The Scottish Greens who are the only political party in Orkney to have a councillor have issued a statement about the UK General Election on 12th of December 2019.
OIC Councillor and Orkney Greens Co-convenor, Steve Sankey, said:
“We’ve had detailed discussions with our colleagues in the Shetland Greens, and have decided reluctantly that we will not field a candidate in the forthcoming General Election for a variety of reasons, not least the incredibly out-dated first-past-the-post electoral system used for Westminster. In truth, had we been able to field a candidate on a job-share basis we would have done, but at present we’re prevented by electoral law from doing so.”
Steve explained that the plan had been for himself to stand in Orkney, alongside Debra Nicolson of Shetland Greens, on a joint, job-share basis. The role would simply have been divided 50:50 with Steve taking responsibility for Orkney, and his counterpart Debra taking care of Shetland.
“Greens do politics differently, and Debra and I saw the prospect of a job-share as an ideal opportunity in a shared constituency to share the roles as well. In any other walk of life employers must by law positively explore creative solutions to a changing world and its workplaces. Not so the antediluvian House of Commons though, where the combined effect of legislation is constrained to the candidate himself, phrased in the singular.”
Debra Nicolson of Shetland Greens said:
“It’s ironic that employers have to work hard under equal opportunities laws to accommodate women in the workplace, and yet the so-called Mother-of-all-Parliaments can’t be bothered to do so. We would have stood if things had been different, and the current laws must be changed.
“That said, the election gives a great opportunity to move away from the confines of Brexit into more important areas of survival and opportunity such as the current climate emergency.”
Orkney and Shetland are separate constituencies for the Scottish Parliament but for the UK Parliament they are counted as one. The constituency is small ( electorate 33,229) but the boundaries are protected and have remained unchanged since 1708. It is currently held by the Liberal Democrat Alistair Carmichael, and has voted Liberal (or versions thereof) since 1873 with the exception of 1935 when it went to the Conservatives. It is the safest seat in Scotland.
UK General Election results 2017
Steve Sankey said:
“Our Northern Isles constituency is ideally-placed to lead Scotland in showing how a carbon-neutral economy can be won from the Green opportunities of the future.
“In our islands we have wind and tidal assets that can underpin other changes that we will need to make in our more traditional sectors of the economy in the immediate years ahead.
“A new Green Deal is required, with capital investment in transport such as green ferries and buses, and employment opportunities in renewables and green tourism. A Clean and Green Orkney and Shetland should show Scotland the way ahead, and it’s important that our elected representative at Westminster gets this.”