HERE is a wildly unlikely sentence. Interesting ideas are emerging in a Scottish local authority. Municipal matters are just so staggeringly dull. How can ordinary mortals get to understand the labyrinthine ways of civic finance let alone the special dialects of local bureaucracy? Yet I think I can detect the ghost of Sir Walter Scott in events beginning to stir in the Scottish Borders Council (SBC).
We have a new political entity - the Borders Party. It won only two seats in June but they are resolved to take every seat one day. The founder, Nicholas Watson, was awoken from his political slumbers when SBC announced they were going to engulf the countryside around Abbotsford, the temple of Scottish romanticism, with hundreds of noddy homes.
He created a successful campaign to deflect this brutalism.
He then found the councillors fancied themselves as businessmen and were going to subsidise a little railway from Edinburgh to Galashiels. The council argued it had to authorise thousands of new bungalows to ensure a population adequate to fill the trams as they trundled up to Waverley.
Watson had lost his political innocence. Most would have been content with some modest victories and returned to their