Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Iain Maciver: Argyll and Bute Council are out of line in my book

Some of the many discarded books, photographed by Oban parents
Some of the many discarded books, photographed by Oban parents

Let us mop the collective fevered brow of education bosses at Argyll and Bute Council.

Their latest fiasco at the weekend occurred when thousands of pounds’ worth of Gaelic books were dumped in skips, allegedly.

The council claims to be short of money for resources, yet some black-hearted person in the organisation is determined to get rid of the Gaelic material, one way or another. Just my opinion, of course.

Reading and language instruction books were tipped into a skip by someone clearing out the former education offices in Oban. No accident, although they may attempt to claim otherwise.

There’s to be “an investigation”, the council claims. Of course there is. The usual stalling tactics are being reached for.

Could data laws have been broken?

There appears to have no regard for the data protection laws in this country because the skip was also stuffed with items which could hold personal details of individuals. That’s a data breach right there.

That should never, ever happen. Clearly, someone down there doesn’t give a stuff about these laws, but the Information Commissioner’s Office can impose eye-watering fines on organisations, and sometimes on individuals, too, if they play fast and loose with personal data.

Books were dumped in a skip in Oban

Remember, three years ago, British Airways were fined £22.4 million for not looking after data. Lots of other companies have been fined, too.

Alison Craig, chair of Comann nam Pàrant an Òbain, the parent’s support organisation for Gaelic medium learning, blasted the education chiefs and the council bosses.

Alison, who says her own children use books like these in class, raged: “Argyll and Bute council you are an utter disgrace! No wonder we have no money for anything.” Oh mo chreach ‘s a thàinig, Alison? Say what you think.

Roddy McCuish to the rescue

Argyll and Bute won’t thank me for bringing this up, but this is the same council which, 10 years ago, bullied a wee primary schoolgirl called Martha Payne, who published a blog showing how poor the school dinners were. Her efforts had also raised a couple of thousand quid for charity.

Oh, Roddy McCuish, where are you now when we need you? Oh, heck, you’re still there

Rotten education bosses tried defending the bullying of the nine-year-old until then-leader Roddy McCuish banged heads together and forced them to act like decent human beings. The dinners improved, too. Nice work, Rod.

By the time TV chef Jamie Oliver and other celebs got involved and backed wee Martha, she was raising about £40,000 for Mary’s Meals, an incredible charity that aims to tackle malnutrition by giving kids in the worst-off countries one good daily meal – in school.

Oh, Roddy McCuish, where are you now when we need you? Oh, heck, you’re still there. A depute provost now? I love bling, too.

Listen, I am going back down near Lochgilphead in a few weeks’ time, so I’ll pop in for a coffee and you can give me an update on who put the books in the skip. By the way, do you have a chain of office? Can I borrow it for my P&J profile picture? Excellent. Iain X as Jay Z.

The fuel forecast doesn’t look good

I’ll be down there, if I can afford it. The price of fuel, however, is a bit worrying. I always pay my fuel with a 20-spot. I have never been so fast putting £20’s worth in the tank. Pisht and off. That is the sound of the diesel going into the tank of my van, in case you’re wondering.

Surely the weather will improve. It’s been so windy, I couldn’t hear myself think some days.

Fuel prices are rocketing across the north and north-east (Photo: Andy Rain/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock)

Three older crofters I know, are also not so good at hearing as they once were. Seumas, Malcolm and Neil met up outside the supermarket in Stornoway a couple of weeks ago as it was blowing a right hooley. Seumas said: “Oh, it’s windy today, isn’t it?” Malcolm said: “No, it’s Thursday.” To which Neil replied: “Yep, I’m thirsty too. Let’s go for a pint, lads.”

And, lads, remember today is International Women’s Day. It was supposed to be yesterday but they took too long to get ready. I can say that because I wear the pants in this house. They are very nice ones, which Mrs X chose for me from Marks and Spencer.

Despite what they do to them in Argyll, books are great and so are the people who work with them. When I was exploring what I was going to write about, I went into Stornoway library and I asked for a book on cliffhangers.

Do you know what that librarian said to me? She looked me up and down and said:

Iain Maciver is a former broadcaster and news reporter from the Outer Hebrides

Already a subscriber? Sign in