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INSIDE TRACK: Holding decision-makers for the Games to account

A CORNER, it seems, has been turned in the goodwill towards the Commonwealth Games.

Demolishing a block of 1960s high rises as part of the Glasgow 2014 Opening Ceremony didn't quite elicit the "wow" the creative types, Games organisers, spin doctors, Government ministers, civil servants, housing chiefs and council leaders in on the plan anticipated.

With the fallout dominating the Scottish news agenda for a week now, the fragile threads holding together the three Games partners, who appear to have little affection or regard for one and other, face their sternest test.

Labour-run Glasgow City Council has carried the can for the Red Road flats plan (it wasn't their idea).

With a recent history of foisting deeply unpopular projects on the city, from overhauls of its main civic square to nightclubs in a botanical garden, without substantial consultation that's understandable. Up to a point.

But the suspicion within the council is this scenario suits the SNP Scottish Government. Despite being the 80% funder of the Games and controlling the 2014 Strategic Group, it has yet to put a minister forward to defend the plans.

Ministers, the Government claims, have simply been "informed of plans and proposals for ceremonies". There is no culpability. Had the reaction been better what chances of being reminded of who was picking up the tab?

The road to the Games has seen the two partners embroiled in many behind-the-scenes rows: who, if anyone, should speak at the Opening Ceremony; the potential for negative reaction so close to the referendum; why the Government did not defend passing specific legislation to facilitate the eviction of east end woman Margaret Jaconelli; and even disputes over how and where in Glasgow the London 2012 "Scolympians" should be celebrated.

But the lid has been kept on matters that will inevitably become "stickier" the closer the event gets.

What might change relationships, one senior source told me, is the abandonment of any sense of collective responsibility when matters do become "stickier".

And as for the paranoia over ceremonial booing at Celtic Park on July 23, the flats plan might now have provided a reason to jeer.

Equally notable is the lack of any detailed response from the Glasgow 2014 Organising Committee on Red Road. The demolition plan originated with the OC but it, too, seems largely content for the city council to take the flak.

Senior players within the wider "Games family" talk regularly of the OC operating in its own bubble.

The council dispensed with the idea of an OC as part of its 2018 Youth Olympics bid, preferring to run it in-house.

The steady diet of Clyde the Mascot and "Wearing Trainers To Work Day" play fine locally but interest in and scrutiny of thornier matters will intensify as the date for the opening ceremony of the Games comes ever nearer.

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