EXCLUSIVE: Alistair Carmichael and Sheila Ritchie pitch for your Go Sober sponsorship

We have been following the often humorous progress of party legend Sheila Ritchie and Secretary of State for Scotland Alistair Carmichael as they take part in Macmillan Cancer Support’s Go Sober for October challenge. At the time of writing, Sheila is the top fundraiser in the UK and Alistair is fifth. They have raised, between them, over £6,000. When we predicted that they might get to £5,000, we thought were being wildly optimistic. We’ve noticed that when we write about their quest on here, it leads to an upsurge in donations for them both. 

In order to encourage you to donate, and to choose whether you give your money to #TeamAlistair or #TeamSheila, the two old friends have written exclusively for you. The order in which the posts appear was decided by the toss of a coin. 

Alistair Carmichael: this is a matter of confidence for the leadership

carmichael and teddy bearI have always thought of Lib Dem Voice as a virtual Lib Dem Conference, just without the Glee Club. I found myself musing about how I would persuade conference to support me in my Sober in October challenge. In fact, we all know that the best way to persuade conference of any proposition is to line all parliamentarians up behind the opposite one and then make it an issue of confidence for the leadership. I offer you, therefore the only speech that could swing things in my direction.

The text in square brackets explains what each sentence actually means.

In the best tradition of conference this speech would be delivered by some poor dupe identified by Matthew Hanney as being popular with activists.

Conference, I think it is fair to say that I speak for the entire parliamentary party today when I ask you to donate money to Sheila Ritchie’s page.

[We have Farron locked in a cupboard somewhere] 

You have probably read the ridiculous press coverage saying that your support for Sheila is an issue of confidence for the leadership.  Nothing could be further from the truth.

[The press office have been briefing for the past two weeks now that the leader will resign if you vote against him] 

Of course, Alistair Carmichael is a close friend and a good colleague

[I can’t stand the man and am delighted to have this chance to stick the boot in] 

This is not personal.

[This is personal] 

Your parliamentary colleagues feel that he has other responsibilities with which to concern himself

[It should have been me! Me, I tell you!!!!] 

We were delighted (if a little surprised) that he undertook this challenge.

[I am quite happy for you to think he is a total lush] 

We all know Sheila

[I think I spoke to her at the Torquay conference of 1993 but I can’t be certain]

She is one of the party’s characters.

[Everyone in the Scottish Party seems to be terrified of her] 

Malcolm Bruce holds her in the highest regard

[Malcolm Bruce is terrified of her] 

Viking Carmichael croppedAs a lawyer, her legal advice on the implementation of secret courts was invaluable.

[I just made that up] 

Whoever you donate to, the real winner will be Macmillan Cancer Support.

[Inadvertently, I may just have got something right] 

I realise that Gareth Epps wants to move a reference back but I don’t think we need spend any time on that.

[This whole exercise has been a total waste of time] 

Thank you for listening, I look forward to the rest of the debate.

[Is the bar open yet?] 

You can donate to Alistair’s page here,

Sheila Ritchie: I will do just about anything to beat him

Sheila RitchieThis is all Caron Lindsay’s fault. There I was minding my own business when she tweeted about Alistair Carmichael’s Go Sober challenge. “Hysterical,” I thought.” Incredible,”   thought.” Hilarious!” But no, it was true. The rest is history.

The sponsorship both of us are raising will go to Macmillan Cancer Support. So the fact that, between us we’ve raised over £6000 is amazing. The fact that Alistair hasn’t had a dram for 29 days is utterly remarkable. The fact that I will do just about anything to beat him, is a given!

He’s raided the Parliamentary Party, the House of Lords, and he’s even had the kitty money off the Tory Whips.  MY donors are ordinary hardworking people.  I did snag a Labour Peer, but it was pure accident.

Megan croppedSee, my problem is that this is a man who, single handedly, keeps the party afloat  with his sparkling wit and repartee at conference  financial appeals. Admittedly, he probably has a wee bit more help from the cratur there than he’s had this month. So I’m relying on you good Liberals to keep the playing field level. None of this “noblesse oblige” stuff.  He may THINK he’s a Party Grandee, now he’s Secretary of State, but he needs a) more money (his, not Macmillan’s) and b) more corpulence. Really.

I know fine that Alistair’s network is greater and richer than mine but I HATE being beaten. Give generously, and remember, just because he SAYS he’s the underdog, doesn’t make it so.

Does anyone not know someone helped by Macmillan nurses?  They were wonderful to my dad. And it seems to me that cancer is becoming hugely more prevalent. Rarely a day goes by without my hearing about someone it affects.  Some of you may have read the story my friend Kathy put on one of my Go Sober posts. The fact is, that in the UK, we are bloody lucky to have Macmillan. So dig a little deeper folks. Truth be told, at this point, I don’t care which of us you give it to. But it would be nice to see Lib Dems in 1st and 2nd places, eh?


You can donate to Sheila’s page here

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