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Well, here we are, almost two months into 2017 -for some a time of hope or a time of change. For many its been a bit of a shambles with rubbish, rubbish everywhere – and I am not just talking about the bins in Soroba.
While we are two months in already, I have not seen any evidence of big changes that are going to make things better.
Donald Trump is now the most powerful man in the world – the president of the United States of America.
This is a man who has, in the eyes of many, not got much political know how.
Trump seems to be intent on building a wall and stopping anyone with non-Christian and non-white skin into the country. It is a disgrace to think that in 2017 anyone can think like that.
Looking at it from another angle, Trump was, in the minds of many, the underdog. And he appealed to other underdogs saying: ‘I will build that wall, I will remove you from poverty. I will put America first.’
He said exactly what people wanted to hear and said exactly what he was going to do (like it or not)- unlike the political minefield of this country.
He is like Farage on speed.
Changes in America are inevitable – but what about here in Oban, will the council elections in May vote in the same old, same old? Or will people see the worst of these politicians for what they are?
I have heard them described as backstabbing self promoters. I don’t know if that is right or not, but I do know that the culture of the council needs to change now – so use your vote very wisely. Don’t vote for a nice smile and harmless nature – vote for the person who will get something done.
We’ve all read about and experienced our cash-strapped council. It has been at the beck and call of the SNP government which froze council tax for several years.
The SNP government uses tax as a means of gathering public support in a points-scoring game. And what do points make? Let me see – yes, you’ve got it, points make prizes.
What were the prizes for the SNP? In my opinion, there was only one prize: your vote.
And it has been nothing less than an absolute shambles – if the council tax had continued to rise every year we would be in less of a state than we are at the moment.
Don’t get me started on three-weekly bin collections and the cuts at our hospital.
Argyll and Bute is no longer able to operate efficiently because it did not have the power to collect more council tax. The area is vast – services cannot be centralised, so those in the hardest to reach places are the people suffering the most.
But now, on the horizon for everyone, a three per cent council tax rise – not enough for the council to be getting on with, but still too much for cash-strapped families.
Financial worries could be just around the corner for many, with the possibility of sheriff officers knocking on the door of the poorest families demanding payment.
To those sitting in elected posts who want to be re-elected, my message is very simple – people will not forget the present shambles.
I hope you like my first slot in The Oban Times, I look forward to doing many more. If you don’t like it, just greet down the phone at me and we will see what we can do.
Leave your moan after my tone.