Yesterday, I provided a brief account of the hearing, here. My email to all councillors did get comments from a couple of councillors and I quote one of these now, from Cllr Bruce Marshall. I am simply letting you see this and this should not be read as an endorsement from me:
As you know I attended the entire six hour hearing yesterday and came away firmly of the view that you have absolutely no case to answer and it beats me, why the three members of the panel, Ian Gordon, Lindsey Gallanders and Matt Smith, could not have reached a verdict yesterday instead of further increasing your legal costs by holding a another hearing on 19th Oct.
I thought the prosecuting investigating officer carried out his role in an incredibly sloppy manner and appeared ill prepared. I also formed the opinion that he was not impartial as one would have expected but instead made direct accusations against you.
The panel were given beforehand all the material required that was put forward by your lawyer relating to the Human Rights Act 1998 and in particular, Article 10 Freedom of Expression and in my opinion should have come prepared with a legal adviser to give them advice, these are lay people and one would not expect them to be knowledgeable on the detail of the legal cases put forward by your lawyer, why did they come all the way from Edinburgh so ill prepared.
Your lawyer made it abundantly clear yesterday, that what you have been accused of, was that in your role as a Councillor you were scrutinizing important issues that constituents had raised with you in order that their concerns could be addressed. If a Councillor is no longer able to do that, we are not going to get many people of quality applying for the job in the future.
This prompted me to reply to them all later last night, as follows:
Thanks again George and Bruce.
I’d like to make something very clear to all those councillors who habitually ignore emails from me, ie the majority of elected members and especially those who believe themselves to be leaders of this council.
My case is about what you can, or cannot, do. This is, ultimately, about your ability to do your job as a councillor. I know that there are a number of you to whom this may not matter, ie those of you who believe that bumbling along, not reading the papers, accepting what officers give to you without question, keeping your head down when there is flak, voting as instructed etc are all what you think you are there to do.
Well, if that is what you think, then I am very sorry for you. You are here as a councillor precisely not to behave like that. Read the council’s constitution and the code of conduct if you think otherwise.
There is also a minority of councillors who act entirely correctly and who do their job properly, and I applaud them. There is also a huge number of council staff who work very hard and who do their very best for this council. I am totally supportive of all of them, especially when some of them express their views as citizens, and then get public criticism from senior staff for expressing those views.
We badly need radical reform of this council. If you agree, give me a call.
Michael Breslin (aka “Keyboard Warrior” according to Mr Sneddon in his complaint to the Standards Commisioner)