Things really must be getting desperate over at John Smith House - Labour's recent u-turn on the Council Tax demonstrates how few ideas they have for governing Scotland.
At Full Council back on the 28th of October, Glasgow City Council Treasurer James McNally proposed a motion saying that a continued freeze on Council Tax was "not sustainable" and called on the Scottish Government to "restore the flexibility to councils to set a reasonable level of Council Tax without suffering financial penalty". All very interesting euphemisms for increasing taxes, I'm sure you'll agree.
Glasgow Labour were far from the only part of that party calling for an increase in Council Tax, however. Iain Gray had made remarkably similar comments in the Herald on the 3rd of October:
“It does not look to us that the council tax freeze is sustainable... They (local authorities) have to have as much flexibility as possible."
Labour were against the freezing of Council Tax, they said, due to the alleged threat to public services. That threat, if it ever existed, seems to have vanished like yesterday afternoon's snow flurry over Glasgow.
In the Scottish Parliament, they claimed various catastrophes would strike:
David Whitton (Strathkelvin and Bearsden) (Lab): "The cost of the unfunded council tax freeze does untold damage to local authority services, just so the SNP can claim to have helped the average band D council tax payer to save a few pence a week."
Helen Eadie (Dunfermline East) (Lab): "Campaigners in Scotland warned that people would die as a result of the cuts, which councils blame on the SNP Government's council tax freeze."
On the 30th October 2010 Des McNulty made a conference speech claiming that:
"The consequence of freezing the council tax is cuts in our children’s education"
Where do all these spokespeople, Councillors and MSPs stand now? Do they still believe that the Council Tax freeze, which has helped hard-pressed householders (including those on fixed incomes such as pensioners), is dangerous? Or did they never really believe that in the first place, prepared yet again to put the party political interest before the needs of ordinary people? I think they owe Scotland an apology, and at the very least an explanation.