21st November 2018
Established 1872. Online since 1996.

Carmichael’s ‘quickie divorce’ from Tories should fool no-one, says Skene

, by , in News

SNP parliamentary candidate Danus Skene has described isles MP Alistair Carmichael’s attempt to distance himself from his Tory UK coalition government partners as “the most opportunistic of quickie divorces”.

Mr Skene said it was a move that was unlikely to fool the Orkney and Shetland voters, who had suffered under the austerity cuts dealt out by the Tories, propped up by the Liberal Democrats in the disastrous UK coalition government since 2010.

He was reacting to Mr Carmichael’s speech on Friday at the Scottish Liberal Democrat conference, where the Scottish Secretary accused the Tories of wanting to create “a right-wing, dogmatic, self-centred, ideologically-driven … dystopia”.

Mr Carmichael said the Tories were “wielding the axe – just because they can”.

However, Mr Skene said: “There is something unpalatable about a man who, as deputy chief whip, ensured that his party helped vote through damaging Tory policies, and who is now attempting to put clear yellow water between himself and his coalition colleagues.

“It has all the appearance of the most opportunistic of quickie divorces – and it should fool not a single one of his constituents.

“Mr Carmichael is doing his best to ignore the opinion polls that leave him, in his own words ‘at best I will be the last man standing’.

“Well there is still plenty of time before voters go to the polls for real, and Mr Carmichael can be assured that the Northern Isles SNP members will be campaigning right up until the last minute to prove him wrong.”

33 comments

  1. Johan Adamson

    I dont understand why the liberals have found themselves in this position. David Cameron must be congratulated for political manoeuvring where we think all the other parties are a sell – out. Really given an opportunity to wield power for the first time in hundreds of years they did nothing with it but bow to conservative power. What were they promised for this?

    • Robin Stevenson

      It is amazing [and rather worrying] how many politicians will “Sell their soul” for a ministerial mondeo?

      • John Tulloch

        “Politics is the art of the possible”, so it has been said.

        I can’t vote for the Liberals because of their nonsensical ideas about “saving the Planet” with wind farms, however, they also say “Fair’s fair” and had the Liberal not entered coalition with the Tories, we would have had, “Bedroom Tax” aside, pretty much the same from Labour, if not worse, in terms of austerity as they sought to undo the devastation they had overseen being wrought on the economy during their time in office.

        The Liberals have had considerable influence in softening the blow for the less well-off which would not have happened without them and, importantly, Shetland would not have benefited from having her MP appointed as Secretary of State for Scotland, an outcome which assisted both Our Islands, Our Future and the SIC itself, by negotiating the £10M gift, yes “gift”, from Westminster, after the SNP Scottish Government seized the SIC’s housing support grant, as described in my letter, today.

        So the Liberals entering coalition with the Tories has been greatly beneficial for Shetland and, given the electoral consequences so gleefully foretold by SNP super-optimists, might be viewed, actually, as a somewhat selfless, creditable act of self-sacrifice.

        Give credit where it’s due.

  2. John Tulloch

    That’s a good one, Danus: “……..Mr Carmichael can be assured that the Northern Isles SNP members will be campaigning right up until the last minute to prove him wrong.”

    OK. Where are they, then?

    • Robin Stevenson

      Perhaps the SNP campaigners have been notified of the whereabouts of certain “Lost souls”, and have decided to give your house a body swerve john?

  3. John Tulloch

    From above:

    “Mr Skene said it was a move that was unlikely to fool the Orkney and Shetland voters, who had suffered under the austerity cuts dealt out by the Tories, propped up by the Liberal Democrats in the disastrous UK coalition government since 2010.”

    Shetland voters will certainly “not be fooled” by such patronising humbug.

    Mr Skene, you failed to mention SIC political leader Robinson’s statement that the SCottish Government is under-funding Shetland’s education system by £19.3 Mpa.

    Do you accept that figure?

    • Robin Stevenson

      I really don’t know why you keep going on about this [so called] under-funding of £19.3m John?

      IF the SIC receive £86.314 million in 2015-16 [as is expected] Then surely it’s up to the councils how much THEY decide to spend on education?….IF the, [predicted] amount to spend on education by the SIC in 2015-16, is £48.5 million then why on earth is that the SG fault?……in other words, IF the SIC chose to spend £1 on education but needed to spend £48.5 million, does that mean that the SG has short changed them by £48.499 million?

      • John Tulloch

        @Robin Stevenson,

        My own situation and address are included in my letters for anyone who is interested.

        You have said you don’t represent the SNP or the Scottish government and it isn’t clear whether you live in Shetland, work there or have any connections with it.

        For all I know you may exist only as a ‘virtual entity’, parachuted in from the ‘aether’, so your comments about funding have no authority or credibility versus those of SIC political leader Gary Robinson.

        Step forward, ‘organ grinder’, we’ve had enough of your ‘monkey’!

      • Robin Stevenson

        I care not where you are from John [with all due respect] suffice to say you are part of, and therefore affected by, whatever goes on within the UK and more importantly Scotland? as am I.

        My comments about funding are as valid and as credible as your own John, however IF you feel your comments and credibility are far beyond mine, I’d be interested to hear where you stand in SIC?

        Back to the issue, do you disagree with figures I posted?

      • John Tulloch

        @Robin Stevenson,

        i have already stated, no disrespect, that I consider political leader Robinson to be a better-informed source than you. You have conceded that you do not represent the SNP or the Scottish government so, whether your comments and credibility are better or worse than mine is irrelevant, your cresibility is below Gary Robinson’s, in my book.

  4. hugh Jamieson

    I voted for Alistair Carmichael last time, I will never allow my vote to be hijacked by the Tories ever again. Sadly not enough people in Orkney and Shetland will feel as strongly as most on this blog and Mr Carmichael will be returned. He was the chief whip forcing other LibDems to vote through Tory policies. Despicable in the extreme.

  5. Iantinkler

    All a bit academic, tactical voting will bring in Alister again. Shetlanders, certainly the vast majority are not fooled by the divisive and unpleasant humbug of the SNP. Just my opinion, but come the day of the election, the majority of Scots may well not be fooled either. The undeniable fact is however, an SNP vote will certainly help the Tories and confound Labour, fun times ahead. Hugh Jamieson, may well find his vote hijacked again, vote SNP and get Cameron, sorry Hugh, life just is not fair.

    • Robin Stevenson

      Ian, I DO wish that people would look at the facts instead of coming out with that tired old mantra “Vote SNP get Tory”?…Tell me please Ian, in how many elections since WW2 has the Scottish vote made ANY difference at all to who became the government?…..Scotland has been voting Labour for the last 70 years, how many times have Labour been in power, or Scotland got the government they voted for?…..Let me help you?….Twice…..So I`m afraid that this nonsense about “Vote SNP get Tory” is just that, nonsense.

      • Gordon Harmer

        There would have been a Labour government for a lot longer when Callaghan was PM but the SNP tried a vote of no confidence which did not work as they were to small a party to do so. But when Mrs Thatcher forced the no confidence vote the SNP voted with her and we got a Tory government thanks to the SNP.
        This election would be certainty for Labour but Labour voters have jumped ship to vote SNP which could give us a Tory government. Both scenarios down to the SNP and Scottish voters, therefore the Scottish vote does make a difference to who is in power. Vote SNP get Tory is so very true the only reason you are back pedaling is on this you want to be in a position after the General election to say we have a government in Westminster we didn’t vote for, a very tiresome and worn out mantra if there ever was one.

      • John Tulloch

        @Robin Stevenson,

        In 1979 the SNP put Labour out of government by voting for the Tories’ ‘No Confidence’ motion, which let opened the door for Margaret Thatcher and the Tories to kick off their long ‘heyday’ in office – “Turkeys voting for Christmas”, I think was Callaghan’s description of the SNP, was it not?

        http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/1979_vote_of_no_confidence_against_the_government_of_James_Callaghan

      • Robin Stevenson

        Let’s hear from the great Mr Callaghan himself on the matter,…Shall we?

        “This provision was carried by a majority of fifteen, with as many as thirty-four Labour Members voting against the Government. I have since wondered whether those thirty-four Labour Members would have voted as they did if they had been able to foresee that their votes on that evening would precipitate a General Election in 1979, at the least favourable time for their Government.”

        He blamed the rebels on his own benches, rather than the SNP, for ultimately bringing about the collapse of his government and opening the door to the victory of the Conservatives under Margaret Thatcher.

        Sorry Gordon/John…You’ll both really have to try harder than that Old Chestnut?

      • James Watt

        I have to laugh when political experts like Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum are trying to blame the SNP on the downfall of the Labour government in 1979, yet even Callaghan could see that Labour was responsible for its own demise. After the 40% rule for the 1979 referendum being voted through with the help of 34 labour MPs it was inevitable that the SNP would vote against the government, how could they support a government that had allowed such an undemocratic motion to effectively steal a Yes vote on devolution from the Scottish electorate. Callaghan himself refers to these 34 Labour MPs and ask if they would have backed the 40% rule had they known what was to happen as a consequence.

        In his book ” Time and Chance ” Callaghan makes it clear what he feels was the chain of events that led to the vote of no confidence, and strangely enough the SNP don’t get a mention as one of the culprits. Would be happy to provide extracts if required.

      • John Tulloch

        @Robin,

        The SNP could have swayed the vote to keep Callaghan in – only a single vote was required. Instead, they voted with the Tories and Donald Stewart was waiting at the door of Downing Street, to take Thatcher’s coat and usher her in.

      • Gordon Harmer

        Robin the vote of no confidence would not have happened if the SNP had not tried to unsuccessfully raise it them selves. I was that move which made Mrs Thatcher realised she would win the vote with the support of the SNP if she then raised it, she had no idea there would be Labour back benches who would vote with her. It was the SNP who started the ball rolling therefore the SNP who put Thatcher and the Tories in power absolutely no getting away from it, chestnuts or no chestnuts. History does not lie.

      • Gordon Harmer

        English: Votes by party in the 1979 vote of no confidence against the government of James Callaghan.
        This graph starts at 250. All voters in first 250 are Conservative/Labour.
        Yes vote totals:
        279 conservative
        13 liberal
        11 scottish national party
        5 ulster unionist
        1 independent
        1 united ulster unionist
        1 democratic unionist
        No vote totals:
        287 labour
        16 labour co-operative
        3 plaid cymru
        2 ulster unionist
        2 Scottish labour

    • Johan Adamson

      Dis is nonsense. If England votes for the Tories, there is nothing we can do about it, which has been shown several times in history.

      • Robin Stevenson

        Johan, You are absolutely correct,…85% of UK voters live in England IF half of them decided to vote for “The Monster Raving Looney Party”, and the rest were split between the others, I guess we’d then be governed by the MRL party?…..What affect was the Scottish vote?…..absolutely none.

  6. Iantinkler

    Sorry Robin Stevenson, you are simply talkin tripe, again. Labour have always and still do depend on the Scottish Socialist vote if they hope to form a majority government in Westminster. Any vote for the SNP will reduce that likelihood, you do not have to be very clever to see that, it is really very, very simple math. I suppose SNP spinners would never admit that, to the rest of us it is so very obvious. I think you may also find there has been more than two labour administrations since WW2, perhaps you are mixing up Scottish born prime ministers.

    • Robin Stevenson

      Ian, I was talking about the Scottish vote, NOT “Labour administrations”,…Let me make it easy for you :

      UK voting since 1945 [With the Scottish vote inc]

      1945-1950, Labour, 1951-1955, Con, 1955-1959, Con, 1959-1964, Con, 1964-1966, Lab, 1966-1970, Lab, 1970-1974, Con, 1974-1979, Lab, 1979-1983, Con, 1983-1987, Con, 1987-1992, Con, 1992-1997, Con, 1997-2001, Lab, 2001-2005, Lab, 2005-2010, Lab, 2010-Now, Con/LD

      UK voting since 1945 [With the Scottish vote removed]

      1945-1950, Labour, 1951-1955, Con, 1955-1959, Con, 1959-1964, Con, 1964-1996, Con, 1996-1970, Lab, 1970-1974, Con, 1974-1979, Lab, 1979-1983, Con, 1983-1987, Con, 1987-1992, Con, 1992-1997, Con, 1997-2001, Lab, 2001-2005, Lab, 2005-2010, Lab, 2010-Now, Con/LD

      1964-1966, The Scottish vote made a difference.
      1970-1974, The Scottish vote made a difference .

      Twice Ian, Since WW2 Scotland has had a government that it actually helped to elect, I`m afraid that is NOT “tripe”, [as you so kindly put it] Labour would always have been elected even WITHOUT the Scottish vote. [De Facto]

      • Ali Inkster

        When has Shetland had the government it voted for?

  7. Iantinkler

    Johan Adamson, if many English and Welsh vote labour, the SNP will cost them a labour majority. Leaving the way open for Cameron. Come on Mr Robin of Milngavie, lets have your prattle and spin, does the SNP pay you to make it up?.

    • Robin Stevenson

      Ian, you said : “if many English and Welsh vote labour, the SNP will cost them a labour majority”,…How on earth do you work that out?…That doesn’t make ANY sense whatsoever?….I really don’t need “Spin” [as you call it]…It’s blatantly obvious?…..utter Tosh.

    • Johan Adamson

      Have you noticed that the polls are not predicting any sort of surge for labour in Britain? And as for Scotland, forget any labour voting after their despicable behaviour at the referendum; they could have butted out and just let us answer the question. David Cameron sealed their fate, and there is no respect for a labour party who does not support CND and help people in poverty or support education and the NHS.

  8. Iantinkler

    “85% of UK voters live in England IF half of them decided to vote for “The Monster Raving Looney Party”, and the rest were split between the others, I guess we’d then be governed by the MRL party?…..What affect was the Scottish vote?…..absolutely none.”, So there we have it, the old chip on the shoulder! Just a Nationalist with resentment of the English, nothing to do with socialist principles, humanity and unity. Just we are best and want more power for us, well done Robin Stevenson, now we know exactly where you come from. Good of you to let us know.

  9. Douglas Young

    Some of the rude and personal “Six” on the go as usual.

    They really are a hilarious bunch, or as someone in Orkney said “Glad we don’t have anything like that here.”

    • Gordon Harmer

      You really must not speak about Robin, Johan and the others like that Douglas they are on your side, 😉

  10. clive munro

    @john tulloch
    I might be wrong, but I thought Callaghan’s oft- quoted remarks applied to all the minority parties who supported the Tories’ motion of no confidence. So it could equally well be said, could it not, that it was Shetland’s beloved Liberal Party who opened the door for Thatcherism?

    • Bill Adams

      Quite right, Clive. I have always understood that it was the late decision by Gerry Fitt the SDLP MP for West Belfast who usually voted in support of the Labour Government to abstain, together with the abstention of Frank Maguire the Independent Republican MP for Fermanagh & S. Tyrone, which sealed the fate of the Callaghan Government.