Local Liberal Democrats back Carmichael to stay as MP

Isles MP Alistair Carmichael has been given the backing of his Holyrood counterpart and the local Liberal Democrat group.

He has been the subject of fierce criticism since it was revealed he was behind a controversial leak ahead of the General Election.

A demonstration was held at the weekend, with SNP supporters calling for Mr Carmichael to stand down from his Orkney and Shetland seat – which he won with a very slim majority of just 817.

But Shetland MSP Tavish Scott said Mr Carmichael should be forgiven for what he had done.

“I am very disappointed by Alistair’s actions. We have worked together for 14 years for Shetland. People come to see both of us to solve problems. I too feel let down. No wonder many people across the islands do too.

“But Alistair’s handling of this matter is not the Alistair I know. The Alistair I know worked with hundreds of Shetlanders to keep Sakchai Makao out of the hands of the UK Home Office and in his adopted home of Shetland.

“The Alistair I know worked with coastguard staff to save the Lerwick station. The Alistair I know was frustrated by high petrol prices at home and did something no one else had ever done – got petrol taxes cut for the islands.

“So I have spent the time since last Friday wondering why he made such a serious mistake and one that he knows will cost him the trust of many people.”

Mr Scott said the SNP will have “won” if Mr Carmichael resigned, adding few seemed to see the nationalists “abject hypocrisy”.

“Salmond blatantly lied about legal advice on Scotland’s membership of the EU, he said. “The difference between Alistair and Salmond is Alistair has confessed and apologised.

“The political motivation of the SNP and the yes campaign is obvious and increasingly personal and unpleasant. I detest mob rule and that is what this now looks like. It is not the Shetland I know.

“The second option is that he listens to his constituents, real Shetland folk who will give him a fair hearing.

“If he can demonstrate that he can get back to being a determined, effective local MP then people will accept that. Alistair has a long road to recovery with many people. But he should walk that road.”

Mr Scott’s comments came after the Shetland Liberal Democrats held a meeting last night to discuss Mr Carmichael’s involvement in the leaked memo.

A statement issued by Lerwick-based branch secretary Beatrice Wishart on behalf of the local executive expressed “surprise and disappointment” at Mr Carmichael’s actions and his “lack of judgment”.

The statement read: “However, the members agreed that Alistair has rightly taken full responsibility and has apologised to all concerned, not least to the people of Orkney and Shetland.

“The members agreed that Alistair is an excellent constituency MP. He has achieved much for Shetland in the last 14 years, particularly during his five years in government, where his experience and expertise were used to great benefit for the Northern Isles.

“He has reinforced his commitment to carry on representing this constituency, as he was elected to do, and he retains the full confidence of the executive.”


Add Your Comment
  • Harry Dent

    • May 27th, 2015 11:19

    I’m not surprised that the party machine has closed ranks behind its disgraced figurehead, but am slightly disappointed that Mr Scott is using the Bruce Defence (everyone else is at it too).

    • Richard Holmes

      • May 27th, 2015 12:27

      I suspect that Liam McArthur and Tavish Scott have just signed their electoral death warrant.

      Surely they can see that Carmichael’s behaviour is completely unacceptable, and that his constituents deserve a second chance, now that the truth about his involvement in the leaked memo has emerged.

      • Bill Adams

        • May 28th, 2015 16:05

        I suspect that too, Richard. Now that Tavish Scott has re-emerged into the limelight after five days in a Trappist monastery, I have to thank him for the phrase “abject hypocrisy”.
        I could not come up with a better description of his own mealy-mouthed attempt to defend the indiscretions of his party colleague.
        And who, pray, are those of us who qualify for inclusion in the category of “real Shetland folk” ?

    • John Jamieson

      • May 27th, 2015 13:23

      Once again in an attempt to deflect attention from their own misdeeds, a spokesman for the LibDem Party raises the specter of Alex Salmond lying over EU advice, a charge of which he was cleared by Sir David Bell after investigating five complaints by Labour MEP Catherine Stihler found that Alex Salmond had acted in full accordance with the Ministerial code.

      • Gerry Aberdeen

        • May 27th, 2015 16:27

        Yes John, a ministerial code the HE changed to suit himself, then put his own man in charge of.

        Of course he’d be cleared, he was both player and referee.

      • Richard Holmes

        • May 27th, 2015 17:08

        And the electorate in Gordon subsequently elected him as their MP.

    • Brian Smith

      • May 27th, 2015 16:41


    • Allan Sutherland

      • May 29th, 2015 13:46

      Have you read my letter which apparently is in the Shetland Times today

      My only regret is I didn’t say how sorry I am for Alistair Carmichael.

      I have just read about the demonstrations by the SNP against your MP, Alistair Carmichael.

      It should be the 9,407 people who voted for Mr Carmichael three weeks ago, assisted by the other 7,731 people who did not vote SNP (only 8,590 did vote SNP), who should be protesting against Mr Carmichael’s wimpy performance last week and the SNP’s hypocritical intimidation and distortion of democracy.

      Sir Jeremy Heywood’s report on the enquiry into the “French Consulate” leak said: “Senior officials who have worked with him say that he (the civil servant who wrote the memo) is reliable and has no history of inaccurate reporting, impropriety or security lapses.

      “The Cabinet Secretary has concluded that there is no reason to doubt that he recorded accurately what he thought he had heard. There is no evidence of any political motivation or ‘dirty tricks’.”

      So Nicola Sturgeon did say she would prefer a Tory government, confirming rumours that had been circulating for several months.

      Mr Carmichael’s “crime” was to leak this very important fact which was contrary to her public comments. The SNP hoped for a weak Tory-led coalition that would enable them to disrupt and force through independence.

      Allan Sutherland
      1 Willow Row,

      • David Howell

        • May 31st, 2015 9:33

        How can you possibly accuse the SNP of a “distortion of democracy”; when it was Mr Carmichael who LIED to his electorate and the people of Scotland, in order to distort the truth about a meeting between the First Minister of Scotland and the French Ambassador?

        “…Mr Carmichael’s “crime” was to leak this very important fact…”

        No; Mr Carmichael’s crime was to LIE about it to the people whom he expected to vote for him in a General Election.

        You seem to be having some trouble in differentiating between Truth and Fiction here.
        Are you a Liberal Democrat perchance?

  • Leslie Lowes

    • May 27th, 2015 12:14

    Quite so. Can someone now switch off the mob of bullies. They are achieving nothing but they are getting a lot of people to take a different approach to this problem. Time they did too.

    • Richard Holmes

      • May 27th, 2015 17:02

      I am not a bully, Leslie, I am one of Carmichael’s constituents, and I am dismayed that he deceived us by hiding the truth about the extent of his involvement in this sorry affair, letting the expensive enquiry proceed safe in the knowledge that, by the time their report was published, the election would be over.

      I have never before contributed to a political campaign, but I have donated to “The People Versus Carmichael” crowd funding campaign to give us a ‘second chance’, now that we know the truth. This is about right and wrong, not party politics.

      • Helen Ilitha

        • May 27th, 2015 21:30

        I wouldn’t vote LibDem or SNP, but I have to say of far, far more concern to me would be the orchestrated mob trying to intimidate an elected MP out of his position. Let us record this moment and then come back to our words as soon as the mob is turned on Ian Murray. Because you know it will come!

        As for Sturgeon smearing a real Candidate in the election, what about the constant smear that Labour had voted for £30 b in austerity cuts – a smear made on live tv debates and interviews again and again. Yet today she gave a speech saying the exact words she’d repeatedly called Jim Murphy a liar for stating – that the OBR Report allowed for flexibility in how to reduce the deficit! Shall we send a braying mob round to hound her out of her post?

      • Robin Stevenson

        • May 27th, 2015 22:05

        Eh..Helen Labour DID vote for £30 Billion austerity cuts, along with the Tories and the Lib/Dems? IT wasn’t a smear it’s a “fact”?
        The OBR is basically just a public advisory body, to provide forecasts of public finances, it doesn’t tell us what to do, it just reports our present position financially.
        Nicola hasn’t “Smeared” anyone Helen? who are you talking about?

      • John Jamieson

        • May 28th, 2015 10:27

        Helen Ilitha. Nicola Sturgeon was not smearing anyone by repeating what George Osborne said during the debate, he made it abundantly clear what Labour would be voting for if they joined with the Tories when he said – “To be fair to the Scottish National party, I think its Members are going to vote against us, as too is the Green party, but Labour Members are sitting there in total silence. They are going to go through the Division Lobby with us to support £30 billion of spending cuts.”
        The Tories are back in power and we are about to get the £30 billion in cuts that they, the LibDems and Labour voted through.

      • Richard Holmes

        • May 28th, 2015 17:03

        @ Helen – please take a look at The Public Whip website for details of what Labour MPs voted for on January 13th alongside the Tories.

      • Helen Ilitha

        • May 29th, 2015 12:29

        I know exactly what Labour voted for. And it was NOT £30 billion worth of cuts. As Sturgeon has now admitted, at long last! I see you can only bring SNP and Tory claims to the table. You can’t bring Labour claims, because they never said they would do it.

  • Robin Stevenson

    • May 27th, 2015 12:20

    Let’s imagine for minute what would have happened had the memo been believed?

    Nicola Sturgeons credibility would have been in tatters, the SNPs credibility would have been ruined, and all that they stood for would have been questioned, leading to a nationwide distrust of ANY further claims by the party.

    So, this isn’t a silly wee “These things happen” matter, this was a blatant attempt of undermining the entire SNPs and first minister’s credibility, along with its prospective candidates in the upcoming general election. Any chance of them being seen as an honest political party that stood by its convictions would have been shattered.

    Had the memo been believed, how many of the 56 SNP MPs would have lost the distrust of the voter and NOT been elected?

    Let’s keep this into perspective; this was a “Game Changer”, Thank heavens it was proved to be untrue as quickly as it was? Thank goodness Carmichaels botched attempt backfired spectacularly,… the Lib/Dems have now shown what they stand for, “Power at ANY cost”.

    I know there are many on this forum who are desperately scuttling around trying to point the finger at the SNP to take the heat and focus off Carmichael and the Lib Dems, but in a way I hope those people along with Tavish get their wish, and Carmichael manages to retain his seat, because that way whatever he says, whatever he does, he’ll ALWAYS be a reminder of what he and his party TRULY stand for.

    • Amy Skea

      • May 27th, 2015 14:45

      However he did tell the truth – mainly that NS DID say that she would prefer a Tory government. Or is your witch hunt going to extend to the civil servant who wrote the memo?

      • Robert Duncan

        • May 27th, 2015 15:06

        We don’t know that.

        Regardless, Carmichael’s lie was in telling news reporters afterwards that he did not know about the memo or how it was leaked.

      • Robin Stevenson

        • May 27th, 2015 15:35

        Amy, Which part of this story are you struggling with?? …Where does Nicola Sturgeon say that she’d prefer a Tory government? Apart from this civil servants wild imagination?…It was NEVER said…

        What IF this same civil servant had “thought”he’d heard Nicola say “I’m a little teapot”, Does this make it so? because he Thought he heard that?…

        It’s not a witch hunt, it’s called separating fact from fiction.

      • Gerry Aberdeen

        • May 27th, 2015 16:32

        Robert Stevenson.

        The official inquiry has reported back that the memo was indeed accurate.

        The report has been published online and is freely available.

        Given the reports contents, and it being reported as accurate, Carmichael did the right thing, as it was in the public interest to show a senior politician was using lies and deceit to try and help candidates win.

      • John Tulloch

        • May 27th, 2015 16:57

        Robin Stevenson,

        That’s why I’m looking forward to the court case.

      • Richard Holmes

        • May 27th, 2015 17:09

        Do you have any proof of that Amy?

        Nicola Sturgeon and the French Ambassador said that the memo was incorrect, as did Carmichael in his letter of apology.

      • Alan Fresco

        • May 27th, 2015 21:31

        Yes, the French Ambassador’s words were a masterpiece in diplomacy and a perfect example of the non denial denial ““While the ambassador and the first minister, some time ago, have discussed the political situation, Ms Sturgeon did not touch on her personal political preferences with regards the future prime minister,””.

        Why insert the phrase “personal political preferences” or refer to a discussion “some time ago”? Most likely because he could honestly say that while at the same time avoiding saying that the leader of the SNP DID say that and as a result had shown herself to be a liar and a hypocrite.

        Carmichael’s only fault lies in caving in to the pressure. He almost did us all a great service by exposing what is most likely the hypocrisy of the SNP.

      • Helen Ilitha

        • May 27th, 2015 21:36

        “While the ambassador and First Minister, some time ago, discussed the political situation, Ms Sturgeon did not touch on her personal political preferences with regards to the future Prime Minister.”

        I’ve worked around politicians the world over. What this says is that she said Miliband was not Pime Ministerial material. And that she will have said something like “Scotland” would prefer a Tory PM, or some other permutation. As with all politicians you need to look into the shadows of their words to see the meaning.

        I’d caution against taking up any position that Sturgeon did or didn’t say something.

    • Allan Sutherland

      • May 29th, 2015 13:43

      Robin, re your comment believed?

      Nicola Sturgeons credibility would have been in tatters, the SNPs credibility would have been ruined, and all that they stood for would have been questioned, leading to a nationwide distrust of ANY further claims by the party.”

      If you change the first sentence to “Let’s imagine for minute what would have happened had the memo been TRUE?” we get the same answer…

      Nicola Sturgeons credibility would have been in tatters, the SNPs credibility would have been ruined, and all that they stood for would have been questioned, leading to a nationwide distrust of ANY further claims by the party.

      AND ABOUt TIME TOO!!!!!!!! The repost says it was a fair record of what was said and it certainly doesn’t say it was all made up. Nicole’s got more to answer for. The SNP are even saying the “Church Elder” witch hunt has noting to do with them. IT WAS ON THE BURGHEAD twitter site!!

  • Richard Holmes

    • May 27th, 2015 12:23

    I used to think that the Liberal Democrats were the party that stuck to their principles, and on this basis they have secured my vote in the past. But, since 2010, they appear to have abandoned their principles altogether.

    And now we have Bruce, Rennie, Scott and McArthur supporting Carmichael’s disgraceful behaviour, further destroying the reputation of the party.

    What would Jo Grimond make of it all?

  • Richard Holmes

    • May 27th, 2015 12:51

    “The right to freedom of speech is a fundamental one but it does bring a responsibility with it to tell the truth. The right to smear an opponent is not one we should be defending.”

    Alistair Carmichael, 12 Nov 2010, Shetland Times

  • Amy Skea

    • May 27th, 2015 13:52

    1. there was a conversation
    2. there was a memo about this conversation
    3. AC leaks it to press
    4. NS denies saying what she is reported to have said
    5. AC denies leaking it to press
    6. there has been an investigation into this memo
    7. author of memo found to have reported conversation correctly
    8. AC apologises for leaking memo
    9. We have an apology for another lie from NS / SNP…..oh no wait that doesn’t happen, instead we have a witch hunt on AC with a crowd funder raising £30k to take this matter to court!

    Meanwhile, lets look at all the lies that NS / AS / SNP have told then tried to cover up using public money. How about entry into Europe? That was a lie. Did Salmond resign. Nope.

    • Bill Adams

      • May 27th, 2015 16:29

      With ref to 7. – the whole point is that the conversation was NOT reported correctly.
      Will you please stop lying about this.

      • Gordon Harmer

        • May 27th, 2015 21:23

        Sorry Bill, wrong again, but hey keep trying, you’ll get it right one day.
        A leaked civil service memo which alleged the Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon wanted David Cameron to win the general election was an “accurate” record of a conversation with a French official, an investigation has concluded.
        The former Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael admitted he had agreed to leak the memo to a newspaper during the election campaign after his involvement was exposed by a Cabinet Office inquiry. But, significantly, the inquiry concluded that the memo itself was genuine and “an accurate record of the conversation that took place between him (the civil servant) and the French Consul General”.
        The note claimed that Ms Sturgeon told French ambassador Sylvie Bermann that she would prefer to see the Conservatives remain in power and that Ed Miliband was not “prime minister material”.

    • John Jamieson

      • May 27th, 2015 16:30

      Unfortunately your Point No 7 is incorrect neither the MP nor cabinet office inquiry said that the author of memo had reported conversation correctly, what the report did say was that he had recorded what he thought he had heard from his French consulate source.
      Alistair Carmichael said “I accept … that the details of that account are not correct.”
      The official report concludes that the civil servant in the Scotland Office who produced the memo had highlighted that the part regarding the conversation between the French Ambassador and the First Minister might well have been “lost in translation”.

    • Brian Nugent

      • May 27th, 2015 20:08

      4.5 French Ambassador denies saying what she is reported to have said.

      Involving a foreign country in subterfuge to score a political point is unforgiveable.

      If Alistair Carmicheal really did not look at the memo prior to it being leaked them he is even more at fault given the international aspect.

      Carmicheal credibility gone and he is taking the Lib Dem credibility with him.

      • Amy Skea

        • May 27th, 2015 20:44

        I like how you pounce on the civil servant …. I could show you several links, no doubt you have seen them and dismissed them already.
        Yet you do not address all the lies that AS / NS have told. Why ignore them?

      • Helen Ilitha

        • May 27th, 2015 21:37

        “While the ambassador and First Minister, some time ago, discussed the political situation, Ms Sturgeon did not touch on her personal political preferences with regards to the future Prime Minister.” This is all the Ambassador has said. Note PERSONAL political preferences.

      • Richard Holmes

        • May 27th, 2015 23:16

        I would agree, Brian. You might like to read the article by Sylvie Bermann, French Ambassador to the UK, that appeared in the New Statesman some time ago. http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/2015/04/french-bashing-my-phantom-chat-nicola-sturgeon-and-remembering-gallipoli

        “A bad egg for Easter

        That was my second visit to Scotland since taking up my post in London in September, and I had fond memories of it … until I learned over Easter that an erroneous report about the conversation I’d had with the First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, had been leaked to the press. It kept me busy through the night, as the article had been published online without anyone asking me for confirmation of its content beforehand (I suppose my denial would have diminished the intended media impact of the story).

        I guess these kinds of things happen in a tight election campaign but as an impartial diplomat I have found myself in quite an uncomfortable position!”

    • Richard Holmes

      • May 27th, 2015 20:59

      corrected version Amy:
      1. there was a conversation
      2. there was a memo which was a 3rd hand account of the conversation
      3. AC leaks it to the press in a blatant attempt to smear NS, and in doing so involves a foreign diplomat.
      4. NS and the French Ambassador state that the memo is not accurate.
      5. AC lies about his involvement – “one of those things”
      6. the expensive enquiry takes place whilst AC hides the truth from voters (us).
      7. the election takes place without the people of Orkney and Shetland knowing the truth. AC re-elected.
      8. the enquiry publish their report.
      9. AC belatedly confesses and apologises, and admits that the memo was incorrect.
      10. AC treats his constituents with contempt by not offering to resign and allow a by-election.
      11. The LibDems abandon principle in their attempts to defend the indefensible.
      12. The LibDems suffer further electoral collapse in 2016 and beyond.

    • Agnes Brodie

      • May 30th, 2015 11:17

      Amy have you thought much about becoming a LibDem candidate? You sound perfect for the job. Just think of the advantages, the wage, the expense claims and a daily dose of lying pills to keep you going.

  • Alan Jack

    • May 27th, 2015 13:54

    Carmichael put his hands up and admitted it was him. When will the SNP put their hands up and admit the following lies just for starters?
    The Scottish government had legal advice on the EU. Lie

    There are no car parking charges at hospitals in Scotland. Lie

    The Scottish government had begun secret talks with the Bank of England on a currency union. Lie.

    Prestwick Spaceport has cost the tax payer £18 million. Lie. In reality it has cost £40 million.

    Student bursaries have not been cut in Scotland. Lie. They have been cut by £40 million.

    The NHS in Scotland is better funded than in England. Lie. There has been a 4% rise in funding in England and a 1% cut in Scotland.

    There is no problem with the education system in Scotland. Lie

    Oil will trade at $113 a barrel. Lie.

    Start up costs for an independent Scotland would be a mere £200 million. Yet a leaked document from John Swinney showed it would cost £575 million just to set up a tax office. Lie.

    It’s Westminster’s fault that the police and fire services in Scotland have to pay VAT. Lie. In reality it is down to the SNP for merging them in to one force knowing this would ensure they have to pay VAT.

    • Tom Simpson

      • May 27th, 2015 15:52

      Ahhh! But… Mr Salmond did say we’d still have the pond after the neverendum – he didn’t lie about that – we still have! 😉

  • Margaret Davidson

    • May 27th, 2015 13:54

    This campaign against Alistair Carmichael is almost like a witch hunt. Considering the lies and obfuscation we have had to suffer at the hands of the SNP it is worrying they seem to want a one party state.

    • Helen Ilitha

      • May 27th, 2015 14:41

      Yes the other non-SNP MPs must know that this “mob rule” nonsense will be heading their way soon too. Just as Jim Murphy was served up with it as he tried to campaign. When will ordinary people wake up and realise that they cannot allow this constant harassment of ANYONE who doesn’t support the SNP to continue?

    • Richard Holmes

      • May 27th, 2015 17:12

      Carmichael withheld the facts from us, his constituents, until after the election, Margaret.

  • Sean McNeil

    • May 27th, 2015 13:57

    It is clear that the frustrations of those within private political arenas have allowed their frustrations to get the better of them.

    Many people who have become engaged into politics, due to the SNP’s divisive nature can see straight through the agenda of the SNP. Their party lines are built on grievance and desire to create divisions, which they have achieved on unprecedented scale.

    I don’t see the same people asking for Mr Salmond to disclose where the £54k of our money went at the US Golf tournament! What about the thousands of jobs promised on the back of the deal with Trump! Maybe the EU legal advise that never took place! How they arrived at $113 a barrel for their one page on finance within the white paper!

    Maybe some of the supporters of the SNP can advise why they are happy to have failing public services, which is at a time when the rUK is out performing Scotland. We have higher unemployment, worse education standards, a failing police force, a fire service without enough funds, NHS targets being missed after they were reduced by the SNP!

    The list is as long as your arm, yet nationalism has clearly clouded peoples judgement to treat matters equally!

    I have far greater issue with a politician misleading the UK electorate, whilst representing a political party within debates to gain seats within a Government of a country they wish to divide! That is a far greater crime.

  • Clio Muse

    • May 27th, 2015 14:01

    It is time this disgraceful episode was put to bed. What Alistair Carmichael did was ill judged at best but the information may well have come out anyway. Nicola Sturgeon was never a PPC for the General Election just sticking her oar in to get the limelight. This incident, however, pales to insignificance when you consider the very REAL and expensive lies spewed by the SNP leaders during the referendum. And the disgusting crowd funding total for this spurious witch hunt would be better spent on the “poor” about whom SNP seem to have so much concern. Double standards.

    • Robin Stevenson

      • May 27th, 2015 17:53

      LOL…”Nicola Sturgeon just sticking her oar in to get the limelight”?….Nice Clio, I can just hear her now “Ooh! here’s a great idea to get me noticed, I think I’ll make up a story to discredit me, my party and my entire political career, while threatening to lose the election”,….The fiendish devil that she is? 🙂

  • David Hollingworth

    • May 27th, 2015 14:01

    If SNP party members resigned every time one of them lied there wouldn’t be many left!!

  • Alasdair Frater

    • May 27th, 2015 14:20

    Firstly Mr Carmichael should not resign. The info contained in the memo was correct. Ms Sturgeon got the Tory govt she wanted. The Scottish electorate should be asking for Mr Salmonds resignation over his lies on the European issue during the indyref. We on the Cowal peninsula know first hand the snp lie when it suits them and deny the truth when they are found to be lying. We had to go to the EU commissioner to get the truth. And in black and white we were told they are lying. 8 years after Mr Jim Mather got elected here on the “No boats no votes” ticket, we are still waiting on the two promised ferries, in the meantime we are stuck with two totally unsuitable craft, the Scotgov still saying EU commissioner is wrong, all the while our county is experiencing depopulation never seen since the early 19th century. Under the snp watch our education standards have been cut, infrastructure budgets decimated, council services pared to the bone not simply by Tory/Libdem austerity, but by snp enforced austerity by means of benefits to the middle classes. Mr Carmichael minor indiscretion pales into insignificance in the grand scheme of things if one looks at the lasting damage the blinkered Scottish Govt is currently inflicting on a seemingly unsuspecting public.
    A message to the snp, people in glass houses………

  • mike stewart

    • May 27th, 2015 14:44

    alistair carmichael must stay , if he thought for a moment that sturgeon did say she wanted cameron to win ,it was his duty to let the people of scotland know given her anti-tory rhetoric , and remember , jeremy heywood did not clear sturgeon , she took it upon herself to say she had been cleared , all she wants is to rid your islands of opposition , dont succumb to this evil .

  • Caroline Duffield

    • May 27th, 2015 14:46

    Miss Sturgeon was so warmly generous to herself in her own “misjudgements”, we recall. Politicians should be given the space to admit small mistakes and move on, she insisted.

    Now she exults, rides a personal and vitriolic assault on a far slighter error.

    Generosity to oneself; but not for others.

    Is this leadership?

    • Robin Stevenson

      • May 27th, 2015 16:07


      “A slight error”,…Are you serious? The implications of this memo may well have changed the entire election results? Had this out and out Lie NOT been disproven who’s to say the SNP would have won 56 – 59 seats in Scotland?… I’d say that’s “Very Serious”and nothing “Slight or Small” about it.

    • Richard Holmes

      • May 27th, 2015 23:27

      This is not a “slighter error”; Carmichael abused his position to smear an opponent. He then lied about his involvement and hid the truth from those who he wished to represent until the election was safely over.

  • Kelly Morris

    • May 27th, 2015 14:56

    Carmichael has taken a Gentleman’s stand by admitting the memo was leaked from his office. The memo was proven to be factual. The SNP are now trying to ruin Carmichael in his personal life at his church. The SNP have over step their bounds yet again by crossing into harassing and liable of personal life. They cannot be allowed to do this. I have the conversation saved from the SNP activist sites who are promoting this. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=427836777399232&set=gm.386550341545170&type=1&theater
    This is not democracy. When has a person in Scotland been denied Freedom of Speech until now? I am grateful Carmichael allowed the truth to be leaked out. I wish more politicians would do the same so we can end this stupidity which has gripped Scotland.

    • Richard Holmes

      • May 27th, 2015 23:21

      Pity that disgraced MP Alistair Carmichael had not taken his ‘Gentleman’s Stand’ before election day, then we would have been able to truly see what kind of man was seeking to represent us.

  • Ian Adamson

    • May 27th, 2015 15:25

    This is another instance of the rapid SNP pack baying for blood. Yes, he leaked it – he apologized, but the fact remains that the memo was correct, and Sturgeon’s denial was a lie. The French did not deny the veracity, merely the accuracy of the memo.
    Form over substance, yet again.

    • Robin Stevenson

      • May 27th, 2015 20:39

      Ian, have you ever played Chinese whispers?…That just about sums up the “veracity” of the memo.

  • Alec Macpherson

    • May 27th, 2015 15:25

    Link to LHB SNP’s vindictive intrusion into Carmichael’s private life. https://twitter.com/SNP_LHB_Branch/status/602944169607372800

    • Gordon Harmer

      • May 28th, 2015 8:24

      Alec, your link proves without a shadow of a doubt this is a witch hunt by a divisive and vindictive group.

      Harry Dent, why then don’t you stand yourself, then you would surely know who to vote for 😉

      • Allan Sutherland

        • May 28th, 2015 18:31

        They have shut down the account but it will be in at least one newspaper tomorrow.

      • Gordon Harmer

        • May 28th, 2015 20:49

        I have it copied just in case someone on here denies it existed.

      • Harry Dent

        • June 1st, 2015 12:40

        Last time I stood in an election, long long ago and far far away, I came well down the poll and am in no rush to repeat the experience 😉

        I voted for myself on that occasion, as I was the only person I knew I could trust. That said, the victor proved to be a fine, trustworthy MP who helped me and my family greatly on several occasions, despite my less-than-gracious speech at the count and us being diamterically opposed on most issues.

        I campaigned against him at every subsequent election, but was never too disappointed when he was re-elected, and we remain on friendly terms to this day.

        What that experience demonstrates is that there’s a world of difference between trusting your MP and agreeing with him or her.

      • Brian Smith

        • June 1st, 2015 15:27

        There is a lovely episode of Hancock’s Half-Hour where Hancock stands for parliament, and gets one vote. ‘I demand a recount!’ he squeaks.

      • John Tulloch

        • June 1st, 2015 17:10

        Were you the guy with the top hat, Harry? 🙂

  • Margaret Gilfillan

    • May 27th, 2015 15:26

    If they are going to try and crucify this man for 1 small mistake then the full SNP party should be standing in their local Job Centres. Every single 1 of them has lied at some point NS being a main perpetrator, but then its 1 rule for her and a different rule for everybody else. Its also great to see they can raise such a large amount of money in such a short space of time. I could recommend many charities that would put such an amount to greater use than a witch hunt. Leave the man alone and do the right thing for once.

  • john hogg

    • May 27th, 2015 15:28

    i think the people should give him a chance for 15yrs this man as stood by you for good or bad,this is all to do with the snp getting hold of a seat that they were defeated on,as per with the snp if they can’t get it fairly then it’s back to intimidation and fear,all mp,s tell lies yes and we all know this,don’t be fooled will your new snp member if elected do the same for your community, no they won’t, let the man do his job for his community and rid yourselves of the snp activist who would happily try and spend £30,000 on ousting this man than put that money to better use ie food banks or the local community,anybody with any sense of decency will see right through the snp plan,support your elected smp for good or bad,and yes before you try and have a go at me i voted NO and labour after voting snp twice.

  • David Nicolson

    • May 27th, 2015 15:37

    Amy Skea does not actually report facts correctly , first of all memo was incorrect , Mr Carmichael states that in his letter of apology, (available widely on the web) secondly he still has not apologised for lying
    unless that is now a “matter of judgement” if so Mr Carmichael is a smug git , I now apologise for my “lack of judgement

    • Alec Macpherson

      • May 27th, 2015 16:45

      ==> first of all memo was incorrect ,

      Wrong. The review has concluded it was recorded faithfully.

      • Robin Stevenson

        • May 27th, 2015 18:11

        Scroll down Alec, and read the Herald link, I’m afraid it’s you who are quite wrong.

      • Alec Macpherson

        • May 28th, 2015 9:02

        I’m not going to read a third hand report when I have it straight from the horse’s mouth.

        The Civil Service review concludes clearly that it was recorded faithfully. You are not a serious person.

      • Robin Stevenson

        • May 28th, 2015 19:13

        Alec, you said:

        “I’m not going to read a third hand report when I have it straight from the horse’s mouth”.

        The “Horse’s mouth” in this case, WAS Nicola Sturgeon, OR the French Ambassador.

        What you’re reading is the civil servants “Third hand report”?

        That Alec, is as “Serious” as a heart attack”.

    • Gerry Aberdeen

      • May 27th, 2015 17:09

      The memo was NOT incorrect. The memo has been deemed to be accurate by the inquiry that Sturgeon demanded.

      Read it for yourself.


      • Alan Forrest

        • May 27th, 2015 19:16

        Please note the subtle but completely crushing difference between: a/ a memo that is an accurate report of the author Civil Servant’s 3rd hand knowledge and; b/ a memo that reports the conversation accurately. The enquiry report says a/; you and others think this means b/. Note that b/ has been contradicted by both participants in the conversation, and by the man who permitted the memo to be leaked.

      • Richard Holmes

        • May 28th, 2015 17:13

        @ Gerry

        In the memo the author, who was not at the meeting, admits “it might well be a case of something being lost in translation.”

        Sturgeon states that the memo’s reference to her preference is “Categorically, 100% untrue”.

        Sylvie Bermann, French ambassador, describes the report as “erroneous” and her spokesman stated that Sturgeon had not expressed an opinion on who she would prefer as prime minister.

        Pierre-Alain Coffinier, French Consul General, who was present at the meeting, states “at no stage did anyone comment on their preferences regarding the election”.

        Alistair Carmichael, in his letter of apology, writes “I accept that its publication was a serious breach of protocol and that the details of that account are not correct”.

  • Maureen Davidson

    • May 27th, 2015 15:38

    If all the accusers were totally faultless then I could see a case but what he has done in comparison to Sturgeon and Salmond it is nothing but a rather silly mistake – on the other hand the lies and misleading done by Sturgeon and Salmond is very serious as is their totally outrageous misuse of public money and think the press should be focusing on this and leave Alistair Carmichael alone – he has apologised for leaking a. Memo which was factually correct!!!!

  • Alec Macpherson

    • May 27th, 2015 16:13

    Lossiemouth, Hopeman, and Burghead SNP is fishing around for which church Carmichael is an Elder of so they can complaint to the Kirk of Session. His private life has absolutely nothing to do with this.

    This makes clear their motivation is not of political integrity but a spiteful pursuit of opponents. It is not enough merely to defeat them but the run them into the group.

    I recommend others complain to the relevant bodies and ombudsman. I intend to.


    • Alec Macpherson

      • May 27th, 2015 16:23

      In short, all Churches contain sinners. These people should be absolutely certain they and their own are squeaky clean (hint, they’re not) before attempting to ex-communicate someone.

  • Samantha Murray

    • May 27th, 2015 16:27

    Why should Alistair Carmichael resign? He reported something that he believed should be passed on. The memo has since been proved. We all know what this really is – a witch hunt to oust him by any means. The SNP doesn’t speak for the majority of Scotland – they’d do well to remember that.

    • Richard Holmes

      • May 28th, 2015 7:29

      The memo has not been proved; it was a 3rd hand account, inaccurate according to Sturgeon, Sylvie Bermann (French Ambassador) and Carmichael himself (or was he lying again). And the veracity of the memo is not the main issue in any case:

      – Carmichael attempted to smear Nicola Sturgeon whilst he was in a position of power, allowing the release of confidential material.

      – He then went on to lie about his involvement, and worst of all, hid the truth from those he sought to represent until the election was over.

      All I am asking is that we be given a ‘second chance’ at the ballot box, now that the truth is out.

      • John Tulloch

        • May 28th, 2015 8:40


        That’s why we need the trial and BTW the judge(s) will decide whether the “veracity of the memo” is relevant.

        Given that £30,000(?) has now been raised for court action which will, presumably, now take place since Mr Carmichael has said he will not stand down, it would be wrong to campaign for or against him, meanwhile, to avoid being seen to be attempting to influence the course of justice.

        I intend to reserve judgment until the trial has finished when we will, presumably, know the full circumstances and be able to make an informed judgment about whether or not Mr Carmichael should continue as MP.

        I call on you and others to do the same.

      • Alec Macpherson

        • May 28th, 2015 8:58

        Honestly, Richard, why do you insist on repeating these easily refutable lies?

        The Civil Service has concluded the memo was accurately and faithfully recorded. You have no case.

        ==> And the veracity of the memo is not the main issue in any case:

        Ooo, what’s that? The sound of the goalposts being moved?

        ==> Carmichael attempted to smear Nicola Sturgeon

        Oh, grow-up. She’s not a random member of the public or low-lying fruit like Claire Lally. If she cannot deal with the rough and tumble of politics, she should not be there.

        Considering the words which have come from Sturgeon’s mouth (Labour voted for £30b cuts; LibDems not paying their Police Scotland bill, still on the SNP.org website), what this says loud and clear is that Nats are biggest cry babies out there.

      • Richard Holmes

        • May 28th, 2015 17:08


        As you seem determined to cling to the mistaken belief that the memo was accurate, let’s have a look at the FACTS:

        FACT 1 – a meeting took place between Nicola Sturgeon and Sylvie Bermann, French Ambassador to the UK. Present at that meeting was Pierre-Alain Coffinier, French Consul General.

        FACT 2 – a conversation then took place between Pierre-Alain Coffinier and the Civil Servant who was the author of the memo.

        FACT 3 – the memo was written. In it the author admits “it might well be a case of something being lost in translation.” The memo enters the public domain on the instructions of the then Secretary of State for Scotland, Alistair Carmichael.

        FACT 4 – Sturgeon states that the memo’s reference to her preference is “Categorically, 100% untrue”.

        FACT 5 – Sylvie Bermann describes the report as “erroneous” and her spokesman stated that Sturgeon had not expressed an opinion on who she would prefer as prime minister.

        FACT 6 – Pierre-Alain Coffinier states “at no stage did anyone comment on their preferences regarding the election”.

        FACT 7 – Alistair Carmichael, in his letter of apology, writes “I accept that its publication was a serious breach of protocol and that the details of that account are not correct”.

      • Robin Stevenson

        • May 28th, 2015 18:54

        That sums it up beautifully Richard 🙂

        Although why do I have a horrible feeling in my stomach that we’re STILL going to inundated with those that simply can’t grasp “Facts”?

  • Gerry Aberdeen

    • May 27th, 2015 17:13

    The rabid cybernats mob claim the memo was lies. Well, that’s not what the official inquiry has said.

    Now that they have clearly said the memo WAS accurate, then AC did the right thing, as it’s in the 0ublic interest for the info for be in the public domain.

    Read their statement for yourselves.


    • Robert Duncan

      • May 28th, 2015 9:11

      “Now that they have clearly said the memo WAS accurate”

      False. Read it again.

  • Sandy McMillan

    • May 27th, 2015 17:16

    MSP Tavish Scott, States Shetland is not the Shetland he knows, With the Mob Rule taken place, Has Tavish Scott ever thought why, I don’t think he has, He gives us a few items that Alistair Carmichael has done for Shetland, Well Tavish is that not what he is employed to do, To stand by and help his Constiuents, Not swannie round making false allegations against another MSP, Alistair Carmichael has done the damage, so he should pay for what he has done, I would think the voting public of Orkney and Shetland, will have lost all Trust and Faith in Alistair Carmichael, The most Honourably move for Carmichael would be to step down, he has tarnished the good name of the Shetland Isles

  • Ian M'cDonald Lakin

    • May 27th, 2015 17:38

    The hypocrisy of the SNP’s position regarding A. Carmichael’s role in leaking a conversation about Ms Sturgeon was claimed to have had – has been succinctly exposed by a number of the contributors to this page. Indeed the “noise’ from the SNP is because they need to deflect attention from the real issues which concern people in Scotland – like jobs and future prospects. With the SNP White Paper in tatters and the jobless rising in Scotland compared to the rest of the UK the omens are not good. We should need no reminding that prior to the referendum 37% of Scottish companies in a Survation poll claimed they would consider relocating if we became independent. Unfolding events are very similar to what happened in Canada during their neverendum period, when a significant number of companies (around 700) moved their headquarters from Quebec to relocate to other Canadian provinces, causing unemployment to balloon to 6% higher than the rest of Canada. The good news is that the pro-Union parties in Quebec are firmly back in control and their economy is beginning to recover the lost ground during their “heady” nationalistic days. Rather than turning the “noise” up the SNP should focus on running the country, lessen their anti-business rhetoric, remove the daily threats of another referendum and encourage much needed investment to promote economic growth otherwise we will all lose out, especially the less well off.

  • Craig Elliot

    • May 27th, 2015 18:11

    With the furore over the leaked memo, a lot of people are forgetting the contents were deemed to be true by an investigation instigated by Ms Sturgeon. Surely, if Mr Carmichael is to be pilloried because of his actions, Ms Sturgeon should also be held to account since she could have saved the taxpayers a lot of money by just admitting what she said instead of demanding an investigation. The SNP may hope to divert from this by calling for Mr Carmichael’s head but the facts remain regarding what was contained in the memo. After years of anti-Tory rhetoric, well done, Mr Carmichael, for showing the blatant hypocrisy of the SNP.

  • iantinkler

    • May 27th, 2015 20:39

    Perhaps in a strange way Carmichael’s mistake is doing Shetland and Orkney a great favor. It , if nothing else, shows us all just how divisive, obnoxious and and hypercritical the SNP and many of its followers are. If anyone is in any doubt go to the YES Shetland Facebook page. You will need a strong stomach but it makes a good job at showing the real “Nationalist” mentality at work.

  • Richard Holmes

    • May 27th, 2015 20:42

    This goes beyond party political lines, Mr Scott; it is a question of right and wrong. The people of Orkney and Shetland should be given the chance to decide through a by-election.

    Carmichael can stand again, but we must be given a ‘second chance’ now that the truth is out.

  • laurence paton

    • May 27th, 2015 20:55

    At the end of the day Nicola would have been right on the money with those comments about Ed Milliband.

    One can only assume the Labour party did not actually want to win the general election.

    Milliband and Balls would be better suited to playing Laurel and Hardy at a christmas panto.

  • Rachel Buchan

    • May 27th, 2015 22:23

    What does “real Shetland folk” mean, Tavish? Does that mean that because I was not born in Shetland and have no Shetland relatives, even though I am a constituent and have lived in Shetland for most of my life, you think my views are not valid?

  • Alan Skinner

    • May 27th, 2015 23:15

    This whole issue appears to have become a pro SNP/anti SNP argument. I don’t think that is the issue at all.
    I liked Alistair Carmichael, as a person, and I voted for him, despite having many misgivings about the Lib Dem performance over the last five years, purely because I liked him and trusted him. I particularly liked the fact that he bothered to come up to the North Isles of Shetland and seemed genuinely interested in the local issues and success stories. I would never have voted SNP because I am committed to the UK Union, in the same way that I am committed to Europe.
    However, I feel deeply betrayed by Alistair’s actions. He tried to play “politics” and then lied about his actions. If I had known the facts before the election, I would not have voted for him. Indeed, I may not have voted at all, because I do not feel I could have supported any of the other candidates. If there are a few other voters, in Orkney and Shetland, who feel the same way, Alistair would not have been successful in the election. That is why I feel strongly that he needs to seek the ratification of another election. Otherwise, he will be a lame duck for five years and Shetland needs a strongly performing M.P. over the next five years, which will be very testing for us all.

    Alan Skinner
    New House

    • Stuart Hannay

      • May 29th, 2015 0:40

      Alan, this has to be about the most considered posting on this thread.

  • Mark Barnett

    • May 28th, 2015 0:02

    I think i’ve just found the 4% who dont want AC to resign… all of you are on here it would seem…

  • Harry Dent

    • May 28th, 2015 1:57

    The continuing deployment of the Bruce Defence is making the Better Together club look more untrustworthy with every hour that passes, whilst the feeding frenzy on the other side is in my opinion undermining the very serious case against Mr Carmichael.

    I certainly feel he should step down, but I’d have to think very carefully abwhom to support in a by-election; none of the candidates/parties who stood on May 7th would be likely to get my vote.

  • iantinkler

    • May 28th, 2015 8:26

    Now the SNP supporters have shown there true nasty colors, just watch them try and claim this witch hunt is not their doing. ((reference; Skinner, We the people of Shetland. etc). If in any doubt where this nasty and malign Nationalist campaign stems from, I urge “Yes Shetland” on facebook. The true face of the SNP Nationalist is there, not the lemmings so often spouting platitudes here. Lemmings trying hard to look so benign, however the malignant, hypocritical doctrine remains the same, “witch Hunt”and mob rule.

  • David Forrester

    • May 28th, 2015 10:14

    Most impartial Scottish observers with even a little knowledge of politics would, I think, accept that the SNP prefers a Conservative government for tactical reasons.The SNP believes that a Tory government increases the chances of splitting up the UK. That,after all, is the SNP’s purpose. One then has to consider whether a contemporaneous note, taken by a professional in the course of his duties, is to be preferred to a later, and obviously self seeking ,denial by a politician namely the first minister. I know which I prefer. On the subject of lying consider that had the referendum gone the other way Scotland would be independent next March. The SNP promised a land of milk and honey ( or whisky and oil). They dismissed anyone who raised economic objections to independence as “talking Scotland down”.Now a new SNP MP George Kerevan ,says that at present and within the UK,for Scotland to accept full fiscal autonomy without the pooling of UK resources would be “economic suicide” (The National, 9 May). But had the SNP succeeded, we would have been fully autonomous and outwith the UK next March with no pooling or sharing possible ever again. And we would have been staring at “economic suicide”. So, in the context of what Alistair Carmichael said,let’s keep things in proportion, please.

    • John Tulloch

      • May 28th, 2015 11:10


      Have any of those folks you’re referring to stepped down from their position(s)?

    • John Jamieson

      • May 28th, 2015 17:06

      A problem there is that the note was not contemporaneous, in fact it is not clear if the French official was at the meeting.

      • John Tulloch

        • May 28th, 2015 18:12

        Then it would be nice, John, to know where he got his information and whether it was reliable. I expect the court case will consider all such issues so that we may learn the full circumstances surrounding Mr Carmichael’s apparently ill-judged decision?

        I assume there will be a court case since Mr Carmichael has reportedly decided to stay on – I hardly imagine all those who have contributed so generously will have been “marched up the hill” only to be “marched back down again”?

  • Alec Macpherson

    • May 28th, 2015 17:55

    Ooo, the above Twitter link and indeed whole account has been deleted. Somebody is worried… rightly imo.


  • Brian Smith

    • May 29th, 2015 6:49

    I was reading that a group in Orkney have raised £40,000 to give to lawyers to pursue this matter. Even at this late date, may I suggest that they give the cheque to Medical Aid for Palestine or the Salvation Army instead? Injustice is still going in the world on while Orcadians and Shetlanders immerse themselves in this sideshow.

    • Robin Stevenson

      • May 29th, 2015 18:41

      May I suggest that Alistair Carmichael donates hi £70,000 pa wage + expenses to any of these worthwhile causes, OR better still, donate it to Angela Nunn direct at Shetlands foodbank? Considering he, along with the Lib Dems, think that signing up for another £12 Billion austerity cuts is, somehow, a good idea?

      • John Tulloch

        • May 30th, 2015 10:47

        Don’t worry about that, Robin, Swinney can borrow £2.2 billion so he can counter Scotland’s share of the cuts, quite comfortably, isn’t that so?

    • Gordon Harmer

      • May 30th, 2015 5:59

      A very good point Brian; In just four days a crowd funding campaign has seen almost 3,000 people raise close to three quarters of the £60,000 target to challenge the election result in the courts. The 3,000 people who donated are not all from this constituency, so we have people from other constituency’s undemocratically contributing to a fund to oust our MP. This is wrong on so many levels.

      • Robin Stevenson

        • May 30th, 2015 15:01

        “So we have people from other constituency’s “undemocratically” contributing to a fund to oust our MP”?

        I think it’s what we call “Solidarity” Gordon? Y’know when we help each other to achieve fairness in our society?.. You should try it one day?

      • Gordon Harmer

        • May 30th, 2015 21:28

        Ahh Robin, “solidarity when we help each other to achieve fairness in our society”, like standing up to bullies who show solidarity in a witch hunt and that sort of thing.
        And refusing to answer questions on the SNP being able to borrow £2.2 billion, but they don’t.
        And refusing to answer questions on the SNP being able to raise well over £ 1 billion in taxes, but they don’t.
        And refusing to answer questions on the lies Salmond and Swinney told, the same lies Sturgeon backed up.
        And that somehow includes helping oust an MP in someone else’s constituency but does not let you vote for someone in someone else’s constituency.
        I’ve nearly got it Robin, just got to get my head around the last bit.

      • David Howell

        • May 31st, 2015 9:43

        There is nothing “undemocratic” about countering corruption and malfeasance by ANY sitting MP, regardless of where that counter may come from.

        This MP has a vote in Westminster which could effect the lives of others in other constituencies; why should they not get a say in how he conducts himself in public life?

      • John Tulloch

        • May 31st, 2015 11:50

        David Howell,

        Does that go for SNP MSPs as well, there’s one from Argyll who’s reportedly “skating on very thin ice”?

      • Robin Stevenson

        • May 31st, 2015 12:10

        Ahh Gordon, the tired old mantra being pulled out [yet again]

        I think we only have to look at the UK government’s record on “Borrowing” Gordon? £1.5 Trillion debt, £90 Billion interest payments? All of which was used to pay off it’s self inflicted debt.

        And here’s you talking about the merits of Scotland borrowing a further £2.2 Billion?..Why?…Well, to pay off debts of course. The same debt inflicted on Scots thanks to an overall shared UK debt.

        Sadly, [like the the UK gov] you fail to grasp that without “Investment”then all you’re doing is ratcheting up the credit card with no further means of paying it off? That is why the Scottish government do not [at this time] choose to borrow £2.2 Billion? it’s called “Good economics”.

        As far as your £1 Billion in further taxes, please explain where this £1 Billion would come from? Would it be taxing the highest earners in Scotland? Therefore cutting our own throat as companies move elsewhere for better rates?

        All Scottish MPs should represent ALL Scots, whether they’re from S&O or elsewhere in Scotland, each and everyone of these MPs should be held accountable for their actions regardless of what constituency they’re from, Alistair Carmichael has not only let down the people of S&O, but he has let down the people of Scotland and EVERY Scot has EVERY right to have a say on the matter. That is the benefit of living in a “Democracy”.

      • Gordon Harmer

        • May 31st, 2015 12:33

        Robin if we had voted yes last September the first thing the Scottish government would have to have done was borrow, and massively and at exorbitant interest rates.
        As for the rest of your reply, I stand by what I have said before.
        How about you go and answer the questions I put to Robbie McGregor, he seems to not want to answer them and your SNP knowledge is second to none.

      • Robin Stevenson

        • May 31st, 2015 14:10


        Let’s not forget that “Had” Scotland been independent last year and “Had” England decided NOT to share the pound, we wouldn’t have HAD any debt in the first place, as the money was borrowed on [supposedly] our behalf by the UK treasury, therefore no poundshare then no debt.

        Secondly, with independence then we wouldn’t have been pleading for the levers of power from Westminster in order to grow our economy, instead, we’d be doing exactly as Nicola has suggested by “Investing” our way out of austerity, rather than ripping off the poorest in society and throwing the savings at the debt.

        “How about you go and answer the questions I put to Robbie McGregor”

        I have scrolled up and I cannot find Robbie McGregor’s comments Gordon? Was it perhaps on another page?

      • Gordon Harmer

        • May 31st, 2015 16:24

        Yes Robin he has a letter in Readers Views.
        But Robin if Sturgeon had tried to borrow in an independent Scotland what would the interest rates have been, A new country, no track record and reneging on a debt?

      • Robin Stevenson

        • May 31st, 2015 19:40

        In order to renege on debt Gordon, firstly you have to have debt? Scotland being independent [and the UKs refusal to share the pound] would have been debt free, we couldn’t borrow in the first place, as all Scottish borrowing is done by the UK [supposedly] on our behalf.

        That’s why it was absolutely ludicrous when Osborne said we won’t have a shared pound, because IF that had been the case, then the UK Gov would have been left with “their” debt while Scotland would have started with a clean slate and a clean record having “never” borrowed before.

        In my opinion, I’d have much prefered, had Scotland started off with the “Scottish pound” rather than a shared currency anyway? However, in reality, had the independence argument been won by the “Yessers” in September, I could guarantee right now, we’d be sharing the pound. [and all the debt that came with it

      • Henry Condy

        • June 1st, 2015 0:07

        I think these other constituents are seeking the truth in this matter, we are all in this together, so no one can stop me from criticising any Mp in London if I choose, the latest I would have been really aggrieved about was Malcolm Rifkind abusing his position for cash blatantly, so as we are in a democracy this allows anyone an opinion , on any Mp in the country , after all it is the UK as I am often reminded.

  • iantinkler

    • May 29th, 2015 8:36

    I really look forward to this going to court. Not only will a load of NATs lose some money, the outcome either way will but utter triviality, Carmichael stays or goes, truly Earth shattering, one more or less irrelevance threatening the Torie majority in Westminster!! Liberal or Nat, who cares about one vote, nether would help Cameron out if he needed them. Now what will be really interesting will be the Judgement and discussion of exactly what the Divine Nicola actually said. I do so hope the court requires sworn statements from all concerned. Should be really enlightening I do not think anyone of consequence will have much to lose here.. but the NATs and Nicola may come really unstuck. Whoop Whoop. lol

    • David Howell

      • May 31st, 2015 9:53

      Forgive me saying . . . but you do sound rather bitter about this whole thing.

      Can we assume that you’re a disgruntled Labour supporter who still can’t quite come to terms with the fact that the Scottish people, by a massive majority, decided that they had had enough of Labours sense of “entitlement to rule” in Scotland.

      So far, it has been the SNP providing most of the “opposition” to the Tories in Westminster.

      Labour seem too busy in worrying about “who sits where” and “who get’s to ride on the gravy train as leader” than to bother with providing any effective “opposition” to the Tories, as they set about dismantling the NHS and our Social Care Provisions for those in need.

      • John Tulloch

        • May 31st, 2015 11:47

        I’m not Labour or anything else, although, I did advocate voting Lib Dem in Shetland to avoid having an SNP MP on the basis that the SNP is milking the SIC’s oil reserves dry by “stealth under-funding” of essential services like education.

        Are you related to Norman Howell by any chance, he’s one of Robin Stevenson’s internet ‘alter egos’?

      • Robin Stevenson

        • May 31st, 2015 13:31


        I don’t know who Norman or David Howell are? And I certainly do not have any “alter egos”?

        That said, in reading their posts, both make complete sense? perhaps you’re just being a wee bit paranoid? Not everyone that disagrees with you has to be me Y’know? 🙂

      • John Tulloch

        • May 31st, 2015 14:02

        Really, Robin? No internet “alter egos”? How about the time you replied to one of my comments to you as “Robin McLeod”?

      • John Tulloch

        • May 31st, 2015 17:32

        @Robin Stevenson,

        I’m surprised you think Norman Howell’s “posts make complete sense”. Here’s his last one and my response:

        “norman howell
        March 31st, 2015 23:01
        Sure , That’s why LINDIN Doesn’t want dead nukes on their doorstep , It’s ok for Scotland to keep it on our doorstep but pass the Benefits To the Almighty in LINDIN ? Now the MOD can ignore claims of compensation for the clean up of FIFE , PERTH & THURSO !, Not so far away from you now , but a lot further from LINDIN !”

        MY RESPONSE.
        “John Tulloch
        April 1st, 2015 9:15
        @Douglas Young,

        How does this one fare versus your recently-formed ‘standards of propriety in debate’?

        LI’m unsure what point the correspondent, who doesn’t provide his/her own address, is trying to communicate, other than, possibly, “WE KNOW WHERE YOU LIVE!”

        Is this your “SNP progressive Scotland vision”?”


      • Robin Stevenson

        • May 31st, 2015 18:23

        Hmm….Who’s Robin McLeod?…Certainly not me?…Perhaps I was answering one of your comments on his behalf?…. Much in the same way as yourself, Ali, Ian and Gordon seem to answer for each other?

      • Gareth Fair

        • May 31st, 2015 19:36

        Is this the discussion in question?
        Do we need an inquiry? 🙂


  • Ian Leask

    • May 29th, 2015 12:27

    It amazes me some of the comments here that with a 100% proof that Carmicheal lied and even with his own admission that he lied people still believe he told the truth, I never thought that people could be that thick, not to mention the people who think a peaceful demonstration is a mob.
    The fact is Carmicheal lied for the sole purpose as to Influence a general election, and must be removed from his post, if he so wants to try and keep his position, then the people will decide with there vote,

    • John Tulloch

      • May 29th, 2015 13:15

      Ian Leask,

      Are the contents of the memo in question relating to David Cameron and Ed Miliband “Categorically, 100 percent untrue”, as FM Sturgeon insists.

      The French Ambassador reportedly described the memo as “erroneous” which is reminiscent of Chris Huhne’s statement that the speeding ticket allegations against him were “incorrect”.

      I think this needs to be bottomed out, preferably, in court, so that we may be sure that no other lies – more serious lies than Mr Carmichael’s – have escaped scrutiny.

      • Robin Stevenson

        • May 30th, 2015 16:45

        The contents of the letter pertaining to what Nicola and the French Ambassador had “supposedly” said, were categorically denied by both Nicola and the ambassador and deemed to be 100% untrue.

        What you offer here John, is a “red herring” in a sad attempt to deflect from the obvious guilt of Alistair Carmichael, who has admitted himself the the memo was “not correct”. He has already admitted that he lied?

        Please don’t tell me now, you not only reject Nicolas the French Ambassadors and the Consuls word, but now you seem to be rejecting Alistair Carmichael own admission?

        Your last paragraph is nonsensical now that “everybody” involved agrees that the memo was incorrect?

      • John Tulloch

        • May 30th, 2015 19:51


        I neither accept nor reject any of it, that is now for the court to decide, not you or me.

        I look forward to hearing their learned opinions on whether there’s a distinction between FM Sturgeon’s personal preferences and those of the Scottish Government where the “erroneousness” and “categorically 100 percent untrueness” of the memo is concerned?

    • iatinkler

      • May 29th, 2015 16:03

      Never mind the Carmichael proofs, no one doubts those. Will be so good to see the Nicola – French Ambassador’s conversational transcripts. I hope the court asks for those, just to see who else may be economic with the truth. Fun times ahead. maybe that is why Carmichael is holding on, to quote a local rag “The Truth will Out”

    • Gordon Harmer

      • May 30th, 2015 5:44

      Definition of a mob; any group or collection of persons or things. the common people; the masses; populace or multitude. And you have the nerve to call people who disagree with you thick, pot, kettle and black come to mind.

    • Allan Sutherland

      • May 30th, 2015 10:48

      Yep, people do lie to influence an election or a referendumb, such as Alex Salmond re getting EU advice on Scottish entry, St Nicola of the Sturgeons saying that an oil bonanza was just round the corner, or the SNP saying in their Manifesto that they will push for Full Fiscal Autonomy then backtracking like hell since then.

      As has already been said , if this does get to court I hope the judge asks for the full transcript of the conversation to be supplied and both sides questioned under oath.

      • Robin Stevenson

        • May 30th, 2015 16:54

        The inquiry’s findings had come as no surprise to anyone who’d actually looked into the incident for 30 seconds with a fair mind.The “infamous” exchange in a TV interview with Andrew Neil went like this:

        NEIL: Have you sought advice from your own Scottish law officers in this matter?

        SALMOND: We have, yes, in terms of the debate.

        NEIL: And what do they say?

        SALMOND: You can read that in the documents that we’ve put forward, which argue the position that we’d be successor states.

        Unionist accusers tend to quote only the first two lines, leaving out the third and fourth ones which provide the crucial context: Salmond referred, explicitly and absolutely truthfully, to advice which the Scottish Government had already published, and whose existence was therefore a matter of record and beyond dispute.

        Whenever asked if there was further, unpublished, advice, he declined to answer – in keeping with both UK and Scottish Government standard policy of keeping both the existence (or not) and detail of such advice confidential. It’s a straightforward matter of visible, empirical fact that he told Andrew Neil NO lies whatsoever.

  • iantinkler

    • May 31st, 2015 10:22

    Robin, if as you spun “It’s a straightforward matter of visible, empirical fact that he told Andrew Neil NO lies whatsoever.” Just why did wee Alex spend £20k of our money trying to suppress a freedom of information request, in an atempt to try and conceal the fact he did actually lie? Simples, he was dishonest just like when he lied about fictitious discussions with EU leaders. No amount of your bull can suppress the truth here, Robin, the man was plainly deceitful a more than one occasion… What is worse is Nicola Sturgeon making him a spokesperson on foreign affairs, just what Scotland needs a proven liar speaking on our behalf in Westminster. Nice one Nicola!!

    • Robin Stevenson

      • May 31st, 2015 12:47

      Well, of course that £20k figure started as £100k, then £20k, then £12k, so I’m not too sure which one to believe?…. Either way, the Andrew Neil interview was a sham with Alex Salmond being misquoted and EVERY newspaper in Britain falling over themselves to accuse him of “lying”, which, as we now know, was utter nonsense.

      As for costs – the court action is a result of a freedom of information request from Labour in a attempt to embarrass the Scottish Government in the media and create the sense of a cover up. The Ministerial Code prevented the government from disclosing whether they had sought advice or not. Labour went on a fishing expedition at the taxpayers expense and Nicola put a stop to it, at the earliest possible moment, before any serious costs were incurred.

      So IF you’d like to blame anyone for the £12k figure Ian, could I suggest you start with the labour party?

      • Gordon Harmer

        • May 31st, 2015 14:32

        While you are in defend the SNP for spending money on wasteful projects Robin would you like to comment on this.

        Oh and by the way Salmond did lie but he himself excused it by saying he didn’t lie just bent the truth, so who sets the parameters on how far up or down the lie scale a bend should go?

      • iantinkler

        • May 31st, 2015 14:51

        The figure does not mater one iota Robin, a lie is still a lie. Salmond was good at those and sweet Nicola could not care less. Salmond now SNP spokesperson on foreign affairs. The liar in Westminster with Sturgeon’s blessing. good example of Scottish pride, sorry that insults Scotland, SNP pride.

      • Robin Stevenson

        • May 31st, 2015 17:53

        I already posted on the herald forum this morning Gordon, had you bothered to scroll down? however, just to save you the trouble:

        “So the SNP were all for a “Yes” vote, along with the “Yes Scotland” campaign also for a “Yes” vote?….So one yes camp helped the other yes camp?…Am I missing something here?…What’s the story”?

        I think you’ll find Salmond did NOT lie, and if you’d care take 2 mins to look it up you could perhaps link the guilty verdict and court case, OR, alternatively the Sir David Bell investigation which found not a shred of evidence to back up you myth?


      • Gordon Harmer

        • May 31st, 2015 20:30

        Thanks for answering the question Robin, the reason I asked was that during the independence campaign the Yes campaign insisted there was no link between themselves and the SNP. You have just proved to me and anyone else who was told that lie that it was after all a lie. The Yes Shetland campaign through came on this web site and told us there was no link between themselves and the SNP. Now that the SNP have paid Yes Scotland’s debt that link has been proven without a doubt, thank you.

      • Gordon Harmer

        • May 31st, 2015 20:37

        Just for the record Robin, the only Robin to post on there was Robin McSporan, I did not see you there this morning or just now. Maybe you were using a pseudonym and you forgot to say.

      • Robin Stevenson

        • June 1st, 2015 9:16

        That’s a silly argument Gordon quite frankly? It’s a bit like saying, because the Lib/Dems Labour and Conservatives fought together shoulder to shoulder and helped each other out for a “No” vote, this, somehow makes them ALL the same party?

        Of course there’s a link, they were all fighting a common cause? to say anything else is disingenuous.
        Were they the same party or movement?…Nope.

        As I’ve said before Gordon I don’t have or use pseudonyms, however you and John seem obsessed by this, therefore I’ll just leave you both to your fantasy.

  • iantinkler

    • May 31st, 2015 20:26

    Come now, Robin Stevenson. Sir David Bell never said Salmond did not lie, his words, Salmond “stretched credulity” “muddled and incomplete”. That is a diplomatic way of saying Salmond was dishonest about legal advice received. As far as I am aware he never investigated Salmond’s dishonest claims about talking to EU leaders. Salmond “stretched credulity” “muddled and incomplete” Is that what Scotland needs representing us in Westminster, Nicola Sturgeon seems to think so, what an awful choice for a spokesperson. Nice one Nicola, nice one SNP

    • Robin Stevenson

      • June 1st, 2015 9:22

      So, Even after Alex Salmond is found to be “Not guilty”, you STILL think he is and Sir Davids tone more or less implied that then Ian, but found him “Not Guilty” anyway?…LOL….Aye right!!!!

      • iantinkler

        • June 1st, 2015 12:09

        Robin Stevenson, Sir David Bell found him not guilty of breaking the Ministerial code,. Lying to the public was not part of that code at that time, He also found Salmond stretched credulity * ( * definition: readiness or willingness to believe especially on slight or uncertain evidence) In other words were not believable, a liar, no more no less. Just the thing for a Nationalist representative in Westminster. Nicola’s spokesperson.

    • Robin Stevenson

      • June 1st, 2015 13:50

      Ian, did you bother reading the report, or are we just subjected to your ramblings anyway?

      “An inquiry has cleared the first minister of breaching the ministerial code over a row about an independent Scotland’s status in the EU.
      Alex Salmond referred himself for investigation by the principal of Reading University, Sir David Bell.
      The academic said Mr Salmond was right to seek EU legal advice only after the referendum deal was signed.
      Mr Salmond welcomed the report and thanked Sir David for his “very thorough and detailed” work”.

      I believe we can put your wee myth to bed now, Eh!! Ian?

      • iatinkler

        • June 1st, 2015 15:59

        Wee Myth!! Alex Salmond referred himself for investigation by the principal of Reading University, Sir David Bell.
        The academic said Mr. Salmond was right to seek EU legal advice only after the referendum deal was signed.
        What does that have to do with Salmond lying to the public, Robin Stevenson?? Salmond claimed he had already sought legal advice, when he had not. A simple lie, Salmond made dishonest claims about talking to EU leaders. Again he lied. No red herrings from yourself Robin Stevenson will hide that fact. Wee Myth!, you confirm a lack of integrity so typical of the SNP, keep it going, you are confirming my point for me. Sir Dasid Bell found Salmond’s words stretched credulity In other words , his words were not believable, a liar, no more no less.. Nicola’s spokesperson not credible, just what Scotland needs in Westminster.. Maximize the publicity please Robin, time Joe public learns what the SNP morality code stands for, a total lack of integrity.

      • iantinkler

        • June 1st, 2015 22:50

        Robin Stevenson, Alex Salmond lied, Sir David Bell stated he “stretched credulity” in his behavior, Bell’s words are on the public record. Alex Salmond, is no “Robert the Bruce”, rather more a deceitful “Séamus an Chaca” and now he speaks for Sturgeon, with her blessing and at her request in Westminster. That simple says it all, does it not? There is no myth there, non at all, Eh!! Robin?.

  • Mark Milne

    • June 1st, 2015 1:42

    It is appalling to see that the wonderful islands of Shetland have been infected by the vindictive, double bluff politics of the SNP. This stage managed negative campaign is damaging to the well being of Shetland life and its tradition of fairness and level headed balance. A new nastiness from the SNP that stirs up trouble at any cost is destroying the integrity of the islands. The socially destructive separatism has a “nothing to loose” attitude in polluting the community. I am disinclined to visit Shetland when it has this hate-filled SNP poison swirling around. The fake protest trying to unseat the MP is so transparent. I thought Shetlanders were better than this and would have asked Sturgeon and the rest of the SNP to remove the mote from their own eyes first.

    • John Tulloch

      • June 1st, 2015 8:28

      Absolutely, Mark. “Poison” is, indeed, the word for it.

    • Robert Duncan

      • June 1st, 2015 11:00

      We tend to have it the other way when a lot of non-Shetland based commenters turn up to speak in support of the SNP or independence-leaning arguments, so it should be noted we all of a sudden have a lot of similar people posting from the other side, in much the same way (“I’m put off visiting Shetland” / “This damages our view of Shetland”). It’s a small group demonstrating in a reasonable and peaceful manner, if you’re truly put off a visit by that you can’t have been seriously considering it to begin with.

      • Gordon Harmer

        • June 1st, 2015 12:53

        See that Robert an outsider can see whats going on here, that is because it is as clear as crystal, and you in all your wisdom think he is not serious about coming here. Your presumption says a lot about you, when one also takes in your presumptions about David Mundell, presumption turns into judgments. Being a regular target for your judgmental presumptions I think its time you took a step back and tried looking at things from a different perspective.

      • John Tulloch

        • June 1st, 2015 13:11


        It may be a small number of people at the core however that is not how it is being portrayed by the media. The blogs/social media cacophony tell a different tale, from which we are led to believe some kind of “revolution” is in progress.

        It ill behoves people who have set a legal action in progress to campaign so vehemently against the defendant.

      • Robert Duncan

        • June 1st, 2015 14:56

        John, to my knowledge, those organising the crowdfunding for a legal case, and those organising protests in town, are not the same group. Whilst I’m sure some who have held placards have also donated, I think it is dishonest to speak of them all as one and the same. They’re also perfectly entitled to publicly air their views of their democratically-elected MP.

      • Robert Sim

        • June 1st, 2015 18:33

        Gordon, you say that you are “…a regular target for [Robert Duncan’s] judgmental presumptions…”. I have to say that my namesake is about the least judgemental contributor on here. He always appears to me to view matters dispassionately and with logic and common sense.

      • John Tulloch

        • June 1st, 2015 19:14

        Normally, I might agree, Robert, however the two groups are, let’s say, “encouraged”, by the same source, the SNP.

        Also, I’m not overly upset by the quixotic band who position themselves at the Market Cross on Saturday afternoons, they seem to be polite and relatively harmless,mapart from acosting people to sign their petition.

        If however you have a look round, especially, the social media sites where people like Douglas Young – who runs the Yes Shetland site and attended the last demonstration – write things like: “Resign immediately and report to the police station,” then you can imagine what some of the other comments are like.

        This is why Robbie MacGregor’s “appeal for calm” comes over as humbug. He should start with his own lieutenants before preaching to anyone else.

    • Robert Sim

      • June 1st, 2015 18:41

      If you dislike Shetland because of the SNP’s influence, presumably you dislike the rest of Scotland even more?

      • Allan Sutherland

        • June 2nd, 2015 12:45

        You are dead right, I am beginning to loathe the country I love because of the SNP and the creeps who are running this Carmichael witch hunt, many of them SNP members (the ones who can write and fill in a form, that is). I can tell you that since the start of the referendum, the flags, Salmond’s excruciating bobbing up and down at Wimbledon draped in the flag which the SNP have hijacked as their own, and with the last few weeks of playground behaviour in Parliament……the list is endless, I feel ashamed of my country and its people. And I’m not alone. It won’t take much more for me to leave.

        When will these SNP people grow up, get their CU Jimmy Chips on their shoulder filled in with some haggis-flavoured Polyfilla and get sensible?

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