Wednesday, 26 March 2008

Twelve months to tell the truth!

After nearly a full year of prevarication, denial and cross accusation, South Tyneside’s Head of Corporate Governance, Mr Brian T Scott, has finally admitted that the case of the 18 missing ballot boxes was his fault and his alone. He has even gone as far as to offer a full and extremely humiliating apology. If Mr Scott were a Cabinet member of government, he would have had to resign today – he may even have been sacked. As it stands, he remains in full employment.

Today’s Gazette covers the issue in full, the information etc coming from a Council press release which released today. I have placed the relevant links at the end of this post. It is pointless reproducing the arguments – they are fully outlined in the links. You would be well served to visit my original post 30 January 2008 which exclusively highlighted certain court documents etc.

Nearly 12 months after the event, this issue is still drawing front page attention. The Gazette’s letters page will be forced to cover another double spread. However, we should not allow this to be the end of the affair and should instead look at three main points.

Firstly, Mr Scott should not be allowed to hold the position of Returning Officer for any future elections. His mistakes have cost the Borough dearly in its reputation for fair play, and he has shown that he has exhibited a degree of incompetence which is astounding in legal circles. He may even find himself being referred to the Law Society for gross negligence.

Secondly, had Mr Ahmed Khan not lodged his original petition, the public would never have known that these ballot boxes had gone missing – we may rest assured that the Council would not come clean on the issue of their own accord. The question must then be asked – has this happened before?

Thirdly and finally, the issue centres on why the Council and Mr Scott have gone to these very humiliating lengths to issue the apology. The answer to this question lies not in a sense of public duty, transparency or accountability, but on the fact that 45000 missing ballot box news letters were distributed by the Independent Alliance to individuals and households within the Borough. It was the Alliance’s actions which brought the truth to the voters, not the council.

So much then for open government!


Adi Amen said...

This whole sorry mess calls in to question the roles of Irene Lucas(Chief Executive)when did she actually know?. Mr Brian T Scott his reputation and career in tatters,but did he take the flak for a biggger fish/plot.The Leader of South Tyneside Council,Paul Waggott if he knew in May 2007 he has got to do the hounrable thing and resign. He wont of course but he only has six weeks or so left in his job anyway.Then there is the W*****S who wrote on other blogs questioning the vidality of the storey,take your head out of the vice and your blinkers off for once in your lives,blind fools.
Lots of questions remain un-answered but the Council should now consider dropping the court costs against Mr Khan, this would go some way to repairing their damaged reputation.

The Badger said...

Its time to start searcing certain peoples houses and whilst they are at take a peek at at bank accounts.

Donny Osmond said...

I find it very strange that Curly has not posted about this maybe he did not get his Gazette last night, or could it be that he has to eat humble pie .