Thursday, July 21, 2011

On Elaine Morris' defection

So, early this morning it became apparent that Edinburgh Lib Dem councillor Elaine Morris had joined the SNP. Apparently it's because she doesn't like the UK coalition and she thinks that we've not shown enough leadership over the city's troubled trams project.

Yes, you heard that right. She supports the trams but has joined a party whose noisy opposition to the project was less than helpful. No, me neither.

If the truth be known, she took a lot more than she gave to the vibrant and awesome campaign team in North Edinburgh and Leith. The people who worked so hard to get her elected & who delivered her leaflets over the last four years no doubt feel a sense of betrayal, but it'll pass.

I suspect that in the long term, Elaine Morris will come to miss that fabulous bunch of people much more than they will miss her. I also wonder how well she'll cope in a group where dissent is a dirty word, where she'll be expected to obey the edicts of the SNP leadership unquestioningly.

I am not impressed by her actions, particularly the way she went about it. My understanding is that senior party figures had been told she was going to sit as an independent as recently as yesterday afternoon.

People defect all the time. Most often there are underlying tensions. The Liberal Democrats have had people join us from other parties even recently. Ultimately it won't make a difference. When the people of Edinburgh vote next year, it'll be on th.e issues affecting them & not a councillor's decision to join another party.

When Jenny Dawe & her team took over in 2007, they inherited a council in a perilous financial mess. They have since been commended on the improvements they've made & Paul Edie has done much to improve housing & social care. They've done a creditable job in difficult circumstances.


Douglas McLellan said...

I dont get it either. Last I heard she was standing down anyway and doing this achieves nothing. In fact, waiting until after the election next may and then voicing her opinions may have actually got her more respect.

Andrew Tibbs said...

We, in the Lib Dems are lucky enough to have a democratic party, one in which the leadership must obey the membership when directed by Conference.

It's unfortunate that Elaine disagreed with the direction of the party, specifically the Federal Party. However, she's never been to Federal Conference in the past two years, and she didn't attend the special conference ratifying the UK coalition agreement, nor was she at the recent Scottish forum which discussed the future of the party.

Elaine can criticise the coalition and the direction of the party all she wants - it's her right as a member of the party and as a Liberal Democrat (other parties won't take so kindly to someone criticising them) - but the fact is, she's the one who hasn't made the effort to change the direction of the party.

Sadly I think this has more to do with re-election rather than direction. Elaine's made clear her opposition to independence many, many times before.

John said...

I have so far resisted the temptation to point out to her how welcome she will be round my front door, after she has spent years leaving piles of LD leaflets for me to deliver.

Still, she has a bright yellow car, so at least that won't need a respray. Maybe that's why she went SNP...


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