Not really a blog today more a salute to a feisty lady. Step forward Alison Elliot. Who? Mrs Elliot (OBE), this woman’s an achiever, is currently convener for the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO). She has a distinguished academic career and is a former Moderator of the Church of Scotland. She was the first woman to be Moderator and the first non minister since 1567. Like I said an achiever.
So why has she come to attention now? Well something which is frankly a pain in the proverbial butt but is all part of the continuing Unionist campaign of deceit, conspiracy, lies etc., is their obsession with smearing all and sundry but particularly Alex Salmond with, well just about everything.
What has prompted this is that an aide to Eck, emailed without comment, a trade union poll showing support for a two-question referendum to SCVO chief executive Martin Sime. The SCVO is one of the organisations in civic Scotland that wishes to explore the option of Devo max/plus as an alternative to independence or the status quo.
Enter Willie Rennie stout leader of the ”you can get them all in a taxi” party or Lib Dems as they prefer to be known. Mr Rennie accused Mr Sime of turning the organisation into a “front” for SNP ministers and called on him to step down.
Big mistake Willie.
We’ll let Mrs Elliott’s letter to Willie on the subject speak for itself:
In your letter (14 August), you have made serious allegations against the CEO of SCVO, based on two specific incidents. I consider your allegations preposterous, your interpretation of the incidents fanciful and your attempt to interfere in the business of an independent organisation unworthy of a public leader. I have no intention of asking Martin to resign.
It can be argued that, were it not for the efforts of civil society, through the Constitutional Convention, there would not be a Scottish Parliament for you to be an MSP in. That was of its time but civil society always has a role in a healthy democracy.
The poll which the Future of Scotland published last month indicates that there is an appetite among the public at present for a wide debate about Scotland’s future, something which should be no threat to the seasoned politicians who lead the two referendum campaigns.
It is this debate which organisations in civil society are promoting, with the intention of encouraging people to develop a vision of the kind of Scotland they want to see so as to inform their referendum decision. It is not a campaign for any particular outcome, or for any particular mechanism for achieving an outcome.
Special advisers from all the main political parties, including your own, have been in dialogue with SCVO in recent months; that is their job. We welcome these conversations and engage in them vigorously from our perspective as a civil society organisation that has an interest, on behalf of our members, in contributing to policies that shape the environment in which the third sector works. We are quite clear about the grounds on which we base our arguments; they are formed by the work and concerns of our members, not by any party political stance.
SCVO is not a front for anyone, nor will it be told by outsiders what it will or will not debate or how it should conduct its business.
Ouch! thats got to hurt. Good on you madam for standing by your CEO and so lucidly and comprehensively dismissing this interference and unwarranted attack on your organisation, albeit one that was designed to embarrass AS as much as yourselves.
If only others showed the same guts perhaps we could have more of a debate, greater input from the non political and less crap from the spoilers like Rennie and co.