Brilliant piece by Pat Kane from ‘the National’ about the risks of heritage branding for our self image and the need to assert who we are – worth reading the whole thing.
“The point about nation-state independence is that it plants your feet firmly in and on the world – and importantly, the world recognises this.Who we are is how we exert sovereignty over ourselves. The arms are opened wide to “aye – but you’ll have to take us as we are”. Because we are here, fully and properly.We’re not just a place to visit. We’re a ground that owns itself, a ground you are more than welcome to come and enjoy. But it’s a ground upon which arguments about its development and direction will rage, vigorously and healthily – because the direction of an independent nation is at stake. And that’s who we are, too.”
I KNOW there are always calls to leave the referendum in the past and to talk about it as little as possible. However, I disagree as I think it is important to hold the Unionists and British nationalists to account for the misleading promises they made during that referendum. You will remember when Labour politicians stood side by side with their Tory compatriots spreading fears about Scotland facing tax rises if we became independent, yet even though Scotland voted No we now have Labour committing itself to imposing an additional tax on Scots if they are elected into government. The purpose of this tax is to offset and make up for the loss to the Scottish budget from Tory cuts – Tory cuts that we would not have to endure if we were an independent nation with an elected independent parliament. Therefore, Labour’s proposed tax increase is effectively a Union tax and I will refer to it as such from now on. It is the extra price they want to force us to pay for their No vote.
Alistair Carmichael’s solicitor, Rosie Walker, in a blog for Scottish Legal News, made some rather ill judged comments about the case we have just been involved in.
She began with the words ‘now that we have had time to reflect.’ The post was published on January 26th – a week or so before the rulings on expenses. It was rather previous, as, it turns out, the judges had not finished. The assumption she made was clear, that we had lost and that Mr. Carmichael had won and that we would have to pay. How wrong she was!
Not so, Ms. Walker must have been taken rather aback when the judges ruled that the case was one of ‘divided success’. The petition to overturn the election had been overturned but that our behaviour in bringing it was neither frivolous or vexatious.
MPs will look at what has happened very nervously. Our opponents, assuming that we were motivated by party interests, have united in saying ‘what about…’
No MP is ever going to want to win this kind of victory where whilst still elected, they are disgraced and still have to find cash to pay a bill ratcheted up by their own vanity and hubris. Ms. Walker and Mr. Dunlop will have to be paid
Liberal Democrat MP for Orkney and Shetland Alistair Carmichael …. has lost a bid to have his legal fees paid following a failed challenge to his election in the wake of the Frenchgate affair. In last year’s landmark case, four of his constituents raised an action against him under the Representation of the People Act 1983 in the Election Court.They argued he had misled voters over a leaked memo before the general election. But judges ruled in December last year that it was not proven beyond reasonable doubt Mr Carmichael had committed an “illegal practice”.Nevertheless, he will now have to pay his own legal fees. At a hearing in theCourt of Session, Lady Paton said: “In all the circumstances, exercising our discretion, we consider this to be in effect a case with divided success.
(Interesting change of tone in the Guardian reports…)
Alistair Carmichael, the former Scotland secretary, is facing a legal bill of about £150,000 after narrowly surviving a bid to have him ousted as MP for Orkney and Shetland.Two judges sitting as an election court in Edinburgh rejected Carmichael’s application to have his legal costs awarded against four constituents who had challenged his election victory after he lied about the leak of a civil service memo.Lady Paton and Lord Matthews ruled on Monday that both sides had to meet their own legal costs. The four constituents have successfully covered their legal costs, estimated to be about £185,000, after an online fundraising drive raised nearly
I have just from our lawyers that we are not going to have to pay Alistair Carmichael, the disgraced MP for Orkney and Shetland, any money at all.
Nothing is due.
It is too soon for us to react us a team – I am obviously relieved – intensely – and feeling vindicated. He was the only conspirator who played a shoddy trick. He will need a lot of help from his friends who have not been generous so far.
We do not know our final bill yet – we will let you know – and thank you – thank you – thank you to the people who have contributed to what we have done and whose moral and financial support has made it possible.
The Orkney Vole breaks his silence about the costs hearing
On Monday, the costs hearing takes place at the Court of Session. We will know whether Mr. Carmichael (the only unreliable witness in the case) will succeed in getting punitive damages against us – the Orkney 4.
I have kept quiet as the burrow has been a busy places these few weeks. Great Uncle Cedric continues poorly and the National Vole Health Service is wonderful. Trusting it to a Salmond and a Sturgeon has been an excellent plan for us all. Also a book has appeared associated with me and now available at all indecent bookshops. It is not suitable for right thinking people and so should be avoided by all Liberal Democrat MPs and both their supporters.
We are confident in our supporters – people have given more than we could have ever imagined – it means that this weekend, we are not particularly stressed. We know, that whatever happens over 10,000 people have backed us. We are not dependent of a few contributions from rich, anonymous donors. Nor, no matter what the Yoons say, are we supported by any large organisation, it’s just us, angry voters who want our democracy back and to be peaceable about it.
Thank you. Whiskers crossed. Let’s see what happens.