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Letters / Campaign was ‘fair and dignified’

Following the snap general election called by Tory Prime Minister Theresa May, Shetland SNP were disappointed to read Alistair Carmichael’s comments in last week’s Shetland Times regarding his decision to stand for re-election.

We really would have hoped that at the start of an election campaign that is so important for the people of Orkney and Shetland that the quality of tone for his campaign would have been set higher. The electorate in all our islands deserve better than gutter politics and it is the objective of the SNP to run a positive campaign about the political choices that are on offer. Descending into the realms of personal attacks and falsity is beneath the position of Member of Parliament for this constituency and I would hope that all parties will take the same attitude as the SNP during this campaign.

Mr Carmichael is quoted as saying the last general election had been “seriously unpleasant” with a nasty undertone forming part of the SNP’s 2015 campaign. This is an insult to the late Danus Skene and to Shetland SNP who fought a fair, dignified and honest campaign. 

We utterly refute there was any unpleasantness directed at Mr Carmichael personally unless he does not like being taken to task about his policies and his record. This, of course, is all part of the democratic process and any sitting MP must accept that this is part of the day job.

He may, however, be confused about events. Any “unpleasantness” he remembers must surely have been self-inflicted, brought about by the untruths he told during the campaign, his subsequent attempted cover up and the well-documented court case brought by his own independent constituents in Orkney.

The SNP in Orkney and Shetland will once again be fighting this election on positive policies. Policies that will be that matter to people of Scotland and the people of Orkney and Shetland: 

1. To minimise the damage caused by an increasingly right wing Tory party hell bent on a hard Brexit; 

2. To secure self-determination for Scotland who can then be governed by the party it votes for.

3. To protect the most vulnerable parts of our society against a crippling right wing austerity agenda.

4. To give the youth of our country the best possible start in life because they are the future.

5. To look after the sick and the elderly by defending the NHS, social care and protecting pensions. 

Iain Malcolmson

Shetland SNP convener

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Scottish Parliament election, 6 May 2021