Inspector Constable


Inspector Constable

I think I have found a typographical error in the accounts!

The letter from Colin Souter, the purported Grazings ‘Constable’ at Upper Coll, to the shareholders of the Upper Coll Common Grazings demonstrated once more the mistaken belief that he is under that his role is an investigative one.

He states in the letter:-

It has been necessary to research records to establish the facts and finances from historical records in order to ensure shareholders’ interests are properly protected.

Had he been legally appointed he may have required to do that to get up to speed with what went on in the township to then carry out his appointment to:-

administer the Upper Coll Grazings Regulations for a period of six months… with the like powers and duties of a Grazings Committee.

That role does not involve investigating the past eight or more year history of up to four or more grazings committees  with a view to castigating them for minor misdemeanours and accusing them of illegalities with no evidence in fact or law to justify such action.

He may be a retired Chief Inspector of Police but the title of Grazings ‘Constable’ does not give him the same powers and responsibilities he once had when a boy in blue. The Convener of the Crofting Commission, Colin Kennedy, possibly mistakenly believes that it does.

Colin Souter was specifically advised by the Crofting Commission that his:-

principle responsibility as Constable will be to discharge any outstanding actions required to ensure the duties imposed under the Crofting Acts and the grazings regulations are fulfilled.

This was to “be a short term measure” until “any outstanding actions are discharged“.

It would appear that he has not actually sought to discharge those outstanding actions but instead has gone on a fishing expedition to try and justify for his masters his illegal appointment. Did someone in the Crofting Commission give him this illegal remit? If so who and why?

Mr Souter is certainly firmly of the view that this is his role: boldly stating on his LinkedIn profile that his current appointment, via Colin Souter Consulting, is that he is:-

Engaged to support Scottish Government NDPB Crofting Commission, in investigative and reporting activity.

Hmm… He is not appointed to support the Crofting Commission: He is appointed to support the shareholders in the Upper Coll Common Grazings. He is not appointed “in investigative and reporting activity”: He is appointed to “administer the Upper Coll Grazings Regulations”.

So even if he was legally appointed he is acting illegally!

In my next post I will look at the very cosy relationship between Mr Souter and the Crofting Commission and/or their Convener which makes this sorry story all the worse.

Brian Inkster

Image Credit: Inspector Clouseau in The Pink Panther Films © United Artists

5 thoughts on “Inspector Constable

  1. Roy Pentland

    Linda Brackenbury on a number of posts has suggested that Lewis Kermack is the Convenor’s lawyer and is somehow acting as a blogging mouthpiece for the Convener who remains strangely silent.

    If in fact the Convenor has personal and/or business relationships with both Mr Souter and Mr Kermack, surely it should be investigated. Especially if the Crofting Commission is using funds to pay for someone to blog on their Convenor’s behalf.

    Linda Brackenbury appears to have had dealings with both the Convenor and Lewis Kermack associated with the common grazings in Arinagour, Coll. There does appear to be some foundation that the Convenor, Colin Kennedy and the solicitor now giving detailed legal views on this blog, Lewis Kermack, know each other well. Could one or the other please confirm?

  2. Duncan MacLeod

    The role Colin Souter has been appointed to appears to be that of a “maor” (or ground officer). A maor was a crofter in a township who was chosen by, and acted as the factor’s “clyoe”. He received favours from the factor or landlord in return for spying on and clyping on his neighbours’ activities. Any slight misdemeanour was reported and misdemeanours against the landlord’s “code” could result in a fine or even loss of the croft. The maor was both hated and feared for the power he could wield. But more importantly for the treachery he was willing to engage in for personal gain. And for breaching the highly valued trust and loyalty should exist between neighbours.

    It is telling that the Commission under the “leadership” of the current Convener has cast Colin Souter’s role as that of a Maor. This isn’t about following the law or about promoting the interests of crofting or crofting communities. This is about deliberately misinterpreting law to exert power. And control.

    This is about showing who is the Chiefest Highest Inspector Constable of them all. Bow down before the Convener of the Crofting Commission. He can destroy you. He can wreck your lives. He can remove your livelihood. Defy him at your peril. Laws are for others, not for him. As the Upper Coll crofters are finding out.

  3. Linda Brackenbury

    Roy Pentland,

    I had no dealings whatsoever in the Arinagour Common Grazings cases.

    I did, however, have to watch as many of my friends and neighbours, were subjected to much the same treatment that the convener threw at my husband, who was his Agricultural Tenant, at Caolas.

  4. Donald Rennie

    There are two methods by which an investigation can be carried out.

    The first involves considering the evidence and proceeding from that evidence to a conclusion. This may conveniently be described as the “Sherlock Holmes” method.

    In the second method one starts by setting out desired conclusion. One then examines the evidence in light of that predetermination. Contradictory evidence is ignored, suppressed or twisted. As a result the preordained conclusion is triumphantly proclaimed. This was the method adopted by South Yorkshire Police following the Hillsborough Stadium Disaster and appears to be the model followed by Mr Souter as he grubbed through the records of the successive grazings committees at Upper Coll.

    Brian has refuted each and every claim advanced by Mr Souter in his impudent letter to the crofters and there is no need for me to repeat his rejection of Mr Souter’s spurious claims.

    It took 25 years for the dishonesty of South Yorkshire police to be exposed and for their Chief Constable to be kicked out. Mr Souter’s rule as cock on the dungheap will be shorter.


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