So he’s still there. Aliestair Koalamichael hasn’t resigned and shows no inclination to accept the proper consequences for his wrong doings. He’s doing his damnedest to keep out of the public eye, with the exception of a tweet saying that it will all blow over. He’s going to keep out of the public’s way until it does. He’ll be a very long time hiding then. It won’t blow over for Aliestair and it doesn’t matter how long he tries to hide. The smearer has smeared himself, he’s stained his reputation indelibly. This is all he’s ever going to be remembered for, the only notable event in his undistinguished career.
Today Orkney and Shetland residents lodged legal papers at the Court of Session challenging his election, having received sufficient funds from public donations to enable them to start legal action. The fundraiser is still short of the total required however, so keeping donating.
Taking legal action is the only way that the people of Orkney and Shetland can get their say. For all the cant in the media and from politicians that the only opinions which are important are those of Aliestair’s constituents, the only way they can express their opinion is via the ballot box at a byelection. It’s Aliestair who is denying them the chance to do that. He says he wants to be judged on his record as a constituency MP, but it’s not up to him to decide what he gets judged on. That’s for the electorate of Orkney and Shetland.
But Aliestair doesn’t want them to judge him at all, he just wants to accept the power and the paypacket, he doesn’t want to pay the moral bill. He wants to sit as a legislator and tell the rest of us what the rules are, and what the consequences for breaking those rules will be – but he himself thinks he should be beyond them. That’s why his electorate have started their fundraiser, and that’s why today they’re lodging a case at the Court of Session.
The case may not succeed. The law is stacked in favour of the legislators. But even if Aliestair does survive the legal action, it still won’t blow over for him. From now until the day he dies, Aliestair will be the smeary lie guy. That’s what he’ll be known for, and what his obituary will say. In years from now when academics discuss the death of the Liberal Democrats and Aliestair’s role in it, his smear, the lie, and Aliestair’s refusal to accept that he should have to pay the price is all that will be mentioned.
His legacy is a lie and his reputation is a smear. He’s the Septic Bladder of Orkney. He’ll be the man who took the power but not the responsibility, which is the prerogative of the harlot through the ages. He’s the chancer who took the benefits but who refused to accept the cost. He’s the smug arrogant face of the ancien regime whose defenders claim that he should be allowed to remain in post as he’s all that stands between Scotland becoming a one party state – apres moi, lied the stooge.
Aliestair may yet survive, but this will never blow over for him. He has now attained the quite remarkable status of being the only politician the public take less seriously than Wullie Rennie. Everything he says in future, every public statement, every opinion piece, every intervention in a Parliamentary debate or contribution to a committee meeting, will be heard through the amplifier of his hypocrisy and deceit. All that will be heard is – “I’m a liar and a smearer.” The people of Orkney and Shetland are now effectively without a representative, as their representative only represents the reprehensible. Every time he makes a speech, every time he tries to make a point, it can be countered with one simple statement – “But Alistair, you’ve already admitted that you’re a liar.” No one need ever believe anything that he ever says again. The Northern Isles deserve better than that.
Because of Aliestair’s refusal to accept the consequences, he’s tainted what is left of his party and signed death warrant for the shattered remnants of what was once a proud Scottish political tradition. The Lib Dems are in an even worse shape than the Labour party, and things are pretty desperate when you realise that you are an object of Kezia Dugdale’s pity.
The party hasn’t helped itself with its attempts to defend him. Malcolm Bruce’s defence is that everyone lies so it’s fine for us to lie too. What they don’t seem to have realised is that it’s because they all think it’s fine to lie that we voted them out of office in May’s General Election. And since they’ve not learned yet, then there will be a further price to pay. Tavish Scott seems to have grasped that point now, with his attempts to distance himself from Aliestair by telling us how angry and upset he is. But not angry and upset enough to call on Aliestair to resign.
Tavish Scott may lose his seat in Shetland in next year’s Scottish elections, and wossisface might lose in Orkney – the MSP who is the nonentity’s nonentity. There are submarine trenches with a higher profile than Liam McArthur. Tavish tells us that Aliestair told him on the Sunday following the election that he’d been responsible for the leak. Tavish didn’t think to tell the rest of us or to tell the official investigation. Why did it take so long for the investigation to release its findings anyway?
Despite the British state, the Lib Dems, and much of the UK media rushing to his aid, Aliestair’s career is as good as dead. It’s not so much that they want to protect him as an individual, but the possible loss of Orkney and Shetland to an SNP MP deals a devastating blow to one of the Unionists’ favourite arguments against Scottish independence – the claim that Orkney and Shetland would prefer the tender mercies of Westminster and would reject Scotland. There has never been any evidence to support this claim, and should the islanders ever elect an SNP MP the scare would finally die an overdue death.
But in rushing to defend Aliestair they only make it more likely that the pissed off voters of the Northern Isles would return an SNP representative at the Holyrood elections next year, and in terms of destroying Westminster’s claim that the Northern Isles would secede from Scotland, that would be far more significant than a Westminster byelection in the islands. As has been constantly repeated by the SNP, the General Election was not about independence and did not provide a mandate for independence. That might not be the case with the next Scottish elections.
Public anger at the Lib Dems is growing with every day that Aliestair remains, and that makes it increasingly likely that the Northern Isles will vote for an SNP representative who is standing on a mandate for an independence referendum.
Donate to the Orkney and Shetland fundraiser so that the people of the islands really can get their say.
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