Something remarkable happened in the last couple of days, readers. After we told you about the imminent delivery of the print edition of the Wee Black Book, there was a flurry of orders for several thousand more copies. And that extra influx of cash took the independence movement past a significant milestone.
Just a quick update on the Alistair Carmichael fundraiser:
In barely 48 hours, almost £37,000 has been raised by the general public to challenge the election of a British MP under false pretences. We don’t believe there’s any sort of precedent for that. It would now seem beyond any reasonable doubt that there will be an official legal challenge to the former Secretary of State.
However greatly it may be to the chagrin of metropolitan commentators like Michael White, it appears that the people of Scotland, having been awoken in large numbers by the independence referendum, are simply no longer content to sit back meekly and allow either the political establishment itself or the media which claims to scrutinise it keep its house (or Houses) in order.
The events of the last few years have made Scotland increasingly disinclined to put its trust in self-appointed gatekeepers, and willing to take matters of politics directly into its own hands. Whatever the eventual outcome of the independence story, the electorate seems not to want to go back into its box, where attention is only paid to it twice a decade. If so, the referendum will have brought about a far more wide-reaching victory than anyone ever imagined.
Scottish Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie – a man who was at the heart of the “MemoGate” smear, quoted prominently in almost all the media coverage of the untrue slur against Nicola Sturgeon – has offered the opinion that former Secretary of State for Scotland Alistair Carmichael deserves a “second chance” after admitting being behind the fabricated story and then brazenly lying about it on national TV.
We agree with Mr Rennie.
We believe that Mr Carmichael deserves a second chance to be elected, but this time honestly. The only way that can happen is if he is removed as an MP and given the opportunity to present himself to the electorate again in the light of the revelations. If the voters of Orkney & Shetland weigh up all the facts and conclude that on balance Alistair Carmichael should continue to represent them in Parliament, fair enough.
We therefore draw readers’ attention to the above campaign which has been launched by some of Mr Carmichael’s constituents, which seeks to raise the money required to issue a legal challenge to his election as an MP earlier this month, on the grounds that his narrow 817-vote victory was gained on the basis of lying to voters and covering up that lie until after the election, which may constitute an offence under the Representation of the People Act 1983.
The campaign requires just £6,000 to file the complaint, with the rest of the target sum being set against possible costs. Any unused funds will be donated to charity.
Sorry for the wait, readers, but having fancy custom stuff made simply takes time.
However, we’re delighted to report that all of the donor perks for our 2015 fundraiser are now in our possession, and will be winging their way out to generous contributors over the next few days.
More than two weeks still to go. We don’t really know what to say, readers.
We’ve posted this video before, but right now it’s all we’ve got to say.
More information here. Wings Over Scotland endorses (and indeed, may well become actively involved with) this event or product.
We almost forgot to mention this.
Not for the first time, readers, you’ve left us gobsmacked sideways. Despite previous successes we were a little apprehensive about this latest fundraiser, as people have been getting asked for a lot of money by a lot of groups in recent months, and we were a bit worried that everyone might have donation fatigue or simply be skint.
That apprehension lasted two and a half hours.
In March this year, Wings Over Scotland ran a breathtakingly successful fundraiser. We asked for £50,000 in a month and achieved it in eight hours, going on to raise over £110,000 in total, despite the bitterness and cynicism of the mainstream media.
The money has been used for various projects – we’ve already spent many thousands of pounds on site running costs, conducting opinion polls, taking out adverts and distributing hundreds of thousands of leaflets and posters and postcards and badges.
But the main thing we wanted to fund was The Wee Blue Book – a pocket-sized guide to independence, fully-sourced and referenced and covering every important aspect of the debate, but which can be read in about an hour. We budgeted £15,000 for it, with the intention of producing perhaps 20,000 copies. But we’ve got four million voters to reach, and we need to scale that up a bit.