The question under discussion is whether being a Provost and Publisher presented a conflict of interests for James Leatham.
Leatham always maintained that his publishing has a propagandistic element to it – his thoughts about the press and publishing are well documented in his writings, especially in his autobiography ‘Sixty Years of World-Mending.’
His ‘propaganda’ is really just a claim that his writing is political and that he is not ashamed of his political viewpoint – Socialist.
Even today it surprises people that Turriff had a Socialist Provost, and Leatham was the first. How did it come about?
We can ask ourselves whether such a thing was so unusual and what circumstances brought it about.
I can think of two obvious suggestions
1) Local apathy. No one else wanted the job and so he snuck in there. Easy enough to do, even today.
2) He was well respected enough for his ongoing work for the community in the nearly 20 years he’d lived in Turriff, that his ‘politics’ wasn’t the biggest issue for the voters, it was his commitment to Turriff.
The ‘talk’ hasn’t taken place as I post this article so I can’t give detail on the discussion or conclusions drawn. Instead I will point you towards two pieces of Leatham’s writing which I will be focussing on.
Firstly a piece on The Post Office. Appropriate because our talks have taken place in the Auld Post Office Museum. Click HERE to read it
Secondly a piece on ‘The Printing Press’ which clearly shows Leatham’s views on publishing. Click HERE to read it.
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