Thursday, May 30, 2013
Ferrygate - Sweeping It Under The Carpet
Both the Oversight and Scrutiny Panel on Tuesday night, and an extraordinary council meeting yesterday, effectively voted to approve Chief Executive and Chief Financial Officer Sue McGonigal's clandestine, multi-million pound cover-up, a commercial bollock-dropping on such a monumental scale that, if she had been working anywhere else, she would have been immediately escorted out the door with only her Miss Piggy rubber and a few paper clips as compensation.
What isn't surprising is that the right wing bears-of-very-little-brain seem to think this is the best outcome, even though you'd expect the idea of their council tax being used to prop up a bunch of Slovenian matelots to be anathema to them. You'd think they'd be arguing that McGonigal has acted like a small town version of Gordon Brown, pumping good money after bad, gifting £3.3m of public funds in unsecured loans, and causing an extended period of austerity to be brought in by, er, the Labour administration. (I think that's the point at which that particular hypothetical Tory argument breaks down.)
It's slightly more surprising that the left wingers seem compliant with this extraordinary state of affairs, but then I'm maybe crediting them with more brain cells than they actually possess. Only the independents appear to have properly got to grips with this fiasco, and understood its full implications.
What seems utterly ludicrous is that the two main Thanet bloggers who have experience of running businesses themselves seem to think there's nothing wrong with a debtor being allowed to rack up such a huge sum in unpaid bills. 'It's money we would never have had in the first place,' goes the argument. But then, if it was only 'funny money', why is £1m being slashed from the housing budget? Why didn't McGonigal use her business and commercial acumen to pull the plug before it all got so completely out of control? Well, the answer to that last one is that she evidently has none.
I dunno. For an island that's not short of whelk stalls, there seem to be very few people knocking about who would be qualified to run one.