Feb 272014

MartinFordatUTGWith thanks to Martin Ford.

Aberdeenshire Green councillor Martin Ford has been cleared by the Commissioner for Ethical Standards in Public Life in Scotland, who has concluded that an interview Cllr Ford gave to the BBC was not a breach of the Councillors’ Code of Conduct.
Councillor Ford agreed to an interview request from the BBC 1 Panorama programme last March.

The interview was conducted at Aberdeenshire Council’s headquarters, Woodhill House, in Aberdeen.

Following the broadcast of the Panorama programme for which the interview was used in July 2013, Cllr Ford received a series of letters from the Council’s chief executive suggesting that the interview should not have been given on Council premises.

Commenting, Cllr Ford said,

“Councillors have a duty to to be open about what they do and answer journalists’ questions. It is an essential part of the democratic process. The judgement reflects and acknowledges that.

“I was clear from the outset that the interview was not even remotely close to being a breach of the Code of Conduct.

“I was extremely surprised by the letters I received from the Council’s chief executive last summer questioning whether I should have given the interview to Panorama on Council premises. Given the tone and content of the chief executive’s communications, after his third letter I decided to report myself to the Standards Commissioner in order to get the matter properly and impartially examined.

“The reason I decided to self-refer was to put the matter out of the hands of the Council. The record shows Aberdeenshire Council cannot be relied upon to give fair treatment to a wrongly accused councillor. Having been lynched by the mob once for doing nothing wrong, I had no wish to repeat the experience.”

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Jul 262013

By Bob Smith.

Martin Ford wis teen ower the coals
Fer spikkin tae yon Panorama
Seems the chiel’s opinion fae
Cooncil offices canna be on camera

The stushie fae the ‘shire cooncil
Tae North Koreawis mair suited
Wull aa future cooncil policy
Tae Kim Jong-Un be re-routed

A thocht we bade in a democracy
An war alood tae say yer bit
Cooncillor Ford gied his opinion
An some cooncillors hid a fit

His Trumpie got sic a grip?
Are cooncillors jist Trumpie goons?
Feart tae challenge The Donald
On onything tae dee wi dunes

A nivver thocht a’d see the day
Growen fowk aa rinnin scared
Fae a mannie full o bluster
Like the Menie Yankee laird

Lit’s curse aa coordly vratches
Lit them hang their heids in shame
They’ve selt fowk doon the river
As they play “King” Donald’s game

© Bob Smith “The Poetry Mannie” 2013

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