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Letters / Off the mark

MPs and MSPs are in positions of responsibility. Those they represent expect them to carry out their duties with honesty and integrity. They are well paid compared to most people and should respect the views of others, even if they may disagree.

Tavish Scott, LibDem MSP for Shetland, made a huge mistake in treating Lady Paton and Lord Matthews with disrespect at the Election Court in Edinburgh on Monday 9 November.

We all know that government in Scotland, at Westminster and in most other countries is completely separate from the judiciary.

In fact the two senior law lords bent over backwards to get Tavish Scott to calm down, show respect for the court and be less petulant.

To call proceedings a “political show trial” was way off the mark.

Of course he feels frustrated by the way Alistair Carmichael’s reputation has suffered, following the Frenchgate affair.

He is not the only person to show disappointment.

Likewise, Liam McArthur, MSP for Orkney, made a big mistake, in last week’s View from Holyrood column in the Orcadian. (see:

The Remembrance Day parade, held in Kirkwall on 8 November, is a dignified occasion where we remember all those who paid the ultimate price in past conflicts.

There is no link between remembrance ceremonies and the Alistair Carmichael trial. Liam needs to remember that he is MSP, representing everyone in Orkney.

The SNP in Orkney, Shetland and at Holyrood are not involved in the above trial.

The four individuals, three of whom support different parties, are principled and respected Orkney constituents.

They are well known locally and have been involved in previous campaigns and do not take orders from the SNP or other parties. The four individuals have handled themselves with dignity throughout.

It is well known that Alistair Carmichael has sailed close to the wind in the past, during the 2005 and 2010 general election campaigns as well as in last year’s referendum campaign.

It is with regret that I can say that as a past candidate at elections. Jim Wallace, in contrast, treated fellow candidates, the press and the electorate with respect at all times.

The law will take its course while we await the outcome of the court.

John Mowat
Springfield Drive