Important Update from the Orkney4

CMwx7xwWsAAp8HNWhen the Secretary of State for Scotland leaked a memo during the 2015 election campaign, this isn’t how it was meant to play out.

Because it wasn’t meant to play at all.

It was supposed to get smothered at birth.

Everything was supposed to just happen to coincidentally get buried over the 2015 May bank holiday weekend when it would surely be impossible for any of the clay-footed to get any kind of act together or to even figure out what the representation of the people act was. And as to ever managing to put together anything credible that wouldn’t be laughed out of the court of session, even if someone could find five grand, it was all very unlikely to come to anything surely?

Impossible that a disorganised rabble could from the 22nd of May deliver in the 4 working days left to the petition deadline of Friday the 29th May, figure out how to challenge anything. The establishment just kept everything on the side of propriety but cynically ensured too, the near impossibility of anyone being able to actually act.

But that Friday the 22nd, post election, post safely home and dry for some, the late breaking news sent a collective shock wave through the moral backbone of the swathes of Scottish society that plant their flag firmly on the scorched scrubland that is truth.

The shock on that Friday was palpable and the focus of that shock on such a small community in the northern isles was scary. This small community with an electorate amounting to the total of a Glasgow housing scheme, would have to decide whether or not to make a stand against the invasive knotweed of deceit running rampant all over the big UK and now choking their homely planticru (a peedie garden).Usually the political action can be viewed from afar and us folks up north dont need to get terribly involved with it, but that weekend brought the nub of everything that is wrong with UK politics and the West minster establishment right to the very doors of every island home.

To do nothing would mean a cowardly compliance with the lowest common denominator of behaviours, nay acceptance that as the ill-educated, cap- doffing, peasants that seemed to be our assumed character straight jacket, indeed a bumpkin population of naive forgivers, that our betters could with ease emotionally manipulate us through reinforcement of a couthy homespun if wholly patronising caricature of country folk’s ‘decency’, and thereby would cement the emotional power of the superior over the awe-struck feudal subject yet again and with it the rot that is nailed into the polished oak panels of the Palace of Westminster

Some may be further from the tattie-howking roots of their crofting backgrounds than others, but the vein of Calvinist propriety runs deep and this is the grit that currently sustains the resolve of those who find themselves, not simply in a battle for the soul of politics but for the absolute fundamentals of human behaviour that must be recalibrated by the people because the powerful and the politicians have abdicated that responsibility in droves.

This is not ‘To Kill a Mocking Bird’ justice must be bought because it will not be conceded. Of the four petitioners:

Tim is a disabled man with long term health problems who exists on state benefits and shares ownership of his home with his brother. The cost of justice in our society could lose him his home.

Cary is a pensioner who has managed to save enough from her life in education to allow her a modest home and a retirement in Stromness. This she could lose.

Fiona has brought up a family in Orkney and also taught generations of children, and now earns her living as a carer and part-time guide. Her home is at stake.

Euphemia is a Glasgow University law student funding her fees and maintenance through work on ferries and pubs. She stands to lose the ability to practice as a solicitor if bankrupted by the costs of this case.

The Orkney4 all know well the risks they are taking on and for each they are equally daunting.

They were the four people who within the space of time that should not have allowed any of this to play out, were able to get the correct legal documentation validated in time to allow the legal petition to proceed. Had there been more time there could have been a great many more.

This is playing out now because from the Friday to the Monday of that weekend in May the collective support which mushroomed up through social media enabled the four to thwart the impossible but technically available deadline. The latent skills so finely honed and attuned throughout the 2014 referendum year had been sharpened and polished so that from legal eagles to graphic designers, crowd fund instigators to IT nerds the collective being that is the alternative people’s skill base of Scotland was ready at the ping of a message to drop everything to help and they did.

This will now play out in the Court of Session on the 7th and 8th of September but the uncertainties remain.
There are no guarantees but there is trust among those who are part of this honesty revolution. We can trust in our own folk.

The four are doing this for all of the people of Scotland and for all those that need honesty in this world.
The staggering success of the People v Carmichael crowd fund gave the four the confidence and the financial clout to move this forward.

Tim, Cary, Fiona and Euphemia are now at the wire. This is real. And this is urgent. To ensure they can take this process over the line some more funding is needed. All that is possible is being done by them to minimise costs, but no-one is naive enough to believe that this groundbreaking process is simple or cheap. The figures are already eyewatering and set to increase. The four may need to ask again soon for their supporters to donate once more. In return their assurance will be to honour and use wisely what is given by the near 4000 financial supporters who like them believe the right thing is being done.

The four have no option but to show their financial hand and that is that they have no big backers and no big salaries to fund this action and they must be mindful of all aspects of the realistic financial scenario that could unfold. They wanted this put to bed a long time ago and the excess money to go to foodbanks because these eye-watering sums would have gone a very long way to filling a great many empty bellies in many parts of Scotland and that still remains the hope.

But if the four cannot redress the conduct of those within our political system and expose their deceit and disdain for the people they purport to serve, there will surely be an ongoing cause for much greater hurt in our society and increased pressure on the poor and needy.

If you are still willing to help please do. The time is now and Tim, Cary, Fiona and Euphemia are as ever humbled by the support and generosity of so many of you.

The crowd fund is still open for donations now:
https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-people-versus-carmichael#/story

Comments (34)

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  1. John Page says:

    Bella
    Can you please check the link……I will chip in again in the morning
    John Page

  2. June Stewart says:

    I was able to open the link, by copying it into Safari on my iPad.
    Hope it will work for you John.
    https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-people-versus-carmichael#/story

    1. John Page says:

      Thanks, June

      John Page

  3. Alexander Hodge says:

    Why is the Scottish government not funding this court case?

    1. Douglas says:

      They are not permitted to bring such a case.

  4. Roddy Macdonald says:

    I was an original contributor and I have to say, I see a lot of emotive words above but no numbers. How much has been spent so far? On what? What liabilities to further costs are there and how much are they? What are the potential liabilities if the case is lost and costs are awarded against the petitioners?

    1. Bryan Weir says:

      Good point Roddy. Bella should be asking these questions before publishing this.

      1. Douglas says:

        Just looked on the Indigogo site, the estimated (and it can only be an estimate as we don’t know how much the other side is spending) risk is about £60,000

      2. The group are putting together an update – we will publish very soon. I work on trust and faith in the movement with people I have seen do great work.

        1. Roddy Macdonald says:

          I don’t doubt the Orkney 4 in the slightest. I have rather less faith in lawyers, though.

          1. Bryan Weir says:

            I did contribute and the Indiegogo site says, “Original campaign was 102% funded on June 24, 2015”. I cannot understand why they are still seeking funds?

        2. James Coleman says:

          And so do I. And I have no time for carping over pennies. You are not being asked for a large sum.

          “that is that they have no big backers and no big salaries to fund this action”

          But they have the people behind them,or at least most of them, and that is FAR more important.

    2. Bryan Weir says:

      I am not suggesting that anything fishy is going on by the way. I just like transparency. :o)

  5. CC-G says:

    I would like to contribute to support this cause but cannot afford 100 pounds. Now that they have reached over 100% of the original total and any excess will go to benefit food banks in Scotland, may I suggest that more could be raised by allowing supporters to donate what they can afford.

    1. John Page says:

      CC-G
      Just change the donation figure to whatever you wish……I think 100 is a default sum set by Indigogo
      John Page

      1. Yes, that’s right John, you can pay whatever you like

  6. Anne brown says:

    I agree with Roddy.Can we have more information about the figures ? I too was an original contributer but it would help to know how much money is needed and how the money already donated has been used.

  7. Gavin C Barrie says:

    I didn’t donate to the initial fund raiser, just watched it’s progress in case it looked like faltering. I expected Carmichael to step down and face the electorate again. So I misjudged Carmichael. Now play is in motion I’ll be donating for the reasons outlined so well in the article. Hope Wings adds his influence too.

  8. Bill Halliday says:

    Carmichael and the establishment are simply hoping this will be smothered by a myriad of other events and forgotten by our instant gratification short attention span society. So maybe these 4 people who are risking everything to bring this liar to book just need a bit of reassurance they won’t be forgotten.

    1. John Page says:

      Well said, Bill

  9. jimnarlene says:

    I too have previously contributed, and I am happy to do so again. The people of the Orkneys, and Scotland, deserve to served by honest politicians; from which ever party they chose.

    1. jimnarlene says:

      Contribution made, good luck.

  10. Muscleguy says:

    I too expected Carmichael to see the writing on the wall so did not contribute last time. I will do so this time, probably next month though.

  11. Fiona MacInnes says:

    I appreciate the need for figures and transparency. I hope contributors will understand that to provide detail on exactly what is being spent and where will open the book to others which would not be wise at this point. As far as government funding of this case – there is very little public access to the law – and certainly with this petition is has to be privately funded out of people’s pockets. The 4 are the people who are ultimately responsible for the bills when this is finished and no-one else. The petitioners are monitoring costs and doing everything possible to keep the costs that they can control down. There are costs they have no control over and some have come from questions that have arisen during the process for instance on the location of the trial or debate or where and if it can be broadcast. These questions must be answered by the court which involves court staff and possibly also the time of a judge. All these are fixed costs which must be borne. The time period for the legal debate has increased from 1 to 2 days. As with any service that is purchased and legal expertise is a service, buying the knowledge that none of us have, it is subject to VAT at 20%. Ironically this goes straight to Westminster. Indiegogo also take a 10% of the target funds raised. The target has been met and we have left the original crowd fund active to avoid additional money going back to indiegogo. The crowdfunders are grateful for all amounts donated of whatever people feel they can make. We are desperate to give our supporters as much information as we can that does not compromise the action and will do so when we can. The petitioners would not be asking for financial support gratuitously and are committed to unused funds going to foodbanks. They will be attending the court in September and will not be using any of the funds raised for their journeys to Edinburgh or their accommodation.

    1. Valerie says:

      Fiona, you and your 3 colleagues should be very proud of your strength and conviction. I have just contributed a little more, and many feel like me – we will not see you out of pocket, and will always donate what we can.
      This could have happened in any part of Scotland, and we should feel the same – this disgusting, mendacious behaviour of those we place trust in, must be eradicated. If the man had an ounce of decency, he would have stood down, not put everyone through this process, so the more he hangs on, the more determined we should be to see justice.
      More strength to you guys.

      1. SOG says:

        Some of your English readers feel the man’s action require instant resignation, too. This one has contributed, and will do more if you need to make any further appeal.

        Of course, in any decent Party and Parliament he’d have been ostracised.

  12. John Page says:

    Thanks for the update, Fiona……happy to chip in again next month
    Good luck

    John

  13. Iain More says:

    I just cynically assume that Carmichael is hanging about for the promise that he will get a coat of deid stoat and then step down.

    I contributed to the original crowd funder. I am not in a position to contribute any more at this time. I expect being cynical about it that Carmichael and his team are probably hoping to wear down the financial resources of those of us who think he should be dropped in the Pentland Firth.

  14. Roger Gough says:

    My search engine makes no return on ‘Orkney 4’ or ‘The Orkney 4’. Resolving that situation may be a positive move. Good luck.

  15. Ray Bell says:

    For far too long, Orkney and Shetland have been seen by the Lib Dems as their fiefdom. IMHO, EVERY party/politician should have to fight hard to win their seat – when something turns into a shoe-in, we end up with the wrong attitude.

    And before anyone accuses me of cheer-leading for the SNP – I don’t want Scotland to be a one party state. The Labour monopoly in west central Scotland was bad enough, and the fruits of the Lib Dem monopoly in the Northern Isles can be read about above.

  16. thomaspotter2014 says:

    I believe that this process has been started for the purpose of bringing down the Establishment stooge and liar Carmichael.
    More funding will follow from me as and when required.
    Simples.

  17. Bob Anderson says:

    Well said Valerie, my thoughts exactly. Fiona and her co-petitioners have shouldered a huge burden in the pursuit of Right and Justice and I’m more than happy to shoulder a very small part of that burden in support of their actions.
    I’ve just sent a second donation and will continue to donate as and when required. I appreciate the difficulty of providing a complete breakdown of costs at the moment but I’m sure that a full and accurate reckoning will be forthcoming in the fullness of time.
    My thanks to the four of you for your efforts and the very best of luck.

    1. Bill Halliday says:

      Reading between the lines in her latest update, Fiona is saying that Carmichael and his WM supporters will stop at nothing to kill this off, that’s how corrupt they are. They have huge resources in terms of money and ‘old pals’ so in asking for figures we are letting them know the limits of ‘our’ resources and they can work out ways to push up the costs to frighten off the 4 petitioners. It wouldn’t surprise me to find they are behind the initial questions on spending. Let’s launch something new to get as many as possible to pledge support to the end, no matter what the outcome, or might that itself be used by Carmichael and his LibDem/WM Establishment cronies to gauge how close they are to killing it?

  18. Topher Dawson says:

    I contributed in the first round and again recently. I’d like the 4 people to know that I and many others will see them right, and go on contributing so that if the action fails it will not be for lack of money. I admire their tenacity and courage, and hope this story ends with standards in public life being upheld.

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