Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Dundee's Lord Provost in the Dark about Winter Lights

Lord Provost Letford

A real stooshie has broken out in Dundee and now the Lord Provost has intervened saying he wants to set the record straight.

Lord Provost Letford has been inundated with emails and telephone calls from angry Dundonians. He accepted that an item about the Winter Light Night had gone through committee and he had not opposed it, but said that was because he believed what was being proposed was in addition to the traditional Christmas lights event, rather than a replacement.

"As I am being attacked over this I feel I must point out that it was not my doing and I am not in favour of it."

I accept perhaps Lord Provost Letford didn't understand the item put forward at the committee, but surely if he's not in favour of it then he can do something about it. The committee sat only last Friday.

Today's excuse from a council spokesman is, "As has been seen with the injuries at the Christmas lights switch-on in Birmingham, large groups of people congregating in one area can present safety issues for the public."

Birmingham had 30,000 at their event when they only expected half of that. Birmingham has a population close to a million people, Dundee has 170,000 at most. Over the years I've been to many events in Dundee City Square and there has never been a crowd problem. I'm sure the council spokesman will be receiving some emails and phone calls of his own today.


brownlie said...


So they've got electricity in Dundee now? Iain Gray will claim it as a Labour achievement at FMQ this week.

Quiet_Man said...

They still want their politically correctfest to go ahead, but now realise they're in the crosshairs, so out come the excuses, 1) elf n safety, 2) it's for the cheeeeeldren, 3) We're sorry it's a done deed but we'll put it back next year (and wont)

Would be funny except that they can't or wont give in gracefully.

brownlie said...


You've made my day with that photo!! Have you replied to me e-mail yet?

Grogipher said...

SubRosa, sorry, but your last post on this is way, way wide of the mark.

I don't want to repeat myself, so I'll just link here:


Munguin said...

That is some picture of Letford you have there S/R, for a minute I thought it was Iain Gray the leader of the Labour clique at Holyrood wearing a gorgeous necklace.

I have to say in Letford's defence that I have met him and he is a really nice man. And he is very good at the gladhanding role of LP. People say he stabbed Labour in the back, but is that not the nature of politics? Was Winston Churchill not a member of every mainstream political party of his day, crossing the floor was his hobby.

Also I understand that Letford only did to Labour what they were going to do to him. They were going to force him out of office in favour of Borthwick so that the latter would shore up their rainbow alliance and defy the wishes of the people of Dundee. In that respect good on you John!

I frankly don't care what they call Christmas, how about the 25th of December?

Anonymous said...

Judgeing from the piece that Gogipher posted and linked to above, and the responses I got in inquiries, this has been a big noise about nothing.

Maybe it's once again the nationalist press trying to make trouble for an SNP council, and succeeding. I make no bones, I was angry about it, until I did some investigation.

Not that I care for Christmas, I don't. But I'm sick of all these cliche spouting council people changing things in my life becasue its PC (specially when it's not).

This is the windup of the Homecoming Year. It's a bigger festival. It does include Christmas and Christianity, but it also has a lot of other stuff in it... as does Christmas itself. Because it will doubtless be being funded in part by the city centre shops, they will be staying open late to reap the benefit of the fact that a load of people will be in the town centre desparately spending money, buying things no one wants with money they haven't got.

There is almost nothing different from any other year, except it's all being done on a bigger scale.

Apparently after a meeting between the chief execuive and the Presbytery, all is well. It seems that they had not had all the facts when they complained that Christmas had been taken out of Christmas...

subrosa said...

Damn, didn't I say it was candle light Brownlie? I think they're a brave bunch. What if it's windy?

subrosa said...

It is indeed QM, they never admit errors. The sad part is they would get more respect from the public if they did.

'It wisnae me' is accepted far too readily by us these days.

subrosa said...

Haven't you received a reply Brownlie?

subrosa said...

I don't think it was way wide of the mark Grogipher. My opinion is that Dundee has decided to remove the word Christmas from the city centre light ceremony. I've seen one of the advertisements now - the word Christmas is nowhere.

The events which are happening are little different to previous years when the word Christmas featured highly.

Can I say, having read your link, Dundonians have an excellent relationship with the moslem and Indian communities, plus other religious minorities. There has never been a problem. They integrated into society and are a very accepted part of city life.

That is why the omission of the word Christmas concerned me because I'm certain there was no complaint from those of other religions.

Grogipher said...

Of course there was no complaint from any of the minority groups in Dundee - no one said there was?

The name change is because it's being launched as a much bigger thing than before (because we're not having any Hogmanay celebrations). It's not just a switch on of the lights this year, which is why it's not named as such. The new name will mean that people will ask "WTF is that?" and look more into it.

The Christmas light switch is being called the "Christmas light switch on", but that's just a part of the bigger event, including the close of the Homecoming Celebrations shortly before St Andrew's Day and such. That's why the date it's happening has changed as such (it's a Friday night now instead).

subrosa said...

Well Munguin, it's the most flattering one I could find. I think the Courier photographer has a grudge against councillors don't you?

I've heard he's a very approachable man Munguin, so perhaps he really was inundated by phone calls and emails.

Aye labour had one of their dirty tricks organised and he was smart enough to turn the tables. No flies on him then.

How can you say that Munguin? Think about the wee children. :)

subrosa said...

It may be a big noise Tris but it shows how removing a word from an event can stir up people's anger. Surely they should have thought about it an know that Dundee isn't a PC correct population.

The only aspect I see that is different from very recent years is that they're going to have lights on in the 'suburbs'.

The one advert I've seen didn't mention Christmas except the Christmas fairy.

As for the council's excuse - well comparing us with Birmingham is erm ...

brownlie said...


No, not received your reply. It probably got lost among your billet-douxs to Conan.

Jim MacLean, the leader of a successful team, for Lord Provost!

subrosa said...

Oh spare me brownlie. Jim MacLean? Is he still alive? I haven't heard his voice for a while so thought he'd vanished to torment the footballers in the sky.

Related Posts with Thumbnails