Fife Council:  Labour and Tories branded as ‘two cheeks of the same baboon’

The exchanges were sharp, the anger very real as councillors reacted to Labour’s bid to run a minority administration at Fife Council.

Thursday, 19th May 2022, 8:29 pm

The word ‘shame’ was thrown around like a frisbee as SNP members reacted with fury, and the old fault lines quickly surfaced.

One quoted Burns’ parcel o’ rogues, while another, Derek Glenn, described Labour and Tories as “two cheeks of the same baboon.”And that was before the SNP motion and Labour amendment were put to a vote.

The parties which, up until the May 5 vote worked fairly well in joint administration, had a spectacular parting of ways. It was almost like the old days when you;d struggle to get them to agree just to sit in the same room.

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Fife Council will lead a minority administration

And the fall out may take time to settle as Labour forge ahead with a new executive style of governance which has already prompted a spiky response.

It was certainly a baptism of fire for the new councillors who must have wondered if every council meeting was likely to be just as spiky. If only that was true … the mundanity of rubber-stamping licences and pouring over agendas an inch thick will soon become familiar.

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SNP fury at 'political chicanery' as Labour secures minority control of Fife Cou...

The SNP went into today’s meeting as the single biggest party with 34 seats.

To have fallen into opposition when so close to power will sting for some time to come if today is anything to go by.

Newly elected Steffan Hoggan-Radu, Cupar, warned Lib Dems not to become “the orange ring on the red hand pulling the Tories from the gutter" which was almost poetic in its delivery.

John Beare, Glenrothes North, Leslie and Markinch, said it was “one of the worst stitch ups” he had ever seen.

And, while everyone else throw turnout stats and vote percentage numbers around like confetti, he added a warning to councillors with some waspish humour: “Provost, there is only one thing I can say by way of comment on the Labour amendment - colleagues, you are all now extras on the set of the Life of Brian and we have a leadership model cooked up by the Peoples Front of Judea or the Judean People's Front, or is it the Campaign for a Free Galilee, or the Judean Popular Front?

"Maybe Cllr Ross (Reg) can enlighten us as to what democracy has ever done for us.”

Thankfully no-one piped up “well, apart from the bins … and the roads … “ otherwise we might have been there all day.

But in case Labour didn’t get the message, he rounded off wondering when Gordon Brown - “the clunking fist of North Queensferry” would come out with “a long winded, convoluted justification justifying this totally unjustified outcome.”

Darren Watt, who held Cowdenbeath for the Tories - and who would ever have thought the party would triumph in the old west Fife mining town? - was quick to reply.

“The nasty, derogatory language used by the SNP demonstrates why no-one wants to work with them.”

Strap in – it’s going to get bumpy at Fife House.

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