Mrs Vole came in from the foraging down at Argo’s today in a bit of a fankle. ‘Well dear.’ she said, ‘looks like you are famous.’
I replied wearily ‘What on earth are you on about?
I almost spluttered on my breakfast sclater. ‘Not by name?’
‘No dear, but it must be you, this is what he said.’
‘…. commented on the use of social media and said that he had seen the use of ‘smear’ tactics’
“There were some unpleasant aspects to it – some of the stuff on social media, in particular.
I don’t know if we’ve learned quite yet how to use social media, or if social media has quite worked out what to do on politics but its not working at the moment.
There was some unpleasant stuff about child abuse investigations. which was not the sort of thing that has ever featured in Orkney politics in the past. It was a downright smear. But maybe thats where politics is now whether you like it or not.’
‘I didn’t smear him. I just wanted to know what Mr Carmichael knew as Chief Whip about Cyril Smith. I wondered if Nick Clegg spoke to him about solicitors’ letters he refused to answer, the ones requesting the party’s files on what had gone on. It all happened not that long ago. We wondered if it might have explained that vote in the House of Commons when the Government refused to give whistle blowers that defence.’
‘That one where some of his own MPs rebelled against the party and voted with all of those in opposition.’
She was getting mad with me. ‘He has been very cross with you. I don’t think you should have been so cheeky’
I sighed, ‘But I liked that picture of him snogging David Cameron. I would have thought a LibDem would have been glad of the attention. Social media lets us make fun of people in power and try to get them to account for what they have done in office. ’
My best beloved rustled her tail in irritation, ‘But he says Orkney politics has never been like this before.’
I look firm. ‘He is right, it has never been so serious. We have the food banks now and we have never been represented by someone whose party has been alleged to involved in a cover up of criminal behaviour by one of its MPs before. ‘
‘‘I suppose that’s why My Carmichael doesn’t like you. You want him to answer for the things his party did when he was in power’
Yes love, and here are the questions again. If he gives us a good answer we never need mention it again. Maybe he will have the time to do it now he is no longer a government minister. We won’t stop until he does.’
- When did you first learn about Cyril Smith’s criminal activities as an MP?
- When you were chief whip and requests for information from victims were received, were you involved in the decision to not answer the letters?
- What files has the party held on Cyril Smith? Where are they now? If they were destroyed, on whose orders?
- What advice did you give Nick Clegg on how to handle the situation?
- Did David Steel know about the system that was in place that enabled Smith to make one phone call to get out of trouble?
- David Steel’s unwillingness to act enabled Smith to continue his activities. Will you disassociate yourself from him?
- What practical support will the party offer the people Smith victimised as an MP?
- Did Liz Lynne ever tell you about the conversation she had with Martin Digan in 1996? The one she does not remember and is alleged to have burned the files over?
- What is the difference between a cover-up and refusing to release the information?
The Best Beloved smiled and patted my paw, ‘I do love you Furry Face, you are my intrepid Vole.’
I smoothed my whiskers modestly, ‘It’s not hard when you are doing the right thing, love.’