Lib Dem MP Alistair Carmichael to face questions in election court

Court rules that crowdfunded legal challenge to Orkney and Shetland MP’s re-election in May can go ahead

Court rules that crowdfunded legal challenge to Orkney and Shetland MP’s re-election in May can go ahead

I say about time. In previous blogs I have said many times I expect this modern day nobleman to sit tight on his earnings for as long as possible. His constituents are angry and they want a re-take. This will mean Carmichael will be removed and the SNP’s 56 turns to 57. I think if Scotland has had enough of 1 thing in the last few years it’s a liar. So this is all good, we never let this story go away Scotland, from the high end media to the low scale bloggers who kept this story alive, well done! Keep writing, keep sharing. I got this from a good man called Vince Diaz, some gather info and some write it with opinions added like me. I have written about this a few times, click HERE for them

Via: http://www.theguardian.com/

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Alistair Carmichael will face questions over why he denied his involvement in leaking a memo intended to damage Nicola Sturgeon. 

The Liberal Democrat MP Alistair Carmichael faces the prospect of giving evidence in court about why he lied about his involvement in leaking a memo intended to damage Nicola Sturgeon after a crowdfunded legal challenge to the Orkney and Shetland MP’s re-election in May passed its first hurdle. Judges in the election court, which is sitting for only the third time in 50 years, ruled on Tuesday that the petitioners passed the first test of whether Carmichael’s lie amounted to illegal practice under the Representation of the People Act 1983. A group of constituents raised £88,000 through crowdfunding to challenge Carmichael’s re-election because voters were unaware of his involvement in leaking the memo at the time of the election, due to his initial denial. The day after the leak, Carmichael told Channel 4 News that the first he became aware of what had happened was when a journalist informed him of it.

He subsequently admitted, following a Cabinet Office inquiry that concluded in May after the election, that he had authorised his special adviser to release the memo about a private conversation in which Scotland’s first minister purportedly told a French diplomat she wanted David Cameron to remain the UK prime minister. Sturgeon and the diplomat have both made clear that the memo was inaccurate. Lady Paton and Lord Matthews ruled that “a false statement by a candidate about his own personal character or conduct made before or during an election for the purpose of affecting his return at the election has the effect of engaging section 106” of the Representation of the People Act 1983.

The judges then stated that they wish to hear evidence in relation to two remaining issues – the distinction between a personal and political lie for the purposes of the act, and whether that lie affected the ultimate outcome of Carmichael’s election – before giving a determination and report to the House of Commons.

The constituents who brought the case welcomed the ruling, saying: “We are delighted that the courts have vindicated our position so far, that the legislation is relevant and there is a case for Mr Carmichael to answer. We look forward to the proof hearing, where questions of his intention and character are considered.” “All the way through this process, we have been very clear that the best outcome is for Mr Carmichael to stand down swiftly so that we can have a byelection as soon as possible.” Cary Welling, another of the petitioners, said the fact that the judges had not immediately thrown out the case, despite the unusual nature of the case and the arcane case law involved, proved that the judges were “going with the spirit of the times”. Welling added: “There is a trend towards accountability and electors holding their politicians to account.”

The election court, which met over two days at the beginning of September, heard highly technical and at times florid legal argument, which included references to Katharine O’Shea and George Washington’s cherry tree. One of the key points of discussion, and arguably of most concern to ordinary electors, centred on the distinction between lies that are political rather than personal in character.

For the petitioners, Jonathan Mitchell QC explained that, according to the act and subsequent case law, there is a broad distinction between political statements that parliament “trusted the good sense of the electorate” to be able to discount, and those relating to a candidate’s personal character or conduct, the truth or otherwise of which the electorate might be “unable to discern” in the middle of an election campaign.

Carmichael’s counsel, Roddy Dunlop QC, argued that his denial was political “from the beginning to the end” while Mitchell contended the opposite, arguing that the fact there is a political background does not disqualify something from being personal. Mitchell told the court: “He puts on to the scales his reputation of personal trustworthiness, and that is purely personal because whether or not the leak is political, nothing in politics called upon him to lie about this.”

Now Carmichael faces the prospect of justifying this lie himself in open court. It is likely that the subsequent hearing will be televised, as the earlier sessions were. While there has been some suggestion that the hearing could move north to the constituency in question, the logistics involved in travel to Orkney and Shetland mean that subsequent sessions are expected to be heard in Edinburgh and live-streamed to Kirkwall and Lerwick.

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Shauny

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Where are the most cultured places in Scotland?

#TNSReport – Sept.29: DATA released from the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) reveals where in Scotland is top of the class for class.

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Original Article: http://rss.feedsportal.com/c/33846/f/610141/p/1/s/280d7fab/sc/3/l/0L0Sscotsman0N0Cwhere0Eare0Ethe0Emost0Ecultured0Eplaces0Ein0Escotland0E10E390A0A851/story01.htm

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SCOTLAND: ‘ Body of hill runner found in Highlands ‘

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#TNSReport – Sept.27: Alexander Brett, an outdoors enthusiast, is believed to have slipped and fallen to his death north of Glen Torridon

An experienced hill runner is believed to have slipped and fallen to his death on the final peak of a gruelling all-day route across the north-west Highlands.

Police Scotland said a body recovered on Saturday from the Liathach area, north of Glen Torridon, had been identified as Alexander Brett, who was last seen running there last Sunday. The force said there were no suspicious circumstances.

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When I wrote this 12 days ago Scotland –…

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When I wrote this 12 days ago Scotland – Jeremy Corbyn, Royal Family, Trident, House of Lords, Israel & Video’s <Click) I got a bit of abuse to be fair, not complaining, having an opinion and sharing it will get you all kinds of reactions and opinions so I am used to it. But I will say again I think Jeremy will help more than hinder the Scottish Yes Movement. This is one thing we were told he would backtrack on, but no! He is siding with the SNP/Wales/Greens, this could be HUGE for Trident’s future, how long till Mr Corbyn is called a little Hitler like Nicola Sturgeon was? Will the Establishment media go for the man now? As I said in the article above, EXITING TIMES ARE COMING! Brace for impact Scotland!

Via: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/

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Jeremy Corbyn has confirmed he will work with the SNP to try and scrap Britain’s nuclear deterrent despite opposition to the move from his own backbenches. The Labour leader reaffirmed his long-standing opposition to Trident and said he would vote with the 56 Nationalists at Westminster on the issue. Mr Corbyn said he would like to see thousands of jobs associated with nuclear defence in Scotland transferred to other forms of high-value engineering, but did not specify what these were.

The SNP welcomed his comments but said the “real test” would be whether he can persuade his party when its debates calls for Trident to be scrapped at its conference, which starts this weekend.

The Tory majority in the Commons, combined with the support of pronuclear Labour MPs, means the Government is highly unlikely to lose a vote on the deterrent’s renewal.

Although a vote in the Commons is not scheduled to take place until next year, earlier this month George Osborne announced £500 million to revamp its home at the Faslane naval base on the Clyde and make it fit for purpose until at least 2067.

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Shauny

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UCG campaigners will form human chain across Forth road bridge

End of my street........

End of my street……..

Caught this on Facebook via user Vince Diaz, It is estimated around 1800 people will be needed to stretch from the North Queensferry side to the South Queensferry side, on the 11th of October at 14:00 hours. The real danger of a man made disaster by burning below the Forth water is high, Scotland is standing up and standing side by side on 11th October at 2pm to create a chain of protest. The Scottish voice is becoming stronger as our Scottish Parliament gains more powers with more to come. I would love to be a part of this chain of people but disability says no, but because this is almost end of my street almost everyone I know is going. Thanks to Vince for reminding me. 11th October 2pm. BE THERE IF YOU CAN AND GIVE SCOTLAND A LOUD VOICE OF ‘NOT ON OUR SOIL’!!

Via: http://www.thecourier.co.uk/

Courier

Hundreds of campaigners are to form a human chain across the Forth Road Bridge in a mass protest against underground coal gasification. Opponents fear UCG could pose the threat of environmental disaster if it is permitted under the Firth of Forth.

Their dramatic demonstration next month will demand a Scottish Government moratorium is extended to the controversial means of burning coal under the sea bed. Ultimately, organisers of Hands Off Our Forth want an all-out ban on UCG.

Anti-fracking and unconventional gas extraction (UCE) groups from across the central belt, including Frack Off Fife, will be involved in the action. They have appealed to people from across Scotland who are concerned about UCG to join them and link hands across the bridge.

It is estimated around 1800 people will be needed to stretch from the North Queensferry side to the South Queensferry side.  The demonstration will take place at 2pm on October 11, four days before the SNP conference.

Meanwhile, the Scottish Government has been urged not to be tempted by “short-sighted” plans to burn millions of tonnes of coal in the Firth of Forth. The call by the Scottish Greens follows a report which claimed underground coal gasification (UCG) at Kincardine would generate £603 million for the economy and create more than 1,000 jobs.

Green MSP Alison Johnstone said the process would damage the environment while generating big profits for the companies involved. She added that the proposal was in the interests of private stakeholders rather than the Scottish people.

The report commissioned by Cluff Natural Resources (CNR), which holds UCG licences for Kincardine, Largo Bay and Dysart, stated that 45% of the income would be retained in Scotland.

Fife Labour MSP Claire Baker said: “It is hardly surprising that a report commissioned by Cluff Natural Resources has come to these conclusions.” “However, the report fails to consider the very real environmental impact of UCG under the sea in Fife.”

Alison Johnstone agreed, adding: “We must not be tempted by the short-sighted and damaging proposals that fossil fuel companies are putting forward on underground coal gasification. “We know that these companies will make big profits from driving climate change and exploiting the land under our communities.”

Independent economic consultancy Biggar Economics, which conducted the research commissioned by Cluff, said the UCG industry could create up to 11,900 jobs across the UK, almost 5,000 of them in Scotland.

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Shauny

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Sturgeon: Cameron has a “duty” to answer Ashcroft’s non-dom claims

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If we ever needed more proof that something HUGE is about to happen, what we have here is more proof. I am to believe that many who lied to Scotland on September 14th are now reversing their rhetoric. Last week Alex Salmond said out loud “The BBC were Bias” also Nicola said ‘David Cameron was living on borrowed time” So the question now must be asked “What borrowed time are people talking about and why” What does Nicola and others have over Cameron that could expose and explode the Tory party into pieces? As I have said for 2 weeks now, something is brewing and it ain’t a stew many will find tasteful. Watch this space, this story, whatever it is, is about to explode. I promise you

Via: http://www.heraldscotland.com/

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DAVID Cameron has “a duty” to answer the serious allegation from Tory donor Lord Ashcroft that he misled the public for months over the peer’s “non-dom” tax exile status, Nicola Sturgeon has insisted. The First Minister’s intervention will add to the pressure on the Prime Minister to make a response to the peer’s claims in his biography of the Conservative leader entitled Call Me Dave.

These also cover allegations of drug-taking and debauchery when Mr Cameron was an Oxford University student, including a lurid initiation ceremony, which was said to have involved him inserting “a private part of his anatomy” into the mouth of a dead pig. Friends of the PM have insisted the claims are “absolute nonsense”.

Revealed: David Cameron was class dunce at elite Heatherdown prep school

David Cameron was class dunce at elite Heatherdown prep school

CPYEu2TUEAEXm4xIn the book, Lord Ashcroft says Mr Cameron knew in 2009 about his non-dom status, which allowed him to avoid tax on overseas earnings. This is denied by the PM, who insists he only became aware of it a month before the 2010 General Election. Lord Ashcroft, whose millions of pounds in donations kept the Tory Party afloat following its landslide defeat in 1997, was made a peer in March 2000 by the then party leader William Hague and stressed at the time that he would become a UK resident for tax purposes.

However, the ex-party Treasurer did not do so until years later when a change in the law meant he would have had to quit the House of Lords had he not become a UK tax resident.

Ms Sturgeon said of the claim over Lord Ashcroft’s former non-dom tax status: “This is an allegation among many allegations that David Cameron really has to address directly; it’s important that this allegation, that he knew more about Lord Ashcroft’s non-dom status than he had previously said he did, is not lost in the more lurid and humorous allegations that many people are talking about. “This is a serious allegation and the Prime Minister has a duty to respond to it,” she added. Labour’s Jonathan Ashworth, the Shadow Minister Without Portfolio, echoed the point, saying: “The Prime Minister should immediately clarify exactly when he first knew of Lord Ashcroft’s non-domiciled status.”

No 10, however, remained tight-lipped, declining to give any comment on anything contained in the book.

“I am not intending to dignify this book by offering any comment,” declared the PM’s spokeswoman. He (Lord Ashcroft) has set out his reasons for writing it. The Prime Minister is focused on getting on with the job of running the country.” Sources close to Mr Cameron said they “did not recognise” the “pretty low-rent” accusations, which include claims the PM was present at events where drugs were taken and was part of a decadent Oxford University dining society called the Piers Gaveston society; named after the lover of Edward II.

In Call Me Dave, due to be published next month, Lord Ashcroft acknowledges he has a personal “beef” with the PM after his failure to offer him a significant job in his administration following the formation of the Lib-Con Coalition in 2010. He claimed Mr Cameron initially blamed his Liberal Democrat Coalition partners for blocking his appointment, before offering him a junior role at the Foreign Office, which the peer described as “declinable”, adding: “It would have been better had Cameron offered me nothing at all.”

But Nick Clegg made clear he had not blocked the peer’s appointment as a Minister. “No I don’t recollect that at all,” he declared, confirming, however, that he had blocked the appointment of ex-Tory leader Michael Howard as a European Commissioner.

As the row over the book’s claims took off, Lord Ashcroft made clear they were “not about settling scores”. His co-author, journalist Isabel Oakeshott, also denied the motivation for the book was revenge. “If this was just a revenge job, we could have published it before the election. That would have caused more damage,” said the former Sunday Times journalist, who argued that publishing extracts now would do the least amount of damage to Mr Cameron.

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Shauny

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Public Talk by Arun Gandhi the Grandson of Mahatma Gandhi – Edinburgh, Scotland

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Event: Public Talk by Arun Gandhi the Grandson of Mahatma Gandhi.

India coming to Edinburgh. I heard this last week and forgot to share. I am maybe going to try and go and listen to this man. When you have the wisdom as a kid from Mahatma Gandhi your principles of “More Love, Less Hate” It is very easy to relax and talk it’s very meaning. The wisdom this man holds I would love to sit and listen to. It is said he is controversial, but I say he is this because he challenges popular or general thinking globally. Hope to enjoy this. Will try and record some and maybe get some audio 1 on 1. Can only ask! Also this is what living in such an open democratic, non stop Festivals for all the Arts and also a theatrical city gives us, we have these cities all over Europe

Via: http://www.eicsp.org/

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Organisers: Arun Gandhi’s visit to Scotland is hosted and organised by The Edinburgh Inter Faith Association along with it’s national consultancy Inter Faith Matters and supported by the World Peace Tartan Initiative and Edinburgh International Centre for Spirituality and Peace, EICSP, SC038996.

Venue: The Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh.
Date: 24 September 2015.
Time: 7:30pm
Event Description: We are delighted to announce that Arun Gandhi the 5th grandson of legendary Indian leader Mohandas K. ‘Mahatma’ Gandhi will be visiting Edinburgh 23-27 September. Arun Gandhi will give a public talk ‘Lessons from my grandfather’ on Thursday 24th September at 7:30pm at the Queens Hall in Edinburgh.

Arun Gandhi was born in 1934 in apartheid South Africa. He learned from his parents and grandparents that justice does not mean revenge, it means transforming the opponent through love and compassion. While living in India at the age of 12 Arun’s life was deeply transformed by receiving hour long  and daily one-to-one teaching sessions from his grandfather. Arun now shares these lessons around the world for the benefit of others. What Arun has to say can be gently challenging, facilitate deep reflection and change perspectives leading to personal transformation. He is encouraging what his grandfather said . ‘Be the change you wish to see in the world’.

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Contact and Booking: Queens Hall ticketing details: http://tiny.cc/l82n2x

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Shauny

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