Scottish Review: Ron Ferguson on Alistair Carmichael – Clinging to the wreckage

Tim Morrison

“I can still remember the excitement of that evening. I was in Jim and Rosie Wallace’s flat in Edinburgh when the Lib Dem troops came back from the first night of negotiations with a view to forming a coalition partnership with Labour, following the first-ever elections for a new Scottish Parliament in May 1999.

The Liberal Democrats, I would argue, have been good for Scotland. Their claim that they offered something different was not an outrageous one. Now, though, the Scottish Lib Dems are in shock. And they are not handling it well. The Orkney and Shetland constituency had been solid Liberal territory since the time Jo Grimond was in his pomp. It has been the Liberal Democratic jewel in Scotland’s political crown. Whatever troubles the party had in the rest of Scotland, Orkney and Shetland could be depended upon to deliver a succession of Lib Dem MPs, and latterly…

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