Alistair Carmichael MP attacks social media for daring to mention Cyril Smith and ask questions. The Vole replies.

Breakfast at the Burrow

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?

‘Its Mr Carmichael, the Great Hogboon. He mentioned you in ‘the Orcadian’ today. Not by name tho.’

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.’

Alistair Carmichael wants Orkney and Shetland ferry prices to go up!! The truth about Road Equivalent Tariff

The ferry link Carmichael wants
The ferry link Carmichael wants

Alistair Carmichael, the LibDemSleaze candidate for Orkney and Shetland is lying when he says that we are being untreated unfairly in the Northern Isles because we do not have Road Equivalent Tariff .

He is doing everything he can to foster division between the Northern Isles and the rest of Scotland.  This is a daft policy of the kind of thing his colleague, Tavish Scott came out with when he wanted home rule for Shetland and got laughed at by everyone.

RET is a distance based fares structure, which underpins the Scottish Government’s commitment to providing one single overarching fares policy across Scotland’s entire ferry network.

The Scottish Government makes no secret of why.

For the Northern Isles, due to the longer distances involved, rolling out RET now or in the next few years would mean an increase on a range of fares currently available.

We have said that no one will pay more for an RET fare than their current standard single fare, therefore the intention is to phase in the introduction of RET to the Northern Isles over a much longer timeframe.”

The current system was begun in 2006, by no other than Tavish Scott when he was transport minister in the Labour/Lib Dem coalition. He was responsible for the current boats that many say are not cost efficient. The ferries are yet another mess that the LibDems have left us with that the Scottish Government now has to sort out.  Many skeptics thought that in the last consultation they would take the boat from Stromness but they listened to local concerns and made sure that we continue to have a choice of routes and that, in Orkney at least, no company has a monopoly.

Oh and Alistair, don’t forget to answer our questions about Cyril Smith. You will one day to the Goddard Inquiry  and under oath. Then we will find out what you have been covering up for Mr. ‘I am so sorry’ Clegg. Oops, not ‘covering up,’ I meant the files that you have decided not to release and the papers Liz Lynne is alleged to have burned.

Where is Cleggie? Carmichael’s leaflets do not show Nick Clegg and admit, its the SNP or Him.


Who in their right minds would trust the LibDems to keep a pledge?  We remember what they did last time. 

Alistair Carmichael has been distributing leaflets around the county that do not mention the truth about what he has done in Government. You would almost think he was in opposition as opposed to being one of the most powerful people in Britain. His leaflets make no mention of  Nick ‘I am so Sorry’ Clegg. Is he ashamed of him? He should be. We are!

The worst of Carmichael’s policies do not affect him or his family but people in England and Wales. Students have to pay tuition fees of up to £9,000 a year and have to take out a loan.  In England and Wales the cost of a prescription is £8.20. How much would a trip to the Doctor cost him back home, nothing. He is making other people pay.  Scottish Liberal Democrats are in a Government that makes English and Welsh people suffer, but thanks to the SNP they and their families are protected.

Carmichael seems to think that his personality should be enough and that he is not accountable for what the Government he has been in has done in power. He hardly mentions policy and behaves as if the LibDems own the people of Orkney and Shetland. We have had enough of being taken for granted. It doesn’t matter if he is a nice man or not. His policies have meant that 600 people in Kirkwall are using foodbanks. Even in Shetland, in the middle of all the oil work, the Salvation Army had to give out food- parcels. No matter what he says, Alistair Carmichael is part of the Government that has done that, has taken away the dignity from ordinary people/

Carmichael  admits that it is a clear choice between him and the SNP. Look at the reality of what he has  done in Government.   If you vote Labour, he WILL get back in and he will support the Tories, or anyone else who might just give him a job. Vote LibDem and nothing will change for the better.

Vote SNP and send Danus Skene to Westminster as part of a team that will represent Scotland’s interests and support a Labour Government. It is the only chance that ordinary people have of clearing out the corruption that has made our politicians a disgrace.

Jo Grimond opposed Trident. Carmichael abstained. Danus Skene of the SNP is his true heir.

Jo_Grimond (1)Jo Grimond was always opposed to nuclear weapons. Alistair Carmichael abstained  in the vote on the renewal of Trident. The SNP’s opposition to nuclear weapons makes them Grimond’s true heir.

I have always approved of mushrooms and all forms of edible fungi much to the despair of Mrs Vole. We agree on our opposition to mushroom clouds. Flushed with all the attention our little posts have had, even being parodied, the Voleings have been running around to see what else they can find.

“Who was Jo Grimond?” the oldest asked.

“You know Jo, he often comes over from the Kirkyard?”

“Old Bones, the ghost with the chains? I like him.”

“So did a lot of people in Orkney and Shetland but he is dead now although a lot of people think he is still standing for Parliament and vote for him. Why do you ask?”

This human called David Steel made a speech about him

“Jo Grimond …  was opposed to the Polaris project and later the Trident one believing them to be “unnecessary, dangerous and expensive” and argued that they made little additional contribution to that of the West as a whole and that they were maintained for “out of date reasons of national prestige”. In the 1959 election he set out the policy: “We of the Liberal Party say that Britain should not make its own nuclear deterrent. We believe the nuclear deterrent should be held by the West on behalf of the West as a whole and not by individual countries.”

‘What does our MP think now?’

Mr Carmichael once asked the Labour Government when they wanted to keep nuclear weapons,  to the the House of Commons, “In recent years, the arguments in favour of possession of nuclear weapons have become progressively thinner… Where will be our moral authority to attend the nuclear non-proliferation treaty talks in 2010 if we back the Government’s position today?”

‘Well, what does Mr Carmichael say now?’

“I don’t know,” I answered,’because he abstained when there was a vote to stop Trident in January but when he was asked in the Referendum campaign, ‘How can you justify renewing Trident when so many people are in poverty?”  He replied, ‘we are working to reduce poverty and we have a responsibility

‘Has he changed his mind?,” the youngest asked me, ‘I don’t know,’ I replied but he is Government minister now.”

Thank you, said the Voleings alltogether, I understand everything now.’


je suis charlieWhen humans talk about us, we vermin are not easily offended. Then we see what humans are capable of doing to their own species. Even cats don’t behave like that. And I hate them. Zara our Shetland correspondent just sent us this .


Je Suis Charlie

I am Charlie , so are you if you believe in liberty and freedom of speech and the right to life we are all Charlie.

The acts of Terror and Murder at the heart of the City most of us see as the simply of liberty is quite simply shocking and yet some of us might be thinking its a long way from Orkney what can any of us do.

In 1320 Scotland made a declaration “It is in truth not for glory, nor riches, nor honours that we are fighting, but for freedom – for that alone, which no honest man gives up but with life itself”.

I know repeat this not as part of the on going Scottish constitutional debate but as reminder that this idea expressed later in American & France.

Liberty , Equality , Fraternity

we must united say with one voice , we support Charlie Hebdo , we will defend our right to fee speech our very right to satirise   public figures be they political or theological.

and to these who would deny us i have only one answer.

Give me liberty, or give me death – Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité, ou la Mort!


 the voleOweraal Orcadians dae a pretty good chob o runnan the place; efter aal they send thir smartest offspring to sumwhar caall’d Vet School tae learn hoo to luk efter is.

Bit noo they seem to be gittan wund up aboot sum theen caall’d “Politics”; even the grownups are hivan a shot o this “debatan” lark instead o laivan hid to the yung sprogs! Hid’s tae dae wae the election cumman up. Ach weel, hid’ll keep them oota mischief.

Mind, sum o them are hiv’n late night snacks as they burn the midnight oil writan, so we git to scoff the tasty leftowers. Wiv sterted collectan the scraps o paeper they fling in the bin, so we cood reuse them fur bedding, bit we thowt we’d lit you luk afore they git shredded.

Wiv gin sum o thim names so hid maks thim no so scary: fur they might pit oot thir traps if they git too annoyed wae his sneekan aboot……..

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