Saturday, 18 July 2015


Alistair Carmichael has the backing of Tim Farron.

I think it was the wrong decision. A new leadership is the time to sort  out problems and start afresh.

Alistair Carmichael is a liar. He admitted it.

It's true that Carmichael made an apology to Nicola Sturgeon for lying about her but, let's be honest, he didn't do it voluntarily or honourably. 

He did it when he was found out. He did it when there was no other alternative but to own up... after the Cabinet Secretary had conducted an inquiry at considerable expense and discovered that he was the culprit.

What he did was to authorise the leaking of a memo which he knew to contain inaccuracies, about a political opponent, and with the express intention of affecting the result of the UK general election. 

As a Cabinet Minister and a solicitor to boot, he must have been aware how wrong and indeed dangerous that was given that he was also risking the relationship between the UK government and the government of the Republic of France. 

Because, in trying to damage the first minister of Scotland and her party, he involved the French ambassador to the court of St James. This was serious stuff. Well above the pay band level of a humble highland solicitor. His actions encouraged the newspapers to call the French Ambassador and her Consul General liars, along with Nicola Sturgeon.

When he was asked about it he compounded the crime by denying all knowledge. He knew nothing about it. Of course that cast the shadow of blame over the much more important and powerful Foreign Office and their many staff. It wasn't long before that was dealt with.

In my opinion it was a stupid act designed to affect the outcome of an election which all indicators suggested would be disastrous not just for his party, but all other unionist parties. 

At the time, as now, Carmichael was not just "the Hon" he was "the right hon", a style given to senior politicians who are considered advisers to the queen. He showed himself not to be in the least bit honourable. He probably broke the law, and he most certainly acted dishonourable.

Of course the admission didn't happen until he was re-elected as the MP for the northern isles, by a very much reduced majority. The Liberal stronghold followed the trend of the rest of Scotland but not quite enough to unseat him. He is now the only Liberal Democrat MP in Scotland.

There is a public campaign in the islands to get him to resign and re-stand, if he wishes, in a by-election, in order to see if, in the light of his late admission of guilt, the people of the islands still wish him to represent them. 

I don't think that that is unreasonable. No one is demanding he be sent to prison,  or fined or even  sanctioned as if he had been 2 minutes late for a jobcentre appointment. 

No one is suggesting that he be debarred from standing again for the seat.

People simply want him to put himself to the electorate now that they know he is a self confessed liar and a cheat, facts about his character unknown to the people when he was elected.

Farron says that people deserve a second chance. That is what is being proposed. A second chance for him to sell himself to his electorate and a second chance for them to pick their MP. This time on a level playing field.

It seems to me that Mr Farron should have asked him to resign his seat and re-stand. There is no guarantee that he would not win it again, but this time the people would be voting for the real Carmichael.

I think Farron missed his chance to start putting the Liberal Democrats back on the rails after their disastrous coalition with the Tories and its fallout.

It is possible or even probable that other people knew about that memo. 

It seems likely that Carmichael's bag carrier, the present cabinet secretary, Mundell (known to us as Fluffy), will have been aware of it. 

Given the fact that it the affair escalated quite seriously, mainly because of the involvement of the French Ambassador, it's not unlikely that Nick Clegg and David Cameron had to be appraised of it. 

It would be unthinkable that they wouldn't have asked Carmichael for an explanation. Did he lie to them, or did he tell them the truth and they hid it until after the election?

Like so many other things in this country, we have no idea and probably never will.


While we are on the subject: Message to Cameron. When parliament says no to a war, that probably means no. 

If you decide (which I guess, under royal prerogative, you may) to send the troops anyway, and sod parliament, remember that there's always a chance someone will find out. 

Troops are people and they have families, in case you'd forgotten, you total despicable dipstick.

Finally congratulations to the SNP MPs who will all give their pay rises to local charities. Further congratulations to any other MPs who decide to join them, and I'm sure there will be many. 

When other people are living on poverty wages and have had no pay rises for  years, it is despicable that MPs should feather their own nests.


  1. Carmichael is guilty as sin as you point out Tris and yes he should resign and stand in a by-election ... if he has the guts to ... personally I doubt he would.

    As far as others knowing about the Frenchgate affair I am of no doubt that Fluffy did indeed know sufficient about the e-mail and its contents to make him culpable as well. In my view once Carmichael stands down, which I believe he will eventually have to do, then there is scope to go after Fluffy using Carmichael to lever out the scrawny wee runt and tell all. Should Fluffy fail to do so then it can only be deduced that he knew everything and as such then he too must stand down.

    1. Then we would just be left with Labour, defending Scotland from their heartlands in morningside.

    2. Just imagine, Arbroath, if Fluffy had to go, we'd be left with a Nobleness as secretary of state. That would work out well!

      And yes Gerry, Mr Tartan Jacket, the opposition to the opposition!

  2. Cameron wont be a proper prime minster until he has put some bodies from the armed
    forces into the graveyard and with a bit of luck caused a few to be permanently disfigure.
    for some sick reason unless there is a war or armed confrontation while they are in no 10
    they cant wear the prime ministerial badge of honour.

    so Cameron being unable to do it openly does it like the snake he is and has his
    own secret private little war on the sly.

    1. I was incandescent when I heard about it, Niko. Of all the things that happened in teh last UK parliament, it seemed to me that the MPs voting against war in Syria was one of the few decent things they did.

      I reckon Cameron doesn't like to be thwarted by people as lowly as MPs and that he decided that if he couldn't do it that way, he'd do it by the back door. And probably claim credit if it was successful.

      Odious creep.

  3. An excellent post, but unless the Courts order a revote, I suspect Carmichael will brazen it out until 2020. And you should have run this post through your unpaid proofreader - me. The new leader is called Farron not Fallon. You've probably been confused given the LibDems have fall(e)n so far down in the polls :-)

    1. Thanks for spotting that PP. There is, as always, a post for you here at Munguin Towers if you can afford to take it! I reckon the confusion arose exactly as you suggested.

      Yes, I agree. I had hoped the new leader would have wanted to start with a clean slate. Mr Clegg's slate was dirty beyond belief: dubious money for dubious sources, refusal to pay up for policing, record of ditching principles for position and , of course Carmichael, a cabinet minister admitting he was an election cheat and a liar, and then refusing to resign.

      A new leader is a time to say "a new beginning". He's just carrying on where the last one left off.

      (I should say that we are appreciative of the calming effect that the Liberal Dems had on Cameron and his mad right wing brigade of nut can be seen from the rash of ghastly legislation to come forth from them since they threw off the shackles of a moderating force.)

      Now that his leader has refused to disown him, he will not go unless the courts rule it.

      It's a pity that people like Straw and Rifkind were sacked by their parties (and Rifkind told he couldn't stand for the Tories again), for alleged crimes that were less serious that openly lying to the public about a foreign ambassador and the first minister.

      It makes the Liberal Democrats seem rather sleazy.

    2. PS: I corrected the post. I hope I got them all.

      Munguin says that the cheque is in the post... At least that is what it sounded like. I think he probably meant "check", or even possibly "Czech".

  4. It came down to two things happening they hadn't thought through. They involved one of the most senior foreign Ambassadors, and that Ambassador did something they hadn't expected;she said clearly it hadn't happened.
    They couldn't see beyond the SNP and damaging Nicola Sturgeon.
    It's true, Fallons a failure before he has even started.

  5. Tris

    I wrote a small comment on this on my blog last night , I have copied it below if that is ok.

    Tim doesn’t get it.

    I voted for Tim Fallen as leader of the Liberal Democrats and feel Tim is the correct choice. However, Tim doesn’t get it when it comes to the Alistair Carmichael issue at all.

    Tim has said that decent people want to give Alistair a second chance, that decent people see that he is a decent hardworking MP. Is the implication that anyone wanting redress for the lies, the expense of the enquiry, the political opportunism to basically smear the First Minister of Scotland are not decent people!

    This issue is not about having a go at Alistair Carmichael, this not about mad SNP Nationalists point scoring and trying to humiliate a Liberal MP, it’s about none of that. This issue is about a style of politics that many in Scotland won’t put up with anymore, it’s about lying to the electorate , its about allowing a costly enquiry to take place when Alistair knew the truth, its about his constituents not having all the facts and its about a political elite who pretty much think they can do what they want.

    No Tim, you don’t get it. Scotland has changed, Scotland is sick of Westminster or many are. Scotland won’t put up with gutter politics or politicians with no honour anymore. If you can’t get that then the Liberal Party will die in Scotland .

    1. Excellent post, Bruce.

      It's not about point scoring. I don't care who lies, and then lies some more and then more... they should go. If it were Alex Salmond I'd say the same thing.

      Malcolm Bruce said, rather unfortunately, I thought, that all politicians lie. Of course, he was right, because every person lies. But mostly we lie about small unimportant things... But in passing it off the way he did, he made it sound as if we were rather stupid if we believed a single word that any of them said about anything ever.

      This lie wasn't small, and as I said, may have, almost certainly did involve, other senior politicians (and Fluffy).

      It was an attempt to undermine a politician and a party that were making inroads into the cosy comfy status quo, done just before an election and in it involved the french Ambassador as well as a senior Scottish politician. it was corrupt, every bit as corrupt as Jack Straw and Malcolm Rifkind touting for work and boasting about how they were important enough to change things at the highest levels.

      The fact that he allowed an inquiry to proceed and didn't come clean till after the election is, as you say, something we just won't put up with...hence the crowd funding to get him to stand down.

  6. There is no "think" he should go about it. Second chances are only available to those who admit their mistake and ask for that second chance. Not to those who lie and lie again, and only ask for the second chance when they get caught. By then it's too late.

    1. Yes Brian.

      I was inexperienced and I was young, I'm sorry, please may I have another chance.

      No Mr C. You are not young. You are a solicitor, a student of the law. You know what is right and what is wrong.

      But we will give you a second chance. Resign your seat, which you won while people thought you were an honourable man, and re contest it. That is a second chance.

      I think the reason that senior politicians are backing him is that they knew about it and said nothing because they hoped it would damage the SNP in their election charges. I've no proof of course, but I bet they worry that if Carmichael goes, he won;t go alone.

  7. Tim Farron knows which side his bread is buttered on and it ain't buttered in Scotland. Alistair Carmichael is an odious man who deserves what with a miracle is coming to him. I do no know what the Lib Dems are for, nothing that I can see, slightly more human Tories, but that place is now being occupied by Labour. They have made some stupid suggestions along with some useful ones. They were the main architects of the NHS, not Labour, though as usual they took the credit. I would have to say is anyone surprised except Bruce, who I am really sorry for.

    1. The thing is that the Liberals have usually done well in Scotland, so he should be thinking about them there.

      In the last parliament they had 11 seats out of 59. That's a far higher proportion than they had in England. They could with some revival in Scotland, possibly, form part of the government of the country.

      Farron however seems content to let that go.

      I wonder if he will pay the police bill.

  8. Yeah, give the guy a break, a permanent break from politics.

    1. LOL...well that is... or it should be... up to his constituents.