Archive for January 2012
In the last few days there has been much comment on the For Argyll website with regard to Easdale island and Eilean Eisdeal following an in depth article that they ran.
I made several strong comments about the Green Streets project and Mike Mackenzie MSP. At first For Argyll allowed the comments to stand until the early hours of Friday morning when the editor started censoring my statements giving the reason that they were simply untrue.
The crux of the matter came down to one statement saying ” Mike Mackenzie had been in and out of Oban Sheriff court on so many occasions that Easdale islanders had lost count”. I was refering to there being more than one case running at the same time. For Argyll said that they had been told, and I believe by Mackenzie, that that was untrue and there was “only one court case”
I had told For Argyll that I would post the truth on Easdale people, so here it is.
The documents below are from July 2007, Wolseley were a Builders merchant in Oban, I don’t know the particulars of the case but it looks to me that Wolseley forced the case in court far enough for liquidators to be appointed.
In January 2008 Mackenzie refused to pay Lorne Walton the £4087 that he owed him for electrical work he carried out to a new development of cottages on the island. Lorne then sued for the money. In one three day period in October 2010 Mackenzie was due in Oban court on the 18th and 19th October when Howden’s Joinery were suing for non payment, he settled out of court, and then on the wednesday 20th he was back again with the on going Walton v Mackenzie case.
It is my belief, and after having looked at all the 124 pages submitted as evidence to the court in the Walton case, that Mackenzie set out to defraud Lorne of the £4087.82. That would no longer just be a civil matter but a criminal one.
When Mackenzie stood as a candidate at last years Holyrood election, he claimed to be “running successful building and development companies”, if that was the case then why did all these companies above have to sue and win for payment? Either he wasn’t or he had a policy of non payment, until taken to court.
Click on to view.
We hear that there was an architect staying on island a week or so ago, and being shown all around the island by EE directors and Mike MacKenzie MSP. No, it wasn’t our young friend Waseem (whose website seems to have permanently disappeared), nor our former acquaintance Mary from Dualchas (who similarly has disappeared from our ken), but a new Lady Architect. When politely quizzed, she said that she was here to draw up some sketch plans.
So … are we to expect yet another planning application, or yet another grant application, for something we know nothing about … or what?
Perhaps the ForArgyll journalists will be able to find out for us?
I have been wondering, for some time now, if Eilean Eisdeal directors are a classic case of ‘Groupthink’.
It is described in Wikipedia as “a psychological phenomenon that occurs within groups of people. It is the mode of thinking that happens when the desire for harmony in a decision-making group overrides a realistic appraisal of alternatives”
There is a lot of information about ‘Groupthink’ in Wikipedia but perhaps the most interesting part is the list of symptoms:
“To make groupthink testable, Irving Janis devised eight symptoms indicative of groupthink (1977).
Type I: Overestimations of the group—its power and morality
1. Illusions of invulnerability creating excessive optimism and encouraging risk taking.
2. Unquestioned belief in the morality of the group, causing members to ignore the consequences of their actions.
Type II: Closed-mindedness
1. Rationalizing warnings that might challenge the group’s assumptions.
2. Stereotyping those who are opposed to the group as weak, evil, biased, spiteful, impotent, or stupid.
Type III: Pressures toward uniformity
1. Self-censorship of ideas that deviate from the apparent group consensus.
2. Illusions of unanimity among group members, silence is viewed as agreement.
3. Direct pressure to conform placed on any member who questions the group, couched in terms of “disloyalty”
4. Mind guards — self-appointed members who shield the group from dissenting information.
Groupthink, resulting from the symptoms listed above, results in defective decision-making. That is, consensus-driven decisions are the result of the following practices of groupthinking:
1. Incomplete survey of alternatives
2. Incomplete survey of objectives
3. Failure to examine risks of preferred choice
4. Failure to reevaluate previously rejected alternatives
5. Poor information search
6. Selection bias in collecting information
7. Failure to work out contingency plans.”
I am interested to learn what others think of my suggestion that the hat seems to fit.
This item appeared in The Scotsman’s New Year review of 2011’s funniest news stories. It has absolutely nothing to do with Easdale, but it made us smile so we thought we’d share it with you.
The arrival of Spring does strange things to us all. Last April, the Irish town of Tulla was terrorised by a ferocious otter rampaging up and down the high street threatening GBH to all and sundry.
Joe Burke and Mike Hogan went to Mr Otter’s aid, but the little guy went postal. After suffering cuts and scrapes, the men were eventually able to corner it and slip a crisp packet over its head – but that only made the critter bounce dangerously off the walls.
They finally got the otter into a sack, but he chewed his way out and leapt to freedom through a window of Burke’s jeep. Burke and Hogan managed to trap it beneath a traffic cone, then slid a sheet of plywood under the cone in order to carry the makeshift cage to the lake, where they released the ferocious beast –who was so exhausted he nearly drowned, so they had to prop him up in some reeds while he recovered.
The long awaited Scottish Ferries Review was published on 21st December, and is out for public consultation until 30th March. The section relating to Kerrera, Luing and Easdale says:
80. The service to Kerrera is currently provided by the private sector and the services to Luing and Easdale by the Local Authority.
81. The Scottish Government is committed to ensuring ferry services continue to be provided to our island and remote rural communities. In Chapter 5 our proposal for commercially run ferry services is that in the event of market failure we would intervene if a route is deemed to have a lifeline nature. In addition, our proposal (in Chapter 5) on the future responsibility of ferry services is that we will discuss with Local Authorities whether they wish to transfer responsibility for routes currently under their jurisdiction to the Scottish Government.
82. In the meantime, our initial findings suggest that these services are fit for purpose and meet most of the communities’ needs.
83. These communities are asked for their views.
The whole report can be downloaded from the TransportScotland website HERE.
Our ferry service is absolutely essential to us, so please make your views known. Comments can be sent to:
Colin Grieve, Transport Scotland, Ferries Unit, Victoria Quay, Edinburgh EH6 6QQ
Meanwhile, you might also like to see our politicians’ first responses to the document on the FORARGYLL WEBSITE.
Looks like Mike Russell and Mike MacKenzie are both quoting the standard SNP lines!