Andrew Tickell, who blogs as the Lallans Peat Worrier wrote in the National the other day – he puts the case succinctly and well –
IT was nothing personal.” That, in a nutshell, was Alistair Carmichael’s defence in court number one in Parliament House yesterday.The Orkney and Shetland MP is trying to persuade Lady Paton and Lord Matthews to dismiss the election petition that four of his constituents have brought against him under the Representation of the People Act 1983.They’re relying on section 106 – which makes it an illegal practice to make false statements about a candidate’s “personal character and conduct” for the purposes of winning election. If the petitioners prevailed, not only would Scotland’s last Liberal Democrat lose his seat, but Carmichael would be barred from elective office for three years. If the procurator-fiscal decided to institute proceedings, there would also be a risk of prosecution and a hefty fine. The personal consequences couldn’t be starker.
We are being called lots of names, both ourselves as the petitioners and those who are supporting us, lynch mobs, facists, traitors and so on. There is no sense in us trying to argue. Rather, here are what some of the people who have supported the campaign say in their own words. All are available here.
I have voted for Alistair Carmichael, but not in 2015.
I do not accept that Alistair Carmichael’s actions prior to the 2015 general collection were acceptable or honourable. Has his facts been known prior to the election, it may well have affected the results.
The electorate of Orkney and Shetland deserve to be heard in the form of a by-election.”
“I sent money from America in the hopes for some justice. Why does justice always cost money? It would had been a lot easier if this … hadn’t been re-elected. Yeah, you all might think that’s the pot (America) calling the kettle (Scotland) black, but Carmichael and what he did is worse. Shetland… you owe me some wool… I’m a knitter.”
“Like many Orcadians, I met Jo Grimond. He earned the deep respect and trust of his constituents and LibDems have ridden the crest of that wave ever since. Until now.
Grimond will be turning in his grave to see how his beloved constituency is being treated by LibDems today.
IMHO, this isn’t only about a leaked memo (although that is bad enough). Carmichael used resources at the Scottish Office for blatant electioneering and, if that isn’t illegal, it bloody well should be.”
“Greens voter from Edinburgh supporting you. Good luck Orkney and Shetlands. Politicians won’t even legislate to make themselves accountable – so we will have to take them on through the courts.”