Positively negative (Alistair Christie-Henry)

Last Monday the SNP candidate for Orkney and Shetland was quoted in the local press as promising a “positive and engaging” campaign.

On Tuesday one of her most prominent local campaigners was e-mailing people with a link to her fundraising page. In his e-mail he states that the SNP are “up against … a Fib/Dem Candidate in ‘LIAR’ Carmichael who while having few foot soldiers here is surprisingly well funded and like in the past will probably rely on Fib/Dem 5th Columnists as they did in the past. These people have demonstrated that they are the lowest of the low …”

If this is the nationalists’ idea of a positive and engaging campaign then we can only wonder what it will be like if they decide to go negative.

Alistair Christie-Henry
South Beosetter,


Add Your Comment
  • James J Paton

    • May 12th, 2017 15:45

    Whilst I agree with Mr Christie-Henry that negative campaigning is a terrible thing. All parties are guilty of it, except, in my experience, the Greens, whose political behaviour is under-pinned at its heart with a strong ethical tradition. He however may wish to fact-check on his Lib/ Dem candidate before casting asspertions about morality, ethics and behaviour in modern politics. He supported an austerity Tory Government – cut, cut, cut – affecting the poorest and most vulnerable in our communitied. It was a Government which also paved the way for the Brexit debacle we are a now in. ‘Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.’ Miriam Brett will be wise to instruct her colleagues, to be like her, and occupy the high moral ground.

    • Gordon Harmer

      • May 13th, 2017 17:22

      How can Miriam Brett occupy the high ground when after all she is SNP and what good are the SNP for, they have passed no legislation for over a year, all they have done is whinge about Brexit and indy ref two. They are costing us millions and they are doing nothing. http://labourlist.org/…/holyrood-passes-no-legislation…/
      Miriam is / was an adviser to Angus Robertson, who every time he got up in the commons at PMQs was firmly put in his place by the PM. He even asked the same question several times only to get the same knock down answer. What good are the SNP anywhere; no legislation in Holyrood no sensible debate in Westminster. All they are good for is moaning about indy ref 2, clapping in the commons and singing pro EU songs in the commons.
      Why vote for more of the same inaction and misrepresentation when we can have an MP at the heart of the government where Shetland’s issues will be put forward by someone who is not ruled by the one trick pony who resides in Bute House.

      • Graham Fleming

        • May 13th, 2017 22:45

        In your school of Westminster rationale passing legislation for yet another attack on humanity through illegal air strikes on other people’s countries-passes as good government? With state debt running at record levels and state pensions at the bottom of Europe, why would somebody like Miriam Brett waste her talents at the military juntas’ circus of human degradation is beyond my ken !

  • Brian Smith

    • May 12th, 2017 17:39

    Recent elections have shown that voters in Orkney and Shetland do not want to spend years discussing the so-called Frenchgate leak. The matter was dealt with long ago. The SNP has an excellent candidate this time round, with a very good chance of winning the seat. Her supporters and the National newspaper would be well advised to stick to political issues during the next month, rather than muttering about a memo whose details most people have forgotten about. There is plenty to discuss.

    • John Tulloch

      • May 13th, 2017 11:34


      Since you mention Miriam Brett’s “excellence” as a candidate, perhaps, you, she or someone from her SNP backup team will regale us with the date on which she left university, details of jobs held since then and an explanation of how someone with a degree in international politics can become a “senior economics adviser” to a parliamentary party, so soon after leaving university?

      Be honest, Brian, it’s a joke, isn’t it?

      • Brian Smith

        • May 13th, 2017 16:27

        What isn’t a joke, and causes me concern, is the terror and hostility that this candidature has inspired in Mr T. One correspondent shrewdly speculated that it derives from fear of clever women. Once again, it’s time to discuss politics rather than personalities.

      • ian tinkler

        • May 13th, 2017 21:37

        Sorry, Brian Smith, I may have read you wrong, which Mr T, Ian or John? Which of us “is in terror and hostility due to this candidature”. Corbyn is the one who inspires terror in me. How to destroy a reasonable oposition. He takes the prize.
        Miriam speaks SNP, not scary, just Nationalist, just failing Scotland.

      • Steven Jarmson

        • May 14th, 2017 0:46

        I think a discussion about politics scares any Gnat.
        They are so desperate not to upset anyone they won’t even put forward any legislation.
        Crying about powers they won’t use is surely way worse than using powers they have badly!!
        The parasitic Nats can’t chance using their powers because they fear the results.
        At least the lib/dems tried to use the powers available when they joined the coalition.
        For better or worse, they had the balls to at least try.

      • Christopher Johnston

        • May 14th, 2017 4:15

        From her LinkedIn resume’:
        graduated University of Sterling 2014 with a degree in International Politics; Amnesty International activist 2008-2009; Student Advisory project Stirling 2008-2009; SIC Global Classroom Coordinator 2008-2009; SIC Learning School researcher 2009-2010; writer for National Collective 2013-2014; political analyst & journalist for Common Weal Scotland August 2014-October 2015; SNP deputy leader advisor for 5 months in 2016; econimic advisor to SNP Westminster Group since April 2016.

      • Christopher Johnston

        • May 14th, 2017 4:49

        I investigated Ms. Brett’s self-prepared resume’ further.
        Before attending university 2010-2014 she claims she was involved in three projects that seem out of place for someone who has not yet entered university.
        She claims to have been an educational researcher across Scotland for Learning and Teaching Scotland to develop the new CFE framework.
        She claims to have been employed by SIC as Global Classroom Coordinator for the Global Classroom Project.
        And she claims to have been employed by SIC as a Learning School researcher, visiting and evaluating 8 schools in five different countries.

      • Ali Inkster

        • May 14th, 2017 19:34

        Brian, I have asked the snp candidate, local party leader and a host of others to answer a question about their policy. So far with no acknowledgement of receiving the question far less an answer. It is a question that is extremely important to the local economy even for those like yourself living courtesy of the public purse. And that is Which boats from wir fleet will be scrapped so we can as per their party policy rejoin the EU and face the full consequence of the CFP without the hague agreement?
        I’m sure your study of Shetland history has flagged p how important the industry is to us.

    • John Jamieson

      • May 14th, 2017 8:57

      Dragging up the past may have ended in Shetland, perhaps your local Lib Dems could have a word with their counterparts in Edinburgh West to draw their attention to this refreshing approach to politics.

  • ian tinkler

    • May 13th, 2017 9:16

    I agree with Brian Smith here. Let us just remember cuts in funding to Shetland from the SNP/SG out match the wicked “Austerity Cuts” from Tory Westminster to Scotland almost by a factor of three to one. Talking about a Tory austerity when campaigning for Shetland folk is in itself being somewhat liberal with the truth, no pun intended. Miriam Brett a Shetlander, however charismatic, she is playing a little fast and loose with us not mentioning how Shetland has been treated by the SG/SNP. I like her and have known her for years; I just hope her contact with the nasty political machines (Career politicians) has not twisted and corrupted her opinions and aspirations.

  • Peter Hamilton

    • May 13th, 2017 15:17

    Well, Tories and Labour generally agree that the Liberals fight dirtiest of all. As a non-SNP member I’d be happy to let Alastair’s lie drop if it was clear he had repaid the cost of misleading the cabinet investigation. What was that bill?

    And let’s face it, there is a heap of difference between a legally trained and highly paid public servant trying to swing a national election by lying on national TV then lying to save his (and David Cameron’s) skin by wasting time and money when morally he should have owned up on the one hand, and an over eager local party minion getting too excited on social media on the other.

    So yes, hats off to Miriam Brett for her intention to stay positively focused on current issues, but sorry, this is also time for Alastair’s reckoning. Either that, or we just have to accept that politicans of whatever hue can mislead inquiries into their lies without having to pay the full price.

    It wasn’t just Alastair who gained and the SNP who suffered from Alastair’s lie then obfuscation. He also helped to secure Cameron’s return and all the ongoing misery thereafter

    • Ian Tinkler

      • May 14th, 2017 17:57

      “Cameron’s return and all the ongoing misery thereafter. ” Cameron’s austerity was one third of the hardship and grant cuts Shetland suffered from the SG/SNP. Peter Hamilton the closet Nat twists the truth again. Putting any Labour posters up this time round Peter?

    • Ali Inkster

      • May 15th, 2017 15:19

      One very current issue that is very pertinent to these islands is the CFP and the SNP desire to get back in it as quickly as they can. Yet Miriam will not answer any questions on this issue. If we suffer any more cuts to wir fleet Shetland will see a downturn that will dwarf anything current tory or snp imposed austerity has inflicted so far. If you want to see the contempt scoti nationalists have for Shetland look no further than the scoti nationalists that have taken over the SCT.

  • Peter J. F. Dodge

    • May 13th, 2017 23:13

    Thank you Peter Hamilton.
    Miriam and the constituency Branch are correctly leaving the “Frenchgate scenario” for the interested public to make up their own mind. However, for those of us with two generations of political involvement; ( going back to the 1966 election working for the Liberals), it is dreadfully painful to witness what should be the decent, middle of the road party which we strove to support now lying so basely in the gutter.
    The malicious lies themselves were quite enough in their own right but the perpetuation of the falsity and innuendo that for some reason or other the SNP concocted the story and were/are the authors and conspirators of the scenario remains eminent with both senior, national and local Liberal politicians.
    That pretty well sums up as to where the Liberals have now placed themselves. They fully deserve to disappear in order that a future independent Scottish Liberal Party can be resurrected by our children and grandchildren.
    We owe it to them since our ageing generation with our free this and free that, have selfishly exploited and continue to selfishly exploit the fact that we have saddled them with a lifetime’s debt and hardship which only the rich will be able to avoid as they continue to accumulate on a daily basis.
    As someone whose impressionable teenage years took them to Scandinavia and Iceland (during the cod war) and had his politics transformed as a result, I firmly hold the view that it need not be thus and Scotland should take its place as a normal independent nation, subservient to no one.

    • Ian Tinkler

      • May 16th, 2017 16:28

      Peter Dodge, a classic SNP Anglophobe. Typical anti-English SNP, Shetland senior member.

      Peter Dodge; Shetland Times.
      “Oh dear, he we go again, the same auld theme, how wearisome. The fifth column is once again on the march. What tune this time – There will always be an England or Land of Hope and Glory?
      It’s very obvious tae onybody, Shetlander or incomer that the promoter of this line of attack always comes from that behemoth nation tae the sooth of Scotland, never the Poles or the Estonians, the Germans, the French etc….. who arrive, bide and contribute to the community.”

      • Graham Fleming

        • May 17th, 2017 20:08

        Coming from Mr Gaelicphobe a wee bit rich! NACH EIL..

      • Ian Tinkler

        • May 18th, 2017 6:15

        Graham Fleming, I am proud my Mum was raised in Glasgow. I just profoundly dislike all prejudiced people. Very sadly Nationalist and the followers of the same often display deeply nasty, if not neo-racist, opinions.
        The following quote sums up the nasties well.
        “Patriotism is when love of your own people comes first; nationalism, when hate for people other than your own comes first.” Charles de Gaulle.

  • John Tulloch

    • May 14th, 2017 10:13

    @Brian Smith,

    You are the one making personal attacks here.

    Voters are entitled to know whether parliamentary candidates are appropriately qualified and precious little information about Ms Brett’s track record is available.

    Her candidacy is a result of the SNP’s “Youth/Time For Change” election theme, an attempt to draw a fig leaf over their attitude to Shetland and the impact of their policies. Scrutiny of Ms Brett’s track record is a natural consequence of that political decision.

    I have never questioned her personal qualities, only her apparent lack of ’real life experience’.

    Now, how about the answers to my questions, “date of leaving university, jobs held since and how does someone with a degree in international politics become a “senior economic adviser to a parliamentary party”?

    • Shuard Manson

      • May 14th, 2017 22:43

      And your real life experience is?

      • Ian Tinkler

        • May 15th, 2017 10:31

        Shuard Manson, have you not realised, John Tulloch, is not standing for election. What relevance to the electorate is his life experience?
        Now Miriam wishes to represent Shetland at Westminster, that makes all she has done, not done and claimed to have done important.
        What I find fascinating is she held the post of “senior economic adviser to a parliamentary party (SNP)”. That was with no undergraduate qualifications in economics, no postgraduate experience of any type, academic or professional in economics. One just has to wonder what you have to do to become a senior adviser to the SNP parliamentary party? Clearly expert knowledge or professional experience is quite unnecessary. That could well account for the utter mess the SNP/SG is making of Scotland’s Economy, Educational Services, Health Service, Police Force and not to forget Child Protection (snoopers charter). I could go on but I think you have by now got the point. Positions vacant, absolutely no experience of any type necessary, just to run a country!

      • Gordon Harmer

        • May 15th, 2017 13:28

        Oh and Ian did it not show that she had no qualifications or experience in the infantile questions asked again and again by Angus Robertson at PMQs. He was humiliated time after time because he was asking irrelevant questions which were researched for him by his advisers.

      • John Tulloch

        • May 16th, 2017 13:51

        More than enough to appreciate the indispensable value of it.

  • Peter Dodge

    • May 22nd, 2017 9:57

    Mr Tinkler’s abilities at removing from context a quotation and thereby engineer a derogatory slur appears to be a unique gift which he has cultivated over the years. As to how he has succeeded in remaining clear of the courts still wearing his breeks says much for the easy going nature of Scots and Shetlanders alike. Of course the humour which arises from his utterances do supply much needed hilarity.
    In clearly stating that I personally am anti- English at least has given cause for my English “Sanddancer” born wife of 32 years plenty to smeeg and gaff at.
    Since the oil era provided the opportunity for her folks to return to Shetland from “the pool” on the Tyne and look to the comfort of her ageing Shetland relatives she and her family have thrived. She along with perhaps hundreds of the 9% + of the Shetland population who were born or reared in England have absolutely no intention of returning over the border to a culture which they find is so much at odds with that which she now shares with her expanding family.
    What she does find irritating is exactly the same point as I raised in the original context, namely that Mr Tinkler and his narrow field of “British Nationals!” in doing their utmost to remove Shetland from Scotland and add it as some sort of British off sea territory for the Commonwealth displays a colonial and imperialist attitude not demonstrated by those European migrants who have integrated and successfully made Shetland their home whilst providing so many of the professional skills which are so badly lacking.
    Taking on board Mr Fleming’s remarks on Mr Tinkler’s prejudice against Gaelic, it may irritate Mr Tinkler to learn that in my growing up in my early years in the land of my mother’s people in Sutherland I consequently have an abiding devotion for the old tongue.
    What may provide him with a measure of satisfaction is that with my passing and that of the remaining few of my generation still at home with the East Sutherland dialect is that the language and culture held for over a thousand years has now been rendered extinct.
    However, I can assuredly supply the information that the Shetland dialect lies predominate with our offspring and in turn their offspring as a link to their family having resided on their land here for hundreds of years.
    Returning to the theme of my being an anti English racist I can assure you that I adhere as near as possible to the ancient Sutherland motto ” Lean gu dluth ri clui do shinnsir” which leaves me pondering if Mr Tinkler does likewise?

  • Ian Tinkler

    • May 22nd, 2017 10:12

    Peter Dodge; Shetland Times.
    “Oh dear, he we go again, the same auld theme, how wearisome. The fifth column is once again on the march. What tune this time – There will always be an England or Land of Hope and Glory?
    It’s very obvious tae onybody, Shetlander or incomer that the promoter of this line of attack always comes from that behemoth nation tae the sooth of Scotland, never the Poles or the Estonians, the Germans, the French etc….. who arrive, bide and contribute to the community.”
    Your words Peter Dodge. They speak volumes about your prejudices. Nothing more need be said.


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