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> Steven Purcell: Glasgow In Crisis, Could leader's downfall damage city?
GG
post 7th Mar 2010, 11:41am
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He was lauded by Tony Blair as a "visionary civic leader" and was expected to assume the leadership of the Labour Party in Scotland when the time was right. The youngest ever leader of the largest council in Scotland, he was widely regarded as one of the most competent young politicians to emerge from Glasgow politics in a generation; a First Minister of Scotland in the waiting. This week Steven Purcell's hugely promising political career collapsed completely in a media firestorm which now threatens to damage confidence in a city struggling to cope with a financial and economic crisis.

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From this morning's newspapers:

Purcell: the end of the line in The Sunday Herald
Special Report by Tom Gordon and Paul Hutcheon
http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/home-ne...-line-1.1011630
QUOTE
Despite reports last week that his advisers and family members tried to talk Mr Purcell out of resigning, no-one actually did. Instead the discussion was about whether he should quit immediately or wait until the annual general meeting of the city Labour group in May. If it was the latter, the plan was to clear his diary for eight weeks, and use the time to let him ­recuperate and line up a job outside politics. The following morning, however, Mr Purcell’s condition deteriorated, and he was described by those around him as being exceptionally unwell ... [and] the councillor needed professional help.

Steven Purcell: Fall of a High Flier in the Scotland on Sunday
In-depth Report by Eddie Barnes
http://news.scotsman.com/opinion/Steven-Pu...of-a.6130367.jp
QUOTE
The shock of Purcell's political downfall, confirmed on Friday when he announced he was quitting Glasgow City Council altogether, has therefore been enormous. The façade of a glittering and growing career has been revealed to be not quite what it seemed. Instead of a picture of success, a different portrait has emerged, bit by painful bit; of a troubled man, sinking under the pressure, looking for solace, and finding it in the wrong places. His story is a sad one, but it has wider significance as well, about the pressures and burdens that come with power and influence – and the temptations too.

The fall of Steven Purcell in The Sunday Herald
Report by Tom Gordon and Paul Hutcheon
http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/politic...rcell-1.1011619
QUOTE
Mr Purcell, once seen as the rising star of Scottish Labour, told four colleagues he had previously used the Class A drug after police officers spoke to him about a criminal inquiry. Two officers from the Serious Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency (SCDEA) spoke to Mr Purcell in his office at Glasgow City Chambers on May 12 after his name came up during an investigation into a major drug dealer. Although Mr Purcell was not interviewed as a suspect or accused of a crime, the police warned him that he was making himself vulnerable to blackmail.

Comments will be allowed here in the context of how Mr Purcell's downfall could affect the future of the city of Glasgow, and/or the effect these events could have on the Labour Party in Scotland.

Please respect Mr Purcell's right to privacy regarding his personal life: he is a young man who tried his best for the city he loves, and both he, and the city, must now look to the future.

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Mathieson
post 7th Mar 2010, 12:53pm
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"Please respect Mr Purcell's right to privacy regarding his personal life: he is a young man who tried his best for the city he loves"

Aye, the lyric of the old song "You always hurt the one that you love" never rung truer. Glasgow hasn't exactly benefitted from the lurid headlines he has attracted to the city. From where I am sitting he has made a mockery of himself and his office, brought direpute to Glasgow City Council (?) and has run off before the fertiliser hits the air-conditioning to avoid any recriminations. Sorry, but I believe respect should be earned.


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farci
post 7th Mar 2010, 01:12pm
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The travails of one man cannot be allowed to affect Glasgow in the way the poll implies. His personal problems should remain just that and it is entirely possible that his resignation was inspired by a desire NOT to let his issues become Glasgow's in a wider sense.

I am no fan of the Labour Party in Glasgow which displays the arrogance and bully boy attitudes of a monolith too long in power. These will survive Mr Purcell's tenure and therein lies the topic we need to focus on
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Melody
post 7th Mar 2010, 01:26pm
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Sorry Martin but I'm with Mathieson on this one. If you lie down with dogs you get up with fleas. He was a public servant and the good folk of our great city pay for and deserve better. The real problem lies in that 'New' Labour is completely devoid of any young talent. As soon as the council or the police had wind of this he should have been removed immediately to my mind to avoid further damage. Heaven knows what else might come out of this. It tarnishes us all.
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**donald anderson**
post 7th Mar 2010, 01:28pm
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Ripping off Glasgow has a lot more to come out on Blair's Babes.
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pumps100
post 7th Mar 2010, 01:31pm
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I read the Sunday Herald article in detail. I think he is finished. I don't even think the Celtic board would take him now.

I don't see how it could affect Glasgow negatively. It can only be for the better to have a new leader without all the baggage that Purcell carried - no wonder he had a breakdown.

Regards

Ian

PS. Just finished reading the Scotsman article - well written and you really get the build up to the affair - reads like a John Grisham novel - or perhaps more relevant like a script for the US show 'The Wire'
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**angelheart-xx**
post 7th Mar 2010, 02:25pm
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Pity he wasnt removed before decisions to shut ourschools down and to be able call the whip vote in cause he knew that some of the schools under threat of closure were not going to be voted to be closed.
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Catarina
post 7th Mar 2010, 02:36pm
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Always sad to see when an individual,especially one soo young blessed with the makings of a promising career, and the hopes of the Citizens of Glasgow, fall from Grace. I trust Mr. Purcell will now seek the necessary medical intervention he no doubt requires.

Your question as to whether this incident will tarnish Glasgow's image. If a City or Country was judged on the basis of the personal problems of their elected high profile political,and Government representatives, surely a C- would be the grading mark.

Mr. Purcell is not the first, and sadly he wont be the last. But life goes on. In Glasgow,and world wide.
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Taylor9
post 7th Mar 2010, 03:10pm
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Catarina.Well said.was thinking along the same lines.
Life goes on ,no matter what.
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Alex Saville
post 7th Mar 2010, 03:25pm
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I have no issue with his health, its no business of mine. I do, however, take issue with the comment that Purcell tried to do his best for the City he loved. From the moment Purcell came to power, he was in constant conflict with the City's employee's.

Culture & Sport and the Land & Environmental dept's were to the fore in Purcells attack on the employees living standards, wages & conditions. Indeed, Purcell commented in 'The Evening Times' that should the L & E employees go on strike, they would be paving the way for privatisation of those services. That a Labour Councillor, never mind the Leader of the Labour Council, should threaten privatisation, is disgraceful.

Purcell is New Labour however, and that is just a name for clones of the Tory party. Not much love for the City and it's employees there!

It's interesting, though, that newspapers here in the West had little to say on the matter. Instead, the cavalry arrived from the East, in the form of 'The Scotsman', to inform Glasgow's citizens. They were running this story all week while the Record was censoring comments on it's website and the Times was ignoring the story and hoping it would go away.

The Scotsman has asked 10 questions on this affair and I recommend a look at their website.

Despite Purcells lawyers threatening the newspaper, they continue to ask questions. I have a few of my own!

  • Why did Glasgow City Council allow Purcells lawyers to silence and censor their public statements on the matter?
  • Why did five senior Glasgow Councillors feel it neccessary to go and see Purcell BEFORE he resigned as leader?
  • Did Purcell jump or was he pushed?
  • Why have Glasgow's Labour administration been silent in the face of legal threats against the City?
I will be writing to my four Councillors here in the Canal Ward of the City to ask these questions. I suggest others contact their Councillors and ask their questions.

I am not a member of any political party, I am, however, a member of that Clan, the Scottish Working Man!

Injustice offends me!

Therefore, I say, good riddance to Purcell. He's no loss to the City of Glasgow, it's citizens or employees. In fact, maybe the schools Purcell wanted to close while paying Bridget McConnell £132, 000 a year to run C & S, will get a reprieve. Now their's something that would show love to Glasgow's citizens!

Alex
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glasgow lass
post 7th Mar 2010, 03:45pm
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I agree with you Catarina, just to add that this will have a significant negative effect and greatly diminish his chances of another job.
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Dylan
post 7th Mar 2010, 03:50pm
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Well said Alex Saville.

My thoughts exactly.


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pumps100
post 7th Mar 2010, 03:57pm
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QUOTE (Alex Saville @ 7th Mar 2010, 03:23pm) *
...It's interesting, though, that newspapers here in the West had little to say on the matter. Instead, the cavalry arrived from the East, in the form of 'The Scotsman', to inform Glasgow's citizens. They were running this story all week while the Record was censoring comments on it's website and the Times was ignoring the story and hoping it would go away...

Alex,

Good post. The point you make harks back to earlier posts I have made on the demise of the Evening Times and Glasgow Herald. The management of these papers were/are in the pocket of Glasgow City Council hence the understated 'quiet' reporting . The Evening Times in recent years has been tantamount to an in-house journal of the Council.

Have you ever watched The Wire set in Baltimore?

Regards

Ian
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norrie123
post 7th Mar 2010, 04:24pm
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I dont think that Glasgow will be any worse thought of by this situation
I have been wondering over the past few days, if there is more to come out of this story, time will tell.

Alex, good post, hope you get some answers but dont hold your breath.
Bye for now, norrie
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GG
post 7th Mar 2010, 04:40pm
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I can't believe how much coverage this story has got in the Scottish print media today. Of all the Scottish Sunday edition front pages I saw today only the Sunday Express didn't have a major front page lead with this story (the SE couldn't resist another full-page boot at the BBC!).

The News of the World claimed several exclusives that Mr Purcell:

QUOTE
  • HAD been quizzed over drug rumours by Labour bosses as far back as July 2008;
  • WAS warned by senior council staff that he had placed himself at risk of blackmail;
  • HAD his working diary cleared on Mondays because he regularly missed or cancelled important meetings;
  • PROMISED friends he had put drug use behind him after the police visited him at the council HQ;
  • MOVED from his old home in Glasgow's tough Yoker district to try to make a fresh start;
  • ENDED up in a RIVER after going missing from a rehabilitation clinic last weekend; and
  • HAD his council mobile phone cut off on Friday after claims it had been used to make abusive calls.

http://www.newsoftheworld.co.uk/scottish/s...re-erratic.html

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