First point is that £26,353 was raised by 1627 people. There have been a few donations of more than £100, the biggest has been £1000 – nearly all the others have been in the £5 – £30 range. This is a real campaign of the people, ordinary folk, Carmichael’s constituents.
It is all astonishing. The campaign team hoped that enough cash would have been raised by the end of the week to ensure that the first part of the action could begin – that was about £5,600 – rather than that we have raised 43% of our final target.All excess funds will go to food banks in Scotland. This is a fitting memorial for Carmichael who said at the Orkney hustings that they were in place because people did not plan for debt, not because of benefit sanctions. Maybe he will stand down and all the money can be handed over as soon as Indiegogo releases it. A lot of people will be thankful.
This has been a colossal team effort – from the petitioners, the Orkney voters who are signing the action to enable it to take place; the solicitors who are working so hard in Edinburgh and all the people who are retweeting, sharing links and making this a general resurgence campaign.
We have got the full attention of the media. And of course the media has been unbiased as we would expect. On the STV voxpop that was done in Kirkwall (and it was an excellent programme – Lesley Riddoch was fantastic) one of ‘the ordinary voters’ interviewed was the ‘chairman’ of the remaining Orkney LibDems.
Columnists like Michael White of the Guardian has called the #carmichaelmostgo campaign an SNP lynch mob and takes comfort from the idea that its supporters will tire before Carmichael does. Fat chance.
We are many people who are looking after each other and sharing the work. We are not SNP in any sense. We have no idea of the politics of our supporters. The SNP leadership has not contacted the team in anyway and are not welcome to do so unless they want to cough up a fiver. If any of them as individuals want to be involved they are of course very welcome, as are the LibDems that are involved.
Many local LibDems realise that the only chance of survival that their island MSPs have is of Carmichael standing down. Liam McArthur issued a statement supporting Carmichael but Tavish Scott has been silent. Indeed, if Carmichael does not stand in the by-election that may come, they may well hold the seat. If they do, that is a fantastic result for them and the people of Orkney and Shetland.
Scottish print media has been much more balanced largely restricting itself to reporting facts. Bloggers have been enthusiastic and are making all the difference to the campaign- particular thanks to wingsoverscotland and the wee ginger dug. At the time of writing, 452 people from wings have raised over £9,000.
So, it is all exciting but the huge shame is that this campaign is necessary. Alistair Carmichael has disappointed us. His apology is not enough. Once he has stood down and normal politics here is resumed, then perhaps he can be trusted and forgiven but not before.