Eddie Barnes: No end in sight for Purcell point-scoring

WHAT have the revelations about Steven Purcell's drug and drink problems got to do with the alleged cronyism involving the arms-lengths bodies he set up during this time in his office? The short answer: absolutely nothing.

What have the fresh allegations of cronyism involving the various arms-lengths bodies he set up got to do with a certain election about to take place? The short answer: absolutely everything.

The events at Glasgow City Chambers yesterday were a curious affair. First, Mr Purcell's opponents were expressing concern for the former leader's personal situation. But then the same opponents were insisting that the very personal story of Mr Purcell's fall from grace was, actually, a symptom of a wider malaise that has something to do with that well-kent stink of Glasgow Labour corruption.

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The bridge which spans this contradiction are Mr Purcell's now-famous ALEOS, most prominent of which is the construction business City Building. Mr Purcell set these up, helping to draw down costs from the council. But they also appear to have become a useful means of employment for various Labour stooges.

The fact is that Mr Purcell's fall from grace has opened up dozens of sinister conspiracies about the inner workings of Glasgow politics which would not disgrace an episode of The Wire. Who knows, some may even be true.

What is certain is that five weeks before an election, there are many people who would certainly like them to be true. Thus, we can be assured that more fishing expeditions like yesterday's will run and run.