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Friday, March 19, 2010

Gaffe of the campaign

Mark Pack has details of the worst gaffe so far in this General Election campaign over on Liberal Democrat Voice. He refers to an article in the Hebrides News in which the Conservative candidate for Western Isles didn't so much as put her foot in it as leap head first voluntarily into a steaming pile of muck:

The prospective Tory general election candidate for the Western Isles has made a hugely embarrassing gaffe by backing a spoof harbour in a landlocked village.

Conservative hopeful Sheena Norquay confusingly insists that developing the fictional port at Achmore in the middle of the barren Lewis moor is a top priority.

The 22-year-old hopeful unexpectedly stressed one of the main island issues is “the building of the harbour wall at Achmore.”

However, the policy is a complete nonsense as no such harbour exists.

Achmore is a dry land village is located in the centre of Lewis, surrounded by hills and moor, and is the furtherest inhabited community in the Hebrides from the sea.

It has the distinction of being the only Western Isles community not located on the coast and the island’s TV transmitter mast is sited on its high terrain.

The inland location has a number of fresh water lochs but it was even shunned by the seafaring Vikings because it was so far from the ocean. The Norse, which ruled the islands 1000 years ago, ignored it when identifying landmarks so the village is fairly unique in gaining a purely native Gaelic name.

Achmore means “big field” in Gaelic. Virtually all other Hebridean place names come from Old Norse.

Local jokesters enjoy fooling strangers about its absent maritime facilities. The supposed state of Achmore pier is a favourite local knowledge test for incoming wanabee politicians.

But this is believed to be the first time any candidate has made such a bizarre, unprompted faux pas.

She then compounded the gaffe by going incommunicado. The Tories are widely expected to come last in this constituency in the General Election.
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