Hindsight is a wonderful gift and can answer many problems unseen at the time.
Scottish Borders Council leader David Parker may now be wishing he had had a little bit of it when he dealt with Tesco executives (Store giant ‘broke promise’ to Galashiels). Far be it from me to give Mr Parker any advice, but, och, what the heck, I am going to anyway. He may have been advised to adopt the advice of one Niccolo Machiavelli:
“Put not your trust in princes, they will plead expedience while spilling your blood from a safe distance.” This quote is originally from Psalm 146, verse three. It has been used widely over the years and usually by or about individuals who have been shafted by those who they believed were speaking the truth. There are many axioms he could have followed in his negotiations. How about:
“It takes a lang spoon tae sup wi’ the De’il”?
Readers may remember the council officer in the Shetlands who dealt with the big oil company representatives over landing charges/royalties etc., and had these gentlemen on the verge of nervous breakdowns over his considerable negotiating skills. Mr Parker should possibly have given him a ring before he got into the Tesco negotiations.
I noticed in your article the words “gentleman’s agreement” and I draw your reader’s attention to one definition:
“A gentlemen’s agreement is an informal agreement between two or more parties. It may be written, oral or simply understood as part of an unspoken agreement by convention or through mutually-beneficial etiquette. The essence of a gentlemen’s agreement is that it relies upon the honour of the parties for its fulfilment, rather than being in any way enforceable. It is, therefore, distinct from a legal agreement or contract, which can be enforced if necessary.”
In Davie’s (and SBC’s) case it was between him and Sir Terry Leahy, who has now gone from Tesco, so what chance have we of a settlement?
As farmer Tom Douglas said in your article, it may be that the solution lies in the hands of Galashiels shoppers – a huge drop in profits may change the big boys’ thinking.
Reading the article last week about Tesco going back on its word over the rebuilding of the old college building which I went to in the 1960s, surely the the best way to address that is for Borderers to boycott the store.