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The naked liar

Posted on May 23, 2015 by

I was driving along under a lovely London sky yesterday and heard Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s interview on BBC Radio 4’s PM (package starts at 33.26).

acletter

As it progressed, it became clear that Sturgeon was turning in one of the best political performances on a radio programme ever. I say that as a Labour supporter, albeit one who’s belatedly grasping just how good she and her party folk are.

(PM, BBC Radio 4, 22 May 2015)
.

It’s for you, and then the pundits, to reflect on her words and style. But what I heard moved me across a line of argument in a way I can’t remember being moved by anyone on the radio or telly before.

To anyone who understands a bit about Whitehall, then-Secretary of State for Scotland Alistair Carmichael MP was always the obvious source of an election-period government ‘leak’ which set out to damage the SNP, and I tweeted as much – and blogposted – at the time. But then, like everyone else, I turned to other stuff and largely forgot about the incident.

Now, the cabinet secretary – the UK’s most senior civil servant whatever you read to the contrary – has produced a report making it clear what we at Westminster and Whitehall knew already. Cue groans of boredom. Except it isn’t boring at all. And it was the Sturgeon interview on PM which crystallised it all.

I’ve worked with, and still work with, super civil servants who keep their political opinions to themselves while providing properly high-grade advice to their political leaders. Ministers mainly do unheralded good work devoid of base party politics, but sometimes not, and in general their civil servants get to know when the latter applies. That’s all fair game.

What clearly happened with Carmichael, though, is that his ‘special’ party-political adviser was briefed in good faith shortly before the purdah period before the election (when civil servants avoid party-politically contentious issues) then told him immediately. That adviser was quite right to do that as he’s party-political and the clue’s in the name.

Such advisers work alongside regular civil servants on the basis that the minister will deal with any inappropriate political calls. But Carmichael decided to use what turned out to be an unfair interpretation of a meeting for election advantage anyway.

So what we have is that Carmichael decided to save up a marginally pre-purdah bit of info for purdah – that’s shit to start with since the civil servant who wrote the brief (and accurately questioned whether something hadn’t been “lost in translation”) would obviously be personally sullied and professionally grubbied on a technicality.

Then Carmichael used the brief during the election in a way which makes it clear that he’s the one who’s leaked it. That’s inept, but he’s a Liberal Democrat, so that’s sort of allowed. But then, and this is what I’d missed, he nakedly lied about it.

At a time when the Cabinet Secretary was convening an inquiry into the whole affair, Carmichael said the first he knew about the memo was when a journalist rang him about it. That was a UK cabinet minister lying to the public. He’s a lawyer – he knows where that leads. As he accepted today, had it been known then it would have been a resigning offence because it was simply dishonest. But it was known then – but only by him because he was lying to everyone else. But resigning from what?

Often, the media like to say some politician has resigned from some office or other but this can be meaningless unless it’s contextualised. What matters is that s/he is still a member of the House of Commons (or Lords, but that’s another mental story).

Carmichael’s majority at the general election which took place between his lie and the discovery of his lie went from almost 10,000 to 817. If the lie had been known about he’d probably have lost the seat. It really is as simple as that.

For my money, and most folk’s I think, his election was wrong. Maybe the Orcadians and Shetlanders feel different, maybe they don’t, but at least they should be given the choice. Carmichael’s culpability is far greater than his terrible letter of today accepting “responsibility” suggests.

I’m sorry to say because he’s otherwise a good man, but he’s a liar and that just won’t do. He should call a by-election and throw himself at the feet of his constituents. If he doesn’t, he’ll be remembered as The Great Liar and nothing more. And that would be a shame for a man who could at least recover his name from all of this.

The Sturgeon interview moves from polite acceptance of the apology to fairly pointing out that there is much more to it all. Without a single, even momentary, wobble, she stays on the right line of insistence without straying into nastiness or, worse, boring ‘superiority’. She puts all the components of a killer argument together at a speed every listener can follow and she concludes by sounding human and decent while crushing the bones of a recent Secretary of State, and fellow-lawyer, beneath her feet. It’s an amazing interview and really worth a listen.

More important, Nicola Sturgeon’s performance portrays Scotland as a sovereign state-in-waiting. For now, from the unionist parties so horribly self-satisfied with referendum 2014 there is no reply.

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    1. 23 05 15 12:33

      The naked liar | Speymouth

    2. 23 05 15 14:14

      The naked liar | Politics Scotland | Scoop.it

    143 to “The naked liar”

    1. sinky says:

      Has anyone checked ian murray,s old tweets on carmichaels frenchgate lie

    2. I am a Solicitor. If I lied to a client or a fellow professional , I would face being struck off by the Law Society of Scotland for professional misconduct. Rightly so . Carmichael qualified as a Solicitor. He knows the rules of public and professional life. He should do the Honourable thing and throw himself on his own sword.

    3. Edward says:

      According to the BBC, there will be protests to be held in Kirkwall in Orkney and Lerwick, Shetland

      Anyone know about this and can this get publicised?

    4. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      There has always been a different and better Eric Joyce and he is providing the evidence with this.

    5. John Thomson says:

      Brilliant words are simply lost in translation

    6. Cod says:

      As well as all of the above, he’s surely also responsible for the £1.4 million in costs for an enquiry which would never have been required if he had owned up to his guilt.

      We should now watch the Liberal Democrat leadership, such as it is, closely, to see what they do next. In order for them to retain any sort of moral authority they surely must order Carmichael to resign.

      He is, after all, a liability, of an order greater even than their broken pledge in regard to tuiton fees – at least with that, they can finesse the argument and claim they were simply unable to stand against the Tories on it and at the same time lessen the blow of other policies, that it was, so to say, a sacrificial lamb.

      This, however, can not be looked at any other way than as a blatant lie by a top LibDem, and he is reflecting on the small remaining number of LibDems.

      Therein, of course, lies the rub. Because he is the Last LibDem of Scotland. And one of only a small number UK wide, and they really cannot afford to lose even one more MP.

      So the question, then, is will the LibDem leadership bow to the almost inevitable, and act to remove someone who has, through their own actions and words, proclaimed themselves a blatant liar, or will they attempt to brazen it out in the hopes that it all gets knocked off the news cycle by something else (and if they do that, perhaps it shows they do not yet understand exactly what has happened in Scotland), and keep their foothold in Scotland?

      Place your bets now people, this could get interesting. Personally, I reckon ten days, max, and he’s out.

    7. Morag says:

      When I first read this I thought it was beyond ironic that Eric Joyce of all people was calling for an MP to resign his seat. Eric Joyce who resisted all such calls after being convicted of assaulting a fellow MP and went on collecting his salary for the rest of the parliament. Eric Joyce who committed an actual violent crime, whereas Carmichael merely behaved dishonourably and told lies.

      But he’s absolutely right. The very title of Honourable Member says what an MP should be. Carmichael’s offence goes to the heart of his suitability for the job in a way that simply decking a Tory doesn’t.

      Alistair, when even ERIC JOYCE is calling for you to resign, the writing is on the wall.

    8. desimond says:

      Edward
      See last nights thread…protest outside Cathedral i believe

    9. Calgacus says:

      Thank you Eric, excellent analysis of these shocking revelations.

    10. I know what he did was and is morally and ethically wrong, but can someone advise if it is a criminal offence?

    11. X_Sticks says:

      Whatever you might think about Eric and there’s no doubt he has some personal issues he has penned some excellent articles.

      He does have the ability to see through the smoke and get to the truth of an issue.

      Well said Eric, although I do question whether you can be a good man and a liar on this scale. The two seem incompatible to me.

    12. Sharon says:

      EDWARD – Shetland SNP FB page mentions 1pm in Lerwick outside RBS.

    13. I know what he did was and is morally and ethically wrong, but can someone advise if it is a criminal offence? Surely it is some form of slander against the highest office in Scotland.

      When we get round to writing a proper Scottish constitution, hopefully we will include this type of behaviour as unacceptable.

    14. ronnie anderson says:

      There must be ah spare dyke on Mugga Flukker fur ah spent bull tae look ere.There,s no,ok Bernie the Bolt ( thats Bernie doon the Abattoir.)

    15. desimond says:

      Morag
      Carmichael merely behaved dishonourably and told lies.

      It was much more than merely that..it was cold, cowardly, conniving and calculated. I think i have more compassion for an aggressive drunk to be honest.

    16. heedtracker says:

      He was found out by phone records in his department to the Torygraph. Did he take the chance that he’d still be ConDem Scottish Secretary of State after May 7, giving him the power to block investigation? Probably.

      Its so corrupt now, BBC Scotland still using it to attack Sturgeon.

    17. Jim Thomson says:

      @Cod 10:56am

      seems they’re not going to censure him.

      The last nail in the SLibDem coffin methinks. They are proving over and over again they have NO integrity.

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-32857247

    18. Edward says:

      Thanks Sharon & desimond

      Hope that there will get twitter thing going as I doubt the broadcast media will cover it

    19. alexicon says:

      NS is by far a cut above the politicians we have today.
      No wonder the unionist and their lackey press fear her.

      @Edward.

      Read about it here.

      https://www.facebook.com/pages/Yes-Orkney/384134558309943

    20. Clydebuilt says:

      Once again Eric Joyce proves there’s a brain in his heid.

    21. Grouse Beater says:

      The job of BBC’s James Cook was not to thrust his phallic microphone into the face of Sturgeon and demand answers, but instead to double check the source, and when he could not verify the alleged statement was true, chase down the source of the leak.

      That’s investigative journalism. What Cook did was try to be seen getting a scoop.

      His head of department is just as culpable. He ought to have demanded Cook get verification before any news announcement – but then, BBC is as much infused with the culture of tabloid journalism as the tabloids, that is, when it’s not announcing the daily medical scare, or advertising its own programmes as if news.

      I’ll have more to say about Carmichael’s treachery in my next bog essay this weekend. Meanwhile this might refresh memory:

      https://grousebeater.wordpress.com/2015/04/09/cook-caught-in-a-half-nelson/

    22. drawdeaddave says:

      We do have an exceptional FM in this country i agree, but to summarise my opinion on this issue. Carmichael leaked the memo not to save his political skin, but to blacken the FM & her party, but hey ho “these things happen” fair enough, politics is a dirty profession. But to stand there & tell the people a bare faced lie that cost over one million pounds to investigate, while knowing the truth could stop that investigation & subsequent waste of public money at any time, but instead chose to sit it out till after the GE to save his political carer, shows not only a lack of moral integrity, but also a contempt for the electorate in general, & his constituents in particular, the man is a coward as well as a liar…

    23. fletch49er says:

      Tuesday’s my bet (hope) 🙂

    24. The Rough Bounds says:

      Imagine being in Carmichael’s shoes right now. His world has just collapsed in on itself and it’s pretty much his own fault and that of his Liberal cronies.

      It must be really horrendous for those three stooges, Labour, Tory and puddin’ face, that just managed to hold onto their seats at that election.

      Every time they hear the words Scottish National Party they must be fouling their knickers.

      We are coming for you Carmichael. And then it’ll be Mundell and Murray. ‘The channering worm doth chide’.

    25. Morag says:

      Desimond, I agree with you. That was the point of my post. On a moment’s reflection, Carmichael’s offence is by far the more serious.

    26. Kininvie says:

      From the Cabinet Secretary’s press release:

      “an official mobile phone was used to make telephone calls to one of the authors of the Daily Telegraph story. This phone was held by Euan Roddin….”

      The question is, what other telephone calls were made from this phone on or around the same day. Given that the inquiry checked the phone records, the evidence exists.

      For example, is there evidence of a phone call to Willie Rennie’s office in the hours preceding the call to the Telegraph?

      Would the phone records be available via an FOI request?

    27. Swami Backverandah says:

      Well, I gave the article a fair shot until I got to the bit about him “recovering his good name”.
      He doesn’t have one.
      He’s a manipulative, lying, misrepresenting mercenary.

      He should resign.
      Maybe he can ‘recover’ some position on the board of some like-minded bank. Or the BBC.

      Or write for the Telegraph.

    28. Murray McCallum says:

      Eric is spot on about the Nicola Sturgeon interview. She really is impressive and sticks to the key point(s) she really wants to get through.

      This is all the more difficult when interviewers are constantly interrupting.

    29. Early Ball says:

      Can anyone play devil’s advocate and suggest how the vast cost of the leak enquiry might be arrived at? There was only a limited area of investigation.

    30. Grouse Beater says:

      Did you enjoy the BBC’s interviewer asking what she would have done if it was her party that committed the calumny?

      That’s the media instilling doubt, engineered in our minds everybody is at it, so Carmichael isn’t really a bad person, or a dishonest, weak, lying politician.

      The answer to the interviewer’s question should be:

      “Are you implying the nefarious nature of Carmichael’s action is lessened in some way because it might happen somewhere else in the future, or are you just seeking spurious ‘balance’ on an issue that has the guilty party already admitting guilt?

    31. mike says:

      We must stop saying leaked memo, it was not leaked, it was published. If the minister approved the distribution it was published. Again the wheels of the British government have been used as a weapon against Scotland. How many attacks must we sustain before the fifty five realise that independence is the only escape from the aggressive power at our border.

    32. Swami Backverandah says:

      And he should be made to pay restitution of some of the public monies spent forcing him into his admission.

      If he was in court, it would be perjury, and he’d probably do a custodial.

      Ask his mate Huhne.

    33. Hamish10 says:

      On BBC this morning NO Lib dem available to speak. Funny that because they are usually so eager.Maybe they should just have phoned James Cook!!
      It is quite unbelievable that Carmichael is NOT to be disciplined by his party. Willie Rennie’s is the Leader of the Liberal Liars party. It also reflects on him, his whole behaviour during this smear. When did he become aware it was a lie and one of his Scottish members had lied to his family, friends, party and to the good people of Shetland and Orkney? Before the General Election?
      A new election required and if Carmichael is reelected so be it.

      If he stays as the sole liberal democrat -used to have positive tones– he will be rightly castigated every time he speaks. Right Honourable !!!! says it all really.

    34. Morag says:

      I don’t really understand Eric Joyce. Sometimes he writes some terrific articles that are really insightful. And then again sometimes he comes out with some ridiculous Labour-serving unionist drivel.

      Maybe it depends on the exact blood ethanol concentration at the time of writing. But there’s a different tone to this one. Is some light perhaps being dimly perceived?

    35. Juteman says:

      As a working class Scot that likes a pint, I never thought Eric did anything wrong. 🙂

    36. Clarinda says:

      I wonder if Mr Carmichael knew the LibDem electoral game was in jeopardy on the Orkney and Shetland Islands and this deceit a ruse to save his seat. I suspect he has picked the wrong ‘victim’.

      Fozzie Wozzie is a Libber
      Fozzie Wozzie seems a fibber
      Fozzie Wozzie wasn’t leakin’ – wozzie?

    37. Richardinho says:

      It’s interesting that in the three seats in Scotland still being held by unionist parties all 3 of them involved the winning party using dirty tricks in order to take them:

      Labour chucking mud at Neil Hay in Edinburgh South
      Ruth Davidson lying about ‘burly men’ in Annan
      and now we have the full set with Carmichael abusing his position in public office for electoral gain.

      They are a shameless bunch.

    38. Lollysmum says:

      I posted this on the earlier thread but it belongs here

      Lollysmum says:

      23 May, 2015 at 11:11 am
      O/T Rev Stu
      Could Wings front a case against Carmichael as per Peat Worriers suggestion this morning.I’d happily contribute

    39. ClanDonald says:

      The Lalland’s Peat Worrier seems to think legal action might be “worth a punt” by an opponent or constituent. Hope some Orkney & Shetland residents get something going. No legal aid is available but no doubt a crowd fund initiative would be inundated with donations.

      Any legal action will have to be quick, the deadline is Thursday.

      http://www.lallandspeatworrier.blogspot.co.uk/2015/05/is-carmichael-vulnerable-to-election.html

    40. Al-Stuart says:

      To quote Eric Joyce’s article about Alistair Carmichael MP – That was a UK cabinet minister lying to the public. He’s a lawyer – he knows where that leads.

      Well I was a policeman and this is only mentioned because I was trained in criminal law and like ex-Procurator Fiscal Carmichael have an understanding of how crimes, offences and the law works. Every day criminals are investigated, and if the evidence stacks up are then prosecuted. But it appears lawmakers like Carmichael can be lawbreakers with impunity. Bad. So I believe Alistair Carmichael SHOULD now be investigated for criminal infractions.

      As Eric Joyce has pointed out, Alistair Carmichael knows – or should know – where lying for pecuniary advantage (and other breaches of the law) leads.

      Alistair Carmichael will NOT resign the seat he stole – and yes he did steal it, and the £60,000+ MP salary, for if just 409 Orcadians and Shetlanders had switched their votes Carmichael would not have won the election. If the islanders had a their MP – cabinet minister resigning and mired in lying sleeze on the eve of the Gereal Election they may well have given him his jotters.

      So with Carmichael toughing it out to clng onto his ill-gotten-gain – the MP salary for 5 years and NOT resigning, the only way he can be removed is via a custodial sentence of 1 year+.

      If you think that democracy is important and lying cheating politicians should be prosecuted, please join with me and report this liar and his theft of a parliamentary salary to Police Scotland….

      http://www.scotland.police.uk/contact-us/non-emergencies/frequently-asked-questions/

    41. Training Day says:

      Eric, you say ‘he’s otherwise a good man’.

      Apart from blatantly lying about his culpability here. Apart from trying to smear a palpably decent woman. And apart from relying on his BBC chums to do his dirty work.

      Oh, and apart from his key role in foisting the biggest collection of lies and smears upon the Scottish people in our history prior to September 18th.

      Apart from that.

    42. heedtracker says:

      http://news.channel4.com/election2015/04/05/update-931/

      Bare faced liar lying about his lies a few weeks.

    43. Mealer says:

      Eric Joyce,
      Thanks for that.I think you could,perhaps,have given us a clearer “laymans guide” to the workings of these things but interesting to get your take on it.I can’t agree on your idea that Mr Carmichael should put himself in front of the electorate for a rerun.If you’re unfit to hold office,you’re unfit to run for office.Surely.
      I’m not entirely satisfied with Ms Sturgeons stance so far.This whole affair centres around a conversation she had with a foreign ambassador in her capacity as First Minister of Scotland.The Office of First Minister was smeared by the Secretary of State for Scotland.Its not her call as to whether this can be shrugged off.Its a matter for the Scottish Parliament.

    44. BenInsular says:

      @Cod

      “As well as all of the above, he’s surely also responsible for the £1.4 million in costs for an enquiry which would never have been required if he had owned up to his guilt.”

      I agree with the rest of your post, but I think we should beware of quoting that £1.4 million widely for now. The only source seems to be a tweet by Paul Flynn MP (see https://twitter.com/PaulFlynnMP/status/601769705649643520 ). It seems an unfeasibly high figure even for the current unwieldy civil service bureaucracy. The danger is that when a truer cost emerges (if we ever find out), there’ll be the get-out of “Oh well, it only cost [insert figure here], so it’s not so bad!”

      The original offence is indefensible, but it’s the blatant lying on the record that will likely do for Carmichael. Even if he clings on to his seat and avoids legal repercussions, it’ll dog him for the rest of his career. It’ll also dog what remains of the Lib Dems in Scotland, which may be why even the majority of Liberal Democrat Voice commenters have been condemning him: http://www.libdemvoice.org/statement-from-alistair-carmichael-following-leak-inquiry-46082.html

    45. Jane Paterson says:

      Two things…

      Nicola sounds human and decent quite simply because she is.

      “Lost in translation”….puzzles me. Was the conversation in English or French…….
      Scottish and French or Klingon ?
      Or is it just a term special advisers use when they want to smear someone ?

    46. Cod says:

      @Jim Thomson 11.14am

      Yeah, I saw that after I made my post. Not really surprising, as the LibDems can not afford to lose any more MPs, and they certainly can’t afford to be completely wiped out in Scotland.

      A Lib Dem spokesman said no more action would be taken after the suggestion that Nicola Sturgeon wanted David Cameron to remain as prime minister.

      Nice try at some semantics there, LibDem spokesman. That wasn’t the offence Carmichael should be resigning for, it was the blatant and outright lie he told about knowing about the leak. As you, and we, both know.

    47. Charles mc says:

      Westminsters man in Scotland

    48. Lollysmum says:

      Sorry forgot to give credit where it’s due. Eric Joyce has demonstrated by this post exactly why he was able to continue as an independent MP. Yes he has his difficulties but this post shows that he, like us, is disgusted by the actions & words of Carmichael.

      In the last couple of days 3 MP’s have been honest with the electorate about what has or is happening in WM to monster the SNP.

      Diane Abbott has been telling everyone that the fuss about MP’s seating arrangements ‘is tosh’ Press making it up!

      Paul Flynn is demanding Parliamentary enquiry into Carmichael’s lies.

      Now former MP Eric Joyce is posting this article.

      Clearly honesty & integrity is alive & well in some parts of the UK but not in others. Thank you to all 3 of you.

    49. ronnie anderson says:

      I,m in on any legal action Comon Rev roll one out.

    50. Luigi says:

      Morag says:

      23 May, 2015 at 11:26 am

      Desimond, I agree with you. That was the point of my post. On a moment’s reflection, Carmichael’s offence is by far the more serious.

      Agreed. Excellent article.

      However, I do think it would have been even more powerful though, had EJ set an example by honourably resigning as an MP at the time of his trouble, instead of hanging on for as long as possible, as Carmichael seems to be trying to do now. Had he done that, Carmichael would already be toast.

    51. Jim Thomson says:

      @Lolly’s Mum 11:33am

      Carol Fox is already considering legal action of some description. I suggest that if there is to be a crowdfunder it is centred on her efforts.

      Currently, I have no details of what is going to happen but, if you follow her on Twitter (@feministfox) I’m sure there will be a clue or two in the next few days.

    52. Alan Mackintosh says:

      @Jacqueline,
      Have alook at this post from Lalland Peat Worrier. He has identified one of the potential offenses committed

      http://lallandspeatworrier.blogspot.co.uk/2015/05/is-carmichael-vulnerable-to-election.html

    53. Hobbit says:

      If Carmichael goes, my guess is that the Tories would win the seat in a by-election. The ironies never cease!

    54. Grouse Beater says:

      Morag: And then again sometimes he comes out with some ridiculous Labour-serving unionist drivel.

      Don’t ever expect to get the best of inherent ability from a confirmed alcoholic.

      Jackson Pollock was a raddled boozer, rarely sober, the type who pissed into your fire at your party. His ‘action’ paintings were a result of an inability to keep his painting hand steady. But dedicated and smart he created a strong, immediately recognisable and harmonious style that incorporated the weakness. The only problem was, while his contemporaries developed their art in different painterly directions Pollock’s frazzled brain concentrated on the next drink. His style and technique had nowhere to go.

    55. Bill McLean says:

      It gets worse – as a member of the Privy Council Alistair Carmichael is a “Right Honourable Gentleman”. We must get away from the corruption on Thames as soon as possible and Mr Joyce put it well “a sovereign state-in-waiting”.

    56. Swami Backverandah says:

      I reckon his resignation statement will be written in Russian and inserted into their entry in the Eurovision Song Contest.
      He can blame them instead of the LibDem ‘party-machine’, which incidentally is currently demonstrating all the puissance of a hand-held whisk.

    57. Iain Gray's Subway Lament says:

      Carmichael, Rennie (who smeared Nicola in the Torygraph multiple times lets not forget) and their unprincipled sleazy spinners are an utter disgrace.

      Scottish politics will be far better off without their filth, smears and dirty tricks polluting it.

      Thank goodness the scottish voters have told the yellow tories exactly where to go and made then a complete irrelevance.

    58. Iain Gray's Subway Lament says:

      Carmichael, Rennie (who smeared Nicola in the Torygraph multiple times lets not forget) and their unprincipled sleazy spinners are an utter disgrace.

      Scottish politics will be far better off without their filth, smears and dirty tricks polluting it.

      Thank goodness the scottish voters have told the yellow tories exactly where to go and made then a complete irrelevance

    59. Wulls says:

      “It has also been confirmed the Orkney and Shetland MP will not face any internal disciplinary proceedings from his party in the wake of the revelations”
      “He has given up £17,000 of ministerial severance pay,” a spokesman said. “We feel that is sanction enough.”

      And that folks sums up the lib dems
      They feel £17k is recompense for the £1.4 million this mans lying has cost the treasury.
      Add that to the £800k they owe police Scotland we are looking at a political party morally and physically bankrupt.

    60. Robert Bryce says:

      Morag,
      Maybe we come from different backgrounds but I’d rather someone sparked me out than lied to me.

      Just saying……..

    61. Thomas Stott says:

      Stunned Eric Joyce is calling people out to resign as an MP after holding onto that job himself for so long following his arrests and convictions.

      People who aren’t allowed to leave their glass houses between 8pm and 4am shouldn’t be throwing stones.

    62. big doug says:

      This is a far more serious matter than most people would realise. The essential point in all of this is that it was during a UK general election campaign . Two questions emerge , firstly was this a breach of The Representation of the Peoples Act 1983? Secondly is Mr Carmichael , who was then a government minister, guilty of misconduct in public office? Futhermore, is it right and proper that taxpayers foot the £1.4 million bill for the enquiry into the antics of the Right Honourable Alistair Carmichael MP? Judge for yourselves.

    63. heedtracker says:

      Naked liars of the UKOK press.

      Independent headline

      https://archive.is/lPdSQ

      Nicola Sturgeon did want David Cameron to win the general election, report concludes
      Civil service memo was an ‘accurate’ record of First Minister’s comments

      Carmichael’s letter of confession.

      “I accept that its publication was a serious breach of protocol and that the details of that account were not correct”

    64. Auld Rock says:

      Todays protest in Lerwick. Non Party and will meet at 13:00hrs in front of the Bank of Scotland on ‘The Street’. You can get more info if you Google, Yes Shetland and you will see link to a Facebook site. Sorry I don’t have the links but I’m not up to speed on Facebook.

      Auld Rock

    65. John Batchelor says:

      Surely he should be surcharged (held personally liable)for the cost of the enquiry

    66. handclapping says:

      Of course the FibDems wont want anything to happen to their Carbuncle. He’s 12.5% of their Short Money and in their present position money talks.

      It really brings into question Cranbourne Money in the Lords. Even if we are saddled with having a HoL why should we be forced to pay for the political allegiance of such as Wallace of Tonkatown when his co-conspirators have been wiped out by a fed-up electorate. And the SNP have never put up anybody for Lording.

    67. heedtracker says:

      https://twitter.com/DrScottThinks/status/602034024450777088 and ofcourse in pile red tory britnats desperate for any lies to attack Sturgeon. They wonder why they’re so disliked across their Scotland region.

    68. Lollysmum says:

      Jim Thomson
      I was only suggesting Wings fronting it because we appear to have the greatest following online & thus the ability to act quickly in raising funds.

      Taking up a case also puts the person leading it into the public eye so maybe an individual like Carol Fox may be creating a rod for her own back whereas Stu can withstand such storms as his outing with the Scotsman so ably demonstrated.

      In anything like this Stu knows we would have his back 🙂

    69. Dr Jim says:

      We’re lucky here on Wings because we’re not politicians so the standards for us are different
      We should be very proud of the First Ministers handling of this whole debacle
      She has maintained a poised but earnest intent to expose the truth without resorting to grievance in accusation or triumphalism in exoneration
      Perhaps Westminster might learn a lesson from a politician who represents her country in this way and not herself for gratification or plaudits

      Now that the serious part is over
      They Bastirts are aw liars an we knew it aw the time “Nippy” so you get oan wae it an rip them a knew yin

    70. Ally McEwen says:

      No Eric, you can’t join the SNP.

    71. Macart says:

      Thank you for the post Mr Joyce.

      As you say his culpability was indeed suspected from day one of this sorry episode. This ‘otherwise good man’ however has been dishonest with the public for some time. I see no redeeming qualities in this. Perhaps these days what is considered fair game in the world of politics is now no longer acceptable to the general public? We’re given little reason to trust the accepted political class to be sure.

      We’re simply tired of being lied to, manipulated for political coinage and otherwise ignored between elections. In point of fact we’re tired of politics as it is practised in the UK today period. To many its not fair game, its not a game at all. Its our lives, our families lives and their futures that are being manipulated in the name of this ‘game’.

      Mr Carmichael brought the government, his office and the civil service into disrepute. He used an ever willing media and aid across the UKs political spectrum to smear and defame another. Let’s also not forget the embarrassment of the French officials forced to participate in this sordid escapade.

      IMO Mr Carmichael has to go, no question. His intent was clear, his actions beyond unacceptable, with ramifications yet to be explored and settled. As for those who jumped onto the bandwagon to make cheap political gain? Notice I think has already been served during the election as to just how the electorate view their actions.

    72. Hamish10 says:

      Calling Wullie Rennie, Wullie Rennie!!!

      Has anyone seen him? Heard he was a Leader?

    73. Richardinho says:

      There’s an obvious problem with trying to portray Carmichael as a ‘decent man who has made a mistake’.

      A decent man is not someone who abuses public office in order to gain electoral advantage.

      Nor is there just a momentarily slip here: Carmichael denied any wrong doing right up to the point at which he was caught. Had he not been caught he would have presumably have continued to deny it and now he thinks that a public show of contrition is appropriate. Hardly a lot of decency here; more an example of a man with no moral scruples whatsoever!

      When establishment figures like Eric Joyce (whatever has happened to him he still speaks with that mindset) talks of ‘decency’ what they actually mean is that they play to the establishment’s rules: You could take them anywhere; they are ‘clubbable’. Carmichael thought that he could get away with this in the same way that Civil Service thought it was acceptable to take the government’s side during the referendum. In other words he wasn’t doing anything that a member of the establishment wouldn’t do. He was in their terms ‘doing the decent thing’.

      I’ve got no real reason for supposing that Carmichael is a total bastard outside of political life: That he goes around kicking children and being unkind to animals. I don’t doubt that outside of political life he is a ‘decent’ man by what would be the normal definition of that term. What this incident has illustrated is that ingrained in the Westminster mindset is the idea that it is acceptable to attack the Scottish independence movement by any means necessary and the normal rules of civility do not apply (and indeed the rules that would apply to other members of the establishment). We’ve seen that with Nicholas Macpherson saying that impartiality guidelines for the Civil Service did not apply during the referendum, we’ve seen it with the Labour party’s denial to the SNP of the third party seating block in the Commons, and now we’ve seen it with Alistair Carmichael abusing his position as Scottish Secretary. And these are the ones that we know about!

      Just worth bearing in mind I think.

    74. Valerie says:

      Agreeing with all these comments, and I will happily contribute to a legal action, and so would many disgusted Scots who at least had the chance to vote liars out 2 weeks ago.

      A legal action would AGAIN tell the rest of the UK, we are doing politics and democracy differently, and what we expect from politicians. I am raging at the thought that this balloon will sit out 5 years collecting public money, whilst being responsible for wasting £1.4M, it beggars belief.

      Regarding Mr Joyce,a bit late to the party in showing respect to SNP, he supports fracking, and he may have the ability to string some sentences, but he as usual shows a lack of judgement in saying this liar is, ‘otherwise a good man’

      That’s just pish, Mr Joyce.

    75. Croompenstein says:

      The tories are hanging big Fozzie out to dry pretty much the same as they hung the Labour Party in Scotland out to dry. If you had these convictions Eric why didn’t you speak up and save your party last year. Played like a fucking fiddle by the tories.. tube

    76. DerekM says:

      Good post Eric nice of you to drop by and you are right he must go, if his party does not kick him out he can run again as their candidate,the people of the Northern Isles must be heard loudly on this matter it is not trivial.

      lol have you seen the light Eric yea she is a bit special and so is her party.

      Yea lets go after him show them some real people power it will scare the pants of them 🙂

    77. Jim Thomson says:

      @Lolly’s Mum 12:24

      Completely agree. It doesn’t make sense though for Stuart to raise the action. That needs to be by someone who has both the legal background and is already in the public eye. From her earlier tweets, she seems more than ready for the fray.

      I was simply suggesting that any crowdfunding needs to be pointed in a single direction and not spread across a wheen of platforms 🙂

    78. woosie says:

      Surely Fibdems can’t win any seats in Holyrood next year after standing by a devious, scheming liar. These unionist parties are unraveling before our eyes in a frenzy of panicky self-preservation.

      Quite aside from the patriotic Scots side of the SNP/Yes argument is the refusal of SNP candidates to resort to dirty tricks, and I’m sure the first one who does will be shown the door.

      And by the way, I’ve never had a problem with Eric Joyce. Like me, and many working class Scots, he likes a pint and can’t suffer fools. It’s just that he would meet more of them in WM!

    79. Roll_On_2015 says:

      OT

      I see that a new type of bank has opened in London I wonder how long it will be before other branches will be opened across the UK.

    80. Marcia says:

      There should be a health warning on that photo – his legs! 🙂

    81. Morgatron says:

      Eric, a fantastic article. It’s a pity you have left stage left , slab could do with more of your like to survive. But that’s why the SNP are unstoppable into 2016 elections. Thanks for posting Stu.

    82. scottieDog says:

      People in my profession have been sacked for much much less.
      The Britnnat mafia will protect him I’m sure. Lard carmichael in waiting…

    83. Grouse Beater says:

      Unionists are always bemused Scots want to conduct their political business on an ethical basis compared to Westminster.

      The British press and media have nudged the event out of the headlines already.

      Now, if Carmichael had been pushing his old bike out of Downing Street and cussed at a cop …

    84. Effijy says:

      A spokesman for the Liberal Democrats said: “Alistair has taken responsibility and has given up £17,000. The party fully supports him as MP for Orkney and Shetland.”

      I see, you can cheat, steal, and lie, waste £1.4 million in times of austerity, and all you need to do to continue with these perverse acts, is to not take all of the money you can get your hands on.

      Sorry, the last Lib Dem in Scotland is going, like it or not.

      Lib Dems, you have lurched right down into the gutter with him.
      You try to back these actions as acceptable and you will soon find out that you have no MSPs nor Councilors in Scotland!

      Last call for common decency!
      And that goes for the other Wastmonster Parties too!

    85. manandboy says:

      Scotland Office memorandum leak: Cabinet Office inquiry statement

      1. The phrase ‘lost in translation’ most probably means simply an error in understanding or hearing by the civil servant, who then reported what he mistakenly thought he had heard.

      However, the use of the phrase in the report by the Cabinet Secretary, does nothing to clarify what actually happened.

      2. The Cabinet Secretary has concluded that there is no reason to doubt that he recorded accurately what he thought he had heard. To me, that is a contradiction. One can only record accurately what was said. If what was said was not understood or was not heard clearly, then how can a written record of what was “thought” to have been said be described as accurate.

      The statement just raises more questions.

      As piece of clear reporting, I’d give it 3/10.

    86. call me dave says:

      On GMS radio this morning “No liberal democrat spokes person was willing to comment on the programme”

      Odd that! Wee Wullie usually will turn up for the opening of an envelope anywhere. 🙂

      Maybe he sped off at 82MPH on his bicycle as he did earlier this week. I was sure I glimpsed him whizzing by on the motorway behind Hill-of-Beath where I was born some time ago.

      Breaking the speed limit he was. Tsshk!

    87. MJC says:

      Lib Dems now stating NO internal action will be taken against Carmichael!! Therefore lies are justifiable, spending £1.4 million is fine and being elected under false premises is acceptable!!

      This dear people is another fine example of the utter disregard and contempt shown to the general public from a political party enshrined in the essence of a Westminster culture of distant and aloofness.

      They can all fuck off in my humble opinion.

    88. Catherine says:

      I don’t really agree with the good faith part of this. There is at least a chance the whole thing was totally made up.

    89. Richardinho says:

      It is a good article by Eric Joyce. You can see why he rose within the Blairite ranks: He’s obviously a smart guy.

      Just a pity he’s an alcoholic with a hair-trigger temper.

    90. Tom MacGregor says:

      It’s not as if the yellow tories have not lied before so not a big shocker

    91. osakisushi says:

      I just read this clown has two children. They are going to have a tough time with a father as a proven liar and cheat giving such a lesson to them.

      A bit sad, really.

    92. X_Sticks says:

      O/T

      ON NOW

      Live Independence are livestreaming “RageAgainst Tory Rule!” from Glasgow

      http://tinyurl.com/q8vwvdy

    93. galamcennalath says:

      Perhaps someone needs to look at the way the story broke and who acted on it with undue haste. Clearly, anyone who was anti-SNP could have taken the opportunity to jump on the bandwagon once the story was out. However, from my memory an awful lot of people piled in remarkably quickly!

      There also seems an odd pattern where the story ran and ran even when it was quickly proven to be untrue.

      Somehow it all seemed to get off to a bigger start than Carmichael giving the nod to his advisor to pass a report onto the Telepgraph.

    94. MrObycyek says:

      The comments from some of the guests on the BBC radio show this morning with Graham Spier’s truly defied belief. One woman guest actually said that Nicola Sturgeon had a vendetta against Carmichael and that she did not understand why he should resign! What a stupid stupid woman. Is there any chance in the future that the BBC could actually get guests on that are not utterly odious and morally repugnant? Or failing that how about getting someone on with at least two brain cells? Where do they dig up these human excrements?

      Nicola Sturgeon has handled herself, as always, with real class and dignity throughout this whole scandal. If it was me I would have rammed Carmichael’s apology letter and his special adviser up his balloon knot sideways. I guess that’s why I’m not the First Minister.

      I am curious to know how Eric Joyce would react to something like this if it were to happen to him?

    95. highseastim says:

      If Carmichael does not resign, I would imagine it would be the death knell for Rennie and his cohorts in the Holyrood elections next year, plus Carmichael will get his come-uppence next time round!!

    96. Weechid says:

      Did he do it or is he taking the fall for Mundell?

    97. Sunniva says:

      The bigger question is surely how a professional civil servant could come to write such an inaccurate and potentially damaging minute.

      My theory is that they didn’t – Carmichael doctored it.

      When you study the minute it’s evident that in style, tone, and content – it’s in two halves.

      The first half is factual, neutral. Just what you’d expect from a professional civil servant.

      The second half containing the allegation about Sturgeon’s preference for Cameron, and speculation about ‘what mischief Alex Salmond will get up to at Westminster’ is speculative and gossipy. It reads like somebody added that on, and only the first half of the minute was written by the civil servant. It’s tone and content are completely different.

    98. Jim says:

      Carmichael threw Nicola Sturgeon to the jackals of the press and yes James Cook, you were one of them, to discredit her and besmirch her character, he failed and should now pay the price by resigning in disgrace as an MP.

      Let’s not forget either the horrendous grilling of Pierre-Alain Coffinier by the sky news reporters; how many times did the guy have to say, no, she didn’t say that but on and on they went, painful and embarrassing to watch.

      Will the lying toad be sending an apology to Pierre-Alain Coffinier and sylvie bermann.

      Will the lying toad be paying back the £1.4M it cost to get him to admit it was him all along.

      What lies did he tell during the referendum.

      Many more unanswered questions…

    99. Sunniva says:

      The other thing that makes me suspect the minute has been doctored, is the reference in it to the comment that maybe something was lost in translation.

      There was NO translation. Coffinnier confirmef that his conversation with the civil servant had been in English, and that Bermann’s conversation with Sturgeon was in English.

      How could the real civil servant speculate about something being lost in translation when his conversation was in English?

      That to me, strongly suggests that that part of the minute was added on by somebody else as a crude attempt to cover their tracks if and when the memo was revealed to be innaccurate.

    100. Sunniva says:

      I’m sure the good people of Orkney and Shetland could find better uses for £1.4 million of public money than it being spent on an enquiry into what their MP did in order to persuade them to vote for him or his party.

      If the rest of the Lib Dems wish to protect their seats they need to take Alistair in hand, not let him off the hook.

    101. caledonia says:

      He should be socked and fed to the fsh
      sorry if this has been lost in translation

    102. a2 says:

      God please don’t let him resign! He’s incredible and a liability…

      Better off where he is, in the limelight , showing what the system is prepared to do Rather than being quietly shuffled into retirement..

    103. a2 says:

      “There was NO translation.”

      Well you don’t know, that it may have been transferred into several languages and back several times until they got a “useful” version.

    104. raineach says:

      But if he really thought the memo was genuine then in ordering its release he was breaking the Official Secrets Act. Time for a second home at her majesty’s pleasure.

    105. Tinto Chiel says:

      We are in a win-win position with the odious Carmichael: either he is taken into a room and told to go to the library with the Webley or he stays in post and will be an eternal reminder (or at least for five years) of how duplicitous the Lib Dems/Unionists are. The SNP in parliament can torment him and Fluffy beyond endurance. If his party had any strategic sense he would be told he’s a goner this weekend.

      What seems to me to be most important and admirable about the GE result and this sordid incident is that the people of Scotland have now seen through MSM and the irredeemably corrupt BBC Scotland and rejected them completely, and irreversibly.

      Carmichael is a silly little stooge who has been thrown to the wolves by Chillaxing Cams.

      Another nail in the Unionist coffin.

    106. shugmc says:

      http://www.shetlandtimes.co.uk/2010/11/12/letter-from-westminster-49

      “The right to smear an opponent is not one we should be defending”

      – Alistair Carmichael, Shetland Times, 12/11/2010

      Seems that Alistair has changed his tune since then…

    107. Rock says:

      Paul Kirkwood,

      “I am a Solicitor. If I lied to a client or a fellow professional , I would face being struck off by the Law Society of Scotland for professional misconduct. Rightly so.”

      Lying is at the core of your profession.

      You don’t lie in your own names, you lie in the names of others.

      The Law Society and the Scottish justice system are rotten to the core.

      Megrahi’s wrongful conviction and the cover up which is still going on proves that beyond any reasonable doubt.

      You are experts at concealing your lies.

      In my opinion, and I am sure in the opinion of many others, the vast majority of lawyers are the lowest of the low in society.

      Could you perhaps tell us how much you charge for each minute of your time?

    108. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      I would be very surprised if the Tories were not fully aware of this before the event as I can see no compelling reason to suggest Carmichael would have had any motivation to do this on his own. Had the Con/Libdem alliance survived in power things would be very different.
      As it is Carmichael has just been thrown to the wolves to deflect guilt from the rest of them

    109. Rock says:

      Alcohol is the cause of all Eric Joyce’s problems.

      I wonder if like his former Labour colleagues he is also opposed to minimum pricing of alcohol in Scotland.

      What does he think about Labour’s screams for lifting the ban on alcohol at football grounds for electoral gain?

    110. Croompenstein says:

      @Rock –

      Alcohol is the cause of all Eric Joyce’s problems

      FFS Rock you cannae say that how the fuck do you know 🙁 Jeezo man

    111. Stoker says:

      Paul Kirkwood says:
      23 May, 2015 at 10:46 am
      I am a Solicitor. If I lied to a client or a fellow professional , I would face being struck off by the Law Society of Scotland for professional misconduct. Rightly so …”

      Right, first of all, Rock, wheesht, i’m going back out.
      Right, listen, Paul, i think you are talking pish. If you’re a solicitor why have you not volunteered your services and taken care of business?

      I think you are talking shite, if you mean what you say, prove it.

      Goodnight, folks.
      🙂

    112. Macsenex says:

      Unlike Holyrood Westminster is a court and members can be brought before it. The SNP should use its position to petition Parliament to deal with Mr C.

    113. Lynsey says:

      Does anyone have a verifiable source for the much quoted £1.4 million cost of the investigation?

    114. Shoogle says:

      This article in the Shetland Times makes interesting reading.

      12/11/2010

      “The right to freedom of speech is a fundamental one but it does bring a responsibility with it to tell the truth. The right to smear an opponent is not one we should be defending.”

      Alistair Carmichael MP
      http://www.shetlandtimes.co.uk/2010/11/12/letter-from-westminster-49#.VWBURGPnIC8.twitter

    115. Haggis Hunter says:

      He is a member of the LabServativeDem, STV & BBC Unionist party, ofcourse he can get away with it, but if his faction of the unionist party had remained in power the truth wouldn’t have got out.
      Great miscalculation

    116. MrObycyek says:

      “He (The Civil Servant) confirmed under questioning that he believed that the memo was an accurate record of the conversation that took place between him and the French Consul General, and HIGHLIGHTED THAT THE MEMO HAD STATED that part of the conversation between the French Ambassador and the First Minister might well have been “lost in translation”.”

      What a strange thing to say. If he wrote the memo why not say what parts of it may have been incorrect and clear up the whole issue there and then? He would know exactly what areas in the memo may have been “lost in translation” unless of course someone else wrote it or added to it, in which case all he could have done was refer to what was written in the memo.

      I have searched in vain for the part in the Inquiry statement where they clarify the PART of the conversation between the French Ambassador and the First Minister that MIGHT well have been “lost in translation” and that could have been explained in more detail by the person who wrote the memo. The fact that this has still not been clarified strains credulity.

    117. boris says:

      The Scottish Affairs Committee should instruct Carmichael to appear before them to answer questions about the conduct of Public servants. The would be able to skewer him on live television which might well be enough to get him to resign.

    118. scotsbob says:

      Has there been, or is there going to be, an apology to the French diplomats? They have, in effect, been called liars because of Carmichael’s actions.

      If the Nat bashers still insist that the conversation was accurately recorded then they are effectively still accusing the French diplomats of lying.

    119. Fiona says:

      @MrObycyek

      Absolutely.

      I have been trying to imagine how this conversation could have gone. I am hampered by not knowing its status, and perhaps others remember better than I do, but I seem to recall that at one point it was stated that the conversation was part of some protocol whereby such conversations are always reported to the UK govt/civil service: which Craig Murray denies is the case, and which sounds implausible on its face. Then I also remember it was said that the civil servant was discussing it with the Frenchman in his capacity as a friend, and so it was not official at all.

      If it was official, then what was passed on would not have been the work of one man: it would have been vetted by several before being issued, and I honestly doubt it would be done by telephone. Even if it was the “line” would have been agreed within the department, to avoid diplomatic incidents. I really can’t imagine that quite a senior official would say something which had to be instantly denied by the ambassador, without consequences for his own career. For it is his first responsibility not to embarrass the ambassador, surely?

      If it was in the course of a “private” conversation ( and god preserve me from ever having such “friends”, though I presume that term is used in a specialised way in those circles). But then consider that it had the status of nothing more than gossip. In that case, if your pal told you something important, but which struck you as unlikely, would you probe a bit? I would. Then either he would say something which removed our doubts; or possibly he would realise he had gone too far and he would ask you to forget it or at least would not elaborate. Now what? You, as a civil servant, think that it is important enough to include in a memo, but you have doubts about its accuracy. So you decide you will include it with a disclaimer. What would that disclaimer look like? If it was me, it would not look like “something lost in the translation” but more like “for what little it is worth” or a stronger statement like that. I would wish to make it very clear I had strong doubts, for its inclusion of itself gives it some credibility, by virtue of my position.

      It just does not ring true, especially given the change of tone within the memo, and in face of Mr Carmichael now saying it was not an accurate account. How would he know now and not then?

    120. Fiona says:

      @scotsbob

      Mr Carmichael said he has apologised to the French as well as to Ms Sturgeon. The French diplomats have made no comment on that apology so far as I know

    121. Surely an employer has some responsibility for the actions of one of it’s employees. Carmichael in his capacity of Secretary of State for Scotland was Westminster’s representative in Scotland. Perhaps the PM should make a statement to demonstrate that such conduct will not be accepted in the UK. I suspect that he would rather use the Thomas Cook defence of, It wisnae me.

    122. AdamH says:

      Ladies and gentlemen. I would like to draw your attention to
      http://www.shetlandtimes.co.uk/2010/11/12/letter-from-westminster-49

      Please read all the way to the end.
      Then you can ask him to eat his words.

    123. James Dow says:

      Alistair Carmichael is a carbuncle on Scottish society and values. Unfit for the company of men, and even less the company of women.
      An honourable man would resign instantly.
      But that’s the point, isn’t it?

    124. Ken500 says:

      People with addiction and alcoholic problems should get help to overcome their problems. Go to AA help is all around. Get into a programme. Proper total abstinence, counselling will change your life. Unfortunately it often have to be paid privately and is not available on the NHS. People can turn their life around and pay tax etc, instead of spending there life with addiction problem. For every 10% addicted it affected 90% of others.

      Total abstinence ‘one chance’ proper rehab on the NHS would be cost affected on the NHS as peopl with drink/drug issues could be helped to get back into work and there would be less social problems that alcohol/drugs can cause in society, that affect everyone.

      Medical students can little training in dealing with drug/alcohol issues unless they specialise. 10% of patients will have alcohol/drug addiction related problems. 10% of medical training should include alcohol/drink and other addiction issues in order to create a healthier society. Inheritary? (genes)

    125. ahundredthidiot says:

      What happens next is a question for his constituents – unless his honour can be relied upon and I am not holding my breath for that!.

      Do nothing? – Get what you deserve

    126. Crash says:

      With 8 MPs there is just no way that Carmichael is going to resign over this. That would be a loss of 12.5%. Never going to happen.

      What will happen is that he will go MIA for a few months in the hope that this all blows over, which it will as attention moves elsewhere.

      In five years time it won’t be forgotten but will have no bearing on the next election as the power of the story will have totally faded by then. C’est la vie.

    127. Fiona says:

      @ Crash

      I do not agree. I think that AC will go because of this. Nobody knows better than the lib dems that some things do not “blow over”: they suffered from the tuition fees debacle and nobody forgot about it.

      True they would lose an MP, but in all honesty it makes no substantive difference to their parlous position in the short term: if they do not act to remove him it may very well make a difference in the long term, however. They know they have to establish themselves as a trustworthy party, if they are ever to recover. If they are smart they will see this as an opportunity to start doing that. Current stance suggests they are not smart, but it is not wholly up to them either.

      I do not think AC can survive: if he does it will be another thing that never goes away, for we will make sure it does not.

    128. Onwards says:

      Tinto Chiel says:
      23 May, 2015 at 7:01 pm

      We are in a win-win position with the odious Carmichael: either he is taken into a room and told to go to the library with the Webley or he stays in post and will be an eternal reminder (or at least for five years) of how duplicitous the Lib Dems/Unionists are. The SNP in parliament can torment him and Fluffy beyond endurance. If his party had any strategic sense he would be told he’s a goner this weekend.
      ——

      Yes, I think it’s tactically better for the SNP if he stays. Which is why he will almost certainly go. Nothing to do with showing respect to his constituents.

    129. Fiona says:

      @ Onwards

      I do not think it is tactically better for the SNP if he stays: but even if I did, that idea is exactly akin to the argument put forward by the die hard lib dems and unionists in continuing to believe that Ms Sturgeon did say it: it goes like this

      1. it is better for the SNP if the tories win
      2. the SNP understand that
      3. the SNP are wholly motivated by electoral advantage
      4 therefore the story is true.

      Every plank of that argument is false. But for the purposes of this post the fact is that 3. is false. Ms Sturgeon has made it plain that AC’s treatment of his constituents is a big issue and it is. I do not believe she is not sincere in that, nor do I think the rest of the SNP are numb to the damage a lying MP does to the people he represents. I don’t think electoral tactics are the be all and end all of their thinking: I certainly hope not.

    130. dakk says:

      Fiona. 11.31

      Agreed,I remember being bit concerned for SNP when SNP Scot Gov released Megrahi under medical grounds,even though I agreed and thought he might be innocent.

      I now believe that decision was an important one in SNP demonstrating they would do the right thing even though it looked like political suicide at the time(msm had an SNP terror appeasers jamboree for months if not years).

      The fact that they have gone from strength to strength shows most of the electorate recognized and respected this.

      Trust in SNP to make the right/just decisions for the country ahead of their party in contrast to the unionist parties with their shrill msm acolytes grasping for power is the main driving force behind Scotland’s political transformation.

      I think we are in good hands.

      Marcia. 1.08

      lol, xxx rated,he might at least have worn support briefs and put some fake tan on his shaved legs for the photo shoot !

    131. thomaspotter2014 says:

      As to his photo:::

      King Canute Carmichael

      His resignation tide is coming in-and he can’t hold it back!

    132. Eric Joyce says:

      The comments above naturally add lots of interesting points I hadn’t thought of, but if i may flag two things…

      I’ve tweeted (and credited) Adam H’s reference from the Shetland Times. http://www.shetlandtimes.co.uk/2010/11/12/letter-from-westminster-49 Adam’s bang on.

      There’s really nothing Alistair Carmichael can do about this – it’s why he’ll resign – because he himself goes right to the nub of the matter in last sentence of the letter (all about why an MP who lied should resign). Plenty of folk feel MPs like me who do bad stuff should resign and there are plenty of arguments to be had from all directions. But lying is simply unarguable – whatever the public think, MPs all know lying is a hanging offence so if C lets the matter progress to the standard and privileges committee he will be hanged.

      I see that some of the Westminster commentators (in lifetime sinecures, it feels like) are saying that the SNP is being too aggressive on this, but I think they’re wrong. Pretty much every non-SNP MP will realise that Carmichael’s continued presence there, having lied, serves the SNP most because their (the SNP’s) argument has the merit of being true. However much people think politicians can call black white, where are truth is clear to all it really is impossible and wrong to argue against it.

      I know a lot of readers here don’t fancy him (or me!), but I know him a little bit and he’s a regular guy doing a job for his constituents in what is very messy arena. Shit happens, like, and I really hope he’s thinking this over today and comes clean tomorrow. If he does, of course it’ll be a justifiably huge coup for the SNP, but it’ll also allow the SNP to be magnanimous in victory and give him scope for redemption. I appreciate that I have a personal interest in the notion of redemption (!) but it’s something you have to let everyone have a go at…

      Oh yeah, a final, final point – just to sign off on a shallow comment so as not to disappoint – that guy Skene? On account of his unusual, and rather gallus, name, I remember him standing in Tayside for the Lib Dems in 1983. I understand he stood for Labour, too, at some point or other. Someone should grab him quick and stop him from signing up for the Tories because it’s a virtual certainty he’s going to be variety number 57 within 6 weeks. 🙂

      e

    133. Fred says:

      @ thomaspotter, Canute should be spelled Cnut! re-arrange into a well known phrase or saying.

    134. MrObycyek says:

      @Eric Joyce

      A great post. I think you make a great addition to this site and hope you post more often.

      Everyone makes mistakes of course but the fact is Alistair Carmichael lied and then compounded that lie with his subsequent behaviour. BBC Scotland today mentioned how Carmichael made a “false claim” when the fact is he told a lie. There are people in the media who still claim that the memo was correct, in terms of Nicola Sturgeon’s alleged comments, without a shred of evidence to support those claims and yet in regards to Carmichael they are willing to try and give him the benefit of the doubt when he is caught bang to rights. The man issued a false statement and knew that it was false when he said it. This makes him a liar and it should be accurately reported as such by the BBC and others.

    135. Connor McEwen says:

      Just seen Independent article about Carmichaelgate.
      UKOK Indep. rubbish.
      A poster though had an interesting point about Mundell being in the loop as Deputy for Scottish affairs.
      Maybe Mundell should be dragged into the debate about blame.

    136. HandandShrimp says:

      Eric’s comments are interesting and fair and although we have all taken pops at Alistair I don’t consider him a fundamentally bad person. I still can’t quite believe he thought this was a good idea at any point in its conception, execution and subsequent fall out. I am not into conspiracy theories but I do wonder if we are seeing the whole picture (based purely on the fact this seems to be such an incredibly dumb thing to do).

      Danus may have stood for the Lib Dems back in 83 but that seems like an eternity ago. I like many used to support Labour and have moved to the SNP so I think I can live with a 30 journey by Danus. (Having heard him speak on the radio a few times I think he would be a credit to the SNP ranks).

    137. Alan Mackintosh says:

      Thanks for your post Eric. With ref to Danus, that would be 22 years ago. Enough time for him to come to his senses surely?

      I would be interested in your thoughts on how Mundells little fluffy fingers might be tainted with this matter too?

    138. Swami Backverandah says:

      Came back to this after another post pointed out that Eric had left a comment.
      Good to see the author below the line – to use Groanspeak.

      I find it most interesting that in much of the debate about Carmichael’s (and other politicians) proclivities for corruptibility, i.e. whether they should be allowed second chances, after all they’re just ordinary blokes doing their jobs, we all make mistakes, and seek redemption (if we do),etc. etc., that the actual voters who went to the election having been blatantly lied to regarding the credentials of their representative, in this latest instance, rarely rate a mention.

      Perhaps it might be possible, in the fount of words spilling forth debating the relative merits of any political behaviour, and thus by omission elevating their concerns above those they are paid to represent, to shoehorn in at least a passing reference to the needs, and rights, of the voting public who pay for them.

    139. Lollysmum says:

      swami backverandah

      Good post & very well said.

      Everyone seems more concerned with AC than the actual voters. AC’s majority was cut from 10,000 to 900 this month-that in itself says that the electorate had lost faith in him as their MP particularly when you consider that the population eligible to vote in O & S is only just over 34,000. That is one hell of a lot of votes lost from a small electorate.

      I’m not so sure that he would want to risk a rerun even if offered.

    140. red sunset says:

      Thanks Eric Joyce for this post. Well put analysis.
      I’m glad you contribute to this site, and hope you continue to do so.

      Alistair Carmichael might well be a decent man in a normal sense, and might well have done a lot of good constituency work. But he threw away all of that in what he did. Intentionally smearing a senior opponent during an election. Then brazenly lying about it afterwards. He must pay the price for that, that’s what justice is.

      Many people have made mistakes in their lives and been able to overcome the effects, by honestly working to rehabilitate themselves. Perhaps Alistair Carmichael can do this, but the gravity of this crime means it will be years before he could.

    141. Anagach says:

      @Eric Joyce

      Thank you for the posts and the insight.

      I think you are right, the lying plus to some extent the cost of the investigation (which could have been prevented) leave him in a position where staying would be a lot worse than going.

    142. Morag says:

      I just got unfollowed on Twitter by someone for comparing Carmichael to Bill Walker. But I still think it’s a valid comparison.

      Of course in absolute terms of legality and morality what Bill Walker did was far worse than what Carmichael has done. But in context there is a different slant to it.

      If Bill Walker had been charged and convicted of these domestic abuse offences ten years ago, and served his sentence or whatever punishment was imposed, and then after that had stood for election with all the voters perfectly aware of his lurid past, there would have been no reason to call for his resignation. He was pressurised to resign not exactly for the violent crimes he had committed, but because he lied (to the selection committee) and concealed his own wrongdoing to get elected. He stood for election under a false prospectus.

      The issue with Carmichael is exactly the same. If he had come clean when the inquiry was first set up, honestly admitted what he’d done, and resigned as SoS at that point, it would have been quite different. If he had then gone on to defend his seat with the voters in full possession of the facts of his dishonesty, and had still somehow managed to win (about as likely as Walker getting approved as an SNP candidate with convictions for domestic violence but there you go), there could be no reason for calling on him to resign his seat.

      This is what it’s about. Not the leaking as such, but the lying to defer the culpability for the leak being in the public domain until after he’d secured another five years on the gravy train. THAT’S why he has to do more than simply tender a virtual resignation from the SoS job he no longer holds. THAT’S why he has to resign his actual seat.

      And (the reason I got unfollowed by someone I don’t know and didn’t know was following me in the first place), I think it’s arguable that in this context Carmichael’s duplicitousness goes more closely to his suitability for the actual job in question than Walker’s wife-beating. Conceivably, a man could be a monster behind his own living-room curtains, but still be a competent MP. A man who smears a political opponent using a ditry trick that would have shamed Rasputin, then lies about it to secure his own re-election, cannot ever represent himself as a fit and proper person to be a Member of Parliament.



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