The undecided (Angela Sutherland)
No doubt most people will have made their minds up who they want to vote for by now and there will be no dissuading them.
However, for those few folk who have not quite chosen or who might be wavering from their normal course, there’s a lot to consider.
Since 2010, during a time of global financial distress caused by the greed of the world’s bankers (some of whom finance the Tory Party), the Lib Dems have enabled a Tory government which has awarded tax cuts to the rich, protected bankers bonuses while cutting the benefits for everyone else.
They, despite their manifesto promises, among other things, voted for the following:
• for increasing university tuition fees to £9000 per year;
• for privatizing the Royal Mail;
• for the bedroom tax;
• for benefit cuts;
• for higher taxes on plane tickets;
• against making the Scottish Parliament permanent (leaving it free for Westminster to close it at will);
• against mansion tax;
• against taxing bankers bonuses.
Their coalition is directly responsible for over one million people across the UK, this year, being dependent on food banks.
We are a rich island with less than one per cent unemployment but food bank use here has almost doubled in two years.
There are even pensioners in Shetland having to use this service. It’s a national disgrace and it can’t be allowed to continue.
The coalition has deliberately excluded Scottish representation in the EU fishery talks. Elected MSP, Richard Lochhead has been the cabinet secretary for fisheries for seven years.
Rupert Ponsonby, 7th Earl De Mauley, has zero experience of the fishing industry but the Lib Dem coalition have asked him to represent us at the EU.
Scotland’s fishing industry is larger than the whole of the rest of the UK but we’re shut out of negotiations, were not even allowed to know what’s being discussed. Why has our Lib Dem MP not done anything about this? Fishing is a vital Shetland industry.
Alistair Carmichael did nothing to help the oil industry in January when it was crying out for urgent help, other than carry stalling messages from David Cameron, one of which, incredibly, was that the oil industry should “talk amongst themselves”.
It was not until the Tory budget that anything was done. The effects of such unreasonable delays are now being felt viscerally, with pay cuts, lay-offs and job closures.
Our Lib Dem MP has been Secretary of State for Scotland but has shown himself to be Westminster’s Secretary in Scotland not working for Scotland but against Scotland. Including such behaviour as hiding information from the Scottish people under the Official Secrecy Act and leaking a false memo, intended to smear Scotland’s First Minister, to the Telegraph, from the Scottish Office.
Mr Carmichael is being utterly disingenuous when he makes a fuss about power in Scotland being too centralised when, in fact, he personally has been fighting, by hook or by crook, to keep all the power centralised to London.
Mr Carmichael is actually proud to have sat on the fence on all politically divisive local issues for 13 years, such as the Viking Energy project, the Scalloway pharmacy, school closures and so on.
But do we really want to have an MP who has absolutely no personal opinions and holds his hands up as big business, the council or NHS, pretend to have dialog with us while railroading straight ahead.
By having no preferences, he can’t protect anyone. He can’t do a good job. He’s seeking to imply he’s on both sides at once, but that’s false.
It means he’s in fact friends with nobody but himself. I prefer someone with stronger opinions, who can fight with the majority or be replaced democratically based on what he stood for.
Mr Carmichael says he saved the lifeboat and the tug, but they would not have been under threat in the first place if it wasn’t for his coalition.
It was Danny Alexander not Alistair who got us the 5p fuel duty cut – which we don’t feel as we still pay 10p more than Aberdeen does.
He says he solved the historic housing debt but strangely that only happened after the SNP put together a three-party committee to resolve the problem. In reality, nothing progressive has been achieved in 13 years in Shetland.
The election is less than a week away. I urge you to please consider voting SNP. We need to all unite to win the strongest voice we can ever have in Westminster.
If that step is just too adventurous for you, I understand, but please vote anything other than Lib Dem. They don’t deserve your vote.