19th November 2018
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Former Lib Dem member pledges support to SNP

30 comments, , by , in Headlines, News

A former Liberal Democrat heavyweight in Shetland has defected to the SNP, giving the nationalist party a pre-election boost.

Long-standing Libertal Democrat Peter Malcolmson has defected from the party in favour of the SNP.

Peter Malcolmson, who was a councillor earlier this century when the SIC served as a Lib-Dem controlled local authority, has given his backing to the SNP’s candidate for Orkney and Shetland. He  described Miriam Brett as “young, able, knowledgeable and very well connected”.

He insisted he has not walked away from the Lib Dems, insisting the party instead walked away from him when it went into coalition with the Tories.

“Most folk would think that Peter Malcolmson is a Liberal Democrat,” he said.

“I was. I didn’t leave the Liberal Democrats. They left me. They left me behind when they joined with the Tories, and I simply could not thole that, and I resigned forthwith.

“I’m now in a position where, looking at what’s happening in Scotland at the moment, I feel that we here are in an immediate period of unprecedented uncertainty.

“We are, for example, on the wrong side of a Brexit vote. Sixty-two per cent of us voted to remain. We are also facing an opportunist snap general election. If what comes out of that is an increased majority for the Tory party south of the border, I can only think people south of the border will have decided their own future, and their own destiny. I think, on the face of that, Scotland must do the same.

“The only way, I think, we can preserve the future for ourselves is to look at independence. And to do that, we must support our local candidate. Miriam Brett is a young, able, knowledgeable and very well connected young person, and I think she is the one who will help secure Shetland and Orkney for the future of this constituency.”

Meanwhile, a Crowdfunding page has been set up to “help Miriam Brett become MP”.

The appeal has been set up by Shetland SNP branch secretary Angela Sutherland, and has already raised almost £4,000 to help cover rental costs in both Orkney and Shetland during the second half of the campaign.

About Ryan Taylor

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

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30 comments

  1. Ali Inkster

    The same Peter Malcolmson that thinks we should have no say in the SCT.

    Reply
  2. John Haswell

    Respect you Malcolm for your stance

    Reply
  3. John Tulloch

    About a year ago, Jonathan Wills, then vice chairman of Shetland Charitable Trust, reportedly stated that campaigners were barred from becoming SCT appointed trustees.

    Now that Peter Malcolmson has “come out”, campaigning openly for the SNP, will he stand down as a SCT trustee?

    Reply
  4. Gordon Harmer

    Well well, I suppose this could be classed as a step up the ladder, moving from a party that ignores the result of one referendum to a party that ignores the result of two referendums.
    Anti democracy is alive and well in flip flop land.

    Reply
  5. ian tinkler

    Here we go again, blame the wicked Tories for everything. It is the SNP who have imposed the cuts on Shetland. It is the SNP who have wrecked the devolved Scottish NHS. It is under SNP stewardship that the Scottish education system is failing are children and undergraduates. Nevermind the endless mantra for Scotish independence goes on, how about autonomy for Shetland? The SNP is inflicting more damage on Shetland than the wicked Tories are at this time. “Thatcher in a kilt”, is alive and well and lives Bute House.

    Reply
    • Neil Young

      It is the tories (and Labour who started it) that are enforcing austerity =cuts and cuts to the Scottish budget, which inevitably has an effect on funding to local councils. Can you tell us in your opinion the Scottish education system (which is performing well above its equivelant system in England and Wales) is failing Children and Undergraduates? Can you explain how the SNP have “wrecked the Scottish NHS”? (again, its performing far better than its counterpart in England and Wales.

      Reply
      • Duncan Simpson

        Neil Young,

        The Scottish Budget has actually increased or stayed the same since 2013/14. Of course there are various ways this is assessed and various points of dispute. As shown here; https://fullfact.org/scotland/has-scottish-government-budget-increased-or-decreased-2010/

        Even the very worst estimates of Scotland’s supposed funding cuts come nowhere near the 20+% funding cut that the Shetland Islands Council has endured, more than any other area of Scotland, more than quadruple the percentage of some areas!

        Also, regarding the claims you make about education and health, I came across this article Yesterday.

        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/snp-has-failed-in-every-devolved-area-and-must-be-held_us_5910b2e9e4b046ea176aeddb

      • Johan Adamson

        What is your evidence that the Scottish education system is performing better? Why would you not want it to perform in the whole of the UK?

      • Ian Tinkler

        Neil Young, look up the facts, they are all in the public domain.
        In Education:
        Scotland has just achieved it was worst ever performance in the PISA surveys last year. Scotland has plummeted down the league tables for maths, reading and science when all developed. Scotland’s ranking dropped from 11th to 23rd for reading since 2006, from 11th to 24th for maths and from 10th to 19 for science recording, its worst ever ratings.
        In Health:
        The chairman of BMA Scotland warns the NHS is at breaking point. The SNP target for hospital waiting times missed. A person living with cancer will now wait 31 days longer in Scotland for treatment than in England. After ten years fully devolved Scottish NHS, Glasgow still has the lowest life expectancy of any part of the UK.
        Shetland Health board:
        In 2017/18 the expected recurring shortfall in the NHS overall budget is expected to be at least £2 million.
        Does that answer your points?

      • Ian Tinkler

        Just published today: The literacy skills of Scottish school pupils have fallen over the past four years, according to figures released by the Scottish government. ( bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics). O dear me, “Thatcher in a kilt”, does it again, if she only spent time running a government instead of promoting an indy2 just perhaps she would achieve some good. ,

  6. Kevin Taylor

    Hmm. Seems like the type of bitter and blinkered unionists who troll our FM’s words have managed to find their way to Shetland. Doesn’t it occur to these people that folk are sick to death of the Tories and their cruel policies? Can’t they see the lives and lifestyles of Scots are being seriously damaged by what the Tories are doing to not only Scots, but to people all over the uk?

    Why is it that the FM of Scotland is somehow responsible for supposed ‘cuts’ to Shetland when the Scottish Govt is given no more than an ‘allowance’ from Westminster? And incidentally, it surely says something when the Scottish NHS is outperforming all other health services in the uk? Scottish education is far from failing – another ill-advised trope from the haters – and is performing successfully, again, compared to other uk-wide education. I could go on, but then, people are already well-aware of the fantastic performance of this Scottish Government.

    Peter Malcolmson is another crystal-clear example of sensible and just individuals seeing what’s happening in Tory Britain and deciding to act accordingly.
    Welcome aboard, Peter

    Reply
    • Gordon Harmer

      Council elections show people in Scotland are not sick to death of the Tories. In fact scrutiny of the figures show several SNP seats in the general election could go to the Tories. Peter Malcolmson like Jonathan Wills is an ex and they have joined a party which has peaked and is heading down hill and I hope they are all very happy together as they are well suited.

      Reply
    • Johan Adamson

      Scottish education is performing better than England, explain?

      If we don’t have enough money for services, why has SNP not used tax raising powers?

      Reply
    • Michael Garriock

      “Why is it that the FM of Scotland is somehow responsible for supposed ‘cuts’ to Shetland when the Scottish Govt is given no more than an ‘allowance’ from Westminster?”

      It is the Scottish Government’s job to ensure that that ‘allowance’ is adequate to provide a ‘reasonable’ level of public services in Scotland, if it isn’t, or can’t, that is wholly the Scottish Government’s fault for not keeping on fighting until they secured a better settlement.

      Just in the same way as the SIC bleating about inadequate finance from the Scottish Government is wholly their fault for not fighting on until a better settlement was reached.

      The fault starts at the bottom of the totem, it is the job of those further down the pile to drag down from those on the higher rungs, not to sit quietly and doff their collective bunnets with a ‘Thank ye, kind master’ for the crumbs shoved over the table edge down to them.

      Reply
    • Ian Tinkler

      Nicely put Kevin, the fantastic performance of this Scottish Government speaks for itself, why else would the Scottish Tories be doing so well?. Your words sound a little thin. “Hmm. Seems like the bitter and blinkered unionists who troll our FM’s words have managed to find their way to Shetland. Doesn’t it occur to these people that folk are sick to death of the Tories and their cruel policies?”

      Reply
    • Hugh Tait

      I agree with you Kevin. Sometimes it seems that some of the contributors to this page are removed from reality, there is no excuse even if you are 200 miles from Aberdeen. Mind you I do get a good laugh sometimes.

      Reply
      • Michael Garriock

        Hugh Tait,

        You hit the nail on the head there mate, ‘reality’ for mainland Scotland is an entirely different one than ‘reality’ for Shetland, and trying to suggest it should be the same for both just proves the point of what ails Shetland being ruled by Holyrood – the ‘one size fits all’ mentality they can’t see beyond simply does not and cannot work.

        That 200 miles, not to mention the additional 100 from there to Holyrood, makes one hell of a difference, in climate, culture, attitude and just about everything else, and that difference will win out in the end, one way of the other. Holyrood can either recognise and respect it, have us as a thorn in their side, or lose us completely, their choice.

        Thankyou for making the best case for Shetland going its own way and doing its own thing I have heard in quite a while.

        If London, at approx 300 miles from Edinburgh, is argued to be “too remote and out of touch with Scotland”, then I fail to see how the same folk cannot see and accept that Edinburgh at approx 300 miles from Shetland isn’t equally “remote and out of touch”.

  7. Michael Garriock

    ….and how exactly is this “news”?

    “Retired” Ex-Council Dept head, ex-Councillor, sometime ‘charity’ front man, current unelected, unrepresentative, un-mandated SCT trustee decides he’s a lefty rather than a centrist in his old age.

    WOW!

    ‘Has been’ trying to keep on meddling when they should be sitting with their smucks on and their feet up, more like.

    Reply
    • Shuard Manson

      Done much for Shetland yourself Michael?

      Reply
      • Michael Garriock

        Meaning what, exactly. Shuard Manson?

        What has Mr. Malcolmson done for Shetland? He’s certainly had an impact on countless people’s lives in his various public roles, of that there is no dispute. Has that impact been overall positive, or negative is wholly another question. In my personal experience his score is much higher on the latter than the former.

  8. Derick Tulloch

    I observe that Tory Austerity has successfully doubled the UK national debt.

    A perfect example being that the Bedroom Tax has increased the Housing Benefit bill by one billion pounds a year.

    The desperate attempts to “shoot the messenger” by the usual suspects is most amusing.

    Respect to Peter Malcolmson. As an Orkney Liberal said after the misguided Brexit vote: when circumstances change, stances change

    Reply
  9. Ian Tinkler

    Dear me, Derick Tulloch, always the same hollow argument, “Tory Austerity”. Just imagine what the EU would do to an Indie Scotland. It would be like Greece on Steroids, that is the bitter pill Sturgeon would be happy to inflict on Scotland’s peoples. “Thatcher in a kilt” is an insult to Thatcher! Thatcher at least turned the UK economy round, it is not surprising the Tories are making a comeback north of the border, Sturgeon is sending Scotland backwards whilst the rest of the UK grows.
    (www.cityam.com/262441/scotland-brink-recession-economy-shrinks
    5 Apr 2017 – The Scottish economy shrank at the end of 2016 despite growth in the rest of the UK economy accelerating.)

    Reply
    • Brian Smith

      What baffles me is: why didn’t the older generation of Wir Shetland say they were Tories from the start?

      I bet the news that Theresa Me is fighting the election on a fox-hunting ticket has perked Tinkler and Tulloch up no end!

      Reply
      • ian tinkler

        Brian, what are you on about? No wonder the left wing is in such a mess if this is the level of your argument. Incidentally no foxes on Shetland.

      • Michael Garriock

        What exactly is a ‘Tory’ Brian? To the casual observer its been very difficult to tell Tory, Labour and LibDem apart for the last two decades or so.

  10. John Irvine

    I`m sure Miriam is quite capable, but the party she stands for is probably one of the worst things to happen to uk politics in our lifetime.
    Not only are the SNP hell bent on destroying the union but will ultimately destroy Scotland itself, if Scotland were to get independence then we can prepare ourselves for inflation rates akin to whats happening in Ireland and not seen here since the 1970`s.
    What hope do we have to keep this short sighted, cut your nose off to spite your face central belt party out of Shetland and Orkney?
    The man with the plastic smile made such a mess of the last election I would fear that he has lost the confidence of a large number of population.
    I never thought I would vote Conservative but now looks like an best option.

    Reply
  11. John Haswell

    Mr Tinkler says ‘incidentally, no foxes in Shetland’; Correct Ian, just dinosaurs!

    Reply
    • ian tinkler

      If John Haswell you are not a fox and you live on Shetland, what are you?

      Reply
  12. John Haswell

    That is a very poor response Ian, from a man that just a week ago was asking me to vote for him.

    Reply
    • Ian Tinkler

      John Haswell, my campaign was aimed at exposing the disingenuous and false pledges given in 2012. I never expected the popular vote to go in my direction. I am a little too outspoken and brutally honest for that, or so I have been told. I personal win would have surprised me immensely. However, I certainly opened many eyes, and perhaps now our politicians will think before they turncoat on their electorate and reverse or forget their pledges. I believe I told the truth and that certainly made a difference. Incidentally, this dinosaur has not finished yet. Remember the SNP lie about ferries fares, just another broken promise. I note Miriam is already repeating that pledge! The SNP should learn, Shetland memories are long.

      Reply

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