25th May 2018
Established 1872. Online since 1996.

Justice has not been done – Skene

Alistair Carmichael’s SNP opponent at this year’s General Election has hit back at claims by the Lib Dem MP that the legal battle brought against him was politically motivated.

Danus Skene with Alistair Carmichael in the background at the General Election count in May. Mr Skene says justice has not been done after a legal challenge to the result failed.

Danus Skene with Alistair Carmichael in the background at the General Election count in May. Mr Skene says justice has not been done following the failed letgal challenge.

Danus Skene, who is now standing as the nationalist’s candidate in next year’s Holyrood elections, says justice has not been done.

He was commenting after the Election Court case brought against Mr Carmichael by four of his Orkney constituents failed.

In an earlier statement, the former Scottish secretary said the case heard in Edinburgh was “a deliberate attempt by nationalists to remove the last Scottish Liberal voice at Westminster”.

Mr Skene, who reduced Mr Carmichael’s majority to one of just over 800 in the election, has insisted the petition raised against Mr Carmichael had nothing to do with the SNP – or any other political party.

“I am disappointed, as justice has not been done. The court has said plainly that Alistair Carmichael lied ‘for the purpose of affecting (positively) his own return at the election’.

“Such a person is not fit to be our MP, and should have resigned.

“That the facts established in the case have not led to an annulment of the election is not a failing of the court, or of the petitioners. It is because the obscure letter of the law does not allow a verdict to be drawn from damning evidence.”

He added: “I salute the four true citizens who raised the petition challenging the election. It is worth emphasising that the election petition was a personal initiative by four people of varied political opinions who shared a concern that little can be more important in a democracy than that elections are conducted with integrity.

“The petition had nothing whatever to do with the SNP or any other party or organisation.”

His comments came as Highlands and Islands Green MSP, John Finnie, called on Mr Carmichael to reconsider his position in light of the court’s “hair-split decision”.

Mr Finnie highlighted that, while the legal action against Mr Carmichael failed, the lies told by the

MP regarding a leaked civil service memo had shattered the trust of the electorate.

“A lie is a lie. Whatever the result of this case was going to be, Mr Carmichael’s integrity was shot to pieces when he admitted after the election that he had lied, not only to his constituents but to the whole country.

“I believe Mr Carmichael should seriously consider his position following this hair-split decision by the court. Perhaps he wants to consider resigning and go into a by-election to allow him to face his constituents with the full facts and the opportunity to regain their support.”

Meanwhile, the man who stood as Labour candidate in the General Election, Gerry McGarvey, says it was votes for him – rather than any wool-pulling exercise by Mr Carmichael – which prevented the SNP from gaining a Westminster foothold in the Northern Isles.

“I have intentionally refrained from making any public comment on this case because it has been sub judice until now. Regardless of that, I wished to maintain a distance between myself and any possible accusation of political opportunism, unlike SNP activists who have actually funded the legal challenge as it was perceived their party would stand to gain most from any rerun.

“Whilst fully appreciating why the four chose to challenge the election result, I am of the opinion that they have been used by SNP activists to promote their political agenda, and thus, this Election Court hearing has been politically motivated.

“The place for politics is the ballot box – not the courts. I never personally believed that the charges being levelled at Mr Carmichael impacted significantly upon the election result.

“Arguably, it was the vote I received which prevented the 57th SNP candidate from wandering to Westminster, and not any deception on the part of Mr Carmichael.”

He added that “great play” had been made about Mr Carmichael having misled the public.

“Whilst not condoning that, I believe that is as nothing in comparison to the truths and half-truths that have been the hallmark of the SNP government’s period in office.”

About Ryan Taylor

Ryan Taylor has worked as a reporter since 1995, and has been at The Shetland Times since 2007, covering a wide variety of news topics. Before then he reported for other newspapers in the Highlands, where he was raised, and in Fife, where he began his career with DC Thomson. He also has experience in broadcast journalism with Grampian Television. He has lived in Shetland since 2002, where he harbours an unhealthy interest in old cars and motorbikes.

View other stories by »

57 comments

  1. John Tulloch

    Mr McGarvey’s summary is the best one I have seen to date – spot on, in my opinion.

    Reply
    • Robin Stevenson

      Sure John, Mr McGarvey seems also to be a mind reader, all these imaginary “SNP activists” who [deviously] funded the the Orkney four?

      Now that it’s become apparent where their political preferences lie, – with only one of them ever being involved with the SNP – there seems now to be a change in tac? Aah…It’s because they were “Used” by SNP activists, fiendishly supporting their cause now.

      Perhaps Mr McGarvey, was right to keep his opinion to himself, having accused his own supporters – who also backed the campaign – or being SNP activists?

      Reply
      • Gareth Fair

        Robin,
        Play fair, two of the complainants are on record as being SNP / Yes supporters and voters. I cannot be sure how the other 2 voted.
        I understand the QC whom the crowdfunders are paying is a long-established SNP/YES supporter and he helped found Lawyers for YES.

        People are able to look at the crowdfunding and YES Shetland websites and can make their own minds up about where the support for this is coming from, no mind reading is required.
        I would also agree that Mr McGarvey’s comments throughout this whole event have been spot on.

      • Robin Stevenson

        What “Record” would that be Gareth?

        Fiona Grahame:..Scottish Green Party
        Cary Welling:…Labour
        Phaemia Matheson…Labour
        Tim Morrison…Labour [but joined the SNP the day after the Referendum]

        Is the QC for Ali Liar a Lib/Dem supporter, or does that not really matter? Was he a NO voter, Or is that immaterial? Does this only work IF they have anything whatsoever to do with the SNP or the YES campaign?…Should we be asking the same infantile questions too?

        Quote from Tim Morrison:

        “We have organised and done this ourselves and in Orkney – people throughout the world care about this and have supported us”.

        Hmm…I wonder how many of these people throughout the world are SNP members, would you think?…. How VERY dare they!!!!

        As I said: Looks like Mr McGarvey should have remained quiet? [Psst…he may just have lost 3 of his members?]

      • iantinkler

        Psst, O dear, £100,000 more costs in the pipeline, going to put your hand in your pocket Robin, or leave that up to The Greens and Labour?

  2. iantinkler

    “Whilst fully appreciating why the four chose to challenge the election result, I am of the opinion that they have been used by SNP activists to promote their political agenda, and thus, this Election Court hearing has been politically motivated.” How very true, anyone in ane doubt, look to the “Yes Shetland” Facebook page. Nearly all the comments are from 45%’ers and SNP activists, not surprisingly, very few if any are Shetland or Orkney residents!! As for Danus, sour grapes do not suit you well? Just remember, it was Scottish judges, sitting in a Scottish court. Just for once you can not blame Westminster! https://www.facebook.com/YesShetland/?fref=nf

    Reply
  3. Gordon Harmer

    The crowdfunder which is promoted on the Yes Shetland Facebook page is standing at well over £180,000 and they have raised over £50,000 of that since Sunday. Surely this money could have been put to a better use than than a vicious vendetta against Alistair Carmichael. A vendetta which most definitely is politically motivated due to the fact that the crowdfunder has mostly been promoted on political web sites such as Yes Shetland. When you consider that a very generous Shetland population of 23000 give between £25,000 and £30,000 to children in need and the £180,000 has been raised by a mere 8000 people you have to ask what was the motivation for this. One of the Orkney four said she was not SNP but was a yes voter; therein lies the answer, “nationalism” proving this this witch hunt was politically motivated. If this vendetta had a just and righteous cause why did subscribers to the fund who donated three figure amounts chose to be anonymous, what did the have to hide. Where they public or political figures, where they opponents of Mr Carmichael? Nothing is more sure than this is politically motivated and the product of nationalism.

    Reply
  4. Mark Ryan Smith

    Making up lies about other politicians and having them printed in a right-wing newspaper is politically motivated too.

    Reply
    • Gordon Harmer

      The memo existed and the person who was the author was vindicated, it was Sturgeon’s denial ( which I do not believe) as well as Carmichael’s lie about who leaked it which caused this debacle. If you are going to comment Mark Ryan Smith how about not making false statements it reduces you to a level lower than a politician who is a stranger to the truth.

      Reply
      • John N Hunter

        The French have also denied Ms Sturgeon made the alleged comment.

      • Robin Stevenson

        Gordon

        I’ve just received a memo from an unknown source, who thought he heard something from someone else, which could prove that the original memo was absolutely correct, and even though the original memo was based on hearsay, and didn’t actually come from the person who first read it, I feel it’s only fair and just to immediately send a copy to the Telegraph [without first getting ANY confirmation of the contents nor those that stand accused] Instead, I have a “Gut feeling” that what is written on the memo is probably true, and as a result it is in the public’s best interest to share my hunch?

        PS. Even if it turns out to be mischievous balderdash, I can always rely on the gullible muppets that’ll insist for evermore “There’s no smoke without fire?”

        PPS Don’t mention smoke machines, it’ll ruin that wee saying.

        Regards 🙂

      • Mike McEwan

        Hi Gordon,

        I am not sure if that is strictly true. The memo was upheld as a true statement of a second hand conversation. As the writer was not present he was recording what somebody else believed was said. I think this is called hearsay.
        The memo was also only upheld because the writer had “no history of inaccurate reporting, impropriety or security lapses”. To me that is not that convincing.

        Regards

      • Gordon Harmer

        Mike, thanks for your reply, what Mark Ryan Smith insinuated was Mr Carmichael made up the memo, which is untrue. We know that the civil servant who wrote the controversial ‘Memogate’ memo believed that it was accurate. The only people who have cast any doubt on the document are those who have an interest in doing so. If the civil servant had not declared his belief that the information he had written was factually accurate, by which, let’s be clear, he meant it was what he had been told by the French consul-general, then This Writer would be more willing to give Nicola Sturgeon the benefit of the doubt. The civil servant did express concerns that the consul-general had misheard the information he had imparted, but, looking at the actual content of that information, it is hard to find any way this could be true. There is no language barrier between three people who are all perfectly fluent in English, for example. So this issue still comes down to whether you believe a civil servant with an impeccable record for honesty, absolutely no reason to fabricate any information, and no reason to believe he could get away with any such fabrication at the time he communicated the message he did, or three people who were directly involved in what appears to be a politically incendiary conversation, all of whom would have had very strong reasons for being conservative with the truth, if that conversation really did take place as recorded.

  5. ian tinkler

    Danus, your observation please police investigating SNP MP Michelle Thomson MP and SNP MP Natalie McGarry. These two ladies may make Ali C look like a choir boy. Both claim to have done nothing wrong! tens of thousands missing and as for property speculation, you really must give your views, Danus, otherwise you could be regarded as a tad hypocritical.

    Reply
  6. John Barrett

    I can remember Danus Skene, when he, like me, was a member of the old Liberal Party and later a member of the Liberal Democrats. I was unaware he had previously been a member of the Labour Party and then left that to become a founder member of the breakaway Scottish Labour Party or SLP.

    The SNP now appear to be his fifth choice of party. As he was previously either elected for the other parties, stood for them at a variety of elections from Council to Parliament and at European elections, or was on their national executives, is it possible that during this long period of time standing for parties strongly opposing the SNP, that he ever said anything that might not stand up to 100% scrutiny as the absolute truth? I doubt it.

    Reply
  7. Maureen McRobb

    The impression that I got was that all politicians tell “white” lies that are ignored. But the SNP party is not squeaky clean and on reading all the letters in Shetland Times regarding the vendetta against Alistair Carmichael, it was very clear that it was SNP activists who were behind the case. But reading today’s daily papers, as well as the two SNP members of government mentioned above, what about McKay, the SNP Transport representative? He now comes clean about the lack of maintenance of the Forth Road Bridge due to SNP cuts to its budget after spending almost a week denying they had anything to do with it. Nicola Sturgeon stands up and declares everything in the garden is lovely but day after day others can report that that is not true. Alistair Carmichael has been a good MP for Shetland and was a good Scottish Minister as well. Let’s hope he is repaid the £150.000 he has had to pay out for the vindictive court case brought against him when SNP did not win the YES campaiGn.

    Reply
  8. Michael Garriock

    “….The court has said plainly that Alistair Carmichael lied ‘for the purpose of affecting (positively) his own return at the election’.

    Proof?

    That statement describes one of the most incredulous leaps of faith imaginable, and it is grossly worrying that it is attributed to a Court charged with upholding the laws of the land.

    Let us suppose for one minute that any one of the of the four candidates opposing Mr Carmichael in May, for whatever reason became unelectable. There is absolutely no guarantee whatsoever that he would have gained even one additional vote as a result of that situation. There were three other candidates to chose from after all, and even if he’d “done the right thing” (according to critics) and “confessed” (whatever it is his critics seem to believe he should have confessed) before polling day, there is no guarantee he’d have got one vote less than he did.

    At best that statement desperately needs a good few “might have’s” and ‘could have’s” liberally spread through it, otherwise its a statement masquerading as “fact” without any evidence to support its factualness, and such evidence that is impossible to produce in any case.

    Reply
    • Robin Stevenson

      Michael

      There were umpteen people that voted for Carmichael, who said on various forums [inc this one] Had they known Carmichael had deliberately lied – prior to casting their vote – they would never have voted for him in the first place.

      Therefore, I’m afraid you theory:

      “There is absolutely no guarantee whatsoever that he would have gained even one additional vote as a result of that situation”.

      Has already been proved a nonsense.

      Reply
      • Gordon Harmer

        Robin can you name the umpteen people who said this? Do you have a link to where these umpteen people said this? By the way the definition of umpteen is many, and the definition of many is more than one, eg. 2.

      • Gareth Fair

        Robin,
        While we are theorising let’s try another one.

        People in Shetland, horrified by the behaviour of the (mostly pro SNP/Yes) anti Charmichael campaign mob made up of people who, on the whole, are not voters in this constituency, would, as we stand today, result in increased support for Mr Charmichael or reduced support for the main opposition.

        Especially considering the supporters/mob of the opposition party from which this moral indignation is coming from has 2 of its own MP’s under investigation by the police for what are far more serious matters.

        That’s without factoring in the effect of the constant bombardment (telling us what we should think) by our very own self appointed SNP campaigner (who, it would seem, has never even been to Shetland).

      • Robin Stevenson

        Gordon, Gareth

        This isn’t theorising, these are the facts of the matter, whether either of you like it or not?

        Shetland Times 06/04/2015 [Judith Dumont, Setters Hill Estate,
        Unst.]

        “I voted for Alistair Carmichael at the last General Election, and I sincerely regret it. If my only options this time were to vote for him or eat my polling card, I’d reach for the marmalade”

        laura jamieson [Shetland Times]
        April 7th, 2015 10:57

        “Totally agree with David Spence’s points and the original letter.i have voted for Alastair in the past..though I am not a natural lib dem…never again”.

        On the Herald forum I also read various posters from S&O who had regretted their vote, but I’ve just linked a couple from the ST, [basically I CBA doing what you’re both are quite capable of doing yourselves]

        Gareth

        Perhaps it would be a good idea to read this link?… Just to get the general feeling from ordinary members of the public?…Ooh please try to ignore the deluge from the anti-SNP usual suspects?

        http://www.shetlandtimes.co.uk/2015/04/06/things-dont-just-happen-judith-dumont

        Incidentally, while you try desperately to deflect from Ali Cs “Admitted lie”, which of the two SNP MPs have been charged again? OR even admitted to lying?

      • Gareth Fair

        Robin,
        ‘Just to get the general feeling from ordinary members of the public?’

        That’s the whole point Robin, you can’t get a feeling from ordinary members of the public in Shetland, you have never been here, never actually talked to anyone. You don’t know where the posts on the Herald forum really come from.

        Oh and by the way there is another SNP MP set to be investigated.
        This time it’s Phil Boswell and tax avoidance.

        http://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/snp-mp-phil-boswell-facing-inquiry-over-earnings-1-3974818

        As you point out, none charged yet. I sincerely hope your moral outrage is not confined to opposition MP’s if any of the SNP ones are found to be guilty of anything.

        ‘Incidentally, while you try desperately to deflect from Ali Cs “Admitted lie”’
        Because as I have stated before I don’t see it as a big deal. He is a good MP. He leaked something he had no reason to doubt was inaccurate, in my opinion he would have been right to leak it. He just made a bit of a mess of leaking it and ended up getting himself in trouble.
        It’s not like he was being accused of theft, fraud or tax evasion is it.

      • Gordon Harmer

        This is a bit like your Wikilies links Robin, psycobabble. Two or three people at the most hardly umpteen, but hey why let facts get in the way of a good bit of SNP propaganda.

  9. Michael Garriock

    Robin Stevenson, Your so-called “proof” is not worth the bandwidth it consumes to read it.

    These “umpteen people” you allege stated “on forums” they’d voted LibDem on 7th May and would have voted differently, could all be a small group of people, or even just one person, operating under multiple aliases unless you can produce verification of their identities and statements. However, let us assume for a minute they were all genuine individuals, even then, you are relying on their word, which may or may not be truthful as to how they voted, or how they would have changed their vote, and even then you’re relying on statements made after the fact to prove an alternative reality for the 7th of May, which is unprovable as there can only be one reality for the 7th of May, and thats the one we have.

    You have also omitted to factor in that there could have been people who chose to vote for the LibDems if it was perceived their chances of winning were endangered, rather than make the “statement” or “tactical” vote they actually did. I would have been one of those, so don’t try and claim they wouldn’t have existed.

    Reply
    • Robin Stevenson

      Michael

      You said:

      “These “umpteen people” you allege stated “on forums” they’d voted LibDem on 7th May and would have voted differently, could all be a small group of people”.

      Indeed, “could be”, it could also be a large number? In other words you are I have no idea how many voters would have voted differently?

      However, stating:

      “There is absolutely no guarantee whatsoever that he would have gained even one additional vote as a result of that situation”. [by “he” I take it you mean any other candidate]

      Is a nonsense, simply for the fact that:

      a/ Those that intended to vote for Ali C but were put off having discovered he was a self serving, Liar, would have placed their vote with another candidate.
      b/ Regardless of which other party they voted for, someone would have benefitted at least “one vote”.

      Unless, ofc, you’re saying that they just wouldn’t have voted at all? In which case, I’d imagine that would be most improbable.

      Perhaps there are S&O voters [who regret voting for Ali C] reading this forum, that may want to speak up?

      Reply
      • Michael Garriock

        Robin, You are completly ignoring the fact my statement contains the word “guarantee” – Noun: Something that assures a particular outcome or condition.

        Some voters COULD have been put off from voting for Carmichael, some voters who voted for someone else, or chose not to vote at all, COULD have been encourged to vote for him, some COULD have been persuaded to vote for any one of the other four candiates, some COULD have decided to spoil their paper, some COULD have decided to abstain.

        “Could” covers an endless list of possibilities, but neither you, nor I, nor anyone else can GUARANTEE any one particular outcome, as the statistical probability for the vote count remaining exactly the same in the hypothetical alternative reality situation as in the situation which actually happened, or in any one candidate receiving more/less votes, or there being more/less spoiled papers, abstentions etc remains identical for all for them all.

        It is allegedly a “secret” ballot, so any predictions on outcome is not a science but a very crude guessing game, and then there’s “nowt as queer as folk” factor thrown in to the mix as wildcard.

      • Robin Stevenson

        Aye right y’ar then Michael

        Some COULD have been hit by a meteorite on the way to the polling station? [If you want to play silly Semantics]

  10. iantinkler

    Talking about politicians lying, they do not come better than this woman.
    First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said it is “absolutely” not true that cuts to maintenance budgets led to the closure of the Forth Road Bridge. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-edinburgh-east-fife-35037503
    Nicola Sturgeon defended slashing funding for the Forth road bridge yesterday, despite documents revealing a delay in vital maintenance work. http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/uk/scotland/article4638536.ece
    Scotland’s transport authority was told of an urgent need to repair the Forth Road Bridge 10 months ago, a leaked email has revealed. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-edinburgh-east-fife-35087433
    \does the woman lie, or is she ijust in ignorance?

    Reply
    • Robin Stevenson

      Ian

      Once again, I’m afraid the “ignorance” lies on those gullible enough to believe what they watch or read in our MSM? [erm…yourself]
      Look, I know you’re desperate to believe everything you’re told in the Daily Blah, particularly if it’s an SNP BaaaD story, but really, do some research man…./sigh

      “The reason there isn’t already a second road bridge at Queensferry is the Labour Party. When they came to power at Westminster in 1997 one of their first acts was to cancel the building of a new bridge planned by the previous Conservative government, claiming that building it would cause traffic congestion in Edinburgh”.

      “When the Scottish Parliament was restored in 1999 and Labour ran it for eight years, they continued to stall and delay and oppose the building of a second bridge, despite the increasingly urgent warnings of the Forth Estuary Transport Authority (FETA) that one was needed as soon as possible due to traffic load on the old bridge”.

      “When the SNP came to power at Holyrood in 2007, within months they’d conducted a study and announced that a new bridge would be built”.

      You want the true facts?…Read on:

      http://wingsoverscotland.com/the-forth-road-bridge-faq/#more-79864

      Reply
      • iantinkler

        Sure, Robin Stevenson, so you believe everything in the SNP Garden of Eden is all rosy! Let’s have a look at the Shetland record, NHS Shetland, after eight years SNP stewardship. 80 year old man left lying with fractured hip for four hours, NO AMBULENCE. Patent with suspect broken arm tuned away from casualty NO CASUALTY STAFF. Three year old child with severe croup told no Dr. appointments till January, NO APOINTEMENT AVAILABLE. Contract worker, sever oral sepsis, no NHS dental service for non-Shetlanders, NO GDS (NHS) dentists (four years now.) Offered no NHS treatment, had to go private. Now let’s have a look at SNP Scotland, economy shrinking, unemployment rising, falling behind rest of UK fast. SG/SNP has no qualified scientific advisor and it really is starting to show. Having to import UK and French Nuclear to keep lights on, Infrastructure failing (Fourth Bridge) Education failing, social exclusion in Scotland way worse than rest of UK!! Need I go on?

      • Gordon Harmer

        Wings over Scotland, you are scraping the bottom of the barrel now Robin, even less credibility than Wikilies. I cannot believe you have used the reverend of psycobabble in Bath as a source of information.

      • Mark Ryan Smith

        In addition to Mr Tinkler’s cheery picture, I hear that Nicola Sturgeon is planning to unleash plagues of locusts across the Highlands, turn anybody who didn’t vote SNP to stone, and summon the four horsemen of the apocalypse if she doesn’t get a 100% yes vote in a referendum about erecting an 80 foot-high statue of Alec Salmond on top of the Forth Bridge.

        There is, though, one worthwhile point made in the contributions above. Mr Harmer is right when he says that the voices of two or three people don’t mean very much. It’s worth keeping that in mind when reading this forum.

      • iantinkler

        Quite a funny (lol) comment, Mark Ryan Smith that is unless you are the one laying on an icy road for hours waiting for the ambulance! Or maybe the one turned away from casualty with a broken arm. Perhaps one of the cancer victims left untreated awaiting a terminal outcome due to lack of provision. (Ten of Scotland’s health boards have missed a target for treating cancer). Or maybe just left to die in a crashed car due to a centralised police control room error. You could be lucky and get into the SNP flagship hospital. The Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, just hope they have the staff to feed you, as an OAP patient was left starving for eight days. You really think it clever to joke about the SNP/SG record, Mark? I just wonder who the next victims will be. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-35103767
        http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/patient-left-starve-eight-days-6937339

  11. George Pottinger

    Gordon – I am looking forward to your line-by-line refutation of the Wings over Scotland article. Should keep you Googling for a wee while.

    Reply
    • Gordon Harmer

      Just a little something for you and Robin to study Geordie. from a reputable source nowhere near Bath.
      The Forth Road Bridge tolls were formally abolished in February 2008 – depriving the Forth Estuary Transport Authority [FETA] of what had then been £16 million annual revenue from these tolls – revenue FETA used to pay for essential structural repairs and maintenance to an ageing bridge. The Finance Secretary never replaced that revenue from government funds. It was a mighty net loss.
      The already delayed £10.2 million contract which would have seen repaired ‘all‘ the crucial truss-end links was eventually put out to tender in 2010 – and cancelled in that same year. Nothing was then done until 2015, with three quarters of the known repairs necessary long before 2010 remaining unaddressed today.
      In 2011, Mr Swinney cut the three year budget of FETA to 2015 by a mammoth 65% – a matter noted in the Audit Scotland report on FETA at that time. This left FETA without adequate means to carry out essential structural repairs, noting formally that this would increase the risk of structural insecurity in the bridge.
      At the same time, Mr Swinney put FETA on three year notice of dissolution [with no indication of funding for the last three months of its life]. Its responsibilities were to be handed over to a then unknown contractor, with Amey later appointed and assuming control on 1st June this year, 2015.
      http://forargyll.com/?p=103445

      Reply
      • James Watt

        Reputable, forargyll.com? Don’t think so Gordon, just as partisan as Wings Over Scotland but because it works with your SNPbad mentality you are happy to treat everything it says as fact, much like you do with any source that conforms to your mindset.

        How about asking the opinion of the people who actually made the decision to postpone the maintenance on the bridge, for example Lib Dem Councillor Tony Martin, the last convener of the Forth Estuary Transport Authority (FETA) would be an even better source.

        “Cllr Martin said: “It’s a political game where people are trying to score points.

        “I’m not an SNP supporter but it was the right decision to build the new bridge and the right decision to rescope the work because of the huge inconvenience it would have caused.”

        http://m.centralfifetimes.com/news/14153034.It_was__right_decision__to_delay_bridge_repair_work/?ref=twtrec

      • Robert Duncan

        For his many faults we at least know who “Reverend” Stuart Campbell is.

        ForArgyll never seems to attribute stories to an individual, and its broken website does not allow me to view the “ForArgyll Team” or “Contact Us” pages to load.

      • Gordon Harmer

        James, Please read the article .. please reflect on the article .. please try and understand the article … don’t do what most SNP defenders do ie immediately hit the keyboard , and bang out yet another repeat of the usual SNP mantra. Nowhere did I say the second bridge should not be built, I am having a go at the fiasco leading up to the first bridge being closed and rising to George’s challenge, as well as show where the blame should lie. As for “forargyll” being partisan, you should read all their articles before commenting as the tell it as it is and quite often big up the SNP, as in this snippet from another article. “Real politique would say the SNP is in the best possible place right now. They are a genuine force at Westminster, the heart of the Union, a motive force – the third largest in the House, never to be ignored”. Now I challenge you to prove what I used to make my point to be wrong.

      • Gordon Harmer

        Robert, keep trying and you will succeed, as I did. I could tell you who “Newsroom” is and who else is on the team but I do not want to spoil it for you, especially as you are someone who seems to have all the answers to all the subjects on this forum.

      • George Pottinger

        Gordon – I knew that would keep you Googling. Hope you enjoyed it. You didn’t seem to come across who cancelled the original contract for the new Forth Bridge crossing? Nor did you manage to find who sanctioned the new Forth Bridge crossing within weeks of coming to office? Funny that! You wouldn’t be selectively researching now, would you?

      • Gordon Harmer

        George, maybe it slipped your mind but I commented on the old Forth Bridge not the new one.
        What I found puts the blame for the present fiasco firmly in John Swinney’s lap and right on the SNPs front door step. You will need to come with thicker smoke and more polished mirrors to deflect from the truth.

      • iantinkler

        George W. Pottinger 02/04/2014 , by Shetland Times, in Readers’ Views;
        The gap between rich and poor is widening … The Westminster cabinet is virtually a club for former public schoolboys.” “I want a government that rests with the people, not with public-school elite” Have you reversed your somewhat prejudiced and narrow view about the public-school elite? We now assume you are now backing an old Etonian in the persona of Danus Skene, Chief of the Name and Arms of Skene, they do not come more elite and privileged than him by berth, apart from E.R. (That fact is not found in The Wings over Scotland)

      • Robin Stevenson

        Gordon

        Having agreed that there “should have been a second bridge built” way back in 1997 before Labour decided to cancel it, would you perhaps like to explain, IF money was the issue, why Tony Martin, [Lib Dem] the man who was convenor of the authority managing the bridge [at the time] – was unambiguous enough to settle it once and for all by stating:

        “That if the expert advice in 2010 had been that the work could not wait, the project would have gone ahead and the underfire Scottish Government would have paid for it”.

        “If we had needed to do the work there and then they would have told us to do it. And we’d have got the money for it.”

        “Cllr Martin said: “Hindsight is a wonderful thing. If we had decided to do this work, the same people that are complaining about the congestion now would be saying: ‘Why are you doing all this work and causing all these delays when a new bridge will open soon?’

        Therefore Gordon “Please read the article .. please reflect on the article .. please try and understand the article”. It’s dead horse you’re desperately trying to flog.

        http://www.centralfifetimes.com/news/14153034.It_was__right_decision__to_delay_bridge_repair_work/

      • James Watt

        Gordon I read your post, I have reflected and understood the article and it’s perfectly clear where you and forargyll.com think the blame should lie. Had you read and reflected on my article in the same way you’d see I am not a SNP apologist because councillor Tony Martin makes it clear your article isn’t giving you all the relevant information, let’s look closer at his comments.

        “But if you look at the issue we had with the nuts and bolts (around 1000 heavy duty bolt assemblies had to be replaced in 2012 after cracks were found), when we found out we had to replace them all there was no question we wouldn’t get the money.

        “If a serious problem was identified, we would have got the money.”

        He continued: “If we had known this (truss end linkages) work needed to be done they would have had to close one side of the bridge and then the other side and I’m not sure how long the work would have taken.

        “The major issue we were looking at then was the anchorages and we couldn’t have done two major jobs on the bridge at the same time.

      • Gordon Harmer

        George, it looks like we have been told more porkies by the SNP about the bridge you refer to.
        http://www.sundaypost.com/a-bridge-too-late-fears-new-queensferry-crossing-could-be-delayed-1.916549

      • Gordon Harmer

        James, I think that what you are using as a link is conflicting and far from proof that it is not the fault of the SNP and here is why.

        “IT WAS the “right decision” to postpone repair work on the Forth Road Bridge until the new Queensferry Crossing opens next year.

        That’s according to Dunfermline Lib Dem councillor Tony Martin, the last convener of the authority that was in charge of maintaining the 51-year-old structure.

        That decision has now backfired spectacularly but he insisted that if the expert advice in 2010 had been that the work could not wait, the project would have gone ahead and the under fire Scottish Government would have paid for it”. “That decision has now backfired spectacular”.
        I rest my case.

      • James Watt

        Gordon, who was it who made the decision to postpone the work in 2010, and if the decision had been made to undertake the repairs, who would have paid for it?

      • Gordon Harmer

        The Scottish government made that decision James, why do you ask?

      • James Watt

        Gordon, the reason I ask is I was beginning to wonder just what your understanding was of the decision making process. I am now hoping you are being deliberately obtuse because Councilor Martins comments are clear that it was FETA that made the decision about maintenance in 2010 and the decision was made in the knowledge that had they undertaken the work the Scottish Government would have paid for it through Transport Scotland’s budget.

        I’ll let Councilor Martin, the convenor of FETA put it in his own words

        “If we had needed to do the work there and then they would have told us to do it. And we’d have got the money for it.”

        I rest my case.

      • Robin Stevenson

        Wrong [again] Gordon

        “It was FETA that made the decision. The Chairman of FETA (Tony Martin) has been in the papers claiming that the decision was theirs and would be made AGAIN given what they knew at the time. He also confirmed that ANY Scottish Government (including a Lab/LD one) would have made the SAME decision. So NOT actually the SNP Scottish Government at all. He also confirmed that that had repairs been deemed necessary by FETA the money WAS there”.

        Case now “truly” rested, move on.

      • Gordon Harmer

        You two are basing your argument on what one councilor claims, well sorry boys not falling for it I have read up two ten accounts where the blame lies with the SNP. Argumentative you are both, but hold it against I will not, Merry Christmas.

      • Robin Stevenson

        Jeez…Gordon that “One councillor” was [in fact] The Chairman of FETA (Tony Martin) so if anyone should know he should, it was his job, nothing to do with the SG as you would know, had you read the article properly?

        Anyway, it looks like regardless of the facts of the matter you’ll just choose to believe whatever suits your argument. So in that case, and as it’s Christmas, I shall concede gracefully,

        Merry Christmas

        🙂

  12. iantinkler

    The absolute fact of the matter is be it, NHS, Police, Education or infrastructure the responsibility stops at the top and that would be the SNP executive, headed by Nicola. Now she has not been there long, so you could blame her mate Alex! However after Eight years of power, that is where the buck has to stop, no amount of PR spinning alters that.

    Reply
  13. iantinkler

    So NOT actually the SNP Scottish Government at all. Claims Robin Stevenson, O what a surprise!!!
    So NOT actually the SNP Scottish Government at all. Scottish Police leave couple to die after accident!!
    So NOT actually the SNP Scottish Government at all. No ambulance on Shetland for accident victim!!
    So NOT actually the SNP Scottish Government at all. Patient with fracture turned away from casualy!!
    So NOT actually the SNP Scottish Government at all. No Dr.s appointment for child with severe croup!!!
    So NOT actually the SNP Scottish Government at all. Scotland misses cancer treatment targets!!!
    So NOT actually the SNP Scottish Government at all. Scotland falls behind UK economic growth!!
    So NOT actually the SNP Scottish Government at all. Scotland unemployment above UK average!!
    So NOT actually the SNP Scottish Government at all. Scotland fails social exclusion in education!!.
    So NOT actually the SNP Scottish Government at all. Scotland primary education falls behind UK.!!
    So NOT actually the SNP Scottish Government at all. Patient left to starve in flagship hospital!!
    So NOT actually the SNP Scottish Government at all. Shetland and Orkney discriminated against , transport subsidy!!
    So NOT actually the SNP Scottish Government at all. Scotland now dependant on English/ French nuclear power.
    It could go on, Robin of course would spin and spin and spin.

    Happy Christmas everyone, enough from me on this blog, point made! quod erat demonstrandum

    Reply
    • Robin Stevenson

      Praise the Lord

      The best part of your rant Ian is “Enough from me on this blog”

      PS. it’s NOT actually the SNP Scottish Governments fault that it’s Christmas.

      So have a good one

      merry Christmas 🙂

      Reply
  14. Mick Rennie

    During an idle moment I thought to check up on how Alistair Carmichael was getting on with the snipers taking aim from within the cover of the law courts. I like the man and have voted for him for as long as he has been my MP. The best I can say about what I found on The Shetland Times website is the whole trivial and mundane affair has exposed those with too many idle moments.

    Reply
    • Robin Stevenson

      “The whole trivial and mundane affair”,…LOL…Best comment [so far] this year Mick, 🙂 Clueless to the point of genuine hilarity. Thank you

      Reply

Your Comment

Please note, it is the policy of The Shetland Times to publish comments and letters from named individuals only. Both forename and surname are required.

Comments are moderated. Contributors must observe normal standards of decency and tolerance for the opinions of others.

The views expressed are those of contributors and not of The Shetland Times.

The Shetland Times reserves the right to decline or remove any contribution without notice or stating reason.

Comments are limited to 200 words but please email longer articles or letters to editorial@shetlandtimes.co.uk for consideration and include a daytime telephone number and your address. If emailing information in confidence please put "Not for publication" in both the subject line and at the top of the main message.