Tag Archives: Alistair Carmichael

Carmichael on crime figures: Preventing violent and sexual crime needs to be the priority

Remember the incredulity of many women when George Osborne announced in the Autumn Statement that the “Tampon Tax” was a bad thing, and he was very sad that he couldn’t do anything about it, but he’d put the money it raised to women’s charities, like refuges Holly Baxter summed it all up very nicely in a piece in the Independent at the time. 

Give a woman a tampon and she’ll use it for free; teach a woman to pay tampon tax and she won’t even cost anything extra to the state when she gets raped, attacked or laid off at work.

So if you’re a woman escaping from an abusive relationship in the Chancellor’s Britain, you can now pay for your own counselling through the redistribution of an unfair tax on your sanitary products. Isn’t that just perfect? It has a beautiful circularity, kind of like the menstrual cycle itself.

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Do you know your other half’s National Insurance Number?

I am a bit of a swot, but I do actually know my husband’s NiNo, but that’s because, for many years, the form-filling in our house has been my job, not least because his writing would make most doctors look like great calligraphers. Similarly, I am fairly well acquainted with his clothing and its size because I do most of the washing.

Why, I can hear you asking, is this even relevant? Well, the Daily Mirror covered Alistair Carmichael’s reaction to a particular paragraph in Stephen Shaw’s review into the treatment of vulnerable people in immigration detention.

Shaw visited Dungavel House, in Scotland, where he was told by detainees of some of the ridiculous questions they were asked (page 52, paragraph 3.71) in order to prove that their marriages were genuine:

The questions they said they had been asked by caseworkers to ascertain whether their marriage was a sham included their knowledge of their wife’s National Insurance number, the colour of her underwear, and her bra size. If this was indeed the case, it is questionable whether such questions were either appropriate or useful.

Of course, the Mirror used this as an excuse to print a photo of women in underwear. That’s so 20th century.

Our Home Affairs spokesperson’s response was vintage Alistair:

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Two Liberal Democrat interventions on Freedom of Information (and what Tim said about Alex Carlile)

Leading Liberal Democrats have made two recent interventions on freedom of information legislation.

Today, Alistair Carmichael called for all private contractors doing public work to also be subject to FOI requests and promised strong opposition to any attempts from the Conservatives to water down the FOI system.

The call comes amidst reports that ministers may extend FOI requests to charities. From the Press Gazette:

The Government is considering strengthening the ministerial veto on Freedom of Information disclosures but dropping other proposed changes to the act, according to a report in The Times.

It is also considering extending the act to cover charities and private sector companies which work on public sector projects, the paper reports.

The Goverment’s Independent Commission on Freedom of Information was set up to review the act last year in the wake a Supreme Court decision which over-rode a ministerial veto and ordered the disclosure of letters sent by Prince Charles to ministers.

The commission has faced a huge backlash from media groups, charities, trade unions and  civil society bodies because its consultation document suggested it was only looking at ways to reduce the “burden” which FoI places on the public sector.

Alistair Carmichael said:

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Alistair Carmichael receives death threat over Syria vote

The Courier reports today that the Police are investigating a death threat sent to Alistair Carmichael that is believed to be related to his vote in favour of airstrikes on Syria. The threat was received at his constituency office last Thursday.

The “abhorrent” threat is believed to relate to Mr Carmichael’s backing for air strikes in Syria and officers have deemed it serious enough to offer safety advice to the former Scottish Secretary.

A spokeswoman for Police Scotland said: “Officers in Kirkwall are making inquiries following correspondence received at the constituency office of Alistair Carmichael. Safety advice has been given.”

Police are understood to have ruled out any link to terrorism in connection with the letter. Mr Carmichael said he could not comment while the police investigation was ongoing.

A Scottish Liberal Democrat spokeswoman said they hoped police would catch the person behind the letter, which was received by Mr Carmichael’s office on Thursday.

She said: “A threatening letter related to the recent vote on Syrian air strikes was sent to one of the constituency offices and was reported to police. These kind of comments are abhorrent and it’s only right that the police investigate who is behind them.”

While this is a serious actual threat, you do have to wonder about the sense of perspective of some cybernats. In a Facebook conversation about the failure of the election petition against Alistair, the Yes Shetland Facebook account and another poster are debating the merits of arranging a “hit.” I don’t think they were talking about going for the Christmas number one.

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++ BREAKING: Carmichael election stands – petition refused

My anxiety-meter was at maximum this morning. I was pretty much at the throwing up stage first thing. I will be eternally grateful to the person who put me out of my misery as soon as they knew that the petition to overturn Alistair Carmichael’s election had been thrown out.

If I was that worried, what on earth must the last seven months have been like for Alistair and his family? On the face of it, the petition looked as if it had no basis in law, but legal proceedings are uncertain, expensive and incredibly stressful. Even the smallest of small claims can be tough to get through and this was a high profile national case.

I’ve known Alistair for a long time and he’s one of the most decent, honourable, liberal, tolerant people I know. He’s spent his life standing up for the powerless, for human rights, against the death penalty, for freedom and civil liberties. It’s been hard to see him and his family being put through this case on the basis of one mistake which was nothing to do with the election in Orkney and Shetland. 

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Ruling due in Alistair Carmichael case

This morning we will know whether the petitioners who have challenged Alistair Carmichael’s election have been successful. The ruling will be published mid-morning. From the BBC:

The result of legal action challenging the election of Orkney and Shetland MP Alistair Carmichael is due on Wednesday.

Four constituents raised the action against the Lib Dem MP under the Representation of the People Act 1983.

They claimed Mr Carmichael misled voters over a memo which was leaked before May’s general election.

The result of the special election court hearing will be announced on Wednesday morning.

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Liberal Democrat MPs explain Syria vote

We heard from Nick Clegg on Sky News last night and Tim Farron has written and talked about why he’s decided to support Syrian airstrkes.

Other MPs have been explaining their thinking. As we find them, we’ll put them up on this post.It’s going to be a bit of a marathon read, but worth having all the rationale in one place.

Alistair Carmichael

You will have seen it reported in the press and media this morning that Liberal Democrat MPs will support the motion in the House of Commons today to extend to areas of Syria our current military involvement against ISIL/Da’esh in Iraq. I want to explain why, after lengthy discussion and deliberation, we have reached this decision and why I will support it.

Decisions of this sort are never easy and this has been the most difficult one that I have ever known. I certainly do not share David Cameron’s reported view that those who oppose intervention are “terrorist sympathisers”. This is an issue on which we have all had to come to our own conclusions and for many of us it has been an enormously difficult process. I know no one, inside parliament or not, who has approached this from anything other than a position of good faith and I respect completely those who have reached a different conclusion from mine.

By comparison the decision to oppose war in Iraq was simple by comparison – it was clearly illegal and it was difficult to identify what the British interest in intervention was.

Recognising that some of the problems we are dealing with today have their roots in that disastrous misadventure, we should be quite clear about why this is a different conflict with different issues.

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  • User AvatarPhilip 13th Feb - 7:20pm
    With respect, would the Lib Dems be happy for the UK to lose all "unilateral" sovereignty as regards the EU, ie Cameron's "emergency handbrake" which...
  • User AvatarPhilip 13th Feb - 7:11pm
    "Talk of a EU “super-state” is nonsense." - if the EU controls our borders and has been increasingly overruling our Parliament, in what sense is...
  • User AvatarPeter Reynolds 13th Feb - 7:05pm
    @A Social Liberal: "– including skunk? You know, the type of cannabis which causes paranoia and at it’s worst psychotic episodes which can last years."...
  • User AvatarVictor Grayson 13th Feb - 6:57pm
    Hi Chris-sh, the economic costs and benefits of us being in the EU seem to be so difficult to weigh up without detailed accurate information....
  • User AvatarChris_sh 13th Feb - 6:26pm
    Hi Peter thanks for the reply, I think I get what you're saying, time will tell :-D Hi Victor thanks for the reply, I would...
  • User AvatarEddie Sammon 13th Feb - 4:54pm
    Mark Wright is right: "It’s no wonder that so many people appear to be forced to make a false-choice between the love of the EU...