Sunday, March 30, 2014

Why did Alistair Carmichael tell a direct lie about the polls on today's Sunday Politics?

I'd heard that Alistair Carmichael made a questionable comment about the recent TNS-BMRB poll on today's edition of the Sunday Politics, but until I watched the interview on iplayer a few minutes ago I didn't realise that the comment contained a flat-out untruth -

"Yes, there was a couple of polls last week that said that the gap was narrowing a bit, but in fact the most recent poll of all, the poll on Wednesday from TNS...showed that only 28% of people in Scotland were prepared to say that they were voting Yes, as opposed to the 42% who were on our side of the argument."

OK, here are the facts -

1) The TNS poll was published on Tuesday, not Wednesday.

2) The fieldwork for the TNS poll entirely predated two of the four recent polls that showed the gap narrowing, and partially predated the other two.

3)  Even the publication of the TNS poll preceded the publication of Wednesday's YouGov poll by 24 hours.

So I'm afraid there is no get-out clause for Carmichael here - it is simply not possible for him to truthfully claim that the TNS poll is "the most recent one of all".  By any definition, the most recent poll that we know of at present is the landmark YouGov poll that showed the Yes vote rising from 40% to 42%.


  1. He also says, "A very detailed intervention from the Governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney outlining all the reasons why a currency union would not be a good idea.", when Mark Carney didn't say anything at all about whether it was a good idea or not.

    Alistair seems to have a little trouble distinguishing between fact and what he'd like to be fact.

  2. These days big round Al is always complaining people are misrepresenting the reality he's misrepresenting.

    'When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, 'it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.'

  3. Doug is right. At no stage has Mark Carnet ever ruled out a currency union. In fact, what Mark Carney did say was that he and Bank of England officials would be continuing their talks with the Scottish government.

    The point that needed to be put to Alistair Carmichael was that if Carmichael was telling the truth when he said that Mark Carney has ruled out a currency union, then why is Mark Carney and Bank of England officials continuing their talks with the Scottish government, given that the Bank of England knows full well that the Scottish government’s sole interest in these talks is to prepare the ground for a currency union?

    If the Bank of England had ruled out a currency union there’d be no reason for it to continue to hold talks with the Scottish government as it would only have to say to the Scottish government, sorry, no currency union, therefore, nothing to talk about. Clearly, both the Scottish government and the Bank of England believe there is something to talk about, therefore, the very least we can say is that a currency union has not been ruled out.

  4. I think Mr Carney also said that it wasn't up to him to make the decision, but if the politicians decided yes, then he would make it happen.

    In fact if Westminster had really ruled it out, would Mr Carney's boss, Gideon, not refuse him permission to go on talking with the Scottish government. It seems like a waste of very expensive time and bad use of resources.

    I can't help wondering why they replaced Michael Moore with this bloke. He appears to be clueless.

  5. Tris,

    That’s right. What Mark Carney said in his press conference after his talks with the Scottish government is that he received his remit from the British government.

    The timing of these developments also seemed peculiar. If I remember correctly, some ten days after Mark Carney stated that he and his officials would continue their talks with the Scottish government, George Osborne made his announcement that he was ruling out a currency union.

    It’s unthinkable that the British government would have made such an important announcement at short notice and without consulting the Governor of the Bank of England before he held his talks with the Scottish government, but that’s one of the conclusions that can be reached on the basis of Osborne’s announcement. If that’s the case, then the British government is making Mark Carney look foolish and weak.

    The alternative explanation is that the British government did consult Mark Carney before he spoke to the Scottish government, which suggests that Mark Carney is being disingenuous in holding talks with the Scottish government or, at least, in not making it clear to the Scottish government that a currency union has been ruled out. Either way, Mark Carney doesn’t come out well in all of this but then neither does the British government.

  6. A BritNat is a liar - they've been doing it their whole lives but they still seem incapable of realising that the internet has outed them and does so every single day.

  7. There is no answer to this question that doesn't contain the words fat, toad-faced, lying and c*nt.

    The other reason is because he knows the smsm won't bother reporting his lies. Just the same as darling, mcliar, lamont, davidrennie and the rest.

  8. I'm sorry James, but your surely not suggesting that the Secretary of State for Portsmouth is lying are you?

    Don't forget, Mr Carmichael is the 'Big Hitter' that Westminster sent up to 'Unleash Hell on us Rebellious Scots' so yid better watch your back, cos no one messes with Alistair... except Nicola.


  9. The Mark Carney allegation was punted out on radio Scotland's "Good morning Jocks" at eight am today.

  10. We do have some facts to guide us here.

    1 The Governor of the Bank of England has told us that he receives his remit from the British government. In other words, the British government has the authority to provide instructions to the Governor of the Bank of England in any talks that he and his officials have with any third party.

    2 The Governor of the Bank of England has told us that he and his Bank of England officials will continue to hold talks with the Scottish government throughout the summer.

    3 The Scottish government is working on the assumption that the talks it is holding with the Bank of England are preparing the ground for a currency union (to discuss the conditions of a currency union, among other things).

    4 George Osborne has stated that there will be no currency union, implying that as long as he is chancellor there is no prospect of a currency union under any circumstances.

    This issue could be easily resolved if there was a journalist out there who was prepared to ask George Osborne one simple question: Why hasn’t he instructed the Governor of the Bank of England to make it clear to the Scottish government that there is no prospect of a currency union under any circumstances?

    Until George Osborne provides a credible answer to this question, the Scottish government is entitled to continue to hold its belief that there will be a currency union.

  11. Under normal circumstances the significance of polls is questionable. I think in the case of the referendum, the polls are critical.

    As the gap closes, people who have never given independence much thought (including some No voters) will start looking at independence as a real possibility for the first time and many of them will move to Yes.

    I think as Yes moves towards 50% people around the world will be looking for assurances (Spanish fishermen for example). Others will want to court this emerging resource rich country and this will further boost confidence at home.

    So I guess AC doesn't want people to realise the gap is closing. He's not stupid.