From all the huffing and puffing from the nationalist correspondents, the SNP seems
to have reached a pretty similar conclusion about the role of party politics in local
elections, in island circumstances. Last time they fielded fifteen candidates and
expected to run the Comhairle. The electorate rejected that approach and the local
SNP’s chief letter writer attracted a resounding 4% of the vote.
This time they are fielding nine candidates and have thus abandoned the prospect
of being anything other than an opposition group, sniping at everything the Comhairle
tries to achieve.
That is not the Labour approach and we have taken the collective view that the Western
Isles will be best served by councillors who take a generally like-minded approach
to local needs, without being tied to a party whip.
In reaching that view, we have simply recognised that the attempt by both ourselves
and the SNP to introduce party politics into local elections, has not been welcomed
by the electorate and has become a negative factor in the workings of the Comhairle.
Sometimes it is not a bad idea to listen and learn.
(Secretary of the Western Isles Constituency Labour Party)
Isle of Lewis
Letter: Party politics “negative factor” in comhairle