Tuesday 25 June 2024
 13.3°C   SSE Light Breeze

General Election 2024 / Alistair Carmichael

Liberal Democrats

Alistair Carmichael

As an islander by birth and by choice, I am determined to ensure that we get the fair deal we deserve. Our islands are fantastic places to live, work and to raise a family.

I understand that people here know best what can work here. If only the same could be said about our governments in Edinburgh or London.

On the 4th of July we can vote the Conservatives out of government – and we can put the SNP government in Edinburgh on notice.

The Conservative government in Westminster has shown time and time again that they do not care for the needs of rural and island communities.

Whether it is Boris Johnson selling our fishermen down the river in trade negotiations in 2020, Liz Truss crashing the economy in 2022 and sending household bills rocketing, or the recent proposals under Rishi Sunak’s watch to cut back on provision of our coastguard helicopter service, the Tories are not delivering on what we need.

The SNP are no better. Devolution was never supposed to start and end in Holyrood, but the SNP have hoarded power in the Central Belt. They have centralised control of our public services so that we get the fire, police, and ambulance services that Edinburgh and Glasgow need – not what works for us.

With the help of the Scottish Greens they tried to impose top-down HPMAs on our communities – to say nothing of the mishandled deposit return scheme or rules on wood-burning stoves. A vote for the SNP would be a green light for further centralisation.

Neither of our governments have the answers to tackle the big issues that we are facing – rising household bills, lack of healthcare access or reliable transport links. It is the people who live in the isles who are best placed to know what our communities need.

That is why when I worked with Beatrice Wishart to develop a fresh campaign for fixed links between our islands, we were clear that while we would support the case however we could, it was for each individual island community to decide whether tunnels were right for them.

The progress we have made since the campaign began has been far greater than I could have hoped for – but it has relied upon the energy of the local Tunnel Action Groups that have been set up. The united front they have created gives us the best possible foundation to gather support from both our national governments going forward.

I have always found that the best approach to take as a member of Parliament is to be as open and accessible as possible – to be someone who people feel they can come to when they are in need of help, and to work with people from all parties and none to deliver results for our community.

It has been an enormous privilege to represent the isles in parliament and I am asking local people to lend me their vote once more to carry on that work.

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