Now that the Holyhead & Anglesey Mail has published the names of the protagonists in the Barrie Durkin "Tape-gate" controversy which I wrote about last week (without naming names), I see no further need to hold back from identifying those concerned.
In essence Cllr Durkin claims to have have met with Cllr Bob Parry, leader of the Plaid Cymru group in Anglesey County Council and senior member of the new Alliance, in a car park in Llanerch-y-medd; during this meeting Durkin alleges that Parry encouraged him to investigate the the planning irregularities of Legal Services Director and Monitoring Officer, Lynn Ball, who lives near to Parry's ward of Bryngwran. Durkin further claims that he tape-recorded this conversation with Parry's knowledge. According to the Holyhead & Anglesey Mail Parry does not deny having met with Durkin in Llanerch-y-medd, but he says: "that was years ago and there certainly weren't any tape recorders about". Curiously the Mail does not press Parry to confirm or deny whether he did discuss Lynn Ball's planning irregularities with Durkin or not -- accordingly we are simply left with a big discussion regarding whether a tape of the conversation exists or not, rather than what was actually discussed at a meeting neither of them deny.
Anyway, does the tape exist or not? Durkin says it does but will not produce it "until I feel it's necessary and in my interest". Does Durkin's refusal to produce it prove that it doesn't exist? I hate to be get all philosophical about it, but here's what Nassim Nicholas Taleb, the celebrated author of "The Black Swan", has to say about 'negative empiricism':
"Seeing white swans does not confirm the nonexistence of black swans ... If I see a black swan I can certify that all swans are not white! If I see someone kill, then I can be practically certain that he is a criminal. If I don't see him kill, I cannot be certain that he is innocent. The same applies to cancer detection: the finding of a single malignant tumour proves that you have cancer, but the absence of such a finding cannot allow you to say with certainty that you are cancer-free."
I wonder if Clive McGregor and the members of Recovery Board are quite as philosophical about the whole affair? Anyway, I'll leave the last word to Cllr Peter Rogers who is completely accurate:
"It's quite appalling, if its true then Clive McGregor has no choice but to sack Bob, especially after Goronwy Parry was sacked for supporting him (Durkin). I don't know how much longer this can carry on before we get shut down".