Two Conservative councillors on the Dumfries and Galloway Council, Peter Duncan and Patsy Gilroy, have been denounced by the Labour Group leader as "prejudiced" for having the temerity to oppose the allocation of grants £32,445 to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgenedered Youth Scotland and £40,000 to Dumfries and Galloway Multicultural Association.
Of course the Labour tactics are to close any debate about the nature of the groups that should be funded or even any rigorous scrutiny about what they do with the money. They are seeking to avoid there being a process of accountability over the spending of other peoples money. What if the Labour councillors had proposed an amendment doubling funding to these groups and the Conservatives had opposed it. Would that have been homophobic and racist?
These are legitimate issues for Conservatives to raise because they are about value for money. The Council Taxpayers of Dumfries and Galloway, including those who are gay and from ethnic minority groups, want to see lower Council Tax bills.
Often it does represent value for money for Councils to fund voluntary groups. But these should be for those that carry out practical help not politically correct lobbying. There is no point funding a group whose main role is to sit in an office and demand still more funding. In the case of the disabled, for example, there are lot of worthwhile, caring groups that offer a good service. There are also a lot of lobbying groups that are entirely preoccupied with politics.