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King of the palefaces

Posted on November 25, 2013 by

We’re indebted to an extra-specially-alert reader who keeps an eye on the Spanish press for us. Last week, leading newspaper El Pais carried a story which reported an interview given by Alistair Carmichael to various foreign media. The first paragraph contains a quote which Google Translate renders thus:

“If Scotland becomes a foreign country, we will treat [it] as a foreign country.”

A fascinating use of “we” there from the Secretary of State for Portsmouth, we’re sure you’ll agree. (Though we’re not sure who “we” would be in that scenario, as if Scotland was independent there’d be no Scottish Secretary and no Scottish MPs, so we can’t quite fathom what Mr Carmichael’s locus would be in the matter.)

We’d be prepared to chalk it down to the vagaries of automated translation, were it not for the fact that the minister said basically the same thing twice more this weekend, first referring to Scotland as “they” on the Andrew Marr show on Sunday morning, and then repeatedly as “her” on The Sunday Politics.

You can hear the former interview here:


But in amongst a lot of fatuous dribble about how we shouldn’t vote Yes because of Mo Farah and Jessica Ennis, Carmichael said something more ridiculous still:

3m 12s:

MARR: Is it true that Westminster, that George Osborne, would refuse to allow Scots to use the pound? Because the pound is the property of the Scots as much as the English, I don’t see how that could be.

CARMICHAEL: It is, as long as we are part of the United Kingdom. But in fact public international law is very clear on this – if you remove yourself from the United Kingdom then you remove yourself from all sorts of institutions, and yes, the pound would be one of them.

Now, hold on a minute. Which “public international law” are we talking about here? Can we have a chapter and verse? Is there secret international law? And why would “international” law be concerned with what happens solely inside the UK?

But leaving aside for a moment that the Secretary of State is quite clearly speaking through a horse’s backside, that’s at least a clear and unequivocal load of old horsepoop. Asked if Westminster would refuse the use of the pound, Carmichael’s direct answer is yes, “public international law” dictates that this would indeed be the case. (Even though Westminster can’t in fact “refuse” ANYONE the use of the pound.)

But that admirable clarity and certainty, alas, held firm for just 60 seconds. Let’s spool past the bit where a patient Marr explains to an embarrassed, nervously-giggling Carmichael why he’s an idiot and onto the bit where he says this:

4m 12s:

MARR: It would be a ridiculous thing to say to the Scots, “If you vote for independence you can’t have the pound.”

CARMICHAEL: It’s not a question of, nobody is saying anything about “You can’t have”. The fact is that a currency union wouldn’t work.

Wait, what? This is a pragmatic decision, not a legal one? Nobody’s being told they “can’t have” the pound? But what about the “public international law” that dictates otherwise? Just one minute ago that law was “very clear”, now it’s irrelevant? Dear God, WON’T SOMEONE THINK OF THE PUBLIC INTERNATIONAL LAW?


Alistair Carmichael has clearly been parachuted into his job in a panic without the slightest command of his brief. Never mind Scotland becoming a foreign country, he clearly regards it as one already. His tearful protestations to be a proud and patriotic Scot are laid bare by his vow to treat an independent Scotland as an enemy.

The Secretary of State is an insult to Scotland and an embarrassment to the United Kingdom. We’re rapidly coming to the conclusion that the replacement of Michael Moore (who if nothing else was at least dignified and thoughtful) with this bumbling, clueless oaf could turn out to be the Yes campaign’s brightest day.

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    109 to “King of the palefaces”

    1. Doug Daniel says:

      I cannot wait to see Nicola tear him a new one on Wednesday’s Scotland Tonight referendum debate. It’s going to be hilarious.
      New Secretary of State against Scotland by 2014, anyone?

    2. Jiggsbro says:

      He misspoke when he said ‘public international law’. He meant to say ‘pubic international law’, which dictates that we’d have to adopt the Brazilian real.

    3. James Morton says:

      someone needs to bring up the fact that Ireland used sterling from 1921 to 1971. So went independent, kept the pound, the queen and stayed in the commonwealth. It would do away with the monarchy in 1935 and leave the commonwealth in 1949. But it still used the pound until events led it and several other nations to abandon it.
      It be suicide for the rUK to think it could deny the scots the use of the pound. The only way that works is if Scotland contributed nothing to the UK in 300 years.

    4. Caroline Corfield says:

      I’m not getting a real Brazilian for anybody…

    5. Alex Grant says:

      “a lot of fatuous dribble” ? He may be dribbling but I presume you mean ‘drivel’?

    6. Robert Kerr says:

      Jiggsbro and Caroline.
      I have some real Brazilian reals left from my last trip.

    7. Peter A Bell says:

      On this one, I get to say, “I told you so!”.

    8. Norrie says:

      Caroline Corfield
      Must be getting old took me a couple of seconds. lol.

    9. Brian Powell says:

      One might think as a MP in Scotland he would be a bit more circumspect. But he probably already thinks of it as foreign country, he does spend time wearing a Viking helmet and burning ships in Shetland.
      Of course that would make England, Wales and NI foreign countries too. Maybe he had the helmet pulled on to tightly and it reduced the blood circulation to his brain.

    10. Hewitt83 says:

      I’m just being lazy but where can one view Wednesday’s debate and at what time?

    11. Luigi says:

      Poor old Michael Moore wasn’t the sharpest tool in the box, but Alistair Carmichael makes him sound like a genius. 

    12. Luigi says:

      Alistair Carmichael has clearly been parachuted into his job in a panic
      How long do you think he will last?  I give him six months, max.

    13. Jon D says:

      With reference to a posting yesterday, and this guy, 
      I think the Rev means dribbles

    14. MajorBloodnok says:

      @Jon D
      That’s Carmichael after Nicola Sturgeon has finished with him.

    15. Walter Burt says:

      Never mind Viking helmet…..German helmet springs to mind.

    16. Henry Hooper says:

      Carmichael is clearly a buffoon. Now desparate to ensure i dont miss his “debate” with wee Nic….oh that WILL be interesting, funny and embarrasing and all a the same time too

    17. Les Wilson says:

      You gotta wonder just what his constituents think of him! any takers ? 

    18. a supporter says:

      Jon D
      It looks like Carmichael too!

    19. Hewitt83 says:

      Thanks Andy!

    20. frankieboy says:

      Ok, if you are eating I am not responsible for any mishaps. Carmichael has a Brazilian, lets say. Now think of him in a Mankini.

    21. Les Wilson says:

      Sorry for quick follow on post.
      Tonight we will be treated to the BBC ” Our Friends in the North ” where we can expect subliminal and the not so subliminal BBC make a case on the Negative side. Ie SG thinks Norway is an idea to follow, the BBC can’t have that so will spin into the negative. We will see, but that is what will happen, in my humble opinion.
      We need an International really Independent body to monitor all the MSM inc BBC and STV, surely there is such a body who can report to say eg THE UN, or something with equal standing. Democracy in Scotland is neigh nor existent and like to get even worse. We need help to thwart them. 

    22. orkers says:

      Can’t speak for anyone else Les, but as for myself ‘not a lot’ as Eric Morecambe used to say.

    23. proudscot says:

      At least now we know why he declared that the office of Secretary of State for Scotland and the Scotland Office were rendered redundant by the establishment of the devolved Scottish Parliament in 1999. He, like his predecessor in the office, Michael Moore, is a nonentity in the eyes of Westminster – and in the opinion of all pro-independence supporters like myself and those who post on this excellent site. Mind you, it could be worse, Cameron could have really riled the vast majority of the current Don’t Knows, by appointing either Maggie Curran or Ian Davidson to the role!

    24. MajorBloodnok says:

      For some reason I saw him in Lib-Dem yellow.  Gives a whole new meaning to ‘up-helly-aa’ mind.  Shudder.

    25. Horacesaysyes says:

      No campaign spokesman in lack of consitency shocker!
      I’m astounded! (Or perhaps not 😉 )

    26. Stevie says:

      One tends to avoid name calling but one will make an exception for Carmichael in that it isn’t really name calling but is rather a simple description of this pointless person- he’s quite simly a bumptious fool One is disappointed that Nicola has agreed to ‘debate’ with this circus clown intellect. Still, if he doesn’t debase the debate (which he will) then Nicola should knock spots of him.

      The referendum debate is tiresome enough without this BritNat fool in the mix.

    27. HandandShrimp says:

      Poor Alistair Carmichaelmoore, the doublethink necessary to be both a proud Scot and agent for Westminster at the same time is inevitably going to make speaking cumbersome and convoluted. He has to tread so carefully so as to promise nothing whilst still sounding as if he is fighting Scotland’s corner is doomed to failure.
      I would like to see him promise that Barnett will continue unchanged if there is a No vote. That should have the buttock checks revolving.

    28. Geoff Huijer says:

      But like the Rev says he is a proud and patriotic Scot.
      No doubt a very, very, proud and extremely patriotic Scot…
      amongst all those other proud and patriotic Scots over at
      Better Together aka No Scotland. Pah!

    29. Ghengis D'Midgies says:

      BBC article on Allan Little’s Nordic documentary: “Our Friends in the North” on BBC Two Scotland at 22:30 on Monday

    30. Grant says:

      Carmichael, I feel quite embarrassed for him.

    31. chalks says:

      Why oh why, is the debate on at 10:55?????

    32. Luigi says:

      RE: STV debate: I won’t bother to watch.
      I’m sure that Alistair Carmichael will try to apply the Sarwar technique and shout over everything NS tries to say.  It may succeed in closing the debate, but it goes down very badly with the audience.  It just looks desperation, bullying by a big, hapless buffoon with nothing real to say.  Not a wise move against an intellegent, highly respected, female politician.  Don’t expect a decent debate: Michael Moore, to his credit, tried to be civil, and he lost his job as a result. Carmichael won’t make the same mistake.

    33. Paul Martin says:

      How Orkney benefits directly from Mr Carmichael’s work in the ConDem alliance at Westminster:

    34. Papadocx says:

      WHIT ABOOT ISLAY? JOLA? Mcquarry? Think he must be a furiner!

    35. Murray McCallum says:

      If you believe the Scotland Office is “indefensible” then why not, as Sec of State for Scotland, say indefensible things?

    36. HandandShrimp says:

      I may be wrong but Carmichael while not sparkling as an interviewee might not be quite so desperate as Sarwar was to shut down the debate. The Liberals tend to like to talk. Carmichael’s voting record is actually not that awful apart from having to confirm to Cabinet collective agreement on Government policy. He is actually a Liberal rather than an Orange Book neo-Liberal.
      He may disappoint me though. 🙁

    37. Training Day says:

      ‘If Scotland becomes a foreign country, we will treat it as a foreign country’.
      Stunned. Silence.

    38. Busy-Bee says:

      “He’s an insult to Scotland and an embarrassment to the United Kingdom”
      I couldn’t agree more. I watched the Marr/Carmichael interview on Sunday and my thought at the time was what a bumbling buffoon. This man has no interest whatsoever in Scotland. He is a disgrace and I echo the sentiments in Doug Daniels post above.

    39. Murray McCallum says:

      Didn’t Carmichael vote for the 300% tuition fee increase in England? Didn’t Danny Alexander vote against? I may be wrong about that – long time since I looked at.
      If you believe in the principle of universal free higher education then you …

    40. The Man in the Jar says:

      I can just about understand why Westminster / Better Together or whoever got rid of Michael Moor. I recon that he was far too much a “nice guy” for their taste. Fair enough!
      But why they replaced Moor with this bumbling half-witted fool is completely beyond me. But by all means carry on!
       I am so looking forward to Sturgeon V Carmichael on TV, comedy gold I expect.

    41. msean says:

      Having refered to your country as ‘they’ etc,where do these guys see themselves as hailing from after Independence?I may as well ask that of other Scots born politicians in govt right now such as ids,m.gove etc,would they,as Scots,be able to hold ruk cabinet positions?According to wikipedia they were born in Edinburgh.

    42. Linda's Back says:

      A recent letter in the press from one of Alistair Carmichael’s constituents (didn’t keep link)
      So Alistair Carmichael has won favour with David Cameron and has been appointed to the Cabinet. How did this come about?
      In February and March 2012 a parliamentary bill, the Health and Social Care Bill, applying to England only, was having a rough ride, not only at Westminster, but from the vast majority of health care professionals.
      One of the bill’s key provisions was that, whereas formerly only 2% of beds in foundation hospitals in England could be allocated to privately paying and privately insured patients, the percentage was now to shoot up to 49%. It would mean that ordinary NHS patients would be squeezed down the queue for hospital operations.
      The bill promised to be bad for Scottish patients too. The funding we receive from Westminster for our public services is allocated under the Barnett Formula at around 9.9% of the UK spend. And so if England were to spend less public money supporting publicly available hospital beds, then the UK global spend would drop, and Scotland would suffer a proportionate drop in funds for its own hospitals, from Melrose to Lerwick, and would be forced to try to draw in more private patients to make up the shortfall.
      The bill was in the balance for weeks, as more and more amendments were forced on the Health Secretary, Andrew Lansley.
      But eventually this ghastly bill was forced through Parliament and enacted on March 27, 2012. If Mr Carmichael, as the Liberal Democrat Chief Whip, had not severely dragooned his troops, many of whom had serious misgivings, then it would have failed to achieve a majority and would have been ditched.
      After a little delay, Mr Carmichael has now been rewarded by David Cameron with a Cabinet post. His Cabinet post as Scottish Secretary has as its central purpose a second attempt at mobilising a socially destructive vote. Mr Carmichael’s new target is to dragoon the Scottish electorate into voting No in next year’s referendum.
      If we vote as he wishes, the Scottish NHS, as a universally and equally available service free at the point of need, will inevitably suffer due to the accelerating shift from public to private healthcare south of the Border.
      Yet the matter is in our hands.
      One trusts that, come September 2014, Mr Carmichael will find that voters the length and breadth of Scotland are not as hand-wringingly useless at defending the public interest as Liberal Democrat MPs.
      John Aberdein,

    43. Yodhrin says:

      @Ghengis D’Midgies: Hah, fantastic, only the BBC could look at the Nordic countries and conclude “right-wing with miserly benefits”. I also like the part about how it’s us dodgy separatist types who’re casting independence as “going it alone” and we should really be considering the whole idea in a European context…I know, perhaps we could have this fine journo-gent come up with a catchy slogan for us? “Independence in Europe” perhaps?

      Fuck’s sake, reading that article my eyes were rolling so hard I could see my own bloody optic nerves.

    44. Mosstrooper says:

      Only one word for Carmichael… Gormless.

    45. “with this bumbling, clueless oaf could turn out to be the Yes campaign’s brightest day”
      Could SS’s theory be correct?

    46. Luigi says:

      “with this bumbling, clueless oaf could turn out to be the Yes campaign’s brightest day”
      Could SS’s theory be correct?
      If so, then Cameron has played a blinder!

    47. Craig P says:

      You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone – never thought I would feel a warm kindly glow towards Michael Moore.
      Cameron could look to the House of Lords and appoint Baroness Goldie as the next Secretary of State…

    48. Jimbo says:

      I watched the Westminster’s Secretary of Snivelling at Scotland being interviewed yesterday. It was obvious from his mealy-mouthed comments that he was making it up as he went along. My wife is getting a bit annoyed at me shouting at the telly when these liars come on.
      It’s very plain to see that he’s not got what it takes. He’s been promoted way above his level of incompetence. He’s gonna look an absolute plonker when he comes up against Nicola Sturgeon. Hopefully she won’t take pity on him, and shows him up for the liar that he is.

    49. Illy says:

      msean: “Having refered to your country as ‘they’ etc,where do these guys see themselves as hailing from after Independence?”
      The offshore oil fields, maybe?

    50. “Hopefully she won’t take pity on him, and shows him up for the liar that he is.”
      I hope she tearz him up fir arse paper!

    51. call me dave says:

      Ms Sturgeon, competent as she is, better not be too polite to Mr Carmichael.  Gloves off time after tomorrow morning’s launch.
      10 things  the BBC ask you to contemplate before the vote.    Some bits have a grain of truth in them and will raise a few eyebrows down South.   Oil + National debt .

    52. The Dog says:

      Interesting that it features in El Pais and El Pais International edition (both in Spanish for Spanish readers) but is nowhere to be seen in El Pais in English (which is what the expats read).
      El Pais in English has the Gibraltar story running over several days though. Probably shows what’s important to expats.

    53. Sacovni says:

      Would be interested to ask – what happened to Public International Law when the Isle of Man was allowed to retain the pound despite having its own government?

    54. ronald alexander mcdonald says:

      I hope Nicola asks him what section of International Law/Legal precedent he referred to?
      Could it be that The Minister for preserving Scottish MP’s jobs/Westminster is speaking with a forked tongue?  

    55. panda paws says:

      Could someone remind me what Scottish Skier’s thoery was. I remember reading it ages ago but a wee refresh much appreciated and yes Carmichael is a numpty.

    56. a supporter says:

      I listened to the Marr Carmichael I/V and the most important thing I noted is that BT is now clearly afraid that they might lose the Referendum. Carmichael’s spiel about what could happen, referring back to the 2011 election, is the first time I have heard BT politicians openly conceding that possibility. I think BT probably thought that by now the YES vote would have dwindled to the lower 20%s, what with all the Jubilee and Olympic crap bullshitting the Union and Project Fear trying its best to undermine everything about Independence. Unfortunately, they didn’t take into account or miscalculated the effect of the Internet and the pro Indy bloggers, commenters and tweeters. Instead YES support is up near 40% and that is before a really serious YES campaign has started. And comes the day I feel most of the UNDs and even a good few NO voters will go with their heartstrings regardless of the uncertainty and vote YES 

    57. Kev says:

      I recall seeing Carmichael in his first go at Scottish Questions at Westminster a few weeks ago in which he was asked by Stewart Hosie about how it would clearly be in Scotland’s interests in the aftermath of the Commonwealth Games to encourage repeat visits from overseas visitors by either reducing Air passenger duty for Scottish airports or devolving that power to Holyrood.
      The reply Hosie received was laughter from the backbenches, a grin from Carmichael, then a sigh, then a mumbling of “that’s not in my power to discuss or demand, that’s a question for the Chancellor, he will be along soon for PMQ’s, why don’t you ask him, oh and best of luck with that”, another chuckle and grin then he sat down. Its not so much what he said but the way in which he said it – the guy clearly couldn’t care less about his own country, his duty is to the big boys who run Westminster, he is spineless cretin and I hope, come the Scotland Tonight debate this Wednesday Sturgeon gives him the same gubbin that she gave to his predecessor…

    58. MajorBloodnok says:

      @panda paws
      In a nutshell it is that, although loss of Scotland would be painful for Cameron, it does solve a few of his problems, like all those annoying Lib-Dem and Labour MPs that can be got rid of.  Permanently.
      The bottom line is that as long as the banks and the SE of England are fine (and the Tories will ensure that is the case whatever income the rUK happens to be left with), then roll on continuous austerity for the plebs beyond the Watford Gap and sod the rest of the UK.

    59. FreddieThreepwood says:

      Later than usual trip to shops today (a life without rules, that’s mine) and I see that Carmichael’s horse hockey is writ large as fact in Telegraph headline … next to The Times in which the headline suggests Sturgeon says the White Paper will “rescue” (in quotes) the Yes Campaign – when, of course, she said no such thing – they did.
      And we thought the liars and fear mongers didn’t have another gear.

    60. dmw42 says:

      Carmichael has started a ‘blog’ and his first post states “…voting for independence is not something to do lightly – and it’s certainly not something to do on the back of whimsical, romantic notions about Braveheart, saltires and tartan”.
      Pompous, arrogant, condescending git.

    61. muttley79 says:

      I think this interview with Carmichael was a good example of what we are up against.  Carmichael is not a “proud Scot” at all.  In fact he is the exact opposite.  He is a fervent British Nationalist.  Why would a self declared proud Scot refer to Scotland as “they” or whatever else he said?  This is all about the maintenance of power and status by a British political elite in Scotland.  They have been doing this for hundreds of years.  London and Westminster are their masters.  Scotland does not fit into their political worldview, and never has.  

    62. Neil McAdam says:

      However, I think everyone is being too kind to Mr. Marr here.
      As usual, we have no follow-up question.
      Your analysis shows quite clearly he contradicts himself in the space of a minute.
      Surely a decent journalist would have realised this, so as soon as he said, “No-body is saying that you can’t have..”
      The immediate response should have been, “Eh…you just did, 60 seconds ago.”
      Wishful thinking I suppose..

    63. Eoin Ryan says:

      I think someome should write to him and ask for therelevant passages of this ‘international public law’ that he alludes to. 

    64. desimond says:

      This debate has all the makings of a British so called boxing superstar heading to Las Vegas proclaiming how he is going to come back with the Title only to get served a very painful lesson indeed by the local Champion.

      The only thing that can save Carmichael is a poor referee….can IM JOHN MACKAY or Rona ensure an actual debate or will we have to cringe when someone in the studio declares it a draw like the last time!

    65. Ivan McKee says:

      @ call me Dave
      Typical biased piece from the BBC.
      Manage to completely ignore oil when considering tax revenues, as if it didn’t exist.

    66. Bunter says:

      can we not complain about this ommission re the BBCs figures, as they will be right in there tearing the white paper apart.

    67. Rod Mac says:

      We all know that Nicola can wipe the floor with this arrogant Unionist buffoon.
      Problem is that neither John MacKay or Rhona  are capable of chairing a school debate  as has been aptly demonstrated before now.
      as usual one of our betters from London will be allowed to wriggle and deflect and deny and lie with no fear of being outed by the tame interviewer.

    68. muttley79 says:

      @Neil McAdam
      It never happens does it!  If a Unionist contradicts them self, or says something that is false (lying basically), they are never questioned about this.  They must know this.  Marr is not stupid.  Why are they being allowed to get away with this?  Would the say thing happen to a pro-independence politician?  I think we all now the answer to that one….Same thing happened on the Sunday Politics Show.  Carmichael said that we would not be able to use the pound if we became independent, nothing about a currency union (if my recall is correct).  The pound is an internationally convertible currency is it not?  Why did Gary Robertson not pull him up on this?  He must have known this was completely false. 

    69. john king says:

      What do you mean WE  paleface?

    70. Andy-B says:

      Feel a migraine coming on after searching for Carmichaels holy grail Public International Law and not finding it anywhere.
      First no Doctor Who now, the Extra Ordinary League of Gentlemen’s Public International Law, what next, the Secrety society of never moving Trident.
      One thing that can be said of Carmichael, is that he has a vivid imagination, if nothing else, how he can say such drivel with a straight face though, is another matter.
      As for Spain, they’re at loggerheads with Westminster over Spanish fishing rights near Gibraltar, (which was captured from them in 1704, by the British and Dutch Navies), yet they abhor the thought of Catalonia’s interest in the Scottish independence movement, I think the Spanish Government, dislike Holyrood and Westminster on an equal par.

    71. Rod Mac says:

      Here is the bit I do not get about our Media boffins.
      Unlike the Westminster troughers Independence would be good for our media.
      Instead of covering only local news and issues as members of the Scottish media in an independent country they would get to explore the world as our politicians and influence extends.
      Instead of Bernard Ponsonby, for STV ,here in  Oban covering the stranded lifeboat.
      It could be Bernard Ponsonby ,STV News, The UN  New  York covering the Scottish Foreign Ministers inagrual speech..
      they may not have any ambition for their country ,however you would think they might have some ambition for themselves.

    72. “If oil revenues are included in GDP figures, Scotland is shown to generate more per head of population than the UK as a whole. For Scotland, it is £26,424 per head compared with £22,336 per head for the UK, according to Scottish government estimates.”  
      Ivan, am I reading this correctly, we could all be £4k a year better off because of oil, not the £500 quid that is generally mentioned? 

    73. jopparocks says:

      ‘…we will treat is as a foreign country.’
      Is he already thinking ahead to when he will help negotiate with Scotland on the independence settlement – on the side of the English?
      I think its time to ask Davidson, Carmichael et al; In an independent Scotland, will you be for us or agin us?  Will you be on our side in the negotiations or on the English side?  Will you fight as hard for your fellow Scots as you fought for the union?  Where will your allegiance be?

    74. Chic McGregor says:

      “I think the Rev means dribbles”
      The problem the dependency tendency have is that their sole Scottish tory MP is unappointable to the job and appointing a Scottish Labour one would be an unholy alliance too far (a Labour MP SOS sitting in on cabinet meetings not really tenable, is it?)
      So they are constrained into using a Scottish LibDem.  And, despite the evidential lack of joined up neurons, he does have the geo-political advantage of representing the Northern Isles, so there may be some hope that any attack on his shortcommings may be usable in their ongoing plan-C, namely to try to chip away at the loyalty of the Northern Isles to Scotland.
      Mind you, I think our most Northern citizens will pay rather more attention to another pro-indy Aly from those pairts, namely the famous Aly Bain (although I wouldn’t like to make the call regarding which one does the most fiddling).
      If it were possible for them to appoint a Scottish Labour SOS, the correct description would then, of course, be ‘SLABBERS’.

    75. Molly says:

      Is the role of Secretary of State for Scotland not to be the representative for all of Scotland or is Mr Carmichael now only representing voters who agree with him?
      Some democracy this ? We’ll represent your views but only if I agree with them? 
      The Scottish Govt were elected and represent me but Mr Carmichael had the title handed to him,has decided who he represents ,he cannot influence health, education or council tax in this country and we all get to pay for the privilege.
      what is democratic about that?

    76. Macart says:

      Oh Jeez, Nicola is going to eat this fella’s liver with some fava beans and a fine Chianti, ftftftftftftftftftftftf. 🙂

    77. call me dave says:

      Ivan McKee
      Thanks for the link.  Interesting find.
      Moore V Carmichael , both bad news for Scotland , but why ditch Moore, I think he was pushed because his heart wasn’t in it and might have expressed  his opinion that Scotland was going regardless.

    78. Robert Kerr says:

      I trust Nicola is prepared to walk out if the “debate” turns to farce.

    79. Jack the Union says:

      When we vote YES in Sept 2014 and England votes Tory in 2015, Carmichael will be on the opposition benches with Darling and when the two governments sit down to negotiate our independence the RUK Gov will say monetary union…mmmm yes please, oh don’t listen to Darling and Carmichael, it was those two who said no not us. 

    80. Ivan McKee says:

      @ Tree of Liberty
      That’s the GDP number (which is the value of everything produced in the economy – not just the tax on it that goes to the Government).
      If we got the same % of UK spend as we generate in tax then we are £4.4bn better off (about £820 per person). But that assumes we would run at the same daft levels of deficit to GDP ratio as the UK does (almost 8%)  which we almost certainly wouldn’t.
      The oft quoted £500 is the  difference between the extra £1700 we raise in tax and the extra £1200 per person we get back in spending compared to UK averages (Given our higher GDP we can use that £500 for extra spending and still have a significantly lower deficit to GDP ratio than the UK does at the moment.)

    81. HandandShrimp says:

      Public International Law is something I may use in future 🙂 Perhaps he was thinking of Johhny Rotten in PiL
      If it is John Mackay tonight I do hope he has learned his lesson from the last debate. If not then both debates will go down as an utter irrelevance to the discussion and his own reputation as a journalist with them. Sarwar had no intention of doing anything other than grandstanding and muddying the waters. Pity he shot both his feet afterwards by not attending Westminster.

    82. Papadocx says:

      Jopparocks 4:01
      Very good point, what do the SLAB duds of Westminster do when they become unemployed and stateless persons. They are fully trained for troughing, unemployment and bayoneting the wounded I’m sure that will look good on their CV. As for the lordly duds, anybody got any ideas I’m struggling. 

    83. edulis says:

      As an imbiber of Islay malts, methinks Alastair just went a wee bitty O/T. Remember he was Asst Procurator Fiscal in Grampian before being elected. How else could he get it so wrong on the legal aspects of the currency, unless he was befuddled with the John Barleycorn?
      In fact I detect a bit of low esteem on his part. I think he tanked up before the Marr interview, suddenly realising that he had hit the big time and it all got too much for him. He needed Dutch courage to make the appearance.

    84. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      Jiggsboro way up tap
      Ye canne wack a real Brazilan, if you get my smooth drift.

    85. Ivan, thanks for that.

    86. Big Drone says:

      Because, if we had been independent,  I would be only able to take pride in the Olympic performances of Andy Murray and ‘Sir?’ Chris Hoy and not, eg, Mo Farrah and Jessica Ennis I am considering voting ‘No!’  When he explains ‘Public International Law’ I’m off in hot pusuit after big Al to sign up!  I know there are many others who feel the same, please follow me before it’s too late!!!?!

    87. muttley79 says:

      I thought the debate (Sturgeon and Carmichael) was on Wednesday night and not tonight?

    88. benarmine says:

      Carmichael is a joke, very good news for Yes. And Marr seems to think Slovakia is inhabited by Slovenes.

    89. Derek McLean says:

      Keeping the pound would be a complete tragedy. The current banking system will ensure an independent Scotland would be enslaved to poverty before it even had a chance to stand on its own two feet.

      However there is a chance to ditch the pound! Read up on Bitcoin everyone! China love it, Russia love it, and the offshore banks absolutely hate it! The US Senate had a hearing last week and the vibe was ‘If we try and regulate this we will lose out!’ It looks like its only a matter of time before it becomes universally adopted!

      If Scotland were to take the lead on this and create a currency backed by Bitcoin (gold has been manipulated, read up on fake gold in Fort Knox going to China) the chances are high that we could even become the richest country in the World.

    90. scotchwoman says:

      Bit O/T but Herald reporting that despite being too wee, poor and stupid, the SG’s sharp financial, management and business skills will result in Prestwick Airport threatening the viability of Glasgow Airport. So says the Glasgow Chamber of Commerce. Presumably Glasgow Airport’s growth strategy has had nothing to do with Prestwick’s lack of profitability?
      Finally managed to archive an article! :

    91. ronnie anderson says:

      Ive, no checked up on that debate, is it a one on one debate , or any public present

    92. ronnie anderson says:

      Papadocx, is there no somethin in the chrismas carol aboot lords a leaping, we could help them find a high cliff

    93. Tony Little says:

      Yes Wednesday night at 10.55

    94. morris says:

      not to change the subject but i feel that some of the comments on various topics on here do little to further the cause and only leave the true message intended by the site to be discounted as those of nutcases and the deluded.

      certainly a prospective labour candidate for a westminster seat has even used an allegation the the rev wrote a piece which blamed the fans at hillborough as an example of how twisted and untruthful everything on this site actually is.

      i might add that i think she is talking through her rear and without this site we would be reduced to the BBC nightly brainwashing exercise so keep up the good work but please, levity is fine but some comments just feed ammunition to the NO camp.

    95. X_Sticks says:

      dmw42 says:
      Carmichael has started a ‘blog
      Thanks for the link dmw42. I’ve left him a reply. Be interesting to see if it makes it through moderation. Nothing nasty, like, just true.
      Nearly 😉 

    96. kininvie says:

      @ X_Sticks
      Great comment on Carmichael’s blog. Completely demolished him in a few short paras. I feel sorry for the lassie tasked with  responding.

    97. john king says:

      frankie boy says
      “Ok, if you are eating I am not responsible for any mishaps
      As it happens I WAS eating a cheese and pickle sandwich,
      Im telling my wife on you,
      when I take half my sandwich home Im gonna rat on you frankie,
      be afraid, be very afraid

    98. Papadocx says:

      Just saw A Carmichael on BBC Scotland news. Looked like an advert for condoms eating biscuits. He really is a dick head. What if you can’t use the pound. How much is this going to cost. Bla bla and a big sneer.

    99. Darling interviewed as he was attending the tory conference this year said: “This issue (the union) is too important for our country and our future to allow party politics to get in the way….WE HAVE TOO MUCH TO LOSE ” 
      and again who are WE?  not Scotland and if We have too much to lose then Scotland has much to gain.. that’s the logic of it

    100. Ken500 says:

      BBC figures

      They also managed to ignore how much more the rest of the UK is borrowing and spending. £121Billion.

      Raising £512Billion in revenues. Spending £633Billion.

    101. scotchwoman says:

      Cheers X_Sticks – need to work out why that didn’t show as a hyperlink when I posted it!

    102. dmw42 says:

      X-Sticks, I’ve left a reply on AC’s ‘blog’
      Your comment is awaiting moderation.

      Sorry Marion but directing readers to a taxpayer funded opinion piece just isn’t good enough, particularly when said opinion has been discredited and found wanting by the authors’ peer group.

      If a Secretary of State of HMG is going to appear on nation public services broadcaster and quote ‘international law’, he must, of necessity, quote chapter and verse of that said law. Failure to support such ascertains brings the whole Parliament into disrepute.

      Could you therefore provide the legislative reference which Mr Carmichael relies upon, or publicly retract this statement.

    103. Paul Wilson says:

      Should Carmichael be involved in the debate at all as surely he has a vested interest. He in his role as Scottish secretary you would think would be acting only in the best interest of Scotland and not continually running Scotland and her people down.

    104. Thistle says:

      Watch the live stream from Business for Scotland including Ivan McKee, Michelle Thomson & Eric McLean… “The Economic Case for Independence“.

      Tues 26th Nov just before 8pm.


      By Scottish Independence Live Events:

    105. Derick fae Yell says:

      Right. OK. 
      Having due regard to my previous utterances upon ‘bad’ language
      Having due regard to perfectly reasonable feminist utterances about the ‘profanity’ of referring in derogatory terms about parts of the rather fabulous female anatomy
      Having regard to linguistic drift, whereby terms that may have had, in the past, a woman-hating overtone, may in the fullness of time become de-sexualised terms of abuse.
      In short: Alisdair Carmichael, apart from being an Edinburgh lawyer on the make, apart from being observably immoral, utterly without moral foundation other than might is right. Is a complete twat
      Just saying, like

    106. JLT says:

      I hope Nicola gets a hold of our Michael this week and shakes him like a pitbull playing with its favourite toy…

    107. JimW says:

      Linda Black’s posting of John Aberdein’s letter asks the same questions I have been asking myself about why Alistair Carmichael was appointed.  
      The sudden realisation came to me in the shower this morning.  It is nothing to do with his ability to convince the Scottish electorate to vote NO.  I suspect that Westminster is beginning to realise that they have already lost the argument.  They now rest their hopes on convincing the people of Orkney and Shetland to say NO.  The rest of Scotland can go to hell in a handcart.  Orkney and Shetland can remain part of the UK, along with their territorial share of oil and gas, thank you very much.  
      Who better to help bring that about than the MP for Orkney ?

    108. davidr says:

      When we all sit with our glass of wine and watch the ‘road to independence’ documentary in two years time. Nicola and Alec will both say—‘one of the most significant boosts to the campaign was the appointment of Carmichael’. Thank you David and Nick. 

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