Over the last week we have had hundreds of requests for copies of the Petition that was lodged last week (only last week, so much happens in a week) in the Court of Session in Edinburgh. We could not comment on it in fairness until Mr. Carmichael’s legal team had viewed it and had an opportunity to work it through. We think it a fine piece of work and congratulate our legal team. Read it here.
It has been hard work holding our tongues whilst watchin all the speculation out there by legal and constitutional experts nearly all of it wrong headed. The Lallands Peat Worrier was far more accurate than any of the London based professional commentariat. Most of the nonsense they spouted seemed to have the intention of trying to present us as irresponsible lunatics with a financial death wish who did not care tuppence about the crimes of Ms. Sturgeon and Mr. Salmond whilst hunting poor Mr. Carmichael to his grave.
Let us be very clear, the only person whose reputation is on the line is that of Mr. Carmichael himself who wrote in the Orcadian last week,
“I understand that my behaviour has done damage to the relationship of trust that I have with many of you as your Member of Parliament.
I regret that more than I can say. and I am truly sorry for what I have done- not just for giving my agreement to the disclosure of the Scotland Office memo but also for not subsequently being truthful about it.”
Fascinating legal opinions has been published by James Chalmers and Heather Green She said some some very kind words about us – I am almost to modest to blush but my three co-petioners insist – “Whatever the outcome, the petitioning electors from Orkney and Shetland are to be applauded for taking steps to launch the case. Though they do so in the formal name of electors in their own constituency, they are voicing also the interests of all voters in condemning unfair campaigning tactics. They are right to look for legal remedies because politics has failed to provide them, and law is all that is left to protect our notion of free and fair elections. “
We agree. In fact, we could not have put it better ourselves.
We still don’t know what Mr. Carmichael will do. We know now that he is in his constituency and will have to make an announcement by Tuesday at the latest about his intentions. He will either have to defend the petition or go. He has no other choice. You, the thousands of you who have contributed to the fund, have brought him to this decision that no one would want to have to make. If he decides to fight as opposed to resigning he will risk the voiding of the election for Orkney and Shetland, and a bar on him standing again for the seat. His support seems to have vanished apart from a dozen or so internet trows and some close friends. No one in the parliamentary party has spoken up for him and the only MSPs are those who really had not choice.
It is up to him to make a decision this weekend and if he does not then the judges will decide his fate.