Post Six – Your slip is showing…

Dear Convener

It’s myself again – do bear with me while I write a wee introduction for the benefit of my other readers.

On Thursday 22 November 2007, the local newspaper ‘Stornoway Gazette’ published a story based on my blog, under the heading “Former employee hits out”. A spokesperson for Comhairle nan Eilean Siar responded: “The Comhairle is confident that correct procedures were followed at all times in the case of Mr Macleod and maintains that he was always treated fairly at all times. The Comhairle notes that, despite Mr Macleod’s repeated allegations, he has not sought to pursue his complaints in law. We would not wish to comment further on the self confessed ‘rants’ of an also self confessed ‘disgruntled former employee’.”

Now then Mr Convener, I had not, when I started my blog, envisaged that I would be interrupting my narrative to address utterances from my former employer. I had intended to post my revelations gradually and in my own time. After all, in retirement one does not face the kind of deadlines that are part and parcel of one’s day at work. When this Post is published, I do intend to resume my leisurely schedule but I cannot for now resist responding to the silliness of the Comhairle’s spokesperson. Don’t think for a moment that I am unappreciative; what could be better than having your enemy manufacturing your ammunition for you? It would be churlish of me to forego the opportunity of firing it back at you – so I won’t.

This won’t take long. Let’s look at what was actually said: “correct procedures were followed at all times”. No they were not and I can prove that. “Treated fairly at all times”. No I was not and I can prove that. “Not sought to pursue his complaints in law”. What on earth is wrong with you people? Can you not tell right from wrong without a judge or tribunal president telling you the difference? Challenging me to take legal action against you is like turkeys daring Bernard Matthews to bring Christmas forward to September. If I choose to do so, I will – and you should not assume that I am ignorant of the deadlines that apply. I say to you – as I say to the other turkeys, “Be patient, Christmas will be here soon enough”.

Now we come to the really stupid bit; the use of the term ‘self confessed’. “We would not wish to comment further on the self confessed ‘rants’ of an also self confessed ‘disgruntled former employee’.” It was totally inappropriate to use that term to describe either my writings or my status. My blog is titled ‘Murchadh Ruisia’s Rant’ – note that ‘Rant’ is singular, not plural. If I had called it ‘Murchadh Ruisia’s Journal’, would you have described my posts as self confessed journals? Have you taken leave of your senses? I’m not a self confessed anything. You might describe me as self proclaimed or even self declared; but self confessed – how pathetic.

I hold you personally responsible for the spokesperson’s statement. The statement was made on behalf of the Comhairle and YOU are the head of the Comhairle. It follows therefore that the statement was made with your approval. If it was, you are ill advised. If it was not, you are ill served. In my ‘Post Four – More Red Herrings than a Kipper Factory’, I urged you to put a stop to this kind of thing. It is a great disappointment to me that you have not done so and I repeat that the people of these islands deserve better. I hope that I will not have to remonstrate with you over this issue again.

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