MAYBE it’s just me. But it strikes me that people who should know better often follow a course of action either because they can’t be bothered finding a better alternative, or because they just want to mess everybody about.

Take for example our recent elections. On June 4 we had our European Elections. Now, you would think that the actual voting process wouldn’t take up too much of your time. You nip along to the local polling station and put your “X” on the paper and that’s it.    

But for thousands of people that wasn’t the case. And the reason it wasn’t the case is because of the venues selected as polling stations.

From Livingston to Linlithgow and from Whitburn to Winchburgh the designated polling stations were – wait for it – primary schools.

That’s right. People have to vote, so we are going to close the school and give hundreds of the little tykes a day off. And the parents? Those trying to earn a crust and pay their taxes? Tough; you’ll have to make some alternative arrangement such as child care or missing work – unless you are a teacher, of course.

Almost 30 schools throughout West Lothian were simply closed to the kids. Assuming that there are 300 kids at each school that’s – get this – over 8000 pupils!

I’m certain that West Lothian has community centres, sports centres, libraries, bowling clubs and village halls out there that could have been used. But, no, in almost 30 cases it was decided that the primary schools – with all the disruption that heaped upon the parents – would be the designated venue.


Hundreds, possibly thousands, of parents with no choice but to take time off work. No problem for the teachers, though!

Then, just to add insult to injury, the following week the same schools are closed again for the teachers’ in-service day. And the in-service day couldn’t be held on voting day because… No, I can’t think of any reason either.

Unless, of course, as I said at the beginning, the bungling bureaucratic organisers can’t be bothered finding a better way or because they just want to mess everybody about.

I’ll leave you to decide.

Drew McAdam


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