There is almost no-one in Edinburgh who does not complain about the Council.
Whether it is refuse collection (or non-collection!), the state of the roads, the recent 20mph limit, statutory notice scandals, school building standards, closure of public conveniences, or the infamous trams, to most residents of the city, the Council is a bad joke that has only got worse with the passing decades. Complaints and questions to too many elected councillors go unheard, or unactioned.
And yet, in election after election down the years, the parties continue to put up more numpty time-servers and incompetents to waste our money and frustrate our lives. And we vote for them.
The famed cliché about the definition of insanity comes to mind here; we keep marking our crosses in the same boxes and are surprised when the result is more of the same.
How can we expect a better council if we always vote for the same bunch of clowns? Have we not given Labour, the SNP, the Libdems, Tories and Greens enough second chances?
There are seven independent candidates, four Scottish Libertarians, two UKIP, and one Socialist running in these elections. That may not be enough to take control away from the usual suspects, but it's enough to remind them that they work for us, and that we can and will vote them out when they prove useless.
I admit that I have a dog in this fight, as I am one of the independent candidates, running in the Leith Walk ward.
For the record, I oppose any extension of the trams, any and all implementation of the Named Person Scheme, and I believe that Edinburgh should be taking advantage of the opportunities provided by Brexit to encourage business to move from the extortionate London region to this more beautiful, more livable, and equally expert metropolis.
Perhaps just as importantly, I believe that the most vital job of an elected councillor should be to say 'No' when importuned by officials to spend millions of taxpayers' pounds on yet another white elephant. This is clearly something that the current inept bunch have long forgotten.
I remain, etc.
Alan G. Melville