Not often appropriate to praise David Cameron here, but he did the right thing yesterday.
He may have done it later than other people would have liked and hung his feet rather about accepting the inevitable. Not only has Grant Schapps resigned his ministerial post for the conduct of his staff in a previous role, but an independent lawyer is going to lead an inquiry.
Schapps said in his resignation speech said that although he did not feel he was directly responsible, that responsibility should lie somewhere.
“Although neither the party nor I can find any record of written allegations of bullying, sexual abuse or blackmail made to the chairman’s office prior to the election, I cannot help but feel that the steady stream of those who raised smaller, more nuanced objections should have perhaps set alarm bells ringing sooner.
“In the end, I signed that letter appointing Mark Clarke director of RoadTrip and I firmly believe that whatever the rights and wrongs of a serious case like this, responsibility should rest somewhere. Over the past few weeks as individual allegations have come to light, I have come to the conclusion that the buck should stop with me.”
I would like to think that Shapps has learned from looking at how other parties have handled allegations over misuse of power. The continued debate over the role of Lord Rennard within the Liberal Democrats would be an example. The behaviour of the ‘nasty’ party and the ‘nice’ party stands in rather sharp contrast.
Orkney is a wonderful place to live. It is the home of the Vole, a fine place to burrow away but it can be hard to stand up for your rights in a small place where employment opportunities are limited and grudges can last for a long time.
We have been called all sorts of things, brown shirts, Fascists, lynch mobs, traitors to the islands and so on but the truth is that we are not the powerful people in this community. Here the wealthy tend to be Liberal Democrats and they have a lot of resources – power that they use to entrench their opinion by making sure that we do not raise our heads above the parapets. They have over the last 50 years tried to claim that their politics are synonymous with island identity. To challenge it is to be disloyal, bad for the tourist trade. This is the post that will provoke the most response because it challenges the idea that there is no place finer than here, especially on a fine day.
This is one email I was sent today – the sender wants to be anonymous for obvious reasons. I know the person but not well and am astonished at her trusting me so much.
“If it is you who has launched the legal bid to test the legitimacy of Carmichael’s election last month, then I would like to thank you and all your more visually apparent supporters for standing up for due process, for our democratic rights, truthful governance and freedom of speech.
There is plenty of local support for your actions and not just from SNP voters – many Lib Dem supporters are also outraged at his lack of liberal and democratic substance.
Since my employer is a staunch NO voter can you please keep this email entirely confidential whether I have the right Tim Morrison or not. If I have the wrong Tim then please also understand that this is just as expression of support for the legitimate and democratic process of legal testing and not a nationalist or SNP campaign for this constituency.
I wrote back and asked permission to quote and this is the answer I received.
It is a crying shame but ultimately I risk too much for my family to speak out myself and that’s how power and corruption works – and it works most strongly in small communities no matter how good most folk are in that community and I speak even of the culpable. Dishonesty is deeply corrosive and can’t be accepted in any walk of public life.”
We were all thrilled at the burrow to find an email from that nice rodent Mr David Carmerat who thought we would want to celebrate the Tory victory in Scotland. I immediately sent of for one for Mrs. Vole, little Svein and myself. We will wear them everywhere with pride and I am sure you will all want to buy them too.
In other news: watch out for the new serial starting here next week: the Adventures of C-Man – one LibDem against the world, saving Scotland from the evil Natises!!
Royal Bank of Scotland to leave Stromness – the caring bank shows its love for remote communities!
He asked us “why do Scottish people hate the Liberal Democrats now?’
Mrs Vole started off, “We don’t hate individual Liberal Democrats, not even Mr. Carmichael. We don’t know if he is a good man or a bad man, that’s not up to us. We judge him by his public actions and what his party has done. They have been very bad. About how he is as a man, we know nothing.”
The Vole and Son, after a public attack by Alistair Carmichael, ask again why he voted against the Official Secrets Act amendment and if elected if he would vote in the same way again.
We know he was NOT in office when most of these events occurred but he was Chief Whip when some the stories about Smith’s behaviour resurfaced in 2012. The Liberal Democrats’ Tim Farron, then President of the Liberal Democrats, says that the party has a lot of questions to answer. We would like these answers now. Before votes are cast.
What do senior members of the Liberal Democrat Party know about the criminal activities of Cyril Smith in the 1980s when he was a serving MP?
What did Mr. Carmichael know as Chief Whip? When did he know it? What advice did he give Nick Clegg? What attempts were made to contact and support Smith’s victims?
At the Radio Orkney Hustings broadcast last night, Alistair Carmichael committed a petulant attack on my little vole Svein, and myself.
He accused us of telling ‘a blatant lie’ in our blog when we
claimed that the inquiry into historic child abuse had been blocked, or its work made more difficult. This being a consequence of the Government, of which Mr. Carmichael is a member, voting down an amendment to the Official Secrets Act. This was designed to give a specific defence to Special Branch officers who want to testify in public