The world's most-read Scottish politics website

Wings Over Scotland

Something less than an answer

Posted on May 27, 2015 by

The current Scottish Secretary, David Mundell, on Politics Scotland earlier today:

“I was not convicted”, of course, isn’t quite the same thing as “I didn’t do it”.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

2 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. 27 05 15 17:07

    Something less than an answer | Politics Scotla...

  2. 27 05 15 18:33

    Something less than an answer | Speymouth

189 to “Something less than an answer”

  1. Quentin Quale says:

    Well, that didn’t come over as a well rehearsed answer at all.

  2. Capella says:

    This is why we need a proper inquiry with Mundell and Co called as witnesses under oath. Keep on crowd funding!

  3. Thepnr says:

    When does the fundraiser start to get Mundell out of office?

  4. Rmac says:

    Translation… “Bugger off, you know I knew, so did my boss and party but I’m not stupid enough to fall into our own trap”

    Yes, that sounds like a carefully rehearsed phrase, but not one that looks likely to keep the spotlight off him for long

  5. Lesley-Anne says:

    I see no ships! 😀

  6. Neil Mackenzie says:

    Very strange way to answer that question if unless he expects there to be evidence emerge that he did know.

  7. MajorBloodnok says:

    Well, MPs lying is normal. Interesting though that Severin wouldn’t let go of it.

  8. gordon says:

    Absolutely shocking. But I think I am with Derek Bateman on this.
    Remember it, but let’s move on.

  9. Peter says:

    And where did the enquiry say that ‘nobody else knew about the leak’?
    It never said that at all!

  10. M4rkyboy says:

    Lol.(slow clap)

  11. cearc says:

    Roughly translates as, ‘Nobody’s fingered me yet.’

  12. Fiona says:

    @ Peter

    Do we know what the inquiry said, actually? I have seen the one page effort, but it reads like a summary to me. Surely there must be a full report which goes into some detail about what was done etc?

  13. Onwards says:

    lol, He doesn’t know if he can trust anyone not to turn on him.

  14. scott says:

    I posted about this on another thread,as far as I am concerned he is just as guilty as Mundell.

  15. Marie clark says:

    Blows a very large raspberry. Wee weasel.

  16. Velofello says:

    Mr Carmichael, do want to feel better? Do you want to win? Then spill the beans before Friday or face a lifetime of remorse.

  17. MickyD says:

    Guilty !!! Lol just as in Watergate its a non denial denial …keep probing lads and lasses this goes all the way up to Cameron : )

  18. Kenny says:

    As I wrote elsewhere, after thinking it over, the reason why the Guardian in particular is so desparate to defend Carbuncle over #Frenchgate demonstrates, to me at least, that this was a classic, UKOKestablisment “Better Together” set-up involving all three parties with the Tories as the head, Lib Dems as the body and Labour as the pawns-appendages ready to take to Twitter…

    Also, WHY did the memo appear the very day after Nicola Sturgeon won the ITV leaders debate, pushing the narcissictic Dave into second place (she was on 27% of all votes, he was on 17%)???

  19. Andy-B says:

    I can honestly say I’m not at all convinced,with that cackhanded answer from Mr Mundell.

    A yes or no,would have enhanced his position,instead we get a longwinded, “yae canny prove it.”

  20. One_Scot says:

    Opps, guilty as charged.

  21. Inbhir Anainn says:

    Would have thought that a simple “I knew nothing” would have sufficed. For sure this story has a lot of mileage still to run. Meantime does anyone know if the petition against Carmichael has been successfully lodged yet or not.

  22. Tinto Chiel says:


    “I’ve been told to say this and only this by my legal adviser so can we just stop now, please?”

    “OK, thanks for wasting my time and straining my incredulity.”

    Even SC was clearly unconvinced.

    Interesting times.

  23. One_Scot says:

    It looks like if Carmichael does end up in court, he’s going to take a lot of his chums down with him. Who’s got the popcorn.

  24. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    Very like the famous Brian Molroney, the Canadian PM’s denial about something.

    “You prove that I did that”

    Molroney was lawyer too.

  25. Dr Jim says:

    Sorry Mr Bateman but you’re way wrong on this one

    Leave him alone is it, oh no no no no if we let these people breathe they’ll get back up and kill us and smirk while they do it
    Especially Liberal Democrats, “We’re the nicer ones honest”

    No respect, no mercy, remember the referendum they couldn’t contain their triumphalist joy at our anguish
    Particularly Carmichael he couldn’t keep the grin from his face, somebody said to me, it’s a shame though he’s got a family, My Answer..Are they queuing at the food bank? I don’t think so, and he should have thought of his future comforts before he attempted to make the First Minister look like a liar

    We cannot let any off these people off the hook or they will crawl back

  26. Calgacus says:

    That was not the answer of a person that has nothing to hide.

  27. Morag says:

    Evasive, much? Is he just trying to avoid being exposed as a liar when the full inquiry into this is instituted?

    My bloody MP, too.

  28. Lesley-Anne says:

    M4rkyboy says:

    Lol.(slow clap)

    Just make sure you are NOT in the House of Commons when you do your slow clap M4rkyboy wouldn’t want to upset the natives in there now would we? 😀

    scott says:

    I posted about this on another thread,as far as I am concerned he is just as guilty as Mundell.

    scott says:

    I posted about this on another thread,as far as I am concerned he is just as guilty as Mundell.

    Erm … that IS Mundell Scott. I should know … I’m sort of kinda good at spotting my own M.P. these days. 😀

  29. steveasaneilean says:

    We know he knew. He knows we know he knew. We know he knows we know he knew.

    Can’t make it any clearer than that.

  30. Muscleguy says:

    The world has just turned weird. I agree with Severin Carrrell.

  31. Fiona McAlpine says:

    Mundell is unable to deviate from the scripted sentence denial.

    Point is, if it emerges later that he did know about it, he has to go.

    56 could become 57, 57 could become 58!

    Wonder if Iain Murray was involved, 58 could become 59!

  32. joe macfarlane says:

    Not daft enough to actually lie about what he did or didn’t know , learned from AC mistake , or has he had time to learn his script better.

  33. Cadogan Enright says:

    Mundell is toast 😀

    all we have to do is to keep digging – 54% there

    email the link to your friends

  34. Lanarkist says:

    Classic from the Book of Obfuscation!

    He would have been as well quoting from The Horse Cavalrymans Book of Farting!

    Wriggle room answer in the event of future court room revelations framing him so that at least he can avoid the tag of liar.

    Nobody mentioned me, I wasn’t there, nope, uh uh. Move along now.

    Very peculiar! Feels funny Severin uttering a sentence that I could agree with.

  35. Reminds me of an interview with Mad Frankie Fraser a few years back:

    “So did you kill him?” (some random villain)

    “I was found not guilty.”

    There must be a way of linking the last Labour trougher in Edinburgh with all this for a clean sweep.

  36. asklair says:

    Trying to think of words to describe what is happening, I can’t. This court case could change so much.

  37. David Stevenson says:

    Muscleguy says:

    27 May, 2015 at 5:58 pm

    The world has just turned weird. I agree with Severin Carrrell.

    Indeed: most peculiar….

  38. heedtracker says:

    He’s definitely telling the truth, no doubt about it. Imagine being in a secret pact with Mundell and Carmicheal. lol

    Great to see another vote SLab or Else twit from progressive liberal The Graun on telly too, or as his charming chum and colonial governor White explained last night, ofcourse they’re liars, they’re all liars, its ok to lie, lying is fine, lying is what being a UKOK MP is all about, so leave poor wee Alistair be, silly Scotland region.


    Its a trap. Dont tell lies SNP MP’s, dudes like Carrell up there will crucify you, forever.

  39. mike cassidy says:

    Proof – if it was ever needed – that Mundell is up to his neck in Liarcarmichael’s pooh.

    But the fact that he had a preprepared mantra which relies on the Inquiry report being ‘true’ is all the proof we need that that report is itself is seriously pooh flavoured.

    This is turning into a 3d imax feature.

  40. Geoff Huijer says:

    ‘Did you know anything about it?’


    Simple really if you genuinely didn’t.

    Otherwise obfuscate and waffle on.

    Verdict: Guilty

  41. Gary45% says:

    This may sound too easy.

    When asked a simple question, just give an honest straight forward answer.
    When you try to twist and side track, you automatically sound like you are trying to hide the truth.

    That is when the population believe you are guilty even if you are innocent.

    Mundell going by his answer and body language, GUILTY.
    A total BannyFaws.
    Tick Tock

  42. Eppy says:

    Carmichael on radio Orkney on 25th May quotes his staff saying “We think that it (the memo) should be put into the public domain.”

    That means that more than just Roddin knew about it. What are the bets that it was Mundell as well.

    I am sure that this will turn out to be a Tory heffalump trap set for Labour and the Libdems. Not many Tories jumped on the twitter band-wagon at the time if I remember correctly.

  43. Morag says:

    You know what? Before I saw that clip, I think it was fairly likely Mundell wasn’t involved. I thought he was useless, but not particularly sleekit.

    Now, I’m about 90% sure that he was in it up to his bloody neck, which I would happily wring.

  44. Robert Peffers says:

    As far as I’m concerned I’m about to change the unshakable opinion of a lifetime and treat this numptie as guilty until proven innocent.

    After all this guy, and the rest of them in parliament, have made laws that treat them differently from the rest of us. If he cannot prove his innocence then I say he is guilty.

    Kind of, “When did you stop beating your wife”, sort of thing. If they want treated the same as other UK residents then let them accept the same legal rules.

  45. peekay says:

    As Bart Simpson would say “I didn’t do it, nobody saw me do it, can’t prove anything”

  46. David McDowell says:

    Clearly Mundell has been told: “Get out there and shut this down now!” Watching Severin Carrell squirming in his seat after Mundell badly botches the “official denial” is excruciating. Tick, tock, tick tock . . .

  47. Iain More says:

    Guilty as sin going by that answer. Thought it was a straight Yes or No answer as far as I was concerned. I wonder how long he spent practising the one did give.

    Get him in the Court along with Carmichael and see how long it takes under oath for the above to wash out totally!

  48. Iain More says:

    Semiotics – that is a new one on me.

  49. Paul D says:

    Mundell was questioned at about 16:45 today on Radio Scotland as to whether he knew about the memo. Initially he stutteringly said that he knew of it but not the detail. A few seconds later he “corrected” himself and said the first he knew of it was when it hit the media.

    Time for another crowdfunder…

  50. galamcennalath says:

    A blatant, and repeated, non denial.

    I don’t think he has the wit to appreciate how that comes across!

  51. Jim Mitchell says:

    Now let’s see how far the media pursue this now?

  52. paul gerard mccormack says:

    Wow! and i just watched that after watching James Cook starring in Brigadoon on the main BBC news!

    Well, well, well.

    Tally Ho!

  53. snode1965 says:

    Fluffy was on radio Scotland drive time @16.45.
    Stated that he knew absolutely nothing about the memo.Then ,when pushed about it, said he knew nothing about the contents of memo….the mans as guilty as sin.

  54. Clootie says:

    The best judge is the average man(woman) – what did you think of that answer.
    a) An innocent man puzzled to be asked the question in the first place.
    b) A guilty man trying to be evasive while ensuring a denial escape route remained open for later.

  55. galamcennalath says:

    I reckon the Scottish voters owe a great deal to French openness and decency! I think Mundell could take some lessons.

    They ( whoever the full circle of perpetrators were ) expected “no comment” from the French.

    The story could then have run and run as maybe being true. In fact, the contents of the memo would have been entirely the story, because if true it would have been in the public’s interest.

    When the Ambassador and Consul destroyed any credibility the memo had, the whole plan went tits up. The rat pack of conspirators quickly battened down the hatches against the inevitable coming storm.

    Despite the ongoing efforts of parts of the media, the story has switched to skullduggery and lying for political gain.

    The report, which Mundell quotes as a peculiar defence, seems more and more like part of the conspiracy, than a genuine investigation!

  56. farrochie says:

    I’m starting to suspect that this whole affair was devised by the Tories and that Carmichael was the willing dupe who was selected to approve the leak of the concocted memo.

    No doubt our intrepid MSM will be in hot pursuit of the story. By providing a dodgy, scripted answer, Mundell has given them enough evidence.

  57. Swami Backverandah says:

    The inquiry may have very carefully worded its finding that no one other than Alistair Campbell, and his SpAd was involved in [actually] leaking, but the question of who was involved in the actual plot remain unasked.

    “In investigating the source of the leak, the investigation team searched all relevant official phone records, emails and print logs. Those who had access to the memo were asked to complete a questionnaire on what they did with the memo when they received it. They were then interviewed.”

    But their names aren’t revealed.
    Only Carmichael and Roddin are named as the actual facilitators of the information to the Telegraph.

    They only searched electronic transfer. But this may not provide names of all those who saw the memo.

  58. mike cassidy says:

    He couldn’t even keep to the mantra for a day!

    Time to look out the 3d specs.

  59. Grizzle McPuss says:

    Oh dear, a chasm just opened up…

    Crowdfunder anyone?

  60. norman martin says:

    A point I’ve not seen remarked upon is that the famous civil service inquiry decided that the meat of the leak was accurate, ie that Nicola had indeed said what it purported she had said. How on earth did it come to that conclusion if it was a disinterested genuine inquiry?

  61. Swami Backverandah says:

    He’s also careful of his language mindful that a criminal investigation is underway.
    You can almost hear him wishing he was a Republican so he could ‘invoke the fifth’.

  62. scotspine says:

    I’m with Dr Jim on this. No mercy. These liars and schemers need finished off (metaphorically) with extreme prejudice.

    Failure to finish them will give them breathing space to recover with the aid of their BBC pals.

    On the BBC front, for the last three days, I have noticed sound bites and interviews with Lib Dems, Labour and Tories, but silence when it comes to SNP………

  63. blackhack says:

    Maybe we should try that old witch ducking stool test…

    “And if he floats, he’s lying, and if he sinks, Well he’s still lying”

  64. Swami Backverandah says:

    @ Morag 6.16

    “I thought he was useless, but not particularly sleekit.”

    You’re quite right. No need to change your opinion.

    The Machiavellian sleekit award goes to Lin Ton (as he’s affectionately known), although it must infuriate other ‘mandarins’ that they can’t break cover and take some of the credit for the Tory win.

  65. Calgacus says:

    Fluffy – I did NOT have semiotics with THAT memo.

  66. Clarinda says:

    Compare Mr Mundell’s shifty body language and facial expression (licked his lower lip when realising the nature of the final question) while answering/evading the interviewer, with Miss Sturgeon and the French embassy representative’s straight forward language when rebutting the content of the leak.

    Were his fingers crossed behind his back during the interview?

  67. IvMoz says:


    I’m disappointed that the assisted suicide bill has been rejected by Holyroood.

    Not only do i agree with it for many reasons, it would have been a fitting tribute to Margo.

  68. Petra says:

    Peter says ”And where did the enquiry say that ‘nobody else knew about the leak’? It never said that at all!”

    Peter there is a mention of this in the Cabinet Office Inquiry Statement that reads ”No-one else had any involvement in the leaking of the memo.”

    I actually thought that it was quite strange to mention this at all.

    As far as Mundell is concerned if he had nothing whatsoever to do with it he would have said so … ‘I knew nothing about the memo at all until after it was released’.

    I reckon that if he knew about this his boss Cameron would have known about it too especially as it involved the French Ambassador.

    Additionally if I was asked to choose one incident, only, that I thought had swung the vote down South that would be it. That leaked memo was geared to totally discredit Nicola Sturgeon by implying that she was a most devious, dishonest, manipulative liar in the wake of her increased popularity in England. Her increased popularity was based, in the main, on people considering her to be one of the few honest politicians around.

    The ultimate winner / s of this fiasco was Mr Cameron and the Tory Party.

  69. Liz S says:

    Was he reading his answer from an autocue ? ( provided by BBC ! )

  70. Fiona says:

    @ norman martin

    It did not conclude that. It concluded that the Civil Servant wrote down what he thought he had heard. He himself cast doubt on whether it was true, and clearly thought it unlikely. The report does not address the question of whether Ms Sturgeon had said it at all. But obviously that was not a question because it had already been comprehensively answered by everyone who was at the meeting: she didn’t.

  71. Dr Jim says:

    Bill Clinton made a denial just like that

    Maybe there’ll be some DNA left on the Memo just like Monica’s frock

    Where’s Taggart when you need him

  72. Chitterinlicht says:


    To quote the musical Grease

    “Tell me more, tell me more”

    Or should that be ‘beauty school dropout’?

    By God these unionists are ending themselves arse over elbow.

  73. Albaman says:

    Let’s face it, Carmichael is now the “shield “, so what was his demand as a payoff?!.

  74. Dr Jim says:

    @norman martin

    Not heard of this, show us this new evidence

  75. Breeks says:

    This whole saga is no different from the half truths and manipulated agenda of the referendum. If it was anti YES, it was good for a spin, and nobody was very particular of sources or indeed facts. By the time the truth emerged, the whole media circus had moved on.
    They still have the same contempt for actual democracy and intellect of our people.
    Carmichael is just an expendible patsy. What is important, even vital, is to enshrine this type of contempt into legislation which can be acted upon so this dishonesty can be brought down and exposed, and recognised a terminal for a political career.

  76. Lesley-Anne says:

    Brendan O’Hara currently giving his maiden speech with quite a lot of exellent humour thrown in. 😀

  77. joe macfarlane says:

    QT coming from Aberdeen Thursday , should be an interesting night , anyone heard who’s gonna be on panel ?

  78. David McDowell says:

    Mundell suddenly pops up on telly denying all knowledge.
    That has nothing at all to do with the increasing likelihood that the lid is going to be blown off “Memogate” in court. Nothing at all.
    Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!

  79. onelessday says:


    Jacob Rees-Mogg Most gracious towards the SNP contingent and

    to Brendan O’Haras’ speech in particular A real gent

  80. steveasaneilean says:

    Re BBC QT tonight – as posted on other thread I think Lesley Riddoch is on.

  81. Robert Peffers says:

    Just heard Gareth Thomas, (Labour), say in the commons, “The Scottish Nationalist Party”.

    Yet no call from the speaker to correct his error.

  82. Genghis D'Midgies says:

    Carmichael in his apology implies that the contents of the memo were wrong. ie. it was false.

    The report said that the civil servant who created the memo had never done anything wrong in the past and so as far as the report was concerned the memo was correct – the memo did say it might have been lost in translation.

    So Mundell has a lot of explaining to do 🙂

  83. ronnie anderson says:

    We have a long road tae travel yet to Independence, so any decision on EU I,ll leave tae efta.

  84. heedtracker says:

    Let’s face it, Carmichael is now the “shield “, so what was his demand as a payoff?!.

    Lordshipness. Arise Lord Carmichael of Long Hope. Five years time, BBC Vote SLab Scotland cover his wobbly fat arse and bish bosh, job for Life at the biggest most undemocratic farce in teamGB.

    Long Hope’s a lovely little port in Hoy, well technically not Hoy but you used to get the ferry from Stromness to Hoy and it landed there. And Carmichael needs loads of Hope now to make it past the legal action alone.

  85. Lesley-Anne says:

    joe macfarlane says:

    QT coming from Aberdeen Thursday , should be an interesting night , anyone heard who’s gonna be on panel ?

    You can see the full list here Joe

  86. Tinto Chiel says:

    Doesn’t Fluffy remember that Malcolm has already helpfully said all MPs tell lies?

    At least they’re not like those fiendish Nats, who dare to clap and wear pretty little white roses in their lapels. Good God, what sort of people are they?

    Seriously, he looks a worried man to me. This scandal is a quicksand which will suck down more of those involved unless the Establishment can somehow stop any further enquiries.

  87. Petra says:

    Fiona says ”The report does not address the question of whether Ms Sturgeon had said it at all. But obviously that was not a question because it had already been comprehensively answered by everyone who was at the meeting: she didn’t.”

    The report is a whitewash from beginning to end. It doesn’t even outline / detail the crux of the whole matter that is exactly what Nicola Sturgeon was alleged to have said.

    At the time newspapers such as the Telegraph reported that ‘Nicola Sturgeon secretly backs David Cameron’ … ‘would prefer David Cameron remain in Downing Street’.

    In the Cabinet Office inquiry statement this is ‘abbreviated’ to ‘that part of the conversation between the French Ambassador and the First Minister.’

    I cannot understand why this isn’t being investigated by SNP solicitors (or maybe it is?).

    The report, 7 weeks in the making, is an absolute insult to our intelligence.

  88. Kevin Evans says:

    Lol – yea – guilty!!!!

  89. Capella says:

    Orkney Vole calls on Carmichael to resign so that the money raised can be donated to foodbanks. Redemption.

  90. Kalmar says:

    MOST peculiar

  91. HandandShrimp says:

    I don’t often agree with Severin but Mundell’s answer was a peculiar choice of words.

    A more reassuring response would have been “I knew absolutely nothing about this leak and I think the inquiry confirms that to be the case”

    He sounded like someone trying very carefully not to actually lie.

    The plot thickens.

  92. bjsalba says:



    Send the man a squirrel picture – it is more restful on the eye than any of these dratted politicians.

  93. heedtracker says:

    QT coming from Aberdeen Thursday , should be an interesting night , anyone heard who’s gonna be on panel ?

    Six will get you ten this chancer will be howling “its a disgrace” in the impartial unbiased Question Time audience

    Why Scott’s currently whining about cybernats in Daily Record is another way of getting your teamGB profile boosted a wee bit.

    Fair play to Dr Scott, he’s been on Question Time more than the lovely and impartial Saint David Dimbleby

    Dr Scott for PM, no, King of their Scotland region, with his idiot sidekick Dunc Hothersall in toe.

  94. Stoker says:

    Mundell is as guilty as sin!

  95. Tam Jardine says:

    So I’ve read the press release which is presumably a mere summary of the cabinet office inquiry.

    Has anyone actually had sight of the actual inquiry findings? I looked for the publication on the cabinet office website and there was nothing I could see published in or around that date (of the vast number of official publications).

    Do we plebs not get to read it? They can redact names or whatever they do… I’m a member of the public and I’m interested (although maybe it is not in my interests to know any more?)

    Is this an FOI thing? Has anyone else lodged one?

  96. Dal Riata says:

    From the STV website:

    “The Scottish National Party’s 56 MPs have been told to stop clapping in the House of Commons.

    Speaker John Bercow had to remind the members of the house traditions in the first meeting of the new parliament.

    Newly-elected members clapped on at least three separate occasions during Westminster leader Angus Robertson’s contributions to the Queen’s Speech debate.

    Traditionally, MPs are only allowed to speak in the Commons when they have made their maiden speeches, meaning most of the SNP cannot currently make their voices heard.

    After SNP MPs applauded Mr. Robertson’s criticism of Labour’s supposed support for austerity, an exasperated Mr. Bercow intervened.

    He said: “Can I say at the start of the parliament that the convention that we don’t clap in this chamber is very, very, very long-established and widely respected?

    “And it would be appreciated if members would show some respect for that convention.”

    He continued: “They will get their speaking rights from this chair, of that they can be assured.

    “They will be respected but I would invite them to show some respect for the traditions of this chamber of the House of Commons.”

    MPs on all sides cheered in support of Mr Bercow’s intervention, however it left some of the SNP members disillusioned.”

    To repeat:

    “Can I say at the start of the parliament that the convention that we don’t clap in this chamber is very, very, very long-established and widely respected?

    “And it would be appreciated if members would show some respect for thaconvention.”

    Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha! How dare those SNP savages not respect the traditions of the British Establishment…! GIRFUYz!

  97. Capella says:

    Saturday Breakfast with the Voles is also very good with a cheery video of Nick Clegg’s “I’m sorry” – which would have been a good entry for Eurovision.

  98. Rock says:


    “You know what? Before I saw that clip, I think it was fairly likely Mundell wasn’t involved. I thought he was useless, but not particularly sleekit.

    Now, I’m about 90% sure that he was in it up to his bloody neck, which I would happily wring.”

    But don’t blame Patrick Harvey and the Scottish Greens for helping him to victory.

    Or you will deeply upset our resident Green, the “dear honey” Paula Rose.

  99. Dal Riata says:

    An addendum to the SNP getting their wrists slapped by the House of Commons speaker for ‘not following protocol:

    “Tommy Sheppard, MP for Edinburgh East, shared his thoughts on Twitter after leaving the debate.

    So we’ve just been told off for politely applauding whilst the Tories shout and bray like delinquent children – apologies for being normal.

    — Tommy Sheppard (@ TommySheppard ) Wed May 27 15:28:42 +0000 2015
    via Twitter via Twitter

    Mr Sheppard also wrote: “First chance to see the massed ranks of the Tories assembled. Dear oh dear. Smug, self-satisfied, braying and guffawing.

    “Fingers crossed for maiden speech in parliament tomorrow morning.”

    Mr Robertson said: “We will do our best to stand up for Scotland but let me be absolutely clear.

    “We did not win the votes of all voters in Scotland and we are mindful of that.

    “And we still remain supporters of electoral reform and proportional representation.”

  100. Flower of Scotland says:

    Got him! Yep he,s guilty! Let’s see how they try to get out of this one!

    He said everything but not ” I’m not guilty “

  101. Luigi says:

    I tell you folks, this guy will crack under the slightest pressure. He is not even in the spotlight (yet) and he almost gives the game away already.

  102. HandandShrimp says:

    Interesting mix on QT with John Nicolson and Lesley Riddoch. Alex Massie although a Conservative supporter tends not to plough a party line. With Ruth and Lord Falconer in the mix it should be less shouty than some have been in the recent past.

  103. Lollysmum says:

    Late to the thread (work ugh)but as someone who has spent a looong looong time in courtrooms as a police officer & then a probation officer, that Mundell is definitely lying -no question in my mind at all. Been saying since the beginning, Cameron/Crosby is behind this & this apology for a man’s body language & manner give it away as clearly as the use of semaphore flags.

    Guilty as charged m’lud. He knew & we know-so we keep pressing him on it. He would have to have known just to avoid him putting his foot in it if contacted ( he has previous for that doesn’t he. Common knowledge- at the top of the Lib/Lab/Cons all had to know first before the story actually broke so they could get their line right & if necessary fix an alibi to place them elsewhere when it hit the fan.

    If that doesn’t get people riled up then what will & what does it take to fight back. All politicians the world over are afraid of people power so let’s show some.

    Let’s get this funder done asap & get the bu**er into court. Carmichael may be a lawyer but you know what, it’s entirely different when you are being questioned as the accused.

    No Derek Bateman, I don’t agree with you, the cringe is peeking through your argument. Give him another chance hah. Do that & that gives them all licence to carry on as they wish for evermore. Surely this has to end.

    The official summary of the investigation is all we’ll ever see because that is just froth with no substance. Basically it says That horse has bolted sweaties you missed it now get back in that box. I read enough government reports every day to be able to pick them apart line by line. This was eezy peesy after the Health & Social Care Act & the latest wheeze the Care Act 2014.

    This summary actually raises more questions than it contains answers & was designed to kill the story stone dead-don’t let it die.

  104. starlaw says:

    clapping not allowed so please make Donkey and vomiting Camel noises, must keep to long established tradition

  105. call me dave says:

    Have you read it? Me neither

    Just walk by Mundell with the thumb screws visible. He’ll squeal!

    Even if he’s innocent. 🙂

  106. Fiona says:

    @ Tom Jardine

    I mentioned this earlier today. I assume what has been released is a summary, but the full report is not available, so far as I can see. Nor has it been acknowledged that anything more exists

    I am presuming that the remit was very narrow: it was a “leak enquiry” and I think that supposedly justifies keeping it to precisely that. IE. how did this information get into the public domain?

    That is probably what they would say if challenged on its content.

    There is more than one way to keep a cat in ignorance.

  107. K1 says:

    O/T LA, I liked that ‘Alex Salmond wins the internet” thingy you linked, I think you’ll like this one if you haven’t seen it….found it on the carmichaelmustgo hashtag…if you study the picture, it’s the half smile on Mhairi Black’s face that I like particularly…enjoying Clegg’s discomfiture…lol

    On Topic: He’s obsfucating…the thlot pickens.

  108. Macart says:

    Who knew?


  109. carthannas says:

    Dal Riata – thanks for bringing the subject of clapping (!) to our attention. I saw it on the news and I’m so bloody angry.

    They don’t clap in that chamber but they do bray, jeer, shout, wave papers, barrack, gesticulate and God knows what else.

    It’s a damn disgrace that the Speaker should try to stop the SNP clapping. Who cares what they done for a very, very, very long time there? They act and sound like the pack of animals they are. Why should things carry on as they have done for centuries? To change things is one reason why the SNP is there. Carry on clapping!

  110. MJack says:

    I heard him on radio Scotland tonight and he did the same thing. I thought that his lack of an actual answer will come back to bight him cause in “speak politic” he said “Of course I fucking knew and we smeared her good with it, didn’t we?”

  111. Rock says:

    Dr Jim,

    “Sorry Mr Bateman but you’re way wrong on this one”

    Like he was when he kept on insisting that BBC bias was not deliberate.

    Is there any doubt left now (to us plebs) that it was, and continues to be, deliberate?

    Sorry Mr Bateman, we plebs don’t care much about “bleeding heart” liberals at the Guardian and Independent or elsewhere.

    We demand justice.

    But I doubt we will get it because the Scottish justice system is rotten to the core.

  112. Grouse Beater says:

    “I did not have sex with that woman!”

    (There was no penetration, only … umm … sharing a cigar.)

  113. Lollysmum says:


    Just shut the fuck up for a change-it’s people like you that are feeding the ‘one party state’ narrative with your attitude that gives MSM & WM its ammunition & you are too dim to see that you are doing it.

    People have a democratic right to vote how they wish so let the Greens alone you eejit. How or why people vote how they do has absolutely nothing to do with you or I so butt out & learn how to converse without showing your nasty colours & we’ll all get on fine.

    By the way, what did you actually DO towards the election? Bu**er all probably. All mouth & trousers no doubt. I don’t think I’ve seen a single post from you that is not negative to others. You are a sad man & no mistake!

  114. mike cassidy says:

    For those who don’t know, you can read the press statement on the memo enquiry here.

    I have emailed the Scottish Office about the availability of the full text of the enquiry.

    Will let you know what they say – if anything!

  115. Petra says:

    @ Dal Riata says ”From the STV website: “The Scottish National Party’s 56 MPs have been told to stop clapping in the House of Commons.

    Speaker John Bercow had to remind the members of the house traditions in the first meeting of the new parliament.”

    What a farce! It’s alright for them to stamp feet, yell their heads off, bray, boo and generally behave like 5 year olds.

    Bercow is also an out and out hypocrite! Check this out at 3:36 (and I’m sure there must be other examples).

  116. Rock says:

    Dal Riata,

    “Mr Robertson said:

    “And we still remain supporters of electoral reform and proportional representation.””

    I would love it if an SNP MP introduced a private member’s bill calling for proportional representation at Westminster.

    It would be fun to see how the likes of the Guardian would react to such a bill being introduced by a “fascist” “dictator” party.

    Total shameless hypocrites.

  117. jock mc X says:

    All this mad stuff we are seeing.

    It is the dying days of the union,the game is a bogie for
    westminster and when the average punter in england
    “get’s it” god help the lot of them.

    Something tells me they ain’t got five years.

  118. ben madigan says:

    So much hypocrisy from the Speaker about clapping in the House. have a look at this post

  119. Dal Riata says:

    He should start calling himself Blue Peter Mundell: “Here’s a set of sentences that I made up earlier”

    That guy is as guilty as sin: the body language, the nervous face, the verbal obfuscation, the pre-composed sentences…

    Keep up the pressure folks. The deliberately leaked non-memo is but the tip of the iceberg.

    Remember, what you see of an iceberg is but one-ninth of its actual size, the other eight-ninths are underwater and out of view. Carmichael’s lying, etc. is but one-ninth of the real story. The other eight-ninths are being deliberately hidden, covered up and out of view. The whole nine-ninths must be exposed, bit by bit, layer by layer. How far it goes and who and which of the British state agencies were/are truly involved is a scandal waiting and needing to be exposed.

  120. Grouse Beater says:

    The Sweetie Wife for Scotland was fingered some topics ago.

    Today he confirmed he was involved.

    When you think you’re invulnerable, that is, unaccountable to the electorate, and you think that because you assume your friends are all around and in power to protect you, you do as you please or as you are told.

    Mundell forgot to look out the window – all his pals were packing their bags to head south.

  121. IvMoz says:

    It was OK for Tony Blair warmonger to be clapped in the Commons

    (01:50 in)

    but not OK for the SNP

  122. Stoker says:

    Mundell is as guilty as sin.

  123. Nuada says:

    The Bart Simpson Defence – I didn’t do it, nobody saw me, you can’t prove anything.

  124. Rock says:


    “No Derek Bateman, I don’t agree with you, the cringe is peeking through your argument.”

    “Just shut the fuck up for a change-it’s people like you that are feeding the ‘one party state’ narrative with your attitude that gives MSM & WM its ammunition & you are too dim to see that you are doing it.”

    One Scottish cringer attacking another!

    Which independence supporter cares about the MSM and WM? They lie about us all the time and don’t need any ammunition to do it.

    For the sake of completeness, what do you think about Morag’s comment about a “democratically elected” MP?

    “Now, I’m about 90% sure that he was in it up to his bloody neck, which I would happily wring.”

    Doesn’t that give “MSM & WM its ammunition” too?

  125. Lesley-Anne says:

    I agree with you there K1. Maybe she was smiling at the idea of an S.N.P. application form being passed along the bench to Clegg for him to fill in and sign. 😀

  126. Luigi says:

    Carmichael and Mundell are but the puppets. The willing, useful idiots. Get rid of these weak links and we will get closer to who has really been pulling the stings.

  127. Graham MacQueen says:

    I can imagine Mundell playing out the scenario and rehearsing his lines over and over as he is being presented with the question put to him by the reporter; the same anxiety can be seen on any child’s face when they are in a sticky situation!

    Going by his facial expressions and body movements I would say he definitely appears to be feeling uncomfortable!

    Numbskulls must have been working overtime inside his wee cranium!

  128. Grouse Beater says:

    Just read Bateman’s perspective.

    He talks as if Carmichael is getting tarred and feathered rather than asked to do the honourable thing and resign, putting himself up for re-election … if he dare.

    In fact, why does Bateman think social websites should not do the work of investigative journalists?

    Could it be there are none willing or none left?

  129. Andrew McLean says:

    Comparing this evasive clipped political, with Alex Salmond on sky news tonight is like comparing Mr been with a football to Pele,
    Alex a man at the top of his game!

  130. orri says:

    He’s not obfuscating at all. What he’s doing is being extremely specific in how he chooses to answer a different question from the one he was asked in the first place.

    Unfortunately in doing so he’s highlighted to me that the leak inquiry was only focused on why the misinformation got into the memo. Which acknowledges the potential political motivation for deliberately doing so and accepts a genuine mistake was made. That opens up a whole can of worms in that regardless of the truth of it the statement is in itself a politically damaging one.

    Now we see where there’s no mention of the motivation behind Carmichael or his Spad’s decision to leak other than a conclusion that it was wrong of them to do so. In refusing to accept the Public Interest defense we can assume that political motivation was the conclusion. In fact the not taking severance pay might be seen more as an indication of a retrospective firing of both Carmichael and Rodin. More they’re not getting it rather than turning it down.

    So yes we know who leaked it an who authorised it. What we don’t know, and this is the salient point, is who else took part in discussions regarding whether the leak should be made. Nor has Mundel been asked whether he knew of it’s contents. Which is neither here not there as if he had a right to read it then he surely should have. However given the Telegraph went out of their way to omit the “lost in translation” part and implied the UK was bugging the French Embassy it’s in no way certain he would have warned them that it wasn’t that great a scoop.

    Of course none of this would have been possible if AC had bothered to do his job and read the memo or had been so concerned with creating the excuse that he had not read it that he accepted at face value a summary of it’s contents rather than actually check that the release of it to the Telegraph was in the public interest.

    However I wouldn’t be too concerned with chasing down Mundel. If AC is dragged kicking and screaming into a court of law it’ll soon come out who else was involved and at what level.

    Also unasked was what instructions were given to the Spad. Was it to find something to throw at Sturgeon or otherwise benefit the Government and or the Lib Dems?

  131. Taranaich says:

    @Petra: What a farce! It’s alright for them to stamp feet, yell their heads off, bray, boo and generally behave like 5 year olds.

    Bercow is also an out and out hypocrite! Check this out at 3:36 (and I’m sure there must be other examples).

    There certainly are:

    At least two occasions where Mr Bercow did not see fit to chastise *standing ovations*.

  132. Macart says:

    Perhaps a more pertinent question.

    Across whose tables would a report on a meeting between the First Minister of Scotland and the French Ambassador appear?

  133. Lesley-Anne says:

    Stephen Gethins MP for Fife North East now giving his maiden speech. 😛

  134. Dan Huil says:

    Eton’s finest must be having a gay old time laughing and sniggering behind the backs of servile Jocks like Carmichael and Mundell.

  135. Luigi says:

    I expect the shredders will be working hard tonight.

  136. Fiona says:

    @ Macart

    Good question. The notion that foreign embassies routinely report the topics discussed at meetings with opposition politicians to the host government strikes me as extremely peculiar in any case. There are many regimes where we do have embassies, but where the opposition are at some risk from the regime itself. If there is a convention that all such meetings are reported to the host government what is it for? Are we to assume that british diplomats tell Mr Putin’s government all about meetings with the opposition there, for example? How could such a convention have arisen in the first place, when there are obvious dangers in some circumstances?

  137. Broch Landers says:

    As has been pointed out already: it’s the classic non-denial denial.

    When all this is over, I wouldn’t bet against the Carmichael Memo being right up there with the Zinoviev Letter and Watergate.

    A pivotal moment in the break-up of Britain.

  138. Grouse Beater says:

    Luigi: I expect the shredders will be working hard tonight.


    I hope it is his wife cutting up his suits furious about the humiliation he is soon to bring down upon his family.

  139. caledonia says:

    Could be he NEVER knew anything and said that as a trap for the SNP etc to start accusing him of something he never did.

    Then they can say there is no difference accusing Nicla of something she never did.

    Or it could be he is just another lying unionist

  140. K1 says:

    Could someone provide a link to the maiden speeches being given, please, yes I’m that lazy right now 🙂

  141. Macart says:


    A devolved government is still subject to the sovereign government. If there’s one lesson we’ve leaned over the past fifteen years it has to be that. The common link between official meetings and briefings? The civil service.

    One thing we also learned over the period of the referendum is that the civil service is anything but objective when it comes to UK politics. If they decide that any report is worthy of travelling up the parliamentary food chain, then its a safe bet it would reach relevant offices for due consideration.

  142. One_Scot says:

    Definitely worth a listen to,

    Michael White’s Moustache

  143. ronnie anderson says:

    Carmichael as a trained Lawyer & Procurator Fiscal,would not autherise anyone to release a statement without reading it 1st,I,m not trained in law & would,nt give permission for somthing without knowing fully the circumstance,? would you.

  144. frogesque says:

    O/T but not totally.

    FIFA news is totally dominant. Watch out for sneaky moves behind the scenes at WM. Snakes hide in long grass.

  145. North chiel says:

    Mundell and Carmichael should be hounded relentlessly until the truth emerges, as this was
    A blatant attempt to ” stab Scotland’s First Minister in the back” with the “Scotland Office” and the
    Westminster controlled media leading this premeditated attack. The question is who pre planned
    This despicable plot and who gave the “green light” on the timing of this etc.? Is it believable that
    Carmichael / “Scottish office” or should it be renamed ” the Westminster office in Scotland “?,was acting “independently” or under “advice/instructions” from elsewhere ?

  146. Cadogan Enright says:

    Orkney Shetland appeal at 60%

    Am writing to speaker to express disappointment that baying and howling is permitted but
    Polite clapping not (sometimes / depending)

  147. Colin Church says:

    Predict #disturbingreports of Mundell’s pants going on fire under proper questioning.
    Ruthie seems to have got away with that piece of mischief.

  148. Gary45% says:

    Carbuncle and Fluffy the Waldorf and Statler of politics.
    Only with less political acumen.

  149. Fiona says:

    @ Macart

    Oh certainly. I was just wondering if even the basis of the memo was true. I appreciate that the CG did say it was “normal” but I just find it so unlikely. But that is just me (and Craig Murray) 😉

    On the assumption this is routine it leaves more questions, however, and I have raised them before. In the first place, assuming there is a protocol such that foreign diplomats inform the host government, they will indeed do it through the civil service. And I do not believe they will do it by telephone, because civil service does not work that way. There is too much scope for “send three and fourpence” and so they would e-mail or write. Or so I believe.

    In the second place, even if this was a telephone conversation between friends (as was at least suggested at one point) they all know that “friendship” is a peculiar thing in diplomatic circles; just as other professions do. There are things you do not say to such “friends” just as you do not say them to journalists. It is never off the record

    Thirdly, the person alleged to have received the information did not find it credible and notes that. What would you do, if you thought you heard something truly implausible and intended to pass it on? Clarify? I would. I would not wish to look daft when I sent it where it was to go.

    If I could not clarify, but still sent it on, I would not use a phrase like “lost in the translation” if I knew perfectly well the conversation was in english (and I would know). I would instead use something like “for what little it is worth”, which is both stronger and more accurate. Civil Servants are good with words. They are their stock in trade

    We are told that the information went to the Scotland office, not to the Foreign Office. That is also a little odd, but not incredible. So the civil servant receives it and he will have a procedure about what happens next. I do not believe that procedure will include an instruction to send it to the SPAD. A SPAD is not senior and is not a civil servant. The only way I can envisage that happening is if AC issued standing instructions that everything addressed to him goes to the SPAD first. He might have. I don’t find it all that plausible that the civil servant is not also required to pass such information to the FO, however: for such conversations are not only relevant to the Scotland office: they are diplomatically sensitive, potentially and I don’t think the civil service would lose track of such things in this way. Especially since it was clearly potentially politically important

    We are not told who the memo was addressed to nor who it was copied to. But it does note specifically that it is confidential. Why was that said? All such information is bound by the official secrets act and it will have a classification which determines who can see it. Like “confidential” or “secret”. They stamp it on the face of the file as a matter of routine. So what need to mention this at all if written by a career civil servant? Who was he talking to? Well, maybe the SPAD, if AC did have a standing instruction. That would explain it. But in that case this is a seriously naive civil servant,cos SPAD’s are political and they do not share the civil service mindset (even as much of it as still exists, in view of the revolving door)

    The whole thing just cries out for more information than we have

  150. HandandShrimp says:


    Absolutely right. If someone who worked you for said they had a document that could be useful the first thing you would say is “What does it say?”

    Given that the contentious stuff is only two or three lines long, the notion that Carmichael didn’t know what it said is just laughable. I think the most remarkable thing about this is how crap Alistair is at it. I do wonder if he is the primary culprit in all this…not that Mundell strikes one as a Moriarty type mastermind.

  151. Broch Landers says:

    @Caledonia … that thought occurred to me too.

    Suggests a Churchillian level of cunning. Unlikely in this case.

    Cameron has proved a wily fox, mind you.

  152. Ian Brotherhood says:

    @Cadogan Enright et al –

    re MPs behaviour, I remember a friend who knew a lot about WM in the days before cameras were admitted and PMQs was fortnightly or whatever, and he said it was utter mayhem – they would be launching pencils at each others heads across the chamber, balls of paper, you-name-it, and a goodly percentage of them so pished that they could hardly stand.

    Naturally, they cleaned up their act somewhat when they knew it was being watched and/or recorded, but a lot of us can still remember Heseltine’s unfilmed dramatics with the mace. It must’ve been like a Hogarth sketch. Mind you, seeing footage of that nonsense today, you have to wonder if it’s really changed much at all – a horse-drawn carriage to deliver Madge’s crown? Michael Gove producing her speech from a special bag? FFS…

  153. orri says:

    I wonder if it wasn’t so much that clapping was the problem, although evidently against convention rather than any particular rule, but rather that until they’ve had their Maiden Speech new MPs are supposed to be unseen and unheard? I wonder how long and how soon it’ll take all 49 (?) newbies to have theirs? Can that be dragged out as long as possible or is that imposed silence yet another unwritten rule?

  154. Fred says:

    If Carmichael goes down he has nothing to lose and can pull the rug from under Mundell and Mundell knows it, hence the obfuscation. 🙂

  155. Fiona says:

    @ Fred

    I wouldn’t be too sure he has nothing to lose.

  156. Swami Backverandah says:

    I have some recollection of Carmichael saying that he did know the contents of the memo (in his first post-findings interview maybe) and then he changed the focus later to saying he had not seem the actual memo – meaning the printed out version, till he saw it in the Telegraph.
    But he did know its contents before the leak – whether he was just told them in summary, or he saw some other form of the allegations which weren’t the actual memo. Dang dem semiotics again. Semantics, even.

    This would be a good question to clarify by asking him.

    btw – if you’re still a ciffer, a couple of posts in klittykat’s archive posit an interesting scenario regarding a Tory trap – posted 2 days ago. Just a hypothesis, mind.

  157. Maybe Mr McLetchy can let ‘Fluffy’ have one of his Taxis …

  158. Cadogan Enright says:

    @cynicalhylander 10.40

    I know that – but need to remind Bercow – never let anything past – 5 mins and 50p for a stamp

    Had my first post to Bateman’s site banned today – for politely pointing out the obvious – feel another one coming on

  159. Petra says:

    I mentioned in a previous post that the Data Protection Act or less likely (maybe?) the Official Secrets Act may have been breached re. Frenchgate.

    Police Scotland are seemingly questioning Carmichael about the leaked memo. I can’t see them getting involved unless they consider that a crime may have been committed. Can anyone think of any other Law that may have been broken other than the aforementioned?

    Lollysmum may be able to help out here.

  160. Fiona says:

    @ Petra

    I think the police are bound to investigage if a complaint is made. Doesn’t mean there has been a crime, necessarily

  161. orri says:

    Seems to be of the opinion that Spads are sort of Civil Servants, at least of a temporary variety, and bound by both the Civil Service Code and by an additional code of conduct. It also quite plainly states that the minister the advise is their employer and wholly responsible for an disciplinary action taken against them.

    It also mentions the Official Secrets Act and that any leak might constitute a breech of it. That the severity of the leak is what will concern the police. That the police are seperate from the government.

    Before anyone tries to restrict who can call in the police it’s worth remembering, again, that AC was still SoS for Scotland up until he was replaced by his deputy. As such he was not just a constituency MP but a member of government. That means any attempt to restrict the scope of those who can place an official complaint to the police regarding his potentially criminal act is a non starter.

  162. Almannysbunnet says:

    One of the original golden rules, when Westminster was first set up, was that under no circumstances should you give a fellow right honourable member the clap. Over time this has morphed into the no clapping rule. One could say the original meaning has been lost in translation.
    If they are allowed to lie, so am I 🙂

  163. MoJo says:

    A transparent liar , in true Westminster tradition…!

  164. Valerie says:

    @Cadogan Enright – that’s interesting about Bateman. I thought his post was a bit of a wind up at first, so read it twice!

    Before I responded that I disagreed with him. He is WAY off the mark, and I think the responses show that.

    Quite disappointed with him really.

    This episode is bringing all sorts out of the woodwork.

  165. Petra says:

    Well I don’t know about that Fiona. I don’t think that the Police are bound to investigate every complaint that is made to them. People are constantly making complaints to the Police, some even border on the ridiculous, and then they, the Police, have to discern if there are any valid grounds, a Law that MAY have been broken, before they would consider investigating.

    I don’t know but if I get time tomorrow I’ll contact some relatives / friends who are on the Police Force. I just thought that Lollysmum may have been on board and could have helped out on this one.

  166. boris says:

    Sir Malcolm Bruce is being much maligned for providing explanation of Carmichael’s action’s and avoidance of truth in the aftermath.

    Alistair spouted political lies, a much used tactic at times when the truth is unpalatable.

    What goes on in politics between politicians, who are provided with relevant instruction in rebuttal is of no concern to the public.

  167. frankieboy says:

    Mumbly Mundelly

  168. Fiona says:

    @ Petra

    Didn’t make myself very clear. I believe that they have to investigate whether a crime has been committed if they receive a complaint. Sometimes that will be easy and instant; sometimes much harder. But I think they have to at least do something to make that decision. I could be wrong, obviously. Lollysmum will know better, as you say

  169. Petra says:

    Orri I had a look at the Government guidelines for Special Advisors recently and noticed that they are bound by the Civil Service Code of Conduct. Euan Roddin clearly breached some of the articles of the code.

    As far as a breach of the Official Secrets Act is concerned it would seem that he wouldn’t have to take the buck for that (if that is the case at all) because he was ‘authorised’ by Carmichael to release the memo.

  170. Petra says:

    Valerie I too have been totally taken aback with Batemans stance on this issue. This is the second time in fact. A few weeks ago he was suggesting that we should back off complaining about someone in the media (can’t remember who now) but I was gobsmacked with that.

    After reading his latest blog on Carmichael I did take some time to consider what he was saying and came to the conclusion that what he advocates just doesn’t work. If anything this is what has happened over and over again with corrupt politicians …. do a bit of moaning and then let them all get off Scot free.

    Time now to put a stop to it.

  171. ronnie anderson says:

    @ Petra I,ve just got round to Batemans story,& left my comment. Batemans blotted his copybook a few times, that will cost him readers from this site.

  172. orri says:

    As the leaked memo deals with a foreign power, France, it’s dealt with by section 3. According to both parties involved were Crown Servants so the Official Secrets Act has been broken.

    The 1989 amendment removed public interest as a defence.

    The only question is how big a fine and/or prison term any of the conspirators face.

  173. Petra says:

    Orri that was what I picked up on when I was reading up on the Official Secrets Act. The ONLY section that seemed to apply in this case related to International Relations.

    What I wasn’t sure about, I’m still not sure about, is what constitutes a breach of the IR section of the OSA? Does it refer to security issues that could endanger others here and / or abroad? If so I don’t think the leaking of that memo would come into that category.

    On the otherhand this could be seen as a real concern of the potentiality of that happening in the future. Time will tell (maybe!).

    I hope you are right about the fine / prison term they may face Orri, however I get the feeling that no matter what Westminster will cover-up and protect them come what may. Par for the course.

    What I am surprised about is the lack of interest shown by Labour Party politicians. To my mind this contributed greatly to them losing the election. Then again they are so focused on ‘bad SNP’ and their Union with the few plebs left that they can’t see the wood for the trees.

  174. uilleam_beag says:

    Has someone forwarded a link for this to Nick Robinson? I think he might value a genuine example of, ” He didn’t aahnswer.”

  175. Macart says:



    A lot more information is required and that wee fella in the clip ATL could be helpful in that respect. As the interviewer noted, Mr Mundell was the only other govt. minister on site at a pre purdah period where the contents of the report and subsequent third and fourth hand summary additions were made and handled. I’m sure his insights into the procedures involved would cast considerable light into the murk for the public, yes?

  176. Fiona says:

    Yes, Macart

    But a simple explanation of the standard procedures would also help. There is too much knee jerk secrecy, as orri’s link shows. I can see the argument for confidentiality about content, though that goes too far as well, imo. But process is not the same, and we could know more

  177. Luigi says:

    Derek Bateman’s argument seems to be that it will benefit the SNP in the long term if Carmichael hangs on, but surely that completely misses the point. Even is this were the case (and I have my doubts), this is not about scoring political points for party advantage. This is about the little people against a corrupt establishment.

    There are higher principles at stake here, Mr Bateman.

  178. orri says:

    Clarifies things,

    An attempt to damage the reputation of Scotland’s First Minister only counts if in doing so the UK’s interests are also harmed. On the other hand that the French chose to intervene demonstrated that they’d been sufficiently offended that the chose to break convention and intervene in what should have been a purely domestic affair.

    Carmichael’s remaining defence is one of not knowing or having reason to believe that his actions might have that effect. It turns out that no harm done isn’t actually an excuse. Just as “Public Interest” isn’t an excuse. The fact that Carmichael sought to damage the reputation of the First Minister has already been admitted by him. That that might result in an undermining of relations between Holyrood and France seems not to have occurred to him.

    I’m not entirely sure I can accept an allegation that this is a knee jerk reaction. Although the initial reporting implied that the misinformation was a result of espionage so that might have set the wheels in motion.

    As to the potential fine I’d assume it’d be at the minimum level allowable. Or it’ll be claimed the information had no potential to cause the kind of damage that would make the OSA apply, despite evidence to the contrary.

  179. Swami Backverandah says:

    If you were a civil servant faithfully recording what you thought you heard, you’d do just that.
    Would you feel it necessary to include a rider saying that you thought the information might be incorrect? Why include a fanciful personal comment speculating on whether the conversation you purport to be faithfully recording actually took place.
    That part of the memo about not being sure of what was said is designed to protect the civil servant.
    “I’m faithfully recording what I thought I heard, but I’m not sure that conversation took place”?
    Doesn’t stack up.

  180. Fiona says:

    @ Luigi


  181. Hugh says:

    Fluffed that one Fluffy. The word that seemed to elude you was No!

  182. Thepnr says:

    I’m just speculating but can believe that Nicola Sturgeon expressed the view that Ed Milliband was not Prime Minister material. The civil servant recorded this in the memo for consumption by the SoSfS and his Spad.

    This is where I believe it went wrong and it’s possible that a view was taken that “then obviously NS would prefer Cameron as Prime Minister”. This then somehow found it’s way onto the memo with the civil servants caveat “something may have been lost in translation.”

    Since it is believed that the conversation took place in English I’m at a loss as to why anything could have been misunderstood.

    Maybe one day we will get to the bottom of it all, or maybe not.

  183. Fiona says:

    @ Thepnr

    There is absolutely no reason to suppose that Ms Sturgeon said any such thing. Such speculation is not sensible. It is merely an example of the tendency of reasonable people to seek some middle ground: there is none

    To get to that conclusion you have to assume a number of things:

    1. Ms Sturgeon has consistently lied when she offered to work with EM as PM to pursue common progressive goals
    2. Despite having consistently lied to the public and in every statement she has ever made, she somehow forgot that when in discussion with a foreign diplomat.
    3. That it is easy to make the leap from that to “prefer DC” in face of her antipathy to tory rule which she has held since the age of 16

    It is ridiculous on its face.

  184. Thepnr says:


    Then, that’s me telt!

    You can offer to work with someone even though you have doubts about their capacity in that particular job. I have no doubt whatsoever that NS was being honest when repeatably stating this.

    You are guilty of doing something that you dislike, that of attributing to me something I never said. You do not have to assume at all that “Ms Sturgeon has consistently lied” in order to hypothesise as to how the memo came to say what it said.

    In fact that is a ridiculous assumption of yours to make about my thought process. Is it your view then that more than just the assertion that NS preferred the Tories in power is not just the only thing that is false?

  185. Fiona says:

    @ Thepnr

    Sorry if that came across as harsh. As I said, to me it is one of the traps that reasonable people find hard to avoid. We (and I am guilty of this) tend to assume that those we engage with are honest; that the differences are sincerely held; and we try to find middle ground. Since Thatcher the right routinely exploit this. They do not seek consensus: destroying the post war consensus is their raison d’etre. So when you step forward to the middle ground, they step back, thus moving the centre ground, then claiming you are not on it. This has gone on for years. And now we are where we are.

    I think the whole controversial part of the memo is wholly false. I was inclined to believe it was made of whole cloth, because I do not believe that a report which is official and part of a protocol, would be made in a phone call. Ever. The French consul general did say he “told” someone about the programme his ambassador would be following; but that is not a report about the content of her meetings, and presumably precedes any such report. I can quite see that being passed on in a phone call for there is no real scope for “send three and fourpence” with consequences; though I still find it a little odd.

    Certainly one can offer to work with someone you consider to be less than capable. You are right, about that and I withdraw my comment about that in toto.

    What I do not believe is that Ms Sturgeon is so loose lipped and so naive as to say that to a foreign diplomat or to anyone else outwith perhaps her family. And that is because I think her offer was sincere. It is not likely to help if it becomes known that she thinks Mr M is a numptie. He is only human, and anybody would be miffed, I would think. Not likely to inspire him to agree to working together when the prospect was already politically difficult for him. Or so I think.

    I do not know how this memo came to be written: but I am absolutely sure that she said nothing about preferring DC: and I am equally sure that she did not say that about Mr M either. Ms Sturgeon is not infallible, by any means. But it is just so inept, and I have not seen her that way at all so far.

    Again I apologise if my post was offensive. I am just so tired of watching the switches from those who continue to pretend there is substance to the allegation.

    First they say that the memo is real and true: so that proves she is machiavellian and wants a tory government

    Then, when the memo is said to be untrue,by everyone who was there, they say it is obvious that she wants a tory government and present that as evidence the memo is true.

    It is the switch from

    True Memo => True Motives to
    True motive => True Memo

    It makes my head spin. Which way is the evidence supposed to run?

  186. Brian Doonthetoon says:

    I think a timeline is in order.

    26th February – Sylvie Bermann, France’s ambassador to the UK, meets with Nicola Sturgeon, Fiona Hyslop and Climate Change Minister Aileen McLeod.

    6th March – Pierre-Alain Coffinier, France’s consul general in Edinburgh, told a “friend” at the Scotland Office about the Sturgeon meeting. Presumably, this “friend” wrote a memo outlining the conversation. The memo starts,

    Discussion with the French Consul-General

    6 Mar 2015

    Just had a telephone conversation with Pierre-Alain Coffinier (PAC), the French CG. He was keen to fill me in on some of the conversations his Ambassador had during her visit to Scotland last week. All of this was given on a confidential basis, so please limit any onward circulation.

    It ends with,

    • The Ambassador also had a truncated meeting with the FM (FM running late after a busy Thursday…). Discussion appears to have focused mainly on the political situation, with the FM stating that she wouldn’t want a formal coalition with Labour; that the SNP would almost certainly have a large number of seats; that she had no idea ‘what kind of mischief’ Alex Salmond would get up to; and confessed that she’d rather see David Cameron remain as PM (and didn’t see Ed Miliband as PM material).
    I have to admit that I’m not sure that the FM’s tongue would be quite so loose on that kind of thing in a meeting like that, so it might well be a case of something being lost in translation.

    The memo is not signed (in the version subsequently published by The Telegraph).

    2nd April – Nicola Sturgeon comes out as the winner in the leaders’ debate.

    3rd April – The memo is ‘leaked’, with Alistair Carmichael’s approval, to Simon Johnson and Peter Dominiczak at The Telegraph.

    4th April – the First Minister, the French Ambassador and the French Consul General all deny that there were any comments about Cameron and Miliband.

    Carmichael sat on this memo for nearly a month before instigating the “leak”.

    We can draw our own conclusions as to why it was leaked when it was and who should carry some sort of can.

    I suspect the content after “…Alex Salmond would get up to” was, possibly, added later…

  187. Thepnr says:

    @Fiona and BDTT

    Having read what Brian has written I too can withdraw my hypothesis that possibly the part of the memo relating to Ed Milliband may have had some truth in it.

    I have watched again James Cooks interview of the first Minister at the anti-Trident rally and she is very clear. This is worth watching again or if you missed it the first time.

  188. donald anderson says:

    I keep getting unsolocited emails from the Liar Dums. Is this how they claim the increase in membership since they were wiped out?

    Liberal Democrats

    donald, soon we’re going to be sending out the ballot papers to elect a new leader of the Liberal Democrats, and I want you to have your say.
    Our next leader is going to continue our fight to protect the Human Rights Act, keep Britain in Europe and block the Snoopers Charter. I want you to help decide who that leader is.

    Getting your vote is easy, all you need to do is join the party today*. Membership costs as little as £1 per month, and it’s even less if you’re a student or in receipt of benefits. Joining online is fast, easy and secure.

    Become a member now
    Already a member? Click here.

    If you join, as well as getting a vote in our leadership election, you’ll also receive all the other benefits of being a party member:

    – You’ll be able to help decide our polciies
    – You can help choose our candidates in your local area, or stand for election yourself
    – You can attend and speak at party conference
    – You’ll receive a new members welcome pack including your choice of membership card
    – You’ll receive our members magazine, Ad Lib, four times per year

    When we’re sending out the ballot papers I really want your name to be on that list. That way, you’ll be making your voice heard and helping to decide our future. Please join quickly and securely online now:

    Thank you,

    Austin Rathe
    Head of Members and Supporters
    Liberal Democrats

    * If you’ve received this email and you’re already a member, that means we don’t have this email address linked to your membership record. If you could let us know that this is your email address that would be fantastic, and we’ll match it to your record. But don’t worry, either way if you’re already a member you’ll be sent a ballot paper.

    Members of the Liberal Democrats vote on our policies, vote in our elections, and give a voice to their community. Will you join from just £1 a month?

    Become a member
    Stronger Economy. Fairer
    Society. Opportunity for everyone.
    Get involved
    This email was sent to
    Do you receive too many emails? Change how much email you receive or unsubscribe.

    Published and promoted by Tim Gordon on behalf of the Liberal Democrats, 8-10 Great George St, London, England SW1P 3AE, United Kingdom

Comment - please read this page for comment rules. HTML tags like <i> and <b> are permitted. Use paragraph breaks in long comments. DO NOT SIGN YOUR COMMENTS, either with a name or a slogan. If your comment does not appear immediately, DO NOT REPOST IT. Ignore these rules and I WILL KILL YOU WITH HAMMERS.

↑ Top