Labour in trouble over workplace parking levy U-turn – Steve Cardownie

As I predicted in last week’s column, the Labour Party at its conference in Dundee at the weekend adopted a policy of opposition to the introduction of workplace parking levys.

The workplace parking levy is intended to tackle congestion. Picture: Scott Louden
The workplace parking levy is intended to tackle congestion. Picture: Scott Louden

Given that the Labour manifesto for the 2017 local elections in Edinburgh backed the idea and that Councillor Cammy Day, the Labour Group leader on the council, is a firm believer in the concept, it represents a major U-turn in party thinking.

The SNP group and the Greens favour such a levy whilst the Conservatives and the Lib Dems have also voiced their opposition – which should make for thought-provoking times ahead.

If the Labour group was to dig in its collective heels and demand that the idea be dropped to the extent that they would oppose any move to introduce such a scheme in Edinburgh they could, with Lib Dem and Tory support, muster enough votes at the council to ensure that it was dead in the water. However, should the SNP demand that their junior partner in the coalition toe the line or else, the response from Labour should be interesting.

Will the powers that be instruct them to go ahead with their opposition even if in doing so the coalition is threatened?

That would not make political sense but testing times may be on the horizon.

Strike pupils not following my cue

I totally agree with the views expressed by Josie Law, a 14-year-old school pupil who used the letters page of this newspaper to assert her right to protest against the lack of action by governments throughout the world to seriously tackle the causes of climate change.

This follows on from the City of Edinburgh Council decision not to penalise pupils who take time off from school to attend the upcoming demonstration outside the Scottish Parliament at Holyrood on Friday as part of a global climate crisis protest.

I for one have agreed that my son may go to the demo if he wants to. The subject is of such importance to the younger and subsequent generations that he should take the opportunity to express his anger at the environmental mess that he will inherit and the inertia that envelops decision makers when confronted with this issue.

Whenever I bunked off school you were more likely to find me upstairs in the snooker hall in The Palace ‘picture hoose’ on Duke Street, getting in a few frames rather than making some political protest, so it is heartening to see that young people are taking the matter into their own hands – and doing something about it!

In the jungle..

Did you know that the urge to sing The Lion Sleeps Tonight is only ever a whim away?

A whim away . . . a whim away . . .a whim away . . . a whim away.

Meanwhile, what about the sign at a Scottish golf course that reads: “Members will refrain from picking up lost balls until they have stopped rolling!”