Sacrcasm and barbed one-liners as Fife councillors clash

A demo at the doors, conflict in the chat room, and some rather sharp jibes across the chamber.

Fife Council’s new minority Labour administration knows it is in for a bumpy start as grievances are nurtured from the fall out of the May 5 election.

The normally sedate - some would say deadly dull - proceedings of a full council meeting were once again livened up thanks to some nippy exchanges.

Settling into the role of opposition is not proving easy for the SNP after it became the largest single party in terms of seats - just four short of an overall majority - but still managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

There were sharp exchanges as councillors clashed

It continues to bristle at the Labour, Tory, Lib Dem coalition - the one Labour says isn’t a coalition.

Observed John Beare: “If it walks like a duck, flies like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s a duck.”

Amid the sharp verbal exchanges, Councllor Altany Craik flagged a “30 pieces of silver” comment in the chat which, unfortunately, the public doesn’t get to see

No names were mentioned, but his comment that “he shouldn’t have out it there in the first place” was met with an audible, ever so sarcastic “awww…”

Several hours and ten items into a long and protracted meeting, the council came to appointments to external bodies.

Even deciding who gets to sit on bodies such as Kirkcaldy and Dysart Queen Victoria Benevolent Trust, The Gibson Mortification/Trust, and Fife Museums Forum had their dander up.

For the SNP it was a matter of proportionality - in other words they want their fair share - and while numbers were thrown around like a convention of statisticians, council leader David Ross was having none of it.

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“Like it or not, this minority administration has the support of over 50% of councillors to move forward. We can be inclusive and let all groups on council have a voice.

“The SNP have to demonstrate they are prepared to work constructively with the minority administration,. If they are, we are open to that.”

And with that we were back to talk of a ‘stitch up’ and ‘an affront to the electorate’ who are probably glad they opted out of watching nigh on five hours of this.

Amid the who gets what debate, Cllr Beare asked for his dissent to be recorded.

“And me!” came a voice … “and me” said another … and another … and another in chorus.

Provost Jim Leishman tried to restore order with an “excuse me! excuse me!” interjection, much like a schoolteacher telling an unruly class to be quiet.

Altany Craik noted wearily it was all “lovely theatre for people watching” before falling silent.

“Thanks for muting me” he said … before being muted a second time.

“Ah, c’mon” he could he heard saying.

The ‘good’ news is they convene again next month for round three.

Safe to say you can expect more nippiness in the chamber.

It’ll take a little while yet before the fall-out subsides ...