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An abuse of trust

Posted on December 09, 2015 by

We’ve been having some trouble trying to explain the Alistair Carmichael verdict to some English chums who hadn’t been following the case previously and have now just heard about it on the news.

Lord Matthews and Lady Paton in their great wisdom concluded that Carmichael had lied about the “Frenchgate” memo, and that he had also lied to them in the courtroom, and that the first of those lies was intended to help Carmichael achieve re-election, but that somehow his own re-election was not a “personal” matter.


Our friends couldn’t follow the logic of that, and to be honest we weren’t able to help them much. Nevertheless, the judgement has been handed down and the case is closed. It seems unlikely the petitioners could fund an appeal even if one was to be allowed, particularly given that according to press reports Carmichael will be pursuing them for his £150,000 costs as well as their own.

However, in the process of wriggling out of his lie on an obscure legal and semantic technicality, Carmichael appears, so far as we can tell, to have explicitly implicated himself in a far more serious crime.

An alert reader pointed us to the website of the Crown Prosecution Service, and more specifically the page on the offence of Misconduct In Public Office.


The definition of MiPO is fairly clear:


And Alistair Carmichael seems to fit all the criteria.

(1) A Secretary of State must surely be a “public officer”.

(2) Carmichael has unambiguously and unarguably admitted “misconducting himself”. In his own words, he told the BBC that “If I were still a cabinet minister at this point, I would tender my resignation“. We must rationally presume that a person wouldn’t resign if they weren’t guilty of some kind of misconduct.

(3) In his own words, in an article published in the Orcadian newspaper under his name in May, he also clearly admitted by any reasonable interpretation that his actions constituted “an abuse of the public’s trust in the office holder”.


(4) He can have no possible “reasonable excuse or justification” for leaking a government memo which he hadn’t even personally read, let alone verified. (32 seconds into the same BBC interview he says “I had never actually seen this document, you know, be quite clear about that”.)

It seems beyond any reasonable doubt, by Mr Carmichael’s own admission, that a crime with a maximum penalty of life imprisonment has been committed. Like any responsible citizen, we will be contacting the CPS forthwith.

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  1. 09 12 15 15:43

    An abuse of trust | Speymouth

101 to “An abuse of trust”

  1. John Sellars says:

    *High Five!!

  2. Grouse Beater says:

    An admitted liar and plotter who tries to undermine an elected representative (of whatever political hue) should be laid low by sheer admission of his guilt.

    Carmichael feels vindicated, free to do the same again. Anything that causes him to acknowledge he has betrayed trust and there’s a penalty to pay is to be pursued.

  3. Bob Mack says:

    Go get em cowboy !!!!

  4. Kenny says:

    I rather like the idea of pursuing this one quite a bit harder. Highlighting the cost of the Cabinet Office inquiry is particularly important, I think. He lied (a crime under this law) and then lied about the lie, not just to C4 News but also to Her Majesty’s Government.

    I know numbers don’t necessarily make the difference in these cases, especially if they’re seen to be “organised,” but how many people could complain to the CPS about this before they had to investigate? And perhaps more to the point, is that a purely English offence or do we have the same thing in Scotland that we could all complain to the PF about?

  5. Here is House of Commons guidance…..interesting comment in the big quote in the middle of the page.

    need to dig further regarding Scots Law though!

  6. mogabee says:

    Thanks for this Stu.

    Pretty disgusted, and bewildered at the result.

    Though I feel that a “volcano” just heated up a little bit more and eruption is imminent!

  7. smithie says:

    Go for it Stuart, you have possibly a few hundred (thousand) backing you.

  8. Macart says:

    Or mibbies no.

    He’ll not escape public judgement, that’s for sure. His legacy is toxic.

    He represents everything that’s wrong with our politics and system of government.

  9. Ian Brotherhood says:

    Splendidly forensic.

    By the time he’s finished reading it Carmichael will have acquired the skill of threading buttons with his arse.


  10. Triangular Ears says:

    I just commented on this on the previous thread. In my opinion, that paragraph about his credibility (your first link in this article) is perhaps* the most damaging part in the judgement for Carmichael.

    * Haven’t managed to read the full thing yet.

  11. Chic Thomson says:

    Hmm . . .
    I would be very interested to hear the thoughts of a certain Peat Worrier of this parish.

  12. Iain says:

    He will be forever known as Alistair Carmichael the Liar. However in fact the petitioners were found in favour for 2 out of 3 actions he was effectively found not proven id that vagrancy of Scots Law.

  13. call me dave says:

    Never winced when I heard the news about Carmichael, it’s what most ordinary folk do, so just keep on getting on.

    Contributed to the fund and will see how that is panning out next week.

    As others have said, “it’s not over”, we have some way to go yet but we are nearer than we were to independence.

    SNP x 2

  14. muttley79 says:

    Did Carmichael create the smear after the dissolution of the last parliament and government? Was he still officially the Secretary of State at the time of his leak/smear/lying?

  15. Catherine says:

    You have friends?
    Only kidding 🙂

  16. Ian McDonald says:

    It’s like a wee ray of sunshine on a cloudy day.

  17. stuart burdett says:

    what i find interesting as well as this is that the judges stated he clearly lied while giving evidence for his own game im not to sure about this as it was a civil case but unless im very much mistaken thats perjury is it not?

  18. Andrew Coulson says:

    “(1) A Secretary of State must surely be a “public officer”.”
    Well, yerss… but the parliamentary guidance you quote says
    ‘….public officer, acting as such’.
    He wasn’t acting as Secretary of State when he authorised the leak, nor when he lied about doing so — he was acting as an ordinary duplicitous MP and scrabbling politician.
    Haven’t we been here before?

  19. Mark says:

    Much as I’d like to see Carmichael charged under this act, it’s not going to happen. Here’s why:

    “Charging Practice

    General principles
    Where there is clear evidence of one or more statutory offences, they should usually form the basis of the case, provided the offences give the court adequate sentencing powers. The ‘public office’ element can be put forward as an aggravating factor for sentencing purposes.

    A comparison may be made with charges of perverting the course of justice. In R v Sookoo (2002) EWCA Crim 800 the Court of Appeal held that adding a charge of attempting to pervert the course of justice along with counts for the principal offence or offences was only appropriate where a case had serious aggravating features (such as wasted police time and resources or detention of members of the public following false implication of them in the offence by the accused).

    Similar reasoning should apply to the charging of misconduct in public office. When charging such an offence the prosecutor should provide a detailed review note of the reasons for doing so in the particular case. The note should make reference to any relevant factors referred to in this guidance, particularly where a statutory offence covering the behaviour in question is either charged or could have been charged.

    For example an assault by a police officer committed on duty should not automatically be considered as misconduct in public office. A charge of assault would normally provide the court with adequate sentencing powers and the ability to take into account the breach of trust by the officer as an aggravating factor. See R v Dunn (2003) 2 Cr.App.R.(S).

    Similarly, prosecutions for unauthorised access to or use of computer or other data systems should normally be conducted using the specific offence provided in section 55 Data Protection Act 1998. Only where the circumstances are such that a fine would not be an appropriate or sufficient penalty should a prosecution for misconduct in public office be considered.”

    Carmichael has already faced legal action under section 106 of the Representation of the People Act 1983 and that act provides for a person found to have committed an offence under that act to be barred from holding public office for three years.

    Even though misconduct in public office is a separate (and criminal) offence, the specific actions that Carmichael admitted to (his admission that he lied about his involvement in the leaking of the memo) could have been punished under another statutory provision (i.e those within RoPA 1983) and the punishment would have been similar under that Act would have been three years disbarment from public office.

    It’s extremely unlikely then that the CPS would consider a prosecution for misconduct in public office because doing so would breach these charging practice guidelines:

    “Misconduct in public office should be considered only where:

    there is no suitable statutory offence for a piece of serious misconduct (such as a serious breach of or neglect of a public duty that is not in itself a criminal offence);
    there was serious misconduct or a deliberate failure to perform a duty owed to the public, with serious potential or actual consequences for the public;
    the facts are so serious that the court’s sentencing powers would otherwise be inadequate”

    A breach of section 106 of RoPA 1983 can lead to criminal prosecutions (i.e. it can be treated as a criminal offence) and a court’s sentencing powers in those circumstances would be adequate since the punishment that a court can impose where a breach of section 106 is treated as a criminal offence is similar to the punishment that can be imposed after an Election Court determination, i.e. disbarment from public office for three years, although a court can add fines if the section 106 breach results in criminal prosecution and conviction. The punishment imposed by the court in the 2007 case of Miranda Grell, a Labour candidate who told lies about the personal counduct and character of an opponent during a council election campaign, was disbarment from public office for three years and a fine plus payment of prosecution costs:

    Had Carmichael lost his election court case, he would have face a similar punishment of disbarment from public office for three years and may have been liable for the costs of the petitioners, plus his own costs.

    Given the fact that there are other alternative statutory offences that Carmichael could have been charged with, given the fact the sentences available to courts to punish people found guilty of that offence (under s. 106 RoPA 1983) is adequate, it seems that Carmichael would not face charges from the CPS based on its published charging practice guidelines.

  20. Al-Stuart says:

    This article is why I read Wings Over Scotland, and the reason I believe Stuart Campbell is held in such high esteem by so many.

    Alistair Carmichael may think he has gotten away with it. But the insult to justice will not be sated so quickly.

    Scotland and her citizens have a good measure of ingenuity, and given this latest treatise by Stuart, I for one believe Alistair Carmichael will be brought to justice. One way or another. Scottish lateral thinking and problem solving will remedy this problem.

    There is also a prophetic and timely parallel this week…

    Oscar Pistorius believed he had GOT AWAY WITH MURDER when his conviction attracted a few months in jail and then lenient house arrest for the lesser conviction of manslaughter. Then justice prevailed. Pistorius has – eventually as the wheels of justice can grind with inexorable slowness – been found GUILTY OF MURDER.


    Ergo Alistair Carmichael would be foolish to celebrate his own perceived thwarting of the legal system prematurely. Not only is the Rev Stuart on the case, but other legal beagles are examining the merits and demerits of an alternate CIVIL action in HM Courts against the liar Carmichael.


  21. muttley79 says:

    This is an interesting section from LPW’s new article on the Carmichael case, which unionist politicians in Scotland should reflect on, but will almost certainly ignore:

    At the outset of the case, many scoffed that the action was doomed, a baseless, tissue-paper thin witch hunt that the courts would junk at the first available opportunity. Many of these prophets will feel vindicated in their cynicism today, but they are mistaken. Against all prophecies to the contrary, the petitioners scored point after legal point, persuading Lord Matthews and Lady Paton that this wasn’t a tenuous frolick – or a pop-eyed interpretation of the Representation of the People Act – but a serious, arguable challenge, well-founded in law.

    They persuaded the court that the penalties of election law should not only strike those who blacken the characters of others, but in principle, can be used to hold politicians to account for whitewashing their past behaviour. They successfully rebutted, too, Carmichael’s argument that section 106 couldn’t apply to lies candidates might be tempted to tell about their own “personal character and conduct.”

  22. Famous15 says:

    Plus this Aggravation,

    “And did conspire with others to feloniously etc etc ”

    There is no defence in Scots Law that a complaint is politically motivated.One has broken the law or one has not done so;no ifs buts or ah didna ken. Ye ken noo!

  23. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “He wasn’t acting as Secretary of State when he authorised the leak, nor when he lied about doing so — he was acting as an ordinary duplicitous MP and scrabbling politician.”

    He can’t have that both ways. If it wasn’t personal it must therefore have been political, therefore he was attacking the First Minister of another country in his only political capacity at the time – Scottish Secretary.

  24. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Given the fact that there are other alternative statutory offences that Carmichael could have been charged with”

    Except that it’s just been deemed that he WASN’T guilty of an offence under the RotPA, so that provides no remedy.

  25. Anne Meikle says:

    Carmichael looking particularly pleased with himself on TV interview this afternoon. (I thought he looked happy yesterday in parliament -perhaps a sneak preview of the judgement?) However, he appears to be brass-necking it and in the face of this further information, he must be considering his future but suspect he’ll stick it out to the bitter end, blaming the SNP all the while for his own behaviour.

  26. Rob Outram says:

    I thought mp’s were exempt from this kind of prosecution..they can lie through their teeth but are immune from prosecution?

  27. Colin Dawson says:

    The full details of the leaked memo are still being withheld by the UK Government because disclosure would be damaging to the UK’s foreign relations. That being the case, surely Carmichael has committed a breach of the Official Secrets Act by leaking the memo?

    If you are contacting the CPS perhaps you should ask then to consider whether a breach of the Official Secrets Act has taken place?

  28. Bob Mack says:


    Appreciate what you are indicating, but in a private action you base your case on what you believe are the offences committed. In this case The Representation of the people Act, 106.
    The CPS would not prosecute under that section of the Act, given that the Rev is indicating that Carmichael has committed an offence under separate aspects of that legislation, not considered by the Judges in this case.

  29. creag an tuirc says:

    Is it not a Data Protection Act breach? You know, someone deliberately putting personal and private details they hold about a citizen into the public domain.

  30. yesindyref2 says:

    It’s going to become a standard questions of candidates at hustings for elections: “Are you a truthful person?”.

    If the candidate says “yes” and subsequently gets elected but is proven to have lied about virtually anything during the election campaign, then the escape route Carmichael got through isn’t available for them.

    And if a candidate says “no” to being truthful, well then …

    I think politicians are f*sked. And they have Carmichael to thank for it.

  31. Lynn Mac says:

    This man must be sorted out before all the rest of them get going on their next lying sprees.
    I donated to this trial and I’m really upset he got away with it and I would gladly help to put him in court again.

  32. proudscot says:

    Anne, re your post timed at 2.42pm, Carmichael came out with yet another blatant lie on the BBC news earlier, when he claimed the attempted prosecution was politically motivated and prompted by “Nationalists”.

    This despite the fact from previous statements by the Orkney Four, that NOT all of them are either members of or even supporters of the SNP. Seems Carmichael is just a serial liar, and I hope the voters in the Northern Isles will give him short shrift at the next GE.

  33. Lesley-Anne says:

    “I had never actually seen this document, you know, be quite clear about that”.

    I just love that quote from the LIAR of Orkney.

    WE all knew he had LIED at the time, yet he made this *ahem* claim. Now we have the court judgement and even the Judges agree with US … he LIED, is a LIAR and continues to LIE.

  34. Mark says:

    “Except that it’s just been deemed that he WASN’T guilty of an offence under the RotPA, so that provides no remedy.”

    If a police officer was charged with assault (while on duty) and found not guilty, the CPS would not then charge him with misconduct in public office.

    “For example an assault by a police officer committed on duty should not automatically be considered as misconduct in public office. A charge of assault would normally provide the court with adequate sentencing powers and the ability to take into account the breach of trust by the officer as an aggravating factor. See R v Dunn (2003) 2 Cr.App.R.(S).”

    The CPS doesn’t charge people over and over again until there’s a guilty verdict on one of the charges.

  35. Frederick Hessler says:

    Doesn’t the unsaid but undeniable connivance/aforesaid knowledge of Mundell in the Scottish Office count as ‘conspiracy’? Has that angle been thoroughly pursued?

  36. Mark says:

    @Bob Mack:


    Appreciate what you are indicating, but in a private action you base your case on what you believe are the offences committed. In this case The Representation of the people Act, 106.
    The CPS would not prosecute under that section of the Act, given that the Rev is indicating that Carmichael has committed an offence under separate aspects of that legislation, not considered by the Judges in this case.”

    The Rev is *not* “indicating that Carmicheal committed an offence under separate aspects of that legislation” (RoPA 1983).

    He’s suggesting Carmichael may have committed an offence under common law, misconduct in public office.

    I make no comment on that suggestion per se. I *am* arguing that it’s highly unlikely the CPS would prosecute based on its published Charging Practice guidelines (and the more prosaic fact of its limited resources).

    Also I don’t believe the Rev’s article indicates he’s contemplating a private prosecution.

    And, for clarification, an election court has just found that Carmichael did *not* commit an offence under section 106 RoPA 1983.

  37. Bob Mack says:


    You are somewhat mistaken. If a person is charged by the CPS ,tried and found not guilty,it does not necessarily end there.
    I can, with evidence, bring forward a private prosecution of the same event.

    The reversal is also true.

  38. Hilary James says:

    If Carmichael had lost his seat in the election, his finances and lifestyle would also have taken a hit. No more expenses etc. How can that not be a personal motivation? I cannot see how personal and political can be seperated in this case. They seem to be firmly entwined.

  39. Lesley-Anne says:

    Chic Thomson says:
    9 December, 2015 at 2:18 pm

    Hmm . . .
    I would be very interested to hear the thoughts of a certain Peat Worrier of this parish.

    I am with Chic on this one.

    As many on here know I am not someone with a legal mindset but one of a Village Idiot mindset. 😀 However, I have a feeling in my waters, yes I AM seeing my doctor about this 😀 , that Carmichael does fall foul of the Misconduct In Public Office. Namely that he:

    wilfully neglected to perform his duty and/or wilfully misconducted himself to such a degree as to amount to an abuse of the public’s trust in the office holder without reasonable excuse or justification.

    In my view the whole Frenchgate scenario kicked off whilst he was STILL Secretary of State for Scotland. Therefore everything he did and said at that time that has been recorded or written is evidence, in my non legal view, of Carmichael’s misconduct in Public Office. Not only that but we have Carmichael’s own admission that he would have resigned.

    “If I were still a cabinet minister at this point, I would tender my resignation“

    My concern is that IF I am right I do not think folks have much in the way of support for another court case against Carmichael so soon. It being Christmas and all having donated all they can to the Orkney Four fund, and continuing to do so.

    Personally I’d love to see the lying two faced toad back in front of a judge A.S.A.P.

  40. Alastair says:

    Here hoping but possible downside – the Parliamentary Standards enquiry was stopped until the Election Court was concluded and I believe restarted. So a CPS enquiry may stop it again.
    How much shit must this man cover himself in before he realises he stinks.

  41. FiferJP says:

    I admire your optimism on the day that the establishment handed down a judgment saying a public figure wasn’t guilty of admitted breaches that you ask another public establishment body to find said establishment figure guilty of admitted breaches. Expect to get a response with the words ‘not in the public interest’ prominent.

    Personally I think the Lord and Lady were trolling the petitioners when they concluded “Thus on the basis of all the evidence led before us we are satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that another purpose underlying the false statement was self-protection (a self-protection extending to Mr Roddin, provided that neither of them could be identified),” seeing as the case was to convince the judges it was a personal reason for Carmichael lying. I don’t think you get more personal than ‘self-protection’

  42. broonpot says:

    His performance during the trial & the criticism of the judges calls into question his professional standards and whether he can continue to be a lawyer.

    Whilst the ethics committee and the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner may not be very effective he will have a bumpy ride in terms of continuing bad press.

    A proven politcal liar becomes a pariah and a party liability.

  43. Mark says:

    @ Bob Mack:


    You are somewhat mistaken. If a person is charged by the CPS ,tried and found not guilty,it does not necessarily end there.”

    In reality the CPS does not have the resources, nor do the police, to continually attempt to prove criminal charges against people found not guilty.

    “I can, with evidence, bring forward a private prosecution of the same event.

    The reversal is also true.”

    As for private prosecutions, they are relatively rare (except in cases like animal cruelty where the RSPCA prosecutes) and can be taken over and stopped by the CPS (in England and Wales), whereas permission to prosecute privately in Scotland is required in advance from the High Court of Justiciary.

    If, *in theory*, Carmichael were to be prosecuted for misconduct in public office, it could be done under English law as he was a UK minister and the offence is an offence under English law.

    However, I don’t think any such prosecution is a realistic prospect whether as a private prosecution or taken by the CPS.

  44. galamcennalath says:

    Simple, but perhaps relevant question:

    Was the alleged offence committed while in England or in Scotland?

    Accordingly procedure may vary. Not a clue how, but it may be something to consider.

  45. yesindyref2 says:

    Thank goodness Carmichael, the proven and self-confessed liar, is saying that it’s a Nationalist plot. If he said it wasn’t a Nationalist plot, no-one would believe him.

  46. Proud Cybernat says:

    Brilliant, Rev.

    We must keep the pressure on them. They might win their little battles in the end (tho not the war) but we will fecking make them have to fight every bloody inch of the way until such time as they get the message–don’t mess with us. We WILL take you to court and we DO have the means AND the will to do it. And, if needs be, we will do it again and again and again.

    The courts may have failed us this time but we will fix it next time, starting in May:

    SNP x2 SE2016

    And let’s not forget the brave Orkney Four. We CANNOT and MUST NOT let them down. Just imagine the headlines in the sabernat, corpmedia if we failed to give them all the support they need. The feckers would have a field day. The Orkney Four did this for ALL of us, for Scottish Deomcracy, for decency, and we can do no less than give them ALL of our support.

    Fund them here:

  47. Robert Peffers says:

    @Mark says: 9 December, 2015 at 3:04 pm:

    “… The CPS doesn’t charge people over and over again until there’s a guilty verdict on one of the charges”.

    Are you sure about that, Mark? Have they not removed, “tholed assize”, or, “res judicata”, from Scottish Law? That’s the Scots version of the, “Double Jeopardy”, thingy from English law.

    I got that from the criminal practitioner’s bible, (Renton & Brown ISBN 0 414 01151 1) And no I didn’t buy it – it costs around £420 per year just for annnual updates. I got it from a reference library for a short story I was writing.

    As it happened I didn’t use the, “tholed assize”, idea I was working on for it would have made the plot too convoluted and hard to follow. Anyway the story never made it into print nor into my own website that I used run.

    If my notes are correct the killer of Christine Eadie and Helen Scott in Edinburgh, in October 1977, (The World’s End Murders), had Angus Sinclair acquitted in 2007. After the amendment of the law of “tholed assize”, or, “res judicata”, Sinclair was re-tried in October 2014 and convicted of both murders in November of 2014.

  48. manandboy says:

    Two judges versus Wings over Scotland? No contest!

  49. David Hill says:

    Spot on WoS! Nice one! Get the crowdfunding going now!

    One pedantic caveat: “explicitly implicated” is an oxymoron.

  50. Bob Mack says:

    @Robert Peffers.

    I also believe that a further charge would come under different legislation than the Peoples representation Act.
    It would be for a separate offence.

  51. schrodingers cat says:

    I think what is being argued is that while there was sufficient doubt that section 106 was sufficient to convict carmicheal, the ruling by the judges today, categorically and unoquivocally called carmicheal a blatent liar.

    therefore todays ruling exsonerates carmicheal of guilt under section 106, but condemns him under the provisions set out in CPS MiPO?

  52. manandboy says:

    The ripples of Carmichael’s lies reaches the ground on which stands two men – The Prime Minister and the current Secretary of State. Todays verdict leaves these two beyond the parameters of this case, in spite of the likelihood that both were implicated; Cameron, because of the chain of command ; Mundell because of his close and extended proximity to the centre of the action.

    At least in the immediate term, both will consider themselves secure, but for as long as Memogate is still breathing, there remains a niggling worry for both of them.

  53. Finnz says:

    Need a crowdfund to help with any legal costs Rev?

    Though we must be careful we do not appear or can be accused to be conducting a ‘witchhunt”…

  54. manandboy says:

    Forgot to say, brilliant coverage by Stu – and by so many commentators.

  55. Black Joan says:

    Craig Murray, who has previously spoken up for Carmichael as a friend, has written a scathing blog post about the Liar’s arrogant demeanour in the wake of this result.

  56. Bill Steele says:

    This judgement demonstrates that our highest court judges are not in office to render justice, but to protect the elite, using narrow interpretations of the law. They themselves are among the elite. What else can we expect?

  57. schrodingers cat says:

    how many bill boards in Kirkwall

    could we crowd fund several billboard ads, with

    this libdem

    (photo of carmicheal)

    “is an unequivocal blatent liar…and a confirmed player of the pink oboe” lady Patton

    or some other damning comment from todays judgement.

    the snp cant do this, but we can, and as long as we quote todays ruling, there is nothing the libdems can do about it?

  58. Bill Steele says:

    ” Like any responsible citizen, we will be contacting the CPS forthwith.”

    Do you really think that the CPS will go forward with the case or, if they did, any court in the land would find him guilty? Still I appreciate your fortitude, and affirm your action.

  59. heedtracker says:

    Like any responsible citizen, we will be contacting the CPS forthwith.

    SNP need get involved now. This is a fundamental assault on Scottish democracy and they can’t pretend it’s not happening. Carmichael is not the last LibDem. He’s just the last Westminster LibDem from their Scotland region.

  60. BLMac says:

    The smartest thing the LibDems could do is expel him from the party.

    But they have to do it right now if they don’t want to be annihilated in the Scottish elections (again)

  61. manandboy says:

    In seeking to secure the ruling franchise in the UK, the Establishment has instead only managed to weaken it, by its conduct at the highest levels of Government which undermines one of the cornerstones of life in these islands, viz. the Rule of Law.

    In the case of Carmichael v The Orkney 4, the Union has lost yet more ground, despite frantic efforts to maintain it. Independence has acquired the unstoppable attributes of a force of nature. I am thinking in particular of a lava flow; others may have other preferences.

    One thing’s for sure – UK politics is heating up, though only the Unionists are sweating.

  62. handclapping says:

    @Bill Steele
    Surely if the CPS did go forward it would signal that he was not wanted on the sleigh any longer and had been thrown off to appease the ravenous wolves?

  63. Jimbo says:

    Like any responsible citizen, we will be contacting the CPS forthwith

    We can live in hope, but we’re well aware that the establishment are quite happy to make a mockery of justice if and when the need arises whenever it comes to looking after their own.

    Carmichael whines that the case against him was politically motivated. Wasn’t his smear of Nicola Sturgeon also politically motivated? He thinks holding him to account for it is unjust.

    He claims it is is a mark of the unhealthy polarisation of Scottish politics since the referendum. In Carmichael’s mind, getting hit with a ball of your own sh*te is unfair.

  64. MrObycyek says:

    “What is less clear, however, is whether his lie can be construed as proof beyond reasonable doubt that he was making a false statement about himself to the effect that he was someone who was upright, honourable, trustworthy, and straightforward, and therefore would not be involved in the leak.”

    Are they actually saying that if the first respondent made a false statement whilst at the same time stating he was whiter than white and above lying then the judges would have ruled that as being beyond reasonable doubt? I clearly must be missing something here. Carmichael lied and made out that he had nothing to do with the memo, in terms of leaking it or otherwise. Guilty. Plain and simple.

    Also, I still find it beyond belief in the claim that Carmichael was never shown either the original memo or a copy of it before he authorized its leaking. This strains credulity more than the elastic on Carmichael’s underpants. An absolute disgrace.

  65. Valerie says:

    ‘A public office holder is an officer who discharges any duty in the discharge of which the public are interested, more clearly so if he is paid out of a fund provided by the public.’

    This approach was followed in a series of cases from other common law jurisdictions: R v Williams (1986) 39 WIR 129; R v Sacks [1943] SALR 413; R v Boston (1923) 33 CLR 386.’

    From the CPS site. Surely, that covers an MP, and in particular his behaviour in incurring public monies for the investigation?

  66. Brian Powell says:

    Secretary of State for Scotland is a public office position. He leaked the memo when SofS and launched the inquiry while SofS.

  67. Lesley-Anne says:

    From the judgement:

    By adopting this approach, he “thought that it might have been possible to avoid the whole truth”. He acknowledged that he had answered the questionnaire “less than fully truthfully” (transcript 9 November 2015 page 68).

    In other words he LIED to the Parliamentary Enquiry!

    So now we have it confirmed.

    Not only did he LIE to the electorate, Channel 4 and others but he also LIED to the Parliamentary Enquiry. The man is a born LIAR!

  68. Robert Peffers says:

    @Black Joan says: 9 December, 2015 at 4:45 pm:

    “Craig Murray, who has previously spoken up for Carmichael as a friend, has written a scathing blog post about the Liar’s arrogant demeanour in the wake of this result”

    My impression of Craig is that he is too nice and trusting a guy for his own best interests. I have the utmost respect for him but think he needs be less trusting of others. This may indeed be a sign he is learning hard lessons.

  69. Brian Powell says:

    Secretary of State for Scotland is a public office position. He leaked the memo while SofS and launched the Inquiry while SofS.

  70. Capella says:

    On LLPW a commenter reminds us that Carmichael said:
    “The right to smear an opponent is not one we should be defending.”

    This quote stands as a header on the Indiegogo fundraiser.
    Yet the bizarre conclusion of the Court is that, because he never pretended to be truthful, his lie doesn’t mislead constituents!

    How can telling a lie not mislead people about your character. What is the purpose of a lie such as his?

    The Orkney 4 could go for a judicial review and I would contribute further if they decide to do so.

  71. Swami Backverandah says:

    So many lies at so many times by the lying liar of all liars, that it’s hard to keep up.

    But if we’re looking at a case of misconduct in public office, would this “untruthfulness” come into play?

    From the Groaniad, Monday 9 November.
    “Alistair Carmichael deliberately misled a Cabinet Office inquiry over the leak of a memo on Nicola Sturgeon’s view of May’s general election to save his political career, an election court in Edinburgh has been told.

    Jonathan Mitchell QC told the hearing that the former Scottish secretary failed until 12 May to tell an investigation that he authorised the so-called Frenchgate memo to be leaked, five days after he narrowly saved his seat of Orkney and Shetland.

    Carmichael admitted to the court that he did not tell the inquiry set up by the Cabinet secretary, Sir Jeremy Heywood, that he authorised the leak by his aide Euan Roddin when he was sent a short questionnaire in mid-April. It was an “act of untruthfulness”, Carmichael said.

    The Liberal Democrat MP, who faces being stripped of his seat if found to have breached the Representation of the People’s Act 1983, admitted he had “contemplated being less wholly truthful” to the investigation. Carmichael said: “I felt I could truthfully say I didn’t leak it.”

    So he is admitting that he actually also lied to the Inquiry.

    Epic, even by Shakespearean proportions.

    How does he loathe us? Let us count the lies.

  72. Alison Rollo says:

    I, for one, would be very happy if anything could be done to wipe the smirk that appeared on Carmichael’s face today!!

  73. Capella says:

    att. Stu

    The Home page is failing to update again with the latest post. It still shows “Put In Our Place” as the latest post and “Abuse of Trust” is not listed in the right hand side bar.

  74. Robert Peffers says:

    @schrodingers cat says: 9 December, 2015 at 4:55 pm:

    ” … the snp cant do this, but we can, and as long as we quote todays ruling, there is nothing the libdems can do about it?”

    Nah! If todays judgment has taught the various peoples of Scotland anything it is that the various branches of the Establishment are all on the way down in the estimation of the Scottish electorate while that of the several YES supporting groups are all on the upwards trend.

    This is in no small measure to the SNP’s, as the SG, conduct the governance of Scotland and themselves in office. While the MSM, Broadcasters and Unionist parties are becoming more and more reviled by the way they are conducting themselves.

    Let matters rest as they are as long as those trends are maintained – now is certainly not the time to ape the behaviours of the ever more despicable Establishment.

  75. Swami Backverandah says:

    I’ve just had a quick roll through the comments and see that my point about the liar lying to the Inquiry has also been remembered by others.

    I remember at the time thinking that, if nothing else, this would deem him unfit for public office.

    He should resign.

    And his LibDem colleagues should request it.

  76. jdman says:

    Does anyone else think that arsehole is trying to goad the SNP into making a rash comment about taking him to court for libel in his insistence that the case was influenced by “nationalists”?

  77. Macart says:

    @Alison Rollo

    There is. The people can pass their own judgement on Carmichael, the Lib Dems and the rest of the establishment parties in May.

    We remove them from office root and branch. Carmichael may stick it out for the next four years, but he would carry the knowledge that the wipe out of these parties can be laid directly at HIS feet. For make no mistake, if we wish to see the end of this type of politics in Scotland removing every single rotten one of them is what it is going to take.

  78. Capella says:

    @ Valerie
    I recognise the faces in the globalresearch link you posted above.
    James Scott, Sean Clerkin and Piers Douglas-Brown were involved in a demo against Jim Murphy in Glasgow during the Referendum campaign. This was then misrepresented in the media as an SNP attack mob.

    So while it would be fantastic if their action succeeded, we need to be a little sceptical of their aims.
    Can’t find a link to the incident but it’s out there somewhere.

  79. Valerie says:


    I think they are well known to many, esp. Sean Clerkin.

    Good luck to them, I admire their dedication.

  80. David McDowell says:

    That tired old legal chestnut “implied, not expressed” is trotted out yet again, this time to stop a lying politician being properly held to account by his constituents.

    According to these “judges”, as Carmichael did not EXPRESSLY utter “I regard the practice of leaking confidential information as dishonest and morally reprehensible” but merely IMPLIED it by claiming he was unaware of the memo, he did not falsely hold himself out to the public to be honest and trustworthy.

    This patently absurd distortion of reality requires a mental contortion of such magnitude that it literally boggles the mind.

    It is self-evident that by making a false statement that he was unaware of the memo, Carmichael DID hold himself out to be honest and trustworthy when only he and a few others knew he was not.

    The law, far from being used to protect electors, is here being narrowly interpreted to protect a lying politician from being held to account, with the “reward” for those brave souls who tried to do so being possible bankruptcy.

    Any pretence that this is some sort of respectable “justice” is risible.

    It is simply impossible to explain this baffling “judgement” as anything other than a purely politically-motivated action, devoid of any logic or morality. Absolutely disgraceful.

    Today may be a good day for Alistair Carmichael.
    But it is also the day when any remaining modicum of trust in lying politicians, or the corrupt legal system that protects them, died forever.

  81. Kenny says:

    They did it for Scotland…

    You know, I think: in for a penny, in for a pound. The Orkney Four have got this far and I think every avenue should be pursued. I am not sure if they can appeal.

    It is completely outrageous that a government minister can leak a false menu and then brazenly lie on national television… and expect to walk free?

    I wonder what Labour and Tory voters reading this think? Are you happy for our rulers to openly despise us so? Should we not hold them to account? Do you not want a better Scotland?

    I am glad that the fund is going nicely, money is pouring in. I think we are in agreement that je suis les Orkney 4 and that they speak for every single one of us. They must not be allowed to suffer any financial penalties whatsoever. They acted for Scotland (you know, the job the Secretary of State for Scotland is supposed to do and for which he received a fat salary???).

  82. Kenny says:

    Correction: menu… should read memo. I was thinking about what I am cutting back on Christmas this year to add to the fund. Now that really will give me a warm glow!

    I feel a bit like I did on 19 September. Full of energy and really up for the fight, because it seems that gloves are well and truly off (and if they were on, Carbuncle had a horseshoe in his glove and the good people of the Northern Isles were blindfolded).

  83. Capella says:

    Fund now over £180,000 so only £28,000 to go.

  84. mealer says:

    Carmichael leaked a memo.He lied to the public about it.He lied to a parliamentary enquiry about it.Whats Westminster going to do about it?

    Carmichael is a liar,a cheat and a Libdem MP.

  85. Hammy says:

    Mr Carmichael’s personal qualities seem ideally suited to a senior governance post at the SFA or SPFL.

  86. Breeks says:

    I’d like to see it happen, but a good number of decent people have a lot more faith in the instruments of our society than I do.
    If the courts legalised theft in the way they have just sanctioned Carmichael’s dishonesty, they wouldn’t change the meaning of theft, merely diminish the integrity of the justice they deliver. So what’s the difference at the end of the day?

    Not only should justice be done, but be seen to be done. Fail. Fail. For me, this is no longer about Carmichael, the golden cherub of the state rebuked for impudence but instantly forgiven. Henceforth, I now must harbour doubts whether honest conduct can be adequately determined by a Scottish court. Apparently not. The good, the bad, and mediocre of our legal fraternity all stand diminished, but yet my personal disapproval counts for nothing, not a thing.

  87. Anagach says:

    I think that the public will judge the Lib Dems at the ballot box.

    Carmichael, and their defense of him does them no favours at all.

  88. Hector says:

    Any advice from legal eagles on this issue? If the ruling was made under The Representation of the People Act, which is “reserved” to Westminster…….I.e. English Legal System, .what effect can we, as Scots under Scottish law, have on this? Do we have any rights under Scottish Law which could challenge this? Can The Scottish Parliament take a view within Scot’s Law?

  89. Fiona says:

    I think the same tortured reasoning we saw today would make this idea untenable as well. They would probably find that in this context he was lying in a personal capacity rather than in his public office role. And with one bound he is free.

  90. Ghillie says:

    Thanks Rev Stu, after a bad night’s sleep that has given me some cheer 🙂

    I believe the judges’ decision was unsound. Their summing up, what I managed to read of it anyway, seemed confused and lost in convolution.

    Alistair Carmichael lied and lied again. No matter how that law is worded or interpreted, Carmichael is not fit for a postion of trust.

    The content of the memo was a lie. What has happened to the person who penned that lie?

    To the Orkney Four: What a race you ran. Well done! You are now a part of Scottish history. THANK YOU =)

  91. Philip Dixon says:

    I very much doubt that this will ever reach court (the CPS will no doubt find that it’s ‘not in the interest of the public’ to pursue a MiPO prosecution), but I still think it would be good to keep this affair in the public eye.

    Does anyone know if a relevant petition has been raised at (There doesn’t seem to be a search function.) It only needs 100,000 signatures to oblige Parliament to debate the issue.

  92. Anagach says:

    Call Tokyo Kaye selling all politicians lie, so its ok really, and a healthy dose of SNP Bad (Squirrel!).

    Only a few reserved voices pointing out that political
    evasion and failure to remember are not the same as outright
    barefaced lies.


    A Unionist want off, lets lower all social standards…

  93. orri says:

    Not reading the memo before authorising it’s release in order to claim truthfully that he had not seen it has to be a very deliberate dereliction of duty.

    Even if we take the line that Rodin, as a SPAD, could be delegated tasks then under the Ministerial Code Carmichael was ultimately responsible.

    The nature of the document and it’s later suppression under the Official Secrets Act mean it’s leaking was a criminal act. Obviously, as with the Trident whistle blower, those in authority may decide not to prosecute.

    Carmichael rolled out his “public interest” defence extremely early. If he were, unlikely as it seems, to go to court for breaking the OSA it’s worth pointing out that that defence is specifically excluded.

    Although not specifically mentioned in the summary lying for self interest implies that the actions being covered up were also for self interest which renders a public interest plea even less likely to fly.

  94. Duncan says:

    I have just looked at the BBC website and maybe I am blind but I can’t find any mention of the Carmichael story anywhere.

    Just the usual SNPBAD propaganda. I’m surprised there are no stories circulating about the alleged Desmond and Nicola affair. This weather must be her fault, is it not?

  95. Morgatron says:

    Fantastic, i want to see him squirm and then unemployed.Liar.

  96. Robert says:

    Was it possible for Carmichael to be simultaneously a candidate and Secretary of State? I though that when he became a candidate he ceased to be an MP, at least?

    As an aside, there’s some future fun here. If every candidate is asked “are you of an honest character” while a candidate, then if elected and found to be dishonest, they can lose their seat. So all the MP’s who fiddled their expenses could have been unseated, just by a simple prior question.

    I hope someone’s trawling through everything Carmichael said during his campaign to see whether he ever declared himself of good character.

  97. Frank Wright says:

    Dear Citizen Campbell, Thank you for your excellent research and actions in contacting the CPS.

    Hopefully one day in an independent Scotland, Rev Stu Campbell will be knighted (or some appropriate republican equivalent) to recognise your tenacious work for the Indy cause.

  98. Peter Newling says:

    The petition failed because the judges ruled that the false statement of fact was not proved to be “in relation to personal character or conduct”. If Carmichael had said that he “would never leak a document” then he would have lost.

    1)It seems [according to Tim Morrison] that at the Orkney Hustings Carmichael did indeed say this. It is tragic that the statement was not pleaded in the petition and presented in evidence.

    2) What about the “conduct” part of the crucial words of the Act? Craig Murray in his blog [Wednesday 11th December] raises this question. The words “I did not leak this memo” may not be held to be a statement as to his character, but how can it not be “in relation to his personal conduct”? In other words, The Judges’ own reasoning should have resulted in Carmichael losing.

  99. Clapper57 says:

    Late in the day but…had to revisit with this anecdote .

    I knew him …..oh aye….Carmichael that is….before he was a solicitor…. when he was a model….he agreed to model one o my fashion pieces….cotton wool pants…moaning isnae the word….he had barely walked four steps in the pants than he was complaining aboot his lardy arse been hoat ( scots for Hot ) .

    Bloody cheek…nae pun intended…I left him withoot a name…apart from the one he had before he came in to model my pants….

    Even then… as a model… he was lyin cause I had lined them wae my other invention…..sorry I mean design….. ice cube cotton….so it is deffo official people….whether model, solicitor , Scottish secretary for State or plain old MP….he was…and is…still a LIAR.

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