Astonishing

As Sir Malcolm Bruce (“He misconducted himself as a Minister”).splutters a truly dismal assessment of public office on live national radio, saying that if we were to kick out every MP & government minister out of the House of Commons who has told a lie it would be empty, John Aberdein examines the Carmichael saga.

On March 6 a civil servant in the Scotland Office phoned a French diplomat who had been present at a high-level meeting and then, from what was gleaned on the phone, wrote a third-hand account of that meeting. A month later the account was leaked to the press during the General Election to attempt to damage the SNP and Labour. But crucially, as Alistair Carmichael now admits in his May 22 letter of apology to Nicola Sturgeon, ‘the details of that account are not correct.’

Did Mr Carmichael seek to check the accuracy of the document before authorising its leak? Far from it. In his May 22 confession on BBC TV Mr Carmichael said he’d ‘never actually seen this document, you know, be quite clear about that.’

This is astonishing. For the Scottish Secretary of State to authorise the leaking of a document without inspecting the limitations of its origin and content is either incompetent, the action of a fool, or the action of someone being used by his political superiors in Westminster as a tool.

The Cabinet Office Inquiry statement, covering a single page, taking 48 days to produce, and disgracefully not published until 15 days after the Election, doesn’t enlighten us as to why Mr Carmichael had not even seen the document he permitted to be leaked by his adviser.

But whether Alistair Carmichael on this particular occasion acted as fool or tool, for party political advantage or to obey the Prime Minister, there can be no doubt that he fell from the diligent standards he displayed in the earlier years of his time in Parliament.

He used the power of high office to assent to an unfair action during a General Election in order to damage the reputation of opposing parties; and then chose to mislead the public, including local electors, about his complicity in that action.

The LibDem leader in Scotland, Willie Rennie, says he deserves a second chance. But that is not a question for Willie Rennie to decide, and certainly Alistair Carmichael is deeply mistaken if he thinks he can simply award that second chance to himself.

Only the electors of Orkney and Shetland can adjudicate on whether Alistair Carmichael deserves a second chance. And for that to happen, he has to resign his seat immediately and submit himself to scrutiny in a by-election.

 

 

If you like Bella Caledonia and want us to continue and develop we need you support – please donate to our appeal fund here – and if you can share the link on Facebook. Thank You.

Comments (80)

Join the Discussion

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. dunderheid says:

    So Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP didn’t want a Tory Westminster Govt? Really? REALLY???

    1. Alison says:

      Yes really. Troll. The leader of the one party that actually didn’t want austerity is not going to want the maxi -austerity party in power. The financial implications have a severe knock on effect to a devolved Scottish parliament as well, you know. This was an obvious stitch up and made up story- probably arranged by the usual back hand methods from higher offices in Westminster- to be published just the day it was felt to do most harm to NS. Ie the day after she did really well in the televised debate. Now that is definately not accidental but hugely planned and more than Carmichael will have had a hand in this.

      1. dunderheid says:

        “The Cabinet Secretary has concluded that there is no reason to doubt that he recorded accurately what he thought he had heard. There is no evidence of any political motivation or “dirty tricks”.”

        From the civil service report….but of course they would say that being lickspittles to the corrupt english elite

        Or..Or…Nicola Sturgeon correctly identified that the best outcome for the SNP at the previous general election would be a party voted on less than 20% of Scottish electorate winning power and thereby allowing her and her party to continue as insurgents and claim to be the only authentic and valid Scottish voice against English Tory austerity…and then said so in an unguarded moment….

        1. Lewis says:

          While you’re spinning fairy tales you might want to explain why the French ambassador’s people, the party to whom this supposed confession was made, have denied it occurred? This isn’t just Nicola Sturgeon denying she said it, it’s everybody else who was bloody present and personally I’m more inclined to trust the French than either Nicola or Carmichael in this matter since they had nothing to gain or lose either way.

        2. Graeme Purves says:

          The flaw in your scenario is that it is not supported by any evidence whatsoever.

        3. annette clark says:

          you have named yourself aptly ….. DUNDERHEID

    2. bringiton says:

      There are two issues here.
      One is the fact that someone has concocted a story for the purpose of political gain and the other is that a government minister lied about his involvement in publishing the story.
      Neither have anything to do with what our First Minister may or may not have thought in private and to claim otherwise is just trying to defend the indefensible.
      Carmichael’s antics are going to have an effect on next year’s elections,just not one he and his friends would have wished for.

      1. dunderheid says:

        Not defending Carmichael…just identifying hypocrisy. Is your lying politician (given she publicly denied even thinking what she was reported as saying) better than the other one?

        1. Bella Caledonia Webguy says:

          You might have a point once Emmett Brown irons out the issues with his mind reader project.

          1. dunderheid says:

            I take your Emmett Brown and raise you Col. Nathan R Jessup….

          2. Bella Caledonia Webguy says:

            lol… touché

            I really need to add some like buttons to these comments. 🙂

        2. robert graham says:

          well a bit of advice stop digging you are making a arse of yourself your latest rant ” you are not defending him ” oh really why continue with your obvious condemnation then ?

          1. dunderheid says:

            Perhaps…just perhaps I’m condemning both of them…imagine that??????

    3. revjimbob says:

      ‘Perhaps…just perhaps I’m condemning both of them…’
      One with justification, the other because of prejudice.

    4. Heidstaethefire says:

      It seems that nothing anybody says is going to dissuade you, but I’ll try one more time. It would have been very easy for French consular officials to say that they don’t get involved in domestic politics of their hosts, and avoid questions on the whole business. Despite that, the French ambassador says it didn’t happen. the French consul general, present at the meeting, says it didn’t happen. Sturgeon says it didn’t happen. How many more do you need?

      1. Wul says:

        You forgot Carmichael. He too, said that the leak was “incorrect”.

        The enquiry said that the civil servant correctly “reported what he thought he had heard”, a lovely turn of phrase that, I’m saving it for later.

        Blunderheid may have a vestigial point in that, historically, it may unfold that Cameron’s sociopathic government helps to accelerate the arrival of Scottish independence. However, that is entirely irrelevant to this issue.
        If the man wishes to wear the title of “Honourable” he must act with honour.

  2. bigboz says:

    What Nicola Sturgeon may or may not have wanted is hardly the issue. Carmichael lied then tried to cover up the lie. His constituents deserve the chance to determine whether or not he is fit to represent them. Carmichael says he is an excellent constituency MP so he should be confident of triumphing in a bye-election. So hurry on and hold it, get re-elected and we can all move on. Or maybe he isn’t so sure about his electorate? I wonder which.

    1. John Aberdein says:

      Probably the latter. On the 1st day of the ‘People Versus Carmichael’ crowdfunder, 750 people have already contributed £12,500 towards a legal challenge on the validity of Alistair Carmichael’s continued membership of the House of Commons.

      https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-people-versus-carmichael#/story

      1. Kathy Aberdein says:

        Hi John, Not sure if you’re related to my ex-husbands family ( completely irrelevant, I know ) but I was majorly impressed by your brilliant letter to the Shetland Times ! I have an opportunity to ask a question on Thursdays Question time here in Aberdeen and I’m having trouble formulating my question about this Carmichael debacle. Seeing as you have such a succinct way with words ….. Any suggestions as to how to phrase this question to get the most impact and chance of being selected to give this topic NATIONAL coverage because the MSM sure aren’t interested in giving this topic any legs ! Seems like its a case of, “move on now, there’s NOTHING to see here…. Any tips ?? Xxx

  3. fraise says:

    Its neither here nor there about leaking the memo, its about the false statement he made during the election. Mr Carmichael said the first he knew about the memo was when he was contacted by the reporter from the Telegraph which has now changed to the first time he saw the memo was when he read it in the Telegraph.
    I do not think we and I mean the Scottish people should hold him to account. I believe that the people of Orkney and Shetland have to decide whether they have lost faith in their M.P. and if they have then let him know.
    the people of these islands are very forgiving and they may well decide to allow him a second chance, as Mr Rennie put it but as yet Mr Carmichael has not asked their opinion on the matter.

    1. MBC says:

      Agreed. He’s just taken them for granted and that is what angers me. He’s awarded himself a second chance, used them as voting fodder. His sense of entitlement comes across in the brief Radio Orkney interview he gave the other day when he kept repeating.’I have been a good constituency MP for fourtenn years’ as if that entitked him to continue under false pretences. His pomposity and self regard are sickening. The people of the northern isles are a quietly proud and independent lot and I can’t imagine they will accede to being vassals very easily.

  4. KMulhern says:

    Lib Dem MP smears opposition then lies about it during an election, the Lib Dem Deputy Leader? blames it on the party they attempted to smear, and then excuses it by saying that everyone does this.

    Someone should really confiscate all the shovels from the Lib Dems.

  5. Calum says:

    Carmichael’s involvement in this was obvious from the start. He never appeared once on radio/TV from the day the story broke, whereas he was regularly on before – usually slagging off the SNP.
    What most annoys me though is the establishment’ s corruption. Carmichael’s guilt was known almost from the start, yet it was kept quiet till after the election, before being announced at the start of a holiday weekend.

    1. MBC says:

      That too. The collusion of the powers that be in protecting him are another reason for bringing him to book. It’s got nothing to do with getting another SNP seat. I don’t care who the constituents vote for, it’s Carmichael using the electoral process under false pretences, abusing the electorate, that gets me.

  6. Don Macleod says:

    Wow. Beyond astonishing. This surely has got to be the end for the LibDems. The depths of delusion arrogance and corruption further plumbed.
    But then again we can turn this to a positive for further cleansing. His (Bruce’s) statement that such lies and behaviour are widespread commonplace and part of the normal proceedings of our parliament can be taken as admission of guilt from himself . Further, having declared such, he should be interrogated to expose those cases that he declares he himself knows of, particularly those involving ‘Ministers, Cabinet Ministers and Prime Ministers’.

  7. johnp45 says:

    The tentacles of this affair are stretching ever wider, Fluffy, Wullie, maybe even as far as No.10 (strange silence from that area?) and the Bruce interview, where at one stage he was sounding like a labrador on heat, just summed up the arrogance with which the establishment treat us all .

    Maybe we do deserve the government we get?

  8. Carole Lockhart Stuart says:

    Carmichael did admitt to this being a lie. Rennie must have know about this too. Also Carmichael and Mundell shared an office and it was in his interests to be involved too, and if he knew then so did Cameron ???. As for Malcolm Bruce and all the other Lib Dems, none of them know the meaning of “THE TRUTH”. Malcolm Bruce has always slagged off the SNP. He is a dreadful vile excuse of a man. He has been our MP for 32 years and I have tried to get his help but I am not well off or well connected enough to be helped by him, for in his words “my paltry issues”. It’s only the well off people that have kept him in and he voted for the cuts and he is a traitor to Scotland, he worked with Dewar and Blair to give away some of our sea area and land 2 nights before the first Scottish Government was opened. He also conspired with Dewar to make the voting system almost impossible for the SNP To get power but they did. As for Carmichael he knew what he was doing, he also knew he stood to lose his seat, hence this made up memo from him. This thing is much bigger than just him and involves others. My thoughts are just whose skin are they trying to save.

    1. Morag says:

      SOMEBODY has been paying attention. Thank you.

      1. MBC says:

        Hear, hear.

        1. Wul says:

          I suspect that, in private, they justify their actions by invoking the need to “save the union” or “protect our great country”.
          A kind of perverted Dunkirk spirit which absolves guilt: “All’s fair in war”, “Hold the line” or some other sanctimonious pish.
          The fact that our democratic trustees now find themselves routinely lying to, undermining, subverting and despising their fellow citizens’ aspirations should ring alarm bells in any half-decent intellect.

  9. Redgauntlet says:

    Carmichael is an idiot, way out of his depth…the man is stupid, too stupid to represent himself, let alone his constituents…a bungler and a botcher and a buffoon….

    What did the Lib Dems stand to get out of this leak? Nothing, they were nowhere in the polls.

    Who stood to gain? The Tories, and only the Tories. My guess is that Carmichael was played. The kind of mediocrity who is only happy to be put up to something because it makes him feel like a big shot…and it is no surprise that the leaked document was ALSO a concoction…

    The Carmichael case is redolent of the old corrupt politics which Scottish voters massively rejected just a few weeks ago. He shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near office again and if he had an ounce of personal integrity he would resign. But he doesn’t obviously, so probably he won’t…

    …too stupid there too, to see that it the only gesture which would save him some face…

  10. dennis mclaughlin says:

    This lying,treacherous MP should be booted out of office,and his handlers and accomplices suffer the same fate.
    Chancellor Hitler used these same tactics to annexe various territories in the 30’s and 40’s…does Westminster have similar designs on Scotland?.
    This is disgraceful conduct by ministers of state, and should be investigated thoroughly.

  11. Billy Grier says:

    He lied. He compounded his lie with lies of ommission by not revealing that he lied. Then forced an investigation into the lies. He’s a flat out liar. Malcolm Bruce wants liars like Clegg and Carmichael to be rewarded. Bring on 2016 elections

  12. johnny come lately says:

    Alistair Carmichael’ behaviour in this whole sorrid affair was nothing less than underhand, cowardly and dishonest in the extreme, but he is a sideshow compared to the real story.
    There are a serious questions which have to be answered by both the civilservice and The Cameron goverment.
    Where did this phoney memo first originate. Who was the civilservant who embellished the memo. By which method was the memo recorded? Which ministers and departements was this memo circulated amongst? The person who was charged with representing Scotland’s interests in Wesminster colluded with both the civilservice and Westminster to undermine The first Minister of Scotland.
    It is the civilservice and The Scottish Office which is on trial here. The fact that this investigation took so long and was released on a Friday, on a bank holiday gives suspicion to that the civilservice is as broken as the political system which it is meant to serve. Impartiality has gone out of the window. How can politics function in this country if this is to become the norm.

  13. Dan Huil says:

    Carmichael is a liar. If you want to help the people of Orkney and Shetland please visit: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-people-versus-carmichael#/story

  14. kailyard rules says:

    Dunderheid? Obviously.

    1. JBS says:

      Bella Caledonia Webguy: please do add some like buttons – I would press to like this comment by kailyard rules if you would.

      Ah, well, the sun is shining, the wind is not so strong and icy as it has been of late, la chair est triste, hélas ! et j’ai lu tous les blogs, so I’m away for a daunder round the loch to revive my spirits and get some vitamin D.

    2. dunderheid says:

      Obvious? Kailyard rules

  15. Fed up with the Lies and Propaganda of the London Media Industrial Complex says:

    ” We All Lie.”

    No Malcolm mate, we don’t. You and your Liberals chums do.

    1. dunderheid says:

      “Asked earlier in the year whether he had sought advice from the Scottish government’s own law officers on membership of the EU, Salmond replied: “We have, yes”.”

      “But in an unexpected disclosure to the Scottish parliament…Sturgeon revealed that the Scottish government had only sought legal advice from its law officers in the last week.”

      D’oh!!!!

  16. john young says:

    The whole effin lot of them are vile liars,didn,t they all know about the rampant paedophilia in their ranks yet said nothing and did less until it began to surface on the social media,they lied about WMDs causing untold death/misery to a people totally unconnected to/with us,look at the hell hole they have created in the middle east oh! wait a second it,s ok it,s in our interests,the sooner we are free and away from these horrible horrible people the better.

  17. Donald says:

    Why do people vote these creatures into office?

  18. Dougie Stanley says:

    Lib Dems should foot the £1.4 Million bill because a Lib Dem liar would not admit to his guilt.
    But here is a thought – who got the £1.4 Million to do a minor bit of detective work?
    and Why did it cost so much?
    Someone has done very well out of this and we still do not know who wrote the memo in the first place.

    1. The £1.4 million figure is discredited and has been withdrawn. It’s just being repeated on twitter. I don’t think anyone knows how much it cost yet.

  19. johnny come lately says:

    @dunderheid

    “The Cabinet Secretary has concluded that there is no reason to doubt that he recorded accurately what he thought he had heard. There is no evidence of any political motivation or “dirty tricks”

    The above was written to cover the back of the civilservice and not Carmaichel’s back. Those above saying Carmichael is an idiot are mistaken. There is a very good reason he is claiming that he hadn’t read the memo. He is claiming he was informed of the contents. Why would he make himself appear to be inept by denying ever reading it? My guess is that he is covering his own back should evidence come forward that this document had been altered at a later stage. He is after all a soliciter by trade!

    1. dunderheid says:

      Lets be realist here and avoid the cant…Of course Sturgeon wanted the Tories to win. If she didn’t then she isn’t really serious about wanting independence as an English Tory government is the best recruiting sergeant the SNP could have before the 2016 elections and especially as the EU referendum that only the Tories were promising opens the door again to another indy referendum. Now she’s never going to admit that in public is she? Is she a liar for denying it…yes…sorry but yes….its called politics…

      Now Carmichael knew this…everyone with half a brain knew this. Then suddenly his spad comes to him and tells him a civil servant has recorded her saying this. He knows the SNP are on a roll and this might halt their momentum so he goes all in and lets the spad leak it…not very noble…not very dignified and given the he said she said nature of the content not very effective but what really did he have to lose…again thats politics. The only difference between him and Sturgeon is that he got caught in his lie while Sturgeon didn’t

      So lets get off our high horses and see this story for what it is…low politics with both parties drowning in hypocrisy

      1. James Coleman says:

        You do not have ONE shred of evidence for any of the guff you have written in that post it is complete surmise by you yet you go on as if it were true. You really are a ‘dunderheid’ aren’t you.

        1. Dunderheid says:

          Erm I do have one shred of evidence…the fact the civil service report states it has no reason to doubt that Sturgeon told the French ambassador she would prefer a Tory government….

          1. John S Warren says:

            The official press release from the Civil Service states that “The Cabinet Secretary has concluded that there is no reason to doubt that he [the civil servant who wrote the leaked report] recorded accurately what he thought he had heard”.

            “What he thought he had heard” is a carefully crafted statement that has been bled dry of meaning, and undermines the report. It does not mean that civil servant heard correctly; indeed it is so qualified that it scarcely stands as “evidence” of anything at all, outside the mental state of civil servants. Indeed, it is evidence only about the belief of a civil servant, and it has nothing decisive to say about the accuracy of the belief; it is, beyond peradventure, not a statement about what actually happened at the meeting.

            The civil servant who wrote the report had not attended the meeting, but was giving a second-hand account, at third-hand. What the civil servant thought he heard has since generally been disabused by the only people who can provide primary, undeniable evidence of what actually happened at the meeting; the people who actually attended the meeting. This is even confirmed in an odd qualification to the accuracy of the report, by (presumably) the report writer; who acknowledges that an accurate representation of the contents of the meeting may have been ” lost in translation”.

            Thus the report does not advance “evidence” about the meeting itself at all, unless you propose to spin the proposition that the Civil Service must be right ‘no matter what’ the facts; how very British.

      2. John S Warren says:

        That is an exceptionally poor analysis of Scottish politics. The SNP are not in charge of the political agenda, and have not been in charge from the beginning of the Referendum campaign. But the SNP (unlike the Labour Party, the LibDems and the Conservatives) understand that simple fact, and have developed their strategy and tactics to conform to political reality. Like all successful political operations in a democracy they provide the appearance of leading, when in fact they are following – in this case a new orthodoxy. Their opponents do not understand the politics; that, at least, is clear. The SNP are ahead of the curve (or at least keeping up with it); everyone else is behind the curve, or in some cases, fast approaching an extinction event.

        1. John S Warren says:

          My above comment above is in response to the comment provided by ‘dunderheid’, not the article; the ‘reply’ structure here is very difficult to use effectively (it is insufficiently precise).

        2. dunderheid says:

          I bet that sounded better at your Pol Sci tutorial at Abertay university…

          1. John S Warren says:

            I am sure that seemed a witty riposte when you wrote it; perhaps politics just isn’t your thing.

          2. dunderheid says:

            I did call it a shred of evidence and the fact it backfired so spectacularly on Carmichael is no surprise given its he said she said nature…

            But the cabinet office report says it wasn’t a lie or fabrication so that leaves us with the fact a civil servant fluent in french enough to be chosen to meet officially with the french ambassador made a mistake…possible mais difficile d’imaginer

            The denials are irrelevant…the french ambassador was always going to deny it…if he didn’t he would have been accused (quite rightly) of interfering in the democratic process of another country and also most likely fired.

            And Nicola Sturgeon…well…you know…been quoted as supporting the evil tories is hardly good form in nationalist circles….

          3. John S Warren says:

            Unfortunately you are running round in ever decreasing circles to defend what you no doubt thought at the time was a clever, cynical argument nobody had the courage to acknowledge, save your good self; but an argument which simply does not stand-up, even to casual scrutiny.

            Your problem is one of convincing evidence; you do not have it, and the plain fact is, you will almost certainly never have any persuasive evidence. Let us be clear: the Cabinet Office “fact” to which you refer is not a fact about the meeting; because the Civil Service is in no position to comment authoritatively on a meeting at which it was not present. Even the Civil Service realises this basic fact is authoritative, and is therefore exceedingly circumspect in what it claims. It does not claim what you conclude.

            The authority you invest in the civil servant, and the reasons you offer for his authority are, with all due respect, risible. He was chosen because he speaks French. The French speak French (!), but their “denials are irrelevant”. You are, you suppose, wise and sophisticated in your analysis, so the civil servant is incapable of error; better by far simply to accuse absolutely everyone of lying. Thus everybody else is obviously lying, and therefore the only reliable source is the British Civil Service, although it is in no postion to know what was said at the meeting.

            The Cabinet Office drafted their ‘investigation’ carefully not to claim explicitly the conclusion you have seized: but there are always critics who will overstretch a case to score a point; the politically motivated; or gullible; or vain, or whatsoever; anxious to run with an overwrought idea: and there you are, eager to oblige.

            It was a jolly good wheeze that proved to be a dud. Why not accept it?

          4. dunderheid says:

            You need to calm down a little…spittle-flecked rage is so unbecoming in a serious man like yourself…

            If you’d bothered to read some of my posts including the one you replied to I have freely admitted that the Carmichael leak was a dud and i reckon the only reason he went ahead leaking something so easily deniable and with such a big risk of backfiring as it did, was out of desperation. But it exists and so what are the options regarding its veracity or not given that we know the meeting between Sturgeon and the ambassador occurred and that the civil servant later discussed it with the ambassador?

            One: An experienced civil servant overcome with love for the Union decide to jeapordise his career by fabricating the comment entirely

            Two: The French Ambassador overcome with mechancete decides to misrepresent or invent the comment

            Three: The civil servant fluent in french to a degree in which he is chosen to discuss and record official meetings between himself and the French ambassador makes a translation error confusing “Oui j’aimerais si les Tories gagner l’election” with “Non je n’aimerais pas si les Tories gagner l’election”

            Four: Nicola Sturgeon made the comment which was reported correctly by the ambassador and in turn the civil servant and which reflects the political reality of the nationalist position during a Westminster election…but it is denied for diplomatic reasons by the ambassador and tactical reasons by Sturgeon (both completely understandably if not exactly noble)

            Now all of the above are possible with some more plausible than others but if I had to put some money on which one I thought was the truth i know which one i would choose

          5. John S Warren says:

            “Spittle-flecked rage”? I wish I had the energy! I am, instead sitting here in a wetsuit, holding an umbrella up, in a vain attempt to evade the excessive wind-blown froth emanating from your extraordinary contributions; oops, the tide is coming in, where are my wellies? Whatever my many failings, I just do not ‘do’ rage, but I do think your determination to win a hopeless argument is leading you towards absurdity. I say this with regret, not anger.

            You present your four points almost as if each was a proven fact, rather than mere supposition; and you appear to present them as if each was an authoritative record of an event (at which I assume you are not able to claim you were present?). This is not even “shreds”, but more breezy froth.

            I have no doubt that you believe that “all [four] of the above are possible with some more plausible than others but if I had to put some money on which one I thought was the truth i know which one i would choose”; a position to which you are entitled, but they are not facts; they are not subject to proof or even adequate interrogation. They amount to nothing more than hopeful conjecture.

            I think Carmichael’s position does require challenge, and this at least may (or, of course may not – this is Westminster) successfully come to pass.

            I think the LibDem’s official position requires both scrutiny, and forensic questioning; and I think the whole Coalition Government and not least ‘No.10’ have some questions that should be presented and answered (an attempt has already been made to question Downing Street and Cameron has chosen uneasily to evade the matter rather than answer directly). I do not believe these questions are likely ever to be answered (…. this is Westminster), although I suspect thorough questioning would prove more productive here, than your pursuit of ‘Frenchgate’, in what I think I may fairly describe as the ‘dead-parrot refund’ strategy.

          6. dunderheid says:

            I stand corrected…accept my humble apologies and acceptance that along with humor, humility, self-reflection and erudition you don’t “do” rage.

            I don’t give a flying fig for Carmichael and hey, if evidence emerges that other members of the government including Cameron authorised this leak and then denied it then I will be saddened(and shocked) but certainly wont come here to defend them.

            And quite frankly for me it is basically irrelevant whether the leak is true or not (although on the balance of probabilities and for the reasons I have stated and which you as usual have not even attempted to contradict, I believe it is basically true). It is obvious that it was in the best interests of the independence movement for the Tories to have won the last election and Nicola Sturgeon unless she is stupid (and unfortunately she is anything but) would have known this….and for her to have denied it during the election is a lie…a necessary even prudent lie….but a lie nonetheless

            I know it must be difficult to accept that your cause of righteousness must be sullied with such base compromise, but surely it’s better you accept the truth now before the pain of betrayal grows to be too much

          7. John S Warren says:

            A very gracious apology, which I assure you is unnecessary; it is all part of robust debate.

            On the ‘evidence’ for the extent of Government knowledge of the leak (it was, after all, a Government leak ….. …. effectively by a Minister, and therefore the Government …. ….) I would not be shocked by any ‘shocking’ revelations that may transpire. Malcolm Bruce has, rather, set the scene; my confidence in Westminster is low, something I suspect I share with a large swathe of electorates throughout the UK.

            My confidence was finally ‘holed below the water-line’ by the Credit Crunch, and specifically the failure to regulate the City adequately even now (demonstrated by the greater regulatory force being applied in the US, and the reluctance to prosecute anyone here; I think two prosecutions in the UK since 2008) and the ongoing appalling lack of standards, illustrated by the recent US fines for five banks (including two UK banks) for rate-rigging, long, long after the Crash. As one captured e-mail, from a UK trader revealed, we have no standards at all in the UK: “if you ain’t cheating, you ain’t trying”. Now there is a statement to be cut into a granite slab and erected outside Parliament, as reperesentative of our real British values in the 21st century. The US fines – $6.5Bn – are in banking terms, quite frankly trivial, and promise to change nothing; they are simply the cost of doing business – literally, cheap at the price.

            On your dogged pursuit of Frenchgate and the point you suggested I have failed to “contradict”, I thought I had answered in my earlier comment. I do not believe that the SNP are leading the Scottish people, but rather it is the other way round. I do think the FM understands this better than her opponents, and her strategy and tactics reflect this. Therefore I do not agree with your assessment of the circumstances of the Frenchgate meeting, even if some Nationalists believe that a Conservative Government at Westminster will promote rather than set-back the day of independence. I suspect that the FM is tactically more astute.

            I also do not agree with your opinion of what happened at the famously obscure Frenchgate meeting. Nobody knows precisely what words were used (certainly not a UK civil servant) – they have never been satisfactorily recorded, or reported. All the critics, hoping to trip-up the FM are, I am reasonably confident, fated to be dashed on these inaccessible rocks.

            I am prepared to go further, but I acknowledge reluctance to do so, because I am thus joining you in mere conjecture, and I am reluctant to do so when there are more certain questions that should be directed elsewhere; but since I exasperated you so much today, I shall try. I do not believe it at all likely that the FM would offer an opinion on either Cameron or Miliband’s suitability as PM at the Frenchgate meeting. It is a gaffe that seems improbable, based not least on the FM’s already established non-confrontational, negotiation-seeking approach to political dialogue. Why would she offer such a crass hostage to fortune or gossip in a discussion with a foreign diplomat? Who would be impressed? What purpose could it possibly serve, save to provide her most desparate (despairing) opponents with free ammunition (she would have been throwing a lifebelt to a drowning political party in the middle of an election). Hence, I think, the peculiarly convoluted subtlety of some critics who suggest that she must have said it: because she must have thought it. Please!

            What happened? We will never know, yet I suspect this is a case of communication transformation – at the front the order is hastily shouted to a messenger, ‘send reinforcements we are going to advance’, arrives indirectly, but eventually at the General’s chateau as, ‘send thee-and-fourpence, we are going to a dance’; but in the sense that some critics seek ‘evidence’ of something else; for myself, I do not believe it; for even if it was discovered that the FM carried Machiavelli’s ‘Prince’ everywhere, she would quickly have learned there not to stumble into daft gaffes like this; and I do not think the FM is daft. Meanwhile, Mr Carmichael MP can speak for himself.

  20. Anon says:

    Dunderheid – nae wan in the SNp wanted the austerity driven people oppressing Tory rats back in power bcos we did want our people suffering the hell these so and so’s dish out! Simple. The Liberal eejit LIED. Simple. Too many politicians of the spin era dont gae a toss about lying. Nicoloa aint a liar! that’s why she is more successful than the jerks from New Labour onwards because all they thought about was image and point scoring lies were their weapon of choice. RESIGN YE PATHETIC TOAD!

    1. Anon says:

      ***** Correfction of typo – *** DID NOT WANT OUR PEOPLE SUFFERING! ******* at the hands of the Tories!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      1. dunderheid says:

        She obviously didn’t worry that much about her people suffering as really the only way she could have even slightly lessened the mad max style wasteland that Scotland will undoubtedly become under the Tories austerity would have been to been to recommend her supporters to vote for the only party with a realistic chance of stopping it on a UK level…the Labour party…

        1. Fed up with the Lies and Propaganda of the London Media Industrial Complex says:

          Er um, Scotland did vote for Liebour in the 1980’s, remember the Feeble 50 Liebour MPs ? but we got Thatcher instead. As you say Dunderheid, ”d’oh !! ”

          Now piss off, troll.

        2. Alex Waugh says:

          Really Dunderheid? Really? You actually believe that Labour would alleviate the misery that’s been caused by the ConDem obsession with a discredited austerity that benefits only the rich?

          This would be the Labour party whose former leader is, with some justification, called a war criminal; in which the places once held by true representatives of the working class are now filled with career politicians who all went to the same schools/universities as and move in the same circles as the Tories they claim to oppose and have never done a real day’s work in their life; which voted in support of cuts to benefits and attacks the sick, the old and the poor; whose Shadow Chancellor said he wouldn’t change a thing in the ConDem budget; the party which introduced the vile ATOS assessments – that Labour party, right?

          The greatest tragedy is that Labour COULD stop the misery – but it won’t, and it won’t because it has become indistinguishable from the Tory party in its desperation for the votes of Middle England. I am happy to call myself a socialist (albeit not a fanatical one) and, once upon a time, was a staunch Labour voter and I see nothing, absolutely nothing, in ‘New Labour’ that I or the generations of socialists before me would recognize as an even vaguely pink kind of policy.

          Whether the SNP can or will do any better is still to be shown but, please, don’t pretend that the Labour party gives a tuppenny damn for ordinary people.

          1. Dunderheid says:

            I’m not a socialist so we can both agree that Labour have and would have been a disaster for this country…but if you are a socialist and you believe any advance towards socialism however small would alleviate the suffering of the comrades then you can’t really argue that in a Westminster election the Tory party are better than the Labour Party…

            However if you believe the best way to get socialism in Scotland is to get independence then an SNP victory in Scotland and a Tory govt in Westminster is absolutely the best outcome. An opinion Sturgeon apparently shares but quite understandably needs to conceal….with lies

        3. Scotsfox says:

          Do the sums… if Labour had won all 59 seats in Scotland we’d still have a Tory majority because Miliband couldn’t get England to vote for him.

          1. dunderheid says:

            Nobody knew that for sure before the election so if you wanted something vaguely approaching socialism you should have voted Labour and if you wanted independence voted SNP and hoped the Tories won

  21. Archie Hamilton says:

    Dunderheid – your view of the matter and the generality of the current political situation doesn’t match with any evidence but then it needs no evidence because your whole case relies on faith – your own faith that you are right.

    Don’t you think that you might actually win over some people to your way of thinking if you tried to back your statements with some hard fact rather than complete supposition?

    1. dunderheid says:

      Your absolutely correct…I have no real hard facts other than a he said/she said account from a civil service.

      But what I can do is put myself in the position of a committed believer in Scottish independence and ask myself the following question?

      Which government from a WESTMINSTER election makes independence more likely?

      1. Heidstaethefire says:

        Both. Tweedledum or Tweedledee.

  22. George Wood says:

    Dunderheid

    Where do you get the idea that Sturgeon wanted a Tory government, when there were far better options for progressing towards Independence in the mix?
    Surely, a Labour majority government implementing their austerity manifesto would have advanced the date of Independence more than the Tories implementing austerity?
    There were also much better options for Independence to be had in the case of no party having an overall majority. This was the most likely scenario from the polls and had lots of outcomes that would have been better than a Tory majority.
    A Tory majority government would not have been anywhere near what Sturgeon wanted.

    1. dunderheid says:

      Firstly a Labour majority govt would not have implemented “austerity” for the sole fact that Tory opposition would have spent 5 years accusing it of being spendthrift and reckless (I’m not talking necessarily about the fiscal reality but the political narrative). The SNP would struggle to make its attack from the left count for very much in the face of this barrage.

      For a Labour minority govt, given Labour explicitly ruled out a formal deal with the SNP the SNP would be be in the position of either voting for Labour policies and thereby by default taking some ownership of them or voting them down and “siding” with the Tories

      Tory majority…SNP gets to be the clear authentic voice of Scottish opposition to austerity…Tories in order to shaft Labour will probably implement further devolution if not full fiscal autonomy…a step closer to independence…and as a tantalising thought an EU referendum opens the possibility of another independence referendum if England votes for Brexit and Scotland votes against…

      Any true partisan for independence wanted the English Tories to win….but none of you can admit this to so you contort yourself into unnatural positions and ultimately lie…like Nicola Sturgeon

  23. MickyD says:

    Carmichael leads to Mundell leads to Lynton Crosby leads to David Cameron … Thats the reason theyre all shitting themselves …Its Watergate all over again ….

  24. KMulhern says:

    STV Scotland Tonight on the 26th had Michael White on, more fuel for the fire.

    http://player.stv.tv/episode/32ez/scotland-tonight/

  25. Alan Deans says:

    The general selection is held so the country can decide on the best party for the country. What Carmichael did was to (immorally\illegally ?) interfere with that process by underhand and undemocratic means – surely this could be considered as a ‘Treasonable act’ as his actions could be considered harmful to the well-being of the country ?.

  26. Fearchar says:

    Surely everyone must recognise they’re wrong and the Dunderheid is right: the French Consul, the First Minister and the French Ambassador’s spokesperson all heard wrong, and an anonymous civil servant getting information at second hand about an alleged discussion on politics, which was passed on to Dunderheid, sorry, a political adviser, was in fact the only true record of this conversation. Aye, right!

    More interesting is, now that we know Carmichael lied and tried to cover up, what part his neighbour in the office, Mundell, played.

    If it comes out that both of them were involved, that leaves only the Labour MP standing in Edinburgh to fly the flag for Unionism – and he got there by successfully smearing his SNP challenger about a link to a satirical online source, claiming that it was serious.

    Margaret Thatcher said if the SNP got a majority of Scottish MPs, then independence would follow. Is there any Tory brave enough to stand up for the primacy of the Westminster Parliament? Of course not!

    1. dunderheid says:

      If you think the French Government is going to allow its representatives to be accused of interfering in the democratic process of the UK by backing up a story so obviously toxic to one of the main party leaders then you are hopelessly naive…especially when, for some of the reasons you have listed (my involvement notwithstanding), the story concerned is so easily deniable.

      Oh and god forbid the First Minister may have tarnished the decades long tradition and betrayed the immortal memory of her illustrious predecessors by demeaning her sacred office with a lie to protect her political brand

  27. Jon Buchanan says:

    Having contributed to a few threads on forums around this issue, now watching a seasoned Westminster performer, and let’s not forget a Member of the Privy Council, like Bruce, fall on his sword, whilst no10 refuses to confirm or deny if Cameron had knowledge or not of the leak (whilst we can probably assume, if no other evidence points to it other than that the midnight session on 30th March, which saw Clegg’s Recall of MPs Act, which would have had Carmichael bang to rights, hit the statute books but the timetable for passing into law being reserved for when ministers saw fit, then it is likely he did, since holding it back seems to have anticipated a bit of a stooshie of some sorts!), so spectacularly, you can’t help but wonder if he is just more lib dem collateral damage to protect the more important pieces on the chess board; I’m expecting a civil servant to fall next, possibly whilst Cameron is in France, thus circumnavigating any extension of straining further diplomatic fall out from the issue, and of course old ham head looking weak, lacking control as he seeks more UK influence in Europe; then, if the storms still a-raging back in Orkney and Shetland and the good islanders look like they might get some justice through the electoral court, we might be able to get at Fluffy, ooh, then the big pieces show their frailties and the game is truly afoot! They’re not actually as good at the game as they’ve led themselves to believe, I think persistence might be the key and it genuinely might be a watergate type affair…tick, tock, tick, tock!

  28. Macintosh says:

    Title is one other phrase for artifice.

Keep our Journalism Independent

We don’t take any advertising, we don’t hide behind a pay wall and we don’t keep harassing you for crowd-funding. We’re entirely dependent on our readers to support us.

Subscribe

Don’t miss a single article. Enter your email address to subscribe for free here and receive Bella direct to your inbox.

 
Bella Caledonia