21st November 2018
Established 1872. Online since 1996.

Statesmanlike intervention (Allan Sutherland)

The irony of Alistair Carmichael’s statesmanlike, decisive, intervention in Parliament on EVEL will surely not be lost on those conducting a witch hunt against him in Orkney and Shetland.

He has proved to be a principled, intelligent MP both at a constituency and national level and surely some of his detractors can now back down and save themselves their £30,000 “whip round” for legal fees.

He has also let David Cameron off the hook by getting his “quick fix” EVEL promise of 19th September kicked onto the long grass of UK federalism.

Rather than face an embarrassing U-turn the Prime Minister can now say: “I did try, but Parliament voted against it.” Who can argue with that?

Allan Sutherland
1 Willow Row,
Stonehaven.

58 comments

  1. paul

    principled i dont think.

    Reply
    • Charlie Banham, Cullivoe

      Speaking of Principles – exactly where were Alistair Carmichaels ‘Principals’ when he made the decision to deliberately act in a unprincipled way by smearing Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP, initially denying it, and only when he had been ‘found out’ finally admitting that he had been involved in this matter?
      For the avoidance of doubt, a genuinely principled person would never compromise that admirable mantra.
      In this Instance Alistair Carmichael failed the test miserably, and his parliamentary record, what he achieved as an MP before, or after the incident is of no consequence in Scots Law (except if guilt is established it could be taken under consideration in sentencing)

      Of course Scots Law & Parliamentary rules are quite different but surely the same ‘PRINCIPLES’ should apply?
      In my honest opinion, the £30k legal fees will be money well spent while giving Mr Carmichael the opportunity to explain his case.
      Thoughts anyone?

      Reply
      • Steven Jarmson

        A bit boring now don’t you think.
        Perhaps the SNP should have some principles instead of opportunistically jumping whatever band wagon they can find.
        Fox hunting is just one example.
        The SNP “promised” not to vote on matters that don’t affect Scotland, yet they’ve suddenly jumped in and decided they will vote on matters that don’t affect Scotland.

        Another opportunistic lie.

      • iantinkler

        £30k legal fees will be money well spent, fools and their money!

      • Robin Stevenson

        For goodness sake, make up your mind Steven?
        First of all you think we’re better together, secondly you insist that all our UK MPs are all equal, thirdly it’s the UK parliament, we remain in the UK, so our representatives from Scotland as part of that UK have every right to vote on any laws in the UK.

        English votes for English laws only works if there’s an English parliament.

        There isn’t…. You like apples? whatcha think of these apples? 🙂

  2. iantinkler

    Yawn!!

    Reply
    • iantinkler

      “English votes for English laws only works if there’s an English parliament.” , well Sturgeon falls headlong into Cameron’s Foxy trap. Now the Tories have all the ammunition they need to force through their English vote legislation. I feel sorry for “the foxes”, next time round the SNP will be neutered on the issue. Cameron may well go for complete abolition of this law (hunting with dogs), not just an amendment. Yet again the SNP are empowering The Tories, either by utter stupidity or design, who knows, perhaps Robin could answer, either way it is a bit academic for a generation or so. As Cameron becomes more empowered the SNP in Westminster become an irrelevance, rather like the opposition in Edinburgh, the next election in Scotland will change nothing, just shuffle the seats a bit, however how long before the Scottish public see through the SNP? Shetland folk can see what is happening to the Scottish NHS under SNP stewardship, yet the rest of the UK grows and prospers. There is a lesson there somewhere.

      Reply
      • Robin Stevenson

        There is no “Foxy trap” Ian, what there is however, is a UK government that insists that ALL MPs throughout our four Nations, are supposedly equal, and yet they’d like to exclude Scottish MPs on English votes? How does that work?
        Poor Cameron has been forced to rethink the whole EVEL situation, to steal one of John’s quotes, “Toffee an a’penny, lad, ya can’t ‘ave both”!

      • Gordon Harmer

        “For the non-Scottish left there can be no question of a principled and trusting relationship with the SNP because you can’t build a common project for social change with someone whose first and only purpose is to smash up the political community to which you both belong. The left in England and Wales may want the UK to work differently, but they definitely want it to work. Nicola Sturgeon and her party want it to fail.” – David Clark (NewStatesman).

      • Robin Stevenson

        Do you think that may well be the 50,000 +”principled and trusting non-Scottish left”, that signed #TakeUsWithYouScotland, Gordon?

  3. Robert Smith

    Ian, I am confused are you saying you are in favour of EVEL ?, or are you against it ?.
    Constitutionally the Scottish MP’s are entitled to vote in the UK parliament, whatever party they represent. I am very happy that they joined collectively to counter the change in fox hunting rules, if you really think this has played into the Tories hands, I think you have missed the consensus of opinion in the UK.
    On the original letter, I like the fact that Alistair is doing his job, but must add how much more unifying and supported his position would have been if he had not been compromised by lying to the electorate.

    Reply
  4. iantinkler

    My personal opinion here, is not relevant Robin, for or against EVEL. It is a pity Sturgeon telegraphed in advance, how the SNP MPs were to vote. A really stupid thing to do, the result was so predictable, so will be the consequences. Squawker in chief just fell into Cameron’s trap, as for Alister, just about as irrelevant as Danus. What is rather more important is what the SNP are doing to Scotland’s NHS, that is really not very funny and the facts speak for themselves.. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-33460023

    Reply
  5. robert Smith

    Ian this thread is about Alister, it is not about the NHS, please keep it relevant.

    Reply
  6. iantinkler

    Sorry Robert, I would rather write about what actually matters and is damaging people . May be inconvenient for the poor SNP but the NHS in Shetland matters rather more than Alister C and his past mistakes, as they so , no one died due to Alister. Health is far more relevant than pointless twaddle about SNP PR posturing and SNP propagandists waffle. People are actually suffering and some no doubt will die due to to SNP miss management and neglect of the NHS .http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-33460023

    Reply
  7. iantinkler

    The Times CEO Summit 16/7/2015. To Quote: “Nicola Sturgeon: the referendum was decisive and I’m not planning another”
    The SNP has no plans for another independence referendum. End game, enough said for now. http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/public/ceo-summit/?service=rss

    Reply
  8. robert Smith

    Gordon, I assume you wrote that before Mhari Blacks speech, here is the relevant passage if you have not:

    Now, yes we will have political differences, yes in other parliaments we may be opposing parties, but within this chamber we are not. No matter how much I may wish it, the SNP is not the sole opposition to this Government, but nor is the Labour party. It is together with all the parties on these benches that we must form an opposition, and in order to be affective we must oppose not abstain. So I reach out a genuine hand of friendship which I can only hope will be taken. Let us come together, let us be that opposition, let us be that signpost of a better society. Ultimately people are needing a voice, people are needing help, let’s give them it.

    Reply
    • Robin Stevenson

      I’m fully aware that applause is frowned upon in our antiquated House of Commons Robert, but after Mhairi’s maiden speech, who could blame them?…Bravo!!!

      Reply
      • John Tulloch

        Do you imagine London Labour is going to fall for the same old trick again?

    • Gordon Harmer

      The big, big problem with Mhairi Blacks maiden speech.

      http://www.capx.co/the-big-problem-with-mhairi-blacks-maiden-speech/

      Leaving out the often trundled out story of the guy who got sanctioned which is pure fiction, her speech was well presented, she was confident and for a young woman of 20 speaking for the first time in the House of Commons and I congratulate her for her presentation. But as for the content read the above link, she must think we are all as daft as the folk who voted her in.

      Reply
      • Robin Stevenson

        Gordon I stopped reading after the first line in which the Torygraph columnist Mr [sour grapes] Martin writes “Sorry to be a party pooper”,….Well what else could we expect him to say? Unprecedented praise and applause from around the world and this bitter nonentity tells us she has it all wrong and the Tories have it right?….Laughable.

        I’d imagine the only people Mhairi thinks are daft, are the ones that naively believe that we’re “Better together”.

      • Bill Adams

        The voters in Paisley who returned Mhairi Black as their duly elected MP with a stunning majority are not as daft as you , Gordon.

      • Gordon Harmer

        Erm Robin does that not show that you are looking at things with your usual nationalistic tunnel vision, by totally rejecting the opposite opinion because of who was the author. Please do not be sorry for being a party pooper we have got used to that side of your persona.

        @ Bill Adams. Thank you, we are all refreshed and challenged by your unique point of view.

      • Michael Cavanagh

        Gordon,

        I am not from Shetland and would not ordinarily pitch in, but was looking into something else when this discussion came up. Your comment about the example from Mhairi being pure fiction demonstrates your lack of knowledge of the subject. Anyone with any experience of working with people in receipt of benefits will have many examples similar to that raised by Mhairi Black. I have worked with people sanctioned because they did not know how to use a computer. People with significant health issues left without any benefits for months and too proud to go to a foodbank. Any advice agency will have a catalogue of cases, often won on appeal, where sanctions have been imposed without warning or advice of rights of appeal or access to hardship funds. It is only from a point of ignorance and relative safety and comfort that a dismissal of such ‘fiction’ can be made. Think again and visit the local foodbank to get a truer picture (unless Shetland is exempt from this scourge that is blighting lives and communities on the mainland).

      • Robin Stevenson

        Thank you for your contribution Michael, we can only hope that your confirmation that “sanctions” actually exist in the real world, may well [at last] be recognised in Gordons bubble.
        Shetland, is certainly not exempt from foodbanks, in fact [like everywhere else in Scotland] foodbank use is sadly on the increase.

        http://www.shetnews.co.uk/news/10853-food-bank-demand-massively-up

      • Gordon Harmer

        Michael, maybe you should learn to to pre-judge someone because of a statement on a web site. Mhairi’s story was fiction not only did it not add up but it has been repeated several times on phone ins on BBC Scotland and BBC Radio 2 long before she made it her story. In 2009 I nearly died because I had an unknown heart problem, which is controlled now thanks to our overstretched and underfunded and devolved Scottish NHS. I struggle to make ends meet for over a year and was declared fit to work soon after surgery even though I could not work. I got by because I did not sit back and complain about the system, a loophole in the system said I could work 15 hours a week as long as I did not earn more than £90 and still keep my meager £42 of benefits. If I was to go further into my past I could tell you a story that would put Mhairi’s fictional one in its shadow but I survived and with no food banks there to help. Your knowledge or lack of it is highlighted when you call food banks a scourge, it is not the food banks that are a problem it is the fact that they are needed and whether you like it or not are abused by a percentage who could do something for themselves. Finally don’t pass judgement on someone you or Robin know nothing about.

  9. robert Smith

    Gordon,
    I see you are changing the subject, you were trying to imply it was impossible for any party to work with the SNP. Mhari’s speech shows that to be incorrect, as according to your own prior interpretations of the SNP’s workings, everyone must toe the party line, so she must be speaking for them. So will the other Westminster parties work together to actually try and clip the Tory wings ?, or will it just be another case of SNP bad !.
    I am not an SNP fan boy, to preempt your rhetoric, I was up until very recently a Liberal.

    Reply
    • Gordon Harmer

      Robert why should Labour work with the SNP? All through the election campaign we got Red Tories this, Red Tories that, and along with a whole charade of lies the SNP annihilated Labour in Scotland. Mhairi Black was mimicking Sturgeon all through her speech even down to the hand of friendship thereby sticking to the party line. The fox hunting issue tells us what the 56 are in Westminster for, they are there to meddle in issues that nothing to do with them for the simple aim of driving a wedge between Scotland and all the other nations of the UK.
      As for you not being an SNP fan boy, I have my doubts; yes it is another and continuing case of SNP bad, its SNP bad for democracy, fairness, the good of the UK as well as the good of Scotland. The SNP are a single issue party who will go to hell and back to wreck the UK and they will bring Scotland to its knees in the bitter process.

      Reply
  10. iantinkler

    “the Torygraph” O dear Robin, back to the Kindergarten, again. Some arguments are so powerful until the children start commenting and name calling, I think Mhairi would despair of such a stupid comment. Better to stay quiet and appear a fool, than to open ones mouth and dispel all doubt. The Torygraph, O dear, dear.

    Reply
    • Robin Stevenson

      Ian, if only you practiced what you preached, we may not be subjected to your daily haverings?

      “The Telegraph” is often referred to as “The Torygraph”, [inc Mhairi] I just assumed everyone knew that? I didn’t realize it was all new to you?….. You really must get out more and read something other than “The Torygraph, The Daily Broken Record, and the Daily Fail”.

      Reply
    • Robert Sim

      Ian, staying quiet might be a good option to consider. Have you ever considered that there might be a correlation between the rate of vituperative anti-SNP posts on here and the rise in SNP membership in Shetland? I speak tongue-in-cheek, of course; but one can’t help wondering…

      Reply
      • John Tulloch

        If so, Robert, why are you and your SNP “colleagues” so desperate to draw attention to it, repeatedly – he might believe you and stop writing?

        Or do you imagine that, bored by continuous SNP prattle, he might “lose the will to live” and go away, leaving the field clear for you?

      • iantinkler

        Well Robert, At a membership of 300 out of 20,000 or so, and that is when the SNP is riding high, o dear me!!!

      • Robert Sim

        John, I am not “desperate” to draw attention to the size of the SNP’s membership in Shetland – I just think it needs mentioned now and again in the interests of balance. I guess SNP membership in Argyll will also be substantial?

        And Ian, if 300 members out of a population of 20,000 isn’t impressive, what figure do you think would be, given that the population includes those below voting age? I would be interested to hear the number you come up with.

      • Gordon Harmer

        There is also something of an exodus from the SNP as a party, here is one embarrassing defection which has been reported.
        An SNP Councillor in Dumfries has left the party after becoming disillusioned. The Councillor in question was Ms Yen Hongmei Jin who was the first Chinese born SNP elected official.
        She said “I feel the party is more about its own agenda now and is no longer the progressive party with a vision for fairness” seems to be a pattern appearing now. Even those within the SNP are now beginning to question their motives.
        It’s all about the SNP, for the SNP, at no point does Scotland come first.

      • Robert Sim

        Interesting to hear about a single councillor leaving the SNP, Gordon. You say that is an “exodus”. I always thought that word meant a mass movement of people.

      • Robin Stevenson

        Gordon, I have searched for this story and managed to come up with nothing? Could you possibly send a link? And who, exactly, did she “defect” to? And perhaps you’d be so kind to offer a list of this “Exodus” you talk about?

      • John Jamieson

        Robin Stevenson, re Yen Hongmei Jin, can’t find any link either.

      • Gordon Harmer

        Robin, providing you with a link is a waste of time because you do not read them unless it comes from the National (I won’t say newspaper) or Wikilies. But hey it came from a photo of a page from the Dumfries and Galloway Standard dated the 17th of July 2015. If I could copy and paste the page onto here I would but if you wish I could email it to you, but that is your choice. It always amuses me how you guys always demand links to whatever is said on here and then dismiss them because of who published the link.
        Robert there is a movement away from the SNP as I have said before, but the numbers do not change because memberships do not disappear until they expire.

      • Gordon Harmer

        Robin the link/photo is on the Shetland Times Facebook page as a post to page if you wish to read it.

      • John Tulloch

        Robert,

        Sustainable Shetland has nearly three times as many members as SNP Shetland.

        If SNP Shetland has an impressive tally, Sustainable Shetland’s must be mind-bogglingly high, don’t you agree?

        And they’re ALL AGAINST THE VIKING ENERGY WINDFARM – but the SNP supports the windfarm?

      • Robert Sim

        John, on your latest comment re Sustainable Shetland’s membership size versus the SNP (leaving aside the fact that you are shouting), you do understand that one is a political party and one isn’t?

      • Robert Sim

        Gordon, you say “there is a movement away from the SNP” but give not one shred of evidence to back up your assertion. Hey, this is easy! SNP membership nationally has increased massively this week; but I don’t feel like sharing my source.

    • Bill Adams

      I believe it was “Private Eye” which coined the terms “Torygraph” and “Grauniad” to highlight the political bias of the former and the litany of spelling mistakes in the latter of these two broadsheets.

      Reply
      • Robert Sim

        Yes, Bill – in the 1960s? Long time ago anyway.

  11. iantinkler

    “I Was up, until very recently, a liberal!!” shoot your dog time again, sorry oldies.!!!! (please do not ask me to explain)

    Reply
  12. Gordon Harmer
    • Robin Stevenson

      Seriously Gordon, where do you dig these clowns up from? The same old same old “SNP Bad” vacuous nonsense, appreciated by the same old same old “SNP Bad” brigade, that said, I did find it pretty funny when she said about the sMurph, “Alongside Labour’s dignified Jim Murphy”…..lol 🙂

      Reply
    • Robert Sim

      Gordon, I did read the blog you link to and I note that this person says the SNP are “…more focused on causing trouble for the English than standing up for the Scottish…”. Maybe you and your blogger need reminding that there are English people in Scotland too who are represented by the SNP – and will have voted for them. This smacks very unhealthily of racism.

      Reply
      • Gordon Harmer

        Robert you really need to toughen up, I have just re-read this blog twice over and there is not a racist slant anywhere in it. He even praises Miss Black and Ms Sturgeon towards the end of what he humorously calls a rant. I think this it so close to the truth that it actually hurts, leaving you with no choice but to scream racist, even Robin found something funny in it. We get the same old calls when you have no answer to criticism, BBC bias, Unionist traitors and quislings and the old racism call just in case.

      • Robin Stevenson

        Erm…Gordon could I possibly suggest you scroll down and read the comments? the 18 year old author has now deleted her praise for this comment [after I questioned her about it] but you’ll see she forgot to unclick “Licked”, it reads:

        “We believe Alex Salmond and his thugs of Nationalists like you are fascists and their supporters are quisling traitors, National Socialists aka SNP can rot In Hell”.

        Sadly, she deleted our exchange where she ended up storming off in a huff having called me Anti-English among other things 🙁 …. Kids, what can you do?….sigh/

      • Robert Sim

        Thanks, Gordon. I note that you say that this blog is just a humorous “rant”. Fair enough. I accept the implication that it shouldn’t be taken seriously.

      • Gordon Harmer

        Erm…Robin, I was not referring to any comments answering the blog my link was to the blog alone and Robert did not refer to a commentator with a comment below he referred to the blogger. If you wish to wind up a commentator to extent that she answers you as you say that is your problem not one for this thread.

      • Gordon Harmer

        Oh and Robin, I do not see any comments from you on that blog and what you have copied and pasted is said by someone called Joseph Woodward not a she at all. Your comment seems to be the one deleted, did you do that before you posted here to hide what you said or did the blogger delete it because of its content?

      • Robin Stevenson

        Gordon

        The exchange between the blogger and I was deleted by her, Sadly her comments which she had made to other commentators [at the bottom of the page] are no longer there, this [so called] humorous ditty, took a nasty turn and I’d asked her to explain if she thought that was acceptable?

        She has since, deleted all her [not so veiled] contempt towards myself and the SNP, but as I pointed out, she forgot to delete her “Liked” of Joseph Woodword’s comment. [see above]

  13. iantinkler

    Robert, what is the lower age limit to SNP membership. The Anti Carmichael protesters seemed to go down to about two years old. I will give you the Shetland proportion in due time. About 3% would be my best guess.

    Reply
    • Robert Sim

      The lower limit is 16, Ian.

      3% of the Scottish population would be about 150,000 members and the SNP nationally as you will know has about 100,000 members. As you will also know, those are record-breaking figures for any Scottish party; and therefore your percentage for Shetland has to be unrealistically high.

      Reply
  14. iantinkler

    3% Only a guess Robert. Now as about the only exclusively Scottish party, hardly surprising the figures are record breaking, for SNP membership. I have no problem with the SNP as a party, the bit I loath is the endless efforts to break up the UK, by the paint your face blue brigade. Anyway Sturgeon now realizes that will not happen in the foreseeable future, probable she can see The Greek fiasco overtaking an Independent Scotland. All we need now I a decent Energy policy, VE dropped and Shetland, a Crown dependency, also the 2000 plus square mile offshore wind-farm moved to the Clyde Estuary, well away from Shetland. The water their is mostly dead already!!

    Reply
  15. iantinkler

    Michael Cavanagh, O boy, we do bang on about food banks. They are extremely useful and there will always be a need. Whatever the benefits paid out and however much funding is passed to the disadvantaged and chronically ill, there will sadly always be those in need. Often alcohol, tobacco and betting will eat into household budgets. The food bank will always be a necessary safety net for the family of those unable, due to a mass of problems, cannot or will not provide for themselves and dependents. Personality disorder, mental illness and chronic sickness will not be solved by bucket loads of cash benefits, but food banks will provide a vital need and prevent hunger and malnutrition. Scares funds have to be targeted where most necessary, sadly the benefit culture of the past has failed miserably. Targeted food bank at least provide aid and care where most needed. For those whom may scoff at reactionary me, I spent five years, sequestrated on minimal benefits (excluded from housing benefit as wife’s post-natal illness classified as personality disorder, not a recognized illness by DHSS at that time) as a single parent of two babies, probably the most rewarding time of my life. No food banks then!!

    Reply

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